British Values in Action: Protest and Punishment

The stand-off: the Mayor versus the mill workers

The portrait on the right is of Samuel Horrocks. He was a very powerful man in Preston in 1842: he was the owner of Preston’s biggest cotton mills, the Mayor of Preston and also a Member of Parliament. 

Some people in Preston were getting angry about the mill workers going on strike. The protesters were being accused of breaking windows and causing fights. Mayor Horrocks was asked by these angry people to put a stop to the strike. 

The Lune Street protest:

On 13 August, the protesters gathered on Lune Street in Preston. Samuel Horrocks read the ‘Riot Act’. This said that anyone gathering in groups of more than 12 was breaking the law. It also said that the Mayor and the army were allowed to 'use force' to stop the protesters and send them home, if they needed to. 

Soldiers from the 72nd Highland Regiment were sent to make the protesters go home. They would have carried guns similar to the one pictured above, which is now looked after by the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston. 

Memorial to the protest:

Look at the model of the Preston Martyrs Memorial on Lune Street  (the last image above) which is displayed in the ‘Discover Preston’ gallery at the Harris Museum. Can you work out what happened when the soldiers met the protesters? 

Glossary:

Accuse - To tell someone they have done something wrong 
Member of Parliament - Someone who has been chosen to represent people in their local area in parliament
Protest - To complain about something or show you disagree with it in public 
Regiment - Permanent group of soldiers who stay together and are placed in smaller groups (battalions)
Riot - When a group of angry people become violent and begin fighting or damaging nearby property
Strike - To stop working suddenly, usually as a group to protest against an employer

View other relevant My Learning resources or see the teachers' notes page for discussion and activity ideas. 


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Map showing the location of Lune Street, Preston»



 
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