Peterloo massacre

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Peterloo massacre,

public disturbance in St. Peter's Field, Manchester, England, Aug. 16, 1819, also called the Manchester massacre. A crowd of some 60,000 men, women, and children were peaceably gathered under the leadership of Henry HuntHunt, Henry,
1773–1835, English radical politician. A powerful orator, popular with the laboring classes, Hunt was quarrelsome and stubborn but a sincere proponent of electoral and other reforms.
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 to petition Parliament for the repeal of the corn laws and for parliamentary reform. The magistrates ordered the meeting to disband. A cavalry charge to aid the untrained Manchester yeomanry resulted in 11 deaths and injuries estimated at over 400. The government's endorsement of the magistrates' action created widespread indignation, which added moral force to the reform movement. The name Peterloo, later given the incident, was suggested by the name Waterloo.


See F. A. Bruton, Three Accounts of Peterloo (1921); studies by G. R. Kestevan (1967) and J. Marlow (1969).

References in periodicals archive ?
Eleven died in what became known as the Peterloo Massacre - an ironic reference to the battle of Waterloo four years earlier.
The third chapter places Cornwall in a political context shared with liberal writers (including Keats) by looking at their metaphorical use of seasonal imagery as a response to the Peterloo massacre of 1819.
Fifteen people were killed and many more injured in what is remembered as the Peterloo Massacre.
The Account Book records the names of 350 people who received payments from the Peterloo Relief Fund, set up to provide financial assistance to those injured in the 1819 Peterloo Massacre and to the dependents of those killed.
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw said: "Laws on turnpikes, workhouses, and the Peterloo massacre are rightly of interest to historians, but there is no need to retain them.
This is the prelude to (among other things) an extraordinary treatment of the Peterloo Massacre, which contrives to make four clear errors of fact in a single sentence.
The essays by Theresa Kelley, Michael O'Neill, Vincent Newey, and the editor himself, 'variously answer, develop, or redirect, McGann's argument': that is they seek to redress a materialist imbalance which encourages McGann to read 'To Autumn' - a poem written at the time of the Peterloo Massacre - as 'a lyrical "escape" from political crisis'.
Dining on the anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre or on the birthday of Thomas Paine, Henry Hunt, or William Cobbett provided a radical counter to the calendar of loyalist observance.
Byron, Don Juan (cantos I and II); Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind" and The Cenci; Keats, Hyperion; Peterloo Massacre at Manchester
when news came of the Peterloo Massacre, which was the result of a government - ordered cavalry charge on a working - class rally at Manchester; inspired by outrage and pity, he wrote the Mask of Anarchy (pub 1832).