Wednesday, 22 March 2017

22nd March 1817: Derby Assizes Grand Jury call for the reinstatement of the death penalty for frame-breaking

Derby County Hall March 22nd 1817

The undersigned Gentleman, constituting the Grand Jury now assembled at the Assizes for the County of Derby, think it necessary to represent to Lord Sidmouth and the Government their unanimous and decided opinion, that it is highly expedient to make Frame-breaking a capital offence and to subject all persons, subscribing and collecting money to be paid for the Commission of it, or acting in any other manner as aiders or abettors, to the same punishment as the Principals—It must be well known by Lord Sidmouth that so long as the act of the 52nd of the present King was in force not one outrage of this nature was committed by the Luddite Conspiracy, but that immediately after the repeal of that Statute the practice of Frame-breaking revived and has ever since continued—These Facts fully warrant the Conclusion that the existing laws are insufficient for the suppression of the Luddite Conspiracy, and justify the application which the Grand Jury think it is their duty to make to Lord Sidmouth, for an act to be obtained for the more exemplary punishment of Persons guilty of Frame-breaking.

Henry FitzHerbert
A: B: Malley
Winfield Halton
Edward Miller Mundy
P. Gell
Fra. Hurt
W Denny Lowe
J: Radford
Charles Hurt
John Crompton
Joshua Jebb
Bache Heathcote
Robt Holden.
John Toplis
J. Beaumont
John Bell Crompton
[illegible] Draper
W Lord

This document can be found at HO 42/163.

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