OTD in 1834, six farm labourers from the Dorset hamlet of Tolpuddle fell foul of draconian Victorian laws prohibiting assembly . Today the names of George Loveless & his brother James, Thomas Standfield & his son John, James Brine & James Hammett, who made up the Tolpuddle Martyrs, stand high on the roll of British men who have been victimised for their beliefs but stood steadfast in the face of persecution. They refused to be persuaded to betray their principles either by the promise of release or by transportation to Australia.

The Tolpuddle men fought to win their freedom sustained by their passionate conviction that their sacrifices would not be in … More

The First Fleet was the 11 ships that departed from Portsmouth, England, on 13 May 1787 to found the penal colony that became Australia. The Fleet consisted of two Royal Navy vessels, three store ships & six convict transports, carrying between 1,000 & 1,500 convicts, marines, seamen, civil officers & free people and a large quantity of stores.

In the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King George III, the British Government sent a fleet to colonize Australia. … More