Life Gallery, Level 1: A Tribute to Heathcote Williams

Public historian of great English insurrections

A Tribute to Heathcote Williams, public historian of great English insurrections: excerpts from ‘The Red Dagger’ and ‘The Invisible Captain Swing'. Poetry recited by Ciaran Walsh.

Dorset Radical Bookfair

'Ye have not done as ye ought': The Captain Swing Uprising

Dorset’s first Radical Bookfair will take place on Saturday 3rd June 2017 at Portfield Community Hall, Portfield Rd, Christchurch BH23 2AQ (approximately 5 minutes walk from Christchurch railway station). Ground floor is accessible for the disabled. Free entry to the public from 10:30 to 17:30 with after party from 19:30 to 23:00 £5 suggested donation. BRHG will be giving the following talk at the event: 'Ye have not done as ye ought': The Captain Swing Uprising The ‘Swing riots’ were a massive […]

The Captain Swing Riots

United Reform Church Hall, Boulevard, Waterloo St, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1LF The ‘Swing riots’ were a massive wave of protests, machine breaking, arson and extortion carried out by impoverished farm labourers and village artisans between the summers of 1830-31. Beginning in Kent the movement spread rapidly to engulf numerous counties in southern England. The uprising became known as the 'Swing riots' as the collective destruction was usually preceded by threatening letters to landowners signed […]

Tolpuddle And Captain Swing: Hidden History?

In 1834, six Dorset farm labourers were condemned to transportation to Australia for forming an early trade union. These 'Tolpuddle Martyrs' have become an iconic part of modern British history. But three years before the events in Tolpuddle, rural England was rocked with a massive upr1sing of farm labourers known as the 'Swing Riots'. Dr. Ball analyses why 'Tolpuddle' has lodged in popular memory and the far more significant events of 'Swing' have been distorted and forgotten. W.l. Hall, North […]

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

As well as having our book stall at the 2009 Bristol Anarchist Book Fair some members of the BRHG mob gave a series of talks in conjunction with Bristol Indymedia. From Peterloo to Captain Swing: Victims or Insurgents? - Roger A BRHG talk on the hidden history of struggle in the 19th century. It focuses on how and why major struggles have been ignored or distorted by the left as well as the right. See the slides from this talk (1.25 MB pdf file) A Brief History of Corporations - Dan Bennett A […]

The Last Rising of the Agricultural Labourers

Rural Life and Protest in Nineteenth-Century England

By Barry Reay
The Last Rising of the Agricultural Labourers
The Hernhill Rising of 1838 was the last battle fought on English soil, the last revolt against the New Poor Law, and England’s last millenarian rising. The bloody ‘Battle of Bosenden Wood’, fought in a corner of rural Kent, was the culmination of a revolt led by the self-styled ‘Sir William Courtenay’. It was also, despite the greater fame of the 1830 Swing Riots, the last rising of the agricultural labourers. Barry Reay provides us with the first comprehensive and scholarly analysis of the […]

Tolpuddle And Swing

The Flea And The Elephant

Tolpuddle and Swing Front Cover
In 1834, six Dorset farm labourers were tried and condemned to transportation to Australia for joining an early Trade Union. Since then the 'Tolpuddle Martyrs' have become an iconic part of modern British History. Three years before the events in Tolpuddle, much of rural England was rocked with a massive uprising of farm labourers known as the 'Swing Riots'. This pamphlet analyses why 'Tolpuddle' has taken its place in the popular memory and the far more significant events of 'Swing' have been […]

Swing Walk By John Owen Smith

The Anniversary Rioters' Walk­ Exactly 180 years after the rioters did it a guided walk from Selborne to Headley and back again ­ distance approximately 7 miles out and 7 miles back. Tuesday 23rd November 2010 starting at 10am We plan to walk from Selborne to Headley, from the car park behind the Selborne Arms and finishing at the Holly Bush in Headley. Distance approx 7 miles, some of them muddy. Should arrive in time for a pub lunch. Please contact me <; for further information. In 1830, a […]

Wiltshire History Day

Organised by White Horse Trades Union Council on 6th November 2010 at St. Margaret's Hall Bradford-on-Avon from 10am. Talk subjects include Chartists and Swing rebellions in Wiltshire as well as strikes in Swindon. You can find more details about this event on Socialist Unity where you can read blogger Andy Newman's assertion that BRHG take "a fundamentally anti-working class and anti-trade union approach" (comment 27). He goes on to say: "there is a smart alec, middle class, know-all-ism about […]

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