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A letter sent to Manchester on behalf of Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary, 4 August 1819
(Catalogue ref: HO 41/4 f.434)

Source 1a

Whitehall August 4th 1819

J Norris Esquire


Lord Sidmouth having further considered the question which was the subject of yesterday's letter, desires me to say that reflection convinces him the more strongly of the inexpediency of attempting forcibly to prevent the meeting on Monday. Every discouragement and obstacle should be thrown in its way, and the advertisement from the magistrates will no doubt have a salutary effect in this respect. But his Lordship thinks that it would be imprudent to act up to the spirit of the advertisement.

Source 1b

He has no doubt that you will make arrangements for obtaining evidence of what passes; that if any thing illegal is done or said it may be the subject of prosecution. But even if they should utter sedition or proceed to the election of a representative Lord Sidmouth is of opinion that it will be the wisest course to abstain from any endeavour to disperse the mob, unless they should proceed to acts of felony or riot. We have the strongest reason to believe that Hunt means to preside and to deprecate disorder. I ought to have mentioned that the opinion, which I have expressed for Lord Sidmouth, is supported by that of the highest law authorities.

I am ever

H. Hobhouse

Glossary  Transcript

unsuitableness (not suitable or useful)

salutary beneficial, improving
imprudent unwise
sedition words or behaviour that encourage rebellion against a government or state
felony a serious crime that can be punished with a severe sentence
deprecate express disapproval of
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