In the Loyalty (blue) area Mr Monkey found out about workers' illegal secret societies and how they eventually became trade unions. Mr Monkey was fascinated to see (and hear) the initiation of a worker into the Tin Plate Worker's Society in 1821. This had to be done in secret* because of the Unlawful Oaths Act of 1797 and the Combination Laws of 1799. Mr Monkey was impressed by the Tin Plate Worker's Society banner, made after the revision of the Combination Laws in 1825 made unions sort of legal. Dating from 1830 it is the oldest trade union banner in the world.
* in the private room of a pub, so not incredibly secret.
Return to Mr Monkey at The People's History Museum
Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey.