Tolpuddle Martyrs bronze plaque in Dorchester

In this building on March 19th 1834 the six Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to seven years transportation for their part in the founding of rural trade unionism

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of 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. But at the time, friendly societies had strong elements of what are now considered to be the predominant role of trade unions. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were subsequently sentenced to transportation to Australia.

Source: dbpedia

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