Tolpuddle Martyrs

group and society

Aged unknown

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were six agricultural labourers from the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset, England, who, in 1834, were convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. They were arrested on charges under an obscure act during a labour dispute against cutting wages before being convicted in R v Loveless and Others and sentenced to penal transportation to Australia. They were pardoned in 1836 after mass protests by sympathisers and support from Lord John Russell and returned to England between 1837 and 1839. The Tolpuddle Martyrs became a popular cause for the early union and workers' rights movements.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

The Tolpuddle Martyrs This plaque, placed here by members of the various Trades Unions affiliated to the Plymouth and District Trades Council commemorates the landing near this spot on 18th March 1838 of James Loveless, James Brine, Thomas and John Standfield (4 of the 6 Dorset farm workers after exile in Australia) Freedom and Justice was their Cause

The Barbican, Plymouth, United Kingdom where it landed

In this building on March 19th 1834 the six Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to seven years transportation for their part in the founding of rural trade unionism

The Old Crown Court, High West Street, Dorchester, United Kingdom where it was sentenced

Tolpuddle Martyrs 1834 1984 150th Anniversary TGWU Agricultural Group George Loveless Thomas Standfield James Hammett James Loveless John Standfield James Brine

Old Court House, High West Street, Dorchester, United Kingdom where it was sentenced