Letter from Edward Littlehales to J. Beckett, 18 August 1808

Dublin CastlePrivate & ConfidentialAugust 16 1808My Dear Sir

The Lord Lieutenant desires me
one to transmit to you for Lord Hawkseburys
information a paper which I have this day received
from a respectable channel containing a variety
of matter which tends with other circumstances
to show that there is a spirit of disaffection
now at work or at least that mischievous
Emissaries are most probably imploying here,
care will be taken to intercept if possible,
the Correspondence, which is intimated as
likely to pass from B and all in France
through the person of the name of K
mentioned in this document is the same
alias that was described in a late
communication from me to Mr. Jenkinson
altho the information respecting him is
now J. Beckett Esquire

conveyed to one from every different quarter

I send enclosed a copy of the voluntary confession of Patrick M. a Prisoner
in Kilmainham and I have desired Mr. Pollack,
the Crown Solicitor to whom I have referred a
copy of it, and who is now in the vicinity of
Nobber in the County of Meath, to investigate
the circumstance therein stated and to ascertain
how far there is any truth in the facts
alledged. Altho scarcely any reliance is ever
to be placed in confessions of this nature yet
it is very curious that the language of the
disaffected in Dublin as far as I can learn
agrees with what is stated by P M

that the beliefs of the Spaniards as reported
is false that they have invited the English
Army into the intention of the country to decry
them and both Spaniards and French
would unite in there destruction

It is reported as you will
perceive in the enclosed memorandum

that there are four delegates from France at
Belfast but that this information seems questionable.
Steps however will be cautiously taken with a view
if possible to ascertain the facts

The last paper that I have at
present to communicate connected with this
subject is written by a person who is considered
to be well informed of the movements of the
disaffected and you will see that it is his
opinion that "there is not anything strong
"going forward"

General B called upon me this
morning to say that Colonel J Harrison a
very suspicious and mischievous person in his
opinion who took a conspicuous part in
exciting the People of Manchester during the late
riotous proceedings in that town to acts of
outrage by his inflammatory addresses came
over in a Liverpool Packet about ten days
past and that he saw him immediately after he landed in Dublin though doth
endeavoured to avoid him

General B is confident that he cannot visit
Ireland for any good purpose. — I asked
and procured from him an account description
of Sd person and shall immediately try to find
him out in order that he may be watched —

It appeared to me to be proper
and in which the Duke of Richmond is pleased
to concur that during Mr Trail's illness and
necessary absence from office I should not omit
to communicate for Lord Hawkesbury's information
any matter of real or even probable importance
which may reach me particularly at this
crisis when it is obvious that one of Bonapartes
principal objects must be to create if possible
disturbance and confusion in the country.

E.B. Littlehales

Jenkinson, Robert

Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool. He was a British statesman and the longest-serving British Prime Minister since 1806.


M, Patrick

Colonel "Harrison"/Colonel J. Hanson

Lennox, Charles

4th Duke of Richmond and Lennox, colonial administrator. In April 1807 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Trail, James

Bonaparte, Napol‚on

A soldier and statesman who rose to power during the French Revolution. In 1808 he was the Emperor of France and expanded his empire to neighbouring countries.


Edward was Under- Secretary for the Military from 1801-1819. His role was two-pronged: he was was responsible for the defence of Ireland and the smooth running of the military stationed in the country.

Lord Lieutenant

The Lord Lieutenant was the representative for the King in Ireland. Charles Lennox was the Lord Lieutenant at this time.

Crown Solicitor

Joseph Pollock was the Crown Solicitor mentioned in this correspondence.

Littlehales Letters. "Letter from Edward Littlehales to J. Beckett, 18 August 1808". ID: Littlehales1808-08-16-8-2-4. Online. http://dhprojects.maynoothuniversity.ie/2017/littlehales/letters/?p=1808-08-16-8-2-4. Accessed: 18 October 2018.