Manual The Tranent Massacre

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There is little excuse for it. The streets are confined and dirty; the houses neglected and the windows often without glass.

Children's Parliament StreetsAhead Tranent at the UN GENEVA

The Celtic fringes do make an appearance in the film. This is a welcome recognition of the important role of the Scots and Irish in the movement for Parliamentary Reform.

Tranent Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland

It is worth noting that the London Corresponding Society, the first attempt by ordinary people to organise for the vote, was established by a Scottish shoemaker, Thomas Hardy. When his London home was attacked by a patriotic mob a crowd which still seems all too easy to whip up , it was a group of Irishmen that came to the rescue.

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Characterisation is difficult in a movie that is concerned with big social movements but there are some good cameo performances. He was subsequently jailed for two years, although the audience is never told as much.

Massacre of Tranent

Karl Johnson is also good as the stammering and sinister Home Secretary, Lord Sidmouth who developed an extensive network of spies and agents provocateur. Strangely, this lengthy film seems to run out of steam right after the massacre and for all of the vast contextual build up, we are not told of the consequences of Peterloo.

It led to the repressive Six Acts and drove the reformers underground and into insurrectionary adventures. But it also led to the foundation of what is now The Guardian newspaper formerly The Manchester Guardian and the passing of the Reform Act. It educates but does not entertain and fails so often to engage with the audience.

Peterloo Massacred Published 16 November It is believed they had been involved in similar protests elsewhere over the Militia Act.

Scotland Back in the Day: The ‘battle’ of Tranent was really a massacre

The following day, 29 August, the proclamation was handed to Major Wight, the commanding officer of the recruitment squad; it was initially ignored. Later, when a contingent from the local colliery communities, led by 'Jackie' Joan Crookston confronted the troops, their response was swift and bloody. Several of the protesters, including Crookston, were shot dead out of hand.

The protesters fled from the centre of the small town into the countryside, pursued by the Cinque Port Light Dragoons , who are reported to have cut down people indiscriminately, caring little whether they were involved in the protest or not.

follow site Casualty estimates range from around a dozen to twenty or more men, women and children dead, with more injured. After the slaughter the troopers are alleged to have carried out rapes and pillage in the small town.


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  8. It was reported that "His lordship was blamed for remaining at Haddington , as his presence might have prevented the outrages of the soldiery. A statue by sculptor David Annand , of Jackie Crookston and one of the children, was unveiled in Tranent centre in Copyright The image is from Wikipedia Commons.