HO 42/196 folio 76.
Thomas Yates to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 5 Oct 1819.

In Colonel Fletcher’s of 5 Oct 1819
Bolton October 5th 1819

I arrived at Manchester on Sunday a little before 12
o clock and Immediately entered the Union Rooms Some
few Delegates were arrived from Wigan Leigh Ashton-under-lyne
Bolton Blackburn etc But there were some from the more distant
parts such as Carlisle Paisly Glasgow, nor yet from the
more adjacent parts of yorkshire the East and South had not
deputed any at least they were not as yet arrived. There was
one from Oldham but nothing like business would as yet
be done. The Oldham Delegate contended that this Meeting
was a plan of Police to ensnare them all – being designedly
at the same period as the Inquest – Some of the delegates
contended that On these Grounds they would come no
more into the Room nor yet remain any longer in it. Each
One wanted to consult his own Intimate acquaintance
Accordingly We all took separate ways Some Oldham Road
Some towards St Peters etc And it was near 5 o clock before
Confidence would be placed in all to go to the Union Rooms
in Order to arrange the Business of the day. However they were
at last prevailed upon to make a beginning – They are all timid
in the extreme and the Public never need to imagine that they
will obtain any great Relief from such a Body of in General
illiterate and inexperienced Men. However to be brief Mr

Battersby of Leigh Rose – and hoped that each one there and then present
would state the Actual opinion and expectation of their several
constituents – It appears that at Wigan they have been able to
form a Kind of Committee and that the few professed Reformers
have now and then assembled together but never in one house
or Neighbourhood twice together. They were rather spirited
and are anxious for Political Knowledge. I understand that the
orders for the observer have within these last few weeks Received
from 17 to 52 – Yet this increase this Uniting is chiefly through
the exertions of One or two Individuals – It appears that at
Blackburn and Preston little can Be done with respect to
Uniting and little is hoped from those Quarters – for they
will not assist in any pecuniary way their Neighbouring
Districts. It is necessary to say that one Month back from this
date there was a delegate Meeting at which as well as this
I was extremely well received The arrangements which then
took place were that the two Kingdoms should be formed
in Centrals – England and Scotland, that Men should be
deputed as far North as Glasgow – south as London etc and
that there Men should form Union Instruct the people
to depute a Man on the 4th of October to Manchester and
there to Consult the best means of obtaining what is
termed their Rights etc. This would create an expence
which Manchester of itself could not Raise at that

moment Therefore I as a Delegate from Bolton promised 3 [pounds]
I knew my Constituents would contribute any thing that I
think proper for they have the strongest Confidence possible
in me – The other Persons promised but did not [???] because
their people did not believe their Reports and in fact they gave
false ones – For the Blackburn One said that a plan was in agitation
for the people to rise in one day etc But to the point some places
sent them Money that were not solicited They said about 20 [pounds]
in a few days and as the Man Went their several journeys and
the Man who had been at Glasgow came through Bolton last
thursday and informed me personally that things were very
unfavorable in the North he had much ado to get any way
received particularly at Carlisle and Glasgow – Some of these
Men have arrived in Manchester 8 or 10 days Back and some
are not yet Come in [? ? ?] so that there will be business all this
week – This forming of Centrals is done in Comparison to Boroughs
so that Manchester and Blackburn are the two Centrals
parts for Lancashire And each of these Centrals will send a
deputation in the manner hereafter Explained – This was
more rather than we went through On Sunday Night and
it was Eleven when we opened Yesterday – The main designs
of this and these Delegations is to form a Deputation up to
London each Central to have a Representative Chosen
by the General Delegates there present. The General Delegates
not all being come in and not knowing but they when
they did come might be possessed of some suitable

person as a candidate for this London Deputation, And
these Men that were not yet come must of course be
someways detained and as their reports were a link
in this chain Nothing more could be done at Present
but appoint some conspicuous Person to remain &
receive their Intelligence Accordingly One is left till
Wednesday next when it is hoped the General Election
of those Central Deputations will take place – I am
of opinion that Watson and Thistlewood are coming
but I will ascertain as soon as possible – Should all
succeed accordingly to sanguine expectation this London
Deputation will act as a Provisional Government
I [???] say to go up to London at the opening of the
Sessions and then and there [declare?] that they are duly
Elected and Deputed from the People to act as their
representatives – Now if some wealthy – well known
Men were to compose this Body – and Demand such
a Right and a few of the Commons House were to
leave that House and join Hand In Hand it might
effect some Division. But a Body of Poor Mean Desperate
persons to Make the Attempt will I feel convinced meet
the reward due to such improper conduct – However I
shall anxiously wait the result of this Deputative –

Meeting – I have not a very correct Idea of who
may be nominated as Candidates for this Deputation
tho I am Inclined to think that Mr Knight will be
proposed by the Manchester People tho there is no
probability that He will accept it because He is grown
very timid through what he has undergone
The Meeting for the Deputation is intended for Wednes
-day Morning at ten O Clock And I should like to
be able to See what further Plans will be Adopted
and who is nominated etc Tho the Deputys will
scarcely admit any but themselves yet I am now
being Introduced by Battersby as I am one of his
most Confident Friends –
I will in my next give you a description of the
strengths of the Bolton Union its Objects – and my
opinion of it and how easily I could at your
pleasure and by your advice [???] a Split
But I am afraid you will be tired of my Infor
mation this Morning so I will Conclude
That Man who conveyed My Letter to you as
certainly acted traitor tho He did not Know me

But some Person Mentioned in our Committee
that a letter was suspected – but it was Immediately
overruled and they passed a Vote of Thanks upon
Me for My Desired and feeling response by a solemn
and numerous declaration their Confidence In
Me – I shall Endeavour to retain that Confidence
in order to collect your Worthy Mind all the
real Information and Internal state of the
people for your mature Consideration – All parties
agree that you are very worthy of a Gentleman
of a Magistrate Only for your Political Opinion.
I am reduced rather low in Pocket and as
you could wish me to go to morrow I know
you will afford me the means – And when I
am at Manchester I should like to go to see
Mr John Bentley of Stockport and He is a
Manufacturer of Great Landed Property and
[sets?] much [stone?] by me being a distant

relation and Having lived with him I have many
good Political Connections there and having
been on this Business on behalf of the Public I
think I could obtain some useful Information
there But this would add to my Expence &
nearly double it so that I could not undertake
the Whole under a couple of Pounds – because
wherever I might Be I would attend the Committee
on Friday Evening – I sometimes attend the Gentlemans
Committee in this Town And I gain a deal of
Information there I have no doubt But
if am borne in my Expences I can acquaint
you with all the proceedings of that Com-
mittee a week as our own. If you wish to
see me there could not be a more convenient
place than Mr Watkins as My Wife comes from
Raikes and they would think if seen that I was
after this Will as Mr JJ Watkins Signed and there
is some difference about it –

It would be well if you would Order My
Letters to be left at the letter Carriers House till
called for I will wait for a line at 3 o clock this
afternoon from you which way to proceed and if
you wish an Interview I think the Rising Sun
would be suitable
I am with due Respect etc
your Most Obedient Humble
Servant Thomas Yates

direct for Thomas Yates No 14 york street

To be left at the letter carriers

HO 42/197 folio 533.
[Alpha?] to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 24 Oct 1819.

Extract of a letter from  ______   to Colonel Fletcher, dated 24th October 1819.

I shall now proceed to relate the requested history of the 15th 16th 17th of August for the entertainment of my Brother Reformers.
For the sake of convenience & becoming acquainted with the proceedings of the day I repaired to Manchester on Sunday the 15th. I arrived at the Union Rooms precisely at 6 in the evening. I there found the committee arranging matters for the ensuing day. Mr Saxton was the first gentleman to whom I opened my mission as delegate. I was well received and we made an agreement what he should come to Bolton for at the then expected meeting, he was to attend as reporter and speaker, he made a number of inquiries respecting the head magistrate at Bolton & what fools people were for living so submissive.
I was then introduced into the room –ded [page damaged] for dinner 200 couples of plates & the cloth spread formed the beautiful scene, I purchased a ticket in hopes of entering into some serious conversation with our hero, but like a number of Brother Reformers I was quite disappointed.
But to be brief I was solicited to attend the Union Rooms at eight o’clock the following morning. I took lodgings at a respectable House no. 12 Oldham Street, a convenient place for one on my mission being about half way betwixt the Union Rooms and Peterloo.
I attended the Union Rooms at the appointed hour and found a few delegates from other parts with the same errand in view as myself viz. to solicit our Hero to attend public meetings at our respective towns. I had no chance of attending at Peters Plains till the commencement of business so that I could not observe in what degree the meeting swelled tho I heard every hour the increase. But I was chose for one that should go with the procession from Smedley being honoured with a wand. The several colors were now examined, the band entered the rooms and a patriotic hymn was sung to which they played. A number of people were now employed in preparing for dinner &c. A message was received from our worthy champion Mr Hunt ordering that the colours should be furled the music silent till they arrived at Smedley Cottage which was immediately complied with. St George’s Fields was the place where we were to form our lines, arrange our colors and so on. This was done and we arrived at Smedley amidst the shouts and applauses of thousands of our dear brethren.
We now halted in the valley and the Manchester Female Reformers’ flags were unfurled first, then all the rest, the band were now arranged and we formed a line so that the Landau could draw betwixt and we close up right & left and so form a cavalcade. After all our arrangements we deputed two men to the cottage that held our valiant Hero. I was fortunately one and we entered by the back way presented our wands, and were admitted, but no private conversation could then be entered into, as the business of the day was necessary no time should be lost. They were then just going to mount the Landau and we retired to our post, leaving Mr Johnson, Mr Knight, Mr Hunt and I think Carlile. They immediately ascended amidst the acclamations of the then ascended multitude. They drew along the line formed and the female flag was presented to Mr Hunt he received it politely and ordered the honored female to mount the dickey. We then proceeded on our important undertaking and it is useless for me to describe the crowds, the shouts &c. We arrived at the hustings, and I stood on that end next to St Peter’s. I thought I never saw a more gratifying scene in all my life. I remained composed till the Yeomanry cut my wand, and I then took a running jump right betwixt two of them and made my way to he outskirts of the people and then repaired to my lodgings for dinner.
After dinner I went up stairs and viewed the carts bringing my unfortunate brethren to the Infirmary, I thought I had then best push of to Bolton as my friends might think something had befallen me, so I came home that night and went home on horseback the following day to see if the reports were true that resistance was going to be made. I put up my horse at the Bridgewater Arms and went to the Union Rooms but could find no committee to relate what measures were to be pursued. I accidentally found one who took to a private house top of Ancoats Lane near Ancoats Hall where the committee were then sitting and just come to this resolution, to depute men out to the neighbouring towns to see what strength they could raise on a certain day to be agreed upon; accordingly one was to be at Bolton at 7 o’clock that night with full instructions which way to carry on. Men were sent out to all the neighbouring towns far and near. I returned to Bolton gave in my report that all was peaceable and quite and I summoned the committee together t 7 o’clock to receive the Manchester delegate. He arrived at the appointed hour and gave in his credentials. He then pointed out the necessity of some resistance and wished to send a delegate to Middleton on Thursday the 19th, where a general delegate meeting was to be held. Each delegate to give in the strength of his respective town &c and a day appointed for a general muster, such was the passion of the people at what they had seen the preceding day. However that delegate meeting was frustrated and nothing could be acted upon, because on the 17th when the Yeomanry went to the White Moss, those people not being ready to resist, the Manchester men who were actually there in the rear of them well armed were duped and so nothing was effected, and out of 600 who were at Stockport who were to have assembled in the night only 100 came to the ground. This is a brief detail of the 16th and 17th of August but time rather presses me or I should have been as large again on the matter. Bolton seems rose to a great pitch of enthusiasm and the lower orders are determined to have a meeting at all events, our band is this night practising for our glorious meeting. Many of those who are classed have sent us word this night that we must have no more of their pence.

HO 42/197 folio 537.
[Alpha?] to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 25 Oct 1819.

Extract of a Letter from ___
to Colonel Fletcher Dated
Bolton 25th Octr. 1819.

The close engagements of Yesterday
prevented me from conveying to You its transactions
by this Morning’s Post. – I arrived early in Leigh
and found several Delegates there arrived from
Lawton Warrington – Wigan Manchester and I
from Bolton – The Delegates from Warrington was
principally come to see what Information we
could give him for they had just rented a Room
in his home and they were unacquainted which
way to Act and they were strongly opposed by
the opposite party. – I gave him several Directions
which way to proceed and he furnished me with
his address etc so that I hope there is a good
Communication opened betwixt our Brethren
there and Bolton – We war-like Reformers
ought to be unanimous and united, the
number in Warrington does not at present
exceed 30 or 40 – The Men from Lawton were on
the same scale but more afraid as yet to act
openly. – However a great number of Country –
Villages I hope will soon be added to our already
aggregate numbers and our cause will surely
gain strength – The Delegate from Wigan was
upon some Business relative to their public
Meeting – It is not designed to act upon the
general plan that you are already acquainted
with there on that day – it is on that day because
being Monday after Wigan Fair it is a great
Holiday amongst the Catholics which form a
great part of their population – They are very
spirited and intend the Business of the Day to
emanate from the Inhabitants of Wigan alone. –
They are as yet unprovided with Speakers, but
are preparing for two Classes as I may say. –
Mr Wroe has promised to attend as Reporter
Mr Saxton Mr Knight Mr Moorhouse and our
worthy Brother John Smith of Liverpool will all
be solicited to attend; – and as these popular
Characters are nearly all under some kind of
Embarrassment or other, should they not comply
with the Invitation they are preparing to –
stand on their own Legs, and Henry Bottomley
of Leigh – Smethurst of [Bedlow?] a kind of local
Methodist preacher and one or two of the Inhabit’s
of Wigan will conduct the Business of the Day
so that we shall be sure of a something to be
advanced. – The Mayor of Wigan you will
perceive by the Advertisement graciously
received the Offer of convening the Meetings but
would not take it upon himself yet ordered
them to take the responsibility upon themselves
– This of course will be looked upon as a
Justification, but I hope in the course of another
Post or two to receive further Information upon
the matter – We had much conversation on
our Hero’s Address to the Lancashire Reformers
advising them not to meet in Manchester as yet.
– We could not agree upon the matter because
Hunt constantly acts in contact against –
Thistlewood and Watson and by this means
our levelling Reformers say we shall never
have reform if we must follow his Dicatates,
His Design is to keep the attention
of the Manchester People closely fixed upon St
Peters as it yet stands unsullied but the Manchester
people seem wholly bent on convening the same as
they are rather more sanguine than many of our
Brethren – They seem to be preparing for the worst
and there Pikesmen are to be front-rank Men &
to have small Arms etc – It is certain to a Demon shaken
that Leigh and Padiham are prepared to a Man and
I have always contended that more Execution will
be done in these parts by our Brethren than elsewhere
– They have been duped by this 1st of November &
they are big with expectation that some great change
will take place upon the Ground – if you wish to
know what was the foundation of our Brethren in
these parts being so much misguided it shall be
given in full – Leigh pretends to raise two –
thousand Men etc – But we are sorry for the –
Antipathy that exists between our Hero and
our less popular Brothers Watson & Thistlewood.
The Reformers of Leigh are wholly devoted
to the cause at large even their Religious Sects
are constantly upon the same Tone –
We are very anxious to hear from our Hero as
he has promised to write shortly again – Our
Friends at Leigh have likewise taken a Union
Room belonging to Kershall that keeps the
Millstone as he is termed without Licence &
says he does not know for what.- The Copies
of Appeal to the Prince Regent are come to hand
and are forwarded by the Bolton Union Committee
to Blackburn Wigan Preston etc – There is an
Injunction for the Wigan People to sanction the
Appeal and if the Manchester People have no
public Meeting Mr. Walker the little Sailor
that has been so much noticed will attend and
address our Brothers there but if detained at
Manchester he of course will take an active
part there – The Requisitionists of Bolton
who signed and had their Names published
will meet this Night at the Red Cross Inn
Bradshawgate for the purpose of taking into
consideration the best means of yet calling
a public Meeting at Bolton, some of the
are now preparing themselves for the Evening’s
Arguments pro and con

HO 42/197 folio 421.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 26 Oct 1819.

In Mr Fletchers of 28 Oct 1819

Honored Sir, Bolton 26th October 1819
Ever anxious to fulfill my duty as a correspondent
I again resume my full abilities to acquaint
my Brethren Reformers with the proceedings of the
day and I confidently hope, and shall always
endeavour to form one of your best correspondents.
Accordingly a letter was yesterday received from our Brothers
at Carlisle in answer to one which we sent last week
wishing to Know which way they meant to act in
respect to the 1st of Novb they Answer us, that as
the plan was rejected by more populous Towns, and
as it did not meet such a general sanction, as
its most sanguine Friends would wish, and as
our Hero seemed highly to disapprove of the
measure, and as they had so lately had a Meeting
much to their Credit as Reformers they would
not act upon the proposed System at present
although they had received their Circular Appeal
yet Watson and Thistlewood seemed so much
out of popular favor at present as not to
gain sufficient influence for such an

important undertaking. we are well aware
that such an appeal flowing from so many
Towns could not but have some effect on
the Prince Regent and as it was a similar
circumstance that obtained Our Bill of Rights
and the Glorious Magna Charta. Wishing you
every success wishing Bolton may soon rise above
the fear of One Individual and have a
spirited Public Meeting for Real Radical Reform
we remain yours etc
in the Bands of Liberty
the Reformers of Carlisle
Another letter From Glasgow and Preston are
fully expected to the same effect These letters of
enquiry were sent by last Fridays Post and were
designed by Three of us to come to the Unions in
hopes that they would stimulate the damp spirit
that now prevails amongst us to raise a Meeting
But perhaps we shall even have to regret the
existing animosities betwixt our London
Friends – I have no doubt but you have heard

of the arrival of our persevering Friends Sir Charles
Mr Johnson and Mr Finnerty Reporter for the
Morning Chronicle, being in Town. They are
principally viewing the strength of our Reform
Brethren for a future period – They did not seem
to sanction a Public Meeting in Bolton at this
period. Because they wish peoples attention to be
Kept fixed on the Manchester affair – and wait
and see, and promote, the Convictions of those
Magistrates who took a Leading Part in the
horrors of the Day. They are paving a way for
it to be laid before the House of Commons in all
its Black envenomed Colors – They hope soon to
see the Corruptionists of Lancashire frustrated in
all their Machinations – They are exerting to the
utmost all they can to frustrate Watson &
Thistlewood and they persuaded Manchester
and Bolton to relinquish the Intended plan
They join with our Hero in wishing that nothing

shall transpire which might have any tendency
to take peoples attention from the Peterloo fight.
Sir Charles assured me that he would raise every
Friend to oppose the Bill of Indemnity which
he had no doubt would be proposed at the
opening of Sessions. But above all he wished people
to keep their eyes fixed on Manchester – He hoped
to see our Bolton Leading Magistrate come under
the Last of the Law yet and He seemed very vehement
against their present proceedings – He wished no
Meetings in either Towns or Country except to
expose the Manchester affair – to shew the people
how their rights were trampled upon. Mr
Johnson and Finnerty had little to say upon the
Matter only they should endeavour to get Wigan
either to change their Intended Meeting into a
Condolence of Manchester Massacre or to
postpone till further Measures should be
took – I told him they were going to act
Independent of Watsons plan entirely but still

he wished them to relinquish it except they would
expatiate largely on St peters Plains or some
ways cry out loudly for redress of that Dreadful Day.
However to be brief I answered I thought the Wigan
people were fully Bent on carrying their present
requisition into effect and so we adopt the Matter.
As these Ideas of Sir Charles were requisite to be
made Known to the Bolton Requisitionists
at least notice were yesterday given out by circular
notes to convene the same at seven Oclock in the
Evening Red Cross Bradshawgate for the Dissent
or assent of a Public Meeting at Bolton – Mr Tonge
requested a Deputation might be sent from the
Union Committee to the Gentlemen requisitionists
in order that if the gentle’n Withdraw the Union
might undertake the same. The Gent’m Met the
Deputation was sent James Lyon was for the
Union & two when the Matter was discussed at
large both pro and con and it seemed to

be more adviseable at present to wait a little
longer and see the result of Wigan and which way
the civil powers intended to act. Mr Timothy
Ramsden in the Chair seemed much afraid that
if a Meeting was held at present on the face of the
Magistrates we should be [salient?] etc he [???]
he was rather nervous through age etc yet he
would not sanction a Meeting at present. Then
Mr Baron coincided with him and the Meeting
seemed to be buried till Matthew Wolstenholme
rose and wished to Make a Notion for Meeting
at all Events to be legally convened by 7-9-11 days
notice on whatever proper notice the law
might require – he enlarged upon the Cowardly
Spirit of the Requisitionists then present &
wished to animate them into a love of
Freedom etc – Then Mr Robert Heywood Rose and
wished to make an Amendment to Wolstenholmes
Motion which was these that the present requisitions
should not give up their proposed meeting but
postpone it till some further fit opportunity
not to be then named – this was contrary to

the promise made to the Union Deputation viz
that the union should have a Decisive Answer
either to Call or Decline calling Meeting However
the Amendment was put & carried by a
Majority of 15 and some said how our
Magistrate would be pleased to see the timid
-ness of the people & the Meeting then Broke
up and the Unions Deputation then Went to
the Union Rooms which were completely
crowded in order to hear the Joyful News
But as soon as the Deputation gave in this
report the Confusion was great – They became
tumultuous and unruly and a Meeting
whether or not was the general cry. Much
debating now rose in the Union Rooms &
it was at last agreed that Every Committee
then & there present should this day call
his Class together at 6 o Clock in the
Evening and take the sense of the
people to the Union Roooms next

Committe night, and they have no doubt but
a Meeting will be strongly insisted upon as
several Classes sent word they would with
-draw their assistance if they must not have
a Meeting etc I shall Immediately refrain
to my Class 1/2 past 5 oclock –
The several Flaggs and Caps of Liberty will
go to wigan next monday in Bodies each
District having its own color and people
york street flag will have our Hero on
in full light dress as when he stood
on the Hustings in Manchester in a Cheery
posture with the words “three time three
coming out of the mouth. And a
Motto over his head “May the Champion
of Liberty never want a Friend” on the
reverse “May the Lords of Industry never
want the comforts of Life and several other
appropriate Figures A Band will proceed
the whole Assembly

HO 42/197 folio 431.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 26 Oct 1819.

The Class Meeting for my District is postponed
till to Morrow so that I shall write next
Post with some proposals for Wigan
I am yours etc in Haste

HO 42/198 folio 104.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 16 Nov 1819.

Dear Friend, Bolton 16th Nov 1819
Things are beginning to wear an alarming aspect on
the behalf of Reformers they now begin to act as Men and are
preparing for lively action. Walker has more completely
established his Character and the Reformers of Manchester
have seemingly more Confidence in him than ever
since he became their Secretary he has obtained more
information for them than all their preceding ones.
He has formed the most usefull connections possible
and has given proof agains[t] the crafty wiles of the Police
No friend nor foe needs attempt Making a proselyte
of him from his present designs. He is completely
determined to Have a Reform or risk all that his
Dear to him. They have come to this Decision to raise
every opposition to a Bill of Indemnity or the suspension
and these two measures stand fixed firmly and decidedly
upon for the signal of a National Struggle, James Lang
was Delegated from Manchester to Bolton yesterday. He had
a Letter Signed Walker. It was wishing us to enable the same
Man to proceed to Chorley to Blackburn or send some of our
own Men to these Neighbouring Towns to apprize them
either to nominate a Man as a County Delegate, or furnish
the Manchester Union with Many to enable them to send
the County Delegate, All the Towns connected with Manchester
Central must send a Man next thursday Evening to the
Union Rooms Manchester to propose, or find means of
supporting such County Delegate. All the Centrals in
England will meet on thursday Evening at their respective
places Each Central will furnish a County Delegate, These
County Delegates are all to Assemble at Nottingham on
Wednesday the 24th Instant. They are to reside there as the
Central of the Kingdon and to Observe the movements of
Parliament whether the suspension will take place or
not. If any signs of a Bill of Indemnity or Suspension Bill
being passed they are to repair to their respective County
Centrals and cause Simultaneous Meetings in each
Populous Town to cry out against the measures. The people of
Manchester declare they will then commence open Hostilities
and so does Huddersfield, Carlisle, Paisley. at Paisley they
have according to the most Authentic Information about
2000 pistols, Carlisle Delegate, Weens is in Manchester now
and I think will not return till after the Nottingham
Sitting of Delegates. But it strikes Me that the Whigs will
raise much opposition to such Intended Measures as
the suspension so that it will be some time before
such measures are decided and this will Keep the County
Delegates in much suspension. They will be 16 in Number
And I think Bolton will assist in Money the Manchester
friends as they can find better travellers than we can,
I rather think the Men will seek some little employ-
ment in Nottingham as they would be soon suspected
to be something by daily sitting reading the Newspapers,
I have just wrote to Battersby at Leigh, to Dewhurst at
Blackburn to Hasleden at Wigan etc wishing them to
attend at Manchester on Thursday Evening to Consult or
assist the Manchester People in the promotion of their objects
They have so much Expense on hand in sending out Men
that they have reduced the Delegates from 5 to 4d per day for
a few Weeks till they have redeemed themselves. Mr
Johnson and Sir Charles lament much frustrating the 1st
of November plan, through Saxtons Saying it was a plot
But I have no doubt they will now sanction such a
measure, Henry Orrell took the Chair last Night at
8 o clock at Bolton Union Rooms and Kenyan, Tootill
and Smith Sent the Declaration which was to be
prefixed to the Articles for the sanction of the Aggregate
Committee. It was sanctioned and Wolstenholme, Myself
and Tootill are appointed to see them printed and to
have them ready for sale by the week End. I have
been this day been drawing and preparing the Articles for the press
and am now going to see whether we should ask the
Bolton Stationers to print them or not, The Manchester people
will draw up articles in a little while. There has been several
collections Made in different Districts to support Robt Ellison
which caused us to have less Money last Night than usual
being Peoples Rent Day etc The Amount was 8s7d We have
about 3 [pounds] on Hand and we shall [e]xpend that this week,
in articles and sending to Manchester. I shall furnish
my Friends with them as soon as I have them finished
This Information respecting Delegation was given up to the
Central only and will be Kept from the aggregate till
They are met at Nottingham, Whittam, Greenhalgh and Makin
are the Central till Friday next when a fresh Election takes place.
Lang came to Me first so I warned the Central to attend
previous to the aggregate Meeting. Lang and I suppered
with Wolstenholme and then we took Lodgings at
the Red Cross – He is this Morning gone back to Manchester
as we had concluded to inform the Adjacent Towns –
The Discussion of the Evening was taken up by Considering
whether the Articles should be sold or Distributed, and
was concluded for them to be sold. as giving them
would be such a loss to the Friends. Inform all the
Brethren of the Important proceedings and let them
take every measure to promote the Cause of Radical
I am gentlemen your
most Obedient humble Servant


2 oclock Tuesday afternoon

HO 42/199 folio 52.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 19 Nov 1819.

Dear Friend Monday Morning 19th Nov 1819
The information that I have to convey is so truly alarming that
I can scarcely form a sentence properly together. I repaired to
Manchester early yesterday Morning and found Matters full
as [brick?] as I could well Imagine. The Delegate from Glasgow
was going on to some friends at Macclesfield and will reside
in this Part till Nottingham commences sitting. They will
only stay there while each County Member, Gives in the
Report of his respective District, which will occupy about
2 Days and our London Friends will give and watch the
Movements of Parliament The Friend from Glasgow states that
the People of Scotland are ready and look for nothing but a
grand stand for Manfull resistance every day. I called on
my Friend Walker whom I found very busy Indeed answering
a Letter from our London Friends Signed Watson, the following
is a Copy Dear Sir, I lament extremely the frustration of the
simultaneous Meeting that should have been held on the
1st of Nov’b as they were as well arranged and the dissapointment
as so Intimated discouraged, paralysed our Friends here
that I am afraid we are more backward then we were
previous to the 16th of August Pay no regard to the reports
you see in the Daily Journals respecting Finsbury Meeting
they have thrown every stigma upon it the Could. There were
from 20 to 40 thousand People there who all sanctioned [???]
appeal and it is now in the Hands of Lord Sidmouth, and w[ill?]
receive his Answer on the 24th. had twenty other Populous [???]
done the same England had this day been free, But never
mind my Manchester Friends, the day of delivery is at Hand
and one great and firm resitance will pull down oppression
Hastily. We agree with you in the Intended movements to be
acted upon. Create firmness and we shall be well to conquer.
My Dear Walker send me all particulars by return of Post
as we have so many various reports here concerning
Manchester We are with you perfectly
yours etc Jas Watson
Letters like these flowing in from all Parts to the Manchester
Union Creates the Life and Soul and vigour of union.
A letter from Nottingham briefly states that the County
Plan of Delegates was in Perfect Unison with their most
sanguine wishes and might be acted in Nottingham
with the most perfect Safety and every Prudent Measure
would be taken to screen and protect the Delegates
from being Entrapped. A Letter from Wakefield in yorkshire
stated they would send 4 to represent the 4 different Ridings
of yorkshire and that their own populous County would
and was now ready to stand foremost, in the Ranks of
the grand attack upon the Maggots of Corruption, Signed Wm Loy
Wakefield. I forgot to say that they have changed their Secretary
at Nottingham and Instead of James Retchford the friends
must direct Moses Colclough, Barkin Gate Nottingham,

[???] were all respectfully Answered by walker encouraging
every where to persevere in their present Method, and he was further
engaged in Drawing up a Requisition for the Manchester People
upon Mr Benbows Plan, that is for one to be convened on any day
without fixing that day so that they will meet their own purpous,
Walker assured Me that 1,800,000 Armed Men could be found in
the South and North of England going so far as Glasgow and nothing
but resistance is Intended, they have every Implement of destruction
at hand and in a few days the Flame will burst out will fly
from one End of the Kingdom to the other in one general Cry of
Liberty or Death. They are dutilly gratified to see the Matter so
closely Kept, because they are well aware that if government
Knew one half of their designs they would prepare four fold
whatever they have hitherto done, Mr Wroe the proprietor of the
Observer Paper has received along with Saxton their due
Reprimand for using their correspondents unfairly and Mr
Johnson has withdrawn his Patronage from the Observer on
that ground and that will cause 200 less Copies this week,
But notwithstanding this they have received 10 [pounds] each out of the
subscription for Peterloo which is now dividing by a Committee
out of the Patriotic Society And each one that was taken off
the Hustings has 10 [pounds] those that were cutt and Maimed will
receive about 4 [pounds] being the first Installment, by order of
Majr Cartwright, two Men Johnson and Kely that have been

[impr]isoned in the new Bayley are this morning uniting as [???]
Scythe to receive the name of all that have been hurt and [???]
then along to Manchester where the Committee will sit the last night
to night, The gent are approving highly of the Measures adopted by the
Union for the furtherance of the Cause, Johnson declared many a time last
night he wished from his heart he was advancing to strike the fatal
Blow, With respect to the Delegate Meeting yesterday Nothing more was
done then Moved and Carried that one should be chose to represent
Lancashire but we did not come to a Conclusion who should go.
It was agreed that all Towns should send Manchester a little
pecuniary aid towards defraying [e]Xpences- Perhaps you have
seen the resolutions Adopted on Monday on Mr Cobbetts behalf which
was that a deputation should go to Liverpool and Invite him
to Manchester to receive his approbation of the present movements,
Pettitions for Matter of Compliment are lying at Mr Johnsons
The Observer office & for signatures Praying the House of Commons
to establish an enquiry into the 16th of August. Whithington No 1
half Street Manchester will print our Articles on good type
and good paper and carry them by the Boat to Mr Wolstenholme
on Sunday Evening Price 1 [pound] 12 for 300 Copies –
As this weeks Information is very Important and very
Considerable Expense that our Friends are at and as there
is no time to be lost at this Emergent Moment. Please
to Remit 2 [pounds] by to Morrow Mornings Post as early as can
be for the further promotion of the Cause of Reform.
I wish it might be sent to the Office to night as I
would have it much earlier for the Morning than Usual –
Miss Campbell is particularly Obliging Indeed in Looking for Letters

HO 42/200 folio 272.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 30 Nov 1819.

My dear Friend (1) Bolton 30th Nov 1819
The Business of last night was not so full of importance as
might be [e]xpected However about 40 Committee Men attended
and 1 [pound] 17 s was received The Chairman was Smith from
Ridgeway Row and he conducted the Business very well.
Much discussion took place about the inorganisation and
insubordination of the Reformers in general one to
another Orrell then stated the great impropriety of not
being more decided one amongst another and of supporting
each in their own way more effectively. Mr Roper
then rose and shewed the necessity of being much more
active in the Cause than we were at present and looking
for proper Objects of Reformers vengence whenever a fray
of any description should arise and not take wrong measures
towards any party that might be thought to be more
favourable with government than any other as was the
case in Lord George Garden’s time he likewise shewed that
unless we made ourselves conquerers we should have to
sacrifice the leading active Individuals amongst us.
He then stated what oppressive measures the gardens party
Committed upon the Catholics He further stated that
three Months well employed in encouraging Public Meetings
and in loud Huzzas against the present Measures would so
inflame the Country at large that we should not be deficient
in numbers and that it was no opposition, which made
the other Party so obnoxious to us and so successful in all
their seizing of Usefull Individuals and added that we were
all complete Cowards in not Exclaiming against petty Constables
being allowed to reign so predominant in our streets.

John Kay went to Manchester yesterday to have seen John Keys
and Mr Cobbett but was wholly dissapointed of seeing the latter.
The Amount of Subscription for John Keys is now augmented
to 6 [pounds] and the Committee appointed to look after him have ordered
his Child to have 3s per week Allowed till he is permitted to return
home and Himself to have 2s per week so long as he is Confined in
Prison. the Committee to look after him are John Barnet
Wm Naisby shopkeeper. Matthew Wolstenholme Treasurer.
The People of [Burt?] have taken a Union Room and desire
to hold connections with Bolton the Room wants considerable
repairs and will no be ready for doing Business in this
week or Two. James Stack shopkeeper is going to have
a party of Popular Characters Reformers to dine next
sunday Battersby from Leigh. Wolsentholme and yates from
Bolton etc He lives down Bag Lane. The People of Leigh express
their Impatience both for a turn out and a puff out –
Taylor Field Factory sent two of their Leading Reformers to
our Union Rooms on Monday Night with 2s 6d from
them and desired a deputation of four Men from our
Union to the General Meeting of Reform Spinners to be held
either on Wednesday or Friday next Inst as circumstances
occurred to be most convenient to Answer such questions as
might theirs be thought proper – Mr Brandreth did not go to
Manchester yesterday as he heard very early of the preparations
that were Making – Dr Taylor is much requested By Mr Roper
Grahams etc and all other Partys they think he would write
some useful documents at such a critical Juncture as this
Mr Grahams has drawn up a statement that they have
deprived the revenue of 3 [pounds] since Mr Hunt came through Bolton
in their own Family on Tea Coffee Spirits etc Dr Taylor is
going near 3000 Miles inland into America from Philadelphia
[Which?] [???] Place that much resembles the Garden of E[den?]

Tootil is come back from Nottingham but his report his not to be
given to the Union Committee till Thursday Evening next when a
General Committee Meeting will be held, as some Intelligence is
yet wanting from London and the Delegate having to go up to
London and his letter to come to Manchester we shall not hear
what London Intends till Thursday as we shall have Delegates
attended at Nottingham on Wednesday the 24th and much
discussion took place. The Lancashire Delegate stated that
Lancashire would be very little behind yorkshire in [point?] of
effectively resisting Government tha[t] he could not say that Bolton
had 100 Men that would perform the Whole of such important duty.
All the Reports were of a similar nature only those from Paisly
and Glasgow were more strong than those of South of England.
Thistlewood sent a letter to the Nottingham Convention if I may
so call it wishing Every County Delegate to encourage each Town
to draw up a Requisition for a Public Meeting to consider
the best means of obtaining a Reform in Parliament and to
state a day for such Meeting and those meetings to be continually
adjourned till a fixed day was Known for them to be held of
course wigan Meeting is already adjourned and a number of
others Much discussion then took place whether some populous
Meeting should not be convened and Hunt be Chairman
and for that Meeting to be a signal for all other Meetings to
make a general stand and a firm resistance and should we
see a deficiency in want of numbers to [rush?] into what we
call the unpolished Countys with placards Expressive of our
whole design and so Get them to join us in the General
Engagement – and to subvert by main force what then was [???]
probability of being done otherwise I am yours etc Alpha
To be Conti[nued]

HO 42/200 folio 279.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 1 Dec 1819.

Continued from yesterday – (2) Bolton 1st December
The Nottingham Convention seemed to be generally of Opinion
that it would be impossible for Government to withstand the all
powerful operations of both resistance by force of Arms and the
undermining of false Notes. The plan of Cobbetts was thought
unadvisable in strewing them in the streets as that might be
easily overruled but to pay these Notes and pay Obscure Mens
Wages with them and further to continue this Mode of circulation
till towards March or April and by that means and that time
to have a few Millions of Notes ready for general service money.
It appeared that Training by proper persons that were determined
to resist was a thing which ought to be encouraged and
such Men to be employed as could and would manage the
Business fairly. and all these to be paid in the Aformentioned
notes and Cash all they could and Hoard up the change till
they had obtained a sufficiency etc But it was thought wholly
unadviseable to do much this side Christmas except our
London Friends sends us some Contrary word which I
hope my Brother Reformers will get by Fridays Post –
I have the Pleasure further to inform you that Mr Colcraft
has obtained a Licence for our Union Room the Licence says
that the Commodious Room in Moor Lane is open for
Divine service on any Evening the Trustees may think proper
and on Sundays for both teaching the Poor both to read
and write and preach and so now we have a fair
opportunity of Instilling Political Principles into the
Rising Generation and I am certain we shall in a Sunday
or Two send for some Political Preachers such as Harrison
to give us [???] Public Lectures – and Just have a

subscription to defray the Mans Expences – and I imagine that we
shall have a Charity Sermon for a Commencement of such Services.
I find that Men of good talent and of good judgement are at a
complete loss to form any Idea whatever of what will be the result of
the present operations of Government – Men such as Hasleden. Roper
Naisby and a many other in that circle of life are at a Complete
stand in their opinions – Naisby wishes that Property tax and
Income Tax might be laid on because he is certain that His fellow
shopkeepers could not possibly pay it and he thinks by thay means
they would come over to the Reform Party – He says that People are
not sufficiently Oppressed to resist in a desperate manner the
government Party. He says he could command An Army as well
as Lord Wellington and declared to Wolstenholme and all He would
not be found wanting if called upon to such an Arduous task –
John Pickering was so anxious to Obtain his share of Peterloo
Money that He went over to Manchester yesterday in hopes of
drawing the same. But the Committee would not attend to him
till they had heard either from Brandreth or Yates – Of course
I shall call upon them to Morrow – Mr Cobbetts Letter are
now lying at Oliver Nicholsons for Public Inspection and
Mr Hasleden has sent to the Observer Office for 100 Copies –
the one is an address to the nation the other to the Boroughreeve
of Manchester – It his very throng now at Olivers –
There is an Order come from Lane Head and Chowbent for
some Articles belonging to the Bolton Union –
I forgot to state that the Nottingham People think of
seizing the Depots belonging to government and by that
means Arm themselves with the Best strengths Besides it is
fully thought that this would be some manner of Encouragement
to bring great numbers more to our side –
The Subscriptions belonging to Robt Ellison now amount to
as much as will make him eight shillings per week for
the whole twelve Months and when his time his expired
a subscription will be solicited from the Sizers. Shopkeepers
and Manufacturers that are Friendly to to [him?]

Some of the Districts are very slack at present and it is the
number of our Districts and not any extraordinary sums
that Keeps up our funds – york street is only 3s per week and
three months Back was – 9s –
We have prevailed upon Dr Black to go and visit the
wife Richd Haslam Topping Row she seems worse now than
when her thigh was broke at first on Hunts Entrance –
Mr Naisby has only 2 [pounds] left out of the Public subscriptions
and we have given her 4s out of that 2 [pounds] for a day or two
Some Important Communications are received from
Coventry by the Manchester Union they seem to think
that if Manchester will join them and by
[Ma]nchester they can easily execute vengeance on
Their opponents – The Manchester People have
Answered wishing them to Postpone any fresh measures
till they being near the present operations carried into
effect I think My dear Friend that it would almost
be worth while to reside at Manchester a few
days in a Week from Tuesday till thursday for the
sake of Important Communication that they
obtain from all Quarters every Day you may
Speak to this Effect I should have no Objection
to make a trial if the Expense would be allowed
I shall [write? tom?]orrow again Alpha

HO 42/200 folio 285.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 2 Dec 1819.

My Dear Friend (3) 2 Decb 1819
Since I committed my last letter to post I find
occasion for a Second Edition and you may
rest assured that something Important has
occasioned. We received a Letter about 6 o clock
last Night stating that next Monday but
one was agreed upon by our London Friends
for a General [e]Xpression of Public Sentiment
and for Acting upon all our afore Mentioned
Plans – Accordingly we warned the Committee
to attend at 7 and it was numerously attended
as they [e]Xpected some Acct of the [e]Xpenditure of
the 3 [pounds] which no one Knows but the Central
however they were deceived for nothing was
given up but the necessity of holding a Public Meeting

It was discussed much Mr Wolstenholme &
several others were against it at this moment
and did not sanction it However it carried
and a Committee of Management was chose
and it will be acted upon throughtout the
Kingdom. I have no time this Morning
As I am now dressed for Manchester and
rest assured I will collect those Materials that
ever our Bolton Central are not furnished
My dear Friend believe Me I have entirely
laid out my whole allowances in this cause
and I have hardly enough to go to Manchester
with and I draws much of it into the Revenue
again. I wish you would favor more for

only once with 3 [pounds] by to Morrows Post As I
shall see a number of Real Reformers on Sunday
that will be [e]Xpence – There will be a world of
Information to collect every day next week There will be
a great necessity for Going to Manchester on
Tuesday and Thursday and I extremely want a new pair
of shoes – and I have run a little Bad
this week or two so that if you could
give Me this One time I think I should have
no [e]Xtra demands to make for a while to come & rest
assured I will lay it out to the best advantage
Dissapoint Me Not to Morrow as I am in
need – And believe Me Honored Sir
There are a number of
things that I have not time for

HO 42/201 folio 512.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 21 Dec 1819.

Alpha – 21 Dec 819
MDL 21st Decb 1819
The reason you did not hear from me last Night again was I was
(the Sailor who spoke at the Wigan Meeting)
much detained by Walker ^ I introduced him to our worthy Brother
Mr Roper to whom he stated that he was completely embarrassed in
his circumstances so as not to be able to go any farther from the fangs
of Nadin without pecuniary aid having come from Flixon that Morning
with ten pence only on account of having previously sent his
wife all he could come at. he had likewise converted all his household
property into Money even till it came to pawning his watch
which was a very valuable one. he likewise spoke as if the child
which his Manchester Wife has was not his own. having two wives
and the first wife had two children. He said all these things lay at
this period very heavy on his mind Having served the Public to his utmost
having devoted his time and his talent to political purposes. the Idea
of Knight being confined in Lancaster Castle – Henry Battersby in the
workhouse which might be considered as a providential deliverance
from the Jaws of corruption himself exited from home and all that
was near and dear unto him seemed completely to overwhelm him
with grief – He then related his journey up to London and the
insolence he received from the Guards of the Coach was beyond every
thing because he would not give them something Handsome besides
the Coach fare and he had only 2 [pounds] 12s to go with and the fare was 2 2
as that He had only 10s to subsist upon. Confident that the London People
would bear the expence as the Doctor had sent for him to come But
Hunt’s insolvency on his entrance into London so affronted the Rumps
that they would not pay any thing towards the expences of the
Procession which was 78 [pounds] 00s per chaise and other fooleries such as flag,
and Wans [Wands?] and so forth 58 [pounds] was all they had in their Funds and
the other 20 [pounds] Thistlewood promised in a few weeks which the owners
of the chaise agreed to Thistlewood lives entirely upon the Allowances
which his fatherinlaws Generosity thinks proper to pay him weekly
not having a penny of his own. After this the Doctor Watson was
arrested for 80 [pounds] concerning the Public Dinner according to the News
papers where watson had no Hand in the Bargain for Dinner & so
the arrest on that account was rather premature – The Committee
of 200 as it is generally called are not a Committee But same as
if each Member of the Union was to be admitted into the Union

Room and each contribute what he thought most proper 3 or 6d just as
circumstances will admit. Mr West the wise worker is very much discour
aged at the internal disruption which Walker gave of Lancashire and
has almost entirely withdrawn from the Radicals on hearing of so little
unanimity amongst them – so that Walker had to come away entirely
pennyless from London. and the Confused description he has given
compared with Tetlows former description of London as quite timid as
the Manchester both Unionites and Watsonites – after walker was liberated
from under Broadhursts warrant Mr Harmer advised him to go out of
the reach of the Police entirely as he well Knew they were after him again.
Accordingly he went down to Flixon and the Doctor concealed him and
yesterday week he came incog to the Balloon in Newton Street Manchester
in order to meet the Manchester Active Committee to see if they would
pay him 2 [pounds] 14 which was due to him for services he had rendered them
as Secretary. They then stated that they owed Whithington Printer 3 [pounds] 0-0
they owed some trifle of Rent which left them about 9 [pounds] 0-0 to the Bad
and Mr Cox the Treasurer would not advance any more money on the
credit of the Union as all the Sections had nearly given over sending
any thing to the general Treasurer otherwise he would have had raised
them four of five pound as usual and so the Man had to go back
in the night to flixon. The Doctor advised him to quit the Knigdom
and walker immediately saw the propriety of it. on hearing all this
Mr Roper and yates Concluded that he was proper Object of charity &
as there would be some return of Poundage to our District we would
allow him something out of it. and Mr Wolstenholme and Mr Graham
were sent for to John Roper to see if they would coincide with our opinion
accordingly I hastened down to Wolsten’ and Barnet and Shaw were
come to relate the proceedings at Leigh. which were that when Lang
had warned the Stockport and Macclesfield People to attend the deputy
Meeting they Concluded upon an uninhabited house near Leigh to be [reported?]
and for a number to attend that House and about Seven to be elsewhere
concealed to manage the Business. Barnet stated that Mr Langshaw
went there with some regular Hussars and in the Men hearing of them
at the house they left it and so the Loyalists thought they had frustrated
the Meeting whereas no Business was ever intended to be the there transacted
wood from Stockport is the only Man that attended the Meeting for
management of affairs and the result was that the 1st and 2d of January [were?]
a most favorable opportunity they did not stay more than an hour

and a half – and each returned home again There will be another Deputy
Meeting towards next Monday to hear the Returns from yorkshire
a little more South and as far North as Glasgow. Barnet and Shaw
then left us and Wolstenholme came up along with Me to Roper when
we found Walker and Graham. Mr Wolsten’ asked many Questions as to the
flixon People and Walker answered that they were the best Radicals in all
Lancashire for Abstinence for Revolution – for Preparation – that they would not be
found wanting their duty as Reformers. it appears that the Doctor is a most
warm advocate for the present measures of Radicals And supports them every
way that lies in his Power with all the prudence and Caution that a wise
man could dictate – Wolstenholme made a number of enquiries after this
apparent Navigator and it seems to be Johnson in disguise. we then
expressed our approbation of Walkers leaving this County for the North and
thought it quite high time to come to the point and Wolstenholme
observed that nothing could be done presently on his part yet he wished
some pecuniary allowance for the Man. yates said that Mr Walker at all
events was as proper an object of Compassion as Roberts who had
acted so very inconsistently and he would move that walker should
have 5s from the District returns and if the district was not satisfied
he had no doubt but a few Individuals such as Roper and Graham
would let no Individual be a great loser therin. Mr Roper said
he should rather object to 5s being advanced but if any Person would
second yates motion he would not object yet he thought 3s from the
district and each of us then present a small mite would be a
good putting On – Mr Graham said he should wish as much as would
carry him over to Dublin as he might render great assistance to the
cause there and he would direct to some most respectable Friends
where he would meet both intertainment and concealment but he
that as it might he would second Yates 5s and vote for a private aid
amongst ourselves and Mr Roper said he would not object and so
Wolstenholme paid him 5s in advance for york street District and said
he would then act on behalf of his own but he wished us to consider
that there were only four Members in it and if it was not an uncommon
emergency and at the same time a Meritorious one he should not pretend to
any thing but he would lay down four shillings Knowing that these
few friends then and there present would look into the Matter if
his District objected to it

M Wolstenholme was considered Generous and in fact he always is so. Mr Graham
then as an Individual gave him half a Crown Roper and yates a shilling
each which made him 13s 6d to go on as far as Wigan. he was every way
thankfull for the favors we conferred upon him and said it should always
be remembered with gratitude. We advised him to stay at Wigan all night
and to go down to Liverpool this day where he will take some conveyance
in a day or two either to Carlisle or Glasgow by water – he has one bad
habit and that is no change of clothing – he has on a Blue Coat – a yellow
waistcoat and Brown Trousers. and Quarter Boots laced up before.
he will go in his Mothers Maiden Name and Correspond with his wife under
the same Cover. he will no doubt get eight or ten shillings amongst
the wigan People and his is sure of something at his friends in Liverpool.
He has promised to write to Roper and yates and acquaint them with
the Actual internal state of the North. He is a fancy skane [skein] Dyer by
trade and Carlisle is the most commercial Place for that Business
except Manchester. this was about four oclock and we parted and I
went with him to Dean Moor. I then questioned about Rockets he
would not positively say he had been Making at flixon at this time
but he said he had made Congreve Rockets a few years Back at Lea –
my Opinion is he has made now he did not doubt but such things
were amongst the Radicals. at all events he had Small Arms with him
and about 50 slugs of lead the following size (LEAD) in a
tin Box similar to a Flour Duster – He assured me that he would not be
inactive to the general Interest where he was going and he did not fear
the Rural Police of the North. he then thanked Me for the Friends I had
made Interest with shook Hands and Parted in the Middle of Dean Moor.
He was in good Spirits and would stop all Night at John Hasledens
chatterton in the Parish of [Irwell?] – These Men Walker Johnson the shoemaker
all going into the North will no doubt lay down every Plan and
use every means to promote the cause – Walker has had a plan of
the Mote and Platform connected with the New Bailey [??] writing and says
that it is very badly Constructed for Defence and shews poor
Judgement in the Men who found it He shewed Me the Plan it is
an exact one drawn by Hepworth of Flixon and walker says he
would arrange a few Radicals that would take the Men on the Platform
like a Wasp nest and I have no doubt but he so will
send these schemes down to Manchester. I am till to Morrow Alpha

HO 42/201 folio 514.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 26 Dec 1819.

My Dear Langshaw Bolton 26th Decb 1819
The Meeting at Thomas Greenhalghs Rothwell Now took place according
to notice with which our Brother Reformers have been acquainted.
There were present Thos Greenhalgh. Matthew Wolstenholme. John Barnet
Jas Makin Richd Thomason. John Pickering and [chair?] from Wigan. Jas Taylor
A Message was sent down to Wm Tootill but there was no return from him
and it is still supposed that he was deputed to London. It appears that unless
we can raise some Money for Both Manchester and Stockport the cause will
entirely have to be abandoned in both these Places. and it was completely
decided that Bolton could not assist either at this moment. It was then
discussed that in case the deputation came back and the measures were
still unsanctioned that a number of other causes would entirely abolish
the present Systems of the Cabinet Ministers at this Observation Makin
arose and said that the manner in which the Military were harrassed
about would soon discourage the Soldiers. the impossibility of them
being long supported and the manner in which some of them
disapproved of the dispersion of the Manchester Meeting – as all the
soldiers that had come into this Town had expressed their opinions
that if the People would commence a fray they would join them.
and further said that the manner in which they had moved about the
heavy duty they had to perform was all a good Omen towards obtaining
a Radical Reform – Greenhalgh now rose and said that if people would
adhere to Abstinence and by that means deprive Government of the means
of paying our enemies they would undermine the very vitals of the State
and some two or three years would entirely bring round a Reform in
spite of all that Ministers could execute. John Barnet now spoke
and said that so long as taxes could be gathered by a Troop of Horse
they would be and the day was now at Hand when we should see
it with our own eyes. and if Hunt and Cartwright would not
sanction the present Hostile measures he hoped the People would
altogether abandon them both for in no shape or form could they
obtain their Political Rights but by fighting for them. and every days
delay made the measure more difficult to be executed. He should therefore
move that a Spirit of resistance was encouraged more than what

had been of late and that it should be given as a decision of that
Meeting that its resolution was to Obtain our Rights or die in the
struggle He then enlarged upon the perseverance of the Observer people
the good they had done for these last two years and the bold manner
in which they declared they would still continue to promote the Cause in
spite of all that corruption could do – He further said that the manner
in which they were elected exclusive of the few that had the privilege
to vote it was abominable to Know by what means they came at their
money. He said he had an Idea that the expences of Elections were defrayed
in the manner he would then describe. and that was In times like
the present when silver was so particularly scarce owing to alarm
such as the stoppage of Cash payments which numbers did not understand
the [strewing?] [???] of a Puff out caused numbers of Country People to
Hoard up Silver thinking to secure themselves and what little they
had. but they were rendering the Ministers a service by so doing they were
little aware of – because the present scarcity of silver had raised that
article to 66s per ounce whereas the regular price was 62 and this
made 4d of a Profit to the Master of the Mint – which would amount
to 250-000 [pounds] per year and he thought these emoluments went to defray
expences of General Elections this was but one amongst a number
of others which he could quote pointed out the numerous improp-
er applications of Public property – This new Idea made Barnet rather
popular and he seemed much elated that he had gratified his auditors –
Wolstenholme now rose and said he never would be so very prominent
as he had been in Public Business tho he still retained the same principles
and would yet serve them so far as the Constitution would permit.
but as for civil war and open Rebellion he would not put up a
little finger and wished the Meeting then present to abandon such
Ideas he here enlarged upon the inequality of a Grand Lift and
shewed what execution the Engineers the Lancers and other powers
belonging to the State could execute and he would just ask what
or how could we raise 20-000 Radicals that would be true one to
another when and how must they be supported at this Inclement
season of the year it was folly to attempt any thing of the Kind.
and if any thing more was advanced on that score he would

immediately withdraw – and as the deputation from London could not
yet be heard of he thought it improper for any thing to be advanced
on that head. he hoped the Man from Wigan would not take any
thing amiss as he said but he should not wish that Meeting
to depute any Man to any deputy Meeting that might be held
on Sunday – he was decidedly against any thing being adopted by
the Meeting yet he would not object to it – He wished the Country
to wait and see what would become of Poor John Knight he
saw plainly that he must be sacrificed at his own shrine and that
was the reason why he was discouraged using Characters like him
confined and when Confined neglected by a pretend enlightened
Public would intimidate every active Man now engaged
in the Cause of Reform – for this fact he never would
[???] half way yet he would not throw his
Neck into an halter. The Man from wigan now rose and
said a very different spirit persuaded the Radicals of wigan
to what he had then been an eye witness to – he said Men
Women and Children of proper age there had firmly
decided that they would die before they would lose their
constitutional Rights and they wished some one to come
from Bolton and declare the Internal state of the Country
to them personally – It was agreed that Barnet should
go and tell them Candidly the proceedings of the
Radicals of Bolton
I am yours

HO 42/201 folio 516.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 27 Dec 1819.

My dear Langshaw Bolton 27th Decb 1819

Barnet went to wigan and staid all Night at our worthy
Brothers Mr Hasledens whites Sunday when he returned
there was Cleworth from Leigh. and one from Blackburn
and Whitaker from Bury and another Individual or
two. But no business of a Public nature took place on
account of the extreme damp that the seizure of the
nine Radicals at Manchester had caused upon their
Minds – They said it was plain to all intents and
purposes that the people would not be true one to
another in case of a Commencement of Hostilites it
would therefore be more advisable to postpone any such
proceedings as it appeared that arming with Pikes and so
on was chiefly a spy concern and more would be
found Armed amongst that clang than the Radicals
if the subject was properly furthered –
There was also a prevalent report that Tootill was
confined in the Lockups of New Bayley which was a
very Intimidating Circumstance –

nothing could be learned with respect to the deputation at
London and this gave great uneasiness to the Men there
present and they all complained that information was
quite growing irregular and so on but Cleworth said
it might be attributed to the embarrassed Circumstances the
Manchester People were In – The Plan of the 1st of January
was therefore Considered by them as abandoned unless something
then unforseen by them was brought up. Barnet stated
that a Letter had been received that about 5000 thousand
were out of various Kinds of employment and there would
undoubtedly join the General Muster for a Grand lift – The
Persons present would not sanction any thing of the Kind
and it was resolved that the Town of Wigan in Conjunction
with other Neighbouring Towns.
A charge Huzza Huzza my Friends
A Man is this moment arrived from Manchester with
Hand Bills stating that
We the Union of Manchester do intend to
hold a General Fast on Saturday the first of January 1820
and wish all other Towns to follow the Example

This Man tells us that Lang and Tootill are taken and that no
communications are allowed with them various reports have
gone abroad all day respecting Tootill We thought he certainly
had gone to London – the Man also says that Johnson of Flixon
is taken. But the Man from yorkshire and Scotland escaped
A Committee Man is gone back With the yorkshire
delegate to Huddersfield to prepare them for the general fast
A Man is gone back with the Scotch delegate to Scotland
to prepare them also for the general grand lift to be plain –
He has only 15 Hand Bills for Bolton – and Men are thus
deputed to do the Neighbouring Towns to take the same
there – about the Plan if it be possible it is to be acted
upon and he wishes to communicate with only
some one and for that one to get the same of Bolton
and send a Man over to Manchester with their full
determination – Accordingly I sent for my worthy Brother
Mr Roper and he wished me to send Branwood round
to Greenhalgh Barnet, Nicholson – to acquaint them how
we intend to proceed – Branwood is gone and the Man
is now writing for an Answer at my House
I am yours etc Alpha

HO 42/203 folio 556.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 6 Jan 1820.

My dear Langshaw January 6th 1820
Our worthy Brethren Messrs Roper and Graham and Tootill
were all very well received at our Friends Mr Wolstenholmes on
Tuesday Evening last after the usual Compliments and a little Repast
Roper Observed that it was no wonder Boroughmongers and wealthy
Parsons aspired after Heaven because the higher we went and the better
our state improved, youll observe we were up stairs, for the difference
was much greater even so low compared with the Earth that
every ones disposition would be increased as we rose higher. and
he hoped that it would give no offence if he drank a toast to all
around st Peters, he here alluded both to his own Christian
Profession as a Catholic and to the Reformers as connected with
Peterloo. Mr Wolstenholme then gave to all Friends round
st Pauls as a Dissenter. Tootill gave – Trial by Jury and may
the Grand Jurys of Lancashire learn the smallest qualities
of the Petty Jurys of London. Tootill then obtained leave to
express his gratitude to his Bail but at the same assured
them that he was not the least daunted at whatever
consequences might ensue because he Knew and was Conscious
he had done a Public duty and nothing but his duty
and he would never flinch an Particle from that neither
in Prison nor out. who knew but he would serve his poor
distressed Country in a prison as well as out and if not he
could study more deeply and assuag[e] fresh measures in a
cell than even in the full enjoyment of all his Friends
his heart bled for Poor but ever to remember Mr Knight
and it was visible that nothing but a sacrifice was intended
and if such a horrid Catastrophe should take Place he

felt conscious and from what he had seen and heard of the internal
state of the Country it would ruin their feelings to such a Pitch
that violent measures would almost be unavoidably the consequence
but the matter was quite unripe and Prisons would soon be twice
as full and Sacrifice Seven times more numerous before the
people would be sufficiently exasperated to rescue their best and
persevering Friends. he hoped we should not think he was appraising
of such measures but would it not rouse any Mans feelings to see
the Apathy of the People at this moment which was more serious
than any which had yet arrived. Look at the Reformers of Manchester
they had not even attempted to procure Bail for Lang. Lang the
Man that had travelled North and South that been with
them for years, well Known well tried. of a few words and even if
his nearest relations questioned him he Knew nothing. he had seen
nothing he had heard nothing. and Now in a Cold Cell. O what
Man could help but express his Indignation at such Conduct
look at Bamber Look at him from Blackburn where were the
reports were curious. It appeared that in both Cases that Bail
could only in Part be procured at least such as the JustAsses
would accept. This was dneying [denying] what the People had Professed
and unless they acted up to their Profession they were unworthy
of Being advocated they deserved to wear the Chains of which they
so heavily Complained. It had been agreed upon that when
the Meeting at Leigh was frustrated that never again should
one be held at Manchester. Contrary to this Bamber of West
houghton was the principal in convening that for which they
had already Paid so dear. This was altogether imprudent and
infatuated was those who complied with it, but such is the state
of People such their determination. and such their means of

correspondence that nothing could withhold the cause from proceeding
with rapid Strides. The time was at hand that all that had been active
in the Cause would be imprisoned for a while and those who had a
shilling left it would be drained from them by a Fine or some other
diabolical Providence but the observations would by next Christmas be
rectified the more they Persecuted them the more they would increase.
and tho the thing slept for a Moment yet it would rise with double vigour.
But to come to the Point My Friends when we were setting promiscuous
in Sydney Smith Manchester Charles Mason Came In having been
out on some Kind of a small necessity. saying Gentlemen
Elect a Chairman, there is Business of Importance yet to be transacted
and its time to proceed. I replied what Business here theres none
and as for a Chairman in a Public House would be to sell the
cause at once. he did not mind he would vote for a chairman
all eyes Glistened, and doubtful Eye with which they had viewed
him was then Confirmed each one Knew then that was the time
that they should Know one another no more, no sooner was this
Item put in practice than Nadin and his hell born witches
entered and made them Prisoners and they were Confined in
the Lockups till the following day, and on the Monday after were
arraigned Privately before Messrs Norris and Hulton or [??] in the
[Wood?]. Hulton asked if I did not Know a Man of the Name of
Wolstenholme at Bolton, and if he had not some forms and dirks
to dispose of belonging to the Union Rooms. But to this and
a many other questions I knew nothing and am determined
to Know nothing and we all Knew nothing not even one
another but all corresponded in one tale and Hulton could
not help observing that he never saw nine Men altogether &
each of them so coincident in their storys as these But no one
will here after neither in Court nor out of Court have any
Knowledge one of another – But my Friends had you
seen Ramsden [Ramsay] the Bengall Square Spy – talk his oath it was

a scene that depicted in lively Colors all the horrors of a Guilty Cons[cience]
his eyes rolled and his features were not Painted with an Innocent Blush
but it went first blue and then like a yellow Frog. his Hands trembled
like a withered leaf and I could not get to have a full view of him else
I would have stung him to the quick by an Honest Boldness. But Mason
is the Man we shall have to dread he seems to have every Accomplishment
that can befit a Man that would glory in another Mans destruction
his Blood stained Hands if I may so call them wavered not, he was
cool and deliberate and all the seriousness attached to him that
could give plausibility even in a Court and I am un informed
that he is quite an Old Hand at Inhumanity towards his fellow Men
There I leave him and soon was shackled with the Devils Trannels
to Johnny Grant and the First Person I spoke too was Robt Alison
a Man whom I had little more than twelve Months ago tho in
another Cause been a labourer with He was Kind and when my
Bail arrived he lent Me two shillings to pay the Cognizance with
and 6d to come home with he wished to be remembered to all
the Bolton Reformers and desired them to act Peaceably till a
more unanimous spirit could be found to exist amongst us
I walked from Lancaster to chorley and never stopped and their I
spent four pence and when I came to Bolton I had two pence left
This is the sum and Substance of all I shall say I mean after
this Nights [Carnivality?] to retire to be very little seen and to
concern with no one especially upon Politics till he Knew his doom
he felt confident he should have the honor of suffering with a number
of others for attempting to rescue his Native Land from the Jaws
of Tyranny it was the General Opinion in Lancaster that Hunt
[Cou]ld be sent to three or five years Imprisonment and a heavy fine
of about one thousand Pound. But I forbear to make any more observations
on such sacrifices but The People would Act as they Judged and he would wish
that that Judgement be it what it may might be Indulged. he thought it
would be a wise Plan if such of the nine could a obtain a Separate Counsel
which might be otained for about two Pound a Man and that would
secure them on this side because if they were for them of Course these would
be fewer against them But this was a Point which he should leave to
those Friends who had hitherto Considered for him the means would
have to be voluntary subscriptions and that he was satisfied would
be a liberal one and the Powerful Friends he had then around him
would he had no doubt use their best influence but at the same
time he Knew that the exigencies of the times and pressing demands
of Public Servants was very great. I thank you for your attention
gentlemen and if I am at times too warm you will excuse it as
I am naturely of a Hot temper. He was not allowed to make any further
Apology. Mr Roper then spoke and said. Friends A detail like that of
our Brother Tootill is highly gratifying on the Present Occasion and
if any thing can raise us to double our exertions surely the recital
and rights of persecuted Friends and Servants would Inflame us
with that Patriotic zeal that was in some case too much lamented.
For his Part for twenty years more under the Present System it would
not change his Sentiments but aggravate He was no votary for a
revolution yet at the Same time so long as People tamely submitted
to be thus taunted over they would always be slaves and nothing had
tended more to degrade the People of England than the sharking
Rulers for natural Rights. Rights that were Inherent with them
that good had given them and those Men that were the Servants

of the Public but he’d never thank till they were worthy of it the days of
general Interest were more arrived and the day was here when all would
see the propriety and sound Doctrine of the Radical Reformers what
Objects did the Unionites of Bolton pretend on what had they in view as a
Body what had they done, why not a Bellingham could be found amongst
them and an Hundred Bellinghams would create a Reform in one day
Was it not Plain that the Present Ministers would not spare us a lot
and what Harm could there be in the destruction of an Irish Castle
nay his firm belief was that the Present Rulers would care to
Destroy by any means whatsoever no less that two or three
Hundred thousand People, we were too many upon the clod and the
Ministers were conscious that the People would soon be too many
for them But he had a Plan and it was now in some Measure
carried into effect in Birmingham, that was for every one that
could not actualy procure a Billy full of Meat to go to the workhouse
by thousands and insist and Demand Immediate relief. The better
sort of shopkeepers in Birmingham were now paying as much as 10 to 12
shillings per Day for Poor Leys and there was not a more dire means
of investing the Rich from Hanover to England than by draining the
Money of their Pockets. this and this alone would soon make
the Government Glad to come to a compromise. He had the day
before heard a Church and King tradesman say the Radical Weavers
would soon find something else to Plot up against the Manufacturer
man as they were insufficient to overthrow the Government this was
Joseph Haslams a Tyrant as far as lay in his Power. He had one favor
to request and that was that Mr Graham would favr us with a few
Remarks that were in his Possession Respecting Mr Stephens Loyal and
pretended Patriotic Sermons at oldham street chapel Manchester
and if it would not be thought Amiss he would give a fresh toast
and that was in allusion to St Stephens at London Namely –

“An ill bred Press seldon made a good dog” Mr Graham then said
that after the animating speeches that had been delivered the Remark
before alluded to which were drawn up by Mr Schofield of Christ Church
Hulme could add very little to the Sentiments conveyed However as
all present had probably not heard them he would just give an
outline of them and in the first Place he charges Mr Stephens with
imagining that the Poor were of very little service now days as they had
not silver to give at every chapel for they might wish to enter.
He likewise reminds him of the great impropriety of excluding Children
from Sunday schools for nothing but wearing Drab Hats and points
out the illiberality of the Sentiment in People not being allowed to
please their own Fancys in any thing they may choose to
purchase. He then draws a Comparison betwixt what he has said
and what as Christian Minister he aught to have said. And
Concludes that in Consequence of Mr Stephens signing the Loyal Address
of the People of Manchester that he sanctions the Conduct of
Meagher the Trumpeter and the Brutality of the yeomanry
and his readiness to support an Armed Association in Time of
General Peace both at Home and abroad, He then enters on
a Broad Field of Argument and shews the Limited sense in
which Pauls thirteenth Chapter of Romans aught to be considered
He traces the Instances in which the Powers that be all of God
from Charles the First down to the Present Ferdinand of Spain
and the establishment of the Inquisition and Paints the most
horrid deed in all these Reigns as proving that these establishments
are solely from the Devil. as all good Government must be
from God – and all bad Government from the Devil –

He then states that when a Government is a very good one he [text obscured]
it is the duty of every one to submit cheerfully to it. to support it &
to pray to almighty God for its well being and Continuance.
Secondly, when a Government is a defective one. it is every ones duty
to contribute all in his power. to restore the Body Politic to health
without disturbance, revolution or Mischief.
Thirdly a Government may be a very Bad one, corrupt and oppressive
and beyond all possibility of Amendment. When therefore a Government
is incurably bad cursed are the hands that hold up and blessed are
the hands that Pull down. Mr Graham here concluded.
A few Friends such as Yates and Brandreth have drawn up
the following Pettition on behalf of Joseph Shaw.
* to be tried the ensuing Salford Sessions for vending Sherwins Pamphlets *
“The Friends to the Cause of Reform are earnestly called upon
to consider the case of Joseph Shaw who has had a Bill of
Indictment preferred against him at the las[t] quarter Sessions October 1819
for selling a Register of Sherwins Published the 31st of July 1819 on the
23rd August 1819 and the Grand Jury at New Bayley finding a true Bill
against him charging him with selling the same with a willfull Intent to
draw his Majestys liege subjects, especially the Military from their Allegiance
to the King and Constitution as by law established in consequence whereof he
was immediately arrested and taken to New Bayley Prison and Confined
in the Lockups till Bail could be procured, which so materialy impaired
his health that he was totally unable to work for 6 weeks and has
a wife and three female Children which rendered it considerably
necessary to traverse till the Present sessions which will commence
on the 18th of January 1820 Consequently an Expence has been incurred
which at this time would greatly distress him to Discharge &
materially injure him in that trade from which we have desired a
Knowledge of our liberty as Britons, an injury our enemies would
take advantage of to crush Him and again plunge us into that
state of Darkness which it is the Interest of the Enemies of our
Country to Keep us in.

Therefore let us as Britons who has the welfare of our
Country and Countrymen at Heart afford that
pecuniary aid to a persecuted Individual to enable to
struggle against the tools of corruption and finally
obtain those Privileges which are the equal
Birthright of the Sons of Britain
6th Jay 1820
The Man from Padiam came to say that a few Friends
will meet some where Privately betwixt three Pits
in Hopewood and Rochdale about half way on
towards Middleton from Oldham Royton Rochdale
Burnley Colne Padiam, and at Stockport on Wednesday
next to proffer some fresh means both with regard
to stirring up the Reformers of Lancashire and
yorkshire and also some Means to [be ???]
with respect to the Prisoners at Lancaster

I have good pretext to attend both these Places
as I have an Uncle at three Pits and Mr Harrison
will introduce Me into any Company I know and I
wish to have his sentiments upon different Private
Matters as he is such a revolutionist and I also
wish to see Perry the Stockport Secretary a Worthy Friend
This Christmas Sir has thrown Me into the Back
Ground a little and the weather is altogether
incessant and expensive traveling but the time
is a urgent one and I am sure it is the farthest
thought in my mind to be [e]xtravagent but Sir
you will allow for this Holiday and Please to remit
for one More surely we shall have less Business
and by 3 [pounds] to Morrow and I will go on Saturday
early. I think Bamford is the Author of this
fresh scheme – youll think of Alpha and he will
ever feel the Obligation that he is under

To his Brother Reformers
Compliments to all enquiring Fri[ends]
yours Alpha
He intends to go from Middleton to Manchester
from their to Stockport but you shall
have the Proceedings daily – I hope its not going
to be a second Nottingham

HO 42/203 folio 386.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 9 Jan 1820.

My dear Langshaw (No 2) Bolton 9th January 1820
Alpha is much obliged for the receipt of yesterdays favor and assures
the Brethren that a prudent application of the Money intrusted to his care
shall be duly attended to and has to Acknowledge that his claims of late
have now and then been rather overrated but hopes this will be looked
over in case such extra applications are not made for the future and
has no Idea that more than One Pound per week will be solicited
very shortly and this He knows his Brothers exhaustible
sources will afford and further inform them that he might be
engaged at a reasonable rate for the ensuing twelve Months if they
think it advisable he hopes and the ensuing week shall redound with that
extra diligence such an extra reward demands a word to the wise is
quite sufficient without any further Introductory Observations.
To proceed to the more important Business of the day your Deputation
arrived at Middleton about five oclock yesterday afternoon and made
the Best Inquiries after the zealous advocate for the Cause Saml Bamford
I found him at a Private House in that street leading up towards
the Church he told Me to go slyly on towards a little village called three
Pits and somebody would Identify Me I went about a Mile and a
Person accosted Me and wished to know if I am from Bolton I turned
into a Gable End House on the Right Hand side the Highway about a
stones throw from a Canal Bridge. In this House there were a
some three or four Persons and each had a piece of a Blue Battered
Plate I was asked if I had one I produced a piece that the Man
from Padiam gave Me and so was received amongst them

There were six Men in Number One from Oldham, Padiam, Black
burn Middleton Leigh and Bolton. Bamford said there had
been a promiscuous Meeting the Saturday before and the
Loyal Party had stated some thing to that effect in a Kind of
Circular but he had been sent for by the Editor of the Observer
to Know if it was the Case as no Business nor any chairman Elected
of course he Authorised them to state upon his Authority that no
such Radical Meeting had been held in Middleton and but a
Similar Charge should be made again they would take a walk
into some obscure Meadow quite Distant from the Town and
then no Conjecture Could arise. he then requested that the Parts
should be jointly put together and in Consequence he produces
a Centre Part of Plate and the rest all completed this holy
foundation of a fresh Commencement of trying for our Liberty.
We then took a Walk over Hedge and Ditch till we came to the top
of a place like Mr Langshaws Back Door I am speaking
in respect of the sham and there was a large House and some
trees as if it might be Near bolton and they called it Chadderton
Hall but I am no little acquainted with that part of the Country
that an accurate Description will be overlooked especially as it
was now eight oclock. Mr Bamford then Congratulated us
upon this Kind of Meeting being very much adopted in different
Parts of the Kingdom the Plan having sent over from Ireland and
if the Pieces of Pot tallye they should always say what might
be intended but if all did not meet well there would be no
business done and this would do away with delegate Knowing
one another Names and the Meeting would always be in a
Contrary Plan to advertisement – He then said that the Object of this
Meeting was to see if all Towns would make an attempt to
raise and form a General Deputation up to London against
the next opening of Parliament with instruction to protect
against the late New laws and further to Protest and insist
upon an enquiry being established into the Manchester affair and

that a General Subscription throughout the Country be opened for such Purposes he
Knew of a Fact that the Spinners and nearly all the Artisans were ready to give
a shilling per week towards the Measure and all other Artisans in proportians
He had a Letter from the Champion of Liberty Hunt wishing that some
thing of this nature might be entered into a very spirited Manner
and that Gentleman he was sorry to say was quite indignant at
the application of the two thousand pounds that had been subscribed – the
Man from Blackburn and Padiam said that each Town had more already
to do than it would be able to bear and all persons might plainly
see that all courts all juries all judges were prejudiced against the
Reformers and any thing of this Kind would be quite useless at this
time and where would the Men be found that would go in such a Mission.
For his Part he would wish that so long as the New Laws were in force
that People should be still and persevering and ready to burst with
double fury upon the Hydras of Corruption as soon as they were abolished
same as the present year had bore ample Fruit from the Suspension
of the Habeas Corpus Act. They would just ask what had been effected by all
the Unions Put together only that expences had been easily paid in cases of
delegation and the Sound of Union had made the Loyal Party Completely
alive to the Objects that Radical Reformers had in view. Had not Blackburn
laid out 30 [pounds] and even now an ungrateful Public thought they had
almost done too Much. Had not Bolton Collected and expended near
forty Pounds and what better Prepared were the Public either in
Point of Information or willingness or determination that before
and had not the Reformers of Manchester expended 160 [pounds] all
with an intent to have effected some Public Good and what
state were the People now in. He said it was almost useless to
point out Stockport that had laid out near 500 [pounds] on Public
Servants and that town was now placed in the Back
ground. Was not the Stockport People an example of all
that was persevering and generous what had they not done for
Harrison and the other Chester Prisioners yet when Harrison said
that it would be impossible for the people to Keep pace with
the expences that the opposite party would put them to – and
as an arguement why nothing should be done that was the
Aspect of Public execution – what success had the Pettition of
Bamford had in the house of Commons tho presented by the
Earl of Grosvenor he should say that the only safe Plan would
be for information to be conveyed about like this and that

Private Meeting like this would ensure every Mans Safety and
that something like a General Subscription should be opened for
the leading Characters amongst the Prisoners but it was his
decided opinion that if Hunt would make his appearance
Publicly in Lancashire again that even still the People would
be again Animated and if Hunt was severly dealt with he
did believe it to be the Private views of that Man to let and
even encourage the People to serve themselves in their own way
Mr Bamford then said that a Many of the Characters that had
property and were under Bail were determined to dispossess themselves
of every halfpenny they had for Instance Wroe had already
taken the value of his stock and was going to assign all
over to another quite fresh Proprietor so that whatever Fine
might be levied upon him he would never pay a penny and
that his Carcass he did not value because the Concern should
be turned over in such a way as his Wife and Children could
derive some benefit from it and further said that he was not
a hundred yards from his own Office all that nine weeks they
were in search of him and every vigilance had been used to
find him. Nothing could be arranged in a
Conclusive Manner and the Meeting broke up little Better than
it began only that it seemed to be the opinion of the Men
from Blackburn and Padiam that a Riot would be easily
begun by & by in that quarter it was then ordered that the
result of this Meeting should be that – it was the determination
of the Radicals to persevere with a stillness undiscernible by
the Loyalists and that if any Reports were Circulated by the Police
respecting a Second Meeting at Middleton that no Meeting had been
there nor within the Townships neither could any Person Prove it
However the Friends from the South will be towards Stockport
or Macclesfield on Wednesday and if at Stockport we shall
be in some fields betwixt Hope Hill and Justice Philips
and if towards Macclesfield I can not tell where it will be
allotted. However the Proceedings of the day will be left at
the Post Office a little before eight this Evening and if you
have any request to Make you may send a line betwixt and
then. I am yours etc Alpha –

HO 42/203 folio 363.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 11 Jan 1820.

My dear Langshaw, Manchester 11th Jany 1820

I have just been having a long interview with
Mr Johnson of Smedley and his zeal seems completely
animated. Mr Knights son of Lancaster was there
with a Letter from his Father stating the bad Usage he
met with not being allowed to wear his great Coat etc
and wishes the Public to consider him in his present
confinement and the rest of his fellow Prisoners with
him. Mr Johnson made a number of enquiries what
spirit the reformers of Bolton were in. I told him they were
rather flat he says this is the only time for them to be alive
and if they will exert themselves a Reform may be obtained
in less than three Months from Now. [Sir?] Mr Johnson is
going to write to Mr Brandreth of Bolton wishing him to
establish a subscription for the Persecuted men under Confinment
and I am to call for the Same on Thursday and as I should be
able to furnish Mr Langshaw with the original if he thinks
it essential. He wishes to recommend the reading of yesterdays
Cobbet and he wished the Country to seize the 5000 [pounds]
he therin solicits as it will do the work of Radical Reform
Completely and 600.000 Reformers at 2d per piece will seize
the sum required and at the same time Mr Johnson is in
possession of what the Man is and he also is certain of

its having the desired object in view – he wishes the people to
consider their own Interests and I never saw Mr Johnson
in such good Spirits in all my life. I have hust learnt
The Observer office and Wroe and Saxton are both in equal
good Spirits upon the scheme and they are sending off to
all the Towns round for Subscriptions to be opened both
for Knight and the other prisoners and also for Cobbett
Mr Johnson is a strong a Radical as I have yet had
the honor to be acquainted with and he wishes all the
encouragement to given that is necessary.
He had also just recd a letter from Hunt wishing
him to aid and assist all in his Power towards
raising the sums aforementioned both for Cobbett and
the Prisoners at large.
Mr Johnson says that Walker has been at Flixon
a few days ago and soon after he was there eight
Men were took up and he said this Confirmed him
that Walker was not that good Character he is
generally reported to be – and he had Constantly acted
in opposition to him and should do and he wished
Me to caution the Reformers of Bolton against
relieving him in any shape of form whatever –
He wished to know if his wife had applied for
relief to the Reformers of Bolton I said she had asked

some four or five shillings towards getting a New
Cutting frame but she had not yet recd it She
said he did not like the Idea of young People especialy
looking up to the Public for Support in case they
were by any Measure left alone. But he hopes the
Reformers of Bolton will open their eyes and support
those whom they see are realy the Publics Friends
and were she and he thinks they have plenty to do without
attending to walker and his wife –
Last Night a letter was Recd from John Heys
wishing a Copy of his Committment which would
be 2 shillings and Henry Hibbert of Ridgeway [???]
to Consult Heys Committee upon it – Accordingly he [???]
to Matthew Wolstenholme and Wolsten and Hibbert are
to consult Naisby and Brandreth Naisby wished it to
be got for him – but Brandreth was quite abrupt
and said it was superfluous as he was Confident
no Bill would be filed against him and he would
have nothing to do with it this gave great offence to
Wolstenholme in Particular who told him that
he was always in the Back ground when he should be
most active
I am on my way to Stockport
Cannon Street
Manchester } yours etc Alpha
in part c

HO 42/203 folio 332.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 12 Jan 1820.

My dear Langshaw Stockport 12th January 1820

I arrived safely at this Town last Night and found
that a stillness prevailed amongst the Reformers in this
part. I paid a visit this forennon to our worthy
the Revd Harrison If I may so be allowed the term –
I found him in the Stockport Union Room which he
rents amidst about twenty very poor Children Indeed
He was in the same cool deliberate frame that he is
so remarkably Noted for And tells Me that nothing
gives him so much pleasure as the present stillness
of the Radicals at this time he says the Courier is
boasting of this as if the principles of Reform and
Reformers is done away with but far from that he
considers that great progress is daily making amongst
them and he was much hurt to hear that we had given
up the assembling of numbers together at Bolton &
further informed Me that they were the same organised
Body as hitherto they had been and though rather
embarrassed and the Public a little backward at
this Moment yet a few days would create fresh life
and vigour amongst us. But he says that it is

impossible for the Public to support the demands that
could be Consistently made upon them and he says
that there are about fifty of them that will plead
to the Astonishment of all both Judge and Jury when
brought into open Court. He says he is labouring under
the Keenest Embarrassment in his Circumstances at
present but he pretends to have faith in God who he
says will deliver out of the enemies Hands but I
think he is relying more upon the Physical force he
so often Preaches about than on providence –
He seems quite offended that walker should have
been elected Chairman at wigan Meeting and advised
Me to have nothing do with him for he Imagines
him to be a very dubious Character
He then asked Me what I thought upon Cobbetts
new plan and whether I thought the 5000 [pounds] would
be raised or not I told him I thought it would
but I had not exactly the Right Idea of Cobbetts
plan Except it was the Puff out – he said from
all that he had yet been able to learn that was
what the money was wanted for to execute Plates
and appoint a sufficient Number of Men to carry

them to every Part of England Scotland and Wales
and this or abstinence was the only sure stroke
that could be acted on the Part of the Reformers
and if then both failed he should recommend as
a last resort Hostile Measures. And I still am of
opinion My dear Langshaw that these Men will do all they
can to cause a Riot previous to March assizes.
I then asked him what Friends he expected this Night
and where we should Meet he and I must call upon
him at his own house Castle Row Near Sandy Brow
At five oclock and the Meeting would be at some
private House out of the Town and a Man from
Macclesfield and Manchester and Ashton were all
that he Knew of a Certainty would attend
I promised to wait upon him. I then called
Wm Perry the Secretary to the Stockport Union – [???]
him that I believed there was not that quantity
of Pikes and Pistols in no place as had been stated
nor any thing like it he assured Me there was some
Hundred of both Pikes and Pistols in Stockport
and he would defy the strickest search to find
them. He said no search had been as yet made
and if there was it would be trouble but he then
Mentioned that a Constable and a Sergeant at

Ashton set out to different Houses about Midnight
and searched till break of Day but found Nothing
and one House alone that they searched throughout
had six Pike Heads and two Pair of Pistols under
the Hearth – Nothing More at Present till Ive gone
to Morrow Evening I am yours etc Alpha

HO 42/203 folio 327.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 14 Jan 1820.

My Dear Langshaw Bolton 14th Jany 20
I have had the pleasure of reading our Friends
Mr Johnsons Letter to Mr Brandreth which is very
plain and concise and Just wishes him to
exert himself at this Moment being an Important
one For Cobbett has three distinct Objects in view
with the Money. First is to buy a borough and
return himself. the Second is the puff out tho he
has pledged himself not to do it personally and
the third object is, To support Mr Hunt at the next
March assizes and if the 5000 [pounds] should fall short
of procuring all their objects he thinks that if
the Country saw any one of them likely to be attained
they would raise a second 5000 and so he considers [second?]
that it only needs respectably establishing and it

will be easily collected. This is the sum and substance of
the Letter. And Mr B and [CuliHans?] going up Moor Lane
was yesterdays to Oliver Nicholson to get Oliver to
open a Book. Mr B will have one at his own House
and has been Soliciting Mr Wolstenholme this Morning
to open One but Wolstenholme seems too timid and has
declined having one. Mr B wishes our Books to
be opened in Town and for all the Districts to collect
and soon as Mr B is quite Satisfied it will have the desired
object in view –
Thos Clement went to New Bayley on Wednesday last and
procured a Copy of John Heys Committment and
was allowed five shillings for his Journey. he paid two
for the Copy and gave John two shillings which &
four pence for a Letter going with Contents is 9s 4d –
out of the remainder of John Mary Alpha

HO 40/12 folio 326.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 17 Apr 1820.

My dear Langshaw Bolton 17th April 1820
On Sunday Evening a few Friends Met at the House of
Timothy Ramsden Deansgate Bolton to consult the
Particular Topic of the Day. There were present Mr John
Brandreth. Mr John Graham. Mr Robert Heywood of Mount
Pleasant. Matthew Wolstenholme. David Bamber and one
or two others. Mr Ramsden was addressed as Chairman tho
there was not any election of a President Being Sabbath
Evening. Mr Brandreth Read a Letter that he received
on Saturday from Mr John Knight at Lancaster Castle
it Acknowledged receiving five Pounds from the Town of
Great Bolton and expressed his gratitude for the same
he said that the Judge endeavoured to shew himself
impartial at the same time he impressed on the
minds of the Jury the Great necessity of the Law
being Out in full force on such Cases. he then states his
sentence of two years Imprisonment in Lancaster Castle
and for aught he knows is liable to Be called up in
Court of Kings Bench to receive another additional
sentence. He then goes on to state the inconsolable

grief of his Wife at his Confinement and that she Anticipates
that one or other of them shall close their days before that
time – The Letter is a great length But this is the main
substance – Mr B observed that one would Imagine from
the present poor facts Before us that In two years from
now. that all Prisoners for Political offences if not liberated
by concessions from Government would Be released by the
exercise of Physical force for nothing else would cause
the Boroughmongers to give up their influence –
Wolstenholme then Rose and said that it was
the sufficient circumstance that had yet occurred – that Sir
Francis Burdett and Hunt were in amicable terms for
Both of them together would make a formidable foe in
the House of Commons to the present Sessions and he wished
to god it was true that Hunt was a member for Saltash
in Devonshire for he was convinced that Both Magistrates
and Ministers would Be told of their faults in a manner
yet unprecendented and he hoped Sir Francis would soon
become a Real Radical Reformer. at least a little more
persecution would make him one if nothing else would
Mr Graham then Said that the feelings of his
CountryMen were particularly affected at the unfortunate

End of McGinnis and though there was much talk of
Physical force and Physical strength and Physical numbers
why did they not act on these occasions for if force
was intended to Be acted upon – nothing surely would be
more irritating than to see Men executed for doing that
which they pretend wants doing namely a destruction of
civil and Military Power But this young Irishman had
left his adherents behind him and he hoped that Birch
would Be glad yet to quit Stockport with [page torn]
safe. Robert Heywood then stated the length of
the Revolutions of France Ireland and Spain
were in Coming to perfection and thought that the
progress was Both as sure and as safe and certain and
as close at hand as any in that Company could wish
and we lived in a generation that would soon Be as Remark
able for its Political Changes as it had Been for a
public spirit of Military and naval Glory
Timothy spoke and said that one had better suffer
oppression than be involved in a Civil war and
we all Came to our Separate homes —-

HO 40/13 folio 227.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 25 May 1820.

Sir 25 May 1820 Manchester 2 oclock
I seize this moment Because I perceive I
shall not have another till I am too late for
the Part our Friend Colclough is arrived and
others are expected evey minute the following
is a Copy of his credentials
To the Committee of management etc
The Bearer Colclough is authorised not to
decide to any measures that is termed either
legal or Constitutional for we are sick of
Both and feel fully persuaded that
neither of these things will do us any
Beneficial Good for every measure has
Been tried But one and that must either
Be soon resorted to or we shall not Be
able to effect it for you perceive as we

do that Government daily gains Strength
and has done even since peterloo therefore the
longer we putt off the more Measures will
Constantly Be sacrificed and it will require
more to Commence the Grand Harvest of
Revolutionary Reform, will seek no redress
any more But in our own ways and
hope you will hasten the glorious day in
which we are to try our eternal fate in this
World of Tyrants Boroughmongers and
Magestical Kings
Signed The Nottingham Committee
for effectual Reform

We shall assemble this evening somewhere
I dont know where yet
Excuse yours Alpha –

HO 40/13 folio 299.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 12 Jun 1820.

Dear Langshaw Esqr Bolton 12 June 1820
youll accept the Acknowledgements of Gratitude without any
eulogiums for your favor of Saturday last at the same
time – youll excuse a small neglect – Being a Post Behind.
desultory Business in Reform has chiefly Been transacted.
Last night the following Persons attended at the House of
Mr Wolstenholme John Graham in the Chair – Roper. Ellison.
Makin. Joseph Haslam. Tootill Bowden, Driver, Barlow Mr
Graham opened the Business By Communicating on the injustice
of Mr Hunts Sentence He said that nine out of ten all round
Leicester and Northamptonshire loudly exclaimed against
the unjust treatment he had met and wondered how a
people intent on their own Rights and Privileges would suffer
such an Hero to Be thus Confined. what in the name of Heaven
would Rouse the Indignation of a Spirited People surely
something would do it and surely the time was arrived it was
said that the Middle Class of Men were aware to such measures
But he was not averse to any thing that would restore Briton’s
to the employment of their ancient freedom –
Wolstenholme now moved that the account of the Queen
through france her arrival in England and her Reception
in London Be read from the Manchester observer which
was done By yates after which Mr Roper entered into a
very long detail of the Conduct of Henry the Eight and
the present King in the treatment of Both Queens He
painted the Innocence of Henrys Queen for she had declared
solemnly Before God and Man that she brought her virgin
ity to Bed to him and that he knew it as well as herself

The present King was an undeserving wretch and it would Be his
glory to see him Hurled from the throne of the British dominions
and see a Burdett exalted to his place or any Man that had
common Sense. he hoped the Queen if she was tried would reign so
Generaly through the Hearts of the People that they would shew their
indignation at any Contempt that might might Be displayed
towards Her He Knew of nothing so likely to Be productive of a
civil war as something of this nature. He hoped that some or any
trivial Circumstance would Begin a Revolution and and he did not
care what for nothing else would do and the longer it was delayed
the more difficult it would Be to Be otained He again adverted
to Henry the Eight and shewed that that Monarch never spared
Man in his wrath nor woman in his lust and wherin had
the Great Babylonian Hag differed from him. he was a Tyrant and
a stranger and had as much Right to Be dismissed from his
office as any other servant of the Public. He then went through in
long detail of the Convulsed state of all Europe the great Probability
of each nation following the Example of Spain and Russia
was Ripe already and they kept gagging their King of which he
scurried then at the close of the war for to their Activity he
ceased his throne his Crown and all the Honor he now enjoyed.
He had another view of the subject to take and then he would
give place to any others that might speak and that was the
likely to Be
additional Restrictions that were ^ laid on British goods By the
American Congress might cause a small animosity Between
the two Countrys and By some means or other involve the
British Government in a foreign war thus would call all the
Regular Troops out of the Kingdom and there would Be

Regular and Supplimentary Militia all from Men harmless of them
good Reformers in their Hearts. this favorable opportunity would Be seized
without a doubt and the Crippled state of our Financial System would
totally disable and overturn the present Ministry. this would create
a Civil war at Home and this would Be more than King and Ministers
could impede thus in his humble opinion the Allegiance of the
People would Be Broke and this would be the only step for an effectual Reform
Tootil now Rose and said all that Roper had advanced was exactly
congenial with his own Idea But he did not think proper to wait
till a foreign war should Be deeply afloat why not seize the present
moment for an English Blow would Be the foundation and the
wise way of causing all Europe to do away with tyranny. It only
wanted mutiny with almost half an equal Power for like all other
Rougery. Villainy. and every Kind of wickedness if it was properly opposed they
would flee and call for Mercy Same as the Enemies under the [???] yet
He was well aware that they were all desperadoes now Because they
were first they would fight like desperadoes so long as they were [page torn]
and tho he had long Been Reserved – out of Regard for what the [page torn]
had done for him yet he would on Condition that every class Leader
in Bolton would send or transmit a faithful account of the actual number
of Men that each Leader was Confident would act from principle
without the administration of oath or oaths. he would lead them
up face to face to the Bolton [gunnery?] for he was sure they were
more Hot with inflamation than the Regulars He Repeated he
would lead them up and Brave death a thousand times for he would
not his life put his Country and his fellow Creatures Freedom
I would not say how much Tootil was applauded for
His Speech youll judge that he is Considered a coward
Excuse this Hasty Scroll

HO 40/14 folio 131/132.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 21 Jun 1820.

Copy from Alpha
Bolton 21st June 1820
The Intelligence from France is simply comprised
under the following heads. 1st they wish the Reformers
of England to persevere and never cease exerting themselves
till they obtain all their Rights and privileges as English-
men – 2ndly – They will join in striving to cause a –
similar exertion in their own country in case the –
English will commence and correspond with them.
They will send a Delegate to England if the English
will send one back again with him as a confirmation
of any plans or measures they may be in possession
of. They will join all Europe in overturning
Tyranny and an impatient anxiety for the above
results pervades a great part of the enlightened
community. These Resolutions are drawn at
Calais from correspondents at Lyons Rouen and
Cambray and forwarded to William Tootill by his
“Post office Friend.”
This was read at the Union Rooms at 5 oclock
in the afternoon in the presence of Wolstenholme
Ellison, Lang, Bradshaw, O’neal, McLellan, etc. at
Manchester. Copies of the above are to be
forwarded to Yorkshire and the North.
Stockport and Macclesfield are already in posses-

Copy from Alpha
Bolton 6 July 1820
To the brave Reformers of Manchester and its connected
Towns in Lancashire.
The Spirit of liberty in this part is only waiting the anxious
result of the trials of our fellow prisoners in Bondage.
We are not here opposed with that weight of Military Force
which the guilty consciences of the Manchester Magistrates
deems necessary for their own preservation. We are happy
in seeing that all manner of Correspondence is not given
up betwixt you & Yorkshire & Nottinghamshire and
more especially that you have a small Rivulet into
France which we hope will soon be extended into a
channel that will enable us to convey more enlarged
Ideas of the internal State of each country. May the

French succeed in erasing the name of Bourbons from
France – May the English destroy every Branch of
Brunswick House and may afflicted Ireland claim her
own system of Representation in the sincere prayer of the –
Radical Reformers of Scotland – we will lose no time in
sending a copy of the French News to Ireland and
we hope you will send the French some encourage-
ment to obtain their own objects. and assure them
that Scotch seek the happy day of Europes emancipa-
tion from Monarchial Government. We shall remain
as silent as inactive and we hope as powerful as the
still small voice of God til we see the fate of our
fellow Men.
yours in the bonds
of liberty the
Scotch Reformers
signed Wilson

[Note: Letter most probably written by James Wilson the Sottish revolutionary executed 30 August, 1820]

HO 40/14 folio 133.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 4 Jul 1820.

Honored Friend Bolton Tuesday Evening
4th July 1820

I have this day had the pleasure of Walking to Manchester
as usual and have Been favored with a sight of
the following lines from Yorkshire –

To the persevering Reformers of Manchester
Huddersfield 24th June 1820 –

We are well pleased to see that you Keep up some
Communications in regard to old affairs. you have the
well wishes of all yorkshire Friends and rest assured that the
spirit of the people is still the same tho kept back from
effective action either through Cowardice which a little
time will wear away or through terror at the Considerations
of the memorable 16th of August or the willfull murder of our
Glorious Martyrs at London. The Intelligence from France
is an exact picture of what any man may form of
that Country and no doubt But either providential or
other Circumstances will rouse the Indignation of
that people so as to overturn that old Babylonian Dynast
-y of a Bourbon Despot you will Convey to France from
the Reformers of yorkshire that they are anxious for such a
Thing as the forgoing to Be Brought to maturity – that
their prayers are for a General Success and a willingness
to Join the Reformers of England in obtaining a Similar

enjoyment of Freedom from oppression. you will favor
us with a Copy of what we wish to Be called the
Combined Answer of yorkshire Lancashire nottingham
shire – and if it so happens the north of England to the
Friends of liberty in France –

The above lines are signed Pelling near the
Red Lion Huddersfield and Directed to James Lang at
Manchester –

If an Answer Comes from the Scotch
Friends Wm Tootill will receive the whole of
them from Lang and put the whole together
in the form of an address to the French nation –
This is all expected to take place in under a week
from now –

Friend Tootill is following very little employment
save Reading every Political tract that he can lay hold of
and Consulting with Hibbert some new scheme of
effecting Reform – Alpha

HO 40/14 folio 135.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 11 Jul 1820.

Dear Langshaw. Bolton 11th July 1820
I have to acknowledge your favor of the 9th Instant at same time I have to [page torn]
you that Friend Wilkinson went to Manchester at the request of Roper and Wolstenholme
and an application to James Lang was Directed to attend at the old Workshops of James
Bradshaw at seven oclock when and where He found the following persons present
Richard Hest from Wigan, Cheetam from Rochdale, Wood from Stockport and Johnson
from Flixon. which last was made Chairman and opened the Business. By a
number of observations on the Financial state of the Country which observations were
chiefly taken fom the Paragraph signed FP in last Saturdays Observer He then [page torn]
to the treatment of the Queen yet he would not Complain if the Government of this Country
would on Being Convinced that there was no necessity of a Queen if they would [page torn]
the inference that they could do without a King also. He thought the whole nation
would Be willing to try a year or two without and in fact the people would Be as
much Justified in Banishing the King as Ministers would in Banishing the
Queen His own was that parliament would Be proselyted the King honored.
after which they would again assemble make a mock trial of the Queen and
Guilty or not she would Be divorced from the King and Banished the
Kingdom. The ministers of this Country would not Bear to see any Body Idolised
that was not of their own party she was too popular and reigned too much
in the hearts of her Subjects. If any Body was Idolised it was one of their own
party that must Be the Idol they will Reward their own servants But not
the Publics. If it was agreeable He should now request to Be favored with
the foundation or outlines of the Business of the night – By this time
Tootill and Lang was amongst them and Lang said that a few lines By
way of Congratulations had Been Received from North east and South
Friends not as a public But By way of Private Correspondence chiefly
for old acquaintance sake and chiefly to Keep up some kind of Union
amongst the Leaders of the People and under this Consideration it
was adviseable that the leading servants of the Public should Keep them
selves together till something of a General and open nature was again
in Contemplation. Brother Tootill had a particular Friend in a worthy
position and in whom He had the greatest Confidence that had sent Him
a few lines as a Compliment in Return we also would do the [page torn]

for something serious was much longer unavoidable to Both nations.
Cheetam desired to know if he could Be favored with Copies of the different
private Correspondences that had Been Hinted for the Reformers of Rochdale
were not only emissaries of Political information But of connecting themselves
with Some central Town and He could safely say that they were as liberal
as any Town considering the number that were connected together.
Wm Tootill said that he had drawn up a small address to those Friends
when His Correspondent in France had recommended to his notice The
following lines are addressed to his Friend at Calais.
Bolton 9th of June 1820
Dear Friend. you will oblige By providing the Inclosed lines to Mr Joseph
Ashten at Rouen and you may take a copy of them for your own use
I have to inform you thay I have Been under the British Inquisition since
you heard from Me Before But thank God they have let Me Go about my
Business again and tho in some measure Kept from any very open procee-
dings I will never sleep content till all is accomplished that I mentioned to
you when a servil there under them in your I hope soon to Be eman
cipated Country. The address contains every other sentiment that I
might wish here to have conveyed and which I am sure you will
pursue with some degree of Pleasure.
To the Friends of Freedon in France Gentlemen.
your active friends Ashten and Warren having given us an outline
of the Internal state of your Country as far as you can correspond
we in return pay you a similar Compliment and shall Be Glad any
time to hear any thing that might Interest the Friends of Liberty
in Eurpoe at large your favor has Been Copied and transmitted to all
those parts of England and Scotland that have not only United
under the Banners of Reform But Been vigilant in opposing the measures
of Ministers and Magistrates since the never to Be forgotten 16th of August
There is the most lively Interest excited at this moment in Behalf of
the Queen. the postponement of the Coronation of the King has Been [???]
at for several days in the papers on account of the Hotness of the weather
But we the Reformers of Manchester and its vivinity think something
fresh has presented itself to the views of ministers not that We think
they are any ways afraid of such an unjust Ceremony taking place
no – for we are sure they are Confident enough in the number of their
[page torn] at the same time are un sure the people [???]

victim to their own temerity our opinion is tho we can nott yet affirm it
that the postponement of the Coronation is with a view that a Queen may Be
crownded also with Him. But not the Queen Caroline that now his under
false accusations But a Queen of their own choosing and Making and one
who possesses their own Tyrannical disposition. A Queen that will Be considered
as a disgrace Both of the thinking loyal and disloyal part of the Communi
-ty. Ministers By their transactions are Hastening on the day that we have long
so happily desired for every action and every measure leaves them more and
more in the wiles of obscurity. They have at this time called out numbers of
County Militia and Hundreds of young Men have even entered
with no other vice then that of learning a little discipline soon to Be
turned against their employers the Town of Bolton can furnish a
measure of Instances where young Men that have served are just going
to Be called out are Men whose principles are of the strongest Radical and
I could here mention names that Have Handsome Pikes in their posses-
sion. They are also Here struggling Hard to conceive the stability of [page torn] and
State By the erection of new Churches But they are wonderfu [page torn]
for people are here too much enlightened to Be converted By [page torn]
any other measures that a Barren ministry can adopt. We are on
the Constant alert and the moment will soon Be here when the Reformers
of France will shout at the Delivery of England from oppressive foes. We
sympathise with you in the unfortunate situation of your exciled
monarch, we know He reigns in the Hearts of Thousands of the French
nation as well as other European nations. Our leading Heros are Here
under Confinement and our Jails resemble your once detestable Bastille
But they know the internal state of this Country and they are
now suffering with patience the punishment that injustice and
avarice has ascended them. The Blood of Thistlewood will never Be
forgotten like that of [Jandt?] in Germany its [dupes?] all yet [???] and
it will Be required at the Hands of these Mens prosecuters. We daily gain
Friends and Political works are not yet under the restrictions that you
are But we care not how soon, for the more they persecute like the
Children of Israel in ancient Days the more we shall increase and
like Pharoah of old they will Be glad to Comply with our [???]
demands. We hope you will [illegible]

soon abolish the Bourbon Dynasty and all Europe will Join in
rejoicing at the Deliverance of two of the most important nations
in the world from the Curse of the Reign of Kings for they
were first given as a Curse they are one at this day to all
mankind. We leave you in the Hands of Providential Goodness
hoping that we shall also share in the spoils of tyranny
Signed on Behalf of the Reformers
of Lancashire
Tootill Lang

The enclosed met the approbation of all present and Tootill and
Lang have each of them six Copies which they will distribute
and forward to those places they may imagine want people
it was to Be posted on Monday and a Copy will Be sent
to Mr Watson of London – the other particulars you will
get when I have Been at Manchester to which will Be
on Thursday
yours Alpha
HO 40/14 folio 137.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 31 Jul 1820.

Copy of a Letter from Glasgow
Dated 20th July 1820

Dear Friends

We are anxious to hear whether that
persecuted Friend Dr Watson has Been able
to forward you Compliments to the French or
not. We also should Be glad to know what
causes such an apathy amongst you when
zeal is more than ever required, Persecution
has always Been the foundation on which
the thing or section Party has raised its Head
and nothing can Hasten that Political Reform
we are all making faster that the suffering
of the numbers that are now Confined or
perhaps are to Be executed for that purpose
We forbear making any allusions to what
is now agitating in our own Courts Justice
has forsaken the present Row of mankind
and God has given up the Rulers of
arbitary power to their own wickedness in
order that he may Be more fully avenged of
them when the overthrow of their Kingdoms

arrives – there is a most lively agitation of
Peoples minds Here on Behalf of the Queen
and indeed in Behalf of all that are innocently
infused or wrongfully persecuted It is
impossible to Keep tranquility long for tho
nothing Public is carried or there never was
such an Unanimity of Principle – Such an
Hatred of the established powers as now exist
annoys the Majority of the People of there
Relams any thing Interesting that is going
in we shall Be glad to Hear from you
hoping that ere long we may enjoy full
liberty or die like the Martyrs of Peterloo –

The above was Read at Mr Ropers on Sunday
Evening and was much admired By
all present – the Postage is to be Paid By
york street –

Bolton 31st July 1820

[Note: Letter most probably written by James Wilson the Sottish revolutionary executed 30 August, 1820]

HO 40/14 folio 140.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 13 Aug 1820.

My dear Langshaw, Bolton 13th August 1820

The whig meeting alluded to was comprised of the
following Persons John Brandreth. John Hasleden
Giles Cunliffe. Joseph Cook. Mr Robt Heywood
Joshua Cross. Mr Roper was there from whom I
received the following Particulars – Robt Heywood
was in the Chair. He opened the Business By
drawing a number of Comparisions on the state
of Public affairs twelve months ago with the
present agitated state of the People He said
that at some period He was of opinion that it
(Reform) would sink into oblivion But when he took even
a providential view of the matter he was of
opinion that this was the eve of Emancipation for
every European Power that had Been aroused with
War and other national Grievances the last
twenty five years There was a mystery which
time alone would unfold in the speedy
dissolution of as many Branches of the Royal
Family. it seemed those who were most noted
for virtue were happily Removed out of Harms

There was a partial revival of trade which would
draw the attention of new Converts from their due
adherece to the principles of General Reform for he
was quite convinced that a great majority of the
working Class were Reformers from necessity and not
from Choice. But he was happy in Being surrounded
By so many who were noted for their long and steady
adherence to the principles of Reform and whose
circumstances rendered them able to make choice of
those Principles they most delighted to act upon
Mr Brandreth now spoke and said this has
always Been the tone he had played. and tho they had
Given the name of a Weather Cock yet he had always
Been abused by those very persons who had made
most noise and done least work and if weavers
were to have two shillings a Cut more He should
Be Hooted at his own door for a White Hat Jacobin
Wm Lee had been very much abused this way
But he should maintain as he always had
done that they were not worth calling Reformers
who were not the same in adversity as prosperity
and who did not always detest a Government

Composed of Tyrants and Boroughmongers like
the present – But was it not mistifying
to any sober thinking man to take a walk
up street on a Saturday night – to see the
Public Houses (and landlords were our
greatest enemies). they were all crowded to excess
and Men seemed wholly Bent to support the
Revenue – so lately as they had had such abund-
ant Proof that if they would abstain from
exciseable articles in twelve months [page torn]
us in possession of all that we desired –
The Queen and the unjustness of the Proceedings
against Her – the lust and avarice and [ambition?]
of the King – and his sure down fall made up
the Rest of the discussions.

I am truly obliged for your favors of this day
and am Glad you mentioned Burnley as being
preferable to manchester – However I hope
you will Consider that the Pound in advance
which has so long Been outstanding is paid
and a very minute attention to the all

important Business shall Be attended to
yours with every Respect etc
HO 40/14 folio 391.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 21 Aug 1820.

Honored Sir – Saturday 21 Aug 1820
The following is a Copy or outline of Mr Hunts Letter to John Thacker
Saxton Letter Press Printer Manchester –
after some observations on a number of Political Characters
He says that Sir Frances Burdett and Mr Hobhouse are shy
eyes. Burdett in Reality is an enemy to the People a Friend
with a Mask on – more noise than action. Sir Benjamin
is a Sinecurist – and Mr Hobhouse is only playing the same
trick, Sir Benjamin did in his youth – Further Hobhouse
is own Cousin to the under secretary of State and on the
Best Possible Terms with Him – The day of the Death of the
Boroughmongers is nigh at Hand – and the Queen will act
or prove to be the British Brutus – with respect to the Senate
of this Kingdom. His Fingers itches to Be doing more than the
Confines of a Prison will allow. He expresses the most
ardent desire that the people of Lancashire would choose a
Leader out of their own Body. one that Could maintain the
Public cause – for there are none in or near London that
could Be depended upon in the important discharge [of]
such a Public duty – In Fact He did not personally k[now]
of one true Friend to the People worth Five Hundred Pounds a
year, except Major Cartwright, and Sir Charles Wolsley.
He expresses the most ardent wish to have a personal
Interview with Saxton as he has Something to communicate
and say. that would Be improper to venture in Paper –
Dated Ilchester jail – and addressed to
John Thacker Saxon

Reports say that Saxton will sett out this day for Ilchester
with the people of Lancashire’s address to
that Individual – He will make private and pointed
enquiries in all organised Towns to Know if they will
Back and Support the Queen according as they have expressed
in their address to Her – He will afterwards proceed to London
and make similar enquiries there. and Communicate
the intended plan of organisation to the Metropolitan
Friends –

It will Be impossible I think for Saxton to sett out before
the middle of the week as he wishes to have ten pounds for the Journey
Books are opened in Bolton an Mr Wolstenholmes and Oliver Nicholsons
for subscriptions to the above purpose and each Book after stating
the object of the moneys in signed James Lang Chairman
Mary Fildes } Chairwoman

Saxton swears he will – fulfill his part especially when he learns
the Index of Mr Hunts Heart.

The Letter to Paisley is Dated Manchester 16th October 1820
After the usual Introductory Compliments. It Comments on
the Disasters that took place last Spring. and assures them it
was in a great measure unknown to the Friends in Lancashire
not one in fifty Being acquainted with the Intended movements till
within twenty four Hours of the time. And it yet remained a
Mystery to us how they turned out and that so manfully and
not us. The Manchester Friends would be Glad to know what state
and strength of Union existed amongst them and advises them
to establish Permanent funds as they are a plausible pretext for
assembling together and the people may effectualy organise
themselves under such a lever. and another stimulus for such
a measure was there was no existing law against them,
should any Convulsion happen, the British state and the
People at large make no interference we should reap no Benefit
Thereby – But if the Queen was not Degraded we must and will
raise our voice against the Ministers – and in Case they
should Degrade Her – We can then raise our voice against
them who have starved us, our families. and even Degraded our
Queen – It further states that Trade had revived a Little in this
Country But nothing permanent was expected from it. as it had
all the appearance of Being a Government Contract and done
merely to appease the Clamour of the People during the proceedings
The Manchester people were much pleased to see that as Farmers were
the principal Men in pettitioning and Buying for the Corn Laws
they were now likely to Be the Greatest sufferers through it as
provisions were very Cheap – a Copy of the Resolutions with
which you are already acquainted Concluded the Epistle to our
northern Brethren
Alpha I have no more
time eleven
HO 40/15 folio 110.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 14 Nov 1820.

Dear Langshaw, Bolton 14th Novb 1820
It would Be useless for Me to waste time in giving you a Description of the
illumination that took place last Night as I saw plenty of Agents quite eng
-gaged in carrying the various movements verbatim – Perhaps they might not
get as low as Wolstenholmes who had a Pocket Handkerchief, the Borders cutt
with Caroline on
off ^ fixed Betwixt the Gas light and Windows his was the first House in Brad-
shawgate that was light with the exception of the union Buildings. then Mr
Norris Confecturer Thos Heywoods and Mr woods stockingers Completed all
on that side. David Barber Samuel Slater Skeltons Brandreth with the
Window Blind Painted and on it the following Mottos “God Protects the
Innocent,” “Loyalty triumphant over the Boroughmongers” “England
expects every Man to do his duty,” Mr Renshaws Deansgate was much
more brilliant than Bradshawgate especially all up Moor Lane. Mr
*1 Peter Bacon, *2 Mr Brandreth. Matthew Wolstenholme Jeffrey Taylor Jonas
*3 Bowker John Roper all Paraded in the centre of the flaggs opposite oliver
Nicholsons and Directed them which way to take their Route and all
Join together and give Mr Bowker three Cheers which was immediately
agreed to they then Paraded Round the Moor which presented a far more
Brilliant appearance than the Town. after Which Mr Peter Bacon, Brand
reth & Bowker took our sweet Queen. while Wolstenholme Roper and
Taylor retired to the Bolton Independent Society Debating Room which
was Illuminated in a very Superior Style having Chandeliers Representing
Truth and Justice and other emblematical Figures, Jeffrey Taylor was
in a great measure Compelled to take the Chair and spoke as follows.
Gentlemen, the time is now arrived when one Grand Complete victory over
Boroughmongeing Faction is victoriously Gained, where would Ministers
put their Heads now, or where would they abridge the Rights of the Peop
-le Did we not this day see the effects of Union, Did we wonder how
the Continentall Friends Obtained their freedom, had we not an
experimental instance now, Had England ever such an instance
of “A Nation to Be free only needs will it.” This day will Be the first
step to Annual Parliaments, Universal Suffrage and Election By Bal
-lott, This day will Change the face of Political Matters and if we will
Unitedly firmly and Resolutely insist upon our Rights as Englishmen
They may quickly Be obtained, There are days of true Elation and soon
shall we I hope have to Commemorate a day of national freedom &
I hope this day will more than ever unite the People of this Country and
the effects of such union will Be soon felt By us all, He hoped any
Gentelmen who had any thing to advance would Be speedy as he wanted
to go and enjoy himself wth plenty of Good Company and Spirits.
Mr Wolstenholme then Rose and said he was convinced the Chairman
had no disrespect for the present assembly But he was afraid his patience

would be a little tried in the first place he begged to announce that his old Friend
Edward Laytis [Latus] from Blackburn was come purposely to know what Measures the
Bolton People intended to pursue now as this unexpected Political Change had taken
place they were rejoicing along with us at that moment and as Saxton was expected
to have a Mission of some import, As a Deputy Meeting was by agreement and
adjournment to Be held on Sunday next at Audenshaw they wished to know
whether we intended to persevere on the Plans and Resolutions already laid
down or act upon fresh measures as new Circumstances might arise. Black-
burn understood well what was thereby intended and in a day or two the surr-
ounding Districts would assemble at Preston and acquaint that part with
the nature both Public and Private of these permanent Funds and there
was every reason to Believe that Handsome sums of Money would soon be
seized in that part as they Became more interested in Political Matters every
day and more determined to obtain a Reform in Parliament by some means
John Roper instantly Rose and said it was quite naturall the
Blackburn People might want some advice But any thing as the Bolton
People could adopt would Be both Premature and ill advised without the
directions of our Manchester Brethren, and Business was altogether sus
pended till we heard either Publicly or Privately or both from Mr Hunt his
advice was that we should request the Blackburn People to make no
delay in Causing a Good Understanding Betwixt the Preston People and
themselves and if they had ordered or intended a District Meeting on the
Neighbouring Districts of Preston, he would advise them so to Do and lay
all the Resolutions Plan, designs of the Manchester Friends Before them
Get them in Readiness exhort them to the safest Plans of organisation for
i was impossible to conceive what strength of union whether Mental or
external Whether Moral or Physical, would Be wanted, His own Ideas of
the Queens acquittal were, she might Be a small Whig But it was a loss to the
Radicals her Being acquitted at this time. for the result would Be a union
of Whigs and Torys whereas the late proceedings caused a Union of Radicals
and Whigs, But now Radicals would Be brought into Contempt By Both of them
The proceedings against the Queen gave ample pretext for any measures that
Radicals might adopt But now Cobbett would Be crying out. Justice and the
Constitution for ever Government would extoll the Ministers to the pinna
cle of popularity and we should hear nothing but praise Bestowed upon the peers
who have only abondoned a point they Could not- yea perhaps I may say durst
not go through with. no thanks to them for this. its a Blind and it will
Blindfold thousands that otherwise would have coincided with all that we antici
-pate this throwing out of a Bill of Pains and Penalties is merely and for
no other Motive than a plausible Covering for the abominable Deeds of

the 16th of August all that was transacted on that day will now Be considered
as Justifiable and for the Interests of the Nation at Large – and if the proceedings
of that Day Hastened a Reckoning Day ten years, This will prolong it twenty
we shall soon have a Crowned King and Queen to supportt a Queen injured un
believed and no expence or Salary will Be thought too much at first and all
this to Be Borne and Paid By the already overburdened People My Friends
upon your eyes Be not Deceived, I who have Been a Radical thirty years have
seen a little into the Policy of these Hell Born Fiends. I rejoice that the
Queen has overcome them. I rejoice that she has all along so nobly alowed
them to give her a fair Chance. I rejoice that Boroughmongers
is Conquered. I rejoice that Magistrates particularly of this County and youll
all understand Me if I say of this Town, are bound to see the Reformers Flaggs
thus exhibited, thus thrown into their own teeth, on these Grounds I do
sincerely rejoice, But not one yard Further. no Let Me see a standing army
abolished. A National Debt paid or swept off Le[t] Me see an unrestricted
and unlimited Commerce Let Me see all useless sinecures and Pensions
struck off, Let Me see this Nation freely represented Let Me see it Governed
By wise Disinterested Rulers. then will I shake Hands with the Ruling
Power then will I rejoice Heartily then will I give up Radicalism But
till all this is accomplised, I will persevere in the Good old Path of
Jacobinism Let Me see all my incarcerated Friends liberated By such a
power and then Roper will be a Loyal Man. But till then – no
never. He now stamped his foot and sat down amidst the astonish
ment and applause of all who heard him.
The Chairman then Gave the Blackburn Man Instructions to proceed in
any measures or plans they might have Received from the Friends at Manches
ter he reffered to several parts of Ropers speech and said that experience would
But too awfully prove all that now had Been advanced. for his own part he
would never cease to act as a Radical till all that Radicals had in view was
accomplished He rejoiced on the same Grounds as Mr Roper and no further
and if he had any notice of any Meeting at Preston or thereabouts he must give
it up after the Meeting was dissolved as the Room was too Crowded for any
thing of that nature to be Brought under consideration. The Meeting
was immediately dissolved and all returned to their Respective place of
employment Roper and his Intimate Friends went to Ralph Harts Millstone
I happened to Be waiting at Mr Rainforths for some Medicine when that Gentle[man]
from Chorley Got such a severe drubbing at the Commercial Inn for speaking
in favor of the Queen. Rainforths Man said his eye would ever be disfigured
I have not from that Hour yet Been asleep for my Mother and I constantly
and attentively wait upon a young Nephew of mine who to all appearance
will not survive many Hours, Ralph Challinor had seventy six candles

Burning all at once. A great quantity of coals were left at york
street Bonfire which was put out at ten oclock last Night in order
to have a little stir to night But some Felons stole them away
and early this Morning they were all gone

*1 Peter Baron – a person of considerable landed Property
*2 John Brandreth – Brother to the late Doctor Brandreth at Liverpool – an
uncle to the wife of Mr Gaskell – MP
*3 Jonas Bowker – son of Bowker our late Boroughreeve – who would have
sanctioned a meeting (???) in this town on 13 October 1819
but which meeting was prevented by the demonstration of
the magistrates & Police to resist it –
There is some agreement come respecting the Meeting at Preston
But I am not yet in possession of it

HO 40/15 folio 311.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 22 Dec 1820.

Dear Langshaw Chorley 22nd December
1820 Friday Morning

Having Company By a Friend whose name
is Jarrett from Preston last Night He invited
me to stop Here – The Meeting was very full
John McLellan was on the Chair and stated
at some length the high expectations of the
Manchester Friends on the establishment
of a Communication with Ireland –
Mr Huffman then Read the Letter on
question from John ONeal Dated Newry the
29th of November this ONeal is the young
Man who Brought the Hand Bills from
Manchester to Bolton Advertising the Meeting
on the thirteenth of Decb 1819 – This Letter
states the Readiness and willingness of the
Irish to Act in Union with the English &
How glad they would Be to Communicate
with the Radicals – He says that He has isolated
all the particular plans and designs that
were in agitation Betwixt the first of November

nineteen and the first of April twenty – He
wishes His old acquaintence at Both Manchester
and Preston to acquaint Him with any thing
that may Be in Contemplation at this time
for nothing would Be more qualifying to a
numerous Circle of Political acquaintances –
and Concludes By assuring his English Brethren
in the Cause that Ireland is waiting with a
Kind of Still impatience to see if even the
English will Come to any decisive measure –
and He will form a Kind of Committee to receive
any measure or measures which the Manches-
ter Friends may think proper to adopt he
concludes By saying the English may rely with
the Greatest Confidence on the sincerity of the Irish
and that this Letter was sent By the direction of a
number of Friends to parliamentary Reform –
Austin from Blackburn then moved that an
account of the state of Ireland has recorded in
last Saturdays Observer Be read which was
done and the Conclusion was given that Ireland was a
very suitable plan for Being Connected with
England in the grand Cause of Reform It was
then agreed that this Letter from John ONeal

should be submitted to the Consideration
of the Committee at Manchester and that
Copies of it Be given to Robt Wylde and any
other Confidential Friend who could put
it into a Channel of Circulation –
Preston then agreed to send a Man on
Sunday as also to pay in the requested
moneys Belonging to Buckley and Wilds defence
An advertisement was then Read which
states that a Public Dinner will Be held at
Preston on Thursday the fourth of Jan [page torn]
honor of Mr Williams Conduct in his [page torn]
Defence – As also a supper at [???]
the Public Houses-
A Great Debate then ensued respecting
the opposition addressess from various Towns
round about that of Bolton called forth
a little [exersation?] respecting a sentence which
says something about too much liberty Being
as great an evil as too little – Mr Huffman
gave it as his decided opinion that if two of
the Bolton Magistrates had Been in their graves
previous to the Memorable 16th of August the
dreadfull scene of that Day would never have
taken place

It was then agreed as the final determination of
that Meeting that the Letter to Ireland should Be
answered in a Manner that would Be highly
Gratifying to the Irish people after it had Been

laid Before the Committee at Manchester
together with every particular respecting the
present proceedings of the intended order of
Knighthood – Alpha

HO 40/20 folio 108.
(also copy on folio 112.)
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 7 Jul 1826.

Dear Langshaw Friday Morning
7th July – 1826

The Meeting was Broke up By adjournment last night
till eight oclock on Sunday morning when they
will recommence sitting for about four days
Sunday and Monday in Manchester Tuesday
and Wednesday the Central will make a kind
of Investigating tour through Haslingden down
as far as Burnley and then take the other direction
Charles Ridings was not present Being gone
down to Liverpool in Consequence of the Liverpool
Deputation having made some gross
misrepresentations which has all of a
sudden caused a Misunderstanding with
that Department. the truth will Be ascertained By
Ridings who will stop at Warrington a Day or
two –
Wolstencroft and Bradshaw conducted the
Business at Middleton twenty Six Deputations Being
present. and to repeat the numerous discussions
gone through would Be folly here
The Blackburn and Burnley Deputations said
it was Certainly false about 50.000 persons having
assembled on Billings Hill then had Been three
of the most Important Meetings within the last
seven days which had ever yet taken place the
people were getting powerfully Armed and every
day more resolute of Carrying their objects into
effect – and Something would Be Immediately done

But perhaps not so much Before the assizes as after
He said there were about 400 travelling Deputations
in full active service at that moment Between
Glasgow and Spitalfields and there would Be Intelligence
from them all on Sunday or Monday –
About Thursday noon the Haslingden Deputation
proposed for every Man to take His gear Home at
one and the same time and for also to Demand
parochial relief at once. But this was soon
abandoned as Impractical.
After numerous Projects of this Kind and
Discussions on the power looms and on the
refitting up of Power Looms.
“It was agreed that some one Concern Be
Destroyed as a Signal for Lancashire to
Hold itself in Readiness and that some one
place Be destroyed early in next week.”

“That the General Breaking of the Looms is
no so much the object of the present meeting
as the lives of the proprietors of power Looms
they not minding their Machinery which the
County would afterwards make it Good.

“There will Be an asembly on Billings Hill
on Tuesday morning next But such persons
are not yet called upon to do any thing
except they think proper.

But it was finally conclusively
settled upon that Mr Whiteheads Person
and property Be destroyed on or Before.

the 16th Instant which occupied all yesterday

Instructions were then ordered to Be given for
the Demolition of this factory which is at Some
place called Taylesbury or Tadsbury J Langshaw
may rest assured of that Mans Life and
His factory Both going together and that
Between and the 15th and 16th of this month.
This was the only place singled out for instant
destruction But lives are more the object of the
present assemblys than property.
This Mr Whitehead is now refitting up his
power Looms. has six Watchmen on the premises at
one pound per Man. and when a cart comes up
to the Door. there are guards laden with Pistols
and stand By while they are unloaden –
It was Concluded that it should Be optional
with the parties whether they did this Business
at the Beginning of the week or at the Latter End
But not to exceed the 16th Instant.
Much Discussion then arose as to the effect
that any new measures of Government might
have as to suspending all our late exertions. and it was
Unanimously agreed that nothing –
“But a totall Revolution on a total
Radical Reformation should pacify the
people at this time”

This Mr Whiteheads Place is Between Bury and Haslingden
One Mr Hunan a Woollen power loom Man was mentioned
But as He Has never attempted refitting it stands over for
Consideration. There are about 200 Men of Large property
names enrolled for the Sacrifice of their lives.

The Township of Radcliffe has sent orders to the
Blackburn Branch Committee. they and their environs
have 2000 armed Men who will Come forward any time
when called upon and are ready to turn out any Hour.

HO 40/20 folio 124.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 12 Jul 1826.

Dear Langshaw Manchester 12th July
Wednesday morning

At two oclock on Monday the whole Body
of Deputations in Town Met at the Princess
Tavern when Ridings Immediately Introduced
the State of the Prisoners in Lancaster Castle.
He stated that as far as enquirys had Been
made it was thought about one Lay would
Be discharged By proclamation for want of
Evidence. Many would meet with some
trifling Imprisonment and about two of
them trumpeted. It was for the present
meeting to include whether they would attempt
a Rescue of their persons Before the Assizes or wait
and see what Judge Park would do. The Judge
was to enter Lancaster on the 8th August and if
and persons had any thing to prepare relative to
the subject He Hoped it would Be something which
carried into operation that would Be as sudden
and unexpected as a Clap of thunder.
The Haslingden Deputy wished the Subject to Be
discussed till Thursday the 13th July when the Man-
chester Central would have an opportunity of
ascertaining personaly the real Sentiments of the
People when the represented who were well pre-
pared for an attack any time – for they were
ready either to Demand Radical Reform By force,
Break the Power Looms – Scoop away the lives of
the proprietors or draw the Prisoners out of Lancaster

By letter fro Glasgow we are informed
that a Pettition forwarded By them to the
King is one of the very last legal Hopes
that Body of People intends to adopt &
that was only done By way of Protest that
they might Be more justifiable in adopting
Physical force – and they would be ready
By September to act in Cooperation with
the Lancashire People – Arms were
procuring in all parts and advice was
wanted for the Manchester Committee
To Be answered on Sunday next –

The Stockport Representation said the want
of employment – the Increasing oppressive
Measures of all kinds of employers and
the Impatience of the People, renders it
necessary for Him to say – that a Rupture
would Break out their unconnective with
the Manchester People He therefore wished
an early opportunity to Be taken of Coupling
Radical Reform and destruction of Power
Loom together and Demanding the same
All the things were endured to stand
on till thursday –

All day on Tuesday was spent By the
Central and [???] Committees in
writing the following districts – Charles Town
[Horpeen Hey?] – [str ?] [gurger?] Oldfield Lane and
a many others – they Had all Read Cobbetts
Register of the 8th Instant. and Cobbett declaring
He will never advise 100-000 People to meet
Unarmed or [???] their spirits. every district
requested the Central Committee to fire
on an early day – for the [???] of Physical
Power – for they were Ready –
Bradshaw in Harranguing the Men
of old Field Lane districts said Mr Cobbett had
taken a larger stride in the Public Register
of the 8th Instant than ever was expected.
and His works aught now to Be read more
than ever –
Without any particular Resolutions
Come to the Central adjourned till eleven o
clock this Evening – when they will
arrange matters for to morrow –
I shalll proceed from this Town to
Haslingden –

HO 40/20 folio 144.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 15 Jul 1826.

Dear Langshaw, Bolton Friday noon
14 12 July 26

I am just gone Home from Haslingden and am
under the necessity of proceeding to Failsworth this
Night. There Being some aims to Be distributed without
any further delay –
About 34 Deputations were present at Haslingden
and the Haslingden People have nearly Completed
the plan and engaged a sufficient quantity of
Men to destroy the factory of Mr Whitehead and to take
His life at the same time. The Business stands on
till the 26th of this Month. when Both the day and
Hour will particularly Be settled upon and the
parties will meet on the 26th In haslingden.
The Blackburn representative said His Constituents
did not doubt the thought of organisation in and about
Manchester. and with respect to the Prisoners in Lancaster
they wished their Reserve to Be deferred till after the
assizes and see what share of Punishement any
Judge could dare to inflict under the present
Circumstances of the Country. But they wished the
Manchester People Immediately to Break out
into a Kind of Temporary Rupture and try if
a portion of the Military could not Be drawn out
of the Circuits of Blackburn and that in which
they were then [???].
After Some of the most animated discipline
I ever heard It was unanimously agreed that
the Manchester Central Committee instantly

issue out directions for a Kind of agitation to
Be Kept up and as soon as any part of
the military were withdrawn they would also
Begin to operate –
This Being decidedly agreed upon I have no doubt
But those instructions have at this Hour Been furnished.

Saturday morning.
At Failsworth last night more than 200 Pikes
and Pistols were distributed and other districts
are calling for more arms. Oldfield Lane will
not wait many days longer.
About two oclock this morning a Large
number of Persons met in a field at the top
of ancoats Lane – not a word spoke By any
Man. But written tickets were given to those
who were Known to be trusting directing them
when to Be to night – on Sunday night. and
on Monday night when and By which time
Hundreds more will Be issued with Tickets.

This present Saturday Evening we
shall have a personal Deputation from Scotland
and from Preston – There are two French Men going

to Be present who are setting out from France –
One Irishman who will Immediately Be sent
down to Liverpool. and leave their particulars
there – from Liverpool He proceeds to Ireland.
all is agitation in Manchester. and a meeting on
the white moss will Be had on Sunday morning.
there having Been one in that Circuit Before –
A Man was dispatched to Blackburn
about 11 oclock last night requesting them to
assemble in Billings Hill as soon as they could
perceive any movement amongst the military
It was argued that the Best plan was
to throw a [???] Both into Hulme and [page torn]
Lane Barracks which would throw Confusion
there and Rest the attention of the Military
towards the preservation of their wives and children.
There written tickets are so arranged that
whatever part of the Town disturbance or
destruction may Be in operation – there will Be
another party ready to sett fire to the factorys
in the peaceable part –

The Central meets at four oclock this
afternoon –

HO 40/20 folio 171.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 17 Jul 1826.

Dear Langshaw, Bolton 17th July 1826 –
Monday morning
5 – oclock –
The Central Committee met according to previous orders
exactly at 4 oclock on Saturday afternoon. when Charles
Ridings took a chair and stated that every address to
the Gratification of those who had Been labouring
since april to accomplish and Bring about objects
which nothing But the exercise of Physical force would
accomplish. He Had just Been informed that Chelsea
and Greenwich Pensioners had received Instructions
at the Same time they drew their quarterly Pay
which had Been given to them on the 13th and 14th Instant
to hold themselves in Readiness to Be called upon any
Hour for Duty and whenever they Heard a Report
of a Call up they were to make the Best of their way
to the new Bayley – He Knew this to Be a fact But the
Central had the Satisfaction to know that their
Constituents and districts and Connections had all
Been in Readiness for Some time and that we would
rather meet them openly in the Field than not.
He should advise nothing to Be done Hastily in Manchester
But whenever we made a stance to make a total
one. Dam and Destroy the Cotton Lords – Fire their
Hell Holes – the whole of the three Kingdoms were
now looking to the operations of the Manchester
Central Committee and that Committee in the years
1826 should shew itself worthy of all they had [since?]
of all they had communicated to their respective
Connections – with respect to those districts that were
not yet prepared with arms there was plenty of time
Betwixt and we should propose a General Massacre
and they must Be encouraged to go on. The Military
should Be kept in agitation about a Month. or
six weeks – We must endeavour to raise a trifling

riot in one place. an evil unfounded Report in
another and By thus acting we should make the
soldiers as disaffected as ourselves and the Public
at large would Believe there was no such foundation
for all this Bustle –
It was now Concluded that George Wolstencroft
should attend White moss meeting at Two oclock
on Sunday morning. Ridings at newton Heath
and Bradshaw. at Ancoats Lane – and that the
Central should meet on Sunday noon at the Robin
Hood in Church Street.
In the mean time I attended Charlestown
district along with Bradshaw which was numerously attended and joined
By Windsor district – they wanted an Immediate
supply of arms and Bradshaw promised the Central
should take it into Consideration on Tuesday
next. the Central having more to attend to than
would Be done previous to that time.
Youll perceive the arrangements were in
accordance with the residence of the Central
Committee it Being most Convenient for Wolstencroft
to attend White moss. Ridings newton Heath and
Bradshaw Ancoats Lane –
Two oclock it Had been fixed on for all the
nocturnal Meetings.
I thought it was most prudent for Me to keep with
Bradshaw as I should Know how they Had gone
on at White moss and newton at the Central
Meeting on Sunday.
Bradshaw and I went to sleep from 11 till one o
clock in Manchester –

We were at the place near Mr Pollards factory at two
oclock and I think to speak within earshot there
might Be 400 Persons present. About one half of
whom had tickets given them in Such a manner
as the next Standing Man could not perceive.
Nothing was said But all Departed in Peace.
On Sunday noon at Twelve oclock Wolstencroft
and Ridings Said there meetings had Been numerous
and if they had had more tickets Ready they should
have given them out. The Scotch Deputation had
Been in white Moss and will stop in Manchester
the whole of this week visiting nocturnal and
district meetings every day.
The following Resolutions after much
discussion were Unanimously agreed to –
First. That as an auxiliary measure to make a
Greater Prejudice against Power Looms it would
Be necessary to adopt plans for stopping all the Blackburn
waggons that contained power Loom Cloth. which
generally travelled in the night time and without
any very particular protection.
2nd that in the Course of next week a list of
all Master Bleachers Be obtained who are in the
Habit of taking Power Loom Cloth. as also a
list of Master Spinners names who supply the
Power Looms with twist and weft and that
the Destruction of their Persons and their property
Be objects of agitation till a fixed time arrived for
Coupling Machinery worked By steam and the
Machinery of Government together and
involving all in one Common Ruin.
Third – that the expences of a Messenger going to
Ireland – examining the Internal state of that
Country and Communicating the particulars of

the present Internal situation of England – and our
Intended movements next September Be this
Day Dispatched – at the Expence of the Newton Fund
and that 4.0.0 [pounds] Be given Him in advance with
power to call for more if He thinks proper
Forth. that as another auxilliary People Be recom-
-mended to take and Kill all Cattle in their
respective districts as Convenience may serve. and
thus Begin to Supply themselves with Food at the Expence
of those who had so unjustly taken it from us.
During the pressing of these Resolutions which took
up six Hours the Irish Deputation was furnished
with a large quantity of Papers and Statements of
every description and transaction that Had lately &
was about to take place. His money given Him and
off He went about 6 oclock in the Evening and
would stop at Warrington all night –
The Increased numbers of Deputation from
districts. of Delegates from different towns – of [flying?]
and Substantial Accounts Rendered an adjournment
Indispensably necessary which was agreed to till 4
oclock this afternoon.
Previous to which it was agreed that all
Armed Persons who attended nocturnal meetings
should Be distinguished By the name of Lads –
The Central Committee then Broke up and Came
to Windsor Bridge districts – where the evils of all
Kind of Machinery were painted out in turns stronger
than ever – And the Impossibility of paying the Interest of
the national Debt – Bradshaw Concluded By observing that
Exhortation to perseverance on actvity was useless for they were
all Both active and Ready –

HO 40/20 folio 184.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 20 Jul 1826.

Dear Langshaw, Thursday noon
20th July 1826.

Almost Drowned I am just returned from
Warrington where Jonathon Buckley Mellor was
in attendance and Conducted the Business
of the Day Pilling had provided a very Commodious
Room and Mellor was in the Chair at six oclock
in the Evening. He addressed about 200 Persons in
the following words verbatim.
The time was now at Hand when Luddites
spenceans. Blanketeers. Levellers. Cobbettites. Carlileites
and Real Radical Reformers of every species are
united. The present unparalleld System of organisation
in Lancashire is not a dispute about weavers
wages Mechanics Rights Combination Laws or Whig &
Tory. No this is a Blow of the whole Superstructure of
King Lords and Commons. and all the Damned evils &
oppression of Monarchial Government. Liberty such as
was the object of the French Revolution will yet Before
Christmas Be proclaimed in Britain. Our Connections were
now Beyond all precedents. our pretexts for meeting such
as no Men could forshame put a stop to – and though
Warrington had Been Considered a [Damn out?] inactive
place the present assembly all organised Men proud that
when the Business was once sett aloat. Even this
village was Ready
The Scotch Deputation Spoke to the same purpose
and Exhorted strongly to perseverence a little Longer
and then we should all Be freed from oppressive
manufacturers and taxation Rulers.

Pilling said that on Behalf of all the persons present
they were such as Had Been [???] and selected By
Himself and what were present had all of them
Arms – There was an additional number of arms
wating at the same time He wanted advice as to
what steps He could take in pursuing them.
Bradshaw said Wolstencroft sett off to Sheffield
on Wednesday morning and had taken 40 [pounds] in cash
with Him to purchase Pistols as little notice was
taken of a Person purchasing Pistols in Sheffield and
if they could Be purchased of a Private Smith the
said Smith would Be engaged to make Pikes to the
value of 100 [pounds]. Wolstencroft would Be Back at the
General meeting in Manchester on Friday the
21st and then this Business would Be settled if
purchases could not Be made then we should
send down to Birmingham as there was one Wm
Butler in Birmingham a long time Republican
who would furnish the articles required – how-
-ever for the Satisfaction of the Parties Present He
Had to acquaint them that as Manchester would one
Day or other Be the principal Scene of action the
Central had come to the Conclusion of presenting
distant small places such as warrington with arms
at half price for Better encouragement. And all
persons who wished to have would at the proper time
Be able to obtain arms on Production of a ticket
or any tickets that Had Been obtained at a
nocturnal meeting –

Pilling said He could issue out 200 tickets in one
week and would Depend on those many arms at
the price Before alluded. They Had some friends and
money Come in as well as could Be expected &
this was very Good encouragement. They Had
formed Connections as far off as Flixon.
Bradshaw then stated that one Elijah Ridings
was gone down to Ashton under lyne. Stayley Bridge
on to Stockport to see what actual strength could Be
mustered. The Central were fully convinced they
could not keep the People Back much longer Tho
they were anxious not to exceed the first Monday in
September But it might take place in the middle of
the Assizes. But probably a final decision would be
come to on Friday next.
A Letter was sent down to Liverpool requesting
the attendance of William James and John Harvey
who are to Be appointed a Branch Central in
that Part – these Men have Been Recommended By
Pilling as active. staunch [word smudged] Friends to Real
Radical Reform. to attend in Manchester on friday
Jonathon Buckley Mellor said He Had to state on
behalf of the Messenger sent from Manchester to Black-
burn on thursday last that His exertions in Blackburn
and all the agitated neighbourhood had Been of a very
progressive and successful nature and He would Report
the result in Manchester on the 21st Instant
The Scotch Deputy said He was anxious for
Friday to Come. and if the whole of his Credentials could
Be got ready He would leave Manchester on Saturday
for He was in Haste to Glasgow. much had there to Be done.

nothing could Be more Satisfactoy to Him than to witness
the proceedings of this week and they were likely to Be more
Interesting than ever on Friday next. For Him to witness
all the Military in Manchester under arms night and
day. to see the agitation and fears of the Powers that Be.
and to see all Lancashire at the same moment armed
ready to obey the orders of the Central Committee of Manchester
to see them patiently wait for Instructions as to time and
place and above all to see the Cool Deliberations of
that Central under such a Conflicting multiplicity
of Circumstances. and their constant perseverance
was what He never expected. it was what would
inflame all Glasgow and Paisly when He Returned.
To see the money and the arms was astonishing He
prefaced the Highest Eulogiums on the present proceedings
shook Hands with a many and took a pathetic [???]
strongly requesting Pilling to Be in Manchester a few Hours
Before the meeting on friday –
This Concluded the Business at Warrington the Parties
Returned through Leigh this forenoon and all the
late transactions were left there –
The Meeting on friday will take place at four o
clock in the afternoon for the Central and their
dependencies and probably then will Be a
nocturnal assembly in same part of the town.


HO 40/20 folio 258.
Alpha to Colonel Fletcher.
Dated 31 Jul 1826.

Extracted from a letter from Alpha dated 31st July

At a meeting at Leeds in an untenanted
House in Campfield the Chair was taken at 4 o’clock
in the afternoon of Friday last by Mr Joseph Taylor
who resides near Dirty Millers Lane – Leeds – The
following persons were present – The Central Committee
of Manchester – James Pilling & Mr Bagshaw from
Huddersfield – James Huffman & John Graham from
Preston – James Whitaker of Higher Wood Hill near
Bury – Moses Colclough from Nottigham – Pilling &
Buckley Mellor from Warrington – Thomas Gunston
as representative of Blackburn and Padiham – Wm
Perry, London Place, Stockport – Wm Logan, Wakefield –
John Eckersley Leigh – Every person was required to
enter his name & residence on a ruled sheet of Paper
provided on purpose – The meeting was addressed
by the Chairman & others until a late hour &
then adjourned to 9 o’clock the following day, Saturday,
when, after speeches from several of the Representations,
the following Resolutions were made.
Moved by John Bradshaw and agreed
“That every Representative now present on his return

“home, double every exertion, both in forming Classes,
“procuring arms and circulating these proceedings
“and prepare for a solemn encounter to establish
“the liberties of the British subject on Republican
Moved by Colclough of Nottingham & seconded
by Logan of Wakefield and agreed.
“That in-order to take one step towards revenge
“on the Clergy of the Established Church – that this
“demolishing of those Buildings, which have been
“erected out of the Taxes of this Country, be the
“object of destruction, whenever a Convulsion
“takes place – and also all new Bridges that
“have been erected from the same source.”
Moved by George Wolstencroft & seconded
by Buckley Mellor
“That the first nocturnal meeting which takes
“place in Manchester be held in the neighbourhood
“of Pollards Factorys in order to entrap the
“Military into the Canals in that neighbourhood.”
Moved by Huffman of Preston & seconded
by Bagshaw of Huddersfield & agreed
“That every Representation now present produce
“a list of all the Factorys, that export twist abroad,

“in their respective districts, & forward such list
“to the Central of Manchester in eight (days) from
“time time, and that such factorys be set on fire
and memorandums be made of all the witnesses
“against Power Loom breakers – of all the
“prosecuting attorneys – Chairman of Preston
“Quarter Sessions, and the Judge at Lancaster,
“But that no insult be given them in any
“shape or form, till after the 24th August, if possible”
Moved by Perry of Stockport and seconded
by John Bradshaw and carried
“That every town provide its own arms, this
meeting not being able to devise any general plan
“for that purpose and that George Wolstencroft
“be deputed down to Birmingham to make as
“large an engagement with our Friend Butler
“in that Town as possible, and that he have any
“quantity of money which the Manchester Central
“may think proper. Every Town paying on delivery
“for as many arms as they take.”
Moved by Graham of Preston & seconded
by John Eckersley of Leigh & carried
“that desultory steps be taken, immediately after the

“24th August, for administering arsenick to all
“Soldier’s Horses who may be in quarters, as their
“was no difficulty of access to Publicans stables”
Moved and carried
“That the Manchester Central engage four qualified
“Persons from this time up to the 24th August
“constantly to be employed in making Carcasses &
“that their expences together with the materials they
“may require be paid out of the Newtonian Fund
“Each Town paying for such Carcasses when they
“fetched them away.”
“That these proceedings be forwarded to all those
“places which are not present by their Represen-
“That this meeting be adjourned till the 24th
“day of August Instant, when and at what place
“we again assemble shall be left at the option
“of the Manchester Central Committee.” –

Letter from Alpha dated August 2, 1826
At a meeting in Preston on Monday night July
31. very numerously attended, the Irish Deputy in
the Chair, it was unanimously agreed
“That the Central of Manchester take the earliest

“opportunity of considering and arranging plans
“for a Public meeting in Manchester.”
“That this Business stand over till Wednesday
“night, and the same be resumed at Stockport.”
A nocturnal meeting was held at Failsworth
on Tuesday evening the 1st August when it was
unanimously agreed
“That the Central take immediate steps
“for a Public meeting in Manchester.”