Top 10: Secret Societies |

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Top 10: Secret Societies

Shhh, here are the groups that have been operating behind closed doors or in the shadows for centuries...
The Molly Maguires fell prey to the famous private detective Allan Pinkerton


Named after a widow who led a group of agitators in the 1840s, the Mollies formed in Ireland to fight poor working and living conditions for farmers. They would disguise themselves as women or blacken their faces to evade capture. The clandestine union moved over to the US, where it grew rapidly among the coal miners of Pennsylvania. When a number of mine bosses wound up dead in the 1870s, the Mollies got the blame, leading to 20 being executed. Their story, which remains a muchdebated topic, was immortalised in the 1970 Sean Connery film The Molly Maguires.

Oddfellows in full uniform and holding ceremonial sceptres
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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of BBC History Revealed Magazine - February 2018
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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

In this month’s issue… Alexander the Great Find out how the Greek warrior’s insatiable appetite for conquest built an empire that stretched over three continents. Plus: the Terracotta Warriors; the tragic tale of the man behind the Beatles; Top 10 secret societies and the most historically accurate film.