Major Cartwright to William Hone, 3 July, 1817

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Major Cartwright to William Hone, 3 July, 1817.1-TEI-

Thursday, 3 July 1817

I have to request your company to dine with me on Tuesday at 5 precisely, & to have an answer on that point.2

On conversing yesterday with Mr. Madocks3 on the subject of the letters, and mischievous handbills sent to yourself, Hay & Turner etc. of which he had not heard, he was very desirous of having affidavits from the several parties put into his hands, each party stating the facts relative to himself, for him to make use of in the House of Commons.

I have seen Hay & Turner, who have promised to draw up their declaration of facts this evening & proceed with it immediately to make oaths before a Magistrate to the Truth.

I can have no doubt of your readiness to do the same.4 I am to send my servant by noon at the latest tomorrow, to receive their affidavit & such others as can be had-- He shall of course call on you.

I have been, and still am, unwell, that I cannot follow up on this inquiry so well as I could wish; but if you could asist in obtaining the Declaration of Mr. Harvey, of Blackfriars Road, Mr. Molyneux in Tooks Court Chancery Lane, Mr. Hughes of Maiden Lane, or any others on whom these attempts were made it may be of the greatest use.

I will endeavour to secure the attendance of Members of Parliament when the Documents shall be brought forward by Mr. Madocks.

In haste
your ob'dt
J. Cartwright

[Addressed to:] Mr. Hone

British Library, Add. MS 40120, ff. 61-62. [return]
Hone had only just been released from King's Bench prison on 2 July, perhaps suggesting the urgency of Cartwright's request. [return]
William Madocks, a radical MP. The aim of Cartwright's letter is to gather information about an entrapment scheme, perhaps involving "Oliver the Spy," in which a government agent posing as a political radical circulated among some of the more prominent radical writers and printers with the intent of enticing them into libellous publications and imprisonment. Cartwright is working behind the scenes to supply Madocks with information which he can then bring up in Parliament. [return]
Hone did indeed supply a long account of his encounter with the supposed government spy. (See Add. MS 40121, ff. 74-79.) [return]
John "Major" Cartwright. Date: 2014-03-12