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b&b blandford forum stickland uk
b&b blandford forum stickland uk


b&b blandford forum stickland uk

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The social history of S England in the early 19th c presents a paradox and contrast: in 1834, a few friends and relatives of George Loveless swore an illegal oath, were transported to Australia, and were all pardoned after three years. They returned, later becoming heroes of the Trade Union movement. A few years earlier there were widespread riots affecting counties of England, as a result of which nineteen men were executed, over 500 transported, & 650 jailed. Everyone in Dorset knows the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, but few are familiar with the "Captain Swing" riots in 1830.

Unlike other countries, where most people earning a living from the soil were peasants, who occupied a small plot of land from which they may feed their family, in Eastern and Southern England most farms were worked by landowners, or by the larger number of their tenants. The bulk of the rural population were labourers. But even by 1750, labourers in Dorset could not find regularwork, most large villages had their PoorHouses. Sherborne workhouse opened 1738, by 1749 the Bere Regis one had had to be rebuilt and enlarged. Small tenants had few rights when their copyholds ran out. They became labourers, and played no part in parish/village affairs. In the latter part of the 18th century, there was unease. In 1756, the harvest was poor, there were food riots. In Nov 1764, people at Beaminster rioted because of the exorbitant and unnecessary price of corn. The following year rioters at Stallbridge destroyed a bunting mill, and attacked another at Marnhull.

Vestry minute books tell of the misery and degradation caused by the old Elizabethan Poor Law. The Stalbridge poorhouse stood under the Ringtree, and the yard at the back was surrounded by hovels in which paupers were lodged. As late as 1826, 3 women and 1 child had 1 shilling a week for their support, and only one bed between them. A coronerís jury found the parish officers guilty of causing Mary Coles death by neglect. The curate said dogs were better off, as they had clean straw to lie on. In the past there had been two sorts of farm workers: farm servants, who were usually unmarried men and women living in the farmhouse, employed on on going work as horsemen, carters, dairymaids, shepherds, etc. and normally paid by the year; labourers coming in to work, paid by the week or day, sometimes by piecework - on hedging, and specialist jobs like sheep-shearing, haymaking and harvest. But in Eastern and Southern England by the early 19 th century there was a surplus of labourers. The population rose rapidly between 1751 and 1830. Fewer farmers took on living - in farm servants, and annual hiring fairs became rarer. William Cobbett claimed that farmers would no longer feed and lodge their workpeople, as they did formerly, because they could not keep them upon so little as they gave them in wages.

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