Tuesday, 22 January 2013

22nd January 1813: General Acland rebukes Lt Colonel Lang for providing a guard for Joseph Mellor

York 22nd January 1813.


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
M General

[To] Lt Colonel Lang
South Devon Militia

This letter can be found at HO 40/2/8.

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