Monday 29 January 2018

29th January 1818: Francis Ward's case is raised in Parliament, alongside a petition on his behalf


Lord Folkestone  said, he had a Petition to present from Francis Ward, one of the persons whose case had that day been under discussion. It was perhaps not drawn up in the manner which might have been best fitted to procure it attention, but it contained nothing offensive to the House. The Petition was then read, setting forth,

"That the petitioner is a lace-maker, and has resided in the town of Nottingham, upwards of 28 years, having a wife, four children, and a mother 90 years of age, dependent upon him for support; that on the 10th of June 1817, a number of the Nottingham police officers entered the petitioner's dwelling house, and one of them (Mr. Lawson) said to the petitioner, 'Mr. Ward, we are come to 'search your house; the petitioner asked by what authority they came to do so; one of them observed, 'You may be sure we are not come without authority;' the petitioner replied, 'Show me it, or you shall not search my premises;' immediately Mr. Lawson held up in his hand a paper, and said, Here it is;' the petitioner requested him to read it, he replied, 'The law will not justify me in reading it, until we get before a magistrate; while this conversation was passing between the petitioner and Lawson, the other police officers were gone into different parts of the petitioner's dwelling house and premises; therefore seeing all remonstrance in vain, the petitioner reluctantly submitted to that which he thought diametrically opposed to both law and justice; the petitioner has no doubt but the sequel will prove to the House that he did not oppose the police from motives of fear; no, the man who is guided by this rule, 'Do unto others as you would they should do unto you,' has nothing to fear; and that rule which was laid down by no less a personage than Jesus Christ, has long been adopted and acted upon by the petitioner, so that he had no reason to dread the thoughts often or twelve constables searching his premises for seditious and treasonable documents; it was not from fear, but from a consciousness of the rectitude of the petitioner's conduct as a man and a subject, and from a persuasion of the illegality of those proceedings, that the petitioner opposed the searching of his house; when the police officers had took down a cannister, looked into a thimble, and searched the petitioner's house in vain, they frankly acknowledged there was nothing to be found which they were searching for; the petitioner asked them what they were looking for; one of them observed, 'You have that to find out.' Not being satisfied with such proceedings, the petitioner consulted an attorney, and was by him advised to make application for a copy of the warrant or authority by which the petitioner's house was searched, and for the names of the constables it was directed and delivered to; that the petitioner applied to Mr. Enfield, town clerk; he observed, 'You have no 'right to a copy,' and he repeated that assertion several times, and added with considerable emphasis, 'You may make application, but I know what advice I shall give.' The petitioner went directly to the police office, where he saw Mr. Alderman Saars, and acquainted him with the petitioner's business; the alderman said, 'Go backwards,' and immediately ordered a constable to take the petitioner into custody; that after remaining in that situation upwards of an hour, Mr. Alderman Barber (a near neighbour of the petitioner) came to him and said, 'I am very sorry for you Francis, as I believe you to be an honest industrious man, but I would advise you 'to withdraw your application.' He repeated that several times, and farther added, It is a dangerous case to press, however you will not consider me as advising you as a magistrate, but as a friend.' The petitioner informed him that the treatment he had received was altogether unmerited, and that, at all events, he was determined to press his application, conceiving he had an incontrovertible right to make the demand; that soon after this interview the petitioner was taken before the bench of magistrates at the police office, when the town clerk inquired of the petitioner what his application was; he informed the town clerk it was for a copy of the warrant issued ordering his dwelling house and premises to be searched, and for the names of the constables it was directed and delivered to; that the town clerk ordered the petitioner to be taken away until his case was disposed of. In a short, time the petitioner was again introduced to the magistrates, and the town clerk then informed him that they had agreed not to grant the request, and that the petitioner must be detained for being concerned in the Loughborough outrage, alluding as the petitioner supposed to frame-breaking, which took place in Loughborough in June 1816. That the petitioner was taken to the town gaol, where (except what food his wife brought him) he had nothing but bread and water, felons allowance, and slept in one of the dampest cells that ever man was put into; added to this his bed was not only damp but had a strong sulphureous smell, which rendered it almost intolerable. Thus the petitioner was taken from his abode of comfort, without reason or justice, and cut off from society, except in the day-time, being immured in a small room with a felon; and although confined in this prison but four days, the petitioner there caught a severe cold, which is so firmly fixed upon his lungs, he has too much reason to fear it can never be removed. That on the 14th of June, the fourth day after his arrest, Mr. Alderman Barber, the town clerk, a king's messenger, and a Bow-street officer, came to the gaol, and informed the petitioner that he must prepare for a journey, as there was a warrant from the secretary of state. Mr. Barber then observed, 'The Loughborough business must stand over,' and the petitioner has heard no more of it from that time to the present; that he denies any participation or knowledge, either directly or indirectly, in the breaking of frames at Loughborough or elsewhere, or with the parties concerned therein, and he here challenges inquiry, and insists that the imputation so made upon him is groundless, and founded only in malice. That in about an hour afterwards the king's messenger and Bowstreet officer came again to the gaol, and chained the petitioner hand and foot to a man of the name of Haynes; that before they got into the chaise the Bowstreet officer said to the petitioner, 'If you heave your hands to let the chains be seen, you shall be the first that shall fall;' at the same time holding a pistol in his hand. On the road to London the fetters round the petitioner's hand gave him much pain, which caused him to comment upon the severe and unmerited treatment he was suffering; the officer observed, 'You wish to make it appear that you are not a disaffected person; the town clerk informed me that you are much respected by the mechanics of Loughborough and Leicester, and the working people in general, so that you are a dangerous man to be at large.' That on the 15th the petitioner arrived in London, and was placed in Cold Bath Fields prison, and on the 21st was taken before lord Sidmouth and other gentlemen; after inquiring the petitioner's age, he was informed that he was apprehended under a warrant from the secretary of state on suspicion of high treason, and that he should commit the petitioner to close confinement until delivered by due course of law; and farther observed, 'If you have any thing to say, you are at liberty to speak;' To that the petitioner replied, 'I declare my innocence, and if every action of my life was painted in its proper colour, your lordship would say I merited reward rather than punishment.' In vain did the petitioner declare his innocence, and challenge inquiry and proof of his guilt; his lordship observed, 'You are not unjustly punished, 'for my information is from a respectable 'source, and you shall have a list of the 'evidence against you, and proper notice of your trial before its commencement.' That the petitioner was then conveyed back to Cold Bath Fields prison, and on the 24th was, with William Cliff (a young man from Derby), removed to Oxford Castle; that on the petitioner's arrival at that place he was confined by himself in one of the most dismal cells ever made for criminals under sentence of death, about eleven feet by seven; that when there was a fire in it the petitioner was nearly suffocated with smoke, and driven to the necessity of removing into the privy for air, in order to be enabled to respire. But what is here stated is not all the wretchedness connected with that excessively miserable cell that the petitioner was confined in, for such a stench descended the chimney during the night, that the dungeon was rendered almost intolerable, endangering the life of the petitioner; that he frequently applied to the governor to remove that intolerable evil, but in vain; that after remaining four days in such cell, William Cliff was brought down to it, and the petitioner taken up into a small room called the turnkey's lodge, and such alternate change was made every four days for between three and four months; and although the petitioner and Cliff passed each other once each fourth day, they were not permitted to hold any conversation, or even speak to each other; that near Michaelmas the petitioner and Cliff were allowed to be together a few hours each day; that circumstance was so far alleviating the rigorous treatment of the petitioner, although he had no previous acquaintance with, or knowledge of Cliff; that in the last few weeks of the petitioner's imprisonment, the prisoners in the Castle became so numerous, that it was found absolutely necessary for the petitioner and Cliff to be confined constantly in a turnkey's lodge, and in that situation the petitioner continued until the 13th of November, 1817, and was then liberated on his own recognizance of 100l. to appear in the court of King's-bench, Westminster, on the 23d of January, 1818, and there remain from day to day until discharged, and not depart the court without leave. That in the foregoing statement, the petitioner has attempted to give the House a plain detailed account of the sufferings, without exaggeration, he has undergone while detained under the suspension act; but, alas! this attempt comes far short of giving a full and clear description of the unheard-of cruelty he has been treated with, as no mention has been made of the excruciating torture of mind the petitioner has undergone;—here language fails, and to form any conception of his case, it will be necessary to figure to the imagination a man, who through life has taken a very active part in it, being accustomed to labour hard for his bread, by frequently having to work twelve, fourteen, sixteen hours a day, and sometimes more, the existence of a family depending on his exertions, which all at once ceases, and the intolerable state of inactivity succeeds; added to this, being possessed of all the finer feelings that adorn human nature, and those are for a long period stretched on the rack by his being dragged away from all that is near and dear to man in life; thus the glowing affection of a son, a husband, and a father, being simultaneously aroused, contributed not to sweeten the bitter cup of life, but to render it insupportable; for such an one, who has never been within the walls of a prison before, to be cut off from society, and immured within the walls of a dungeon not fit for a murderer to be confined in; what inconceivable sufferings must such an one experience! nothing but the thoughts of his innocence could enable him to bear up under the intolerable load! and this is precisely the case of the petitioner; and, if the patience of the House is not exhausted, the petitioner will mention some of the damages he has sustained while in prison; he has before stated, that his own health was so much injured, that he has too much reason to fear the complaint upon his lungs cannot be removed; his wife's constitution has been so much injured by uneasiness of mind, that she at present continues ill, and in all human probability is likely so to do. When the petitioner was arrested, he had ten machines employed in his shop, and a good seat of work for himself, but during his confinement the latter was lost, and he has not been able to obtain any more to the present time, and he found only two machines out of the ten employed at his return; since the 10th of June, 1817, to the present time, he has been unemployed, and is likely to continue so; that the petitioner's character and reputation, which is the main-spring of a poor mans existence, and in some cases as valuable as life, have received such a stab, by his being committed and detained on suspicion of high treason, that unless the petitioner is afforded an opportunity of clearing himself, it may contribute greatly to his total ruin; the petitioner therefore respectfully and earnestly requests the House to order that he may be brought to its bar, and undergo the strictest examination, and that he may be brought to trial according to law, and meet his accusers face to face, and thereby have the benefit and justice of the laws; and the petitioner also prays, that having thus detailed the sufferings he has unjustly endured, the House will afford him such redress as in their great wisdom seems fit, or that they will take such steps as shall lead to the punishment of the wrong-doers, and effectually prevent, in any other case,, the recurrence of such unjust and cruel proceedings."

Lord Folkestone  said, that the circumstances detailed in the petition were of so serious a nature, that it was his intention to move, that a committee be appointed for the purpose of inquiring into the truth of what it stated. If there was no objection, he would do so then; if otherwise, he would give notice of bringing it before the House as early as possible.

Mr. Bennet  said, he hoped his noble friend would give notice of his motion. He could assure the House, the system was not confined to that miserable man, but that others had suffered under barbarous, inhuman, and illegal treatment; such as mixing them with felons, and loading them with irons for months together. Numerous petitions would be presented on the subject, and it would be the bounden duty of the House, as the representatives of the people, to inquire into them.

Lord Folkestone  then presented a petition from certain inhabitants of Nottingham, setting forth, "That the petitioners are neighbours of, and have been for some years acquainted with Mr. Francis Ward, lately in confinement under a warrant from the secretary of state, on suspicion of high treason; that they have lately seen a petition which the said Francis Ward is about to offer to the House; that they wish to state to the House, that the said Francis Ward has always merited the character of a hard-working, sober, honest, industrious man, and has conducted himself with propriety and respectability in his station in life, and that the petitioners are fully assured that he is incapable of committing any act of treason, or of doing any thing which would justify the proceedings had against him; that he has, in consequence of his imprisonment, sustained much injury in his business; and that the petitioners pray the House to take his case into their most serious consideration, in order that they may provide the said Francis Ward with such relief as to their wisdom may appear just, and take such steps as shall effectually prevent the recurrence of such proceedings."

The petitions were ordered to be printed, and lord Folkestone gave notice of his intended motion for this day se'nnight.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

23rd January 1818: Francis Ward attends the Court of King's Bench



After the Court had gone through the Bar, a young man of decent appearance presented himself on the floor, and expressed a wish to address their Lordships.

Lord Ellenborough inquired his name and the object of his address―to which he replied—

My Lord, my name is John Roberts, I have been confined in Lancashire Jail for some time under the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, and have recently been discharged on my own recognizance of £100, by which recognizance I am bound to attend in the Court of King's bench on the first day of the present Term, and from day to day during the Term, to answer such matters and things as may be alleged against me on the part of his Majesty, then this recognizance to be void, otherwise to continue in full force; I appear here accordingly, in which to know what your Lordship has to say against me?

Lord Ellenborough―I have nothing to say to you; it is you are to say and me to hear.

Roberts―I hope your Lordship will tell me what to do?

Lord Ellenborough―no, you must tell me what you want; I am a Judge, and not Counsel.

Roberts―My Lord, my recognizance is to appear.

Lord Ellenborough―Well, and you have appeared and discharged your duty; you have done all you have to do. Call the peremptory.

Another man then presented himself, and said, my Lord, my name is Gill, I also have been confined under the Suspension Act, and liberated on a recognizance, calling on me, under forfeiture of £100 to appear in this Court on the first day of Term, and from day to day during the said Term, and not to depart the Court without leave; he wished to know what he was to do?

The Court answered him in the same terms as the last applicant, and again directed the Clerk to proceed with the Peremptory Paper. This, however, was prevented by another person stepping forward, and addressing their Lordships.

My Lord, my name is Johnson; I came from Exeter Jail; I am also discharged under a recognizance to appear in this Court from day to day during the Term. I have accordingly appeared, and wish to learn from your Lordship whether I must continue to present myself a daily during the Term.

Lord Ellenborough―You need not appear here any more till you are called on to do so.

Mr. Johnson—My Lord, this will not satisfy me; my recognizance says I must attend from day to day.

Lord Ellenborough—Do you wish to have this recognizance discharged? If you do, you must make an affidavit.

Mr. Johnson—Will your Lordship say, if I make such affidavit I shall be discharged.

Lord Ellenborough—I will say nothing till I know what appears on your affidavit.

Francis Ward, of Nottingham, then stepped forward—My Lord, I have to apply under similar circumstances—I have an affidavit.

Lord Ellenborough—We have already given an answer to you individually and collectively. Go on with the peremptory.

John Knight—My Lord, I live at Manchester, and was liberated from Worcester Gaol on the 1st of January, 1818, on a recognizance, calling on me to attend here from day to day. I have now attended, and wish to be dismissed as soon as possible.

Lord Ellenborough–You may go, now you have appeared, and have nothing more to do till you have notice.

Mr. Knight—But, my Lord, that does not satisfy me. I may be called on to attend again the very instant I get back to Manchester. I may go out of town to-morrow, and be called back the day after. I am not satisfied. This will neither suit my finances nor my business.

Lord Ellenborough—We can say nothing farther to you—The Court cannot assist you.

Samuel Drummond—My Lords, I come from Manchester under similar circumstances. I have now appeared—am I, in consequence, to consider this recognizance as null and void? If it is so, I shall now depart, and trouble you with no further questions.

Lord Ellenborough—We are not now called on to give an opinion. When something is done upon these recognizances, then we will give an opinion. We have noticed your appearance now, and should you in future be called on, we shall take that circumstance into consideration. You are now at liberty to leave the Court. The Court has repeatedly told you, that you need not attend again, without notice. We can do nothing more for you.

F. Ward again presented himself.―My Lord, I have an affidavit, and wish to make a motion. I wish to have this recognizance discharged, or immediately be brought to trial—I have no means of living in town, nor have I money to pay my way back to my home. I borrowed money to come to town.

Lord Ellenborough―We have already answered you. We cannot waste the public time. Proceed with the Peremptory Paper.

The Peremptory Paper was then called over, and their Lordships rose to leave the Court. Several of the persons who had previously addressed the Court pressed forward, but Lord Ellenborough, Mr. Justice Abbott, and Mr. Justice Holroyd, left the court.

Mr. Justice Bayley being the last of their Lordships,

F. Ward again addressed his Lordship―My Lord, here’s my affidavit; am I to understand that I am discharged from further attendance?

Mr Justice Bayley read the affidavit, and having done so, observed―I have read your affidavit, and think the wisest thing you can do is to go home again.

Ward—Do I now understand that my affidavit is received? If it is, I move that my recognizance be discharged, or that I be brought immediately to trial.

Mr Justice Bayley―I have before told you the Court cannot do this for you. If you asked me for advice, I again say, you had better go home about your business.

Mr. Johnson again presented himself, and said, they would all attend again, when they would come better prepared.

On the next day, Mr. Johnson brought his case again before the Court, and after some conversation had taken place between and the Learne Judges,

The ATTORNEY GENERAL rose and spoke as follows:―"My Lords, I had no no notice whatever of any such motions as those which you have heard being about to be made this day, save what I derived from the ordinary channels public information, in which I saw reported that which occurred yesterday. In consequence of what I thus collected, I felt it my duty to attend here and to state, that I have every reason to believe the Gentleman who has been making these applications, had notice before he left Manchester that his attendance in Court would not be required."

LORD ELLENBOROUGH―"Then the inconveniences and expense of being absent from his family is attributable to himself."

The ATTORNEY GENERAL—"So, I believe; and I believe that every other Gentleman who entered into recognizances under similar circumstances, received a like communication."

Mr. Johnson—"I do not mean to deny that."

LORD ELLENBOROUGH.―"Then there is an end to this business."

Mr. JOHNSON.―"But I wish to state the nature of the notice which I received."

LORD ELLENBOROUGH.―"Really the time of the Court, which belongs to other suitors, cannot thus be trifled with. We have your motion, and have given you the only answer of which it is susceptible."

Mr. JOHNSON.―"Then, I suppose, I will submit to the consequences."

Two other persons, named John Roberts, and Samuel Drummond, made similar motions, which were rejected.—Other persons were prepared to pursue the same course, but the Court would not hear them.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

10th January 1818: The Luddite John Clarke (aka 'Little Sam') arrives in Australia

'View of Sydney Cove from Dawes Point' by Joseph Lycett, c.1817/1818
On Saturday 10th January 1818, the transport ship 'The Ocean' arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia after a voyage of 142 days and carrying 180 male convicts.

Among them were two prisoners called John Clarke, one of whom was also known as 'Little Sam' and had been convicted 10 months earlier of shooting at John Asher during the 'Loughborough Job' and sentenced to death, although the Judge later respited this to transportation for life.

Clarke and his fellow convicts had left England from Spithead on 21st August 1817, and had arrived at St. Helena on 31st October, remaining there for a week before continuing to Australia. Conditions on board were better than normal aboard such transport ships; even so, that by the time that the ship arrived at Sydney, 2 of the convicts who had originally boarded the ship had died of consumption.

After arrival, Clarke and his namesake were amongst a group of prisoners sent on to Windsor, New South Wales.

Tuesday 9 January 2018

9th January 1818: Francis Ward writes to the Home Secretary to ask for money to attend his own trial

My Lord

I am one of those unhappy persons who has been arrested and detained under the Habeus Corpus Suspension Act, and was liberated on the 13th of Novr 1817 on my own recognisee; which requires me to appear in London on the latter end of this month (January) if it is your Lordships intention now, that I shall attend at the time and placed specified in the bond, I am ready to appear; but as I was by my arrest deprived of a seat of work, and am still unemploy’d, your Lordship will perceive the absolute necessity of yourself furnishing me with the means of travelling to London, my existence when there, and also the means of travelling home. A speedy answer to these remarks,

Will much
Oblige Your
Obedient Servant.
F Ward


Jany 9th 1818.

To Lord Viscount Sidmouth, Secretary
Of State for the Home Department.

P. S. Address. Hollow Stone. Nottingham

Tuesday 2 January 2018

2nd January 1818: Francis Ward publishes an account of his arrest and imprisonment on grounds of High Treason

The 31st December 1817 edition of the Black Dwarf contained this letter from the Nottingham framework-knitter and political activist Francis Ward, who had been detained on charges of High Treason for several months in 1817. The letter is his response to an article from the (London) Observer newspaper, which stated that the government spy William Oliver had met with him and Gravenor Henson and others prior to the Pentrich Rising. The Nottingham Review of Friday 2nd January 1818 published it in full.


[From a London Paper.]


SIR―In a number of your paper for November, your correspondent, signed M.P., solicits a particular account of the arrest, treatment &c of those persons who have been confined under the suspension act—In compliance with that request, I beg leave to lay before you the following remarks.

I reside in Hollow stone, parish of St. Mary's, Nottingham. At the time of my being arrested, was employed in the fancy-work manufactured here. Have a wife and four children; and a mother of ninety years of age, all dependent on me for support. On the 10th of June last, twelve or thirteen police officers entered my house, one of them (Mr. Lawson) said, "Mr. Ward, we are come to search your house." I asked by what authority they came to do so, some of them said, "you may be sure we are not come without authority;" I replied, shew me it, or you shall not search my house; immediately Mr. Lawson held up in his hand a paper, and said, "here it is." I requested him to read it; he said, "the law would not justify him in reading it until we got before a magistrate"—While this conversation was passing between me and Lawson, all the rest of the constables went into different parts of my house, and I, perceiving there was no alternative, suffered them to search without seeing or hearing the warrant read, after a long and fruitless effort. When they had reached down a CANISTER, and even peeped into a THIMBLE, they frankly acknowledged "there was nothing to be found which they were looking for." I asked what they were looking for; one of them observed, "you have THAT to find out," and then they all went away! Not being satisfied with such unreasonable, and, as I thought, unlawful proceedings, I went and consulted an attorney; he advised me to make application for a copy of the warrant by which my house was searched, and the names of the constables it was delivered to. I applied accordingly to the Town Clerk, but he observed, "you have no right to a copy," this he repeated, and added, with considerable emphasis, "you may make application, but, know what advice I shall give." I went directly to the police office, what I saw Mr. Alderman Soars, and acquainted him with my business, he said, "go backwards," and immediately ordered a Constable to take me into custody. After being in this situation more than an hour, Mr. Alderman Barber, a near neighbour, came to me, and said, "I am sorry for you, as I believe you to be an honest industrious man, but I would advise you to withdraw your application," (this he repeated several times,) "it is a dangerous case to press; however, you will not by any means consider me as talking to you as a Magistrate, but as a friend." I told that the treatment I had already received was unmerited; at all events, I was determined to press my application for that which I had a right to demand: he then left me. Not more than an hour had expired after this interview, when I was taken before a Bench of Magistrates that was then sitting. Mr. Enfield then inquired me what my application was; I informed him, it was a copy of the warrant issued for the searching of my house, and the names of the Constables it was delivered to; he ordered me to be taken away for some time, until the Magistrates had consulted how they might dispose of my case. In half an hour, I was again introduced to the Magistrates, when Mr. Enfield informed me that they have agreed NOT to grant my request, and that I was still detained for being concerned in the Loughborough Outrage. Here he (the Town Clerk) alluded to the framebreaking which took place in Loughborough, on the 28th or 29th of June, 1816. I was taken to the town jail, where I remained in one of the dampest holes that none was ever combined in; and although it is more than six months ago, I at this time experience upon my lungs the bad effects of lying in that damp cell. I continued in that wretched place until the 14th, having nothing allowed me but bread and water for sustenance, with a bed such as felons lay upon, and not only damp, but smelling so strong of brimstone, that it was almost intolerable. On that day, Mr. Alderman Barber, Mr. Enfield, a King's Messenger, and a Bow-street Officer, came to the jail, and informed me I must prepare for a journey, as there was a warrant from the Secretary of State; Mr. Alderman Barber then observed, "the Loughborough business must stand over, (and I have heard no more of it since.) They then went away, and in the course of an hour after the King's messenger and a Bow-street officer, came again and chained me hand and foot to a man of the name of Haynes; before I got into the chaise, he (the Bow-street officer) said, "if I heaved my hand to let the chains be seen, I should be the first that should fail," at the same time holding a pistol in his hand. On the road to London the fetters round my hand gave me such pain, which caused me to comment upon the inherited unmerited punishment I was suffering; the officer observed "you wish to make it appear that you are not a disaffected person; the town clerk informed me that you are much respected* by the mechanics of Loughborough, and Leicester, and the working people in general, so that you are dangerous man to be a large." On the 15th we arrived in London and were taken to the Coold-bath-fields prison. On the 21st I was taken before Lord Sidmouth; his lordship asked me how old I was, I informed him; he told me I was apprehended under a warrant from him, on suspicion of high treason, and that he would commit to close confinement until delivered by due course of law, and added if you have any thing to say, you are at liberty to speak. To this I replied, if every action of my life was painted your lordship in its proper colour, you would say I merited reward, rather than punishment. In vain did I declare my innocence, and challenge proof of my guilt; he observed I was not just unjustly punished, for his information was from a respectable source, and that I should have a list of the evidence against me, and proper notice of my trial before it commenced. I was then conveyed to Cold-bath-fields prison: and on the 24th was with William Cliff, (a young man from Derby,) removed or Oxford Castle: at my arrival at that place, I was confined by myself in a dismal dungeon, (or cell for condemned criminals,) about nine feet square, and when I had a fire in it, I was nearly suffocated with smoke; here I continued for near three months, without being permitted to see any person except the governor or turnkey. Reflect, Sir, for a moment, how I must feel in such a situation, and of so long continuance, when you are told that I had never been within the walls were of a prison before the 10th of June last. In September the number of criminal prisoners were so much increased, that it was found necessary to admit Cliff, and myself into one of the turnkey’s lodges, where I was far more comfortable, enjoying the company of an innocent fellow-sufferer (William Cliff). We had three shillings each per day are allowed for our maintenance. While in solitary confinement the turnkey boarded me for seventeen shillings and sixpence per week. After joining my companion we received our weekly allowance and provided our own food, until the 13th of November, when we were liberated on our own recognizance, to appear in the Court of King's Bench on the first day of next term, and to continue from day to day, and not depart that Court without leave. In the last five or six weeks we had more liberty and better accommodation. The facts, Sir, which I have stated, after to the best of my knowledge correct, and I shall not, if called upon, hesitate to confirm on oath before any magistrate. It is a generally received opinion, self-praise is no recommendation, I shall therefore decline saying any thing of my own character; but as I have been resident in Nottingham between twenty and thirty years, several respectable manufacturers here, who are well acquainted with me as a husband, father, servant, and neighbour, are ready to give every satisfaction which may be required with respect to character but of many I will only select the following: Mr. G. Bradley, lace-manufacturer; Mr. H. Levers, lace-manufacturer; Mr. T. Goodburn, hosier; and Mr. Alderman Barber (at this time Mayor) beforementioned. The above persons may be referred to at any time. I do most solemnly declare, that I never was any way concerned in breaking frames at Loughborough, or joined to the Luddites. Nor was I ever on a political Committee, or attended any such Committee, either secretly or openly; nor have I been a member of any political club whatever. I have been an advocate for Parliamentary Reform, for more than thirty years,—if that is High Treason, I am guilty. But notwithstanding my character stands unimpeached, as numbers can testify, a detestable attempt has been made to ruin it, as the sequel will prove. On the 10th of November, a writer in the Observer has, with all the malignity of an ________, endeavoured to traduce my character to the last degree in his publication of that day: and to make the business more certain, he published that number gratuitously in Nottingham and Derby, (and how much further I cannot say) to both public and private families, to subscribers and non-subscribers,―in fact, after a diligent search with much trouble, I can only find one subscriber to that paper in Nottingham. For the particulars of that diabolical attempt I refer you to the work itself. Now, Sir, after losing my seat of work, being torn away from an affectionate wife, from beloved children, and a poor helpless aged mother, all dependent upon me for support, after being deprived of my liberty, shut up in a dungeon, my health impaired, and on the 10th of November, (three days before my liberation) my character traduced, by a vile wretch, a hireling journalist, I ask in the name of reason, and common honestly, is there no redress for such a complication of grievances? is there not a shadow of justice to be obtained for multiplied injuries? Is a bill of indemnity obtained by corrupt majority, all the satisfaction I and my suffering family are to receive, for unmerited, unheard of persecutions, and losses we have hereby sustained? These remarks, my persecuted friend, I send you, if you, or any of your patriotically acquaintance can turn them to good account in our own, or country’s cause, they are your service―I am, dear Sir,

Your obedient Servant 

P.S.—I take the liberty of saying, that I have not received one shilling, either from a subscription or otherwise, as an indemnity for pecuniary damage sustained, neither do I require it. If I am favored with health and strength, and employment to exercise it, and the blessing of heaven upon my industry, I hope to maintain myself and family with credit and respectability as heretofore. If you think it would answer any good purpose to petition the House of Commons, I should esteem it a great favor to receive the form of a petition from you.

*The Editor has taken no liberty with the style of this letter, but to print a few words in italic characters. This part of the statement is an excellent exposition of the system of the Ministers, As they are not respected, every one who is, is a dangerous character.