£10.50

Peterloo: A Different Kind of Tour

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Manchester Central Library

St Peter's Square

City Centre

Manchester

M2 5PD

United Kingdom

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The Peterloo Massacre of 16 August 1819 is the most dramatic incident in British political history. Sabre-wielding troops charged 60,000 Mancunians at a rally called to lower the price of bread and demand the vote. More than a dozen people died and some 650 were injured.

The first few decades of the 19th century, enshrined in public imagination as the elegant age of the Regency, were a time of severe political repression in England. The government feared that the kind of revolutionary activity recently witnessed in France would break out in England – probably in Manchester, where social conditions were so desperate – and chose decided to stamp out all dissent and free speech.

The government had been at war with France, which saw Wellington triumph over Napoleon’s forces at Waterloo in 1815. But as Paul Foot once wrote, the British government was also waging war against its own people.

This guided tour goes beyond St Peter’s Field in Manchester city centre where the Peterloo Massacre took place to hear how Peterloo impinged on Manchester at places not automatically associated with the events, such as the Portico Library, the old Infirmary on Piccadilly Gardens, the radical pubs of Ancoats, in search of the Peterloo Memorial, a 32 ft high obelisk to the main speaker at Peterloo, Henry Hunt, which was erected outside the socialist chapel in Ancoats.

About Ed Glinert
Ed Glinert has been a journalist in Manchester since the beginning of the 1980s. In 1983 he founded the hard-hitting political listings magazine, City Life. In the 1990s he was local government correspondent for Private Eye and production editor at Mojo, the rock ‘n’ roll magazine. He has written books for four of the biggest publishers in the country: Penguin, HarperCollins, Bloomsbury and Random House. These include The London Compendium and The Manchester Compendium, both for Penguin. He has also edited a number of major works for Penguin Classics including the Sherlock Holmes canon and the Gilbert & Sullivan libretti. He is also Manchester’s most prolific tour guide, taking some 500 tours a year for New Manchester Walks, the city’s group of professional guides.

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Manchester Central Library

St Peter's Square

City Centre

Manchester

M2 5PD

United Kingdom

View Map

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