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Peterloo Banner

1819

A banner made of blue silk with a gold painted inscription ‘Unity and Strength 1819’ on one side and ‘Liberty and Fraternity’ on the other.

On 16 August 1819 there was a meeting for Parlimentary Reform on St Peter’s Field in Manchester. The banner was carried by a group of marchers from Middleton and Rochdale to the meeting led by Sam Bamford to what was planned as a peaceful demonstration. It was attended by thousands of local protestors, many of whom were handloom weavers.

On the orders of Rev. Hay, a magistrate, the attending cavalry drew their sabres on the crowd, causing the deaths of 11 demonstrators in the panic, and serious injury to over 400 more. The demonstration has been known ever since as the Peterloo Masacre Sam Bamford was arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for his part in the demonstration.