The Massacre of Peterloo, Manchester, 16th August 1819

The Peterloo Massacre - Manchester 16th August 1819


'NOTES & OBSERVATIONS, Critical & Explanatory, on the Papers Relative to
the Internal State of the Country, Recently Presented to Parliament
to which is appended,
a REPLY to Mr. Francis Philips's
'Exposure of the Calumnies circulated by the Enemies of Social Order ...
PAGE LIST (below) with LINKS

&c. &c.

Pages 11 to 15

Resolutions passed at-the Meeting held on Hunslet Moor, near Leeds, 19th July, 1819:

1st. That there is no such thing as servitude in nature: and therefore, all statutes and enactments, that have tendency to injure one part of society for the benefit of the other, is a gross violation of the immutable law of God.

2nd. That as our legislators have, in innumerable instances, manifested a cruel and criminal indifference to our truly distressed situation, and treated our petitions with contempt, We therefore make this solemn appeal to our oppressed fellow countrymen, praying them to join us in forming a National Union, the object of which is to obtain an overwhelming majority of the male population, to present such a petition, as can scarcely fail to have the desired effect, and to adopt such other constitutional measures, as may be deemed most expedient to procure for us the redress of our manifold grievances.

3rd. That we are perfectly satisfied that our excellent constitution, in its original purity, as it was bequeathed to us by our brave ancestors, is fully adequate to all the purposes of good government; we are therefore determined not to rest satisfied with any thing short of the Constitution - the whole Constitution - and nothing but the Constitution.

4th. That as we are perfectly satisfied that annual parliaments and universal suffrage constitute an essential part of our constitution, and are our rightful inheritance - we shall consider our grievances unredressed, and our indisputable rights withheld from us, until we are possessed of such annual parliament and universal suffrage.

5. That this meeting cannot but view, with regret, the apathy of our should-be-leaders, that is, our men of property, in not supporting our mutual rights, convinced that alienation of the rich from the poor must, in the end, be the ruin of both; that whenever oppression or despotism militates, or is the ruin of one, it must, in the end, be the destruction of the other; we therefore entreat them, ere it be too late, to stand forward and espouse the constitutional rights of the people, by endeavouring to obtain a radical reform in the system of representation, which can alone save the trading and labouring classes from ruin.

6th. That we believe the distresses we now suffer have originated in borough-mongering system, aided by a depreciated paper currency, which has involved the nation in one hundred thousand millions of debt, and which has increased taxation to such an extent, as has nearly destroyed our manufactures and commerce; and we are perfectly satisfied, that nothing but a currency, convertible into specie, a rigid economy, and an equal representation, can either put an end to our sufferings, or save our country from ruin.

7th. That the Saving Bank scheme, which was instituted under a pretence of benefiting the working classes, when nearly three-fourths of them were out of employ, is an insult to common sense and real understanding, and ought to be considered as what it really is, - an engine to work the last shilling out of the pockets of a few old servants and retired tradesmen, to enable the Bank and boroughmongers to pay the fractional parts of the dividends, and to create a sort of lesser fund-holders, of those who know no better than to make a deposit of their hard earnings to fill the pockets of those who are draining them of their last shilling.

8th. That, as distress has become so general and extensive, we deem it highly necessary, that deputy meetings should be appointed, and out of these deputy meetings district meetings, to meet at any place that may be thought proper; that these meetings shall extend throughout the three United Kingdoms, and that they do consist of men discreet and wise, and out of these shall be appointed men to form a National Meeting, that the whole may be brought to one focus, in order that they may devise the best plan of obtaining a Radical Reform, upon the principle of Annual Parliaments, Universal Suffrage, and Election by Ballot.

9th. That no redress Can be obtained but from ourselves; that we amply possess the means; and if we fail to adopt them with vigour, and resolutely persevere therein, we shall merit every privation we may have to endure, and deserve the detestation of posterity, to whom we shall leave a greater legacy of tyranny and oppression than ever was bequeathed from one generation to another.

10th. That should the usurpers of our rights, in order to retain their power, proceed to acts of violence against the people, and even succeed in incarcerating individuals, we earnestly entreat our fellow-countrymen not to suffer their exertions to relax, but, on the contrary, persevere in the steady path of duty, looking to the end, even the salvation of our country; and our fellow countrymen will endeavour to lighten the fetters, and enliven the dungeons, of those men who are now suffering, or may hereafter suffer, in the sacred cause of liberty.

11th. That we consider it to be the duty of every well-meaning subject, to stand with all his might against oppression and partial law; in doing which, an individual exposes himself to destruction, but if the whole community act as one man, success must be the result.

12th. That every well-wisher to mankind cannot but consider it to be his duty to endeavour, by every means in his power, to work a thorough reformation in the political and moral state of the country; and the surest mean is to lay aside every sordid maxim of avarice, and abandon the restraints of luxury and false ambition, which are at present so fatal to the nation.

13th. That a very small number of men who have guided the councils, and have plundered the people in order to complete their fraud, have hired the offscouring of society to print and publish newspapers, who have nearly succeeded in making thousands, who might have been the leaders and friends of the people, believe the present system was for our good, when they were fattening on our property, and reducing all classes of society, till they have at last brought us to a strait from whence there are no issues but through a radical reform.

14th. That the passing of corn laws, in opposition to the express will of the people - the combination act, in order to prevent work people from unitedly attempting to raise their wages, in proportion to the advancement of provisions - and the imposing a duty on foreign wool, at a time when the woollen manufacture, and those employed therein, are in the most deplorable condition - appear to this meeting proof positive, that until the Members of the Commons House are really appointed by the people at large, little improvement is to be expected in the circumstances of the people, or diminution of their distress.

15th. That as soon as an eligible person, who will accept lhe appointment, can be found, to represent the unrepresented part of the inhabitants of Leeds, in the House of Commons, another meeting shall be called, for the purpose of electing him to that situation.


Transcribed PAGES from 'Notes & Observations ...'




(inc. footnotes)

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'NOTES & OBSERVATIONS, Critical & Explanatory, on the Papers Relative to the Internal State of the Country, Recently Presented to Parliament; to which is appended, a REPLY to Mr. Francis Philips's 'Exposure of the Calumnies circulated by the Enemies of Social Order ...'
by a 'Member of the Manchester Committee for Relieving the Sufferers of the 16th August 1819 (Ascribed to John Edward Taylor)
Pub. Dec1919

Transcribed by Sheila Goodyear 2019

LINK to full .pdf document of 'Notes & Observations ...' on the Internet Archive website to read or download.
LINK to .pdf file of 'Exposure of the Calumnies...' on the Internet Archive website to read or download.

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