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 34

There is no method of discussing the question except that of quoting the various testimonies. Mr. Hulton stated that his reason for thinking the Yeomanry in danger was that he saw sticks flourished in the air and brickbats thrown about, and "that he saw what appeared to be a general resistance. He afterwards said at the Trial : "l have not stated that bricks and stones were levelled at the Yeomanry and l can`t swear it. They were thrown in defiance of the military." Mr.Stanley, on the other hand, says: "l saw nothing that gave me an idea of resistance, except in one or two spots where they showed some disinclination to abandon their banners; these impulses, however, were but momentary; their sticks, as far as came under my observation, were ordinary walking sticks. l have heard from the most respectable authority that the cavalry were assailed by stones during the short time they halted previous to their charge. l do not wish to contradict positive assertions. What a person sees must be true. My evidence on that point can only be negative. l certainly saw nothing of the sort, and my eyes were fixed most steadily upon them, and l think that l must have seen any stone larger than a pebble at the short distance at which l stood and with the commanding view l had. I indeed saw no missile weapons used throughoput the whole transaction; but, as l have before stated, the dust at the hustings soon partially obscured everything that took place near that particular spot, but no doubt the people defended themselves to the best of their power, as it was absolutely impossible for them to get away and give the cavalry a clear passage till the outer part of the mob had fallen back."

Bamford admits that when a number of Middleton people, who were pressed by the Yeomanry, retreated to the timber lying in front of the Friends', Meeting House, they "defended themselves with stones which they found there," and he tells of a young married woman who defended herself here for some time, and at length, being herself wounded, threw "a fragment of a brick with the result that one of the Yeomanry was "unhorsed and dangerously wounded". This incident is confirmed by the report in the "Chronicle," which runs: "Another Yeomanry man was unhorsed at the same moment, and his life with difficulty saved. This was near the Quakers' meeting-house, where a furious battle raged." The same paper mentions "large stones". At the Trials it was stated in defence of the magistrates that previous to the meeting the town surveyor had carefully cleared the


'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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