Wednesday, 3 December 2014

3rd December 1814: Joanna Southcott's health deteriorates

MRS. SOUTHCOTT.

Official Bulletin.—A material alteration has taken place within the last three days, in Mrs. Southcott’s situation.

On Thursday night, she complained of a great oppression insomuch that she could not lay down in her bed, nor be in one posture, but a very short time together during the night.

On Friday morning, she got some sleep, but waked frequently with the oppression and pain. Towards the evening she became restless again, had a very bad night, and this day, (Saturday) is so much exhausted, that she cannot keep her head off the pillow. She complains of a giddiness in her head, and extreme faintness all over her. She declares that she feels the animation within much stronger during these last three days than usual; sickness and pain continue, but not those pains that tend to any effectual good; only general pains all over her.

This is the state she is in at present; some change must soon take place, according to all human understanding, as she still continues without taking nourishment, except the wine, which does not remain long on her stomach. The sleep she has during the day, seems to be her only support.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

2nd December 1814: The government charges Charles Sutton with a 'criminal information' for libel

Around Friday 2nd December 1814, the proprietor of the Nottingham Review, Charles Sutton, was charged by the Attorney General with a 'criminal information' for libel for the satirical letter from 'General Ludd' published in the paper in October. The government had clearly decided that it had enough suitable evidence to try Sutton and he would face trial at the next Nottingham Assizes.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

29th November 1814: The Times newspaper automates their printing operation


The Tuesday morning 29th November 1814 edition of The Times was the first one printed using the new automated steam-powered printing press designed & built by Friedrich König & Andreas Bauer of Würzburg, Germany. The editorial waxed lyrical about the new machine:

LONDON, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1814.

Our Journal of this day presents to the public the practical result of the greatest improvement connected with printing, since the discovery of the art itself. The reader of this paragraph now holds in his hand, one of the many thousand impressions of The Times newspaper, which were taken off last night by a mechanical apparatus. A system of machinery almost organic has been devised and arranged, which, while it relieves the human frame of its most laborious efforts in printing, far exceeds all human powers in rapidity and dispatch. That the magnitude of the invention may be justly appreciated by its effects, we shall inform the public, that after the letters are placed by the compositors, and enclosed in what is called the form, little more remains for man to do, than to attend upon, and watched this unconscious agent in its operations. The machine is then merely supplied with paper: itself places the form, inks it, adjusts the paper to the form newly inked, stamps the sheet, and gives it forth to the hands of the attendant, at the same time withdrawing the form for a fresh coat of ink, which itself again distributes, to meet the ensuing sheet now advancing for impression; and the whole of these complicated acts is performed with such a velocity and simultaneousness of movement, that no less than eleven hundred sheets are impressed in one hour.

That the completion of an invention of this kind, not the effect  of chance, but the result of mechanical combinations methodically arranged in the mind of the artist, should be attended with many obstructions and much delay, may be readily admitted. Our share in this event has, indeed, only been the application of the discovery, under an agreement with the Patentees, to our own particular business; yet few can conceive,—even with this limited interest,—the various disappointments and deep anxiety to which we have for a long course of time been subjected.

Of the person who made this discovery, we have but little to add. Sir CHRISTOPHER WREN'S noblest monument is to be found in the building which he erected; so is the best tribute of praise, which we are capable of offering to the inventor of the Printing Machine, comprising in the preceding description, which we have feebly sketched, of the powers and utility of his invention. It must suffice to say father, that he is a Saxon by birth; that his name is KŒNIG; and that the invention has been executed under the direction of his friend and countryman BAUER

Four days later, another editorial seemed rather more defensive and made it clear that the print workers were less than happy about some of their number losing their jobs to the new machine:

We are at length able to meet the complaints of our customers with a confidence in our capacity to remove the cause of them,—to meet their increasing demands with an assurance that we shall be able to fulfil them. The Machine of which we announced the discovery and our adoption a few days ago, has been whirling on its course ever since, with improving order, regularity, and even speed. The length of the debates on Thursday, the day when Parliament was adjourned, will have been observed: on such an occasion, the operation of composing and printing the last page must commence among all the journals at the same moment; and starting from that moment, we, with our infinitely superior circulation, were enabled to throw off our whole impression many hours before the other respectable rival prints. The accuracy and clearness of the impression will likewise excite attention. Till Parliament, therefore, shall be again assembled, there will exist no reason why the public in any part of the metropolis should wait for the The Times Journal longer than eight o'clock.

We should make no reflections upon those by whom this wonderful discovery has been opposed,—the doubters and unbelievers,―however uncharitable they may have been to us, were it not that the efforts of genius are always impeded by drivellers of this description; and that we owe it to such men as Mr. KŒNIG and his Friend, and all future promulgators of beneficial inventions, to warn them that they will have to contend with every thing that selfishness and conceited ignorance can devise or say; and if we cannot clear their way before them, we would at least give them notice to prepare a panoply against its dirt and filth.

There is another class of men from whom we receive dark and anonymous threats of vengeance, if we persevere in the use of this machine. These are the Pressmen. They well know, or at least should well know, that such menace is thrown away upon us. There is nothing that we will not do to assist and serve those whom we have discharged. They themselves see the greater rapidity and precision with which the paper is printed. What right have they to make us print it slower and worse for their supposed benefit? A little reflection, indeed, would shew them, that it is neither in their power nor in our’s to stop a discovery now made, if it is beneficial to mankind; or to force it down, if it is useless. They had better, therefore, acquiesce in a result which they cannot alter; more especially as there will still be employment enough for the old race of pressmen, before the new method obtains general use, and no new ones may be brought up to the business: but we caution them seriously against involving themselves and their families in ruin, by becoming amenable to the laws of their country. It has always been matter of great satisfaction to us to reflect, that we encountered and crushed one conspiracy: we should be sorry to find our work half done.

It is proper to undeceive the world in one particular; that is, as to the number of hands discharged. We, in fact, employ only eight fewer workmen than formerly; whereas more than three times that number have been engaged for a year and an half in building the machine.

The Leeds Intelligencer of 12th December 1814 quoted a recent edition the Stamford Mercury which revealed that the machine had cost The Times "upwards of £8,000", but that the newspaper had saved £25 per week for each 'pressman' it had replaced.

The König & Bauer company that the two inventors formed 3 years later still exists, & today their machines print most of the world's banknotes.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

19th November 1814: Joanna Southcott leaves directions as to what should happen if she dies

Saturday Evening, Nov 19, 1814.—Joanna sent for Dr. Reece, and gave him directions what he is to do; in case she should die, she wishes him to examine (open) her body, to ascertain the cause of her feelings for these last nine months. On the other hand, she puts her life into the hands of Mr. Wetherell to deliver her; if he wish for any assistance, it is her will, no one should be permitted to try a pain but Dr. Reece; and in case she should appear as dead for three or four days, that no force should be used to extricate the child, but to leave her according to the directions given by the Spirit to be kept as warm as possible till there is a visible change take place either in life, or that actual death has taken place to the full satisfaction of her friends.

(Signed) JOANNA SOUTHCOTT.

The above was signed by Joanna Southcott in the presence of, and witnessed by Dr. Richard Reece, and four of her friends.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

11th November 1814: The Hosier William Woodcock reports to the Home Office about spies & informers amongst Framework-knitters & Luddites

Mansfield 11th November 1814.

Sir

Several months elapsed after your Communication of the eighteenth of February last before I could engage a fit Person to ascertain the facts pointed out in your Letter. I discovered that there was only one Society at mansfield and at length procured a Copy of their Rules which had no essential variance from the printed Rules of the Nottingham Societies before obtained by me I found also that the Society had ten pounds deposited in the mansfield Bank in the names of two of their numbers and that their Secretary had in his hands about six pounds more the six pounds has since been sent to two of the Societies at Nottingham and the mansfield numbers have divided the six Pounds amongst themselves at this time they were gradually putting [off] from the Society which has now altogether ceased to meet. The weekly Collection of money from the Journeyman (whether members or not of the Societies) is also discontinued.

In the year 1811 and man who had been guilty of many acts of framebreaking confessed those to me in order to procure his protection. I took his Confession before a magistrate and have ever since been in correspondence with him – finding that Nottingham and its immediate neighbourhood was likely to be the Scene of Depredation I recommended him to get better acquainted with the Framebreakers there which he did – but as he informed me that the Call made by these men on their Companions to the Commission of any mischief was frequently very sudden allowing no time to give me notice I made him known to Mr Coldham of Nottingham and am glad to find that he gave Mr Coldham notice of the late atrocity at New Basford when he was of the Party. I have seen this man a few days since – he says some of the Nottingham Framebreakers have proposed destroying Frames at Mansfield

I shall have notice of their Attempts and further Situation of the objectionable Frames I trust there will be little Chance of the Depredators escaping.

I am
Sir
Your most obedient humble Servant
Wm Woodcock

[To] J. Beckett Esq.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

5th November 1814: Joanna Southcott writes to the press to decry a hoax letter

JOANNA SOUTHCOTT.

The following letter appeared in the Observer of Sunday last, and made a considerable impression on the believers of Joanna's mission. It is however clear from the subsequent letters of Mrs. Southcott, which we also subjoin, that the letter purporting to be signed J. Towzer, is a complete forgery.

"Having been requested by Joanna to acknowledge her former wicked errors,—I have therefore, on the part of Joanna, respectfully and with sincere contrition to state, that for some considerable time past she has been in a state of delirium, but at length having become, as it were, herself again, being now calm and collected, and fearing that she is approaching to her latter end, hereby renounces all the wicked incantations of her former distempered brain; and she hopes that a generous public will forget the impositions and errors that she has of late endeavoured to impose upon their understanding. And she further hopes, that all good christians will not only forgive, but will fervently join in her prayers to the Almighty, for a forgiveness of her late blasphemous doctrines, and past sins.

J. TOWZER."

To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle.

SIR,―As a point of common honesty I desire that you will insert this from me as a reparation for the injury intended against my character, by the infamous forgery which you suffered to be copied from The Observer into your paper of this day, signed "J. Towzer." the purport of which was, that I had authorized it to be drawn up, to acknowledge my having imposed upon the public, and that I now renounced the whole of my visitation. In all what I have done and published to the world my conscience accuses me of nothing to renounce, and therefore leaving my cause to God, who hath directed me in the course I have hitherto pursued, I shall persevere in that course, to the confusion of my enemies, who falsely accuse me of imposture and incantations, whereby they themselves become imposters and deceivers, to mislead the unwary.

As you, Mr Editor, were so ready to exult in the insertion of the article above mentioned, supposing, no doubt, that it was genuine, I rely upon your candour, with the same readiness to announce to the public how you were imposed upon by that vile forgery.

JOANNA SOUTHCOTT.

From the Leeds Mercury of Saturday 5th November 1814

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

29th October 1814: The Nottingham solicitor, Louis Allsop, reports that he has entrapped Charles Sutton

Nottingham
29th Oct. 1814.—

My Lord.—

I entertain a strong hope, that my Letter to Mr. Addington will have rendered an explanation sufficiently Satisfactory, to induce your Lordship to think, that the paper purchased by Mr Cartledge, can be made legal Evidence; I have hitherto been unsuccessful in purchasing a paper, from Mr Sutton's Agents at Castle Donington & Loughborough; upon looking into the Question respecting the proof of the publishing &c in case of libel &c it occurred to me that I might still accomplish what We wanted through the Medium of the Stamp Distributor, Mr. George Smith; I accordingly applied to him, & learnt that Sutton was in arrears several Weeks & had not signed the papers for this period as required by the Act 38 Geo 3d c 78; I therefore consulted with Mr Smith, & we decided that his clerk, who was in the habit of getting the papers signed, should take such as remained unsigned, of which the paper of the 14th was one, to Sutton & procure his Signature thereto; this, after one or two attempts was accomplished; Sutton Signed the paper in Mr Smiths Clerks presence, & he immediately brought it back, with the others, to the office, where I was waiting for him, & in my presence, & without having parted with the possession, he wrote at the bottom of the Sheets close to Sutton’s Signature to the following effect—"28th Oct. 1814, saw Mr Charles Sutton sign this paper which he delivered to me immediately"

"Mr Shelton.—"

We sealed the paper up in a Cover, which Shelton & I signed. I now sincerely trust, We have him safe beyond all doubt. If your Lordship decides upon proceedings agt. Mr Sutton I trust your Lordship will excuse the Liberty I take in recommending your Lordship, to order the leading Counsel on the Circuit to be retained, & also in proper time to secure a Special Jury, & to have the Trial take place in the County & not in the Town of Nottm.—

I have [etc]
L Allsopp

[To] Lord Sidmouth

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

28th October 1814: Louis Allsop outlines the lengths he has gone to, to entrap Charles Sutton

Nottingham
28th Oct. 1814.

Sir

From the Enquiries I had made, in consequence of your former Letter, I had every reason to believe that Sutton had no other paper of the 14th Inst, than the one he kept to be filed; he is not in the habit of printing off any more papers than are printed; because in consequence of your Letter of the 26th received Yesterday, I was determined to make an attempt upon Mr Sutton through the medium of one of his own party in politics, as the only chance, by putting him off his guard, of attempting particularly whether he had a paper left of the 14th Inst; I accordingly went to Mr Coldham who, You of course know is connected in politics with the men of this Town possessing the principles of the party, upon which this Paper affects to be conducted, & put the point to him, as a Matter of Duty he owed the public both as Town Clerk of this place & Secretary to the Association of the Hosiers, to procure me, from his own party, a person for the purpose, I could rely on; I was induced to do this, knowing Mr Coldham's Sentiments respecting this paper, & I think it is a duty I own that Gentleman to state that he entered into the matter most readily & cordially; he fixed upon a person, whom he could rely upon, a Man known to Sutton & me, he could not suspect, & I am sorry to say, my former Information was confirmed; Sutton has only the paper left which he keeps filed, & which he will not part with—I have written to a confidential person both at Derby & Leicester, to try to purchase one of these papers of Suttons Agents at both places & I obtained a confidential person to make the same attempts at Castle Donington & Loughborough; & you probably will think it worth while to make the same attempt in London; Taylor & Co. in Warwick Square, White & Co. in Fleet St. and, [illegible] inform You, [illegible], the Agents—with all due deference to the opinion expressed in your last letter, you must allow me to state that I still think the paper sent up may be proved; The person who purchased it is my chief and confidential clerk; he is in the habit of making his Initials, as often as his handwriting, in the margin of [books] and papers, where alterations [illegible] &c are made; he has also been in the habit of putting his Initials to paper at different times purchased of Sutton; he entertains not the least doubt but that he can be most particularly [illegible] to the paper, quite small as if his name had been written at full length, but to put this beyond all doubt, I will thank You to return me the paper, & I will then report to You most accurately what he says; I can rely upon him, & indeed [could] [much] in the habit of seeing him write, & of seeing his Initials that I have no doubt I can confirm, if necessary, his Testimony – I feel no doubt upon this Subject—

I have the Honor to be,
Sir,
Yr most obed Svt
L Allsopp

[To] J. H. Addington Esq

Monday, 27 October 2014

27th October 1814: The Home Secretary tells the Earl of Lonsdale of plans to break the Calico Printers Union

Copy.

Confidential.

Richmond Park,
Octr. yr. 27th 1814.

My dear Lord,

I am much obliged to your Lordship for your letter of ye 25th – Of the Combination you mention I have long been apprized. Three active members of it were apprehended at Glasgow, about a month ago, thro’ the Vigilance and Activity of the Sheriff of Renfrew; and no doubt is entertained of their being convicted. Copies of the Papers found upon them were sent to me; &, by means of the Information thus afforded, very important Information has been obtained.

The immediate Object of the Combination, is to dictate the Rate of Wages; and it comprehends the Calico Printers, and Weavers, of Glasgow, Manchester, Blackburn, &c. & of Dublin. Persons of that Description at Carlisle are deeply engaged in it; & it is material that Great Caution should be observed in seeking for Information there, as the Excitement of Alarm would destroy the means, which we now possess of obtaining Intelligence from that quarter.―Nothing can be better arranged, than that the Information, procured by the Gentleman to whom your Lordship has adverted, should be transmitted to Sir James Graham, & by him forwarded to me.—

The Attorney General is out of Town; but the Solicitor General is to be at the Home Office tomorrow, as I wish to consult Him as to the Course to be pursued. I incline to think, but more Rope must be given: but I am satisfied, that, in the ensuing Session, the Interference of Parliament will be indispensably necessary.—

Believe me
Sidmouth

[To] The Earl of Lonsdale
&c &c &c

Friday, 24 October 2014

24th October 1814: The Nottinghamshire MP William Frank asks the Home Secretary to offer a reward for the attack on Thomas Garton

Kirklington near Southwell
October 24th 1814

My Lord

Your Lordship has no doubt heard of the Attack upon Mr. Gartons house at Basford near Nottingham

The account published in the Papers one of which I send, is I believe a fair statement. The Lord Lieutenant has with that Zeal & Liberality for which his Grace is so conspicuous desired a reward to any amount may be offered out of his private purse for the detection of the Offenders. I believe it will give great satisfaction to the magistrates and the Nottingham district if your Lordship should be Pleased that Government that Government should offer considerable Reward for the like desirable end

It is understood by the Chairman of the Nottingham Sessions that the watch & ward act has expired. I think your Lordship said that was not the Case

I intend to be in Town to meet the Parliament on the 8th of next month and shall do myself the honor to wait on you

I have [etc]
Frank Frank
MP for the County of Nottingham

24th October 1814: 19 year-old worker killed by machinery at Carr's gig-mill, Armley

The Saturday 29th October edition of the Leeds Mercury carried a report about an accident at a gig mill at Armley, near Leeds:

On Monday last, a most shocking accident occurred at the gig-mill of Mr. John Carr, at Armley. One of the straps by which motion is communicated to the gig engine having started from its proper situation, a young man of the name of Lee attempted to replace it, but in the effort his arm unfortunately became entangled in the straps and he was drawn among the machinery, and instantly killed; his body was mangled in a manner too horrid for description. He was an unmarried man, about 19 years of age, the only son of his mother, and she is a widow. On her mind this terrible catastrophe has produced a fatal effect, having completely disordered her intellect, and induced a state of absolute distraction. After this statement, it cannot be necessary to caution all those who may be employed about machinery to exercise an habitual care in avoiding all contact with it, and to refrain from attempting to correct any irregularities during the time that it is in motion, and still less can it be necessary to suggest to the proprietors of these and similar manufactories the moral obligation they are under of adopting every means which ingenuity can suggest, to lessen the danger attendant upon them, and thereby to diminish the frequency of these lamentable accidents. As the young man was generally respected in the situation of life in which he was placed, his funeral was attended by an unusual concourse of people, who appeared deeply impressed with feelings suitable to the melancholy occasion.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

23rd October 1814: Aborted assassination attempt on an employee of Thomas Garton

On the evening of Sunday 23rd October 1814, a group of men approached the house of an employee of Thomas Garton, the man whose house had been attacked by Luddites 9 days before. The man lived at Lenton, and it is possible the group were trying to intimidate him into not giving evidence - a press report stated their object was to assassinate him.

Despite their number, they abandoned their object when they observed that a guard of some sort had been posted outside his home.

According to a press report, the unnamed man was sacked by Garton for fear that his presence as an employee would bring further vengeance.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

22nd October 1814: The Nottingham solicitor Louis Allsop reports on an attempt to obtain a copy of the Nottingham Review

Nottingham
22d Oct. 1814.

My Lord—

In consequence of Mr Addingtons letter received Yesterday I have employed a person, in whose discretion I could confide to purchase a paper of Mr Sutton the Printer &c of the Nottingham Review, but I am sorry to say, he has not been successful; so much has been said respecting the Paper in question, even, by those who are favorable to this man's Politics, & so general an opinion has been expressed, upon the Punishment he deserves that I am aware, he would be upon his Guard; & I accordingly employed a person, not likely to be suspected; & who enquired for the last five or six papers, in order to make up a Sett—The Paper I sent your Lordship is marked with the Initials of the person, whom I employed to purchase it, before he parted with it out of his possession; I can confide in him, & he can swear to the paper; Sutton has no suspicion; & I merely wished to keep him in the back ground, that Sutton might not know for what purpose he purchased his Paper, which I often employ to do; he is one of my Clerks—I take the liberty of transmitting to your Lordship this Weeks Paper, in which your Lordship will see the sort of apology which is made—As therefore we are not likely to obtain another paper from Sutton Your Lordship will please to give directions within that the Paper I transmitted to your Lordship shall be taken care of, or that the same shall be sent back to me, to be kept by the person, who is to prove purchasing thereof.

I have [etc]

L Allsopp

[To] Lord Sidmouth

22nd October 1814: The Town Clerk of Derby forwards a threatening letter to the Home Secretary

Derby 22d October 1814

My Lord!

I am directed by the Mayor and Magistrates of the Borough of Derby to transmit for your Lordship’s inspection, the inclosed Copy of a letter – the original of which (under the Derby post mark), was received by Mr. Beer the officer commanding at the Depot yesterday evening about six o'clock.—I am also to state – that although the Magistrates know not the exact degree of importance which ought to be attached to this notice – yet considering the recent occurrences of Nottingham – the slender guard at the depot (a Serjeant and Seven men) – and that the Arms &c of the Derby regiment of Local Militia – are in another, and not more secure, part of this Town – they feel it their duty not only to exert their own vigilance in order to guard against the unpleasant consequences, but also to make this communication to your Lordship.

I have [etc]
E Ward
Town Clerk of Derby

To
the Rt Honble
The Secy at State

22nd October 1814: Government reward notice for the attack on Thomas Garton

Whitehall, October 22, 1814.

Whereas it has been humbly represented to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, that on the evening of Friday the 14th day of this instant October, the house of Thomas Garton, situated at New Basford, in the county of Nottingham, was broken into by a number of armed men in disguise, for the purpose of murdering the said Thomas Garton; and whereas it hath been further represented to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, that the armed men in question, after forcing their way into the said Thomas Garton’s house, fired upon the constable and other persons therein assembled, by which firing John Kilby, of New Basford aforesaid, was killed, and ______ Garton, brother to the said Thomas Garton, and one of his men were wounded;

His Royal Highness, for the better apprehending and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this atrocious outrage and murder, is hereby pleased, in the name and on behalf of His Majesty, to promise His Majesty’s most gracious pardon to any one of them (except the person or persons who actually fired as aforesaid), who shall discover his or their accomplice or accomplices therein, so that he, she, or they may be apprehended and convicted thereof.

SIDMOUTH.

And, as a further encouragement, a reward of TWO HUNDRED POUNDS is hereby offered to ay person (except as is before excepted) who shall discover his, her, or their accomplice or accomplices therein, so that he, she, or they may be apprehended and convicted thereof, or to any person or persons who shall apprehend and bring the said offenders, or any of them, to conviction, or cause them or any of them so to be apprehended and convicted as aforesaid.―Such reward of two hundred pounds to be paid by the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty’s Treasury.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

21st October 1814: The owner of the Nottingham Review, Charles Sutton, apologises for the 'General Ludd' letter

The Nottingham Review of Friday 21st October 1814 contained a brief editorial by the owner, Charles Sutton, for the satirical 'General Ludd' letter published in the previous edition. Sutton was obviously already aware of the storm it had raised, but his apology would not draw a line under the affair:

The Proprietor of the NOTTINGHAM REVIEW, is exceedingly sorry to find that an article which appeared in his last Number has given disgust to some of his friends, who have conceived it as having a tendency to encourage the spirit of insubordination and outrage, which has been so long prevalent in this neighbourhood, and which no man laments more than himself. He will not multiply words upon the subject. He knows his own intentions, and he knows that nothing could possibly be further from his thoughts, either in that article or in any other, which at any time may have appeared in the Review.

21st October 1814: Joanna Southcott publishes an address to her followers

The Leeds Intelligencer of Monday 31st October 1814 published the following article about an address recently given by Joanna Southcott to her followers:

JOHANNA SOUTHCOTT.

This bewildered or wicked woman has published the following Address to her friends:–

"Many of the Believers in my Visitation, as I have been informed, begin to grow impatient in their expectation, as to the marriage spoken of not having taken place, and published a long time before the child should be born; and seeing the harvest nearly ended, "they appear ready to sink in the great deep—the seas before them, and the Egyptian host behind them;" so that where is the promise of either the Marriage or the Child? will soon be the cry of the public; and the believers themselves will be ready to say—‘the harvest is over; the day is ended; and we are not saved.’―From this I see clearly that my enemies would soon boast and triumph, while the Believers would be ready to sink in despair, if the way they are stumbled in remained without being answered and explained. In order, therefore, to give away such a state of mind in the Believers, I take this opportunity of informing them, that when the marriage was first mentioned to me, it was before I had any knowledge of what would follow; I was warned that a private marriage would first take place in my own house, which afterwards was to be granted to be realized in public.

"This circumstance stumbled me, and also my friends, who were made acquainted with it, because at that time there appeared no necessity for such a private marriage to take place in haste; but now I see cause enough, from the dangers which begin to appear; so that, from my present situation, and my own feelings, I can judge the truth of the words that are already in print. For, if there be ‘no Son’, there will be ‘no adopted Father,’ and no marriage to be binding: because it will be but a temporary marriage, from which death must soon release me. But who the bridegroom is must not be publicly made known, after the marriage hath taken place, until the child be born. Thus, taking the whole into consideration, it is clear to me that the marriage and the birth of the child may, and will, most likely take place within, perhaps, less than a day the one before the other; therefore the Believers may from this hint be able to form a correct judgment, and check their impatience, so as not to look for the Sixth Book immediately after the marriage shall have taken place; but that the Sixth and Seventh Books, to complete the wonders, as before said, will be in order, and in right time, both after the birth of the child shall have taken place.

JOANNA SOUTHCOTT.

October 21, 1814.

Monday, 20 October 2014

20th October 1814: The Solicitor General gives an initial legal opinion on prosecuting Charles Sutton

My Lord;

I regret much that I was in London when your Lordship did me the honor to call at Wimbledon. I perused the mischievous and wicked letter, and I think it is the Subject of prosecution particularly the letter part which states that the outrages at Nottingham are not so bad as the proceedings of his Majesty’s Troops at Washington; I can assimilate this to the libel published by Horne Took in the beginning of the american War, in which he stated that the americans had been murder’d by the King’s Troops, there was no doubt that this was libellous tho’ I think speaking from Recollection there were some Error in some part of that Indictment which precur’d a reversal of the Judgement in the house of Lords. I write only from Recollection but will to morrow look for the Case. I am to be in town to morrow to meet the Attorney General and will shown the paper my present notion is that the printer and publisher should be prosecuted. If it is wished in the [extent] as tending to encourage the thoughtless and deluded who cannot think or reason for themselves. these are my first impressions I know your Lordship will not be offended if on maturer consideration of my own or of others such impression should be altered—

I have [etc]
Saml Shepherd

Wimbledon
Thursday octr 20. 1814

[To Lord Sidmouth]

Sunday, 19 October 2014

19th October 1814: The Home Secretary requests a legal opinion about the prosecution of Charles Sutton

Richmond Park
Octr 19th 1814

Dear Sir,

I herewith inclose a Letter from a very intelligent, and most well disposed Gentleman in Nottingham, and the Newspaper to which he refers.—"The melancholy Business" to which Mr. A alludes, as having taken Place immediately after the Publication of this Paper, was a most [flagrant] Outrage, which had murder for it’s Object; and which occasioned the Death of a very respectable man (not the obnoxious Person) who was shot.—A principal leader of the Assailants was shot by one of the Constables, who behaved with great Spirit.

The Conviction, and Punishment of the Printer, or Publisher of the most obnoxious Paper would, I have no doubt produce the best Effect: how far that is likely to be accomplish’d by a Prosecution for the Letter in Question, you will judge, and I shall of course be govern’d by your Opinion.

I am, &c
Sidmouth

P.S. The Promptitude, with which you were so good as to prepare your Report upon the papers, realting to Gloster Jail, enabled me to send them to Bathurst on Saturday. He is perfectly satisfied with your Report—The Gloster Sessions commenced Yesterday

[To] The Solicitor General

19th October 1814: George Coldham suggests that the government offers a reward for information about the attack on Garton

My Lord

On the part of the Secret Committee to whom I have the honor to be Secretary, I am desired to request that your Lordship will have the goodness to direct the immediate attention of the Government of the Prince Regent to the dreadful nature of the late Attack upon Thomas Garton with a deliberate and determined purpose to murder him and the cruel and wicked sacrifice of the life of John Kilby upon the same Occasion.—This Committee are determined to Reward the Constables engaged in this Service in the most liberal manner, they have directed me to give a most liberal Reward to the person from whom I derived my information.—Thomas Garton and his family must the present rest entirely upon them for support, and I calculate their immediate expences occasioned by these combined circumstances to exceed very much the sum of £100.—Under these circumstances, the Secret Committee feel themselves fully warranted to solicit from his Lordship and his Majesty's Government that they would be pleased to offer a reward of £200 or such further Reward as they may judge expedient to any person or persons who may give information of the persons who committed this murder or who were engaged in the Attack upon Mr. Garton’s house whether with the intention of murdering Mr. Garton or of breaking the Frames in his house and offering Pardon to any one or more of accomplices who may be disposed to give evidence against the principals concerned therein if such offer can be made consistently with the forms of Law and the course of conduct usual on such occasions.—The Secret Committee hope your Lordship will deem it no more than proper that under the peculiar circumstances of this Case these Rewards should be offered not only in the name but actually with the intention of being paid by his Majesty's Government.—The Secret Committee have already independent of the expences arising out of the present circumstances, expanding a much more considerable sum in the course of the execution of the duties entrusted to them and their Constituents and they have now the charge of two very heavy Prosecutions at the Assizes which must occasion a further expenditure to a very considerable extent.—I take the liberty of stating to your Lordship that the propriety of offering a Reward must be in a great measure determined by a view to the circumstances in which the Secret Committee is placed, and that it appears to me to be essential that it should be done quite independent of the expectation of any future good to arise out of it, because if worded judiciously it seems to me, that it would Operate as a Shield to our Informant which is admirably calculated admirably calculated to protect him from Suspicion whether the Eyes of these miscreants be fixed upon him with relation to the Past or the future.—I shall hope to hear your Lordship’s sentiments on this subject in order that I may as soon as possible communicate them to the Secret Committee for their Government.—

I am [etc]

Geo Coldham Ssecretary—

Nottingham
19 Octr 1814

[To] The Rt Honble Lord Sidmouth.