The Peterloo Handkerchief commemorates what became known as the Peterloo Massacre of 16 August, 1819. On that day, more than 60,000 people from Manchester and the surrounding area gathered at St Peter’s Field in the city to demand the right to vote. Local magistrates ordered the arrest of the main speakers and the dispersal of the crowd. Eighteen people were killed and several hundred were injured. In the months that followed, prints, poems and a range of everyday objects such as plaques, jugs, bowls and handkerchiefs were produced in memory of the massacre. The Peterloo Handkerchief is a powerful reminder of this event and, more generally, of people’s long struggle for universal suffrage in Britain.
late Georgian British
height: 52.3 cm
width: 62.7 cm
People's History Museum
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