FindMyPast newspaper article BL-0000172-18420827-009

The list of people involved includes William Priestley.

Surnames: Bowler, Burdett, Davenport, Dawson, Dennis, Dudley, Eveliegh, Fox, Goodyer, Grain, Hallam, Handifield, Hickling, Hubbard, Hudson, Jarratt, Mason, Mee, Mozeley, Musson, Phillipps, Priestley, Renals, Skevington, Taylor, Thompson, Turner, Unwin

Places: Belton, Hathern, Leicester, Loughborough, Mountsorrel, Normanton-on-Soar, Sheephead

Roads: Beehive-lane, Dead-lane, High-gate, High street, Leicester-road, Market-place, Market-street, Mill-hill, Moira-street, Nottingham road, Pinfold-gate, Wood-gate








Leicester Chronicle

Saturday, 27 August 1842

page 2,
columns 4 and 5



   MONDAY.- Early in the morning, a meeting was held by the Chartists in the Association-room, Unicorn-yard, when they resolved to make a turn round the villages on the Leicester side of Loughborough, and beg of all who could afford to give. When they left the room with the intention of meeting again after breakfast, a number of them took up High street and were dispersed by the police. About nine o'clock the met again and came out of the room soon after, to go to their intended round. They formed themselves into a procession, and walked through the Market-place, and up High-gate. When they got as far on the Leicester-road as the Royal Oak, they were overtaken and stopped by the police, who instantly took those into custody who were armed with bludgeons. The people then ran down the lane leading to Mr. Cartwright's, and into Moira-street ; some got over the adjacent walls, and the whole were nearly dispersed in a short period. The prisoners were conveyed to the Plough Inn, and the town remained unusually quiet all the rest of the day. Even in the Market-place there were few to be seen besides women and youths attracted by curiosity. At four o'clock, the magistrates again met, and the prisoners were immediately brought up. They were, Samuel Moselay, aged 31 years, Mill-hill ; Charles J. Fox, 23, New-row ; John Dennis, 58, Court-yard ; Thomas Unwin, 18, Market-street ; John Thomson, 19, Dead-lane ; Robert Turner, 20 Pinfold-gate ; William Priestley, 30, Wood-gate. All are stockingers, we understand, except the last, who is a needle-maker. They were charged by superindent Burdett with tumultuously assembling, contrary to her Majesty's late proclamation. He stated the case, and after the sitnesses had been examined, the magistrates retired, and after a short time returned with the following decision:-

   "The magistrates convict you all of the offence. You are all liable to a prosecution at the quarter sessions, but the magistrates are willing on this first occasion to meet the case with lenity, hoping that the example they intend to make of you will be useful."

   Moseley was them fined £5 for assaulting the constable, or two months' imprisonment. He was also required to enter into his own recognizances for £20, and find two sureties for £10 each, for his good behaviour for twelve months. Thompson, Unwin, Turner, and Dennis, were each ordered to enter into his own recognizance for £10, and find two sureties for £5 each, to keep the peace for three months. Priestley, who had the loaded stick, and Fox, who had three slugs upon him, were each ordered to find the like sureties for six month's good behaviour.

   Mr. William Renals was then examined very searchingly as to his qualification for a bondsman for Skevington, (the Chartist leader brought to the county gaol on Saturday) but at last he was declared sufficient. Mr. Eveliegh was admitted for the other. It was ordered that Skevington should be brought over the next day from Leicester, the Mr Musson, governor of the county gaol.

   About one hundred more special constables were then sworn in, the others having become tired of their harassing duty.

   Bondsmen were offered for Fox, Turner, and Priestley, but not for the others. The three were then removed to the House of Detention, under strong escort of constables and police ; and when this had been done, Dennis, Thompson, Mozeley, and Unwin, were taken in the same manner down to the station-house, in order to be sent off to Leicester by the fifth up-train at eight o'clock, p.m. When at the station, a number of persons got upon the railway bridge, and pelted the police with stones. A body of constables were sent to drive them away, but they only went rather futher on the Nottingham road, and stood there until the train had gone and the constables began to retire ; they then groaned and poured a shower of stones upon then, and several persons were struck ; amongst the rest Superintendent Burdett. The only person who could be identified was a youth, named William Taylor, residing in Beehive-lane. He was pursued and captured ; after which no more stones were thrown. The town was very quiet after this, and has continued so, no meetings of the Chartists having been held, and few persons gathering in the Market-place. Part of the newly sworn constables entered at night upon their duty, and the remainder on the next day.

   TUESDAY.- The youth, Taylor, was examined before the same magistrates (C. M. Phillipps and E. Dawson, Esqrs. and the Rev. J. Dudley), and convicted of assaulting Burdett and other officers in the the execution of their duty, and was fined £5, or two months' imprisonment in the common gaol at Leicester ; and was ordered to find sureties for hid good behaviour for six months - himself in £10, and two sureties in £5 each. He did not deny being in he crowd, but said he threw no stones.

   William Davenport, a framework-knitter, from Hathern, was charged by Superintendent Burdett, with joining and heading a riotous and tumultuous assembly, on Saturday, the 20th instant, and endeavouring in the parish of Normanton-on-Soar, to extort alms. In his defence, Davenport said he had his work stopped by his master, and having nothing to eat, had resorted to begging. He was ordered to enter into his own recognizance for £10, and find two sureties for £10 each, for his good behaviour for six months.

   Bail was taken for Turner, Priestley, and Fox ; but the bench were very searching in their inquiries as to the qualifications of the parties offering themselves, and several were refused because they were in arrears of rates, or because they were generally slow at paying them. Mr Dawson gave Mr. Geo. Turner, sen., the grandfather of the prisoner, a lecture upon the responsibility he had incurred by heading the Chartists ; and taking the chari at the Friday meeting. He denounced such conduct as cruel and wicked, and advised him, as a man of influence amongst the Chartists, to go to work, and set a good example to the rest.

   Mr. Turner assured him he was quite willing to set a good example to other people ; for instance, he had been a teetotaller for twenty-two months. But the framework-knitters could not get bread for their families. There was none to assist them. "If," said he respectfully, "you. gentlemen, would be so kind as to use your influence, and do something to ameliorate the condition of the people, we should be much obliged to you. You have great influence with the government of this nation ; and if you were to do all you could do, something would be brought about for us. Something at least might be tried.

   Mr. Dawson denied the magistrates to have much influence, and thought, even if they had, that was not the place to discuss questions of political economy.

   Mr. Dudley : I do think we might very well try ; and I think, that if, by respectful petitions and addresses, you distresses were made known, something effectual and ameliorating might be gained, not only for the framework-knitters, but for the whole country. If the operative classes chose to make a respectful petition to the proper authorities, he, as an independent individual, would join in a petition that their prayers be attended to.

   Mr. Turner : Thank you, sir ; I have long known your opinions upon these subjects.

   Mr. Dawson said he did not sit there to discuss political economy, and he did not think altogether with Mr. dudley. He could not, as a magistrate, sit there to discuss public measures, or give his opinion upon them. His opinions upon political subjects were well known, and he was quite of opinion with Mr. Dudley, that the working classes might be benefited by legislative influence, but he considered that any such measures could not be brought about by insurrectionary movements like this. It would have the effect of putting them back for a longer time than he (Mr. Turner) would live to see, or than he himself would.

   While the court was sitting, several parties of mounted constables set off into the country in various direction, to apprehend all parties on the roads who were begging. In the afternoon, ten persons from Sheephead were brought in by one company, under Mr. Goodyer ; they had been taken at the monastery of Mount St. Bernard, where they sat on a bench drinking water. At the different farmhouses on the Forest it was found that parties had been to beg, but no persons identified the prisoners as having done so. In the evening other arrests were made in the town.

   The names of the men apprehended were John Mee, aged 30 ; Joseph Hudson, 31 ; Thomas Hubbard, 24 ; Thomas Hallam, 26 ; James Hickling, 30 ; Samuel Mason, 31 ; Josiah Unwin, 26 ; James Bowler, 25 ; Thomas Handifield, 42 ; William Grain, 25. Their examination took place at a late hour, as no magistrate was in Loughborough at the time of their arrival. Mee, who was considered a dangerous person, was committed for three months ; Grain, being penitent, was discharged ; and the others were all committed for one month each under the Vagrant Act.

   WEDNESDAY.- To-day a few hands went to work, but the greater part still continue out. All is as quiet as if nothing whatever occupied the public attention. In the morning, the prisoner Davenport found excellent sureties, and was discharged. He is a member of the General Baptist church, at Hathern, and has been so for upwards of 20 years. C. Jarratt, against whom there has been a warrant our for several days, for a speech at Belton on Friday, gave himself up, and was brought before the bench. As no evidence against him was at hand, he was remanded until Thursday. He is said to have declared his intention of never having anything to do with the Chartists again, upon any consideration. The authorities entertain so little apprehension of an outbreak, that they have to-night dismissed all the special constables, except twenty, who are to be kept on for an indefinite period. There will be still fourteen policemen, the local constables, and the pensioners.

   AT MOUNTSORREL, on Monday, a party of the Loughborough turn-outs prevailed upon the men at the stone quarries and stockingers of the village to turn out. The quarrymen, however, went in again on Tuesday. There could not be many less than two hundred of them, but the nature of their engagements prevented them going on with the strike, as each would have been liable to imprisonment, for leaving his work without the required notice.