200 years ago Peterloo Massacre Jump to search "Peterloo" redirects here. For the film about the massacre, see Peterloo (film). Massacre of protesters in 1819 Peterloo Massacre Part of the history of Manchester please log in to view this image A coloured print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile Location St Peter's Field, Manchester, Lancashire, England Coordinates please log in to view this image 53°28′41″N 2°14′49″W / 53.478°N 2.247°W / 53.478; -2.247Coordinates: please log in to view this image 53°28′41″N 2°14′49″W / 53.478°N 2.247°W / 53.478; -2.247 Date 16 August 1819 Deaths 18 Injuries 400–700 Perpetrators Manchester and Salford Yeomanry Cheshire Yeomanry Manchester Special Constabulary British Army Regulars The Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter's Field, Manchester, Lancashire, England on Monday 16 August 1819 when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 had resulted in periods of famine and chronic unemployment, exacerbated by the introduction of the first of the Corn Laws. The appeal of political radicalism was enhanced in 1819 by the pressure generated by poor economic conditions, coupled with the relative lack of suffrage in Northern England. The Manchester Patriotic Union was agitating for parliamentary reform, and they organised a demonstration in response, to be addressed by well-known radical orator Henry Hunt. Shortly after the meeting began, local magistrates called on the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry to arrest Hunt and several others on the stage with him. The Yeomanry charged into the crowd, knocking down a woman and killing a child, and finally apprehended Hunt. Cheshire Magistrates chairman William Hulton then summoned the 15th Hussars to disperse the crowd. They charged with sabres drawn, and 18 people were killed and 400–700 were injured in the ensuing confusion. The event was first labelled the "Peterloo massacre" on a frontpage headline on the Manchester Observer newspaper, the portmanteau juxtaposing the name of the site with the Battle of Waterloo, which had taken place four years earlier, and the attack on unarmed civilians. Historian Robert Poole has called the Peterloo Massacre one of the defining moments of its age. The London and national papers shared the horror felt in the Manchester region, but Peterloo's immediate effect was to cause the government to crack down on reform, passing the Six Acts. It also led directly to the foundation of the Manchester Guardian, but had little other effect on the pace of reform. In a survey conducted by The Guardian in 2006, Peterloo came second to the Putney Debates as the event from radical British history that most deserved a proper monument or a memorial. Peterloo is commemorated by a plaque close to the site, a replacement for an earlier one that was criticised as being inadequate as it did not reflect the scale of the massacre. A new monument is being built in front of the Manchester Central Convention Centre and will be unveiled on the 200th anniversary.