>> Dorset Guide >> Tolpuddle


Tolpuddle is a typical small Dorset village 8 miles east of Dorchester that has had an important role in social history. In the early 19th century during a time of social change and hardship, 6 poor farm labourers joined together to collectively ask for a wage rise from the local landowner, so that they could feed their hungry families. They were subsequently arrested and tried in Dorchester. Five of the men were then sentenced to transportation to Australia in appalling conditions. The sentence was later repealed but this was the beginning of Workers rights and the Trade Union movement as we know it. The TUC sponsored Tolpuddle Martyrs museum documents this history.

tolpuddle martyrs