Three Accounts of Peterloo by Eye-witnesses: Bishop Stanley, Lord Hylton, John Benjamin Smith (Google eBook)

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The University Press, 1921 - Manchester (England) - 91 pages
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Page 71 - August was constituted, hereby declare, that we are fully satisfied, by personal observation or undoubted information that it was perfectly peaceable; that no seditious or intemperate harangues were made there; that the Riot Act if read at all, was read privately, or without the knowledge of...
Page 16 - As the cavalry approached the dense mass of people they used their utmost efforts to escape : but so closely were they pressed in opposite directions by the soldiers, the special constables, the position of the hustings, and their own immense numbers, that immediate escape was impossible. The rapid course of the troop was of course impeded when it came in contact with the mob, but a passage was forced in less than a minute; so rapid indeed was it that the guard of constables close to the hustings...
Page 19 - ... shrieks were heard in all directions, and as the crowd of people dispersed the effects of the conflict became visible. Some were seen bleeding on the ground and unable to rise; others, less seriously injured but faint with the loss of blood, were retiring slowly or leaning upon others for support . . . The whole of this extraordinary scene was the work of a few minutes.
Page 51 - They marched at a brisk pace, in ranks well closed up, five or six bands of music being interspersed; and there appeared to be but few women with them. Mr. Hunt with two or three other men, and I think two women dressed in light blue and white, were in an open carriage drawn by the people. This carriage was adorned with blue and white flags, and the day was fine and hot. As soon as the great bulk of the procession had passed we were ordered to stand to our horses.
Page 29 - Did you see either sticks, or stones or anything of the kind used against the cavalry in their advance up to the hustings? Certainly not. Did you see any resistance whatever to the cavalry, except the thickness of the meeting? None. Do I understand you to say you saw them surround the hustings, or not? Surround I could not say, for the other side of the hustings, of course, was partially eclipsed by the people upon it.
Page 53 - The hussars drove the people forward with the flats of their swords ; but sometimes, as is almost inevitably the case when men are placed in such situations, the edge was used...
Page 28 - ... heard Mr. Hunt's voice, but I could not distinguish his words. In two or three minutes after the cavalry formed in front of Mr. Buxton's house, they advanced towards the hustings. They were in an irregular mass. They went on for a few paces at no very quick rate ; but they soon increased their pace, till it became a sort of rush or race amongst them all towards the hustings. The people could not disperse instantly; but the outward edge of the meeting, in front of the hustings, began to melt away,...
Page 15 - Hunt's words, whatever they were, excited a shout from those immediately about him which was re-echoed with fearful animation by the rest of the multitude. Ere that had subsided the cavalry, the loyal spectators, and the special constables cheered loudly in return, and a pause ensued of about a minute or two. An officer and some few others then advanced rather in front of the troop, formed, as I before said, in much disorder, and with scarcely the semblance of a line, their sabres glistened in the...
Page 16 - ... they had long been insulted with taunts of cowardice, (and) continued their course, seemed to vie with each other which should be first. . .As the cavalry approached the dense mass of people they used their utmost efforts to escape; but so closely were they pressed in opposite directions by the soldiers, the special constables,... and their own immense numbers, that immediate escape was impossible... On the arrival (of the troops)... a scene of dreadful confusion ensued.

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