Tolpuddle; The Martyrs' TrailApril 1 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C
Tolpuddle is a small village, but famous because of its association with The Tolpuddle Martyrs.
These were 6 Methodist labourers stuck in poverty in 1833 who founded a small society to protest against poor pay; this "trade union" was frowned upon by the local land owner who claimed they had sworn a secret oath together. His betrayal led to their arrest, trial by a biased judge and sentence to 7 years transportation and hard labour in Australia. People rose in their support and demonstrations led to their eventual return after a pardon; the government backed down as it transpired that a senior official's brother was in a "secret society". We now have many trade unions in the UK.
We start at the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Museum and Memorial Cottages; a statue, a row of cottages and a small museum commemorate the Martyrs. We visit the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, where the grave of one of the Martyrs is to be found, and see the Martyrs' Tree, an ancient sycamore where their secret oath is alleged to have been sworn. We pass the Martyrs' Cottage on the way to the new Methodist Chapel (1867) with its Memorial Arch (1912), now a listed monument.
An interesting excursion.Read more