Memories of a Massacre

It is the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. How have the events of that day been remembered?

Obverse side of a medal commemorating the Peterloo Massacre, 19th century © Timothy Millett Collection/Bridgeman Images

On Monday 16 August 1819, 60,000 men, women and children gathered for a mass rally in Manchester. They had progressed to St Peter’s Field on the southern edge of the town from the city’s working-class districts and the surrounding textile weaving regions, including Rochdale, Oldham and Stockport. Monday was the traditional day off for handloom weavers and other artisan workers, and the marchers wore their best clothes and symbols to create a festive atmosphere. Samuel Bamford, leading the contingent from the village of Middleton, described the start of their procession:

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