The Peterloo Massacre and Nineteenth-Century Popular Radicalism

On 16 August 1819, 60,000 peaceful protesters gathered on St Peter’s Fields in Manchester to demand the right to elect their own MPs. The demonstration ended when local militia on horseback charged the protesters and cut them down with sabres, leaving at least eleven dead and hundreds injured. The episode became known as ‘The Peterloo Massacre’. Lord Liverpool’s ministry then cracked down on protests and dissent through the ‘Six Acts’, which stifled calls for reform.

Join Dr Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire) and Dr Jacqueline Riding (Birkbeck, University of London) to discuss the importance and legacy of the Peterloo Massacre, particularly for the Whigs and their aspirations for parliamentary reform.