The Stockport Union

The Stockport Union was mentioned on page 30 of the Tilly book. The Stockport Union was officially entitled the The Stockport Union for the Promotion of Human Happiness and began in 1818.  One year after the movement began, 1400 people marched to a reform meeting with banners and stewards. The description of this march was described in the Tilly book by Francis Philips, who said: “the order was beautiful.”  The Stockport Union was part of a much larger gathering of 80,000 people who were assembling to call for parliamentary reform and for free trade. The assembly was soon broken up by what we be referred to today as riot police. Over 300 “protesters” were injured and 5 were killed. It might be important to note that the Stockport Union used 40 women (a rarity for public claims at the time). The Stockport Union was largely began by Reverend Joseph Harrison.  Other than that, the information seems quite difficult to obtain, hinting at the possibility that this social movement fadedaway rather quickly. This might mean that it wasn’t a social movement at all but rather an organization that lobbied for one cause.  Their ruler might have been arrested, leading to the dispersal of the entire group.


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