1. ITV Report

Search begins for Peterloo descendants ahead of 200th anniversary

Fifteen people were killed and more than 600 were injured. Credit: ::

The organisers of events to mark 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre are searching for descendants of those who were there.

Fifteen people were killed and more than 600 were injured when cavalry charged a large crowd of working class people at a protest rally in Manchester on August 16, 1819.

Around 60,000 people who wanted to reform parliament - the vast majority of them were not entitled to vote - gathered but the rally quickly descended into bloodshed.

The bloodbath in St Peter’s Fields became known as the Peterloo Massacre and the tragedy's considered the dawning of the working class movement.

The search for Peterloo descendants will draw upon the expertise of Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society and Michala Hulme, a leading oral historian and genealogist based at Manchester Metropolitan University.

It is one of a number of projects that forms Peterloo 2019, which is led by Manchester Histories and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

One of the starting points of the research is the photograph below of the Failsworth Veterans of Peterloo, in which 11 men and women are pictured together.

Failsworth Veterans of Peterloo. Credit: Gallery Oldham.

“We want to trace the story of Peterloo through the generations, to understand the impact of its legacy in the lives of people.

We know that in a number of towns Veterans of Peterloo met in the years after the massacre, but records from the time itself are limited in their nature and in what they reveal.

So we are also fascinated to hear from anyone who believes they have a family link to Peterloo.”

– Michala Hulme, genealogist and Lecturer in History at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • If you think that your family had a presence in the events that unfolded on 16 August 1819 and would like to find out more about Peterloo Descendants and how you might get involved or follow the progress, please email the Project Manager for Peterloo 2019 with the details that you have available at