FROM THE STAFFORDSHIRE ADVERTISER
26TH SEPTEMBER 1798
On Saturday 21st September a division of the South Lincs Militia commanded by Col Sibthorp arrived in this town on their route to Ireland.
Several of the principle residents of the town being apprized of their coming raised a very handsome subscription to furnish them with refreshments in the Swan Inn. On their arrival the whole town was illuminated, the whole town was illuminated, the bells rung and every mark of their attention was paid to the accommodation of these brave fellows. Colonel Sibthorp expressed his thanks to the inhabitants in the following note
Colonel Sibthorp in passing through Leek to Congleton, made acquaintance of the great kindness prepared to the division of the regiment in their route by many inhabitants of the town begs that they ever believe that he feels most grateful for the obligation and accepts his sincerest thanks for the honoured conferred on himself in the favour bestowed on his soldiers. NB: In 1798 a rebellion broke out in County Wexford, Ireland. England was also fearful of an invasion from Revolutionary France using Ireland as a base to launch an invasion.
Colonel Sibthorp MP was a man of uncompromising principles who confounded Queen Victoria, opposed all progress and took xenophobia to new heights.
Born in 1777 into an ancient and wealthy family of landowners, Sibthorp never really became known to the wider public until 1826, when he stood as a candidate in the Parliamentary elections for the constituency of Lincoln. Although a well-known figure locally, no-one had ever heard him offer an opinion on politics. At the first hustings, a large crowd were drawn to hear exactly what this flamboyant character had to say.
Unfortunately when his turn to speak came, Sibthorp was busy being unconscious, having been felled by a missile thrown from the crowd as he stood from his chair.