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 43

be "the chief monument of his literary powers and political principles" - the storm of indignation that arose in Great Britain and lreland - the great meetings held in London and the Provinces to demand inquiry (for summoning one of which Earl Fitzwilliam was immediately removed from the Lord-Lieutenancy of the West Riding, "the Prince Regent having no further occasion for his services") - the determination of ministers, nevertheless, to burke inquiry, which led to protests on all hands (Earl Grosvenor, e.g. sent £50 to the Relief Fund, "not as a friend of Universal Suffrage," but as protesting against the refusal to allow investigation; while Lord Carlisle, in a confidential letter, since made public by the Historical Documents Commission, characterised the conduct of the Government in this particular matter as "marked by downright insanity," though he afterwards supported the third reading of their Seditious Meetings Bill) - the protest presented to the Prince Regent by the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London - the triumphal procession of Mr. Hunt from Lancaster to Manchester, and his reception by enormous crowds in London - the interminable discussions as to the legality of the meeting, and the right of the magistrates to interfere - the careful investigation by the Relief Committee of some 600 cases of those killed and wounded in the fray - the harrowing details (reported by Taylor himself) revealed at the Inquest at Oldham, which, after dragging on for months, was quashed by the Court of Kings Bench, because, forsooth, the Coroner and the jury had not viewed the body at the same time - the sternly repressive policy adopted by the Government, culminating in the famous Six Acts, in introducing which Lord Castlereagh admitted that the Manchester meeting was not contrary to law, an admission which Mr. Hobhouse immediately seized upon as the text for his masterly "Letter to Lord Viscount Castlereagh" - the long debates in Parliament year after year - the fining and imprisonment of Sir Francis Burdett for too severely censuring the action of the Government - the tramp of the Manchester Reformers over the Pennines to take their trial at York Assizes, in the course of which "the ascent of Blackstone Edge tried the marching powers of the women" - the long days of the Trial itself - the subtle summing-up of the ]udge - the verdict against the leading Reformers, as guilty of "assembling with unlawful banners an unlawful assembly, for the purpose of moving and inciting the liege subjects of our sovereign lord the King to contempt and hatred of the Government and Constitution of the Realm, as by law established" - 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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