Monday, 10 April 2017

10th April 1817: The Luddite, John Amos, writes to his wife, from the condemned cell at Leicester Gaol

Leicester County Gaol

Dear Wife,

I write these few lines to you, hoping they will find you in good health, as they leave me in good health, considering the awful situation I am placed it, bless the Lord for it.—Oh what disgrace I have brought upon my family. O my dear wife, pardon me for the distress which I brought you and my dear children. O pray forgive me; I know I robbed a virtuous wife of every comfort in this world. My dear wife and children, and my dear father and mother, is all that is dear in this world. I know not how to find words to express myself; but my dear wife, I know your heart, I know you'll forgive me when you read these few lines from a dying husband, who speaks the sentiments of his heart; you know it was nothing but distress that induced me to go to Loughborough; O, I now entreat, but alas! it is too late; but I have one consolation impressed on my mind, that with true repentance, through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, I shall enter into eternal life. Most of my time is spent in prayer to God, to forgive my sins: I am sensible of my awful situation, without true repentance I cannot be saved. There are nine of us who are likely to forfeit our lives to the offended laws of our country. My dear wife, my fate is very hard, for I am going to die for a crime which I never committed. I shall make only one observation on the man that swore against me: Burton swore that I was with him at the Peach Tree, in Nottingham, on the morning the frames were broken at night; I do solemnly declare, as a dying man, that I never was in the public house with that man in all my life, nor do I remember that I ever saw him in all my life until I saw him at Squire Mundys. O my poor dear father and mother, and my dear sister, I hope the Lord will protect you; and I hope, dear friends, you will always look upon my dear wife and five poor dear children, for if I had taken the advice of my wife, I should not have been placed in this awful situation; but I assure you, I am preparing my soul to meet my God on that fatal day which I am doomed to die. My dear wife, don't give way to fretting, for the sake of my dear children: I need not say any more to you on the subject, for I know your good heart, you will bring them up in the right way. Let me assure you my mind is at rest. Dear wife, let these few lines comfort you. I expect in a few days to meet the fate which the laws of my country will inflict upon me. Give my love to my father and mother, and my dear sister, and all my relations and friends; I hope we shall all meet in heaven. Farewel my friends! farewel! adieu!

I remain,
Your affectionate unfortunate husband,

N.B. I should wish my body to be interred in Nottingham, if my friends can fetch me.

From the Condemned Cell,
April 10, 1817.
This is my confession.

This is from Binfield (2005, p.162)

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