Thursday, 31 January 2013

31st January 1813: Lieutenant Cooper reports the theft of lead & intimidation of the enemies of Luddites at Elland

Elland 31st January 1813.


I have the Honor to report to you this week, what I fear will not be very agreeable, a Robbery committed at some Copperas Works, at Upper Elland Edge, of a considerable quantity of Lead, the place is not above a mile from the Town. I did not hear of the Robbery ‘till yesterday when I sent three several times to enquire the particulars that I might transmit them to you this morning, unfortunately the Overseer of the Works was absent and is so this morning, therefore my Report proceeds from his Wife who did not know the Weight of the Lead stolen but it consisted of two Pumps and a Pig, the latter I should suppose not less than a hundred pounds weight. The supposed attempt to rob the Toll bar keeper at Aniley Top I also did not hear of ‘till yesterday and in my enquiries about it I find that three Men called him (the bar keeper) out of bed to open the gate for a Waggon and three horses, on his looking out of the Window he found there was nothing at the Gate, they after that gave him much abuse which instead of intimidating, for though an old man he is an old Soldier, occasioned him to sally out with a shovel in his hand when they choose to clear off. this happened on monday night last and the same men, he says, came again the following night to no better purpose. on one of the nights they broke his Windows, and on his going out they called out to shoot him.

Some cowardly Raskals, last night about eleven o'clock, taking advantage of Mr. Cartledge’s being at Halifax, to which place he is known to go every Saturday and not return ‘till a late hour, broke the Windows of his counting House which adjoins his residence and the Windows is within one Yard of the Hall door.

I beg you, General, to excuse the late hour that I send my Report off, which is the consequence of my not being able to satistactory answers to my enquiries yesterday about the matters I have reported.

I hope the same excuse will be allowed by you for any inaccuracies I may have been guilty of as I have written in much haste.

I have [etc]
Alf. Cooper Lt.
West Suffolk Militia

[To] Major General Acland
&c. &c. &c.

I forgot to state that the Robbery of the Lead took place last Monday Night, the Hour I believe not known, and the Works are generally open

This letter can be found at HO 40/2/3.

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