200th anniversary of the March of the Blanketeers

interview with Blanketeer
deposition of a Blanketeer
On Monday 10 March 1817, over five hundred men from Manchester and its surrounding towns met in St Peter’s Fields. Carrying blankets to sleep in at night, they set off to present a reform petition to the Prince Regent in London. The March of the Blanketeers evinced a bold determination to represent the grievances of the unrepresented, legally and directly, to the source of national power. The movement was the march, and the march was the movement.

The Manchester magistrates arrested the leaders on St Peter’s Fields, but not before about several hundred men had set off. About two hundred were arrested at Stockport bridge, but the postmaster of Macclesfield reported that multiple ‘groups of about twenty or thirty’ arrived in his town by four o’clock in the afternoon. That some got as far as Leek in Staffordshire, thirty miles from home, and one man apparently managed to reach London, was testimony to a belief in the connection their determination to defend the right to petition.

http://protesthistory.org.uk/processions

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