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[top right] Page 57 Document No 842

_______________________22 1 40

My Lord Marquess:

with profound humility & every possible respect & veneration
for your Lordship's public character, I venture to address this petitionary
epistle to the indulgent & favourable consideration of your Lordship. But
I must first of all, earnestly pray, that if the course I have presumed
upon, or any expression or scrutiny, which I take have to advance,
should in any sense or degree be otherwise than what in a free country
it may be allowed to be & which I most sincerely ^would wish it might be, that
your Lordship will ascribe it, not to intention, but to a super abounding
love of mercy, & the want of Knowing better, and that your Lordship will be
pleased to pardon any such imagined and undesigned error or errors.

Your Lordship will permit me to state, that your Lordship's humble Petition
er resides at Abergavenny, in the County of Monmouth, is a dissenting Minister
of 62 years of age, has been the Pastor of a dissenting congregation for 37 years, &
was a Tutor of an Academy for educating young men designed for the
ministry of the gospel, nearly 30 years, until his inadequate health &
strength obliged him to resign his post. Your Lordship will also allow
allow me to add, that your Lordship's Petitioner, has ever been the unflinched &
devoted advocate of Reform of both Earl Grey 's and Lord Melbourne 's ad-
Administrations. My political views & Reform endeavors are known
to W A. Williams, Esq. M.P. and to C. H. Leigh, Esqr, the Lord Lieutenant
of my native County. And as a still further preliminary your Lordship
will bear with me whilst I append the following particulars, - that with
Chartists & Chartism, I have never had any personal acquaintance
or connexion, whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, - that none
of her Majesty's subjects hate and abhor the violent measures adopted
by the Chartists more cordially than I do - & that none in the United
Kingdom are more faithfully devoted to the present Government,
or more unfeignedly attached & emphatically loyal to her most
gracious majesty, Queen Victoria, than I am.

Having thus detained and troubled your Lordship with an
exordium, which, I regret to say, has so much to do with myself,
I shall now proceed to the object which has very deeply, ^ impressed , or rather,
overwhelmingly oppressed my feelings. - The case of the unfortun-
nate men, and especially Mr John Frost, now lying under the
sentence of death in Monmouth Gaol. I never saw this indi-
vidual except once at a Reform Meeting in the Guild Hall at Usk ,
nor did I ever exchange a word, a letter, or a line with him.
All I know of Frost, is, from report, the public press, & the
viva voce testimony of ^ a few unbiased & disinterested characters
who have personally known him. His trial is largely & minute
ly reported, I have perused with much attention & care
on his conduct from the time he collected & headed the
lawless throng that followed him down to the moment
he uttered the words, "Shew your appearance in the front," was deep-

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ly & dreadfully criminal! Probably in his days, he was
too ardent severe & enthusiastic in his political zeal, even when his aims
were truly liberal & praiseworthy; & he evidently was a man of inflex
ible resolution & indomnitable courage; which courage seems ^ never to have
forsaken him,except, I would most earnestly wish to hope when
to him the unlooked for attack of his deluded associates on the West
gate Hotel transpired. That diabolical deed completely pros-
trated his previous wonted courage; and may not the failure
of it on that ^ melancholy occasion, infer something favourable in his case
on the score of INTENTION? . . . . In private life, wordly trans-
actions, & the discharge of his late Magisterial duties, unpre-
judiced men will cheerfully asign him a fair & an honour-
able reputation. Not, to my knowledge, till the perpetration
of his late ^most insane act, did he evince a temperament inim
ical to peace an order. His notions of what he considered, po-
pular rights, might by moderate men be deemed extravagant,
but his humanity and regard for social order prior to the recent
fatal catastrophe, have been honourably attested. These
considerations, my Lord, combined with the justly admired
& applauded mildness of her Majesty's Government in con-
ducting the prosecution, embolden your Lordship's Petiti-
oner, most humbly & earnestly to imlpore your Lordship's
kind offices in behalf of the wretched culprit, and, by neces-
sary consequence ^ of his fellow-criminals.

Knowing, my Lord, how Tory hatred against the present
Government rankles & prevails; & how personal & local
prejudice against Frost, rages & predominates, I am
persuaded, my Lord, that the sacrifice of Frost's life
on the Gibbet, would be esteemed as rather a favourable
alternative by the enemies of of both them & him, because
it would serve to excite and inflame to the highest pitch of
violence and fury the antipathy of the Chartists against the
Government. Whilst on the other hand I am as firm
ly persuaded, that it ^ would eminently conduce to the arrest
of the progress, & the extinction of the spirit, of Chartism;
- & what likewise it would in no small degree be ancil
lary to the tranquillity of the country, and the popularity

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^ and establishment of the Whig Administration, were it thought
prudent to advise & induce her Majesty the Queen to exercise
her royal perogative so far as to extend even pardon
to Frost and his partners in guilt. So grand an Act of Grace
on the present^ critical occassion, might be sound policy, and
might tend to preclude many dire consequences in
chartist districts, which, I suspect, numbers of her Ma-
jesty's faithful subject seriously dread. Therfore,
my Lord, with the sentiments & persuasions which
I have presumed to express offer and avow in this petiti-
onary communication, & infixed as they are in my
inmost soul, I feel encouraged to venture, though
it is with trembling and extreme humility, most respect-
fully, yet earnestly to pray and beseech your Lordship
mercifully to employ your official influence in the
proper quarter to obtain pardon to the wretched cri
minals doomed to suffer a most fearful and ignomi
nious death! . . . . In conclusion, if, my Lord, I have
in this communication, dared too much, presumed
too far, transgressed the line of decency & due decorum ,
or in any way or sense whatsoever, done what a loyal
subject & a free citizen, should not do, I fervently crave
& implore your Lordship's forgiveness. And believe me,
my Lord, that however the love of mercy sways my
mind, I am not less the friend of justice than of mercy
my all absorbing desire is, the peace prosperity and
happines of our beloved, but appallingly agitated
& distracted Country! . . . . I have the honour
my Lord, with all due respect, to subscribe myself,
_______________________Your Lordship's

_______________________Most obedt Humble Servt,
Micah Thomas,
Baptist Minister.

[above left]

Abergavenny }

22 Jany 1840}

to the Most Honourable.

The Marquess of Normanby, &c. /A true copy/

Newport Public Reference Libraries [in circular embossed stamp, bottom centre]

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[top right] [?] tr...
/ [encircled process mark] D.4.842
To the

Most Honourable,

The Marques of Normanby,

Secretary of State &c

Home Office



Posted 23 Jany 1840. }

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