A View of St Peter's Placeand manner in which the Manchester Reform Meeting was dispersed by Civil & Military Power. Augt. 16th. 1819.
Etching, sheet 235 x 280mm (9¼ x 11"). Creases; conservation to top corner. Very rare.
Yeomanry cavalry slash their way through a dense crowd towards the speaker on the central platform Henry Hunt ('Orator Hunt', 1773 - 1835). The radical politician and demagogue Hunt stands amongst supporters holding placards inscribed 'Order', 'No Corn Laws', 'Manchester Female Union' etc. In St Peter's Field, Manchester, on 16 August 1819 cavalry were used to disband a peaceful demonstration, resulting in eleven dead and hundreds injured. Hunt was popularly regarded as a martyr of reform and took pride of place in the Chartist pantheon. This event did more than any other event to stir radical consciousness in the early nineteenth century, and prints of the event began to appear within days. This composition by John Slack is the best known of the popular prints in response to the event- in a larger form it was also printed on large handkerchiefs that were mass-produced by the Lancashire cotton industry.
See Sheila O'Connell, 'The Popular Print in England', pp.144-7.
[Ref: 37095] £240.00