Failsworth Veterans 
 photograph by courtesy of Stalybridge Historical Society, c/o Tameside Archives

Families remember -
The Bastows

David and William Bastow lived close to St Leonard's Church in Middleton and were close neighbours of Samuel Bamford, and both being hand loom silk weavers.

They joined Samuel and others in the walk to St Peter's field to take part in the peaceful protest that has become known as the Peterloo Massacre.  The brothers returned safely from Manchester, but neighbours had got back earlier and spread stories of the militia charges and terrible injuries rendered to people. 

Both men were married and their wives heavily pregnant and had stayed at home, imagine what they want through until they saw their husbands.

The Hurdies (Hurdus)

Ron Hurdus writes that 'he is the direct descendant of William Hurdies of 22 Fawcett Street, Manchester, who was a weaver and injured on St Peter's field, he had been stabbed on the left side of head by a bayonet of a soldier of the 88th Regiment, and sprained his ankle at the same time.
William was born in 1794 and was 25 when he attended the rally, In 1818 he married for the second time, to Sarah Bennett of Marple.  His son James was born in July 1819, so it is not known if his wife and child accompanied him, it seems unlikely.  William is listed in the 1824 Manchester Directory as a weaver and living at the same address.  He may have been politically active as he is noted as being part of the 'Committee of the Salford Hundreds'.  Some of his descendants, my uncles were involved in local council activities.
There are many unanswered questions, such as did the bayonet wound leave a scar for the rest of his life? there are no photographs, was the soldier's name known?  Did William confront him thus angering said soldier to lunge at him.'

Ron was born in Leigh in 1930 and long retired in Australia and has been researching his family history since 1970.  William's descendants are scattered through the United States and Australia.

James Street of Littlemoss, injured at Peterloo

Sandra Ratcliff tells us of the eldest brother of her 3x Great-Grandfather Joshua Street

The eldest son of Jonathan and Mary (nee Wild), James was baptisted in May 1752 at St Michael's Church, Ashton under Lyne.  Jonathan was a weaver and the family lived at Hartshead and then moved to Alt.

In 1775 James married Betty Heywood and they went on to have three children, James and family moved to Littlemoss.

Sadly Betty died in January 1819 aged 80.

James was injured on the 16th August by the cavalry and received one pound in Relief

Thomas Jones of Pendleton

Ian McAlpine writes my grandparents told me stories about their late Victorian and Edwardian childhoods in Eccles near Manchester.  They had clear memories of their own grandparents, born as far back as the 1830s and his grandmother told him of how her great-grandfather had witnessed the famous Peterloo Massacre.

At the age of ten, Thomas was sent on an errand to Manchester and where he saw a lot of men fighting.  He wondered what was happening and walked closer to the fight where he was given two pence by a soldier [presumably one of the Yeomanry] to buy some bread.  Thomas took the money and went to find a bakery.  On the way, however, he was pulled into a house  by somebody who thought he might be killed in the fighting, for at this time Thomas was in a street where fighting had broken out. The owners of the house sent Thomas home when the fighting was over, but Thomas felt very sorry, in the case the soldier whom he had met and given him the money, might think that he had stolen the two pence and not attempted to find a bread shop.

Evidently Thomas returned home safely to his family in Pendleton, how he spent the two pence is unrecorded.  Nothing is known of the anonymous soldier or his reason for sending young Thomas on an errand, was he hungry or was it a simple rouse to keep the ten year old, Thomas from danger.

Thomas Pendleton born in 1809 died 1893

Elizabeth Wilson nee Foster

Reported in the press was the in May 1894, the obituary of Elizabeth Wilson who was in Manchester and witnessed the meeting and the massacre of many innocent populace, in St Peter's Field on August 16,  which is now the site of the church and square of St Peter's, just opposite the Prince's Theatre, Manchester.  The deceased a survivor of that historic of  Reform agitation days was by name Elizabeth Wilson nee Foster who was very fond of accounting the scenes of the Peterloo Massacre and other incidents of an eventful life.  

Mrs Wilson was born in Redford in the year 1800, and began work when only six years of age, winding pins for check weaving and earning a weekly wage of 1s 6d, with food included.  She had been working, at the time of her decease, no less than 88 years.  Subsequently, she been came a spinner, and after residing for a while in Sheffield, she moved to Stockport, where she met and married in 1820 to Thomas Wilson, a toymaker and joiner. Poor people at this time could not afford vehicular conveyance, and for this reason Elizabeth was compelled to walk the 36 miles from Sheffield to Stockport to visit relatives, taking her 11 hours.  Until five years prior to her death, she had become a devotee of the 'weed' beginning to smoke at the age of 26, by medical advice, giving it up when she was 80 after a slight illness.  

Elizabeth was the mother of 13 children, seven who survived her.  She had 51 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
extracts from Newspapers of the day

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