Newspaper report on the sentencing of the Tolpuddle Martyrs


Life as an English farmworker in the 1830s was dismal. Rent and a basic diet of tea, bread and potatoes would cost a typical family 13 shillings a week. But exploitative landowners, given land by the Enclosures, paid their workers as little as nine, eight, even seven shillings. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were six such men from Tolpuddle, Dorset. In 1832 they founded the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers, demanding 10 shillings a week. A local landowner reported them, and under an obscure 1797 law they were arrested and transported to Australia. They became popular heroes, and all were released by 1837. Four returned to England. The Martyrs are still celebrated in trade union history. This article about the trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs is from the Caledonian Mercury newspaper, published 29 March 1834.

Full title:
'Trade Unions'
29 March 1834, Edinburgh
Newspaper / Ephemera
The Caledonian Mercury
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
19th Century British Library Newspapers

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