Friday, 29 January 2016

29th January 1816: Tipton Colliers win concessions after holding mass assemblies

On Monday 29th January 1816, and following riots in nearby Dudley three days earlier, the mere assembly of Colliers in Tipton led to concessions. The Derby Mercury of 1st February 1816 carried a report:
The neighbourhood of Tipton was on Monday morning alarmed by the collecting together several hundreds of Colliers. About two o'clock the military quartered in Wolverhampton were sent for, and a troop of the 9th Light Dragoons, and a detachment of Berkshire Militia, accompanied by the Rev. A. B. Haden, immediately proceeded to the spot, where they were met by the Rev. D. Lewis, another Magistrate, with a military force from Birmingham. The Colliers have not committed any acts of violence, and they all not only professed, but evinced a disposition to act in the most orderly manner, by dispersing, after being reasoned with and desired to do so. The motive for their collecting, they said, was to resist a further drop of sixpence per day in their wages, by their chaster masters. A satisfactory arrangement was made with them, and they have returned to their employment.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

26th January 1816: Colliers riot in Dudley, West Midlands

On Friday 26th January 1816, major disturbances took place in the town of Dudley, in the West Midlands. The Derby Mercury of 1st February 1816 carried a report:
We regret to add, that the vicinity of Dudley has also, during the last week, been disturbed by illegal and riotous assemblages of colliers, who have in several instances proceeded to acts of atrocious and unprovoked violence.—It appears from an advertisement in Aris’s Birmingham Gazette, that an assault of the most outrageous nature was on Friday made, by a party of these misguided men, upon the person of a respectable gentleman in the neighbourhood of that town. We are happy to find that a liberal reward has been offered for the apprehension of the offenders, and we trust they will be speedily given up to justice. A large party of colliers, armed with sticks and bludgeons, passed through Dudley on Friday evening, on their way towards Tipton. They halted opposite the town hall, where having given several shouts of defiance, accompanied by signs of resistance should they be interrupted, they proceeded forward. Military aid reached on the following morning (Saturday) from Coventry; and we hope, under the able guidance of the magistracy, they will effectually intimidate them from further acts of excess.
The Lancaster Gazette of 10th February 1816 went into more detail about the 'outrageous assault' on the 'respectable gentleman':
A few days since a mob of colliers assembled in the vicinity of Dudley, and seizing a Mr. Parker, put a rope round his neck, and threatened to hang him, unless he acceded to their demands. 
The Leeds Mercury of the same date related the same incident, albeit with slightly differing detail:
...a party attacked Mr. Zephaniah Parkes, near Holly Hall, put a rope round his neck and threatened to hang him, unless he acceded to their illegal demands

Friday, 22 January 2016

22nd January 1816: The Chief Secretary to the Treasury replies again to Francis Raynes

Treasury-Chambers, 22d January, 1816.


I have received your letter of the 5th inst. and I am induced to trouble you with this in reply to it, rather to satisfy your fears of your letter being thrown aside, than because I have any information to communicate. When you wrote to me in November, I was absent from this country, which was the cause of my not writing to you. Since my return, I was at first very unwell, and since then, I have been so much occupied by my official duties, that I have not had one moment of leisure to give to applications such as yours: but I can now assure you, that I will take an early opportunity of speaking to Lord Sidmouth about you, and that, when I have any intelligence that may be agreeable to communicate, you may depend upon hearing from me.

I am, Sir,

Your faithful humble Servant,


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

20th January 1816: Fire at a Scribbling Mill in Leeds, 'cause not yet ascertained'

The Leeds Mercury of Saturday 27th January 1816 reported a fire that had taken place in Leeds the week previously:
Saturday morning, about half-past 3 o'clock, an alarming fire broke out in the manufactory of Messrs. Glovers, in Park-Lane, in this town, from some cause not yet ascertained, The flames spread with such destructive rapidity, that in less than an hour, the scribbling-mill in which the fire originated, with all the machinery, was totally destroyed, and for some time the most serious apprehensions were entertained for the adjoining buildings, but at 6 o'clock the fire was happily got under, and the dwelling-house, and warehouse, with the engine-house, all adjoining, were preserved. It affords us pleasure to add that the stock, machinery, and buildings were insured in the Royal-Exchange office. Providentially the morning was extremely calm, and to this circumstance, combined with the most active exertions of the inhabitants; the preservation of  any part of this extensive property is to be attributed.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

19th January 1816: 19 men imprisoned for machine-breaking in Suffolk in 1815

On Friday 19th January 1816, the Cambridge Chronicle carried reports from two recent Quarter Sessions in the county, where cases of machine breaking that had taken place in Suffolk in 1815 were dealt with.

At the Ipswich Quarter Sessions 12 men (4 more than were initially charged) were tried for destroying a threshing machine at Holbrook, Suffolk the previous August:
At Ipswich sessions, Daniel Grimwood, Thomas Seager, Joseph Cook, Martin Gosling, ____ Sells, John Driver, Jerry Lucas, ____ Bayley, Robert Payne, Samuel Page, Robert Page, and S. Turner, were indicted for appearing in a riotous manner in the parish of Holbrook, on the 3d of August last, and there breaking and destroying a threshing machine, the property of John Roper, of Wilby.—Mr. Stocks, for the prosecutions, insisted upon the urgent necessity of supporting the laws, and after the evidence, which was full and conclusive, had been gone through, the prisoners were called upon for their defence, but they had little to urge except the difficulty of gaining employment, which they attributed to the use of machines.—Several persons were called, who gave them excellent characters. The Jury brought in the whole Guilty, and the sentence of the Court was,  that Grimwood, Seager, Cook, and Gosling should be imprisoned for twelve calendar months; Sells and two others, for nine months, and the remainder of the prisoners for six months.
At Woodbridge Quarter Sessions, a total of 7 men were tried for destroying 3 threshing machines in disturbances that had involved a total of 100 people the previous November:
At the quarter sessions at Woodbridge, Edmund Prime, Wm. Garnham, Wm. Bannister, John Abbott, Wm. Barker, and Thos, Stevens, charged with breaking machines in the parishes of Kenton and [Monk]-soham, and also for subsequent riot and misdemeanour, were found Guilty, and ordered to be imprisoned twelve months in the county gaol.—John Brunwin, for the like offence, was sentenced to be imprisoned six months in the same gaol.—It is much to be hoped that these necessary examples will have the effect of preventing such excesses for the future—excesses not only disastrous to the objects of them, but ruinous to the perpetrators.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

17th January 1816: Cloth belonging to Wormald, Gott & Wormald damaged in Leeds

Some time in the evening of Wednesday 17th January 1816, some cloth upon the tenters at the Park Lane factory of Wormald, Gott & Wormald was cut and damaged. The subsequent reward notice gave more detail:

One Hundred Guineas.
Tenters Cut. 
WHEREAS, late last Night, or early this Morning, some Person or Persons, did wilfully and maliciously CUT TWO PIECES of COARSE MIXTURE CLOTH, in various Directions, on the Tenters in the Front of Mr. Gott's House, in Park-Lane, Leeds, the Property of Messrs. Wormald, Gott and Wormald, of Leeds, Merchants. 
F Whoever will give Information of the Offender or Offenders shall, upon Conviction, receive a Reward of NINETY GUINEAS from the said Messrs. Wormald, Gott and Wormald; and a further Reward of TEN GUINEAS, at Mr. Smith's Office, Trinity-Lane, Leeds. 
Leeds, 17th January, 1816.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

16th January 1816: The Leeds Cloth Dressers Union case comes to court

On Tuesday 16th January 1816, the case of the Union Officers arrested and charged with aiding and abetting an illegal combination (i.e. Trade Union) by Leeds Magistrates in December was heard at Leeds Borough Quarter Sessions. The Leeds Mercury of 20th January 1816 gave a good summary of the proceedings:

TILLOTSON, SUNDERLAND, & OTHERS, Appellants, REX, Respondent
The Appellants, who are cloth-dressers, were convicted on Tuesday, the 19th of December last, by Whittell York, Esq. Mayor, and Thomas Ikin, Esq. on a charge of combining to hinder Messrs. Oates and Hardisty, cloth-merchants, of this town, from employing Thomas Marshall, as a cloth-dresser. Mr. Williams, who came from Preston for the purpose of sustaining the appeal, had been especially retained by the Appellants at a very considerable expence. His assistance, however, turned out to be unnecessary, as Mr. Maud, who was Counsel in support of the Conviction, stated to the bench that it was impossible the conviction could be legally sustained, as the Magistrates before whom the the conviction had taken place had no jurisdiction in the case, the act having especially provided, "that no Justice, being a master in any trade or manufacture, concerning which any offence is charged to have been committed should act in execution thereof." On this ground Mr. Maud said, the conviction must necessarily be quashed, for if that Court should affirm it, the Court of King's Bench would, would, under the circumstances of the case set such conviction aside. He concluded with moving that the conviction be quashed, to which the Court of course assented.—Conviction quashed.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

10th January 1816: The Duke of Montrose continues to stall Francis Raynes' hopes

Windsor, 10th Jan. 1816.


I have received your letter of the 5th January. I informed you I was acquainted with the existing difficulty to your remuneration being obtained, namely—the difficulty of the Secretary of State to find a situation for you. This you do not seem to give credit to; but this I believe, and was convinced from the beginning, that to reward was the intention of Lord Sidmouth or he would not have said so. I shall again mention your name to his Lordship, and should have sent your letter to him, but that I thought the last part of it looked so like a threat, that I conceived it might do you an injury.

I remain, with esteem, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,


Capt. Raynes.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

5th January 1816: Francis Raynes makes more desperate enquiries about his case

Having now heard nothing from the government about the possibility of a job or remuneration for his services during the Luddite disturbances for over 4 months, Francis Raynes wrote again to both the government and his former commanding officer on the same day:
Three months after [receiving the letter from Lord Sidmouth], hearing of the vacancy of a situation in the customs, and not willing to let my age become an additional difficulty in the way of remuneration, I immediately made application to the Secretary of the Treasury, and then, after waiting a considerable time longer, I once more addressed myself to the Duke of Montrose, and, likewise, to Mr. Arbuthnot. 
Fenton, 5th of January, 1816. 
I had the honor to address you a letter, dated 10th November, on the subject of a remuneration for my past services. I should not have taken such a liberty, had I not considered myself as having been referred to you by His Majesty’s Government. Not being honoured by a reply, I am led to infer that what I have suggested is unsuitable. 
I would not be thought troublesome or obtrusive, but, at the expiration of three years, it is natural I should wish the suspense I have been kept in terminated. 
It would, Sir, be a great relief to me, to be informed what my prospects from the Government are, and when, if ever, I may expect a realisation of them; for is, after such a lapse of time, a remuneration for acknowledged services, rendered, to use my Lord Sidmouth’s own expression, “at a very important period,” cannot be found in a country like this, all reasonable, all rational hope ought to cease. I have been compelled to throw up my commission, from feelings every one must understand, who knows the derision unfulfilled expectations ever excite; and very many other inconveniences I have been subjected to, which might have been avoided, had I not been led to expect, from Sir Thomas Maitland himself, an immediate acknowledgement. 
I am aware, Sir, that letter from individuals to men in exalted situations, are frequently thrown aside, as being too trivial to merit a reply: this I never found to be the case, when my services were required: and I trust my letters will not be classed with this description only when the reward of those services is the subject of them.  I have the honor to be, Sir, 
Your most obedient humble Servant, 
The Right Hon. Charles Arbuthnot, &c. &c. 
Fenton, 5th January, 1816. 
I regret I am again compelled to renew a subject which cannot be as unpleasant to your Grace, as it is painful to me; and I did flatter myself such circumstances might have arisen, as would have precluded me every again troubling your Grace on so worn out a theme. You have, my Lord, informed me, that you are acquainted with the existing difficulty of my remuneration being obtained. My knowledge of it, so far as to enable me to form some idea of its probable duration, would materially conduce to my interest; domestic reasons making it necessary I should not let pass an opportunity of forming a permanent establishment, unless I have a certainty very shortly of obtaining the reward for my services, but which, a much longer delay in the accomplishment, will render it of little importance to me. 
I do not, my Lord, means to fatigue you with a recapitulations of what I have so often urged. Your Grace is well acquainted with all the leading features of my case, as well as with the neglect I have experienced. Neglect I must call it, for, at the end of three years, I find myself but where Sir Thomas Maitland left me, save that I have in my possession many expression of favorable wishes. Can credulity go so far as to believe a country like this, after such a lapse of time, has nothing to bestow on acknowledged services, but favorable intentions? My services, at the time were thought of no ordinary nature, or I should not have been honoured by the marked attention I received from your Grace, in the camp at Manchester, at a period which Lord Sidmouth himself acknowledges was an important one, and which will long be remembered as critical by every inhabitant of that part of the country. 
I cannot, my Lord, help owning that may mind is sore and irritated by the treatment I have received. I do not wish to give up expectations; but the folly of much longer entertaining them, can only be equalled by resigning them, without justifying myself to the world for every having formed them. 
I have the honor to be, 
With the utmost respect, 
Your Grace’s most obedient and humble Serv. 
His Grace the Duke of Montrose, K. G. &c.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

3rd January 1816: The remaining Halifax 'Twisters' are given Free Pardons

On Wednesday 3rd January 1816, the prisoners William Blakeborough, George Duckworth & Charles Milnes were all given a Free Pardon & set free from the Prison Hulks at Portsmouth.

The three men had all been convicted of administering an illegal oath to an undercover agent in Halifax during the height of the Luddite disturbances in West Yorkshire in 1812. At their trial in early 1813, they and two others had been found guilty and sentenced to transportation, but the sentences were not carried out, and they had remained aboard the prison hulks. During that time, two of the prisoners - John Baines the elder and John Baines the junior - had died in captivity.

Little is known about the circumstances surrounding the Pardons, as any relevant paperwork does not appear in the Home Office documents for this period, other than a note recording the date of the pardon applied to all three men in the Prison Hulk Register.