Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival
JANUARY 21, 2019
Friday 20 July 2018 - Sunday 22 July 2018 at 08:00-20:00
In the 1830s life in villages like Tolpuddle was hard and getting worse. Farm workers could not bear more cuts to their pay and some fought back by smashing the new threshing machines but this brought harsh punishments.
In 1834, farm workers in west Dorset formed a trade union. Unions were lawful and growing fast but six leaders of the union were arrested and sentenced to seven years’ transportation for taking an oath of secrecy. A massive protest swept across the country. Thousands of people marched through London and many more organised petitions and protest meetings to demand their freedom.
This annual festival sees thousands of people coming together to celebrate trade unionism and to remember the role of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.