Thursday, 16 February 2017

16th February 1816: Lancelot Rolleston asks the Duke of Newcastle to pay William Cook's legal costs

My Lord Duke,

I have the honour to acquaint your grace, that the confession made to me, by one John Blackburn, of the Town of Nottingham, Frameworkknitter, who was apprehended in the night of the 2nd of Jany last, in a daring attack upon the house of William Cook, gamekeeper to Lord Middleton, has led to the apprehension of most of those individuals, who have for so many years infested this County, under the name of Luddites. Among the various depredations brought to light by this circumstance, I have come to the knowledge of the persons, who so wantonly attempted the life of George Kerry, of the Parish of Radford, which it may be your Grace’s recollection, took place the Sunday night before Christmas day; the attack was made by four in number, two of whom are in custody, & I have every reason to hope the others shortly will be. I am sure you Grace will agree with me, as to the necessity of prosecuting these men; but Kerry is merely a working stockinger, without the means; under these circumstance, & more particularly as he is a tenant of your Grace’s, I have taken the liberty (and I request you believe it is with infinite respect to your Grace that I venture) to submit, whether it may be agreeable to your Grace, to afford Kerry, the assistance necessary for that purpose. I have satisfaction, at any time it suits your Grace’s convenience, in laying before you the extensive communications made to me, which with some confidence I express as my opinion, will be the means of entirely suppressing that system of outrage, which has hitherto defied the utmost vigilance of the Magistracy.

Waiting your Grace’s commands,

I have [etc]
Lanct Rolleston

Watnall
Feby 16th, 1817

Saturday, 11 February 2017

11th February 1817: Leeds Croppers petition brought up in the House of Commons

On Tuesday 11th February 1817, a petition from Croppers in Leeds about the use of cloth-dressing machinery was debated in the House of  Commons:

PETITION FROM LEEDS RELATING TO THE USE OF MACHINERY.

Lord Lascelles said, he held in his hand a petition from a numerous body of people in Leeds, and the parts adjacent, who were cloth-dressers, and who complained that the introduction of machinery had thrown many of them out of employment. They prayed that some relief might be afforded them by the wisdom of parliament. He had explained to the petitioners themselves, that the question relative to machinery was a matter of deep consideration; nor did he flatter them that parliament could be able, considering the state of the woollen manufacture in other countries, to afford them any relief on this head. There was another prayer in the petition: these people entertained the impression, that if driven to emigrate to other countries, the existing laws threw obstructions in their way, as being manufacturers. The noble lord had told them, that considering the state of manufactures in other countries, neither could he give them much encouragement on this head: but at any rate their petition should be submitted to the consideration of parliament.

The Petition was then brought up and read, setting forth, "That the petitioners are employed in the dressing of woollen cloth, to which business they have served a long apprenticeship, and which heretofore enabled them to maintain themselves and their families, but which, in consequence of the extensive introduction of machinery into that department of the woollen trade, they are no longer able to do; they trust therefore for the indulgence of the House whilst they submit to their consideration the following facts; the petitioners beg leave to state, that, during the last session of parliament, they presented to the House, on behalf of themselves and their fellow workmen, a petition signed by 3,625 individuals, setting forth their grievances and praying for relief and redress, and they respectfully solicit the attention of the House to the allegations and prayer of that petition; it was stated in that petition that machinery for the dressing of woollen cloth had increased so rapidly within the last seven or eight years as to have produced very great distress among the persons employed in that department of the woollen manufacture, great numbers of them having been deprived of their accustomed employment and reduced to hopeles indigence and beggary; the petitioners have now to add to this statement the more specific information, that there was on the 17th of August 1816, totally out of employment 1,043 persons, in partial employment 1,380. in full employment 922; and on the 28th of October 1816 there were totally out of employment 1,166 persons, in partial employment 1,352, in full employment 860; and on the 3d day of February instant there were totally out of employment 1,170 persons, in partial employment 1,445, and in full employment 763, and the wages of those stated to be partially employed do not average more than from five to ten shillings a week; the petitioners also beg leave to state that it appears from the evidence taken before the House, that in the year 1806 there were only five gig mills, and not more than 100 pair of shears in the county of York wrought by machinery, but that the number of gig mills is now 72, and the number of shears is increased to 1,462, and that the consequence of this increase has been that great numbers of the petitioners and their fellow workmen have been reduced to absolute want; the petitioners also beg leave to submit to the House that they have a particular claim upon the attention of the legislature for protection and relief, inasmuch as they are prohibited by the laws from seeking employment in a foreign state; they would also submit to the House, that the pleas of necessity and expedience which have been pleaded in the behalf of the introduction of this species of machinery are unfounded, as there have always been a sufficient number of workmen to perform all the labour that was required: the petitioners also beg leave to state, that cloth is neither dressed better nor cheaper by machinery than by the old method of dressing it by the hand; on the contrary, the advantage in both these respects is decidedly in favour of dressing it by the hand, the large sums expended in the erection and in the maintenance of these establishments more than counterbalancing any saving in the price of dressing. In respect also to the manner in which the cloth is dressed, the petitioners confidently affirm that the cloth finished by machinery possesses no advantage whatever over the cloth dressed by hand; they are aware that it will be asserted that the unrestrained use of machinery is necessary to enable this country sufficiently to compete with foreigners: the petitioners in reply to this objection, beg leave to observe, that the universal adoption of gig mills and shearing frames would not in the least tend to lower the price of cloth, and would not be the means of causing a single additional piece of cloth to be sold either at home or in the foreign market; they would further observe, that though this species of machinery is thus impotent in promoting the prosperity of the woollen manufacture, it has been the fruitful source of much evil to the petitioners, and would, if carried further, be the means of depriving many thousands of persons of employment in the business to which they served a long and laborious apprenticeship, and indeed of all work whatever, as the present depressed state of trade precludes them from all chance of obtaining employment in any other business; the petitioners therefore hope, and humbly pray, that under these circumstances the House will be pleased to take their case into their immediate and serious consideration, and afford them such relief by restraining the use of this kind of machinery, or by such other means as may seem most meet to the wisdom of the House."

Mr. Brougham could not abstain from expressing his pleasure at seeing this petition brought forward so satisfactorily by the noble lord. This was the proper way in which the complaints of the people should be treated. In fact, all that had passed at public, meetings showed that the people were still sound at heart; that they still looked up to that House as their constitutional safeguard, and the grand source from which they were to expect relief. With regard to the prayer of the present petition, it must be obvious, that to adopt any measures to check the use of machinery, was as impolitic as it would be impracticable; but it was surely very hard on the petitioners that any impediments should be thrown in their way so as to prevent them from bettering their situation by emigration, if they were so disposed. This branch of the ancient policy of the country required the serious consideration of the House. Nothing could be more wicked than attempts to destroy machinery, such as the country had lately witnessed; yet at the same time the feeling which existed against machinery must be a ground of formidable alarm; for it showed that, instead of now being, as it lately was, a source of wealth, it was the cause of the most severe distress to a great body of the people, because the hands thrown out of work by the introduction of machines in one branch could not now find employment in other lines. This was a serious evil, well deserving the serious attention of parliament; but he should not dilate on it at present, because he should soon have occasion to bring the distressed state of the manufacturers under the consideration of the House. He might here be allowed to explain, that in the observations which fell from him last night, he did not mean to advert to any seizures of persons that had been made under the authority of the secret committee.

Lord Castlereagh entirely coincided with the hon. and learned gentlemen respecting the proper manner in which the petition just read had been drawn up. He wished the House to be assured he was as anxious as any individual could be to preserve the right of petitioning, as one of the most valuable blessings of the constitution, and he was confident, if the people were left to draw up their petitions themselves, they would do it in the best and most respectful manner. It was the means made use of to delude them by imposing on them manufactured petitions that excited his disapprobation and disgust. It was an insult to an Englishman, to suppose him incapable of stating his own grievances in a plain respectful manner.

The petition was ordered to lie on the table.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

9th February 1817: Lancelot Rolleston sends William Burton's further confession to the Home Secretary

My Lord

I have the honour of forwarding your Lordship a further confession made to me on Friday last by William Burton, one of the persons now in confinement at Leicester for the outrage at Loughbro’. The importance of his communication will I trust be an inducement to his Majesty's Government, to extend some favour towards this misguided man, who is very young, & appears highly sensible of his past errors; Should your Lordship wish to see the depositions regarding each particular circumstance, they shall immediately be remitted.

I have [etc]
Lanct. Rolleston.

Watnall Feby 9th

[To: Lord Sidmouth]

9th February 1817: William Burton's further confession

The voluntary confession of William Burton late of Basford in the County of Nottingham, taken before me Lanct Rolleston Esqr one of his Majesty's justices of the peace for the said County.

The attempt to murder Kerry.

On the Sunday before Christmas, Thos Henfrey & John Woolley of Basford, came to me whilst I was at William Pickburns houses, on Parson’s flat Basford, a called me out & said, they wished to speak to me; I went out, they desired me to ask Sutton Bill, alias Wm Pickburn if he had a bit of powder, I asked what they wanted powder for, said, they were going to break Kerry’s frame; I went & asked him, he said he had none; went & told them so; Henfrey had two pistols, one loaded & one not, Danl Diggle had one, unloaded; they said, they wanted as much powder as would load them both; I asked who was going to go; they said Henfrey, Danl Diggle John Woolley, James Shaw, (all of Basford) & said you must go & all, meaning deponent; said I had rather not, Henfrey said you had better, as they would soon do it, & they would not be more than half an hour; asked where Diggle & Shaw were, said up stairs in Diggles room; Henfrey desired them to stay where they were, (being at the bottom of the yard) & he would go to Thos Pogson’s, & ask him for some powder; went & brought some, brought it in a horn; then went into Diggle's room; Henfrey loaded one pistol, & Diggle another, Diggle got an old coat which was very much torn, & put it on & tied an handkerchief over his face; Deponent, Henfrey, Diggle & Woolley then went out of Diggles room, they stopt a bit in the yard, whilst Henfrey went some where to get a hammer, he got one, but does not know where from; they went directly to Kerry’s house, met no one by the way; Diggle & Woolley went on first, I & Henfrey followed at a little distance; Henfrey said; Dan, (meaning Diggle) damns his eyes if he don't blow his brains out, if he stirs, I said, that won't do; we overtook them, we came up to them in Pearsons close, before they got to the house; there agreed, that Henfrey should stand in the lane, Woolley against the door, & Diggle & myself should go in; I had the hammer, the other three had pistols; went up to the house listened against the window, & heard the children talking; came out of the yard again & stood the lane, deponent said we’ll stop about ten minutes, & the children will be gone to bed, they would make such a noise if we went in whilst they were up; Diggle was looking at his pistol, I said, my lad, let me beg you not to shoot, you’ll have no occasion for it, said he would not; Diggle & Woolley went again, I was about 5 or 6 yards behind, Diggle went first & threw open the door, Diggle & Woolley went in, I stood at the door; Kerry said, Hello, Diggle order’d the people in the house to go into the parlour, the women scream’d, & Kerry got up & seized Woolley, laid hold of his pistol, could not get it away, but pulled the ramrod out; then Diggle shot him; did not hear Woolley’s pistol miss fire, they then run out; when they got into the first close, Diggle dam’d his eyes if he had not shot him dead; said he tumbled down as dead as a rat; I asked him how he could think of doing it so, said. he did not know his pistol was cocked, I said I know’d, said, why did you not tell me, said, I did & talked to you about it before you went in; he said, damnation seize his eyes, he should have let Woolley alone, he seized Woolley he should have gone into the parlour & then I should not have done it; he said he was dam’d mad with himself for having done it, told him he was such a fool, that whenever he got a pistol & a bit of powder, he was always firing; I said it was the last thing I would ever be concern’d in, & would never go out any more; we then went home I & Diggle went together, & Henfrey went with Woolley a bye road; met no one by the way, saw no one & thinks no one saw us; went to Diggles house the next day, Diggle said, some one shot old Kerry last night. The ramrod did not belong to the pistol Woolley had, but belonged to a pistol taken from the factory at Loughbro’; thinks the pistol was drown’d, in Cheeny pool near Nottm, where all of them were drown’d, as he had heard say; it was a particular ramrod; the reason they wanted to break Kerry's frame was, because it was a cut up.

Job. at Bramcote

The Sunday before this took place there were many talking that man at Bramcote had got cut ups; Bill Towle said they should break them, & shew they could do a job without Jem; (meaning James Towle who was at that time in Leicester Jail) heard nothing more of it, till returning home from Arnold the Saturday following, saw Danl Diggle on the Parson’s flat, he said his brother Nathan & Bill Towle were gone to Chilwell to fetch pistols, for the job, they were to get them from his brother in laws where some had been left after the Loughbro job; James Shaw came to us & said we were to meet at the lane above Browns bleachyard, at ten oclock, we did meet there; the party then consisted of deponent, Danl Diggle, Chas Elliott, Joseph Widdowson, John Lomas, James Shaw, Robt Sugden, Jonathan Austin, & one Sam, (who run away for robbing the tent on the Race ground with Bill Towle, he has since enlisted into the guards at Derby, he has a mole on one side of his face, & is very pale looking, a good deal like, Saml Caldwell.) they then set off, went thro’ cherry orchard as they call it, past Aspley field, straight to the canal side; when they got to the top of the canal where the road to Trowel crosses it; Shaw, Danl Diggle, Chas Elliott & another, thinks it was Austin; went over a bridge to a public house, & got some ale, said they had a full quart & paid 6d for it; they drank it at the door & did not go in; Shaw said it was the last measure in the parish; this night be about eleven oclock it was in July; when these came from the public house they all went together along the cut side, for some distance till they came to a Lane, which they went down till they came to a place where they met Nathan Diggle & Bill Towle, who had brought pistols & cartridges & an hatchet; they gave pistols to those were to stand guard out of doors, namely Dan Diggle, Chas Elliott, & Bob Sugden, Jonathan Austin was also outside but had a gun of his own, Sam had a pistol & went into the house, Bill Towle had a pistol, James Shaw an iron crow, deponent the hatchet; the others had candles; coming towards the house, they saw a light in the chamber window, but it was put out before they got to the door; Bill Towle rattled the door, called out desiring them to come & open the door, they did not come, Towle took the hatchet giving deponent his pistol to hold, (this pistol Towle afterwards lost in the house) & broke it open; when they got into the house they got a light; they had things for striking a light with them; Towle went up stairs, Nathan Diggle, Widdowson & deponent followed, they broke 4 frames in the shop, the people in the house were in bed, thinks they never got up as they saw no one; they were there about 20 minutes, it was between 12 & 1, when they had done the frames, they went into another chamber, where the children lay, there was a machine there for winding silk they broke it, & as they were throwing it out of the window some of their own party fired at them, supposes by some mistake, did not hit them; they then came away, the children lay quite still & never made any noise; Bill Towle said he never saw any children lay so quiet before; they all went home together the same road they came, saw no one & no one saw them as he thinks; it was about 4 oclock when they got home; does not know the man's name whose frames they broke—.

As they were going to break the frames (after Diggle & the others who had been to the public house had joined them) they met a man on the canal bank, thinks he was drunk as he laid hold of several of them, & shouted, hallo lads, he went singing down the cut side towards the public house they had left, does not know if he went in, he was a middle sized man, had a short white frock on which only came down to his waist, & thinks a white hat it was moonlight; he looked like a miller thinks he was miller. The next day they took the pistols to Jack Hill’s, where he worked being in the same yard at the sign of King George on horseback; Hill was gone out, the master, (Hill’s brother in law) took them up into a cockloft.

One of the pistols bought by Savage at Derby for the Loughbro’ job; fellow to the one supposed to be at a gunsmiths in Nottm Mitchel, had with him at the shop where he worked, at the time he was taken,—

Lambley Job

Two or three weeks before this was done, Tom Austin, Jack Plumb, & big Sam alias Saml Caldwell, came to me & said, if I would get chaps to do a Lambley job, they, (meaning the Lambley men) would assist me at any time to do Bulwell; said, I would mention it; did so to the 2 Diggles, Thomas Corson or Corson or Corser. (since enlisted into the 96th) Joseph Mellors, Thomas Henfrey & William Cooper all of Basford; (Cooper has since gone to his parish which is Thringstone near Whitwich in Leicestershire) to Edwd Straw, Isaac Burton & John Wright of Arnold; Wright has since enlisted into a rifle corps at Nottm) & John Lommas of Bulwell; they all consented; the Saturday it was done big Sam, & Jack Plumb came to me at that time at Arnold, & asked if, they would come; said they would; Sam said he would go to Nottm & get pistols & ammunition, saying we were to meet in a particular close, next but one to the town; we did so, Jack Plumb went with us from Arnold, & when we got to Lambley, he went somewhere into the town & brought up two pistols; they soon heard a whistle, Plumb went towards it, the rest followed; about 2 closes off they found big Sam, Tom Austin, George Lovatt, as he called himself & John Blackburn; they brought pistols & ammunition; Sam said he had hid two pistols in Lovatt’s stacks, but had been to look for them, & could not find them; supposed some of Lovatt’s men had got them, & said when they went to break his frames they must get them if they could. They then went to Lovatts house; Henfrey broke open the door, deponent, Henfrey the 2 Diggles, Cooper went directly up stairs & broke the frames; Danl Diggle took a pistol & candle & went into the room where the journeymen & apprentices lay, & said, their general had informed them, they had got two pistols as belonged to them, & said he would blow their brains out if they did not give them up; they denied having; Diggle had an handkerchief over his face, & most of them had their clothes changed; saw no one in the house—Went from thence to Needhams house, knocked at the door, Needham open’d the door himself, they rushed in & Needham run up stairs, & they saw nothing more of them; all the party was more or less in the house at different times, except Isaac Burton, who said he would go into none, for having been apprenticed in the town, he should be known; an handkerchief of Burton's was lost there; they broke all the frames in the shop, went away without seizing any ones

Went from thence to Kirks the door not being open’d they broke it open, does not know who did it; Kirk did not come down, but talked to them on the stairs; said they had come to break his frames, he begged they would not, & said they were [Bergin] James’s; they said they were Shaws, that he was working at under price, & they could do them; Danl Diggle open’d the stair foot door & fired up stairs; it was a Cotton shop, deponent did not go into it; but Henfrey Cooper & Corser went in & broke all the frames; Went from thence to Godbers, desired to be let in, & rattled the door, two women put their heads out of a window, & said, that was not a public house; said, we did not want a public house, but had come to break the frames; the women called some men who put their heads out of the window & asked what we wanted, said we came to break the frames, & desired them to come & open the door; they did not; Henfrey broke it open, with the hatchet; it was one of those bought for the Loughbro’ job; we went in, & broke all the frames; it was a bottom shop, saw nothing more of the men or women; this was about 1 or 2 oclock; were about 2 or 3 hours altogether in the town; saw no one about; all went out of Lambley together number’d ourselves as high as 50 does not know how many frames they broke in each shop, but knows 30 were broke in the whole. then parted, Basford men went one way Arnold men another; before I got home I parted with the others, who went along a lane, & went by myself across the closes; On monday after the job Hill, Mitchel & a Adams Scotchman came over, & gave Mellors 17s to drink for doing the job we all drank it together; About a fortnight afterwards, Jack Plumb, Tom Austin, big Sam & Isaac Burton, met deponent in Arnold, & said Tom Needham could swear to Isaac Burton; and offer’d deponent & Isaac 10s to go & shoot him; Isaac said he would do it himself, if I would put hear him company there & back; said, I would know have no concern in murder; Jack Plumb said, I need have no concern as Isaac would do it himself, & only wanted me to walk with him; said I should be reckoned as bad, as if I did it; he said I had done that already as would hang me; but told him I would have no concern in taking life; they said no more to me about it, but Isaac plagued me very much to go & said he could do it easily, & would shoot him thro’ a hole in the window which was just against where he worked.

Needham might have seen Isaac Burton the night the frames were broken; thinks it was him who said, damn your eyes remember Clumber Street. When they first went into Needhams house, after he open’d the door, a pistol was fired either by Dan Diggle of Burton; thinks Wm Emmet & his wife where D. Diggle lodged will be brought to prove his alibi; & a woman named Hibbet or Herbert, who lives at Nathan Diggles will also be brought; she is married but lives with Nathan Diggle.

John Blackburn says, Jack Plumb & Isaac Burton have often requested him to shoot Tom Needham & one Police of Lambley.

The deponent William Burton is not a member of the Hambden Club.

Mr Rolleston
9 Feb. 1817

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

8th February 1817: Jeffrey Lockett updates the Home Office about the hunt for suspected Luddites

Derby Feby 8th: 1817

Sir

In the letter which I had the honour to address to you on Wednesday last from Loughbro’, I stated, on the information of J. Blackburn, that the Luddite, called little Sam, had been apprehended about four months ago, and removed from Nottingham, to the Isle of Wight, under the name of John Smith as a deserter from the Artillery. I have now to inform you, that it has been since ascertained, that he was committed on the 7th of October, by the name of John Clarke.

From accounts which I have received from Nottingham, I am happy to find, that there is a probability of John Disney and Aaron Daykin being apprehended.

There are already twenty two prisoners, in the gaol of this county, under commitments for trial at the next assizes.—Before that time, the number will probably be increased to thirty—

I am very happy to inform you, that the recommendation of Government relative to the [enrolment] of special constables, has been very generally complied with throughout this county. In the town of Derby, there is scarcely a person of respectability, who is not involved, and altho’ we have a Hampden Club, and many disaffected men amongst us, they are of the lowest, and most contemptible of our inhabitants, and by no means numerous.—They are to hold a meeting on Monday next,—but the Magistrates have made sufficient provision for the preservation of the peace, & are perfectly prepared for any occurrence which can arise from that quarter.

I have the honour to be Sir your most obedt Servt
Wm Jeffery Lockett

[To: Home Office]

8th February 1817: The owner of the Nottingham Review, Charles Sutton, is released from Northampton Gaol after a year's imprisonment

On Thursday 8th February 1817, the owner of the Nottingham Review, Charles Sutton, completed his sentence of a year's imprisonment for political libel, and was released.

During that time, he had been held in the debtor's ward at Northampton Gaol. The Nottingham Date Book (1852, p.318) makes it clear that it had been far from an ordeal, as Sutton had "received every indulgence, short of liberation, that he desired."

Sunday, 5 February 2017

5th February 1817: The fuller confession of John Blackburn.

The voluntary confession of John Blackburn of the town of Nottingham Framework knitter taken by me Lanct. Rolleston Esqr one of his Majestys Justices of the Peace to the County of Nottingham

Loughbro’ Job

About a week before the job at Loughbro’, one William Withers of the Town of Nottm Frameworkknitter, came to him, at that time living at Lambley, & said they, meaning the Luddites, wanted him & two more for a job, that he should have his expences paid, & there was £40 for it; it was to take place next friday night, & was to be at Loughbro’, that deponent in company with Aron Daykin, a man whose name he did not know, but called, little Sam, & now sent to the Isle of Wight as a deserter, & Samuel Caldwell, alias the Dragoon, alias big Sam, soon left Lambley & staid at different places; two nights they remained at the Kings Head, narrow marsh in Nottm they paid the landlord 6d each, the reason they went to the lower part of the town was because Savage told them they must not be seen in the upper part, thinks they had all been at the house before, but does not know that the landlord, named Barker, or any of his family knew them as they were all tramps; little Sam & Aron Daykin, remained in the kitchen all the [evening] but deponent & big Sam went out. staid two nights at a public house at Beeston, either the Durham Ox or next door to it, the landlady charged them nothing for lodging or only 2d, thinks little Sam must have been known at Beeston as he had worked at the town, & the others had been used to go to the house, thinks it was a widow who kept the house, she was a jolly woman; whilst we were at the public house at Beeston a man, called whistling Bobby, alias Robt Twigg who was serving the bricklayers in the town, & was working as a houserow man, came in & upon telling him there was going to be a job, he said he was glad of it, &, if it succeeded would give a quart of ale. The next day they parted, leaving big Sam & little Sam in Beeston, himself & Daykin, went together to Hathern, they got some ale at a house on the road, thinks it was the Anchor at Hathern, did not see the landlord, the ale was served by an old woman, they then parted, deponent went to Loughbro’, & Daykin according to Savages previous orders went to Sheepshead to fetch John Disney; alias Sheepshead Jack; it was on Thursday, the day before the job; he got to Loughbro’, & according to appointment met Savage at the sign of the Pack horse, the landlord served deponent with some ale, as soon as he had finished it he left the room, & Savage followed him, according to previous agreement; thinks Savage must have been known to the landlord, as he had been more than a week at Loughbro’; two or three days at the Pack horse, & sometime at the Duke of York; went from thence to Tom Tylers, the White Lion in Swan street, there met according to appointment, Sheepshead Jack, & Daykin; deponent knew the landlord who also knew him; he went out with Savage to buy some beef steaks & had part of them cooked at Tylers, did not stay to eat them as Savage told him it would not do to stay there as they might be noticed; he took him to the Duke of York public house & gave him a bottle of porter, & thinks the landlord knew Savage; he then, about 10 oclock by Savages directions went back to Tylers, & took Disney & Daykin with him to Mount Sorrel hill, where stone is got for the roads, & brought away with them a great hammer and about 30lb, two of about 12lb, & an iron crow; they then returned towards Loughbro’, leaving the tools in the dike just before they came to needless Inn; all three slept in a cart in the outskirts of the town; about 6 in the [morning] went into the Duke of York, found Savage there, breakfasted with him, but the other two Disney & Daykin, were sent to the White Lion, Tom Tylers; during the day took Savage to see the tools in the dike, but as two men appear’d to be watching had not time to look for them, as deponent & Savage run away & were pursued by them; thinks this was about 3 oclock P:M: they first went down a lane towards a windmill, crossed the canal at a bridge, & went towards Hoton, about a mile before they got to the Nottingham road they parted, Savage sent deponent to Hathern to meet little Sam & big Sam, who were coming from Beeston, & Disney & Daykin who had gone there during the day; he was to bring them to Loughbro’; they were not ready, as the hatchets they brought with them wanted new handles, which the ploughmaker at Hathern was doing for them, they had not money enough to pay for them, & deponent was sent back to Loughbro’ to get some from Savage; met him & Jack Amos about a mile before he got to the town, who went back nearly to Hathern, & then gave enough to pay for the hatchets & 3s between every two men for the expences during the night; deponent Savage & Amos came first towards Loughbro’ leaving big Sam, little Sam, Daykin & Disney near the town, meaning Hathern Daykin with either Disney little Sam sent & paid 3s for the hatchets, they were quite new & heard it said Will Withers had bought them but does not know where; when they got near Loughbro’ Savage told deponent he must not go into it as he was well known but must return to Hathern & tell the men there the tools not be brought into the Town till the job was ready; they hid them in a drain under the footpath; big Sam & I, then went to the White Lion & had some cold meat, Daykin, Disney & little Sam to the Green man & had either beef steaks or mutton chops; whilst at supper Savage & another, thinks Hill, came in & asked Tyler the landlord, for a quar of rum & to give him a bottle to put it in, but if he did not like to give it one, he would pay for it, thinks Tyler gave or lent him a bottle; Savage then went out, deponent followed, & was sent to the Green man to fetch those who were there at supper, in about a quarter of an hour they joined him in the road, it was between 11 & 12 o'clock; they were instructed by Savage to proceed on the Ashby road till they came to a house near the turnpike, & to turn down a lane, where they all assembled; the party then consisted of himself & his brother, big Sam, little Sam, Daykin, Disney, Savage, Hill, Jos. Mitchell, Jack Slater, John Amos, John Crowther, William Withers, Bill Burton, Bill Towle & James Towle; whilst in the lane, they disguised themselves in various ways, some by changing coats, some by turning them inside out, & all tied their handkerchiefs over their faces; Slater had big Sam's smock frock on, Mitchel his own coat turned & a handkerchief over his face—

Between Loughborough & Hathern when deponent first met Amos, he asked him, how long he had been there, he said not long; being asked who were coming, he said Jos. meaning Mitchel was with him on the coach, that they passed some on foot, thinks Bill Towle Bill Burton & Crowther; Slater walked, Hill came by the coach, Withers walked, James Towle walked; thinks some of them Bill Towle, Burton & Withers stopt at the ship at Rempstone, they had pistols in their inside great coat pockets, & heard some of the party often say, at a labouring man who saw them, fetched either his master or the landlord to look at them, he did so over a screen, he said something to them wishing to know, what their pistols were for; they left Rempstone & went to the Bell, Hoton, where Bill Towle was sick, is not certain whether this occurr’d at Rempstone or Hoton; Bill Towle had a great coat on—The above named persons went from the lane before mentioned directly towards the factory, they met a man going to it, & threatened if he did not get them quickly admitted, he should suffer for it, he got the door opened & they rushed in, a great dog flew at them James Towle fired at it; Bill Towle struck at it with a hatchet which flew out of his hand, the cry was brush forward; deponent stopped at the corner of the factory till he heard them in the room where the guard was placed, whilst entering the door a pistol went off, he wished to retreat, but one of them said he would blow his brains out if he did not go forward, which he then did, does not know who it was that fired; deponent place sentry at the door of the Factory; upon their going to the top shop, he was  placed sentry over three men in the first floor shop, whilst there, he saw them go up to the top shop, Hill arrived with pistols went first, Mitchel with pistols next, in the call to go up & went with an axe & broke some of the frames, Mitchel soon went down to see all was right, & returned with a gun & bayonet, he said, "Ned, have you done your work well," some one answer’d, yes, "its a Waterloo job by god;" Rodney alias Bill Towle, was going to pocket some lace, Hill said we are not come to rob, but for the good of the trade, if ever I see you up to that again I will blow your brains out, he took it away & burnt it on the floor, they all broke the frames in turn; on going out of the factory several of them went to shake hands with Asher who was shot, whilst deponent was guarding the outer door, he told them to be off, that he might have a doctor; when the pistols were fired at Rushforth's & Sylvesters house, deponent was in the factory but heard big Sam say he fired; & that a curtain was set on fire; as soon as they left the factory 20 or 30 pistols & guns were fired off, they set off home, they went by Garendon Park, knows little of the road till they came to Kingstone Village, which place he remembers from having asked for some water there some day before; a powder flask was taken by big Sam from the factory & carried home to Lambley, but Savage, Mitchel, & Hill saying it might lead to detection if it was found by any one & desiring they might have it, he would not give it up, but broke it to pieces, St if he might not keep it no one else should; and governments also taken from the factory thinks by big Sam, but it was thrown into a canal as they crossed it at a bridge, Sam threw it in; near Kingstone they saw a man at plough, who looked at them but was told to mind his business, he went on with his work; they then went down to the Trent found a boat, got into it, but it would not carry them over the wear; they then went further down the river, towards another boat, part being tired like behind, they crossed the river in two parties, deponent crossed with the first party; Savage paid for the whole, meaning both parties, as they were crossing the river he saw two men on the other side waiting to get over, he heard one of the party say, damn that fat fellow, I know him & he knows me, but he dare say nought, does not know which it was, when they had got over, they took off their disguises, and soon parted, deponent big Sam, little Sam & Daykin, went together, they were desired by Savage, to be at the Fox near Sneinton by ten oclock, & he should have some money for them; they went towards Beeston, before they got there big Sam & Daykin went on first, himself & little Sam stopt at their old house in that town & got a cup of ale, it was between 4 & 5 in the [morning]; they went forward to Lenton, stopt at the wrestlers a public house & had another cup of ale; there he left little Sam saying, if he did not come back in 3 hours, he was to come to him, to the Fox, he did so, big Sam & Daykin were there before them; big Sam said he & Daykin had met Barnes the police officer of Nottingham, he questioned them as to where they had been, told him they came Derby road; they remained at the Fox till dinner, being tired with waiting went to see Savage, met him near the house, he gave two shillings each, he does not know where he got the money but is almost certain at Loughbro’; being questioned for his reasons, he said he not only had heard so, but after his own, deponents, frames were broke at Lambley being out of work, Budder of Nottm desired him to go to one Pounder, one of Lacey’s hands at Loughbro’; saying that after his, Badders trial & acquittal at Leicester, Pounder had behaved well to him, & that as deponent had been at the Loughbro’ job he thought he would assist him too; accordingly he went but did not see Pounder. After he got the money, he went to Lambley with Daykin being taken in from excessive fatigue, he did not leave his house for nearly three weeks.

Thinks it was one of the Guards who took little Sam sometime after, before the magistrates as a deserter, who lived at the Lion & Lamb.

When they parted after crossing the river, James Towle Bill Towle, Mitchel & Hill went together towards Chilwell–

Radford job

A week or two before the job at Radford, Jack Slater met deponents as he was going in with his work, deponent asked him to go & drink, they went to Galloways public house down a yard in St. Ann’s St. Nottm Slater told him they were going to have a job, & that he thought they would want him, saying they, (meaning only the Nottm set) had intended doing it themselves, but had quarrelled, he did not know the time but would send word to him; the same day he met Badder who told him nearly the same thing; sometime after Badder told him to come the next Saturday & bring big Sam, little Sam, Daykin, Disney & Jack Plumb all of Lambley, they went accordingly, & met at Seymours the chaise & horse Sandy lane Nottm staid there till Badder & Slater came, about 10 or 11 went to Lammas closes; the party then consisted besides the Lambley set of James Towle Bill Towle, Jos. Mitchel & Hill, Thos Humphrey or Emphrey, & thinks the two Diggles & Bill Burton but is not certain as he did not know them at that time & cannot swear to them; there was also a club footed man of Basford, whose name he does not know. Staid in the lammas closes an hour or two; Slater & Badder left them, the rest then went direct to the houses of Mullins & Wright, met no one by the way; James Towle, Bill Towle, Mitchel, Hill & little Sam, were inside men; saw James Towle with an iron crow breaking the door, & Bill Towle with an hatchet, others were in the house does not know who; deponent knows but little of any thing particular that passed, having been placed sentry in Chapel street where he remained all the time watching; others were placed in West street & others down the sands; does not know the particular persons; the guard in WestsStreet told him, that several persons upon hearing the noise & particularly an old woman, were coming out of their houses, but they forced them to go in again; as soon as the job was over they all but Hill & Jos. Mitchell who he thinks went home, went to Red Lane & deliver’d up their arms to a man appointed to meet them there from Nottm they were put into two bags, & taken away; the Lambley set made the best of their way home, does not know the man who took the arms but he was old & a Nottm man as deponent understood; met no one on their way to Lambley.

The job in Woolpack Lane last Goose Fair

The day it happened he was at home & at work, a man from Mansfield, known to big Sam & sent by him, came to him saying big Sam wanted him & he must come directly, went with him to the Eclipse in Chapel lane in Nottm, met Jos. Mitchel & big Sam, both told him there was going to be a bit of a job & he must make one; this was one at oclock, they all staid there till about 6, they sat in the room fronting the street, drinking ale; Mitchel gave them 2s apiece as deponent said he would not go without; the ale was served sometime by the maid sometimes by a servant man & sometimes by the landlord, thinks Mitchel was well known there but deponent was never in the house before; thinks it is very likely their party was not particularly noticed as the house very full on account of the fair & every one very busy; saw no one particular who appeared to know Mitchel; after 6 oclock being dark & rainy, they went into a field, on the other side the Volunteer, the party then consisted of Jos. Mitchell, Hill, big Sam, the Mansfield man, Adam Slack, Willm Withers, Jack Plumb, Tom Daykin brother to Aron, & deponent, they all except Withers, Adam Slack, & deponent disguised themselves all having a smock frock on, Mitchel supplied some & big Sam brought two; at 7 oclock they went to the house, deponent did not know the persons name; deponent was placed sentry over a grocers shop at the next door, Mitchel, Hill, Tom Daykin & Jack Plumb went in, the Mansfield man was placed over the back door; as soon as they were in the house women and children made a great noise, which brought a crowd about the house, thinks more than 100 persons, they endeavour’d to keep those in the house from coming out but were prevented by big Sam, who run up the steps & pulled some of them from the door, Sam asked deponent what he should do, had he not better fire to alarm those in the house? he did so into the air; as soon as he had fired a man endeavoured to lay hold of Sam, but he pointed his gun at him & the man desisted, the crowd also gave way; Mitchel & the others immediately came out of the house, & they all, (except Adam Slack run away when the crowd was round the house) returned to the fields they met in; here deponent deliver’d up the pistol he had in his hand & went back to the Eclipse where he slept, leaving the others in the fields; saw nothing of any one except his own townsmen for three weeks or a month after—

The Attack upon Kerry near Aspley in the parish of Radford.—

It was for the purpose of breaking his frame that the attack was made, he was working cut up work; no previous intention of injuring him was entertained, & no violence would have been used had he not resisted; this job has long been talked of, the day before it happened, Tom Humphrey, or Emphrey, of Basford, came to deponent, said what was going to be done, & asked him to make one, he refused saying, he should get nothing by it, besides he should have to go & return thro’ Nottm & Radford, & thought he should be noticed, he has every reason to believe that Daniel & Joseph Mellors the men now in custody for shooting Lord Middleton's keepers, & Tom Humphrey, were the men; as the night they assembled for the purpose of attacking Cooks house, he heard Mellors telling Diggle his wife was a dam’d open mouthed bitch, & would get them hanged, or words to that effect; deponent knows Diggle’s wife has talked about it—

Various circumstances related by John Blackburn to Mr. Rolleston

The circumstances which first led to his connection with the Luddites was a quarrel at a public house with some of the set, & thinking himself illused he applied to Jos. Mitchel whom he had previously known, for redress, when Mitchell saw the persons he had quarrelled with, he said they were good fellows, he advised him to make it up & join their party, which he agreed to; the first job he ever was at was about 4 or 5 years ago the last job that was done before the act passed, making the offence capital; they met in the fields at the back of Nottm near Sneinton, whilst there ale &c was brought by some of the party, & a quantity of arms, well remembers a great many swords, they proceeded to break the frames at New Sneinton, old Sneinton, & in Trumpet street Nottm; being the first time he was out, was alarmed, & remembers no particulars, except they were nearly shooting a man who would look at them, thinks he was called old Moore; Mitchel Savage, Badder, were of the party, also James Towle & Simpson (who have been executed) & Bamford who was shot at Basford,—At the time the 15th or 9th Lt. Dragoons had new accoutrements whilst quartered at Nott, their old swords were sold, & bought by a man living in the Long Row named Blackwell, & sold by him to a man named Jarratt, who was once a noncommissioned officer in the Nottm militia, who brought them to the Ludds when assembled near Sneinton, for the purpose of breaking the frames—

The Luddites have at this time no regular depot of arms, each man generally has his own which he keeps;

Does not know they are in any way connected with the members of the Hampden Clubs, deponent is not one;

Knows of no organised system for a general disturbance, never heard of such a thing, but some talk of a revolution, does not think any thing particular is meant, is certain he should know were it the case to any extent.

A committee of the Luddites is held at the Unicorn, Pannier close Nottm thinks their books & papers may be kept there, but does not know; thinks Ludding is not conducted with the same spirit it has been; money, which they cannot do without has been scarce, owing to the bad times; when a job was intended money was collected from any one that that would give; it would surprise you to know the many respectable shopkeepers in Nottm who had given money; does not know if they were reduced to do so by fear, or other motives; is certain of the fact; their funds are at this time exhausted; should the men now in custody be executed, is certain it will break up the Ludding system, as they are at this time, the leading men, particularly Savage, & Mitchel who is the most determined & desperate character he knows, Mitchel with either Bamford or Simpson were the persons who shot Mr Trentham; thinks it was Mitchel who fired.

Is certain every effort will be used for his destruction when it is known the part he has taken, a very large body of men can be collected at Nottm & altho’ the actual Ludds may not be so very numerous, yet he is sure in case of any desperate effort being intended, every disaffected or dissatisfied person would join them, & make their force very great; thinks a great effort is most likely to be made at the time he appears at the assizes at Nottm against the men committed for shooting at Cook; "you wont believe me, but I know for certain there are many who will risk their lives by shooting me in Court if they can, as they know if I appear against the men in custody all Ludding will be over & there are many who for money & the good of the trade will do any thing."

at the time Glover & Chettle were tried for the Radford job, there were a great many armed men ready to rescue them, should they have been convicted; at the time Towle was tried at Leicester he deponent was offer’d money to go & shoot the Judge, & rescue the business; he refused, but several went, but owing to the precaution taken, of having those who were not known searched, they dare not come into Court; about 2000 men were to have assembled in the meadows to have murder’d the Judge as he left the town, but as most of them were to come from Hinckley side, they did not arrive in time.

Before me
Lanct. Rolleston
Jany 9th & other days
1817

[On reverse] Blackburn’s full Confession to Mr Rolleston, inclosed in his letter of 5th Feby 1817.

5th February 1817: Lancelot Rolleston says John Blackburn has implicated Daniel Diggle in the shooting of George Kerry

My Lord

I have the honour of forwarding your Lordship the full confession made to me by John Blackburn; the perpetrators of the various outrages he has detailed, are nearly the same as those implicated in destroying machinery at Loughbro’, the case against them in that affair, appears so particularly strong as to leave little doubt of their conviction; should that however not be the case, they may be arraigned on other charges at the Nottingham summer Assizes, which charges, I beg leave to submit to your Lordship the propriety of withholding, till the result of the capital indictment against them at Leicester is known.

Danl. Diggle & Josh Mellors two of the persons mentioned by Blackburn as having attacked Kerry near Aspley, are to take their trial for shooting at Lord Middleton's gamekeepers, a warrant is also out against Thos. Humphrey who was at Radford, & several others for the same offence; John Plumb one of the party who broke the frames at Radford & in Woolpack lane is also in custody, and shall be detained, if any evidence can be obtained against into either of those acts. I understand that Wm. Burton one of the men now in prison at Leicester, is desirous of making disclosure of a framebreaking which occurr’d a short time ago at Bramcote in this County, & which he says was done by a different set of men; I shall see him in a day or two & will transmit to your lordship any information he may think proper lay before me

I have [etc]
Lanct. Rolleston.

Watnall Feby 5th 1817

5th February 1817: The Town Clerk of Leicester suggests a Special Commission to try the 'Loughborough Job' Luddites

Leicester
February 5. 1817

Sir

I beg to acquaint you that the Report as to the Hampden Club proceedings of last Monday night contains nothing of sufficient importance to communicate, but my Agent states that in a conversation with Pares, a Jacobin Printer here, Pares stated that he had circulated several tracts amongst the Soldiers here, particularly the dialogue between the privileged class & the people, & that if he could get money enough he would circulate some thousands amongst them. He added that if they were to rise the best way would be to ascertain all the Soldiers Quarters, & parties of young men to go & seize their arms at once before they could muster, or know what was intended.

I mention these facts merely to shew you the sort of ideas to which this party familiarizes itself, tho’ it may not be seriously intended to act upon them.—

I had the pleasure of attending the examinations & final commitment of 8 Luddites for trial at our County Gaol on Monday, & 2 others who must be admitted evidence, & I strongly advised the Magistrates to apply for a Special Commission to try these men by way of a signal example. I hope His Majesty's Government will acquiesce in the propriety of this step, as the County Gaol is full of Offenders for desperate crimes besides the Luddites, & if all are to be reserved till the Assizes it may appal the stoutest Jury to return so many Verdicts of Guilty where they know Execution must follow Besides which in the trial of so many Luddites the most active exertions & vigilant attention of the police & the public will be required to prevent serious disturbance, & those exertions would be less effectual if divided & harassed by attention to other business.

I hope you will not think me officious in these observations which regard matters not exactly within the pale of my duty:

I have [etc]
Tho: Burbridge
Town Clerk

[To] J.H. Addington Esqr
&c &c &c

5th February 1817: Jeffrey Lockett sends a long letter to the Home Office about the Loughborough Job case

Loughbro’ Feby 4th: [1817]

Sir

I had the honour to receive your letter of the 17th Inst, giving me the welcome intelligence, that Lord Sidmouth had been pleased to recommend to the Treasury, the payment of the 500 [guineas], offered in the names of Messrs Heathcoat, and Boden, as a reward for the apprehension and conviction of James Towle; and I am now authorized by those gentlemen, to request that you will do them the favour, to present their most grateful thanks to His Lordship for his kind consideration of their case. Since my return from Holkar, I have consulted Mr. Mundy, and other magistrates of this county, and the magistrates of Nottingham, and have their approbation of the following distribution of the reward. It is proposed to give

To Benjamin Barnes, a Nottingham Police officer who apprehended James Towle, and gave important evidence on the trial, & has incurred great personal danger 150 [guineas]

To John Sherwin, and John Webster, two of Messrs Heathcoat and Bodens workmen, who gave information to Barnes, and afterwards identified the prisoner, and conducted themselves before the Magistrates, and on the trial, with great propriety, as witnesses, each 100 [guineas]

To James Lawson (a Nottm Police officer) who also gave evidence and is proscribed by the Luddites 50 [guineas]

To John Asher, Mrs Sylvester and Mrs Mackie who gave evidence each 20 [guineas]

To Henry Newton and Saml White, two Police officers, 15 [guineas] each

To Mr Enfields secret informer 10 [guineas]

[Total] 500 [guineas]

The money will be very acceptable to the parties, who are to receive it, and I shall be much obliged to you, if you will be pleased to inform me, when and in what manner it is to be paid.

On the 21st Ult. I addressed a letter to Mr Beckett from Holkar, in which I apprized him of my intended return to Derby on the 27th, and expressed a wish, that I might find a letter from him on my arrival, with an undertaking on the part of Government to indemnify Messrs Heathcoat and Boden, acquaint the defence of instigating the charges [against] the Luddites lately apprehended, and the prosecution of them. It might be owing to Mr Beckett's absence from town, that my request has not been complied with and that my letter remains unanswered. But after the assurance which I received from you, when I had the honour of seeing you in town, I did not hesitate to comply with Mr Mundys request, and repeated solicitations, whilst I was at Holkar— but proceeded without stopping in Derby on the 27th, two meet Mr Mundy here. From that day to the present hour, I have been incessantly engaged with him and other magistrates in the examinations of the prisoners,—searching after the offenders who are at large,—investigating the accounts given from time to time by those who are in custody,—tracing all their movements, as described by Blackburn, and endeavouring to procure evidence to confirm his information. When Mr Mundy transmitted to you the copy of Blackburns confession, he was not aware of Mr Rolleston not having sent you a copy of J Blackburns information, but ‘ere now you will have received one from him. The information was taken by Mr Rolleston; but I am now in possession of a much more particular, and satisfactory narrative which I took from his mouth, on Wednesday last at Nottm. As soon as I reach home, a copy of it, upon which I will make the confirmation which it will receive, shall be prepared for Lord Sidmouth and I entertain no doubt, but that his Lordship will be of opinion, that the evidence of the accomplice will be so confirmed, as to be entitled to full credit with the [illegible].

I met Mr Mundy and several other magistrates yesterday at Leicester, when the prisoners were finally examined. Thomas Savage, William Towle, Jos. Mitchell, William Withers, Samuel Cordwell, John Amos and John Crowder, and John Blackburn, on the information of Mr H. Boden, Mrs Silvester, John Blackburn; and William Burton, on the same information, and his own confession, were committed for trial for framebreaking, and shooting [at], or being present, and aiding in the shooting at John Asher, Mrs Silvester, and Mrs Rushworth, in the night of the 28th June last, at Loughbro’, and John Slater, who you will be recollect was tried at the last assizes, and James Towle, for shooting and aiding in the shooting at John Asher, was committed on the same information for framebreaking, and shooting at Mrs Silvester, and Mrs Rushworth.

I have the pleasure to add that Blackburn met his late confederates, and heard their denial of his charge—and their recrimination of him, with great firmness, and conducted himself [throughout] the examinations in a very becoming manner. I mention this, because it is possible that either from Mr Mundy or and Mr Enfield, Lord Sidmouth may have received a different account of this mans behaviour. There was a wish in him in his first examinations, to conceal certain parts of his own, and every thing relating to his brothers conduct in the Loughbro’ affair. He was offered, that if it was discovered, that he was the person who shot Asher, he [should] not be permitted to give evidence for the Crown. But on Wednesday, he disclosed this secret to me, and from that time his accounts have been consistent, and his general deportment materially improved.

It will be decided by the court of Kings Bench, probably in the present term, whether Lace frames are engines within the meaning of the act of the 52. Geo.3. C 130, as a case out of this county (Orgill [against] Smith) is before that court on this Question. If Lace frames are such engines, the demolition of Messrs Heathcote and Boden's frames, under the circumstances of that outrage; will subject all the prisoners to a capital charge under that statute; otherwise, it is to be feared that Slater will be indictable only for a transportable offence, as the shooting at Mrs Silvester, and Mrs Rushworth, appears to have done, more to intimidate than to murder them, or do them bodily harm. The rest of the party are clearly liable to the capital charge of having been present, and aided in shooting at John Asher.

Savage was inclined yesterday to confess. He took me apart, and said he could tell me of the three men who had collected money for the Loughbro’ Job,—and of the advice, as council men who had negotiated the [business] with him. I am perceiving that you are well acquainted with the Luddites system; the constituent branches of the conspiracy,—their mode of proceeding when an outrage is proposed;—and their method of effecting it. It would be of vast significance, to bring to capital punishment, a proposer, and a subscriber to an outrage—and an advice, or council man. The destruction of Messrs Heathcote and Boden's frames, was undoubtedly projected by men in their own, but principally in Mr Lacey's factory at this place, who have long been subscribers to the Luddite purse, and made a special subscription for this particular Job. Badder and other advice men from Nottm received their proposals, and planned the affair. Savage was introduced into the plot, as the General of the party, which he selected for the attack,—and he of course knows the whole, and every person—in any manner concerned with in it. If Blackburn had not anticipated him, Savage would have been the best witness for the Crown; but as the [business] now stands, it appears to Mr Mundy, and I am decidedly of the opinion, that no terms can be made with him.

The county, and other goals in Leicester, are already so crowded, that Blackburn and Burton, tho’ it was much wished to have kept them apart, were obliged to be lodged in the same cell;—and that, by no means a secure one, against nocturnal attack, notwithstanding the guard at the Prison. Lord Sidmouth will receive a representation upon this subject from some of the Magistrates.—I think it right also, that his Lordship should be informed, however absurd the [outcome] was, that an attack of the Leicester goal, with a view to the rescue of James Towle, at the last assizes, was certainly projected, by his Nottinghamshire associates. Cooperation was expected from Hinckley, and other towns in Leicestershire, and meetings were held in the night, in the fields near Leicester Abbey to consider the [business]. But sufficient numbers could not be collected; and a difference of opinion arose, between those who were assembled as to the mode of proceeding. The intended assassination of the Judge, which originated at Nottingham was also meant to have been perpetrated as he left Leicester. Men were actually prepared, and on the road to have effected it, but they were deterred by there being three carriages either with or men that of his Lordship.—I am fully aware, how absurd, and imporbable these designs must appear to those who are not well acquainted with the demoralized state of the town, and neighbourhood of Nottingham, and the audacity of this particular class of people.—Yet I have no doubt whatever as to the truth of the statements.

At Leicester, the High Sheriff informed the magistrates, that there are already thirty persons committed for trial on capital charges, at the next assizes, beside others for minor offences. The trial of Towle, and Slater at the last assizes occupied fourteen hours, only three of which were taken up by the prosecutors. But the prosecutors case upon the approaching trials, will be very long indeed, from the great extent of the confirmatory evidence,—and if each Luddite prisoner sets up a separate alibi, and character defence, according to their late practice, it will be impossible for one judge, to go thro’ the calendar in less than treble the time usually [adequate] for holding the assizes. I presume to make this observation, that it may be communicated to the Judge, if thought right, or other arrangements be made to meet the exigency.

Lord Sidmouth apprized, that the outrage at Loughbro’ was perpetrated by 17 Luddites, of whom one has been executed: ten are now in custody, and the remaining six are a large—That these 17 men are more than a majority of this branch of the conspiracy, and that they are the most active, and desperate of the whole party, is now ascertained; for there has not been an outrage of any importance since the year 1812, in which they have been sometimes not been the only parties, but always or the principal persons concerned. The execution of James Towle has been of infinite use,—and I entertain a confident hope, grounded on what I have just stated, that the successful termination of the trials which are now about to take place;—the severe punishment of such as may be convicted, and an act of parliament to make it a capital felony to break lace stocking frames or any other engines as such—in manufactories will completely extinguish Luddism.

Of the six men; who are large, one (John Disney otherwise Sheepshead Jack, as, according to James Towles statement, Sheepshead Joe) is charged with being concerned with Crofts, now in the Leicester goal for a capital felony, and absconded three or four months ago.—It is said that he has left the Kingdom.—Another of them, called Little Sam, was taken up at Nottm about 4 months since, as a deserter from Artillery, by the name of John Smith, and, it is said, was sent to the Isle of Wight. He probably might readily be met with.—Respecting the remaining four, there is no certain information; tho’ from their want of money, and the support which will be given to them in this neighbourhood, it is most probable, that they are at no great distance. Whether any exertion should be made to find out, and take these men, is a proper subject for immediate consideration. I presume to give my opinion, that they should be advertized with the offer of a reward for the apprehension of each offender. Tho’ the direct object of the advertizement, might not be gained by it, it would at least shew the public, that there is no relaxation in the pursuit of these villains,—and if it does not lead to the detection and punishment of them, It will at least prevent their return to their remaining associates. But if this step is to be taken, it must be under Lord Sidmouths express directions. I have hitherto acted, and incurred considerable expence without any authority except from Mr Mundy and the other magistrates. My knowledge of the circumstances of Messrs Heathcote & Boden, excludes the expectation of pecuniary aid from that quarter—and if they were [sufferable] to bear the expence, it could hardly be expected that they or any other individuals should be charged with the expence of suffering Luddism, altho’ they are the principal sufferers from it. But tho’ it would have been satisfactory to me to have received an answer to my letter to Mr Beckett on this point, as I have before observed I feel entire confidence in the verbal assurance which I received from you, & upon which I have acted.

Long as my letter, and I ought to apologize to you on this account, there are yet many matters which have come to my knowledge, in the course of the late and the present investigations which I wish to represent to Lord Sidmouth, but it will probably be necessary for me, if the management of the prosecutions is committed to my charge, to confer with the Counsel for the Crown before they leave town for the circuits,—and I will take that or some other opportunity of introducing myself to his Lordship. I have only to add that in the part which I have taken throughout this [illegible] I have been influenced by no consideration of professional emolument, but from a desire to lend my feeble exertions toward the suppression of the Luddite system;—and that if any other solicitor, is proposed to succeed me in this office, I shall most cheerfully resign it,—and at the same time give him my gratuitous assistance.

I have the honour to be
Sir
Your most obedt humble Servt
Mr Jefferey Lockett

P.S. I have been so interrupted whilst I have been writing that I can could not finish my letter till this morning—& the mail has now left Loughbro’

Wednesday 5th Feby

Saturday, 4 February 2017

4th February 1817: Charles Mundy informs the Home Secretary that 9 Luddites have been committed for trial

Burton february 4th 1817

My Lord

I have the Honour to inform your lordship that yesterday the following persons were finally committed for trial. Savage Thomas Savage, Joshua Mitchell, John Slater, John Crowther alias Crowder. John Amos William Withers William Towle, Samuel Caldwell, alias Calder, on the deposition of John Blackburn, William Burton & John Blackburn were of course committed on their own confessions. the moment the very long deposition of Blackburn (which is now more fully made out than the short one on which I have hitherto acted & which I had the honour of transmitting to your Lordship) is copied I shall have the Honour of laying it before your Lordship.—The confirmatory evidence will be extremely voluminous & more strong and perfect in a complete chain than I have ever recollected to have met with under similar circumstances.—This I shall do myself the Honour of  transmitting to your Lordship as I collect it if it is your Lordships pleasure I should do so. it must, as I observed before, be collected by degrees: with great caution.—a prosecution of this nature cannot be carried on with any hope of success without very considerable expence. the evidence going to be searched for at Nottingham & the adjacent villages. on all roads leading from Nottingham to Loughborough, and at Loughborough & the villages contiguous thereto. many witnesses must also be brought from Tiverton in Devonshire to which place Heathcote and Boden have removed with most of their confidential workmen. I take the liberty of naming these circumstances to your Lordship is a question naturally arises as to the means whereby these expences are to be defrayed.—as far as the business has gone I ventured to act [given] the importance of the case & the necessity of prompt exertion I have of course been obliged to apply for information and the means of obtaining [confession] of the persons of the prisoners to the very active & will well [arranged] police at Nottingham. I am speaking merely of the Police & have receiv’d the most active & zealous assistance from Mr. Enfield the Town Clerk who is officially the superintendent of it. Mr. Lockett of Derby who is agent & solicitor to Heathcote & Boden I was likewise necessitated to apply to for various documents in his possession and it is impossible for any thing to have exceeded his seal & activity in this business since his arrival. I shall be oblig’d to seek assistance from Mr. Cradock of Loughborough in the progress of the collecting the evidence. Hitherto I have I have performd nearly the whole of the business with the evidence in the neighbourhood of Loughborough myself but some assistance will certainly be required between in this time & the assizes.—It is for this reason that I presume to state to your Lordship the necessity of it being known whether any pecuniary assistance is to be expected from his Majesties Government. and also whether my [illegible] for the apprehending such as the Gang as one not at present in custody should be held out

Hill & Disney are notorious persons as Luddites and it would be an object to get hold of them the others are perhaps of less consequence. the man calld little Sam will easily be discovered being gone under escort to the depot at the Isle of Wight. your lordship will see when the whole of the information derivd from Blackburn & Burton is laid before you that the persons now in custody and those who have absconded have been the leading people in all the destructive practices, known in this part of the kingdom by the title of Ludding, for some years.—

I have [etc]
C.G. Mundy

[To] The Right Honourable
The Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

2nd February 1817: Lancelot Rolleston tells the Home Secretary that Charles Mundy has not sent the full confession of John Blackburn

My Lord

I have just heard with what surprise from Mr. Mundy that the confession made to me by John Blackburn, has never been forwarded to your Lordship; at the time it was taken down, Mr. Enfield Town clerk of Nottingham who was present, requested the original, intimating a fair copy should immediately be made out & transmitted to your Lordship; this from Mr. Addington's letter to Mr. Mundy of the 31st never could have taken place, & I have truly to regret, any part of this business was trusted to the habits of any one, who however sanguine for its success, must I fear have involved me in your Lordships opinion, in unpardonable neglect.

As Mr. Mundy as by this days post transmitted your Lordship that part of Blackburn's examination relative to the outrage of Loughbro’, I think I need only forward what applies to other matters, & which I will immediately do, upon obtaining the original document which as yet has never been returned to me.

I have [etc]
Lanct. Rolleston

Burton
Feby 2d

2nd February 1817: Lancelot Rolleston sends information about other suspected Luddites to the Home Secretary

My Lord,

The two men mentioned in your Lordships letter of the 22nd, as having been concern’d with the framebreakers of Nottm, I have long here acquainted with; some time ago, an information was laid against Langley, whose name is Thomas, and not James, for breaking the frames of Brough, of Nottingham, which he was at that time working himself; but, as it was merely by an accomplice, I took no further steps, than by endeavouring to obtain some corroborative evidence; this I yesterday learnt I was likely to succeed in, from two young men, at that time his apprentices, who were in the house when he broke the frames, & have since said, they saw all and would inform against him; these persons I have sent for & should they answer my wishes, Langley shall immediately be apprehended. I am not aware Charles Severns has ever taken an active part with the Luddites, but he keeps what is called a Lobby house where he harbours persons of the worst characters, and sells liquors without a licence; several informations for this offence, have lately been laid against him, but the magistrates who acted, probably not aware of his character, mitigated the penalties to the utmost, otherwise he would not have had the power of offending he now possesses. John Blackburn is removed this day to Leicester; I am going to meet Mr. Mundy & your Lordship may depend upon hearing from one of us, when any thing material occurs.

I cannot express to your Lordship the gratification I feel at having obtained the approbation of his Majesty's Government, & I beg to assure your Lordship, no exertions on my part will I trust ever be found wanting, in discharging the duties of a magistrate for this County.

I have [etc]
Lanct. Rolleston

Watnall
Feby 2nd, 1817

[To: Lord Sidmouth]

2nd February 1817: Charles Mundy sends John Blackburn's confession to the Home Secretary

Burton Febry 2nd 1817

My Lord

I have the honour to transmit a copy of the confession of John Blackburn taken by Mr. Rolleston agreeable to your Lordships commands.—This is the only deposition that has as yet been taken of the statement of this man & your Lordship will observe that it agrees with that of Burton in every instance where they have spoken of what they were both eyewitnesses to. though they differ in some points where the information of one or perhaps both has arisen from hearsay.—they have never had any intercourse & were but little acquainted. circumstances occasioned Blackburn to be the first to confess & therefore we were as your Lordship knows glad to avail ourselves of the only opportunity that then appeared making discoveries at all.—it is now to be lamented that the first to discover the guilt of his accomplices was not one like Burton less deeply implicated than John Blackburn at the same time I doubt not but the latter will be able to give us much more information of other depredations of the kind than Burton as he declares he never was concerned in more than one job as it is termed besides the Loughborough transaction of which I shall get a particular account from him & transmit to your Lordship. at present I have been too much engaged in collecting evidence to inform the accomplices & in which I have further been very successful.—as all the witnesses are unwilling either from fear of this Gang or from friendly feelings to them the collecting Evidence is a most difficult as well as the Laborious business. it is necessary to act with great caution & to apply to them privately & with [regard] to proper opportunity much injury would arise from an injudicious approbation.—Blackburn is to be brought here this morning on his way to Leicester & tomorrow I proceed thither to commit for trial. I have delay’d his letter to the last moment in the hope that Blackburns arrival would enable me to transmit to your Lordship a more particular copy of what he says but as one of the Officers from Nottingham is just arrived & says Blackburn will not be here if at least an hour I am under the necessity of sending this deposition as it is directly from fear of losing this days post. I have the Honour to remain

My Lord Your Lordships most obedient
very Humble Servant
C.G. Mundy

[To] The Rt Honourable
The Secretary of State for the Home Department

[Before] 2nd February 1817: John Blackburn's confession

The Voluntary Confession of John Blackburn of Nottingham Framework Knitter – taken before me Lancelot Rolston Esq. one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Nottingham

Who Saith

That about a week before the Job at Loughborough one William Withers of Nottingham framework knitter came to him then living at Lambley and said they meaning the Luddites wanted him and two more, for a Job that he should have his expences paid and there would be Forty pound for it. it was to take place the next friday night and was to be at Loughboro. Deponent in Company with Aaron Dakin and a man whose name he did not know but who is called Little Sam and now sent to the Isle of Wight as a Deserter and Samuel Caldwell alias the Dragoon remained wandering about the Country and staid two nights at a Public House at Beeston either the Dunham Ox or next door to it the Landlady charged them nothing for Lodging or only twopence two nights remained at Kings Head Narrow Marsh Nottingham they paid the Landlord 6d. each the reason they kept in the lower part of the Town was because Thomas Savage told them they must not be seen in the upper part thinks they had all been at the house before but does not know that the Landlord named Barker or any of his family knew them as they were all Tramps.

Little Sam & Aaron Dakin remained in the Kitchen all the Evening but deponent & Caldwell went out.—thinks that Little Sam must have been known at Beeston as he had worked at the Town & that the others had been used to go to the house thinks it was a Widow who kept the House she was a jolly woman—.The next day they parted leaving Sam & Caldwell alias big Sam alias the Dragoon & little Sam in Beeston. deponent and Dakin went together to Hathern they got some Ale at a house on the road thinks it was the Anchor at Hathern [Inn] did not see the Landlord the Ale was served by an Old woman—they there parted deponent went to Loughboro’ & Dakin according to Savages previous orders went to Sheepshead to fetch John Disney alias Sheepshead Jack. it was on Thursday the day before the Job he got to Loughboro’ according to appointment met Savage at the sign of the Pack Horse the Landlord at the Pack Horse served him with some Ale as soon as he had finished it he left the room and Savage followed him according to previous agreement and went from thence to Tom Tylers the Sign of the White Lion in Swan Street there met according Savage must be known to the Landlord having been at Loughboro’ some days at that House & at the Duke of York—at the White Lion there met according to appointment Sheepshead Jack and Aaron Dakin deponent knew the Landlord who also knew him—he then went with Savage to buy some Beef Steaks which they bought at a Butchers Shop small distance from the Blacks Head. brought the Steaks and had part of them cooked at Tylers did not stay to eat them as Savage told them it would not do to stay there as they might be noticed—he took him to the Duke of York Public House thinks the Landlord knew Savage.—he then according to Savage directions about ten o'clock went back to Tylers and took Disney & Aaron Dakin who went with him to Mount Sorrell Hill where Stone is got for the roads and brought away with them a great Hammer of thirty pound, two about 12 pound & an Iron Crow. then returned to Loughboro’ leaving the tools in a ditch just before they came to Needleys Inn. they all three slept in a Cart in the outskirts of the Town—About Six o'clock he went to the Duke of York found Savage there and breakfasted with him the other two Disney & Dakin were sent back to the White Lion Tom Tylers dining the day took Savage to see the Tools but as two then appeared to be watching had not time to look for them as Deponent & Savage ran away and the men pursued them—thinks it was about 3 o'clock they first went down a Lane towards a Windmill then crossed the Canal at a Bridge & went towards Hoton about a mile before they came to the Nottingham road they parted Savage sent deponent to Hathern to meet Caldwell & Little Sam coming from Beeston & Disney & Aaron Dakin who had gone there from Loughboro during the day and to bring them to Loughborough. they were not ready to come as the Hatchets they brought with them wanted new Handles which the Ploughmaker at Hathern was doing for them. they had not money enough to pay for them he was sent back to Loughboro’ to get some from Savage—met him and Jack Amos about a mile before he got to Loughboro’ who went back nearly to Hathern and gave enough to pay for the Hatchets and 3 Shillings between every two for expences for the Night—Deponent Savage & Amos came first towards Loughboro’ leaving Caldwell & Little Sam Aaron & Disney near the Town Aron with either Disney or Little Sam went & paid he thinks 2 [shillings] for the Hatchets they were quite new and heard it said Will Withers had bought them but does not know where. when they got near Loughboro’ Savage told [deponent] he must not now go into the Town being well known but must go back to Hathern and tell the men there the Tools must not be brought into the Town till the Job was ready they hid them in a Sough under the foot path Big Sam & I went to the White Lion Aaron Dakin Little Sam & Dakin to the Green Man where they had Supper either Beefsteaks or Mutton Chops Deponent & Big Sam had Cold meat at Tylers—whilst their Savage & another thinks Hill came & asked Tyler to lend him a Bottle to put some Rum in which he bought about a quart & said if he would not lend him the bottle he would pay for it thinks Tyler lent it him—Savage then went out deponent followed & was sent by Savage to the Green Man to fetch those there who were eating their supper in a quarter of an hour they found him in the road it was between 11 & 12—they were instructed by Savage to proceed on the Ashby Road until they came to a House near the Turnpike and turned down a Lane where they assembled the party consisted of himself Big Sam Little Sam Dakin Disney Savage Hill Jos. Mitchel Jack Slater John Amos John Crowther William Withers Bill Towle James Towle Bill Burton & a Chap whom he did not know—whilst in the Lane they disguised themselves in various ways—and all tied their Handkerchiefs over their faces—Slater Some changed Coats & others turned their own inside out Slater had Big Sams Smock frock on—Mitchell his own Coat turned and a Handkerchief over his face

between Loughboro’ & Hathern where he first met Amos deponent had asked him how long he had been come he said not long being asked who were coming he said Jos. was with him on the Coach. that they had passed some on foot Bill Towle & he thinks Bill Burton thinks Crowther & Slater walked & Hill came by the Coach Withers walked James Towle walked thinks some of them Bill Towle & Burton & Withers stopped at the Ship at Rempstone they had Pistols in the inside Great Coat pockets and heard some of the party after say that a Labouring man saw them and fetched either the Landlord or his Master to look at them who looked at them over a Screen And Said Something to them wishing to know what their Pistols were for they left Rempstone & went on to the Ball at Hoton where Bill Towle was sick. is not certain whether this or [illegible] at Rempstone or Hoton Bill Towle had a great Coat on—the above named persons went from the Lane above mentioned directly to the Factory they met a man going to the factory they threatened if he did not get them quietly admitted he should suffer for it he rang a Bell the door was open & they rushed in—a great dog flew at them & James Towle shot him Bill Towle struck at him first but the Hatchet flew out of his hand—they cried out this "push forward" deponent staid at the Corner of the factory till he heard they were in the room where the Guard was placed while entering the door he heard a Pistol going off and wished to retreat but some one said he would blow his brains out if he did not go forward—which he then did does not know who this was soon after he was placed Sentry at the door of the factory upon their going up to the top Shop he was called & placed Sentry over the men in the first floor Shop—whilst there he saw them go into the top Shop—Hill armed with his Pistols went first. Mitchell with his Pistols next—he was called to go up & went with an Axe & broke some of the frames. Mitchel soon went down to see all was right and returned with a Gun & a Bayonet and asked them saying "Ned have you done your duty work well" and went & examined the frames Some one replied "yes it was a Waterloo Job by God" Rodney alias Bill Towle was going to pocket some Lace and Hill said "we are not come to rob but for the good of the Trade if ever I see you up to that again I will blow out your brains" he took it away from him & burnt it on the floor they all broke the frames in turn upon going out of the factory several of them went to shake hands with Asher who was shot whilst [deponent] was guarding the outer door he told them to be off that he might have a Doctor—when the Pistols were fired at Rushforth’s & Sylvesters House he was at the factory but heard Caldwell say he fired and that a Curtain was set on fire—As soon as they had left the factory they fired 20 or 30 Pistols & Guns and set off home they went by Garenden Park he knows little of the road till he got to Kingston village which place he remembers from having asked for some water as he came—a Powder flask was taken from the factory by Caldwell but Savage Mitchel & Hill saying it might lead to discovery he broke in to pieces saying no one should keep it if he didn't. one Gun was thrown into the Canal just as they Crossed the bridge coming towards Nottingham—it was thrown in by Caldwell near Kingston they saw a man at Plough who looked at them he was told to go about his business—they then went to a Boat which they found by the Trent but it would not carry them over the Ware—they then went lower down & came to another Boat but being [tired] lagged behind Deponent was one of the persons who went over in the first party Savage paid for the whole he saw two men on the other side when they got over he heard some of the party say "Damn that fat fellow I know him and he knows me but he does say nought when they got over the Trent they took off their disguises soon after they all parted deponent & Caldwell & Little Sam & Aaron Dakin went together & were instructed by Savage to go to the Fox at New Snenton where he should have some money to be there about 10 o'clock when they got to Beeston Caldwell & Aaron went on first himself & Little Sam stopped at the old house and got a Cup of Ale between 4 & 5 in the morning & then went to Lenton and stopped at the wrestlers and had a Cup of Ale he left little Sam saying if he did not come back in 3 hours he was to come to him to the Fox he did so & they found Caldwell & Dakin there before him being [tired] with waiting he went to see for Savage whom he met near the house he gave them ten Shillings each & does not know where he got the money but it is almost sure from Loughboro’ After the frames in which he works were broken at Lambley he was sent by Badder and Henry Crowse at Loughborough Badder told him that when he came through Loughboro’ after his Trial Pounder had behaved well to him & as deponent had been at the Loughboro’ Job he thought he would assist him—he went but he did not see him

As soon as he got the money from Savage he and Aaron went home he thinks it was one of the Guards who had Little Sam taken before the Magistrates as a Deserter. the Soldier lived at the Lion & Lamb.