Among others, the crowd was there to hear the radical speaker Henry Hunt. However, no sooner had Hunt arrived at the hustings, constables assisted by the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry pushed through the crowd to arrest him; the charge would be sedition. The day had already seen its first casualty when 2-year old William Fildes was knocked from his mother’s arms by a galloping rider as he raced to catch his fellow Yeomanry on their way to the field. Now, having carried out the arrest, the inexperienced and possibly drunk riders of the Yeomanry began destroying the banners and flags of the hustings before turning on those in the crowd. In the ensuing melee, the Yeomanry began striking indiscriminately at the crowd with their sabres and trampling them with their horses. Hemmed into the field by its narrow exists as well as the bayonets of 88th Regiment of Foot, who blocked the main thoroughfares, the crowd was unable to disperse effectively.
2019 is the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre and we will be commemorating this with a large LEGO model of the event.
In carrying out our research we have had the help of Polyp and Eva Schlunke who, along with Robert Poole, are the authors of the recently published Peterloo Graphic Novel. The novel tells the story of the massacre 'verbatim' through the testimony of those who were there, drawing on sources such as letters, memoirs, journalists accounts, spies' reports and courtroom evidence. It's an incredible piece of work and interpretation, with the first hand accounts brought to life through book's skilled and well researched illustrations. You can buy the novel here:
Our model, which will depict the massacre and the local landmarks that existed in 1819, will go on display at the Great Western Brick Show in Swindon on the 5th and 6th October. Find out more and buy tickets at:
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