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From Waterloo to Peterloo: the 15th Hussars at Manchester August 1819.

by The Leeds Library


From Waterloo to Peterloo: the 15th Hussars at Manchester August 1819.

An illustrated talk by military historian Dr John Rumsby, to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.

An examination of the officers and soldiers who were present at the notorious Peterloo Massacre at St Peter’s Field – their background, military experience, and attitudes to their duties ‘in aid of the Civil Power.’

Saturday 17th August 2019 at 12.30.

On 16th August 1819 about 60,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Field, Manchester to hear speeches by famous Radical orator Henry Hunt and others, calling for the reform of Parliamentary representation. Although the crowd was entirely peaceful and unarmed, and included many women and children, the town magistrates ordered the special constables to arrest Hunt. When the constables met resistance, the magistrates panicked and ordered the local volunteer cavalry, the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry, to charge the crowd.

Ill-trained and outnumbered, the Yeomanry had to be rescued by the regular troops on the scene, including the 15th Hussars, three infantry regiments and a battery of horse artillery, as well as the Cheshire Yeomanry. Eighteen people were killed, and around 700 injured. Hunt and other Radicals were arrested and imprisoned; attempts to prosecute members of the Yeomanry were thwarted by biased court proceedings. It was not until 1832 that the first small reforms in democratic representation were forced through Parliament.

On display are some of the books in the Leeds Library collection relating to these events. 

This is a FREE event, but booking is essential.

Date and Time

Sat, August 17, 2019

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


The Leeds Library

18 Commercial Street
Leeds, England LS1 6AL United Kingdom

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