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Six For The Tolpuddle Martyrs (Paperback)

The Epic Struggle for Justice and Freedom

True Crime Social History

By Alan Gallop
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 257
ISBN: 9781526712509
Published: 5th June 2017

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£14.99


Review

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In 1834 six farm labourers from the Dorset hamlet of Tolpuddle fell foul of draconian Victorian laws prohibiting ‘assembly’. Today the names of George Loveless and his brother James, Thomas Standfield and his son John, James Brine and James Hammett, who made up the Tolpuddle Martyrs, stand high on the roll of British men who have been victimised for their beliefs but stood steadfast in the face of persecution. They refused to be persuaded to betray their principles either by the promise of release or by transportation to Australia. The Tolpuddle men fought to win their freedom sustained by their passionate conviction that their sacrifices would not be in vain. Their experience and example have proved to be an inspiration for future generations and they remain icons of pioneering trade unionism.

The Author has thoroughly researched their story and the result is a fascinating and revealing re-examination of this legendary saga. Their triumph over legal persecution and abuses of power over 180 years ago is told afresh in this comprehensive and attractively illustrated book which delves deeper into their story than ever before.

I always knew the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs of course … but apparently not nearly as much as I should have done. There are a number of books about them
already, but Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs, subtitled “The Epic Struggle for Justice
and Freedom”, by John Gallop, is the first I have read. And I’m glad it was this one.

The book lays bare the struggle that agricultural workers and their families had to survive on such meagre wages and also the appalling conditions under which “convicts” were transported to the colonies. The detail of this was a revelation to me, as was the generally harsh work regime they were subjected
to in Australia.

Methodist Recorder

Alan Gallop’s new book Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs – the title is a line from the subversive left-wing folk song Red Fly the Banners,O sung to the tune of the old English ballad Green Grow the Rushes,O – gives us a detailed and fascinating account of the lives and the legacy of the six men from Dorset whose names are now synonymous with the fight for justice for ordinary working people in England.

Their story is inspiring and, here, entertainingly told, with illustrations used to aid our understanding of the lives and the legacy of those six radical Dorsetshire farmworkers that we have come to affectionately call the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

ASLEF Journal

Alan Gallop is adept not only in telling the absorbing story of the martyrs but also in threading through it the twists and turns of their persecutors. This is partly due to his extensive research into primary sources which he quotes to good effect and his use of the speeches and writings of the six, particularly Loveless, fleshes them out into real people with principles, honour and determination rather than simply figureheads.

You can Click here to read the full review.

The Morning Star online, 6th January 2018 - reviewed by Sue Turner

As featured in

Dorset Eye

Read it for: A fascinating history of the Tolpuddle Martyrs before, during and after transportation.

Your Family History magazine, September 2017

Every year thousands of trade unionists descend upon the small village of Tolpuddle in Dorset to commemorate the struggle in 1832 of farm workers to form a union.

These were times of change and unrest, of 'Captain Swing' and the Luddites, falling wages, poverty and a cruel class establishment in transition from the old aristocracy to the rising capitalist class.

Alan Gallop uses original materials and imagination to paint the struggle to organise.

Socialist Newspaper

Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs is one of the best history books I have ever had the pleasure to read. The author has done a fantastic job of weaving the story of the Martyrs and their persecutors into a compelling narrative that reads like a novel. The book had me completely engrossed.

Read the complete rave review here.

The Heritage Traveller, Britain Express - David Ross

The Author has thoroughly researched their story and the result is a fascinating and revealing re-examination of this legendary saga. Their triumph over legal persecution and abuses of power over 180 years ago is told afresh in this comprehensive and attractively illustrated book which delves deeper into their story than ever before.

Read the complete review here.

Books Monthly

As featured in

Dorset Echo

As featured in

Somerset Live

As featured in

Blackmore Vale

As featured on

BBC Radio Solent

Author and journalist Alan Gallop's fresh, readable and well-illustrated examination of the legendary Tolpuddle Martyrs delves deeper into their stories.

Family Tree, August 2017 - reviewed by Karen Clare

I knew about the Tolpuddle Martyrs, but not a huge amount. This book really expanded my knowledge of the subject. It is easy to read and fully illustrated with contemporary images as well as current photographs.

Read the complete review here.

Rosie Writes Blog, Rosemarie Cawkwell

About Alan Gallop

ALAN GALLOP is an author and journalist. In 1983 he founded his own PR company specialising in promoting organisations active in travel, transportation, freight logistics, public utilities and special events. He now specialises in writing books about amazing people and the events which made them famous. He is married with two grown up children and lives in Surrey.

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