Poster issues by the committee of the Trades' Union of Manchester and Salford on Queen Victoria's coronation, 28 June 1838

"...We assure the municipal authorities that we are not wanting in love and loyalty to the Queen, but that dear-bought experience has taught us the folly of such idle pomp and useless parade, and we can no longer as rational and intelligent beings become the dupes of our oppressors, the passive instruments for creating by shows and gewgaws a false notion of our prosperity; for the truth is, the working classes have not wherewithal to spend on glittering paraphernalia, neither have they confidence in the government of the country being willing to better their condition, and remove the embarrassments under which our merchants and manufacturers are now labouring.
We deeply deplore the present state of things, and we regret that our government should have agreed to spend so much money upon a Coronation, while so many of our fellow labourers are out of employment..."
National Archives, HO 40/38, f.692

For an excellent account of the Manchester trades' unions' boycott of the Coronation celebrations, and the formation of their own counter-processions, see John Knott, Popular Opposition to the 1834 Poor Law (Croom Helm, 1986), pp. 1-10.


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