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Lecture: Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre

16 August 2019, 19:00

Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Peterloo Massacre (or Battle of Peterloo)
published by Richard Carlile
published 1 October 1819
NPG D42256

On 16 August 1819 local yeomanry cavalry, supported by British-army regulars, sliced through a pro-democracy meeting of 60,000 people in Manchester. At least fifteen were killed, including an infant and two women, and over 650 maimed and injured. The event lasted less than half an hour but its infamy echoes still. For this was the British state, only four years after the defeat of the “tyrant” Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo (in June 1815) turning its forces against the people – artisans, tradesmen, women, children – as they peaceably exercised their time-honoured rights.

Jacqueline Riding worked with Mike Leigh for over two years on his epic film Peterloo as the production historian and head of research. She later wrote the highly acclaimed tie-in narrative history, Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre (2018, paperback May 2019). In this talk, exactly two hundred years since the fatal day, she will explore how the complex story of the Peterloo Massacre was translated from archives and books to the big screen. After the talk she will be signing copies of her book.

Dr Jacqueline Riding specialises in British history and art of the long eighteenth century. Former Assistant Curator of the Palace of Westminster and Director of the Handel House Museum, she is now an author and historical consultant. Her publications include Houses of Parliament: History, Art, Architecture (2000), Jacobites: A New History of the ’45 Rebellion (2016, paperback 2017) and she is currently writing a biography of William Hogarth (2020). As a historical consultant she has worked on a variety of projects including for Tate, Historic Royal Palaces, Wilton's Music Hall and Coal Drops Yard (King's Cross) and, in addition to Peterloo, she was the adviser for Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner (2014) and Wash Westmoreland's Colette (2018).

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