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Captain Barra, to whom this 1800 continental sugar bowl and cream jug was presented in 1827 by Lord de Tabley, commanded the Cheshire Yeomanry Regiment in both the Battle of Waterloo and the Peterloo Massacre.


Silver with links to battles of Waterloo and Peterloo to come under the hammer...

A continental hallmarked sugar bowl and a cream jug, believed to have been made in Stuttgart in around 1800, is set to come under the hammer at Staffordshire auction house Cuttlestones’ 10th September Fine Art and Antiques Sale. While attractive pieces in their own right, the history behind the lots breathes life into the story of a professional soldier who fought in the battle of Waterloo during his long service – and resurrects a key point in Manchester history.

Presented to Capt. Barra, the items are inscribed: 'Lord de Tabley to Capt. Barra in memory of the late Lord de Tabley 2nd July 1827'. The de Tableys in question are those of Tabley House, Knutsford, under whose command Barra ran the Cheshire Yeomanry Regiment, which was founded by the late Lord de Tabley in the mid 1790s. In this role Barra saw action in number of campaigns, including those on the peninsular and the historic Battle of Waterloo.

However, his regiment’s role in the lesser known Battle of Peterloo is likely to evoke even greater interest in the North West. On 16 August 1819 at St Peter's Field, Manchester a crowd of between 60,000 – 80,000 gathered at a meeting to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. Following the Napolionic wars, civil unrest was growing in the face of periods of famine and chronic unemployment; a situation exacerbated by the introduction of the first of the unpopular Corn Laws. The St Peter’s Field rally was organised by the Manchester Patriotic Union, with well-known radical orator Henry Hunt billed to address the crowds.

However, what began as a peaceful protest was to end in tragedy. Shortly after the meeting began local magistrates called on the military authorities to arrest Hunt, among several others, and to disperse the crowd. A cavalry that included 400 men of the Barra-commanded Cheshire Yeomanry Regiment charged the crowd, killing 15 people and injuring some 400–700 in the ensuing chaos. Taking place just four years after the triumphant Battle of Waterloo, the event was soon given the ironic moniker by which it is known to this day. In a further twist of fate it is likely that, on this day, Barra’s men were fighting against many former comrades who had fought alongside them at Waterloo and had hit hard times on returning to their civilian lifestyles.

Following the death of his commander, Lord de Tabley, in 1826 Capt. Barra served under Lord Grey, the heir to the Earl of Stamford, from Dunham Massey. He died in 1839 and was buried in St John’s churchyard, Knutsford.

Further details on this fascinating piece - and the many other exciting items in Cuttlestones’ Friday, 10th September Fine Art & Antiques auction - will be unveiled at www.cuttlestones.co.uk in due course. For further details, call 01785 714905 or email office@cuttlestones.co.uk



Charlotte at Squash PR & Marketing

E: charlotte@squash-pr.co.uk

T: 07504 340 934