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[Drop-head title:] Copy of all Correspondence between the Colonial Office and the Governor of Australia, touching the Free Pardon, and the Order for the Return of the Dorchester Labourers.
London: Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed,, 1837. Single folio sheet (338 x 215 mm). Unbound. Preserved in a cloth portfolio. Dutch library stamp to outer margin and shelf mark at head. Horizonal crease where folded; a little marginal chipping; a very good copy. First edition of the official government paper pardoning the Tolpuddle Martyrs (otherwise the Dorchester Labourers, or Six Men of Dorset) and allowing their return to England. Their sentences of transportation to Australia for forming a trade union had caused a public outcry in 1834. In England, agitation against the sentences began almost as soon as they were pronounced, and the outcry over the injustice of the case won the support of high-profile radical figures, including Daniel O'Connell, Fergus O'Connor, and William Cobbett. Less than a month after the trial the men were already being referred to as "martyrs". Under pressure, the home secretary, Lord John Russell, granted the men conditional pardons in June 1835, followed by full pardons in March 1836, although that news was not passed on to the men, who remained in assigned labour long after they should have been freed.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2016-11-27           Check availability:      Biblio    


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