Actress Maxine Peak, star of current on screen drama Silk will be joining a panel tonight at the People’s History Museum to discuss how Manchester should commemorate the Peterloo massacre leading up to and during this anniversary.

Peake who last year performed Shelley’s homage to the tragedy Masque of Anarchy at the Manchester International Festival will join Museum Director Katy Archer, DJ and author Dave Haslam and historian and Peterloo expert Robert Poole on stage.

The events at St Peter’s Fields on the 19th August 1819 saw eighteen people killed and over six hundred injured when local magistrates watching from a window near the field panicked at the sight of the crowd, and read the riot act, effectively ordering what little of the crowd could hear them to disperse.

The Yeoman’s guard, allegedly fuelled by drink charged with bayonets fixed into a field of over fifty thousand who had gathered that Monday morning to hear speakers call for parliamentary reform.

The events of that day would inspire Shelley to write his poem which was banned for thirty years, and would be dubbed Peterloo, after the battle if Waterloo four years earlier.

Thirteen years later, Manchester would elect its first MP, though it would be some time before universal manhood suffer age would come to the city.


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