'Epsom, Nov. 29.-l send you an account of two fires, which took place within two miles of this place (Epsom), last night (Sunday)-one at Banstead, of a large hay-stack, belonging to Mrs. Howath; another, at a very short distance from the above, of two corn-stacks of large dimensions, belonging to a gentleman farmer, which were destroyed. A body of labourers are going about this county, and the fires are supposed to have been caused by some of them. A respectable shopkeeper told me they were expected to be at this place today. People seem very gloomy in this part of the country.'
"The Lord Lieutenant, Lord Arden, and sixty-three of the magistrates for Surrey met at the Spread Eagle Inn in Epsom on 20th November 1830, alarmed by the disturbances in the county. They reported that if the 'late diabolical proceedings of incendiaries' continued and the large meetings of people assembled together under pretence of demanding increase in wages and a reduction of rent and tithes' do not disperse, they will be prosecuted. The meeting recommended that all magistrates swear in special constables to preserve law and order. This was seen as necessary because there were a relatively small number of troops available. Press reporters were also refused admittance to the meeting for 'it was hinted that the magistrates might have communications to make among themselves respecting the state of the county, of a character too alarming to make a disclosure prudent'. Although sympathy was expressed 'with the sufferings which the circumstances of the times may have imposed on many of the working classes of society', no additional measures were proposed to alleviate the distress."