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Encyclopedia > Peterloo Massacre
Print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile
Print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile

The Peterloo Massacre of August 16, 1819 was the result of a cavalry charge into the crowd at a public meeting at St Peter's Fields, Manchester, England. It is also called the Manchester Massacre or sometimes the Battle of Peterloo. Eleven people were killed and over 500 were injured. Image File history File links File links The following pages link to this file: Peterloo massacre ... Image File history File links File links The following pages link to this file: Peterloo massacre ... is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Not to be confused with Golgotha, which was called Calvary. ... This article is about the City of Manchester in England. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Background

The meeting had been organised by the Manchester Patriotic Union Society, a political group that agitated for radical parliamentary reform and the repeal of the corn laws. They had invited a number of speakers, including Richard Carlile, John Cartwright and Henry Hunt, to a public meeting. The term Radical (latin radix meaning root) was used from the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement and has since been used as a label in political science for those favouring or trying to produce thoroughgoing political reforms which can include changes to the social order to... The Corn Laws, in force between 1815 and 1846, were import tariffs ostensibly designed to protect British farmers and landowners against competition from cheap foreign grain imports. ... Richard Carlile (9 December 1790 – 10 February 1843) was an important agitator for the establishment of universal suffrage and freedom of the press in the United Kingdom. ... John Cartwright (17 September 1740 – 23 September 1824) served in the Royal Navy then joined the Nottinghamshire militia as a major. ... Henry Orator Hunt (1773- February 15, 1835), sometimes known as Orator Hunt, was a British radical speaker and agitator. ...


Local magistrates, under William Hulton, were concerned that the meeting would end in a riot or, worse, a rebellion. They arranged for a substantial number of regular soldiers to be on hand, the local volunteer yeomanry, described as "younger members of the Tory party in arms", were also ordered to disperse the meeting.[1] The troops included 600 men of the 15th Hussars; several hundred infantrymen; a Royal Horse Artillery unit with two six-pounder (2.7 kg) guns; 400 men of the Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry; 400 special constables; and 120 cavalry of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry, relatively inexperienced militia recruited from among shopkeepers and tradesmen. In the 1790s, the threat of invasion of England was high, with the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. ... The term Tory derives from the Tory Party, the ancestor of the modern UK Conservative Party. ... A British Hussar from the Crimean War Hussar (original Hungarian spelling: huszár, plural huszárok, Polish: Husaria) refers to a number of types of cavalry used throughout Europe since the 15th century. ... The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) is a corps in the British Army. ... The Special Constabulary is the auxiliary wing of the British police. ...


A considerable crowd from all around the county of Lancashire had gathered for the meeting; contemporary estimates varied from 30,000 up to 150,000; modern estimates are around 60,000 or 80,000. People expected a peaceful meeting and many were wearing their Sunday clothes. Some carried banners with texts like "No Corn Laws", "Annual Parliaments", "Universal suffrage" and "Vote By Ballot." The only banner known to have survived can be seen in Middleton Public Library. It was carried by Thomas Redford who was injured by a yeomanry sabre. One side of the banner is inscribed 'Liberty and Fraternity' and the other 'Unity and Strength'. The main speakers did not arrive until after 1:00 p.m., and Hunt was invited to speak first at 1:20 p.m.. Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea. ... Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Universal suffrage (also general suffrage or common suffrage) consists of the extension of the right to vote to all adults, without distinction as to race, sex, belief, intelligence, or economic or social status. ...


Attack

At around 1:31 p.m. the magistrates observing the meeting decided to stop it. When the reading of the Riot Act did not help, they gave orders to Captain Joseph Nadin, Deputy Constable of Manchester, to arrest the leaders. Nadin requested military aid and magistrates sent for the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry. For the album by Pearl Jam see Riot Act (album). ...


Sixty Yeomanry cavalrymen, possibly drunk [citation needed], entered the field under their leader Captain Hugh Hornby Birley, brandishing their cavalry sabres and charging towards the cart that served as the speakers' stand. When some demonstrators tried to stop them by linking their hands, they began to attack them with their sabres. When the cavalry reached the cart, they arrested Hunt, Joseph Johnson and a number of others, including some journalists. In the 1790s, the threat of invasion of England was high, with the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. ... Hugh Hornby Birley (10 March 1778 - 31 July 1845) was a leading Manchester Tory who is reputed to have led the fatal charge of troops at the Peterloo Massacre but was also instrumental in founding the Royal Victoria Gallery of Practical Science in 1839. ... French naval officers sabre of the 19th Century From left to right: two bayonets, a short curved infantry or artillery briquet, a straight infantry officers sabre, and a carbine. ...


The Yeomanry then began to strike down the flags and banners of the crowd with their sabres. Outside the field William Hulton perceived the crowd's actions as an assault and ordered Lieutenant Colonel Guy L'Estrange of the Hussars into the field at 1:50 p.m., ostensibly to save the Yeomanry. Within ten minutes the Hussars had cleared the field and also pacified the Yeomanry.


Aftermath

Eleven people were killed and about 500, including 100 women, injured, many trampled by horses. One man had his nose severed, and others were bleeding from numerous sabre cuts. Many of those present, including local masters, employers and owners were horrified by the carnage.


The events immediately found their way into the press. James Wroe of the Manchester Observer coined the phrase "Peterloo Massacre" to describe the event (in ironic reference to Waterloo). Sympathetic Richard Carlile avoided arrest and published the story in his Sherwin's Political Register. Both Wroe and Carlile were later imprisoned for publishing the story. British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote the poems England in 1819 and The Masque of Anarchy in the immediate aftermath of the massacre. Combatants French Empire Seventh Coalition: United Kingdom Prussia United Netherlands Hanover Nassau Brunswick Commanders Napoleon Bonaparte, Michel Ney Duke of Wellington, Gebhard von Blücher Strength 73,000 67,000 Anglo-Allies 60,000 Prussian (48,000 engaged by about 18:00) Casualties 25,000 killed or wounded 7,000... Percy Bysshe Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 - July 8, 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets. ... The Masque of Anarchy is a political poem written in 1819 by Percy Bysshe Shelley following the Peterloo massacre of that year. ...


The incident also led to the organization of a group of Manchester reformers, who founded The Guardian newspaper under the editorship of John Edward Taylor, a witness to the massacre.[1] For other uses, see Guardian. ...



The government supported the action of the army and magistrates, and the Home Secretary, Lord Sidmouth, congratulated them. By the end of the year, the government had introduced legislation, later known as the Six Acts, to suppress radical meetings and publications. The widespread public anger at the massacre swelled the support of the reform movement from which the Chartists would eventually emerge. The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the United Kingdom Home Office and is responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales, and for immigration and citizenship for the whole United Kingdom (including Scotland and Northern Ireland). ... The Right Honourable Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, PC (30 May 1757–15 February 1844) was a British statesman, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1804. ... Following the Peterloo massacre of August 16, 1819, the UK government acted to prevent any future disturbances by the introduction of new legislation, the so-called Six Acts which labelled any meeting for radical reform as an overt act of treasonable conspiracy. Parliament had reconvened on November 23 and the... The term Radical (latin radix meaning root) was used from the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement and has since been used as a label in political science for those favouring or trying to produce thoroughgoing political reforms which can include changes to the social order to... Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century between 1838 and 1848. ...


The maximum sentence under the Riot Act would have been the death penalty. However, Henry Hunt was sentenced to 30 months in Ilchester Jail. Others received a year each or were acquitted. Hunt was later released on bail. For the album by Pearl Jam see Riot Act (album). ... Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences. ...


No public inquiry was allowed until 1820. The first Parliamentary Reform Act began in 1832. The Reform Act of 1832 (known also as the Great Reform Act and The Parliamentary Reform Act 1832) introduced wide-ranging changes to electoral franchise legislation in the United Kingdom. ...


Commemoration

Blue plaque for the Peterloo Massacre.

The site of the massacre is commemorated by a blue plaque bearing the following inscription: Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (3,072 × 2,304 pixels, file size: 4. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (3,072 × 2,304 pixels, file size: 4. ... A blue plaque showing information about The Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey in Torquay. ...

The site of St Peter's Fields where on 16th August 1819 Henry Hunt, Radical Orator addressed an assembly of about 60,000 people. Their subsequent dispersal by the military is remembered as Peterloo.[2]

A growing body of opinion regards this as a less-than-appropriate memorial, with the incident being under-reported as a 'dispersal' and the deaths omitted completely, and aims to replace it with something more appropriate.[1]


On 17 August 2007, Manchester City Council announced that it would replace the plaque with another with more appropriate wording, commemorating the anniversary of the events of 1819 and giving a clearer indication of the circumstances of the massacre. Under the heading "St. Peter's Fields: The Peterloo Massacre", the new plaque will read: is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Manchester City Council is the local authority for the metropolitan borough of Manchester in Greater Manchester, England. ...

On 16th August 1819 a peaceful rally of 63,000 pro-democracy reformers, mostly impoverished workers and their families, was charged by armed cavalry resulting in 11 deaths and over 600 severe injuries.[3]

Popular culture

  • The British composer Sir Malcolm Arnold wrote the Peterloo Overture in 1968. Performed the following year in commemoration of the massacre's 150th anniversary, the work was commissioned by the Trades Union Congress.
  • The British newspaper The Guardian published an artist's interpretation of the Peterloo Massacre on the cover of its G2 supplement.[citation needed] The edition included an article by historian Tristram Hunt entitled Lest We Forget which examined several incidents of British history, including the Peterloo Massacre. Hunt noted its relevance to the 2006 Labour Party conference, held on part of St Peter's Fields.
  • The thirteenth of the Sharpe television films, Sharpe's Justice, is loosely based on the Peterloo Massacre. The scriptwriters moved the date and setting to Yorkshire in 1814.
  • In Terry Pratchett's novel Night Watch the "Dolly Sisters Massacre" is based on the Peterloo incidents.
  • Ned Ludd Part 5 on electric folk group Steeleye Span's album Bloody Men is about the event.
  • The 1947 film Fame is the Spur (based on Howard Spring's 1940 novel of the same name) references Peterloo. Though never mentioned by name, the massacre is described in a flashback, and the film's hero receives a sabre supposedly taken from one of the Hussars.
  • Rochdale rock band Tractor wrote and recorded a suite of five songs about Peterloo in 1973 which later became part of their 1992 CD Worst Enemies.

A composer is a person who writes music. ... Sir Malcolm Arnold Sir Malcolm Henry Arnold, CBE (21 October 1921 – 23 September 2006) was an English composer. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image:TradeUnionsCongress20050108 CopyrightKaihsuTai. ... For other uses, see Guardian. ... Tristram Hunt (born 1974), is a British historian, broadcaster and newspaper columnist. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Labour Party Conference, or annual national conference of the Labour Party, is formally the supreme decision-making body of the Party. ... This article is about the television series. ... Sharpes Justice is a British television drama, part of a series that follows the career of Richard Sharpe, a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars. ... Terence David John Pratchett, OBE (born 28 April 1948) is a British fantasy and science fiction author, best known for his Discworld series. ... Night Watch is the 29th novel in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series, published in 2002. ... Folk-rock is a musical genre, combining elements of folk music and rock music. ... Steeleye Span are a British folk-rock band, formed in 1969 and remaining active today. ... Bloody Men is the 20th studio album by the British folk-rock band Steeleye Span. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Howard Spring (1889-1965) was a Welsh author. ... Fame is the Spur is a novel by Howard Spring published in 1940. ... In literature, film, television and other media, a flashback (also called analepsis) is an interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. ... French naval officers sabre of the 19th Century From left to right: two bayonets, a short curved infantry or artillery briquet, a straight infantry officers sabre, and a carbine. ... A British Hussar from the Crimean War Hussar (original Hungarian spelling: huszár, plural huszárok, Polish: Husaria) refers to a number of types of cavalry used throughout Europe since the 15th century. ... For other uses, see Rochdale (disambiguation). ... CD may stand for: Compact Disc Canadian Forces Decoration Cash Dispenser (at least used in Japan) CD LPMud Driver Centrum-Demokraterne (Centre Democrats of Denmark) Certificate of Deposit České Dráhy (Czech Railways) Chad (NATO country code) Chalmers Datorförening (computer club of the Chalmers University of Technology) a 1960s...

References

  1. ^ a b c [1] Guardian online
  2. ^ From Peterloo To The Pankhursts: A Radical Politics Trail 24 Hour Museum
  3. ^ From New plaque for massacre memorial BBC News

See also

The term Radical (latin radix meaning root) was used from the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement and has since been used as a label in political science for those favouring or trying to produce thoroughgoing political reforms which can include changes to the social order to... The Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England, was for many years a focal point for public debate and cultural activity in the city. ... Following the Peterloo massacre of August 16, 1819, the UK government acted to prevent any future disturbances by the introduction of new legislation, the so-called Six Acts which labelled any meeting for radical reform as an overt act of treasonable conspiracy. Parliament had reconvened on November 23 and the... The Cato Street Conspiracy was an attempt to murder all the British cabinet ministers in 1820. ...

Further reading


  Results from FactBites:
 
John Boughton (1780 words)
Peterloo effectively marked the end of the first phase of working-class radical protest.
Reforming opinion seized on the exclusion of Queen Caroline from the coronation of her estranged husband, George IV, in 1820 as a means of embarrassing a reactionary government and culpable monarchy but the next major upsurge of protest did not occur until 1829.
An instigator of the Spa Fields riot in 1816 and an organizer of protests after Peterloo, Thistlewood led the attempt to assassinate the Cabinet in Cato Street, 1820 but he and four others were arrested before the attack on the evidence of a government spy and executed for high treason.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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