Eastville Workhouse and the unmarked graves of paupers at Rosemary Green

Bristol Radical History group (BRHG) is making progress on the project to record and respect the paupers buried in unmarked ground behind the old Eastville workhouse (100 Fishponds Rd), now called Rosemary Green. A key marker of disrespect is burying people, seen as worthless in unmarked graves; their death and burial not worth marking. Despite the fact that Victorian Britain and its Empire was the ‘workshop of the world’ generating unprecedented wealth for the few, at its base was widespread […]

Should Britain Go to War With Germany?

Anti-war politician Kier Hardie addresses a protest in Trafalgar Square (Sunday August 2nd 1914)
Opposition to WW1 in Bristol in August 1914 War enthusiasm? There is a perception in Britain that popular patriotic pressure drove politicians to declare war on Germany on August 4th 1914 and that the population somehow desired war. This so-called ‘war enthusiasm’ has been characterised in the popular memory as: "cheering crowds outside Buckingham Palace, long lines outside recruiting offices and of soldiers marching away singing 'Tipperary'" . These images have been recently promoted by TV […]

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 […]

Babies in unmarked graves

Eastville Workhouse, BRHG research project There is rightly scandal in the press at the 800 babies buried in unmarked graves in Galway. But this was not a unique occurrence. Bristol Radical History Group BRHG has established that 3,300 adults, children and babies were buried in unmarked graves in an old cemetery (now a piece of open ground) behind the Eastville Workhouse on Fishponds Road in Bristol. The workhouse death records from 1855 to 1895 establish these burials took place. Some human […]

THIRTEEN ROSES ….. AND 43 CARNATIONS

Translation by Diarmuid Breatnach; original version published in Spanish in Rafael Narbona’s blog August 2013, also republished by kind permission in Rebel Breeze. On the morning of August 5th 1939 thirteen women were shot dead against the walls of the Eastern Madrid Cemetery. Nine were minors, because at that time the age of majority was not reached until twenty-one. Ranging in age from 18 to 29, all had been brought from the Sales women’s prison, a prison that was designed for 450 people and […]

The guillotine, knitting and terror…

So you think you know about the French Revolution?

A demonstration of the ‘humane’ guillotine
Introduction The last few years I have been playing word association games; asking people at work and at the pub to say the first thing that comes into their head about a particular historical event or figure. So typically the English Civil War carries mental images of 'laughing cavaliers', 'miserable roundheads' and blood-thirsty executions of kings, World War I produces 'mud, blood and barbed wire' and recently, PC Blakelock elicits 'brutal mob violence'. Of course some people and events […]

A Map of the Parish of Bitton 1842

The Parish of Bitton 1842
This is a map of the Parish of Bitton from 1842. Cock Road can be see just to the right of Hanham. Note that the original is marked 1842 however, the map shows the Midland Branch Line (now the Bristol-Bath cycle track) which was not opened until 1869. See the Avon Valley Railway website for more details. A full version of The History of The Parish of Bitton in the County of Glousceter. by Rev. H. T. Ellacombe can be found on Archive.org.

Map of kingswood and the Parish of Bitton 1750

Kingswood and the parish of Bitton 1750
This map from 1750 is of the 'Liberties' around Kingswood and the parish of Bitton. The dotted line running out through Warmly is the London Road (now the A420). The Cock Road, not marked, is just above where “Gee Moor” is written in “Mr Bond’s Liberty”. The houses are labelled with many of the family names that are associated with the Cock Road Gang. It contains many of the family names which are associated with the Cock Road Gang such as (with various spellings) Britton, Wilmot, Ilses, Bryant, […]

Map of Kingswood 1610

Map of Kingswood 1610, Gloucestershire. PlateVIIII from The History of the Parish of Bitton, in the County of Gloucester by Rev. H. T. Ellacombe (William Pollard, Bristol: 1881)‡. Found in Bristol Central Reference Library.
Home to the notorious Kingswood Miners and infamous Cock Road Gang this is what Kingswood, North of Bristol, looked like in 1610. 'London Waye' is now the A420 and Bath Waye is the A431. A full version of The History of The Parish of Bitton in the County of Glousceter. by Rev. H. T. Ellacombe can be found on Archive.org.