Your communication respecting Joseph Mellor dated yesterday has been forwarded to me here—It does not appear that the circumstances you have detail’d are of sufficient importance to authorize a Guard being placed in this man's house & I therefore desire you will withdraw it & that in future you will not furnish any additional Guards on such applications without a previous communication to Head Quarters & receiving permission for granting them.
If this is allow’d to be done on every application that may be made, & there can be little doubt but such will be very numerous arising out of the plans & apprehensions of the weak minded & timid, it will be impossible either General Maitland or myself can judge of the true spirit & feeling of the country, as the natural disposition of the greatest part of the Inhabitants is never to [fancy] themselves [illegible] without Military protection & as soon as this is granted they cease to exert themselves in organizing any Local Measures for their own security & protection which is the plan that ought generally to be adopted & on which they must ultimately rely for their safety, as the Military can only be at hand to afford General protection & not be [fritter’d] away in small & useless detachments which [harries] the efforts of [every] individual in the country as to any self exertion
I am &c &c
Wroth: P: Acland
[To] Lt Colonel Lang
South Devon Militia
This letter can be found at HO 40/2/8.