The Manchester Meeting had been planned for August 2nd but was forced to be cancelled. It was then set for August 9th but again was cancelled. On 16th August though, the meeting went ahead. Thousands of people walked to Manchester for a peaceful day out to hear the speakers including Mary Fildes and Henry Hunt speak about voting and the Corn Laws. The Manchester magistrates met at about 10.30 am at "The Sun Inn” on Deansgate to discuss how to stop the meeting which was due to start at 1pm.
The organisers went to great pains to ensure that the rally was a peaceful one and did not provoke a reaction. Henry Hunt arrived at about 1.00pm and he with some supporters stood on 2 carts which had been roped together as a platform. Banners bearing slogans such as “Love ", “No taxation without Representation ", " No corn Laws". As the crowd gathered, the magistrates' version is that they wanted to see the Stage. Whatever the reason, they sent the militia in on horses to clear the way. They were soon joined by soldiers, cavalry, and special constables to arrest the speakers. There were shouts and groans from the crowd who linked arms to protect their speakers. The troops waving sabres charged on the 60,000 crowd trampling people with their horses. Peter's Field was a scene of carnage. The main organisers including Henry Hunt were arrested.