Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Peterloo Massacre

Today in 1819 fifteen people died in Manchester when the local magistrates ordered armed militia to arrest radical campaigner Henry Hunt, who was to address a crowd of around 80,000 fighting for parliamentary reform. At that time Lancashire had only two MPs who were elected by the head of a freehold property.

The massacre took place around where Central Library now stands on what was then called St Peter's Fields. The name 'Peterloo' came about as the troops who were involved had returned from the Napoleonic Wars and had taken part in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo.

The massacre was one of the key events in our history and contributed to Manchester becoming a key place, not only in our industrial past, but in the never ending campaign for freedom and democracy. It is right that this event should be remembered as our fight for freedom and liberty continues today as the state works ever harder to control ever more aspects of our lives.

More information on the Peterloo Massacre.

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