Monday 7 May 2018

7th May 1818: Francis Raynes writes to Henry Hobhouse

No 3 Doughty Place
Lambeth Walk
7th May 1818


Presuming on the introduction of Sir Thomas Maitland to you at Huddersfield in the year 1812 I [illegible] to address you. You are no doubt Sir, acquainted with my services at that period, and the light in which I now stand with His Majesty’s Government.

Greatly, infinitely should I be indebted to you Sir, would your benevolence lead you to interfere in my favour with Lord Sidmouth

I should not obtrude my self upon His Lordship or you Sir, if I had not been privately, and publicly attacked in a most cruel and unwarrantable manner

The loss of fortune a man may endure but to be bereft of character is insufferable.

I am driven from my Wife and five infant children to seek redress, which if denied me they must apply for Parochial relief—to witness this would almost turn my hair

My present unhappy situation every one must allow, arises from the service in question—for before my character was unsullied—May I again entreat you will do me the kindness to see Lord Sidmouth in my behalf; and should His Lordship be pleased to take my case into consideration, and rescue me from the impending stain [crossed out text] I shall ever feel most grateful for your charitable interference

I have the Honor to be
With true respect
Your most obt Humble Sert.
Francis Raynes
Late Captain Stirlingshire


H. Hobhouse Esqr
&c &c &c

Saturday 5 May 2018

5th May 1818: The Luddite Samuel Caldwell (aka 'Big Sam') arrives in Australia

'View of Sydney Cove from Dawes Point' by Joseph Lycett, c.1817/1818
On Tuesday 5th May 1818, the transport ship 'Neptune' arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia after a voyage of 136 days and carrying a total of 183 male convicts.

On board was the prisoner called Samuel Caldwell, aka 'Big Sam', who had been convicted 10 months earlier of frame-breaking during the 'Loughborough Job' and sentenced to transportation for life. Caldwell had avoided being tried at the infamous 'Loughborough Job' show-trial in April 1817 owing to having been taken ill and judged unfit to stand trial at that time.

Clarke and his fellow convicts had left England on 20th December August 1817. Along the way, the Neptune stopped at Cape Town, and picked up 16 more prisoners, who had escaped from New South Wales on board the 'Harriet' in November, and were to be sent back. Three of the original prisoners died during the voyage.

Although Caldwell was the final Luddite to be tried, he was not the last to be deported.