Dear Tolpuddle blog followers,
I hope you are all healthy and that you have folk you love, to share the joy of the season with. For myself, it has been a disrupted season. We have lots of family, and Covid has been doing its best to assert itself in quite an unhelpful way. However, we have much to be grateful for, and this certainly is the time to acknowledge and celebrate our families and our good fortune.
2021 was a good Tolpuddle year from my perspective: I was able to finally update and publish the 2002 booklet (Version 11.0) with the help of a lot of good people. Thank you all! This website has had well over a 1,000 views from 11 different countries! In addition, the Tolpuddle Facebook site “Relations of the Tolpuddle Martyrs” (admins Donna King and Karen Stephens) has provided an excellent forum for the exchange of information and for finding new rellies. (For the record, I am unrelated)
I was asked to give a bit of a talk to the Radical History School a few weeks ago, and they have made it available on youtube. It is largely a 40 minute review of the aforementioned booklet, and so if you wish to get the overview of the Martyrs in Canada, this might be a good place to start. A link can be found on their website, or directly here.
There are a few small gaffes, for which I apologize, but given the circumstances and the amateurish skills of the presenter, I guess it is ok.
Thanks to Les Kennedy for inviting me and for organizing these series of talks – for the record, there is an excellent one by Clare Griffiths – “Six Men of Dorset: the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the making of a legacy”
For 2022, well, the booklet already is out of date, thanks to some excellent new information, and so I hope to update the present booklet version and publish it on this site sometime this year.
And what is my Tolpuddle Christmas wish for 2022? To find out what happened to James Loveless’s son Eli Wesley, and his first wife, Sarah Daniel. Did they come to Canada or didn’t they?
Well, I hope that 2022 is a kinder year for humanity, and that you in particular experience much joy, health, and peace.