Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 April 2022
Edwards spied on Spencean meetings for the Bow Street police office from January 1818 onwards. He insinuated himself into the radical bookseller Richard Carlile’s life, befriended the butcher Ings in Carlile’s bookshop, and attached himself to Thistlewood on the latter’s release from gaol in May 1819. Between November and 23 February 1820 he reported Thistlewood’s every move to the police and home office. On 13 December Thistlewood told Edwards his latest plan – to murder the whole cabinet at their next cabinet dinner. For weeks later, with false starts and much wishful thinking, this plan was played with until Sidmouth ordered a cabinet dinner at Harrowby’s mansion to be falsely advertised. This feint provoked the conspirators to action. The chapter ends with an account of Edwards’s and the turncoat conspirators’ misfortunes after the executions.