Derby

Pentrich 'dark day for justice' marked 200 years on

Pentrich riots exhibition
Image caption Local artists have contributed to an exhibition marking the bicentenary of the uprising

An exhibition chronicling "England's last revolution" has opened.

The Pentrich Uprising, in which hundreds of labourers marched upon Nottingham from Pentrich, Derbyshire, resulted in executions, deportations and imprisonment.

A block on which three men were beheaded features in the exhibit, which marks 200 years since the failed attempt to topple the government.

The exhibition is at the National Justice Museum in Nottingham.

Through a series of exhibits - including a souvenir chamber-pot - the exhibition shows the events and personalities behind the uprising.

Encouraged by a government spy, political radicals talked starving workers into marching on Nottingham on 9 June 1817, in the expectation of widespread and co-ordinated protests.

Image caption The block on which the men were beheaded, which is normally housed in Derby's Pickford House museum, is part of the display

With little popular support and after the death of a uncooperative villager, they were dispersed and hunted down by local militia.

Patrick Cook, from the Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group, said: "This exhibition is coming back to the cradle of the revolution, because it was planned in Nottingham.

"It's important to be in the Justice museum because it is an example of a show trial, rigged against the defendants with the aim of suppressing further dissent."

Image caption Much of the planning of the uprising was done in Nottingham alehouses

The National Justice Museum is housed in a former prison where many of the conspirators were held.

Senior curator Bev Baker said: "Dealing with revolution and high treason, this event highlights a dark park of history for the legal system.

"We are used to democracy now as a right but this is a reminder of when asking for democracy could see you hanged."

Image caption The exhibition is being held in the National Justice Museum in Nottingham
Image caption Paintings and images in the exhibition tell the story of key moments
Image caption Marchers suffered a blow when attempts to get weapons at Ripley Ironworks were repulsed

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