- Museum number
- Object: A representation of the Manchester reform meeting dispersed by the civil and military power. Augt. 16th. 1819
The yeomanry slash their way in different directions through a dense crowd, among whom are a few women. The greater part of the (respectably dressed) crowd is escaping in a tightly packed mass to the left. The platform, surrounded by sabres, is in the middle distance, indicated only by the banners and placards seen above the heads of the crowd. Hunt stands, hat in hand, near a placard inscribed 'Order'. The banners (left to right) are 'Unite and be Free'; 'Royton Female Union Society'; 'Manchester Female Union Society'; 'Liberty is the birth right of Man'; 'No Corn Laws'; 'Hunt and Liberty'; 'Stockport Oldham Middleton Union'; 'Universal Suffrage Annual Parliaments and Election by Ballot'; 'Taxation without representation is unjust and tyrannical'; a woman holds a banner on which is depicted a seated woman with a cap of Liberty on a Spear; another banner is 'Saddleworth Lees & Morley Union'. Most banners are surmounted by a cap of Liberty. There is a topographical background; some buildings have figures referring to notes. They include '3—Mess. Pickfords and Co's Warehouse' (where the yeomanry were mustered) and '5—-House where the Magistrates sat'. The title and notes are on a scroll which is draped across the upper part of the design among heavy clouds. There is a border of a ribbon intertwined with palm-branches and laurel-wreaths. On the ribbon is repeated: 'Universal Suffrage Annual Parliaments and Election by Ballot'. The scene resembles the etching by Wroe, 'A View of St Peter's Place', reproduced Bruton, 'Three Accounts of Peterloo', 1919, p. 90, but extending farther to left and to right, showing the 'Society of Friends School' and St. Peter's Church, and (right) the 'Windmill Public House'.
Engraving printed on cotton
- Production date
Height: 523 millimetres
Width: 627 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The scene resembles the etching by Wroe, 'A View of St Peter's Place', reproduced Bruton, 'Three Accounts of Peterloo', 1919, p. 90, but extending farther to left and to right, showing the 'Society of Friends School' and St. Peter's Church, and (right) the 'Windmill Public House'.
See No. 13258, &c. For the Female Reformers, No. 13257, &c.
Dated by M. D. George, c. Aug. 1819.
For more information on this print, see Sheila O'Connell, "The Popular Print in England", (BMP, 1999, p.145-147).
Images of Peterloo appeared within days and were circulated throughout the Britain. Printed commemorative handkerchiefs were very common, yet few survive. This one was designed by the engraver John Slack. The design conveys the density of the throbbing crowd, who are trying to escape the militia, but are trapped by the architecture. Two banners are inscribed 'Royton Female Union Society' and 'Manchester Female Union Society'.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2000 Oct-Dec, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Popular Print in England
2001 Feb-Apr, Glasgow, Hunterian AG, Popular Print in England
2001 Apr-Jun, Manchester, Whitworth AG, Popular Print in England
2001 Jun-Aug, Bradford, Cartwright Hall, Popular Print in England
2018 12 Jan-11 Mar, BM, 90a, Pots with Attitude: British satire on ceramics
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Peterloo Massacre 1819
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased from Mr E J Harry
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number