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The Victims of Whiggery; Being A Statement of the Persecutions Experienced by the Dorchester Labourers; The Victims of Whiggery; Being A Statement of the Persecutions Experienced by the Dorchester Labourers; Their Trial, Banishment, &c. &c.; Also Reflections upon the present system of Transportation; With an account of Van Dieman's Land
London: Effingham Wilson, circa, 1837. Octavo, 32pp., a very good uncut copy in later polished half navy calf, a little worn at extremities; from the Ingleton collection, with bookplate. Crucial publication in the history of trade unionism. Third edition of Loveless' important pamphlet on transportation to Van Diemen's Land, itself a pivotal document in the history of trade unionism.George Loveless (1797-1874) was a Dorchester labourer and Tolpuddle martyr. In the early 1830s he represented the Dorchester agricultural labourers in discussions with local farmers, who agreed to raise wages, however the deal went sour and Loveless and his colleagues formed the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers, a sort of trade union. While unionising itself was not illegal, it was ruled illegal to have members bound to the Society by 'unlawful oaths', legalese which led to the conviction of Loveless and five others in March 1834. Each was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia.Loveless arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 4 September of the same year. Initially assigned to work in irons on the roads, a meeting with Governor Arthur led to him being reassigned to work on the Governor's farm. He was later employed by Major William de Gillern at Glen Ayr, near Richmond, who allowed him the privilege of reading his newspapers. Early in September 1836 Loveless was reading the London Dispatch where he learnt of the campaign to release the Dorchester labourers and the free pardons issued to them. Some months previously, Loveless had been persuaded to write to ask his wife to join him in the colony, when offered a free passage to England he refused to accept it until certain that she had not already sailed. He finally set sail for England on 29 January 1837, some time before his companions.The last major section of this pamphlet is an excellent description of the system of transportation, with lengthy reflections on conditions aboard transports and the dangers of the voyage. Loveless finishes by concluding that 'Van Dieman's Land is a fine-looking country' even if it is not the 'garden of Eden for emigrants that the deluded people of England imagine.'.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-12-15           Check availability:      Biblio    

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