After the political riots in March, 1817, Magistrates in Manchester decided to form the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry Cavalry. Major Thomas Trafford, was appointed commander of the Yeomanry. Hugh Birley, a factory owner from Manchester, was given the rank of captain and became Major Trafford's second-in-command. Over one hundred and twenty men volunteered to serve in the Manchester & Salford Yeomanry. The occupations of these men included shopkeepers, publicans, watchmakers, insurance agents, tobacconists, farriers, horsebreakers and brewers. Members of the Yeomanry tended to hold Tory political opinions and had a deep hatred of Radicals.