PETERLOO

I naively assumed everyone knew about Peterloo. Especially in the Army, since it hasn't been deployed in that way since on this side of the Irish Sea.
Au contraire my friend, militia from Sheffield were called to Nottingham to disperse election riots as late as the 1880's. I doubt that that was a one off either, it's just the one I'm aware of due to the history of a building I once lived in. No one was killed and since the riot was party v party it doesn't fit the Marxist narrative of the people v evil and undemocratic government so it doesn't get any publicity.

On the general subject, every generation likes to imagine they discovered everything, sex, drinking, new music, history, etc. when in reality they just work things round in cycles.
 
I naively assumed everyone knew about Peterloo. Especially in the Army, since it hasn't been deployed in that way since on this side of the Irish Sea.
The Army wasn't involved. It was a militia action. Big difference, but confusion arises from the military appearance affected by the militia, which was a significant factor in embedding in English popular culture a deep rooted dislike of things/people military.

They were a locally-raised volunteer force, at the disposal of county Lord Lieutenants for the maintenance of public order (for which read suppression of public dissent among the hoi-polloi), a role which became decreasingly relevant as more and more counties established police forces. They had no liability for service abroad, and were not included in the Army's order of battle (IIRC) until the formation of the Territorial Force after the Boer War.

Sir John French (having failed the Sandhurst entrance exam) took a Militia commission as a youth, and was the last officer ever to exploit that as a back door entry route to an Army commission.

Sadly.
 
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
The Army wasn't involved. It was a militia action. Big difference, but confusion arises from the military appearance affected by the militia, which was a significant factor in embedding in English popular culture a deep rooted dislike of things/people military.

They were a locally-raised volunteer force, at the disposal of county Lord Lieutenants for the maintenance of public order (for which read suppression of public dissent among the hoi-polloi), a role which became decreasiny relevant as more and mor counties established police forces. They had no liability for service abroad, and were not included in the Army's order of battle (IIRC) until the formation of the Territorial Force after the Boer War.

Sir John French (having failed the Sandhurst entrance exam) took a Militia commission as a youth, and was the last officer ever to exploit that as a back door entry route to an Army commission.

Sadly.
I understood it was the Regulars who intervened eventually to keep the militia away from the crowd. Some argue that this explains the long-standing antipathy between ARABs and STABs, though I've not seen that in a book.
 
I understood it was the Regulars who intervened eventually to keep the militia away from the crowd. Some argue that this explains the long-standing antipathy between ARABs and STABs, though I've not seen that in a book.
I think the antipathy goes much deeper than that, but that slant adds an interesting historical 'tradition'.
 
I understood it was the Regulars who intervened eventually to keep the militia away from the crowd. Some argue that this explains the long-standing antipathy between ARABs and STABs, though I've not seen that in a book.
Pretty much. Regular troops had to sort it out. Stonks is right about the militia,it was as much a social club as a 'military' unit. Even into the twentieth century it was a bit like that. I'm pretty sure that the Liverpool Scottish,for example, had a joining fee for new recruits.
 
The 15th Hussars were actually resident in Barracks in Manchester at the time, some witnesses referring to them as 'the Barracks cavalry'.
It was probably the cavalry barracks at Hulme, which opened in 1817.

While it is true that there was not the developed system of barracks that appeared later, this was because there was no real need. There was a considerable suspicion and antipathy to maintaining a large standing army based in the UK and there was, therefore, a greater reliance on militia forces who could use tented accommodation when mobilised. Regular infantry, such as then existed, were generally billeted amongst a reluctant civpop as and when needed.

During the Napoleonic Wars, in addition to tented camps, a large national network of temporary barracks was constructed. These were mostly of the wooden hutted variety, which were generally sold off and dismantled at the end of hostilities when many of the militia and fencible regiments were stood down. The permanent barracks that did exist were mostly for cavalry, garrison artillery and horse artillery who had different logistical needs to the PBI. Such barracks were often to be found in industrial towns of the midlands and the north where there was an underlying fear of insurrection by the local civpop working classes.

Things changed, particularly for the infantry, as the result of some serious military shortcomings that became evident at the time of the Crimean War. It was at this time that permanent military garrisons, such as Aldershot and Colchester, were first envisaged. This was further developed in the 1870s at the time of the Cardwell Reforms, when the two battalion county regiment system was incepted.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
I understood it was the Regulars who intervened eventually to keep the militia away from the crowd. Some argue that this explains the long-standing antipathy between ARABs and STABs, though I've not seen that in a book.
The 15th Hussars. See upthread (and avatar).
 
It was probably the cavalry barracks at Hulme, which opened in 1817.

While it is true that there was not the developed system of barracks that appeared later, this was because there was no real need. There was a considerable suspicion and antipathy to maintaining a large standing army based in the UK and there was, therefore, a greater reliance on militia forces who could use tented accommodation when mobilised. Regular infantry, such as then existed, were generally billeted amongst a reluctant civpop as and when needed.

During the Napoleonic Wars, in addition to tented camps, a large national network of temporary barracks was constructed. These were mostly of the wooden hutted variety, which were generally sold off and dismantled at the end of hostilities when many of the militia and fencible regiments were stood down. The permanent barracks that did exist were mostly for cavalry, garrison artillery and horse artillery who had different logistical needs to the PBI. Such barracks were often to be found in industrial towns of the midlands and the north where there was an underlying fear of insurrection by the local civpop working classes.

Things changed, particularly for the infantry, as the result of some serious military shortcomings that became evident at the time of the Crimean War. It was at this time that permanent military garrisons, such as Aldershot and Colchester, were first envisaged. This was further developed in the 1870s at the time of the Cardwell Reforms, when the two battalion county regiment system was incepted.
IMG_20190817_120912.png


If you haven't seen The Charge of The Light Brigade' (1968))recently, this film acknowledges very well the life of the mid Victorian soldiers.
Recognising the need for healthy recruits actually drove many social improvements (so many cubic feet of space needed for a man to live healthily - hence purpose designed barracks rather than questionable billets and accounting etc). Post Indian Mutiny, troops to police the expanding Empire etc.

There's a good article on the making of the film which explains the extremely well researched details (Cavalry spoken mannerisms etc) but also the wild errors Cardigan cavorting with the very silly portrayal of Fanny Duberly (total fabrication) who was actually a very smart lady.

Like Mike Leigh's 'Peterloo' and 'Waterloo' for that matter, the viewer has to know the subject to understand the subtle details observed, omitted - or twisted.
 
I understood it was the Regulars who intervened eventually to keep the militia away from the crowd. Some argue that this explains the long-standing antipathy between ARABs and STABs, though I've not seen that in a book.
That is my understanding too.

I perhaps could have made my first line slightly clearer: the action I had in mind was that of charging into the assembly at speed, swords drawn.

In truth I've never explored the reasons for a Regular Army presence on the day (I doubt that the Lord Lieutenant was empowered to order them to deploy, but I could well be wrong), and I'd be interested in anything that would shine a light thereon.
 
Au contraire my friend, militia from Sheffield were called to Nottingham to disperse election riots as late as the 1880's. I doubt that that was a one off either, it's just the one I'm aware of due to the history of a building I once lived in. No one was killed and since the riot was party v party it doesn't fit the Marxist narrative of the people v evil and undemocratic government so it doesn't get any publicity.

On the general subject, every generation likes to imagine they discovered everything, sex, drinking, new music, history, etc. when in reality they just work things round in cycles.
In 1881 at Atherton (just a few miles NW of Manchester), a detachment of Hussars and a company of the 8th Regt of Infantry (the later King's (Liverpool) Regt) from Salford Barracks were deployed to disperse striking miners at what has become known as the 'Battle of Howe Bridge', after the Riot Act had been read.
 
That is my understanding too.

I perhaps could have made my first line slightly clearer: the action I had in mind was that of charging into the assembly at speed, swords drawn.

In truth I've never explored the reasons for a Regular Army presence on the day (I doubt that the Lord Lieutenant was empowered to order them to deploy, but I could well be wrong), and I'd be interested in anything that would shine a light thereon.
Pretty sure it was as much an SOP as anything - also, numbers.
Back up thread I noted at least 3 previous mass meetings that had been attended by Govt Forces. In the absence of a professional Police force the duty fell to questionable militias (quantity, quality, allegiances).
I think there very few Manchester and Salford Yeomanry - very partisan and undoubtedly the cause of the disturbance.
I think I totted up in excess of 1000 troops (including cannon) in the vicinity of St Peters Fields so... Massacre? Not exactly Sand Creek or Wounded Knee is it.

Also, despite the continuous witterings saying it isn't taught etc, you'll notice the fluctuating claim to the amount of victims. 15? 18? I think I accouted for about 5 dead on St Peters Field, another 2 in the vicinity and one elsewhere later on the same day (2 of whom were Special Constables) - the rest died elsewhere, some within days one over a year later - but those details don't fit the narrative that is being pushed.
No 'accidental victims' (infant/unborn)
All Govt forces guilty of deliberate hostility towards peaceful crowd (not so) - over 1000 troops and of the c.9 fatalities on the day fewer than 7 sabred and shot (1)
ETA @Stonker - The 15th Hussars were ordered in to assist the MSY by dispersing the crowd after they'd turned things ugly.
 
> look at this. General Election 1865, 11-12 July, 42 violent incidents including troops called out, shots fired, one killed, and an attempt to burn down a hotel full of people
 
ETA @Stonker - The 15th Hussars were ordered in to assist the MSY by dispersing the crowd after they'd turned things ugly
I'm aware of that, but I remain unclear as to (a) who ordered their presence, and (b) for what purpose.

On the latter, it seems to me that they might have been tasked as potential reinforcements or as a precaution against the very abuse that the militia dished out, or possibly both.

I'm particularly interested in who gave the CO his orders for the day.
 
I'm aware of that, but I remain unclear as to (a) who ordered their presence, and (b) for what purpose.

On the latter, it seems to me that they might have been tasked as potential reinforcements or as a precaution against the very abuse that the militia dished out, or possibly both.

I'm particularly interested in who gave the CO his orders for the day.
It's overlooked by comparison to Peterloo but the earlier (March 1817) 'Blanketeer' proposed march to London - with a crowd less than half that of Peterloo, c.30K, was broken up by the King's Dragoon Guards after the Riot Act was read by the Magistrates.
IIRC there were many laws relevant to 'seditious assembly' of more than a dozen. Those arrested were later released and the matter concluded.
If you've seen Mike Leigh's film - it is well researched but many things are implied/conjecture.
As I mentioned up thread Byng was off at the races - from my limited interest and research I'd suggest he wasn't abrogating his duty and ducking the issue (his Regiment the 31st Foot was there) more like he had no reason to suspect that with the amount of regular Government troops showing their presence - and previous demonstrations being dealt with robustly but non lethally, he had no reason to expect any trouble from the assembled demonstrators.
He hadn't factored in the Yeomanry though.

As Byng was the Crown representative of law enforcement - he was responsible for troops deployments (ETA and presumably being released to provide requested law enforcement/upholding).
Magistrate (ETA William Hulton) reads Riot Act (whether it was heard or acknowledged doesn't appear contemporarily relevant) - it was related directly to Maj. Trafford MSY - NOT L'Estrange 15H who was Byngs representative on the day.
Yeomanry go about their business overzealously (Their CO, Trafford was heavily censured and relinquished his command).
Any verbal request for the 15H ((ETA again, from Hilton) to go assist them is typical of such orders from Trafalgar to Balaclava.
The Magistrates OK'd the action, their duty was to keep the peace - go to the Yeomanrys aid - they effectively drove the crowd away rather than trampled roughshod hacking and slashing.
The interventions against member of Yeomanry are noted as are personal visits to have some protestors released from jail.
 
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Pedantry Corner... There seems to be some confusion between Militia and Yeomanry, so to clarify:

The Militia were a conscript infantry force officered by volunteers. They were conscripted in each parish by ballot (a hated institution and itself the cause of unrest) and would serve for five years. In wartime they would be 'Embodied' as full-time troops and the Embodied Militia generally achieved the same levels of efficiency as the regular Army and were a good source of recruits for the regulars (e.g. the Foot Guards at Waterloo were freshly padded out with volunteers from the Militia). Embodied Militia would usually be deployed away from their home county, garrisoning forts and towns (but never overseas). In peacetime the Militia were 'Disembodied' and would only assemble for training parades, for summer camp and for occasional call-outs to combat civil unrest (or the threat of it) and other law-enforcement tasks, such as anti-smuggling patrols, so military efficiency often dropped dramatically when they were Disembodied.

The Militia were expanded in 1797 by the creation of Supplementary Militia, which was an additional Militia Ballot and in most cases padded the county Militia Regiment out to the strength of a full battalion. However, the Supplementaries were generally Disembodied until the country was actually invaded or threatened with imminent invasion.

Additional Militia battalions were created in 1808 or thereabouts by the disbandment of the hundreds of unruly 'Volunteer Infantry Corps', which had become little more than armed drinking clubs. They were then regulated within the county Militia system and provided additional Volunteer Militia battalions for the county Militia. Six months' good service as a Volunteer would exempt a man from the Militia Ballot.

The Yeomanry were much like the Volunteer Infantry Corps, except that each man was meant to be 'Yeoman' (i.e. landowning) class and able to provide a horse and uniform at his own expense. Six months' good service with the Yeomanry would again exempt that man from the Militia Ballot. Some regiments were good, while others were very bad - again being little more than armed drinking clubs. Some were filled out, not with 'Yeomen', but with the colonel's estate-workers - the Colonel would then provide their horses and uniforms (the Army provided weapons and equipment).

Lecture ends.
 
The Yeomanry were much like the Volunteer Infantry Corps, except that each man was meant to be 'Yeoman' (i.e. landowning) class and able to provide a horse and uniform at his own expense. Six months' good service with the Yeomanry would again exempt that man from the Militia Ballot. Some regiments were good, while others were very bad - again being little more than armed drinking clubs. Some were filled out, not with 'Yeomen', but with the colonel's estate-workers - the Colonel would then provide their horses and uniforms (the Army provided weapons and equipment).
That needs clarification.

The VIC had no standing other than as private organisations, privately funded.

Militia and (I am pretty sure) Yeomanry absolutely did have a place in the institutional structures of this nation and the mechanisms that defended The Crown and The King's Peace.

Your post - helpful as it is - still leaves me unclear as to the actual chain(s) of command that operated on the day.

That said, it may become clear if I take the time tomorrow to piece together the jigsaw of recent posts on here
 
That needs clarification.

The VIC had no standing other than as private organisations, privately funded.

Militia and (I am pretty sure) Yeomanry absolutely did have a place in the institutional structures of this nation and the mechanisms that defended The Crown and The King's Peace.

Your post - helpful as it is - still leaves me unclear as to the actual chain(s) of command that operated on the day.

That said, it may become clear if I take the time tomorrow to piece together the jigsaw of recent posts on here
Yes indeed, the Militia and Yeomanry (and for a time, the Volunteers, Fencible Cavalry, Fencible Infantry, Sea Fencibles and Provisional Cavalry Regiments) certainly did have a place in the defence of the home country - especially in Ireland, where they were very much a part of the orbat for operations against rebels and the French - and again in Wales in 1797, where Yeomanry, Militia, Volunteers (including some hastily-raised Volunteer units) and regulars (i.e. RN and Customs Service) served as part of the same formations.

The Lord Lieutenant was theoretically in command of the county's forces, but Embodied Militia regiments were regularly posted to the far end of the country and placed under regular Army control. The Yeomanry were also posted away in this manner in the latter part of the Napoleonic Wars, so there must have been a centralised mechanism for requesting Militia/Yeomanry support from county Lords Lieutenant and seconding them to supplement and replace regular Army units on garrison duty. For example, the garrison of Bristol in 1797 under the command of the regular Army General James Rooke, comprised the 13th Foot, the Royal Berkshire Militia and the Suffolk Provisional Cavalry (which were a short-lived sort of conscripted Militia Cavalry). When this force was mobilised to march on Fishguard, the local Volunteers and Yeomanry were mobilised to become the new garrison in their absence. The garrison of Windsor Castle for much of the Napoleonic Wars was provided by the Royal Staffordshire Militia (much praised by the King and Prince Regent for their smartness of turnout, bearing, band and ARTILLERY detachment!), thus freeing up Foot Guards for ops.

The Volunteer Corps were privately raised and funded, but it was on much the same terms as the Yeomanry. Their formation had to be authorised by the Lord Lieutenant and his county committee for Militia and Volunteers. The state would then provide small-arms and equipment, with all other expenses being met by the corps. Officers were commissioned by the Lord Lieutenant and entered on to the Militia, Yeomanry, Fencible and Volunteer edition of the Army List. As mentioned, six months' good service resulted in the removal of a man's name from the hated Militia Ballot, which does go some way to explaining their huge popularity during the Napoleonic Wars. Some of the better ones were raised as an adjunct to the county Militia regiment - often providing a light infantry component. Many of these had been raised earlier during the American War of Independence and were re-raised in the 1790s.

Chains of command were 'complicated' to put it mildly... At Fishguard, a long-serving Lt Col of Militia and the local Regulating Captain of the RN were 'gazumped' by Lord Cawdor (a Yeomanry Major) due to social 'rank'. There was also then a colossal argument (settled by a later duel) when Cawdor's force met the retreating Fishguard & Newport Volunteer Infantry, whose CO held a Lieutenant-Colonelcy senior to that of Cawdor... I can easily imagine the chains of command at Peterloo to have been equally as Byzantine.
 
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@Stonker
Further to post #135

General Sir John Byng,
Commander Northern District (absent)

Lt Colonel George L'Estrange
CO 15H, Commander of Military forces in Manchester.

Major Thomas Trafford
CO MSY

Captain Hugh Birley
2i/c MSY

William Hulton
Magistrate.

Hopefully you'll be able to see this screenshot but if you go to Google any of the above on spartacus-educational.com you'll get a link.
IMG_20190817_220237.png
 

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