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August 22 1812: Mr. Shelley to be Watched



On August 22, 1812, Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary, received the letter from Henry Drake about Percy Shelley and endorsed on the letter: 
Acknowledge receipt, with Lord Sidmouth's thanks. Recommend that Mr. Shelley's proceedings be watched if he is still at Linton. It would also be desirable to procure the address of his different correspondents, to whom he writes, from the post-office. Lord S. will be obliged by any further information respecting Mr. S., and, in the meantime, inquiries will be made about him here. Lord S. quite approves of tho stops that have been taken respecting Daniel Hill.—August 22.
On the same day, Richard Jones, the postmaster of Barnstaple,  is also writing to Francis Freeling, the Secretary of the Post Office about Shelley. He writes:
Post-Office, Barnstaple, August 22nd, 1812. 

Sir,   have taken the liberty of enclosing to you a handbill that has been circulated through this town by a servant-man of P. B. Shelley's, Esq., who resides at Linton, about eighteen miles from this. Tho man is taken into custody, and confined in the prison of this town for six months, unless he pays the fine of £200 for distributing bills without the printer's name. The man says he was met between this and Linton by a gentleman, who desired him, if he was going to Barnstaple, to stick some of these bills up about tho town, for which he gave him five shillings. He says he does not know who the gentleman is, never having seen him before. The bill is thought to have a seditious tendency, for which reason, sir, I have presumed to enclose it to you. I am, sir,
Your most obedient, humble servant,

Richard Jones

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