Friendly Society Gallery
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Choose from 9 pictures in our Friendly Society collection for your Wall Art or Photo Gift. Popular choices include Framed Photos, Canvas Prints, Posters and Jigsaw Puzzles. All professionally made for Quick Shipping.
Churchyard at Tolpuddle showing James Hammetts grave, 1934
Churchyard at Tolpuddle showing James Hammett's grave, 1934. The Church of St John The Evangelist, Tolpuddle. In the foreground we see the grave of James Hammett (1811 -1891) the only Tolpuddle martyr to return to live and die in the village after transportation. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of 19th century agricultural labourers from Dorset who were 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 strong elements of what would now be considered trade unions. Before 1824/25 the Combination Acts had outlawed combining or organising to gain better working conditions. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were subsequently sentenced to transportation to Australia. Their convictions caused public outcry and 800, 000 signatures were collected for their release. The march organised by thier supporters was one of the first successful political marches in the UK, and all, except James Hammett (who had a previous criminal record for theft) were released in 1836. From The Book of The Martyrs of Tolpuddle: 1834-1934, published by The Trades Union Congress General Council, 1934
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