San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
This is a guided tour recalling the horrific events of 16 August 1819 when 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 more than 650 were injured. The event, one of the most violent episodes in English political history, became known as the Peterloo Massacre.
This tour, staying close to the site of St Peter’s Field where the events took place, has been devised by Ed Glinert, political commentator with 30 years’ experience for various leading newspapers, magazines and publishers, who worked with legendary left-wing political journalist Paul Foot on Private Eye.
We go into extraordinary detail, explaining not just the momentous events of the day itself, 16 August 1819, but bringing in the birth of the Manchester Guardian, the Cato Street Conspiracy, Tom Paine’s bones, the Six Acts – even Anthony Burgess.
The first few decades of the 19th century, despite being enshrined in public imagination as the elegant age of the Regency, were a time of severe political repression in England. The Conservative government of Lord Liverpool was fearful of the kind of revolutionary activity recently witnessed in France and so decided to stamp out all dissent and free speech.
The government was 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 also waged war against its own people.
Ed Glinert, who has researched the story for decades, explains the build-up to the events, the violence of the day and the dreadful aftermath as he brings his unique touch to this chilling story.
When & Where
New Manchester Walks
New Manchester Walks is the city’s leading walks, talks, tours and canal cruises outfit. It is run by Salford-born Blue and Green Badge tour guide Sue Grimditch and Ed Glinert, author of Penguin’s Manchester Compendium and compiler of the forthcoming Manchester Encyclopaedia. We will be running a “Welcome to Manchester” at 10.45am from the Visitor Centre in Piccadilly Gardens from 1 March Wed-Sat but we do a host of other tours in the afternoon taken from our selection of over a hundred different topics including a specialist Town Hall tour, the Pankhursts, art & architecture, the Peterloo Massacre, the old Docks, Ancoats, Cottonopolis, Jewish Manchester …
We also organise pub walks, go out to the suburbs such as Didsbury and Victoria Park to explore their history, run regular historic canal cruises on the local waterways, and even head out as far as Knutsford and Liverpool to immerse ourselves in their best stories. If there’s something of interest to cover in the Greater Manchester region we have a tour about it!