Removals and storage in Tolpuddle, Dorset
Pitmans offer house removals and commercial removals in Tolpuddle, Dorset, with specialist packing services for antiques and fine art. Whether it’s a full house move or a single item, within the UK or across Europe, we offer a professional, safe and friendly service with full insurance, giving you peace of mind throughout the process.
Tolpuddle: A potted history
Tolpuddle is a village on the River Piddle eight miles east of Dorchester and 12 miles west of Poole. The estimated population in 2013 was 420.
The village is famous as the home of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who were sentenced to be transported to Australia after they formed a friendly society in 1833. A row of cottages, housing agricultural workers and a museum, and a row of seated statues commemorate the martyrs. The annual Tolpuddle Martyrs festival is held in the village in the third weekend of July. An ancient sycamore tree on the village green, known as the Martyrs’ Tree, is said to be the place where the Martyrs swore their oath. It is cared for by the National Trust.
Tolpuddle has a public house, The Martyrs Inn, which is owned by nearby Athelhampton House, a Tudor house open to the public a mile to the west.
Tolpuddle parish church is dedicated to St John the Evangelist and dates from the 13th century.
In 1999, the A35 trunk road, which cuts through south Dorset, was moved to bypass the village.
The Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of six 19th-century Dorset agricultural labourers who were arrested for and convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. The rules of the society show it was clearly structured as a friendly society and operated as a trade-specific benefit society. At the time, friendly societies had elements of what is now considered the predominant role of trade unions. On 18 March 1834, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to penal transportation to Australia.
Before 1824 the Combination Acts had outlawed “combining” or organising to gain better working conditions. In 1824/25 these acts were repealed, so trade unions were no longer illegal. In 1833, six men from Tolpuddle in Dorset founded the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers to protest against the gradual lowering of agricultural wages.
These Tolpuddle labourers refused to work for less than 10 shillings a week, although by this time wages had been reduced to seven shillings and were due to be further reduced to six. The society, led by George Loveless (or Lovelass), a Methodist local preacher, met in the house of Thomas Standfield.
Groups such as the Tolpuddle Martyrs would often use a skeleton painting as part of their initiation process. The newest member would be blindfolded and made to swear a secret oath of allegiance. The blindfold would then be removed and they would be presented with the skeleton painting. This was to warn them of their own mortality but also to remind them of what happens to those who break their promises. An example of this skeleton painting is on display at the People’s History Museum, Manchester.
In 1834, James Frampton, a local landowner and magistrate, wrote to Home Secretary Lord Melbourne to complain about the union. Melbourne recommended invoking the Unlawful Oaths Act 1797, an obscure law promulgated in response to the Spithead and Nore mutinies, which prohibited the swearing of secret oaths. James Brine, James Hammett, George Loveless, George’s brother James Loveless, George’s brother in-law Thomas Standfield, and Thomas’s son John Standfield were arrested and tried before Sir John Williams in R v Lovelass and Others. They were found guilty and transported to Australia.
In England they became popular heroes and 800,000 signatures were collected for their release. Their supporters organised a political march, one of the first successful marches in the UK, and all were pardoned, on condition of good conduct, in March 1836, with the support of Lord John Russell, who had recently become home secretary.
The Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum in Tolpuddle, Dorset, features displays and interactive exhibits about the martyrs and their effect on trade unionism.
The Tolpuddle Martyrs festival is held annually in Tolpuddle, usually in the third week of July, organised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) featuring a parade of banners from many trade unions, a memorial service, speeches and music.
The courtroom where the martyrs were tried, which has been little altered in 200 years, in Dorchester’s Shire Hall, is being preserved as part of a heritage scheme.
Read more on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolpuddle
Want to move to Tolpuddle? Check out p
roperties for sale here: