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COBBETT'S

POLITICAL REGISTER.

VOLUME LXXI

FROM JANUARY, TO MARCH, 1831,

BOTH MONTHS INCLUSIVE.

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LONDON:

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR, AT. NO. 11, BOLT-COURT,

FLEET STREET.

1831.

Ba. 120-3

Summer fund.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

VOLUME 71.

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३५

VOL. 71.-No. 1.]

LONDON, SATURDAY, JANUARY

1ST, 1831.

[Price 1s.

HANGING OF ENGLISH LABOURERS.

fires), in case the person making such discovery shall be liable to be prosecuted for the same.

And the Lords Commissioners of our Treasury are hereby required to make payment accordingly of the said rewards.

Given at our Court at St. James's, this twenty-third day of November, one thousand eight hundred and thirty, in the first year of our reign. God save the King.

Here, in the case of the setting fire, is a freehold estate worth twenty-five pounds a year; or, an annuity for life of about fortyfive pounds a-year, though the informer he be from forty to fifty years of age, here is only twenty-one years of age; and, if he the worth of an annuity of a hundred pounds Chelmsford, in Essex. a year for life. The hanging began at

ESSEX.

AT CHELMSFORD, FRIDAY, CHRISTMAS EVE. JAMES EWEN, a young man, having a wife and two small children.

I SHALL, under this head, put upon record the hangings that are now going on. I shall not, except in the way of explanation, make any remark, or state any fact, from myself, and shall not venture on the insertion of any private, or written communication; but shall put on record merely what I find in the public papers. The trials are taking place by SPECIAL Bateman, for highway robbery, accompanied with eirOn Friday James Ewen, convicted of arson, and Thos. COMMISSIONS; and a Proclamation cumstances of savage barbarity, underwent the extreme was issued before the trials began, offer-will be recollected, had been found guilty of setting fire penalty of the law in front of Springfield Gaol. Ewen, it ing a reward of a hundred pounds to any one to the barn and stack of Mr. Sach, farmer, at Rayleigh. who should cause any one to be convicted The circumstantial evidence to connect him with the fact of some of the acts of violence; and FIVE Richardson, who had been imprisoned as an accessary to was very slight, but the principal witness, a man named HUNDRED POUNDS in the case of the crime, swore that the prisoner had, unsolicited, told SETTING FIRE. But the best way is him at the same time to join him in firing another stack him, after the fire, that he was the perpetrator, and urged to insert the Proclamation itself. belonging to Mr. Blewett, the next evening. Richardson WILLIAM R.-Whereas great multitudes of lawless and stances subsequently transpiring to cast suspicion upon was known to be a notoriously bad character, and circumdisorderly persons have, for some time past, assembled his evidence, the most strenuous exertions were made, by themselves together in a riotous and tumultuous manner, a number of the most respectable_inhabitants, to save in the Counties of Wilts, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hants, Ewen's life, but without success. Ewen protested his inand Berks; and for the purposes of compelling their em-nocence, in the most earnest manner, up to the last mo ployers to comply with certain regulations prescribed by ment, though he freely confessed that in his life he had themselves, with respect to wages, have had recourse to been guilty of many offences. His wife and two children measures of force and violence, and have actually com- took their farewell of the unfortunate man a few days mitted various acts of outrage in different parts of the previous, and his brother was admitted to him on the counties above-mentioned, whereby the property of many morning of his execution. No commiseration was excited of our good subjects has, in several instances, been wholly for Bateman, who had robbed and cruelly ill-used an destroyed, and their lives and properties are still greatly old man, upwards of 70, by stamping his head into a ditch, endangered: We, therefore, being duly sensible of the mischievous inches in the mud. About nine o'clock, after leaving the and crushing his ear off which was found buried six consequences which must inevitably ensue, as well to the chapel, the culprits ascended the platform, Ewen with peace of the kingdom as to the lives and properties of our great firmness, and Bateman discovering much agitation. subjects from such wicked and illegal practices, if they go Upon placing the rope round Ewen's neck, it was found enpunished; and being Armly resolved to cause the laws to to be too short, upon which he observed, "It's rather a be put into execution for the punishment of such offend- tight fit." The halter was obliged to be spliced, and ers, have thought fit by the advice of our Privy Council, while this was accomplishing, Ewen remarked to a perto issue this Proclamation, hereby strictly commanding all son who stood near, Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Under-Sheriffs, and all The ropes being adjusted, the bolts were withdrawn, and "It's rather cold standing up here." other Civil Officers whatsoever, within the said counties the prisoners were launched into eternity. They strugof Wilts, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hants, and Berks, that gled very much.-The general impression amongst the they do use their utmost endeavours to discover, appre-Magistrates was, that Ewen was innocent.-London hend, and bring to justice, the persons concerned in the Morning Advertiser of 7th Dee. riotons proceedings above-mentioned.

And as a further inducement to discover the said offenders, we do hereby promise and declare that any person or persons who shall discover and apprehend, or cause to be discovered and apprehended, the authors, abettors, or perpetrators of any of the outrages above-mentioned, so that they, or any of them, may be duly convicted thereof, shall be entitled to the sum of Fifty Pounds for each and every person who shall be convicted, and shall also receive our most gracious pardon for the said offence, in case the person making such discovery as aforesaid shall be liable to be prosecuted for the same.

KENT.

AT MAIDSTONE, ON CHRISTMAS EVE.
JOHN DIKE,

WM. PACKMAN,
HENRY PACKMAN,

Brothers.

John Dyke, otherwise Field, and William and Henry EXECUTION OF THREE INCENDIARIES AT MAIDSTONE.Packman, brothers, were executed on Penenden Heath, on Friday. The first had protested his innocence of being concerned in the fires; but the two latter, who are quite And whereas certain wicked incendiaries have secretly tended, for fear that any disturbance should take place. boys, confessed their guilt. A troop of Scotch Greys atby fire, in many parts of the said counties, destroyed the Henry Packman addressed the crowd, and accused Bishop, corn, hay, buildings, and other property of our subjects, we | who gave evidence against him, of having instigated him to do hereby promise and declare, that any person or persons burn the ricks, &c. No disturbance took place.-London who shall discover and apprehend, or cause to be dis-Morning Chronicle of 28th Dec.

covered and apprehended, the authors of the said fires, so

that they or any one of them may be duly convicted

I shall, by and by, collect all these trials

thereof, shall be entitled to the sum of Five Hun- together, with as full an account as I can dred Pounds for each and every person who shall be

so convicted, and shall also receive our most gracious get of all the circumstances relating to bardon (except the actual perpetrator of any of the said each.

WM. COBBETT.

TREATMENT OF THE ENGLISH from my petition to the two Houses of

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LABOURERS.

Parliament, dated 4th December. The
following I take from the Morning
Chronicle of 29th Dec., and it will show
that a change has now taken place in
the treatment of the labourers. Pray,
reader, attend to the whole of it; mark
it well; and then I leave you to make
your own remarks.

CHELMSFORD PETTY SESSIONS,
FRIDAY, DEC. 24.

LABOURERS' WAGES.-The Surveyor and Overseer of Great Waltham appeared upon a summons to answer the complaint of three for not paying them sufficient for their labour labourers, named Tilly, Smith, and Gentry, in the gravel-pits to procure them the common necessaries of life. The case has been several times before the Bench. On the first occasion a summons was issued against the them, went to Mr. Tufnell, and upon their defendants, who, on its being served upon promising to comply with his directions and reasonably increase the wages, the summons was dismissed without a hearing. The SurMr. Tufnell's order, thinking that as the sumveyor, however, instead of complying with mons was dismissed he should not be called on to answer for his conduct, refused to give the complainants any more for their labour, Bench, a second summons was issued; a letand they again coming to complain to the ter was also written by the Chairman to Mr. Tufnell, informing him of the reprehensible conduct of the Surveyor. The complainants now stated that they were employed to work in the gravel-pit by the Surveyor, who refused to pay them more than 4s. 6d. a-week each. They were all single men, and had to pay 1s. each for lodging and 6d. for washing, after which they had only 3s. left for seven days' subsistence.

"THAT it has been proved before com"mittees of the House of Commons, that the allowance for the subsistence "of a labouring man,including his earn86 ings, has been, as fixed by the magis"trates in Wiltshire, no more than one pound and a quarter of bread and one "half-penny in money per day for food "and clothes, with nothing for drink, fuel, or bedding; that it has been proved before the said committees, "that formerly the labourers all brewed "their own beer, and that now they "never do it; that formerly they ate meat, cheese, butter, and bread, and they now live almost wholly on potatoes, which they carry cold to the "fields when at work there; that it has "been proved before the said commit"tees, that the honest, hard-working "labourer is not allowed more than about half as much food as is allowed "the convicted felons in the jails and hulks; that it has been proved be"fore the said committees, that the labourers commit crimes in order to get fed and clothed as well as the "convicts are fed and clothed; that the "Magistrates of Warwickshire have "declared in resolutions at their Quarter Sessions, that the labourers commit *** crimes in order to get into jail, the jail being a more happy place than "their own homes; that it has been proved before the said committees, Chairman: How could you manage to keep "that the young women are, now-a-alive-did you live upon sticks and stones ? "days, almost all pregnant before marriage, owing to fathers and them"selves being too poor to pay the expenses of the wedding; that it has "been proved before the said commit"tees, that the labourers, having an "assistant overseer for a driver, are compelled to draw carts and wagons like beasts of burden; and that it has long been a general practice to put "them up at auction, and to sell them "for certain lengths of time, as is the "custom with regard to the negroes in "the slave colonies that all these things have been proved to committees of the House of Commons." The above paragraph is an extract

The Surveyor, in his defence, said he asked the Surveyor last year; they told him 9d. athe complainants how much they had from day, and he gave them that sum.

Chairman: And so you really and seriously thought that sufficient for a poor man to live upon, did you?

office before, and did not understand it.
The Surveyor said that he never served the

Chairman: That is no defence at all; you knew a man could not live upon 3s. a week. far as the overseer was concerned, no blame attached to him. He had always fulfilled the duties of his office to the perfect satisfaction of the parishioners; at the same time he did full justice to the poor.

Mr. Tufnell said he felt satisfied that so

would give them 1s. a-day for their work, The complainants said, if the Surveyor

they should be well satisfied.

The Bench said that was the lowest sum

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which they ought to have. In fact, they did not see how a man could subsist upon less.

The Surveyor was reprimanded for his con. duet, and ordered to pay the men in future ls. a-day, and also for the time they had lost in coming to make the complaint.-Essex Herald,

BLOODY-MINDED.

THE following letter was publishes in the Morning Chronicle on Christma Day:

"Sir,-In The Times [the Bloody "Old Times] newspaper of this morn

Bravo! good, Mr. Tufnell! What a pity it was that the men did not complaining, I read the following paragraph, "which I beg you to insert, along with "the comment that I have subjoined "to it :

LAST YEAR!

But

'CONFESSION OF THOMAS GOODMAN -COBBETT'S LECTURES.

Ah! let us proceed. Now, it was proved by their published scale, that the magistrates of Dorsetshire allowed 2s. 7d. a week for a working man when bread was 10d. the quartern loaf (as it is now); it was Goodman, who was convicted of setting fire The unfortunate young man, Thomas proved before a Committee of the House to the barn of Mr. Alderton, at Battle, and of Commons, on the evidence of BENETT sentenced to death, has made a full confession (now a member for the county), that the of his guilt, and attributes his untimely end magistrates of Wiltshire allowed a gal-who, you may remember, delivered a public to that notorious demagogue, William Cobbett, lecture at Battle some time ago, in which he told his auditors that unless the farmers would consent to pay better wages to their labourers, the fires which were then going on in Kent might also take place in this county, and that the boundary between the counties was but imaginary. It is a singular fact that in less than a fortnight after the delivery of this lec

out on the night of the 3d of November, took place in the parish of Battle; and it is still more singular, that the property destroyed on that occasion belonged to Mr. Charles Emery, landlord of the George Inu, at Battle, who had refused Cobbett the use of his principal room for the purpose of delivering his lecture. The unfortunate young man, who is only 18 years of age, confesses that he was so stirred up by the words of Cobbett, that his brain was nearly turned; and that he was under the impression that nothing but the destruction of property by fire at night would effect that species of revolution, the necessity of which was so strongly enforced by the arch lecturer. Of the eight fires which took place in the parish of Battle, within one month, the unfortunate convict has confessed that five of them were occasioned by his own hand. The following are the words of the culprit with reference to Cobbett, as taken down this morning, in the presence of the Rev. Henry John Rush, Curate of Crowhurst, Sussex:

lon loaf and three-pence a week to each member of a labourer's family for food and clothing; that is, at this time, 2s. Id. for each, and nothing for drink, washing or lodging, or fuel or bedding. If, then, 4s. 6d. a week to these Essex men was cruelty, what was the treatment of the labourers of Dorsetshire and Wiltshire!ture, the first fire-namely, that which broke If 6s a week is the "lowest sum that a single man ought to have," what was the treatment of the men in these Western counties? If it was cruelly to give them a farthing less than 6s. a week, what was it to give a working man 2s. 7d. when bread was at the same price? It is said that William Packman, who, as we have seen, was hanged on PENENDEN HEATH, on Christmas Eve, said to one of his old companions, who was crying: "Never mind, Dick, you'll have your belly full now." Though mere boys, these Packmans are said to have died with the greatest composure. This Essex justice is to be applauded for his conduct, and I hope his example will be followed all over the country; for that is the effectual way of putting an end to I, Thomas Goodman, never should af these horrible scenes, the like of which thought of douing aney sutch thing if Mr. Cobhave not been beheld for ages, and, bett Cobet had never given aney lactures i believe that their never would bean any fires or trust, never will be beheld again. Imob in Battle nor maney others places if he trust that all men are now convinced, never had given aney lactures at all.*' with this worthy magistrate of Essex, that 6s. a week is the very lowest that a single man ought to have to live upon; and if all the magistrates act on the same rule, there will once more be peace.

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Now, Sir, in the first place, the reporter is A FARSON; and that is quite enough with regard to the truth of the report. In the next place, as to the pretended statement of Goodman, please to observe these facts:-1. That the

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