The Guardian is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, the Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust; the trust was created in 1936 to "secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of the Guardian free from commercial or political interference". The trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to maintain for The Guardian the same protections as were built into the structure of the Scott Trust by its creators. Profits are reinvested in journalism rather than distributed to shareholders; the current editor is Katharine Viner: she succeeded Alan Rusbridger in 2015. Since 2018, the paper's main newsprint sections have been published in tabloid format; as of November that year, its print edition had a daily circulation of 136,834.
The newspaper has an online edition, TheGuardian.com, as well as two international websites, Guardian Australia and Guardian US. The paper's readership is on the mainstream left of British political opinion, its reputation as a platform for liberal and left-wing editorial has led to the use of the "Guardian reader" and "Guardianista" as often-pejorative epithets for those of left-leaning or "politically correct" tendencies. Frequent typographical errors in the paper led Private Eye magazine to dub it the "Grauniad" in the 1960s, a nickname still used today. In an Ipsos MORI research poll in September 2018 designed to interrogate the public's trust of specific titles online, The Guardian scored highest for digital-content news, with 84% of readers agreeing that they "trust what see in it". A December 2018 report of a poll by the Publishers Audience Measurement Company stated that the paper's print edition was found to be the most trusted in the UK in the period from October 2017 to September 2018.
It was reported to be the most-read of the UK's "quality newsbrands", including digital editions. While The Guardian's print circulation is in decline, the report indicated that news from The Guardian, including that reported online, reaches more than 23 million UK adults each month. Chief among the notable "scoops" obtained by the paper was the 2011 News International phone-hacking scandal—and in particular the hacking of the murdered English teenager Milly Dowler's phone; the investigation led to the closure of the News of the World, the UK's best-selling Sunday newspaper and one of the highest-circulation newspapers in history. In June 2013, The Guardian broke news of the secret collection by the Obama administration of Verizon telephone records, subsequently revealed the existence of the surveillance program PRISM after knowledge of it was leaked to the paper by the whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In 2016, The Guardian led an investigation into the Panama Papers, exposing then-Prime Minister David Cameron's links to offshore bank accounts.
It has been named "newspaper of the year" four times at the annual British Press Awards: most in 2014, for its reporting on government surveillance. The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by cotton merchant John Edward Taylor with backing from the Little Circle, a group of non-conformist businessmen, they launched their paper after the police closure of the more radical Manchester Observer, a paper that had championed the cause of the Peterloo Massacre protesters. Taylor had been hostile to the radical reformers, writing: "They have appealed not to the reason but the passions and the suffering of their abused and credulous fellow-countrymen, from whose ill-requited industry they extort for themselves the means of a plentiful and comfortable existence, they do not toil, neither do they spin, but they live better than those that do." When the government closed down the Manchester Observer, the mill-owners' champions had the upper hand. The influential journalist Jeremiah Garnett joined Taylor during the establishment of the paper, all of the Little Circle wrote articles for the new paper.
The prospectus announcing the new publication proclaimed that it would "zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious Liberty warmly advocate the cause of Reform endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of Political Economy and support, without reference to the party from which they emanate, all serviceable measures". In 1825 the paper merged with the British Volunteer and was known as The Manchester Guardian and British Volunteer until 1828; the working-class Manchester and Salford Advertiser called the Manchester Guardian "the foul prostitute and dirty parasite of the worst portion of the mill-owners". The Manchester Guardian was hostile to labour's claims. Of the 1832 Ten Hours Bill, the paper doubted whether in view of the foreign competition "the passing of a law positively enacting a gradual destruction of the cotton manufacture in this kingdom would be a much less rational procedure." The Manchester Guardian dismissed strikes as the work of outside agitators: " if an accommodation can be effected, the occupation of the agents of the Union is gone.
They live on strife "The Manchester Guardian was critical of US President Abraham Lincoln's conduct during the US Civil War, writing on the news that Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated: "Of his rule, we can never speak except as a series of acts abhorrent to every true notion of constitutional right and human liberty " C. P. Scott ma
Manchester Evening News
The Manchester Evening News is a regional daily newspaper covering Greater Manchester in North West England. Founded in 1868, the paper is published Monday–Saturday; the newspaper is owned by Reach one of Britain's largest newspaper publishing groups. Since adopting a'digital-first' strategy in 2014, the publication has experienced huge online growth, while its average print daily circulation for the first half of 2018 was 36,715. In the 2018 British Regional Press Awards, it was named Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year; the Manchester Evening News was first published on 10 October 1868 by Mitchell Henry as part of his Parliamentary election campaign, with its first issue four pages long and costing a halfpenny. The newspaper was ran from a small office on Brown Street, with a dozen staff. Upon the newspaper's launch, Henry said: "In putting ourselves into print, we have no apology to offer, but the assurance of an honest aim to serve the public interest." Henry's quote is displayed on the entrance wall to the newspaper's modern offices.
With his Parliamentary bid unsuccessful, Henry lost interest in the business, selling the publication to John Edward Taylor Jr. the son of newspaper proprietor John Edward Taylor, founder of the Manchester Guardian. The newspaper became the evening counterpart and sister title to The Manchester Guardian and the two titles began sharing an office, located on Cross Street, from 1879. Taylor brought his brother-in-law Peter Allen in as a partner in the Manchester Evening News and, after Taylor's death in 1907, the Guardian was sold to its editor C. P. Scott while the Evening News passed into the hands of the Allen family. In 1924, C. P. Scott's son John Russell Scott reunited the papers, buying out the Manchester Evening News and forming The Manchester Guardian and Evening News Ltd, which in turn became the Guardian Media Group. In 1936, John Russell Scott formed the Scott Trust in order to protect the company from death duties, following the deaths of his father and younger brother Ted in close succession.
The contents of the original deeds were not disclosed by the company, but a copy obtained by The Independent revealed the terms compelled trustees to "use their best endeavours to procure that the Manchester Guardian and Manchester Evening News shall be carried on as nearly as may be upon the same principles as they have heretofore."During the editorship of William Haley in the 1930s, the newspaper's circulation grew to over 200,000. By 1939 the publication was the largest provincial evening newspaper in the country; the newspaper was a cash cow for its parent company and kept its stablemate The Manchester Guardian afloat. The financial success of the Manchester Evening News was reflected in Haley's salary, greater than John Scott's, with Scott himself acknowledging, "after all, you make the money we spend."In 1961, The Manchester Guardian and Evening News Ltd bought out the Manchester Evening News's ailing rival, the Manchester Evening Chronicle, two years merged the papers. Following this, the Manchester Evening News's circulation increased to over 480,000.
In December 2009, GMG confirmed it had held "exploratory talks" about selling the Manchester Evening News, following a report by The Daily Telegraph which named Trinity Mirror as a potential buyer and claimed the "disposal would amount to a fire sale" due to the current value of the business. The title estimated the Manchester Evening News alone to be worth about £200m prior to the collapse in newspaper advertising. In February 2010, the Manchester Evening News was sold along with GMG's 31 other regional titles to Trinity Mirror, severing the historic link between The Guardian and the Manchester Evening News; the sale was valued at £44.8m – £7.4m in cash and the remainder from GMG extricating itself from a £37.4m decade-long contract with Trinity Mirror to print its regional titles. The sale of GMG's regional arm was negotiated to offset company losses, with The Guardian and its Sunday title Observer accruing losses of £100,000 a day; the sale was described by stockbrokers Numis as "the deal of the decade" for Sly Bailey, Trinity Mirror's chief executive, while The Guardian's Steve Busfield said the sale was indicative of the declining business value of regional media, comparing the sale to that of Johnston Press's acquisition of 53 regional titles including The Yorkshire Post eight years earlier, for £560m.
In the year prior to the newspaper's sale, GMG had reduced the number of journalists at the newspaper to 50. Judy Gordon, the National Union of Journalists mother of the chapel, said: "The Guardian has not got any money of its own, it has only got. We've made all those changes to stem the fact, they ask:'How much can you give us now? Nothing? OK, Bye.'"The Manchester Evening News headquarters were relocated from Scott Place in the Spinningfields area of Manchester city centre to an existing Trinity Mirror plant in Chadderton, where other Trinity Mirror titles in North West England are printed. In 2013, the title surpassed 10 million monthly online readers for the first time, recording 10,613,119 visitors. Despite its "evening" title, the newspaper began publication of a morning edition in November 2004, a controversial move which brought union members to the brink of strike action over new work rotas. For years the paper was famous for its "Football Green" edition. After the MEN merged with the rival Manchester Evening Chronicle in the 1960s, its more popular "Sporting Pink" was adopted as the "Football Pink".
C. P. Scott
Charles Prestwich Scott cited as C. P. Scott, was a British journalist and politician. Born in Bath, Somerset, he was the editor of the Manchester Guardian from 1872 until 1929 and its owner from 1907 until his death, he was a Liberal Member of Parliament and pursued a progressive liberal agenda in the pages of the newspaper. Educated at Hove House and Clapham Grammar School, Scott went up to Oxford, he took a first in Greats in the autumn of 1869 in 1870 went to Edinburgh to train on The Scotsman. While at Oxford, his cousin John Taylor, who ran the London office of the Manchester Guardian, decided that the paper needed an editor based in Manchester and offered Scott the post. Scott enjoyed a familial connection with the paper. Accepting the offer, Scott joined the paper as their London editor in February 1871 and became its editor on 1 January 1872; as editor Scott maintained the Manchester Guardian's well-established moderate Liberal line, "to the right of the party, to the right, indeed, of much of its own special reporting".
However, when in 1886 the whigs led by Lord Hartington and a few radicals led by Joseph Chamberlain, split the party, formed the Liberal Unionist Party and gave their backing to the Conservatives, Scott's Manchester Guardian swung to the left and helped Gladstone lead the party towards support for Irish Home Rule and the "new liberalism". In 1886, Scott fought his first general election as a Liberal candidate, an unsuccessful attempt in the Manchester North East constituency, he was elected at the 1895 election as MP for Leigh, thereafter spent long periods away in London during the parliamentary session. His combined position as a Liberal backbencher, the editor of an important Liberal newspaper, the president of the Manchester Liberal Federation made him an influential figure in Liberal circles, albeit in the middle of a long period of opposition, he was re-elected at the 1900 election despite the unpopular stand against the Boer War that the Guardian had taken, but retired from Parliament at the time of the Liberal landslide victory in 1906, when he was occupied with the difficult process of becoming owner of the newspaper he edited.
In 1905, the Manchester Guardian's owner, Edward Taylor, died. His will provided that the trustees of his estate should give Scott first refusal on the copyright of the Manchester Guardian at £10,000, recommended that they should offer him the offices and printing works of the paper on "moderate and reasonable terms". However, they were not required to sell it at all, could continue to run the paper themselves "on the same lines and in the same spirit as heretofore". Furthermore, one of the trustees was a nephew of Taylor and would financially benefit from forcing up the price at which Scott could buy the paper, another was the Manchester Guardian's manager, but faced losing his job if Scott took control. Scott was therefore forced to dig deep to buy the paper: he paid a total of £240,000, taking large loans from his sisters and from Taylor's widow to do so. Taylor's other paper, the Manchester Evening News, was inherited by his nephews in the Allen family. Scott made an agreement to buy the MEN in 1922 and gained full control of it in 1929.
Although a lifelong liberal, Scott had a troubled relationship with Lloyd George. Traditionally on the radical left of the party he was astounded by the pro-Zionist line taken by the Coalitionists, a position he heartily endorsed. On 4 August 1914 it was Scott that the Chancellor of Exchequer turned to for a favourable editorial comment. Whilst in London he stayed at the central location of Nottingham Place from where he could gather news intelligence on European developments. Would the government declare war? Scott recorded that the German ambassador had been deceived into believing that Britain would stay outside the conflict, but liberal policy always accentuated one of "continuity" of free radicals at its heart. But for Scott the Cabinet remained too reticent to act, too timid an indication of his movement towards MacDonald and Labour, they espoused a pacifist position in Britain, which he was warned was "pro-German". He was a friend of the radical Charles Hobhouse MP, not in the War Cabinet.
Most instructive of his communicating skills was the introduction he made of Chaim Weizmann to Lloyd George. He struck up a remarkable friendship with the Jewish émigré, whose intellectual brilliance and business savvy was attracting the attention of the Tory Press and senior ministers. Scott wrote in the New Statesman dealing frankly and with the Herbert Memorandum, but Scott investigated the wartime traitor Sir Roger Casement. His story was linked to Collins' Dublin builder T. P. O'Connor, who more than any Irishman had served to hide the general's presence from the RIC. In Ulster Joe Devlin warned the Left of the impending violence should they not heed the warnings contained in the newspapers about the coming military occupation; the Curragh incident had profoundly shocked the establishment in Ireland. Scott was intensely clubbable: gregarious and abounding in bonhomie, he met at the Reform Club and with his left-wi
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement named for its belief that the God in Christianity is one person, as opposed to the Trinity which in many other branches of Christianity defines God as three persons in one being: the Father and Holy Spirit. Unitarian Christians, believe that Jesus was inspired by God in his moral teachings, he is a savior, but he was not a deity or God incarnate. Unitarianism does not constitute one single Christian denomination, but rather refers to a collection of both extant and extinct Christian groups, whether related to each other or not, which share a common theological concept of the oneness nature of God. While the uncompromising theological monotheism at the heart of Christian Unitarianism distinguishes it from the major Christian denominations which subscribe to Trinitarian theology, Christian Unitarianism is analogous to the more austere monotheistic understandings of God in Judaism, nearer to the concept of the oneness of God in Islam. Unitarianism is known for the rejection of several other Western Christian doctrines, including the doctrines of original sin and the infallibility of the Bible.
Unitarians in previous centuries accepted the doctrine of punishment in an eternal hell, but few do today. Unitarianism might be considered a part of Protestantism, depending on one's stance or viewpoint, some exclude it from that term due to its Nontrinitarian nature. Despite common origins during the Protestant Reformation, some scholars call it a part of Nontrinitarianism, while others consider it both Protestant and Nontrinitarian, seeing no contradiction between those two terms. None of the three views are universally accepted; the Unitarian movement is tied to the more radical critiques of the Reformation. First organized in Eastern Europe during the Reformation, Unitarian communities have developed in Britain, South Africa, Canada, the United States, Jamaica and Japan. Unitarians began simultaneously in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and in Transylvania in the mid-16th century. Among the adherents were a significant number of Italians who took refuge in Poland. In the 17th century, significant repression in Poland led many Unitarians to flee or be killed for their faith, notably Katarzyna Weiglowa.
From the 16th to 18th centuries, Unitarians in Britain faced significant political persecution, including John Biddle, Mary Wollstonecraft, Theophilus Lindsey. In England, the first Unitarian Church was established in 1774 on Essex Street, where today's British Unitarian headquarters are still located. In the United States, different schools of Unitarian theology first spread in New England and the mid-Atlantic states; the first official acceptance of the Unitarian faith on the part of a congregation in America was by King's Chapel in Boston, from where James Freeman began teaching Unitarian doctrine in 1784, was appointed rector and revised the prayer book according to Unitarian doctrines in 1786. In India, three different schools of Unitarian thought influenced varying movements, including the Brahmo Samaj, the Unitarian Church of the Khasi Hills, the Unitarian Christian Church of Chennai, in Madras, founded in 1795. Unitarians place emphasis on the ultimate role of reason in interpreting sacred scriptures, thus freedom of conscience and freedom of the pulpit are core values in the tradition.
Reformation is an ongoing process. Constant study and new experiences can lead to new insights for teachings and community practice. In varying contexts, Unitarians seek to affirm the use of reason in religion and freedom of conscience. In J. Gordon Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, the Unitarian tradition is classified among "the'liberal' family of churches". Unitarianism is a proper noun and follows the same English usage as other theologies that have developed within a religious movement; the term existed shortly before it became the name of a religious movement, thus it is used as a common noun that would describe any understanding of Jesus Christ that denies the Trinity or which believes that God is only one person. In that case, it would be a nontrinitarian belief system not associated with the Unitarian religious movement. For example, the Unitarian movement has never accepted the Godhood of Jesus, therefore does not include those nontrinitarian belief systems that do, such as Oneness Pentecostalism, United Pentecostal Church International and the True Jesus Church and the writings of Michael Servetus, all of which maintain that Jesus is God as a single person.
Although these groups are unitarians in the common sense, they are not in the proper sense. To avoid confusion, this article is about Unitarianism as a religious movement. For the generic form of unitarianism, see Nontrinitarianism; some religious groups have adopted the 19th-century term biblical unitarianism to distinguish their theology from Unitarianism. These have no direct relation to the Unitarian movement; the term Unitarian is sometimes applied today to those who belong to a Unitarian church but do not hold a Unitarian theological belief. In the past, the vast majority of members of Unitarian churches were Unitarians in theology. Over time, some Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists moved away from the traditional Christian roots of Unitarianism. For example, in the 1890s the American Unitarian Association began to allow non-Christian and non-theistic churches and individuals to be part of their fellowship; as a result, people who held no Unitarian belief began to be called Unitarians because they
Ilminster is a town and civil parish in the countryside of south west Somerset, with a population of 5,808. Bypassed in 1988, the town now lies just east of the junction of the A303 and the A358; the parish includes the hamlet of Sea. Ilminster is mentioned in documents dating from 725 and in a Charter granted to the Abbey of Muchelney by King Ethelred in 995. Ilminster is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Ileminstre meaning'The church on the River Isle' from the Old English ysle and mynster. By this period Ilminster was a flourishing community and was granted the right to hold a weekly market, which it still does. Ilminster was part of the hundred of Bulstone. In 1645 during the English Civil War Ilminster was the scene of a skirmish between parliamentary troops under Edward Massie and Royalist forces under Lord Goring who fought for control of the bridges prior to the Battle of Langport; the town contains the buildings of a sixteenth-century grammar school, the Ilminster Meeting House, which acts as the town's art gallery and concert hall.
There is a Gospel Hall. The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny; the parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime and traffic. The parish council's role includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance and improvement of highways, footpaths, public transport, street cleaning. Conservation matters and environmental issues are the responsibility of the council; the town falls within the Non-metropolitan district of South Somerset, formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having been part of Chard Rural District and Ilminster Urban District. The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health and fairs, refuse collection and recycling and crematoria, leisure services and tourism.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, main roads, public transport and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning. There is an electoral ward of the same name; the ward focuses on Ilminster but includes Whitelackington. The total population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 6,017, it is part of the Yeovil county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election, part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects six MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation. Ilminster is close to the A30 road. Along with the rest of South West England, Ilminster has a temperate climate, wetter and milder than the rest of the country; the annual mean temperature is 10 °C. Seasonal temperature variation is less extreme than most of the United Kingdom because of the adjacent sea temperatures.
The summer months of July and August are the warmest with mean daily maxima of 21 °C. In winter mean minimum temperatures of 1 °C or 2 °C are common. In the summer the Azores high pressure affects the south-west of England, however convective cloud sometimes forms inland, reducing the number of hours of sunshine. Annual sunshine rates are less than the regional average of 1,600 hours. In December 1998 there were 20 days without sun recorded at Yeovilton. Most the rainfall in the south-west is caused by convection. Most of the rainfall in autumn and winter is caused by the Atlantic depressions, when they are most active. In summer, a large proportion of the rainfall is caused by sun heating the ground leading to convection and to showers and thunderstorms. Average rainfall is around 700 mm. About 8–15 days of snowfall is typical. November to March have the highest mean wind speeds, June to August have the lightest winds; the predominant wind direction is from the south-west. Ilminster takes its name from the River Isle and its large church of St Mary, known as The Minster.
The Hamstone building dates from the 15th century, but was refurbished in 1825 by William Burgess and the chancel restored in 1883. Further restoration took place in 1887-89 and 1902. Among the principal features are the Wadham tombs; the tower rises two storeys above the nave. It has three bays, with a stair turret to the north-west corner; the bays are articulated by slender buttresses with crocketed finials above the castellated parapet. Each bay on both stages contains a tall two-light mullioned-and-transomed window with tracery; the lights to the top are filled with pierced stonework. The stair turret has string courses coinciding with those on the tower, a spirelet with a weathervane, it contains a bell dating from 1732 made by Thomas Bilbie and another from 1790 made by William Biblie of the Bilbie family. The church has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building; the town has a selection of shops including a traditional Edwardian-style clothing and soft fur
The Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter's Field, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 had resulted in periods of famine and chronic unemployment, exacerbated by the introduction of the first of the Corn Laws. By the beginning of 1819, the pressure generated by poor economic conditions, coupled with the relative lack of suffrage in Northern England, had enhanced the appeal of political radicalism. In response, the Manchester Patriotic Union, a group agitating for parliamentary reform, organised a demonstration to be addressed by the well-known radical orator Henry Hunt. Shortly after the meeting began, local magistrates called on the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry to arrest Hunt and several others on the hustings with him; the Yeomanry charged into the crowd, knocking down a woman and killing a child, apprehending Hunt. The 15th Hussars were summoned by the magistrate, Mr Hulton, to disperse the crowd.
They charged with sabres drawn, in the ensuing confusion, 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured. The massacre was given the name Peterloo in an ironic comparison to the Battle of Waterloo, which had taken place four years earlier. Historian Robert Poole has called the Peterloo Massacre one of the defining moments of its age. In its own time, the London and national papers shared the horror felt in the Manchester region, but Peterloo's immediate effect was to cause the government to crack down on reform, with the passing of what became known as the Six Acts, it led directly to the foundation of the Manchester Guardian, but had little other effect on the pace of reform. In a survey conducted by The Guardian in 2006, Peterloo came second to the Putney Debates as the event from radical British history that most deserved a proper monument or a memorial. Peterloo is commemorated by a plaque close to the site, a replacement for an earlier one, criticised as being inadequate as it did not reflect the scale of the massacre.
In 1819, Lancashire was represented by two members of parliament. Voting was restricted to the adult male owners of freehold land with an annual rental value of 40 shillings or more – the equivalent of about £80 in 2008 – and votes could only be cast at the county town of Lancaster, by a public spoken declaration at the hustings. Constituency boundaries were out of date, the so-called rotten boroughs had a hugely disproportionate influence on the membership of the Parliament of the United Kingdom compared to the size of their populations: Old Sarum in Wiltshire, with one voter, elected two MPs, as did Dunwich in Suffolk, which by the early 19th century had completely disappeared into the sea; the major urban centres of Manchester, Bolton, Rochdale, Ashton-under-Lyne and Stockport, with a combined population of one million, were represented by either the two county MPs for Lancashire, or the two for Cheshire in the case of Stockport. By comparison, more than half of all MPs were returned by a total of just 154 owners of rotten or closed boroughs.
In 1816, Thomas Oldfield's The Representative History of Great Ireland. These inequalities in political representation led to calls for reform. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, a brief boom in textile manufacture was followed by periods of chronic economic depression among textile weavers and spinners. Weavers who could have expected to earn 15 shillings for a six-day week in 1803, saw their wages cut to 5 shillings or 4s 6d by 1818; the industrialists, who were cutting wages without offering relief, blamed market forces generated by the aftershocks of the Napoleonic Wars. Exacerbating matters were the Corn Laws, the first of, passed in 1815, imposing a tariff on foreign grain in an effort to protect English grain producers; the cost of food rose as people were forced to buy the more expensive and lower quality British grain, periods of famine and chronic unemployment ensued, increasing the desire for political reform both in Lancashire and in the country at large. Economic conditions in 1817 led to a group who became known as Blanketeers to organise a march from Manchester to London so they could petition the Prince Regent for parliamentary reform.
A crowd of 25,000 including 5,000 men who intended to march gathered in St Peter's Fields. After the magistrates read the Riot Act, the crowd was dispersed by the King's Dragoon Guards; the ringleaders were arrested and subsequently released when serious charges against them were not forthcoming. In April 1819 three leading Blanketeers were convicted of sedition and conspiracy when witnesses alleged they had advocated the principal towns of the kingdom should elect representatives to a National Convention to demand their rights and if refused enforce them'sword in hand' during a meeting in Stockport in September 1818. By the beginning of 1819 pressure generated by poor economic conditions was at its peak and had enhanced the appeal of political radicalism among the cotton loom weavers of south Lancashire. In January 1819, a crowd of about 10,000 gathered at St Peter's Fields to hear the radical orator Henry Hunt and called on the Prince Regent to choose ministers who would repeal the Corn Laws.
The meeting, conducted in the presence of the cavalry, passed off without incident. In July