Tolpuddle Martyr relative delves into relative's past

Dorset Echo: BOOK: Sally McMahon with her book The Tolpuddle Six, the Hammett relative at the grave of Tolpuddle Martyr James Hammett BOOK: Sally McMahon with her book The Tolpuddle Six, the Hammett relative at the grave of Tolpuddle Martyr James Hammett

A DESCENDANT of one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs has been inspired to write a book about him after spending 17 years researching her family history.

Sally McMahon is a relative of James Hammett, one of the six men who stood in the dock in that famous trial back in 1834.

She said her writing began when she embarked on a ‘genealogy journey’ and began looking into her connections with the Tolpuddle Martyr, which eventually culminated in her book The Tolpuddle Six, the Hammett relative.

She said: “This branch of my genealogy took me to a village in Dorset called Tolpuddle and a cousin named James Hammett, who was also one of the six Tolpuddle Martyrs.

“In addition to the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and associated information about them, there is a deeper look at the life of James Hammett along with his ancestors and relatives. Some of these individuals have a worthy life tale to tell, whilst others take the reader on an historical voyage back in time linking to the various major events of their time.

“This publication is a magnet draw for those interest in all things to do with the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Hammett family or genealogy.”

Sally, who lives in Middlesex, said she spent a long time researching and referencing for the book and hopes it will ‘enlighten’ others who are unfamiliar with the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, as she was before delving into her family history.

She added: “Perhaps this book will encourage others to be able to display their family trees in a book format, and not just a family tree chart.

“These individuals were not just names with dates, for they once lived life with all the highs and lows their various paths trod. To collect all the research information which formed the basis of this book, and not to have published it and thereby sharing it with the world, would have been a great loss.”

Sally said the feedback she had received so far had been very encouraging and she was aware a copy had been bought by Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, who is mentioned in the last chapter of the book.

She is now looking forward to attending the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival on Sunday, July 20 and will be signing copies of her book, which will be available to buy from the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum shop.

Copies of the book are also available online at amazon.com, lulu.com or foyles.co.uk

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