Failsworth Veterans 
 photograph by courtesy of Stalybridge Historial 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. 

Do you have a story to tell?
 email us - peterloo@mlfhs.org.uk
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