The contemporary reports of both the trial and the execution of the conspirators seem to portray James Ings as slightly demented, the manic, sadistic Jack Nicholson from the Shining character who would smash his way into the dining room of Lord Harrowby’s house with his bags primed and ready for Sidmouth and Castlereagh’s heads. When you read the letters that he wrote to his family on the night before his execution you see a different figure, a family man full of regrets at leaving them behind.
It’s obvious that Ings loved his wife and children and was particularly attached to his only son William. His last lines to his son reinforce his anger and frustration at the agent provocateur George Edwards:
‘be cautious of every shrewd and designing, flattering tongue.’