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Peterloo remembered as top author comes to Middleton

16 February 2018

The Peterloo massacre was not only a defining moment in political history, it also had strong links with the many radical traditions across the borough of Rochdale.

And, with its 200th anniversary coming up, a renowned historian is visiting Middleton Library on Tuesday 6 March 2018, to present new perspectives on the infamous conflict.

Dr Robert Poole will deliver an illustrated talk on the historic event, which took place at St Peter’s Field Manchester, when cavalry charged thousands of people peacefully protesting against poverty and the lack of parliamentary representation.

He'll draw from his critically acclaimed work, “Return to Peterloo”, exploring new evidence about what exactly happened that August day in 1819, with particular reference to the local area.

'For anyone interested in social history this is a ‘must attend’ event'


Many Middletonians were present at Peterloo, including one of the town’s most famous sons, writer and radical, Samuel Bamford. The massacre saw 18 protesters killed and nearly 700 injured.

Dr Poole, who will be signing copies of his book after the event, is a leading authority on the subject of 19th century popular protest. The event, ‘Peterloo and Middleton’ is inspired by the eagerly anticipated BBC Civilisations Festival.

Councillor Janet Emsley, the council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “For anyone interested in social history this is a ‘must attend’ event. There has always been a proud radical tradition across the Rochdale borough and it will be fascinating to hear Dr Poole’s account of the massacre. It is fitting that the event is taking place at Middleton Library, where a replica of one of the original banners carried at Peterloo is on display. It promises to be an interesting and informative evening.”

'Peterloo and Middleton – a talk by Dr Robert Poole':

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