Although sadly there are no pictures of the Sherwood Inn on Tib Street in what is now the Northern Quarter, this pub has passed into Manchester's riotous history thanks to the archiving of the following snappily-titled book by the Internet Archive, The trial of Feargus O'Connor, Esq., barrister-at-law, and fifty-eight others at Lancaster: on a charge of sedition, conspiracy, tumult, and riot . As they go on to explain:
"This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online. Public domain books are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover... from the publisher to a library and finally to you ."
Yeomanry attacking demonstrators at the Peterloo Massacre, St Peters Square, 1819. (c) Cotton Times.
It appears that in August 1842, a gathering of the trades was held at the Sherwood Inn, attracting almost 150, led to a larger demonstration at the Carpenter's Hall nearby, and this in turn led to the arrest of Feargus O'Connor and others:
- "In the month of August last, were you a reporter for the Manchester Guardian?"
- "I was, sir."
- "On the 15th of August was there a meeting of the trades' delegates in Manchester?
- "There was, sir."
- "Where was it held?"
- "At the Sherwood Inn, Tib Street."
"I go to the Sherwood Inn (Tib Street) in the most public part of Manchester; a crowd gathers round: I request them to disperse; and I say, 'Look out for a place where we can meet without being interrupted'" .
As the crowd moved on to the Carpenters Hall, the gathering got more rowdy and the police were involved, leading to the arrests and the eventual publication of the trial. Read more about this, and more of Manchester's proud radical past, at Manchester's Radical History: Exploring Greater Manchester's Grassroots History .