Peterloo Massacre

Peterloo massacre, public disturbance in St. Peter's Field, Manchester, England, Aug. 16, 1819, also called the Manchester massacre. A crowd of some 60,000 men, women, and children were peaceably gathered under the leadership of Henry Hunt to petition Parliament for the repeal of the corn laws and for parliamentary reform. The magistrates ordered the meeting to disband. A cavalry charge to aid the untrained Manchester yeomanry resulted in 11 deaths and injuries estimated at over 400. The government's endorsement of the magistrates' action created widespread indignation, which added moral force to the reform movement. The name Peterloo, later given the incident, was suggested by the name Waterloo.

See F. A. Bruton, Three Accounts of Peterloo (1921); studies by G. R. Kestevan (1967) and J. Marlow (1969).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Peterloo Massacre: Selected full-text books and articles

Peterloo: the "Massacre" and Its Background By Donald Read Manchester University Press, 1958
Peterloo: the Case Reopened By Donald Read University of Manchester, 1958
Waterloo to Peterloo By R. J. White Russell & Russell, 1973
Political Economy in Parliament, 1819-1823 By Barry Gordon Harper & Row, 1977
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "1819: In the Wake of Peterloo"
British History, 1815-1906 By Norman McCord Oxford University Press, 1991
British History in the Nineteenth Century (1782-1901) By George Macaulay Trevelyan Longmans, Green, 1922
Religion and Society in England, 1790-1850 By W. R. Ward Schocken Books, 1973
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The New Dissent and Its Problems 1800-1820"
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