Tolpuddle, Hutt and the Meerut ‘Conspiracy’

Tolpuddle & Today
A few years ago Bristol Radical History Group published a pamphlet entitled Tolpuddle and Swing: The Flea and the Elephant which critiqued the centrality of the Tolpuddle Martyrs incident (1833-34) to Trade Union history whilst the massive uprising of rural wage-labourers which occurred a few years previously, known as the ‘Captain Swing riots’ (1830-31), had been pretty much ignored. The pamphlet essentially came about because of admirable efforts by Trade Unionists in Wiltshire and Hampshire […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tolpuddle and Swing: The Flea and the Elephant

‘One and all, one and all, we’ll stand by one another’ Chant of a Sussex Swing mob (1830) ‘We will destroy the constables and threshing machines this year, next year we will have a turn with the parsons, and the third we will make war upon the statesmen’ Kent Swing activist (1830) Introduction In February this year a couple of members of Bristol Radical History Group travelled to Salisbury Guild Hall to witness the unveiling of a Trade Union plaque to commemorate the people who had passed […]

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