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May 12 1812: John Bellingham in Jail


On Tuesday, May 12, 1812, at one o'clock in the morning, John Bellingham was removed under a strong military escort to Newgate Jail. He was guarded through the night by three men. Bellingham went to sleep soon after his arrival at the jail but did not sleep soundly. He rose after seven o'clock, and requested some tea for breakfast, but drank only a little. He was visited by the sheriffs and some other public functionaries. Bellingham remained calm and talked rather cheerfully. At one point, he requested  pen, ink and paper, to write some letters to his friends. He wrote one letter to his family at Liverpool. He also wrote a letter to Mrs Roberts, No 9 New Millman Street, the lady at whose house he lodged:

DEAR MADAM -- Yesterday midnight I was escorted to this neighbourhood by a noble troop of Light Horse, and delivered into the care of Mr Newman (by Mr Taylor, the magistrate and M.P.) as a state prisoner of the first class. For eight years I have never found my mind so tranquil as since this melancholy but necessary catastrophe, as the merits or demerits of my peculiar case must be regularly unfolded in a criminal court of justice to ascertain the guilty party, by a jury of my country. I have to request the favour of you to send me three or four shirts, some cravats, handkerchiefs, night-caps, stockings, &c, out of my drawers, together with comb, soap, tooth-brush, with any other trifle that presents itself which you think I may have occasion for, and inclose them in my leather trunk, and the key please to send sealed, per bearer; also my great-coat, flannel gown, and black waistcoat: which will much oblige,

Dear madam, your very obedient servant,

JOHN BELLINGHAM.
 To the above please to add the prayer-books.'
After two o'clock, Bellingham ate a "hearty dinner", and requested that in future he might dine at about the same hour. He passed the day in a "tranquil manner" retiring to bed at twelve and slept again under the watch of two men during the night.

Notes

The above is taken from the information and language used by the Newgate Trial series and can be found here

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