Jacqueline Riding discusses with Lindsay Mackie how 60,000 people from all over Lancashire had gathered in Manchester in 1819 to hear the parliamentary reformer, Henry Hunt. Fifteen of them, including two women and a child, were killed or mortally wounded, and 650 injured, hacked down by drunken yeomanry after local magistrates panicked at the scale of the meeting. John Taylor, who wrote the first eyewitness account, wanted to see a new paper committed to political change and truthful reporting, and in April 1821 ten of his friends raised £1,050 and issued a prospectus for the Manchester Guardian.
Jacqueline Riding specialises in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British history and art and has over twenty-five years’ experience working as a curator and consultant within a broad range of museums, galleries and historic buildings, including the Guards Museum, Tate Britain and Historic Royal Palaces. From 1993-1999 she was Assistant Curator at the Palace of Westminster and later founding Director of the Handel House Museum, London. She is author of Jacobites: A New History of the 45 Rebellion and was the consultant historian and art historian on Mike Leigh’s award-winning Mr. Turner and the consultant historian on his film Peterloo. She is an Associate Research Fellow in the School of Arts, Birkbeck College, University of London.
Lindsay Mackie has written for the Guardian,is a partner in The New Weather Co-operative think tank and a consultant with the New Economics Foundation. She set up the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Young People in 200 schools, spearheaded 300 reading clubs with Education Extra and is a co-founder of the schools’ charity Filmclub.