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In 1819, British forces charge on a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester, England, which results in the Peterloo Massacre.

Mike Leigh’s epic new film Peterloo is bound to foster awareness about an event which no one in Britain now pays much attention to. In August 1819, mounted “yeomen” militia charged into a huge crowd that had gathered in St Peter’s Fields, Manchester, to listen to a speech from campaigning political reformer, Henry Hunt.

Fifteen people were killed and several hundred injured in the ensuing mayhem. The carnage was reported in national and local newspapers. It marked a transformational moment in British history. As the historian EP Thompson noted,” the moral consensus of the nation outlawed the riding down of an unarmed crowd”.