Robert Poole, « Peterloo and the English Radical Press » (4 fév.)

Jeudi 4 février 2021 à  17 h : Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire ), « Peterloo and the English Radical Press »

The Manchester Observer (1818-22) was England’s leading radical newspaper at the time of the ‘Peterloo’ meeting of August 1819, in which it played a central role. For a time it enjoyed the highest circulation of any provincial newspaper, holding a position comparable to that of the Chartist Northern Star twenty years later. It also pioneered dual publication in Manchester and London. Its columns provide insights into Manchester’s secretive local government and into labour and radical movements. Correspondence in the National Archives demonstrates the relationship between radicals in London and in the provinces, and shows how local magistrates conspired with government to prosecute the radical press in the north, where juries were more pliable than those in London. The experience of the Manchester Observer also played a role in the founding of the Manchester Guardian, now simply The Guardian, whose bicentenary is marked by an exhibition in Manchester in 2021.


The Manchester Observer is digitised as part of the Peterloo Collection at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester:

(search for ‘Manchester Observer’)

‘The Manchester Observer: biography of a radical newspaper’, open access at

 Robert Poole, professeur à University of Central Lancashire, est notamment l’auteur de Peterloo. The English Uprising (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019)

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