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 28

asking whether the whole story might not have been a different one, if these undisciplined irregular troops had been held back, and the 15th Hussars - men who were wearing their Waterloo medals, won only four years before - had been employed instead. For be it remembered that up to this moment the magistrates had no intention of using troops to disperse the meeting - that was emphatically stated by Mr. Hulton at the Trial - their decision was to arrest the leaders, and they seem to have anticipated that when that was done, the meeting would disperse of itself, as had happened under exactly similar circumstances at the meeting of Blanketeers.


As it was, the Yeomanry wheeled and, accompanied by the deputy constable, rode through the crowd towards the hustings. Stanley marks them on his plan as starting from a point apparently not far from the entrance to the present Association Hall in Mount Street and riding (as his arrows show) straight for the platform. As they did so they left something behind them on the ground. It was the body of a woman. Stanley marks the exact spot where this body lay, apparently lifeless, through the subsequent proceedings, after which it was carried into the house. This was the second casualty. The Yeomanry entered the crowd to the right of the cordon of special constables, but one of the special constables was killed also.

Stanleyis account is as follows: "Hunt began his address. l could distinctly hear his voice. He had not spoken above a minute or two before the cavalry were sent for - the messengers, we were told, might be seen from a back window. l ran to that window from which l could see the road leading to a timber yard (l believe) at no great distance, where, as l entered the town, l had observed the Manchester Yeomanry stationed. l saw three horsemen riding off, one towards the timber yard, the others in the direction which I knew led to the cantonments of other cavalry. l immediately returned to the front window, anxiously awaiting the result. A slight commotion amongst a body of spectators, chiefly women, who occupied a mound of raised broken ground on the left and to the rear of the orators [the reference
is to Windmill Street; Stanley admitted at the Trial that he had not heard the name], convinced me that they saw something which


'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

Peterloo project Menu Page
Peterloo project
Peterloo Project Menu
on our companion website,