Peterloo Massacre On August 16, 1819, a British Cavalry unit charged in to into a demonstration of around 80,000 people who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation at at St Peter’s Field, Manchester. The attack by 15th The King’s Hussars cavalry unit resulted in the death of 18 people and injuries to 400-700 people. The working class people in the region were agitated by the poor economic conditions, lack of representation of working class people and relative lack of suffrage in Northern England. Napoleonic wars, famine, chronic unemployment and imposition of new tariffs and restrictions on food and grains (Corn Laws) deteriorated the living conditions of the people during that time. The massacre was given the name Peterloo in an ironic comparison to the Battle of Waterloo, which had taken place four years earlier.
(Illustration based on colored print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile)