Wednesday 22 November 2017

22nd November 1817: The Leicester Chronicle withdraws their previous remarks about James Towle & the Spy Oliver

On Saturday 22nd November 1817, the Leicester Chronicle issued a correction to a column of the previous week:
A respectable Lady of this town called upon us yesterday to assure us that the person who visited James Towle, while under sentence of death in the County gaol, was not the celebrated Mr. Oliver, but a relation of her’s, of the same of Townend, who resides at Holt Town, near Manchester. We can only say, that the circumstance was communicated to us by several respectable persons, with a tone of confidence, and that we believed it at the time. The immaculate Editor of the Journal, who of course never gives insertion to any thing not true, asks―”When the truth could have clearly ascertained, by an application to the county gaol why we should have deemed it necessary to publish a FALSEHOOD, if it had not been to answer a base and nefarious purpose?!!!” We answer―because we conceive such an application from us, would have been unavailing!

Tuesday 21 November 2017

21st November 1817: A freed Gravenor Henson writes to the governor of Coldbath Fields Prison

Dr Sir

I hope you will excuse my not returning your Coat sooner; which was partly owing to its being so extremely wet, that it took nearly three days drying; it rained all the way from Northampton, and I am fully convinced that to your Kindness, I am indebted to you, for preserving me from a fit of illness (if not) for my Life; when I arrived at Leicester, I shook as though I had an Ague Fit.

I have found my circumstances on coming home in a much worse state than I expected; though the Trade of Nottingham is improved, yet the particular branch of it, that I am employed in presents a most gloomy prospect.

I have been importuned very much to embark in political controversy; arising from a detailed statement given in a paper called the Observer which represents me as being the one of the prime movers of the late disturbances in the County of Derby; it states that I attended at a Meeting in Nottingham on the 27th May, for the purpose of organizing a revolt, though for it is an undeniable Fact that I was in your custody from the 11th April till 13 Novr; I am not aware how much false and impudent statements gets foisted on the Public nor what purpose they can serve; unless it is to persecute without [ceasing] an unoffending Man;

I have taken my resolution, I will not interfere either directly or indirectly in public concerns, and as far as regards myself I can only say, if the World will, why let it be deceived; I am extremely sorry that I could not part in on good terms with His Majesty’s Government, the offence which I gave was purely unintentional on my part,

I saw Mr Bailey on Wednesday, he is well in health, was extremely pleased to learn that your health was so good and very much surprized to hear that Mr Bucket had left

I have nothing further to add than to again return you my sincere thanks for the favors you have conferred on me, and I shall feel myself extremely happy, if ever it lies in my Power to return them either to you or any one of your Family

I am Sir
your much obliged
and Obedient Servant

Gravenor Henson

[To: Mr W Adkins
House of Correction

Friday 17 November 2017

17th November 1817: Henry Enfield send his bill for supporting Blackburn & Burton to the Home Office

Nottingham Novr. 17. 1817―

My Lord

I beg leave to enclose for to your Lordship the Bill of payments made by me relative to Blackburn & Burton―& to request that your Lordship will direct the Amount to be paid into the Bank of Messrs Smith Payne & Smiths, to my Credit in account with the Nottingham Bank―

I have [etc]

H Enfield

[To] The Rt Hble Lord Sidmouth

[Enfield enclosed a receipt for his payment to the Constable, Benjamin Barnes, who provided the following invoice of the costs he had incurred on Enfield's behalf]

Nottingham 26th September 1817

Mr Enfield

To Benj Barnes


Advanced to Burton at different times}
From 17th August to 25th September} £3 “ 0―0

22 Journey to Kettering to fetch Blackburn}
and Wife 3 Days} £3 “ 3―0
Coach Hire for self to Kettering ― £0 “ 17―0
Coachmen and Guard ― £0 “ 3―0

23 Chaise Hire from Kettering to Harboro’ £0 “ 18―0
Post Boy and Toll Bar £0 ― 4 ―0
Coach Hire from Harboro’ to Nottingham}
for self Blackburn Wife and Child} £1 “ 11―6
Coachmen and Guard £0 “ 6―0
Expences for self, Blackburn, Wife and}
Child three Days £1 “ 10 “ 6

25 Paid for Burton’s Wifes clothes our of Pledge £1 “ 4―10
Bonnet for Mrs Burton £0 “ 6―0
Two Petticoats and Skirt for Mrs Burton £0 “ 13  “ 6
Cloak and Bonnet for the Child £0 “ 8―6
Shoes for Mrs Burton £0 “ 6―0
Great Coat for Burton £1―5 “ 0
Shirt for Burton £0 “ 7―0
Hat for Burton £0 “ 7―6
Shoes for Burton £0 “ 9―0
Pelisse for Mrs Blackburn £1 “ 4―0
Bonnet for [ditto] £0 “ 6―0
Shoes for [ditto] £0 “ 6―0
Cloak and Bonnet for the Child £0 “ 8 “ 6
Pair of Breeches for Blackburn £0 “ 15 “ 0
Shoes for Blackburn £0 “ 9―0
Shirt for [ditto] £0 “ 7―0
Board and Lodging for Blackburn}
and Wife at Nottingham} £0 “ 12 “ 6
Attending with Burton and Blackburn in}
Nottingham} £0 “ 10 “ 6

[Total] £21―18 “ 10

Wednesday 15 November 2017

15th November 1817: The Leicester Chronicle reports that the spy Oliver visited James Towle in Leicester Gaol

The Saturday 15th November 1817 edition of the Leicester Chronicle reported the following:
It seems that the person who called upon James Towle, while under sentence of death in the County Gaol, and gave him a pound note for his wife, with a promise of some future support for herself and children, was not, what he professed to be, “an eminent Manufacturer in the neighbourhood of Nottingham” (except indeed we may dignify him by that appellation for his manufacture of plots in Derbyshire,) but the celebrated Mr. Oliver!

Tuesday 14 November 2017

14th November 1817: Lancelot Rolleston sends the indemnifying confessions of Nottinghamshire Luddites to the Home Office

My Lord

I have the honour of enclosing your Lordship four acknowledgements taken by me in comformity to the proclamation issued last summer; I have reason to believe many others would have come forward had they not been dissuaded by old Badder who went round for that purpose. Since I had the honour of seeing your Lordship, I have had frequent opportunities of ascertaining the effect produced by the proceedings of the last year, which I am fully convinced have not only destroyed the spirit of Luddism, but impressed the minds of that class of the [community] with a respect for the Justice, as well as a proper sense of the power of the [laws].

I know your Lordship to be well acquainted with the specious and designing characters of Ward, Henson &c &c but it is not to these men I allude, but their misguided instruments, who profess a just feeling of indignation against their seducers, & will not again I think be easily led to a recommission of similar crimes. My last plan for the apprehension of Christr. Blackburn is laid, but I have very faint hopes of success, but should I succeed, your Lordship shall immediately be informed.

I have [etc]
Lanct. Rolleston

Nov. 14th. 1817

[Confessions follow]

County of Nottingham

I Jonathan Austin of Basford in the County of Nottingham do hereby acknowledge myself to have been a party at the breaking of the frames at Bramcote last summer

my X mark―

Before me July 22nd 1817

Lanct. Rolleston one of his Majesty’s justices of the peace for the said County

County of Nottingham

I Joseph Mellors of Basford in the County of Nottingham do hereby acknowledge myself to have been actively concerned in the framebreaking at Carnel’s house at Bulwell & at the different houses at Lambley in Octr. last

Joseph x Mellors

Acknowledged before me one of his Majesty’s justices of the peace for the said County

this 23rd of July 22nd 1817

Lanct. Rolleston 

I, John Lomas of the parish of Bulwell do hereby acknowledge myself to have been actively concerned in breaking frames at Lambley in Octr. last & also at Thos, Carnells at Bulwell last winter.

Acknowledged before me
one of his Majesty’s justices
of the Peace for the County
of Nottingham

his X mark

Lanct. Rolleston

I, Nathan Diggle of Basford in the County of Nottingham do hereby acknowledge myself to have been actively concerned in breaking frames at Mullins & Wrights at Radford, at Carnell’s at Bulwell, at the different houses in Lambley, & at Bramley, at Bramcote, all in the last two years

Nathan Diggle

Acknowledged before me
One of his Majesty’s justices
Of the Peace for the County of
Notts. This 27th of Aug. 1817

Lanct. Rolleston

Tuesday 7 November 2017

7th November 1817: A Cheshire rioter from 1812, Richard Wood, is pardoned & set free

Richard Wood had been tried and convicted for unlawful assembly and robbery during the Cheshire disturbances of 1812, at the high point of insurrection during that year in that part of the world.

Aged 27 at the time, he was sentenced to death at Chester Special Commission, but was respited, though unlike some of his co-accused, he was not transported, but was apparently held on the Prison Hulks for 5 years.

According to the Prison Hulk register, he was pardoned on Friday 7th November 1817 & set free.