The Ascott Martyrs were sixteen women some with babies in arms who were imprisoned in 1873 for supporting their striking farm worker husbands in the Oxfordshire village of Ascott Under Wychwood. The traumatic event led to riots and a reprieve from Queen Victoria. Their legacy today is that picketing was made legal in 1874 and local religious leaders were no longer appointed Magistrates. The project will provide continued awareness in the local schools and the wider community as well as a national online centre for information and research.

Ascott Martyrs Educational Trust…

Who is who? 

Carol Anderson  - Chairman 
Cynthia Briant - Secretary
Andrew Weaver  – Treasurer
Marilyn Baker - Martyrs’ descendant
Paula Nielsen-Tickner 
Historical Advisors
Beverley McCombs 
Wendy Pearse
Study Group
Coordinator - Andrew Weaver 
Website - Mark Pidgeon
Facebook Admin - Paula Nielsen-Tickner 
AMET Registration Charity No.
Benches and tree.jpg
Seats Beneath the Martyrs Tree

The Ascott Martyrs Educational Trust

Was set up in 2016 to raise the profile of the ASCOTT MARTYRS, A group of humble Working-Class Women  that in 1873 Change Society in England" .  We aim to be a focus for national recognition and also a focus for maintaining awareness of the event in the COTSWOLDS as well as being a national online centre for information and further research.

One of our first actions was to sponsor the creation of a commemorative banner that was made by local villagers which is now in the village church in Ascott under Wychwood. Please do visit.
We currently have the following main objectives to complete in time for the 150th anniversary in 2023 main objectives.


•      We will publish a definitive book.

•      Website fully informative

•      Research website “Mecca” for information

•      Be part of the Cotswolds Tourist circuit?

•      Unveil a 150th memorial?

•      Wider local and national recognition

There are various parts of the story that need further study and verification, for example, did Queen Victoria when reprieving the Martyrs provide them with Red Petticoats and what was the negative role of the Church and the Duke of Marlborough? Why was there a national outcry? We also want to follow through and study the legacy and how the law soon changed allowing picketing and the ceasing of Magistrates’ appointments from the Church of England.

​In 2023 a major commemorative event will take place on Saturday 17th June celebrating the 150th Anniversary when a comprehensive book will be published embracing all the issues that led to such a major life changing historical event not just for the Cotswolds but for the nation.

​The Trust is also selling the only published book on the subject by Beverley McCombs a descendant living in New Zealand.