The Massacre of Peterloo, Manchester, 16th August 1819

The Peterloo Massacre - Manchester 16th August 1819

'The Story of Peterloo' by F.A. Bruton, Pub. 1919

Page 5

Of the thousands of people who stream out of the Central Station every day, perhaps it does not occur to many that as they descend the gentle slope in front of the station they have immediately before them the site of Peterloo. The street that runs parallel to the front of the station immediately outside the gates is Windmill Street; Windmill Street is cut at right angles by three other streets - Watson Street on the left, Mount Street in the centre, and Lower Mosley Street on the extreme right. All four of these streets were in existence at the time of the tragedy of the I6th of August, 1819, though the houses in Windmill Street and Mount Street ran along one side only. Parallel to Windmill Street, and on the other side of four great blocks of buildings, runs Peter Street, now one of the main arteries of the city. With the exception of a fragment at the Deansgate end, Peter Street hardly existed at the date of Peterloo, except as a projected causeway across an open space.

Perhaps the best spot from which to obtain a general conception of the scene is the top of South Street. If we stand to-day at the point where South Street cuts Windmill Street, and look northwards down towards Peter Street, we have immediately on our left the south-eastern corner of the Free Trade Hall. Apparently it was just within the site of that corner that the two carts stood that formed the hustings for the great meeting. If we now imagine that the three blocks right and left of us - the Free Trade Hall and the Tivoli Theatre on the left, and the Theatre Royal and the Y.M.C.A. on the right, are swept away, and the whole space cleared, from Windmill Street on the south right back to the Friends, meeting-house on the north, and from Watson Street on the west to Mount Street on the east, we shall have before us the open space known in 1819 as St. Peter`s fields, where the great meeting was held. St. Peter`s church,


'The Story of Peterloo' by F.A. Bruton, Pub. 1919
Written for the Centenary, August 16th, 1919'.by F.A. Bruton, M.A.(of the Manchester Grammar School.
Download .pdf copy from the Internet Archive HERE

Transcribed here by Sheila Goodyear 2019

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