Marx Memorial Library hosts exhibition on Tolpuddle Martyrs

PUBLISHED: 14:40 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:40 16 October 2017

The Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green. Picture: Ewan Munro (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green. Picture: Ewan Munro (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Clerkenwell’s Marx Memorial Library is hosting an exhibition documenting the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs – who were sent to Australia as criminals for joining a union in 1834.

The library holds a unique set of newspapers from the era documenting the trial and shedding new light on the social and political attitudes towards workers’ rights and unions.

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 for joining 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 MML project is backed by the British and Australian labour movements and runs until November 7 in Clerkenwell Green, before moving to Islington Museum on November 27.

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