Peterloo Massacre

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  • Intro

    This is the official report into a meeting held at St Peter’s Fields, Manchester in August 1819, during which 11 people were killed and 400 wounded. The assembled crowd, which was estimated to be upwards of 60,000 people, had gathered to hear famous orators of the day such as Henry Hunt talk about parliamentary reform. Fearing a riot due to the presence of so many reformers in a single location, the magistrate ordered the local yeomen to arrest Hunt. The crowd resisted and the yeomen charged, killing and wounding members of the crowd as they went. The event was soon known as the Peterloo Massacre in reference to the Battle of Waterloo, which had occurred four years before. The Peterloo Massacre created martyrs for the cause of reform and the anger of the masses only served to strengthen support for change. Although some reform was achieved in 1832, public discontent persisted and resulted in the formation of the Chartist movement.

     

    Shelfmark: RB.23.b.4235 (1), pp.24-25

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