Martyrs' Sculpture
Martyrs' Sculpture
Martyrs' Sculpture
Martyrs' Sculpture
Martyrs' Sculpture
Martyrs' Sculpture
Martyrs' Sculpture
Martyrs' Sculpture
Martyrs' Sculpture

© the copyright holder. Image credit: Tolpuddle Martyrs' Museum

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The sculpture represents the Methodist preacher George Loveless in Dorchester Prison. Loveless was the leader of a group of six agricultural workers known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who formed a union in 1834, the Friendly Society of Agricultural Workers, in response to local farmers denying their workers a promised pay rise. As a result, the six were found guilty of administering unlawful oaths by the British government and shipped to Australian penal colonies. After the trial, Loveless was so ill that his warders feared for his life if he was transported. While his five fellow martyrs were shipped to the colonies, he was held behind for a few weeks to recover. Two years into their terms, the government bowed to substantial public pressure and released the martyrs, granting them a full pardon.

Tolpuddle Martyrs' Museum



Martyrs' Sculpture




Portland stone

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned by the TUC, 2000

Work type

Street furniture

Inscription description

back of first chair: GOD / IS OUR / GUIDE / NO / SWORDS / WE / DRAW / JAMES BRINE; back of second chair: WE / KINDLE / NOT / WARS / BATTLE / FIRES / JAMES / LOVELESS; back of third chair: BY / REASON / UNION / JUSTICE / LAW / GEORGE / LOVELESS; back of fourth chair: WE / CLAIM / THE / BIRTH / RIGHT / OF OUR / SIRES / JAMES / HAMMETT; back of fifth chair: WE / RAISE / THE / WATCH / WORD / LIBERTY / JOHN STANDFIELD; back of sixth chair: WE / WILL / WE / WILL / WE WILL / BE FREE! / THOMAS / STANDFIELD


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Normally on display at

Tolpuddle Martyrs' Museum

Tolpuddle, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7EH England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
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