George Dewhurst: Campaigner's cup returned to Blackburn

Emma Speed with Darwen Council's executive member for public health and wellbeing, Cllr Damian Talbot and the mayor for Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr Jim Shorrock at a special event at Blackburn Museum Image copyright LDRS
Image caption George Dewhurst's descendants presented the cup to Blackburn Museum at a special event.

A silver cup awarded to a workers' rights campaigner in Blackburn has returned to his home town after his descendants raised £1,000 to buy it.

George Dewhurst fought for reform in the 1800s and was arrested for high treason following the 1819 Peterloo Massacre.

He was presented with the cup in 1832 by his followers and supporters.

The cup is now being held at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery to be kept as part of the town's history.

George's great-great-great-great-granddaughter Emma Speed launched the fundraising campaign after being contacted by a jeweller who had researched the name engraved on the antique.

Bristol Jewellers, Grey-Harris and Co., found Emma had been campaigning online to explore George's past and, along with UCLAN animation student Beth Joy, had produced a short film depicting how George was sent to prison for two years after addressing a large gathering of workers in Burnley.

This happened just a few months after the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, when soldiers on horseback attacked a crowd of pro-democracy campaigners, killing 18 people and injuring hundreds more.

Image copyright Dewhurst family
Image caption George Dewhurst was presented with the cup by his followers and supporters.

She said: "As a family, we wanted George's legacy to be kept alive. Bringing the cup to Blackburn seemed the perfect way to do this.

"I think this journey has been a fitting tribute to George and the tireless work he did for the working classes of Lancashire."

Cllr Talbot said the cup will be "truly valued in the town that it belongs".

"George's silver cup is a key part of our local history, and bringing such an important item back to its home town is a great achievement."

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