A new book out by two Manchester Historians tells the tales of one of the City’s forgotten heroes.
Elijah Dixon played a key role in the Blanketeer’s March of 1817. Arrested, chained in
double irons and imprisoned without trial, the episode set the stage for the Peterloo
Everybody in Victorian Manchester knew of Elijah Dixon. Over a period of sixty years, he
was an ever-present force in the tumultuous politics of the town. He worked alongside the
great figures of nineteenth century Radicalism, and as ‘The Manchester Man’ he became
the town’s ambassador for Chartism.
An early apostle of votes for women, Temperance advocate, Christian convert, Dixon rose from poverty to make a fortune as Britain’s first mass-producer of matches.
In Beyond Peterloo, Robert Hargreaves and Alan Hampson bring Elijah’s previously
overlooked yet vital contribution to social reform to life. Set against the backdrop of the
Blanketeer’s March of 1817 and the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, they reveal the fascinating
story of his life and work as Manchester’s forgotten reformer.