The Times (30/Oct/1812) – The Murderers of Mr. Horsfall

Mill owner William Horsfall was shot by Luddites on 28 April 1812.



A very important event happened here on Thursday last, of which, as the Leeds Mercury of today does not appear to have any information, I hasten to communicate the intelligence.

A man has been taken up and examined before the indefatigable Magistrate, Joseph Radcliffe, Esq. and has at length received the offer of his Majesty’s pardon, and given the most complete and satisfactory evidence of the horrible murder of Mr. W. Horsfall. In consequence of this, the whole of the wretches concerned in that dreadful transaction have been taken and committed to York Castle, to take their trial at the ensuing Commission of Assize. He was with the party (four in number) when Mr. Horsfall was shot. They were furnished with pistols by ——, who ordered them to take their stand in a plantation on Crosland Moor. Two others soon after joined them, and took their station about twenty yards below them. When the unfortunate gentleman came up, two fired. They then all fred across the fields and —— damned them all the way for not firing their pieces. Two ran forwards to Honley, four miles off ; and two more stopped at a place called Dungeon Wood, and his their pistols at ——’s house there, in some flocks, left their great coats, and immediately in their jackets to Huddersfield, where the news of the murder had but just arrived. The next morning they all four met at the workshop of their employer (a cropped), and —— produced a Bible, and made them all swear not to betray each other.

These villains have frequently been examined before, but have always been discharged for want of sufficient evidence. One behaved with the greatest effrontery till he saw ——, and then he changed colour, and gasped for breath. When he came out, he said, “Damn that ——, he has done me.”

It appears that —— and —— have been chiefs in all the disgraceful transactions that have occurred in this part of the country the last twelve months, especially at Rawfolds, where the former was Captain of the gun-division, and the latter of the pistol. —— has thus made discoveries which will lead to a great number of these offenders, and, it is hoped, ultimately restore the West Riding to its former tranquillity.

The Times (30.Oct.1812) - The Murderers of Mr. Horsfall

The Times (26/Oct/1812) – Murder of Mr. Horsfall

Mill owner William Horsfall was shot by Luddites on 28 April 1812.

Government, as well as individuals, have been using all possible diligence in endeavouring to discover the murderer of Mr. Horsfall, who was shot at mid-day, during the riotous proceedings of the Luddites at and near Huddersfield. Among those who have been suspected is a man named Joshua Haigh, a native of Huddersfield, who, during the disturbances, enlisted with a recruiting party into the 51st regiment, and a short time after the attack on the mill, which was so ably defended, he was strongly suspected to have been concerned in the attack, from the circumstances of a hat with his name on it, being found in a brook leading from the mill. On the evening of the day Mr. Horsfall was murdered, when he went home, he appeared extremely agitated when he heard any noise. After he went to bed, he was heard to talk loudly in his sleep, calling out loudly they were coming to take him. In the morning it was ascertained that he had absconded, and no doubt was entertained but he had got out of the window. No tidings were heard of him till a short time since, when the serjeant who had enlisted him into the 51st regiment being recruiting in Ireland, met him there, and took him into custody as a deserter, and had him conveyed to the depot of the regiment, at Brebourn Lees, in Kent, where he was received into the regiment with the punishment of being deprived his bounty, which he has not received when he enlisted. These circumstances getting known at Huddersfield, a warrant against Haigh was sent by Mr. Radclife, of Mill’s bridge, to the Secretary of State’s office, where is was backed for the county of Kent; and Lavender, the Bow Street officer, was dispatched with it, and took Haigh into custody at Brebourn Lees, and conveyed him from thence to Wakefield, where he is lodge in the prison.

The Times (26.Oct.1812) - Murder of Mr. Horsfall