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