Milton Abbas Martyrs

Help us research these important people, they may be part of your family tree. They were pioneers, victims of oppressive laws and their story should be as well known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

William Vatcher 1753-1818

John Bennett, alias Vatcher 1775? – ?

James Vatcher 1774 – 1816

John Chaffey 1774-1855 

John Scott 1764-1837

Charles Best 1733-1825

On 5 March 1803 William Vatcher age 48 was convicted for leaving his work before the expiration of his agreement. He was sentenced to 1 month hard labour.

John Bennet alias Vatcher 28 with James Vatcher 29. John Chaffey 19. John Scott 39 and Charles Best 71 (charged the following day) with Combining with others to increase wages.

These men were given 2 months hard labour.                                                                

The severity of the last 5 men’s sentences was because they had broken the Combination Acts of 1799 and 1800 in which it was illegal to combine. William Vatcher had simply walked away from his employment therefore received a lesser sentence. 

We would also like to know more about the magistrate who sentenced these men, and thirty years later the six Tolpuddle Martyrs.

James Frampton 1769-1855

Please get in touch if you know of these men, or would like to research their lives.

If you are a descendant of one of these men, then you have a family history to be proud of.

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