- Museum number
- Object: Massacre at St. Peter's or "Britons strike home"!!!
Mounted men, all fat, wearing yeomanry uniform, with the over-sleeves and steels of butchers, ride savagely over men, women, and children, slashing at them with blood-stained axes. Smoke, as from a battle, and bayoneted muskets, form a background, with (left and right) houses in whose windows spectators are indicated. They have a Union flag with 'G R' and crown, and a fringed banner inscribed 'Loyal Man[chester] Yeomanry—"Be Bloody, bold & Resolute" ["Macbeth", IV. i]— "Spur your proud Horses & Ride hard in blood" ["Richard III", v. iii].' On the saddle-cloths are the letters 'L M Y' above a skull and cross-bones surmounted by a crown. One man kicks a young woman who kneels beseechingly, clasping an infant, raising his axe to smite. The man behind him, his arm extended, shouts: "Down with 'em! Chop em down! my brave boys! give them no quarter, they wan't to take our Beef & Pudding from us!—& remember the more you Kill the less poor rates you'll have to pay so go it Lads show your Courage & your Loyalty!"
Plate numbered 367.
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 347 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A satire on the 'Manchester Massacre' of 16 Aug. 1819, when a mass-meeting in St. Peter's Fields, addressed by Hunt and others, was charged by a troop of Manchester Yeomanry, local tradesmen whose horses were not under control, acting on the instructions of the local magistrates. They were pressed by the crowd and drew their sabres; the 15th Hussars and Cheshire Yeomanry came to their help. Infantry had been posted in the adjacent streets. The intention was to send mounted men to arrest the leaders on the hustings when it was thought the meeting would disperse. A storm of indignation followed, helped by the scathing sobriquet 'Peterloo' which appeared as early as 21 Aug. in the 'Manchester Observer'. See 'Parl. Deb.' xli. 9 ff., 357 ff., &c.; 'Ann. Reg.', 1819, ch. vii; 'State Trials', n.s. i, 1888, pp. 171 ff., 1371-84; Carlyle, 'Past and Present', Book 1, ch. iii; 'Publications of the Mod. Language Association of America', xl (1925), pp. 128 ff.; Halévy, 'Hist. of the English People, 1815-1830', 1926, pp. 61-4 (authorities). For the function of yeomanry cf. No. 13250. See also Nos. 13260, 13262, 13263, 13266, 13267, 13270, 13300, 13336, 13341, 13342, 13343, 13345, 13500. Cf. No. 13280.
Reid, No. 906. Cohn, No. 1716. Reproduced, Garratt, 'Lord Brougham', 1935. p. 128.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1992 Sep-Oct, London, Order of St John Museum, Cruikshank 200
1992 Nov-Dec, Burnley, Townley Hall AG & Museum, Cruikshank 200
1993 Jan-Feb, Maidstone Museum & AG, Cruikshank 200
1993 Feb-April, Sheffield, Graves AG, Cruikshank 200
2022, 22 Apr-21 Aug, British Library London, Making the News
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number