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Spa Fields riot

Samuel Bamford (1788—1872) radical


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March of the Blanketeers

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After the Spa Fields riots of November 1816, the government suspended habeas corpus and banned meetings of more than 50 people. A large gathering of some 5,000 weavers met in St Peter's Fields (Manchester), on 10 March 1817, intending to march to London to petition the prince regent. They carried blankets and rugs with them. After the Riot Act had been read, most were dispersed by the cavalry, but 300 reached the bridge at Stockport, where almost all were turned back.

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