Welcoming a good crowd of mainly descendants of the Ascott Martyrs at a recent unveiling of more explanation of the Martyrs’ story on the village green, Paul Jackson, outgoing Chairman of the Ascott Martyrs Educational Trust, reflected that when he moved from Kingham to Ascott eight years ago he couldn’t believe how little local and certainly national awareness there was of a such a significant social incident that even today has resonance. The legacy of the sixteen women who went to Oxford Jail in 1873 is that picketing was made legal a year later and clerical magistrates were phased out breaking the link between landowners and their “control” of the lower classes.
Our special guest to perform the unveiling was 90 year old Ivor Townsend who is grandson of Martyr Fanny Honeybone , the youngest of the Martyrs from Ascott under Wychwood. Ivor said he was proud to be unveiling the memorial information plaques which can now be seen on the village green and thanked the Trust for keeping the story alive.
Paul admitted it had taken a long time to persuade the Parish Council to allow more information to be erected on the village green. There is now a comprehensive website, https://www.ascottmartyrs.co.uk/ a large research group and a film made by Brookes University which was premiered after the unveiling and which is available on YouTube here.
The tasks now were to continue further depth research and to prepare to publish a book for the 150th anniversary in 2023.
December 2019-January 2020