HC Deb 24 February 1818 vol 37 cc592-3
Mr. Bennet

presented a Petition from Benjamin Whiteley, of Holmfirth, in the parish of Burton, and county of York, setting forth,

"That the Petitioner is by trade a drawer of cloth in. Holmfirth, was going to Horbury on Friday the 6th of June last, and was surrounded by aimed men on the road near Thornhill Lees, and taken to the house of correction at Wakefield, where he remained three weeks in a damp cell, and had liked to have died of hunger, not being able to eat the food they presented him, and from the damps of the cell, no person being allowed to come to or see him; in the mean time his friends attended from time to time with bail for his appearance, if any thing could be laid to his charge, but they were put off from time to time, until on the 27th of June he was liberated on his paying five shillings; on the 4th of July Thomas Blythe and another person entered the House of the petitioner, and searched every drawer, closet, and cranney, and then told him he must go to London on a charge of high treason; expostulation was vain, he was; hurried to Cold-bath-fields prison, where he remained four days, and was then carried before lord Sidmouth, who told him he must go to prison, and be close confined; he requested to know his crime, and accuser, for he was not conscious of having done a wrong thing; he answered, he might say what he pleased, but he must go to prison, and be close confined; he was then taken like a felon to Salisbury, where, for nine days, he suffered under every circumstance of distress from situation and ill-usage, his health declined very Cast, and he did not expect to live from night to morning; he was on the tenth clay removed to Worcester, where he remained twenty weeks without being allowed to see a single friend, his wife, having travelled all that way, was denied, and obliged to return without even that gratification; at last, on the 5th of December, he signed a recognizance, that although he knew himself not guilty of any crime he might not perish in a loathsome prison; the loss he has sustained in his business, health, and circumstances, cannot be repaired, nevertheless, any relief which may be granted will be seasonable, and received with thankfulness."

Ordered to be on the table, and to be printed.