The Project

In 1834 James Brine, James Hammett, George Loveless, James Loveless, Thomas Standfield and John Standfield were arrested, put on trial and sentenced to seven years' penal servitude. Their crime was to join a trade union in the small Dorset town of Tolpuddle. Nation-wide campaigning resulted in a full and complete pardon for each of them. The Martyrs returned home.

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Marx Memorial Library -  founded in 1933 -  is home to a unique collection of books, archives and artefacts on the history of socialism and the working-class movement.

Bound volumes of The Dorsetshire County Chronical and Somersetshire Gazette were discovered in our basement stores. These rare papers document the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Their poor condition made digitisation and display impossible. With the support of Graham Bignell Studios, trade unions from Britain and Australia and generous personal donations from members and supporters of the MML, we raised funds for their conservation.