Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17


Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

the unrest Rochdale became a barracks town giving it a permanent military

presence ready at a moments notice to put down any riots.

The move to reform the existing parliamentary system dominated the political

mood of the country. A party of reform minded men, equipped with blankets

to keep them warm on overnight stops, set off from Manchester on March

24, 1817 to present a petition to the Prince Regent in what became known

as the March of the Blanketeers.


The same year a large political reform meeting was held on Cronkeyshaw

Common outside Rochdale. 35,000 men and women marched through

Rochdale to the Common, and amongst the crowd at the meeting was

Samuel Bamford, a reformer/radical from Middleton.

The Peterloo Massacre

Two years later Bamford led a party of Middleton people to an assembly on

open ground near St. Peter’s Church in Manchester, where they hoped to

hear Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt speak.

‘They wore their Sunday suits and clean neckties; and by the side of fustian

and corduroy walked the coloured prints and stuffs of wives and sweethearts,

who went as for a gala-day, to break the dull monotony of their lives, and

to serve as a guarantee of peaceable intention. Such at least was the main

body, marshalled in Middleton by stalwart, stout-hearted Samuel Bamford,

which passed in marching order, five abreast down Newton Lane, through

Oldham Street, skirted the Infirmary Gardens, and proceeded along Moseley

Street. each leader with a sprig of peaceful laurel in his hat.’

Peterloo: the 15th Hussars rode, with sabers drawn, into the crowd ...


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