England History. The Luddites and the Combination Acts
Source: Reference Library of Political Documents.
First Published: The Parliamentary History of England... Vol. XXXII. London: Hansard, 1818.
Whereas, on the 29th day of this instant month of October, divers persons riotously assembled and stationed in different places in our city of Westminster, proceeded to commit certain daring and highly criminal outrages, n gross violation of the public peace, to the actual danger of our royal person, and to the interruption of our passage to and from our parliament; we, therefore, with the advice of our privy council, in pursuance of an address from our two Houses of parliament, do hereby enjoin all magistrates, and all other our loving subjects, to use their utmost endeavours to discover and cause to be apprehended the authors, actors, and abettors concerned in such outrages, in order that they may be dealt with according to law; and we do hereby promise, that any person or persons, other than those actually concerned in doing any act by which our royal person was immediately endangered, who shall give information, so as that any of the authors, actors, or abettors concerned in such outrages as aforesaid, may be apprehended and brought to justice, shall receive a reward of £1,000, to be paid on conviction of every such offender; which said sum of £1,000, the lords commissioners of our treasury are hereby required and directed to pay accordingly. And we do farther promise, that any person or persons concerned in such outrages as aforesaid, other than such as were actually concerned in any act by which our royal person was immediately endangered, who shall give information, so as that any of such authors, actors, or abettors, as aforesaid, shall be apprehended and brought to justice, shall, upon conviction of such offender or offenders, receive our most gracious pardon.
Given at our court of St. James’s, the 31st day of October, 1795, in the 36th year of our reign.
God Save the King.
Whereas it has been represented to us, that immediately before the opening of the present session of parliament, a great number of persons were collected in fields in the neighbourhood of the metropolis, by advertisements and hand-bills, and that divers inflammatory discourses were delivered to the persons so collected; and divers proceedings were had, tending to create groundless jealousy and discontent, and to endanger the public peace, and the quiet and safety of our faithful subjects: and whereas it hath also been represented to us, that divers seditions and treasonable papers have been lately distributed, tending to excite evil disposed persons to acts, endangering our royal person. And whereas such proceedings have been following on the day on which the present session of parliament commenced by acts of tumult and violence, and by daring and highly criminal outrages, in direct violation of the public peace, to the immediate danger of our royal person, and to the interruption of our royal person, and to the interruption of our passage to and from our parliament. And whereas great uneasiness and anxiety hath been produced in the minds of our faithful subjects, by rumours and apprehensions, that seditious and lawful assemblies are intended to be held by evil disposed persons; and that such other criminal practices, as aforesaid, are intended to be repeated: We therefore have thought fit, by and with the advice of our privy council, to enjoin and require, all justices of the peace, sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs, constables, and all other our loving subjects throughout our kingdom, to use the utmost diligence to discourage, prevent, and suppress all seditious and unlawful assemblies: and we do specially enjoin and command all our loving subjects, who shall have cause to suspect that any such assemblies are intended to be held in any part of our kingdom, to give the earliest information thereof to the magistrates of the several districts, within which it shall be suspected that the same are intended to be held; and if such assemblies shall nevertheless in any case be actually held, to be aiding and assisting, on being required thereto by the civil magistrate, in causing persons delivering inflammatory discourses in such assemblies, and other principal actors therein, to be forthwith apprehended, in order that they may be dealt with according to law. And we have also thought fit, by and with the advice aforesaid, to enjoin and require all justices of the peace, sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs, constables, and all other our loving subjects, throughout our kingdom, to be in like manner aiding and assisting in bringing to justice all persons distributing such seditious and treasonable papers as aforesaid.
Given at our court at St. James’s the 4th day of November, in the 36th year of our reign.
God Save the King.