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and the humanity of the mill owners, led to apprentice system itself was in a mcasure disthe institution of a board of health at Man- continued. To avoid the operation of the act, chester, who made a report in 1796, which the mill owners, instcad of employing the chilconcluded as follows:
dren from district work-houses as apprentices, 1st. It appears that the children and others who preferred the children of the poor families in work in the large cotton factories are peculiarly dis their neighborhood. This class of children not posed to be affected by the contagion of lever; and that when such infection is received it is rapidly pro
coming within the limitation of the act, were pagated, not only amongst those who are crorvded engaged very young, and were worked thirteen iogether in the same apartment, but in the families and fourteen hours a day on week days, and and neighborhoods to which they belong. 24. The from six on Sunday morning till twelve, in large factories are generally injurious to the constitu- | cleaning machinery. Their services were dig. tion of those employed in them, even when no particular diseases prevail, from the close confinement
nified by the style of “free labor.” To meet which is enjoined, from the debilitating effects of hot these new circumstances, Sir Robert Peel, in or impure air, and from want of the active exercises 1815, presented a second bill, extending prowhich nature points out as essential in childhood and tection to young persons between the ages of youth, to invigorate the system and to fit our species for the employments and duties of manhood. 30.
ten and cighteen, whether apprenticed or not, The untimely labor of the night, and the protracted
and limiting the period of toil to ten hours and labor of the day, with respect to children, not only a half, a day. This bill was not passed. In tends to diminish the general sum of life and indus 1816, on bis motion, a commiitee was raised try, by impairing the strength and destroying the
to investigate the condition of children in sac. vital stamina of the rising generation, but it too often gives encouragement to idleness, extrararance,
tories, who made a report of evidence to the and profligacy in parents, uho, contrary to the or
house, but no legislative action followed. In der of nature, subsist by the oppression of their off
1818, Sir Robert again prepared a bill, limiting spring. It appears that children employed in fac the number of hours to eleven, of actual labor, tories are generally debarred from all opportunities for all persons between the ages of nine and of education, and from moral or religious instruction.
sixteen, and carried it through the House of These representations attracted general at Commons. It was delayed in the House of tention, and the demand for legislative interfe-Lords by the appointment of a committee of rence became at last so loud, that in the year inquiry, and finally lost by the prorogation of 1802, the late Sir Robert Peel, (father of the Parliament. In 1819 another committee was present Premier,) himself a great manufacturer, raised in the Lords, and an extensive investibrought in and carried 'An Act for the pre- gation followed. The following is a suinmary servation of the health and morals of appren of the evidence: tices and others employed in cotton and other
It appeared that the labor, in nearly all the cottonmills, and cotton and other factories.” (42 Geo. mills of Lancashire and its neighborhood, was, III. Chap. 73.)
excepting Saturday, from thirteen to sixteen hours This act extended to all mills where three or
a day, inclusive of one hour, or less, nominally allowmore apprentices were employed, and it pro- bor were children of nine, eight, seven, and six years
ed for dinner. Many of those subjected to such lavided
of age, and previously to the stirring of the investi1st. For the due ventilation and washing of the gation, under six, and, in some instances, under five. factories.
The children continued constantly at work so long 2d. The proper clothing of the apprentices. as the machinery was in motion, during which time
3d. Limiting their labor to twelve hours daily, and they were not permitted to sit down or to leave the not permitting it at night.
factory. They often complained (naturally enough, 4th. Requiring cach apprentice to be instructed, in our readers will think) of fatigue, and aching limbs; some part of every working day during the first four in this state of exhaustion, towards the close of the years of his apprenticeship, in reading writing, and day, they were beaten by the spinners, or overlookarithmetic.
ers, or even by their own parents, that blows might 5th. The separation of the sexes.
supply the deficiency of strength. In most cotton6th. Sunday instruction, and the attendance of the factories, during the greater part, and often the whole apprentices at divine service, and occasional exam of the nominally allotted time for dinner, the children ination by the rector, vicar, or curate of the parish. were occupied in cleaning the machinery; no time
7th. Authorizing the justices at quarter-sessions to was allowed for the breakfast or afternoon meals, appoint visitors of such factories with requisite which were snatched in mouthfuls during the propowers.
gress of uninterrupted labor; the refreshment not This act did not rapidly come into practical unfrequently remaining untouched till it became observance, but wherever it prevailed, a visible
cold, and covered with dust and dirt from the cotton
flyings. It appeared, moreover, that the temperaimprovement in the health and general appear
ture in many cotton-mills was from 75° to 80°, in ance of the children became evident, and the
others from 30° 10.85°, and occasionally as high as
90°. The medical gentlemen satisfactorily proved * In the early history of the factory system, children between the ages of seven and fourteen, were brought from
the children in cotton-mills to be in general unhealthe different parish work-houses, in London and other large
thy; that the protracted toil they underwent had a towns, and apprenticed to the manufacturers for a term of tendency to create debility, sickness, loss of appetite, years. These children were clothed, red and lodged by the distortions, swelled knees, and consumption. They master, in an Apprentice house," near the factory, and generally expressed their opinion that the mode of worked under the direction of overseers, who were paid ac conducting these establishments was highly injuricording to the quantity of work they could exact froin them.
ous to young pereons; that where it did not cut life Cruelties the most beari-rending were practiced on these short in the bud-its sure tendency was to bring on unoffending and friendless beingo; and, in some cases, a lot of them were put up to sale, and advertised publicly as
premature part of the property of a bankrupt's effects.
On the basis of this evidence the act of 1819
was passed, the main provisions of which were cal evils incident to such a state, require no medical that no child under nine years of age, should be
should be opinion, but demand unsporing moral correction.
SIR BENJAMIX BRODIE F. R. S.-Q. It has been employed in any factory for the spinning of
stated by a preceding witness, that out of about 2,000 cotton or wool; and second, that no child
children and young persons who have been carefully under sixteen years of age should be employed examined, about or nearly 200 were deformed, some in any such factory for more than twelve hours of them very considerably, though it was considered during the day, exclusive of meal times. many cases had eecaped detection in the females, In 1825, Sir John Hobhouse secured the
which their drese would more easily hide; do you
conceive that would be a great portion of deformity passage of an act, limiting the labor of persons to befall persons under those circumstances ? s. under sixteen, to sixty-nine hours in the week, Certainly, an immense 'proportion.--Do you contwelve on five days and nine on Saturdays. In
ceive that it is more than ordinarily necessary to 1831, this act was amended so as to prohibit give protection to the female about the age
punight work, for all under twenty-one, and pro
berty? Yes.- Are you of opinion that a young per
son from nine to eighteen ought to labor beyond tecting the labor of all persons under eighteen, twelve hours a day, including the necessary intervals instead of sixteen years.
for taking meals?' I should think Iwelve ton much In 1832, Mr. Sadler brought in a bill to lim. for all, and indeed I think ten too much for children it the hours of labor for all under eightecn years
of ten or twelve years of age.
PETER MARK Roger. M. D., F. R. S., (late a Phyof age, to fifty-eight hours in the week, and to sician to Manchester Infirmary.)- It appears to me, extend its provisions to all mills, woollen, flax, that the period mentioned (twelve hours a day, with and silk, as well as cotton. The House, unwill due intermission for meals) is quite as much as the ing to pass such a measure without further human frame is calculated to endure for any length investigation, a committee was appointed, of of time, even in the alult state.
WILLIAM LUTENER, Esq., surgeon, (Newton, which Mr. Sadler was chairman. Above
Montgomeryshire.)-Q. Have you had reason to cighty witnesses, including six physicians, four- remark, in your professional duties, that accidents teen surgeons, and other gentlemen of reputa occur when the children became over-fatigued ? A. tion and experience, voluntarily appeared be
We have frequent accidents, because the children fore the committce. The following is a speciet sleepy at night, and get their hands in the work;
I have had frequently to amputate the hands and men of their evidence:
fingers of children. Sir ANTHONY Carlisle, F. R. S.-Factory child George James GUTHRIE, Esq., F.R.S.-Q. Have ren demand legislative protection for their own sakes, you not been a medical officer in the armies of this and for the sake of future generations of English la country for a considerable length of time? A. Yes. borers, because every succeeding generation will be - Is eight hours out of the twenty-four about the progressively deteriorated, if you do not stop these amount of ordinary duty required of a soldier ? A sins against nature and humanity. I am quite sure, soldier is nerer kejt under arms more than four or that the foundations for debility, decrepitude, and six hours, unless before the enemy. premature death, are to be found in these unnatural JOHN RICHARD FARRE, M. D., (a physician of habits.
forty-two years' standing.)-R. Were you engaged Sir William BLIZARD, F. R. S.-Q. You think in medical practice in the West Indies ? A. I was. the average of such hours of labor (twelve and up Supposing that the employment of the children in wards) would be an extravagant imposition on the the factories of this country is spread over twelve or human frame? A. Dreadful. Not more than ten fourteen hours a day, and often with but very short hours' actual labor ought to be demanded in behalf intervals for the taking of their meals; is there any of young persons between nine and nineteen. I thing equal to that sort of labor imposed upon the heartily concur in that opinion of my late honored children of the slaves in Barbadoes ? Nothing of the friend, Dr. Baillie, that the duration of a day's actual kind; even the wlalt, in the mosl vigorous condition labor of ten hours is quite enough, and as much as of the body, is not subject to labor of that duration. can be ordinarily endured, al any age, with i'm In English factories, every thing which is valuahfe pumily.
in manhood is sacrificed to an inferior advantage in Sir CHARLES Bell K. G.H., F.R. S.-From nine childhood. You purchase your advantage at the to eighteen years, ten hours' labor
a day, to wlich price of infun!icide; the profit thus gained is death must be added the time necessary for taking meals to the child. and refreshment, making twelve hours a day, is as
As this evidence was excepted to as having much as can be endured, generally speaking, with impunily, by those so occupied, and more than thal
been given by persons friendly to Mr. Sadler's is painful in idea.
bill, and not under oath, the bill drawn up by Sir George Lemax TUT ILL. F. R. S., M.D.-I him, and introduced by Lord Ashley, in the think that ten hours of actual labor is as much as absence of Mr. Sadler who was no longer a children and young persons from the age of nine to
member, was not considered but was posteighteen, of either sex, can endure with impunity:
Joseph HENRY GREEN, F. R. S. (surgeon of St. poned for the appointment of a Commission
This is indeed a melancholý list and evidence, as to the expedicncy of the of maladies scrofula, tending to produce spinal
measure. The board, consisting of ten civil complaints, white swellings, pulmonary consumptions, &c.), and one which I am sorry to say might
and five medical commissioners, made a wide be greatly augmented, as traceable to the neglect and minute survey of the whole field, viz. the and improper management of those whose tender hours of labor, the age at which children begin years demand our kindest care and attention. I fear
to work, the nature of their employment, the that this country will have much to answer for in permitting the growth of that system of employing carried on, the treatment to which they are
state of the buildings in which the occupation is children in factories, which tend directly wo the creation of all those circumstances which inevitably
subjected, and the ultimate effects of their em. lead to disease. I say that these, and all the physi- ployment on their physical and moral condition.
The conclusions arrived at by the board, from Four inspectors are appointed, empowered
whom a certain district is assigned. The duty
port his proceedings to the Government.
be a From the whole of this account it is clear
adult labor, with the twofold purpose of pro-
tecting the health of the children and of pro-
We are therefore of opinion, that a case is made lets growing out of the inquiry, is deplorable
From the depositions of witnesses of all classes,
it appears that even when the employment of child
ren at so early an age, and for so many hours, as is be employed in factories.
customary at present, produces no manifest bodily
pacitates them from receiving instruction. The
young children very generally declare that they are
too much fatigued to attend school, even when a year, children shall not, in any case, be allowed to
school is provided for them. This is more unifornily work at night—that is to say, between the hours of
the declaration of the children in the factories of
Scotland than in those of England. Few will be pre:
pared to expect the statements on this head, in regard
believed; where a comparatively small number can
many cannot; and where, with some honorable ex means of preventing the employment of the same
ceptions, it seems certain that the care once bestowchild in two different factories on the same day, or
ed on the instruction of the young has ceased to be
The want of education, so general among these
their being for so long a period of the day confined to Such were the recommendations of the Fac- the factories. The overseers of the small mills, tory Commission, which were embodied sub when the proprietors are absent, uniformly declare stantially in the act of August, 1833. This
their aversion to the present long hours of working, statute provides
as injurious to the health of the workers, and as ren
dering their education impossible. It is, upon the That no child shall be employed in any mill whole, impossible to doubt that the young workers or factory, except in silk-mills, under nine years must be so much fatigued by the very long hours of of age; that after the 13th of February, 1834, labor, that they cannot be so fit to receive instruction no child shall be employed without previously time for being at school even to enable them to learn
as other young people, and that they have too little producing a certificate of age from a surgeon ; to read, write, and understand accounts tolerably. that no child under eleven, and eventually none Want of education cannot fail to have an unfavoraunder thirteen years of age, shall work more ble influence on their morals.
The result is, that, for the whole of England, there forty-eight in the week, and never in the night. 43,327, that is
, 86 out of every 100 not able to read,
are stated to be of the work-people, able to read, That no young person, under eighteen years 7,170, that is, 14 out of every 100; able to write, of age, shall work more than twelve hours in 21,488, that is, 43 out of every 100; not able to write, any one day, or more than sixty-nine hours in 29,009, that is, 57 out of every 100: for the whole of the week, nor in the night, except under par
Scotland there are returned, as able to read, 28,256, ticular circumstances.
that is, 96 out of every 100; not able to read, 1,230, That children limited to forty-eight hours is, 53 out of every 100; not able to write, 13,692, that
that is, 4 out of every 100; able to write, 15,794, that in the week shall attend school on every work- is. 47 out of every 100. This, it must be observed, is ing-day for two hours.
the aocount of the people themselves of their own That an hour and a half in the day shall be condition; and it may be presumed that where so allowed for the meals of all under eighteen.
many do not read at all, and so very large a portion That holidaye, equal to six entire days in
is totally unable to write, the knowledge of reading
cannot in general be very perfect; and that of those the course of the year, shall be given to all who do not write, few or none are able to read
wri under eighteen.
ting, or know any thing of accounts, or have the
slightest acquaintance with the elements of geogra. to develope the intellectual or the moral faculties of phy, geometry, or driwing.
The dull routine of a ceaseless drudgery, in This is, in part, a direct consequence of the fac which the same mechanical process is incessantly retory system. The operations of the factory have peated, resembles the torment of Sisyphus. "The created what may be called an unnatural demand toil, like the rock, recoils perpetually on the wearied for children, the children employed in them being operative. The mind gathers neither stores nor occupied with the business of the factory, at the time strength from the constant extension and retraction when children of like age are at school. The whole of the same muscles. The intellect slumbers in of the time ordinarily devoted to education is thus supine inertness; but the grosser parts of our nature occupied in factory labor; and no other time is set attain a rank developement. To condemn man to apart for instruction, at least no time which can be suchi severity of toil is, in some measure, to cultivate profitably spent in the acquisition of knowledge; for in him the habits of an animal. He becomes reckno child can attend to the things commonly trught less-he disregards the distinguishing appetites and in a school alter twelve or thirteen hours' labor in a habits of his species-he neglects the comforts and factory: consequently the evening school is useless. delicacies of lite-he lives in squalid wretchedness, On the other hand, one day in the week is insufficient on meagre food, and expends his superfluous gains for education, even if it were right to occupy in men in debauchery tal labor the only day of rest from bodily labor: con Hence, besides the negative results—the lotal sequently the Sunday school is at once inadequate abstraction of every moral and intellectual stimulusand inappropriate.
the absence of variety-banishment from the grateThe following picture of the condition of ful air and the cheering influence of light,—the physthe manufacturing population, was drawn by imperfect nutrition. Having been subjected to the
ical energies are exhausted by incessant toil and Dr. Kay, in 1832, now one of the Poor Law prolonged labor of an animal-his physical energy Commissioners.
wasted-his mind in supine inaction—the artisan The population employed in the cotton factories,
has neither moral dignity, nor intellectual nor organrises at five o'clock in the morning; works in the
ic strength, to resist the seductions of appetite. His mills from six till eight o'clock, and returns home for
wife and children, too frequently subjected to the half an hour or forty minutes, to breakfast. This same process, are unable to cheer his remaining meal generally consists of tea or coffee, with a little
moments of leisure. Domestic economy is neglected, bread. Oatmeal porridge is sometimes, but of late,
domestic comforts are unknown. A meal of the rarely used, and chiefly by the men; but the stimulus
coarsest food is prepared with heedless haste, and of tea is preferred, and especially by the women,
devoured with equal precipitation. Ilome has no The tea is almost always of a baul, and sometimes of other relation to him thun that of shelles — few a deleterious quality; the infusion is weak, and little
pleasures are there-it chiefly presents to him a scene or no milk is added. The operatives return to the
of physical exhaustion, from which he is glad to esmills and workshops until twelve o'clock, when an
cape. Himself impotent of all the distinguishing hour is allowed for dinner.
aims of his species, he sinks into sensual sloth, or Amongst those who obtain the lower rates of wa
revels in more degrading licentiousness. His house ges, this meal generally consists of boiled potatoes.
is ill furnished, uncleanly, often ill ventilated, perThe mess of potatoes is put into one large dish; haps damp; his food, for want of forethought and melted lard and butter are poured upon them, and
domestic economy, is meagre and innutricious; he a few pieces of fried fat bacon are sometimes min
is debilitated and hypochondriacal, and falls the vicgled with them, and but seldom a little meat.
tim of dissipation. Those who obtain better wages, or families whose In 1810 a Select Committee, of which Lord aggregate income is larger, add a greater proportion Ashley was chairman, was appointed by the of animal food to this meil, at least three times in the House of Commons to inquire into the operaweek; but the quantity consumed by the laboring tion of the Act for the regulation of mills and population is not great. The family sits round the table, and each rapidly appropriates his portion on a factories, passed in 1833, and to report their obplate, or, they all plunge their spoons into the dish, servations and opinions, together with the min. and with an animal eagerness satisfy the cravings utes of evidence taken before them. This of their appetite. At the expiration of the hour, they committee summoned before them the Factory are all again employed in the workshops or mills Inspectors, mill owners and other persons pracwhere they generally again indulge in the use of tea, often mingled with spirits
, accompanied by a little tically acquainted with the subject, and have bread. Oatmeal or potatoes are, however, taken by submitted from time to time six Reports
, consome, a second time in the evening.
taining minutes of evidence which fill 869 folio The population nourished on this aliment, is crowded into one dense mașs, in cottages, separated that the law of 1833 has been productive of
pages. This evidence makes it very manifest by narrow, unfaved, and almost pestilential streets, in an atmosphere loaded with smoke and the exha much good, and put an end to many of the lations of a large manufacturing city. The opera evils which made the interference of the legistives are congregated in rooms and workshops, du- lature necessary. Its restrictions, however, ring twelve hours of the day, in an enervating heated
are in many cases evaded with impunity, and atmosphere, which is frequently loaded with dust or filaments of cotton, or impure from constant respirant children in factories to the extent that was
the advantages of education are not secured to tion, or from other causes. employment which absorbs their attention, and unre- contemplated by the friends of the measure. mittingly employs their physical engergies. They It is also made very evident, that the protection are drudges who watch the movements
, and assist of the legislature should be extended to children the operations of a mighty material force, which toils with an energy unconscious of fatigue. The perse
who are employed in mills for the manufacture vering labor of the operative must rival the mathe- of silk and lace, as well as in other departmatial precision, the incessant motion and the ex ments of labor. haustless power of the machine.
The first Report of this Committee is devoProlonged and exhausting lahor, continued from
ted to the evidence given by Leonard Horner, day to day, and from year to year, is not calculated
who has been an Inspector of factories since
1833. Mr. Horncr has since published a very of the working classes, in the place where the valuable pamphlet, "ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF
child works. CHILDREN IN FACTORIES AND OTHER Works,”
3. That no child under thirteen years of age shall
be allowed to work before five o'clock in the from which we make the following extracts: morniny, or after eight o'clock at night.
The wealth of a country surely depends, in no in 4. That the parent, or other person deriving beneconsiderable degree, on the people who are engaged fit from the wages of the child, shall be obliged in works of industry, being capable of performing to lay aside a certain portion of the child's own the greatest possible amount of labor in a given earnings for its own education; and shall be time, without impairing their health; for it will cost required to produce weekly to the employer a a great deal less to maintain, in fooil, clothes, and certificate, in proof that the child has attended lodging, two strong healthy men employed to per school for at least two hours daily, on five days form a piece of work, than would be required if we of the preceding week, until he has completed had to employ three men to do the same work, be
his thirteenth year. cause of their inferior muscular powers. To culti The example of England has not been lost vate the intelligence, and increase the probability of useful inventions, by improving the natural faculties
upon other couniries in Europe. Mr. Horner of the working classes, must also be considered a
in the pamphlet, from which the above extract source of national wealth; and to be spared the ex is taken, gives a review of the legislation of pense of the repression and punishment of crime several of them respecting the employment and seems no less clearly an important element in na cducation of children in factories and other tional prosperity. Now unless every possible chance
works, from which the following pages are be given to the child of growing up healthy and strong, unless his natural intelligence be cultivated | mostly taken. and drawn out, unless moral and religious principles be early implanted in him, so as to become a part
V. PRUSSIA. of his nature, what chance have we of his growing
The King of Prussia, in consequence of a up to be a healthy, strong, intelligent, ingenious, honest, and right-principled man, a useful and orderly Report from General von Horn, that the health citizen ?
and bodily vigor of the population of manuIt is in vain that we establish schools
, if the children facturing towns and districts were inferior to have no time to attend them: if the children of our
those in the agricultural, directed his ministers working classes are to be raised from their present
to institute an inquiry into the facts and the degraded condition, by means of education, it is obvi
causes. ous that it can only be done by securing to them, in
From their investigation, and the the first instance, the time necessary for it. If, in unanimous testinony of the provincial authororder to be allowed to make a profit by the labour of | ities, who were examined on the subject, it apchildren, it were made a condition, that the child
peared that a large number of children, in the shall not thereby be deprived of the means of obtain
earliest stages of their physical development, ing a suitable education, it would be so far an adoption of a compulsory system; but one both gentle and
were employed in manufactures, in excessive reasonable, and, at the same time, most extensively and long continued labor, frightfully disproporefficacious.
tionate to their infantine powers. In Berlin, As to the alleged encroachment on parental authority--if the parent does his duty to his child, if from eight to eighteen years of age, were found
for example, 1510 young persons of both sexes, he takes due care of his health, and gives him such advantages of education as are within his reach, to be employed in factories from eleven to fourhe will not know of the existence of the law, for he teen hours daily in continuous labor, and the will have already done all that the law requires. same thing was going on to a still greater Parental authority conters no right on a father wan
extent, comparatively, in the Rhenish Provin. tonly to mutilate the little finger of his child; ought
ces. Such employment precludes, in general, he to be permitted to do what is a thousand times worse, to enfeeble him and spread disease through
all exercise in the open air, and causes injuries his whole frame, to leave him is low in intelligence which can be traced to the positions in which as a brute, and to infect him with the most danger they work, cither sitting, or standing in a stoopous of all pestilences, a corrupt, depraved mind? If
ing posture, or continually moving some one the father has his natural rights, so has the child; and if the father robs him of these, the State must
part of the body. They are almost always become his guardian, and restore them to him. employed in highly heated apartments, in which
The increasing tendency to employ children, and the artificial temperature must often rise to the for
highest degree that is bearable. The atmosto their physical and moral condition, in order to
phere of these rooms besides, is often loaded cheapen production, in almost all branches of industry, and the growing, unnatural, and vicious practice
with particles of the material used in the manof parents making their children work, to enable ufactories, and these positively noxious subthemselves to live in idleness and profligacy, can only stances must necessarily be swallowed by the be checked by some law of general application. I children, to the inevitálile injury of their health. cannot see that it would be in any respect inconsist
This is the case for example, in pin manufacent with sound principle, to pass a general law to the following effect; applicable to all children who are
tories and in cotton spinning. In some factolet out to work for hire, away from the houses of ries the children are kept in constant employtheir parents:
ment in the night time. Such an unnatural 1. That no child under eight years of age shall be mode of life is evidently calculated to repress allowed to work in any description of labour
the physical growth, and to sow in the body whatsoever. 2. That no child under thirteen years of age shall
the seeds of ill-health in their earliest yeaps. be allowed to work more than half a day; the It puts a stop, in like proportion, to their intelday being divided by the ordinary dining hour lectual and moral advancement; for it deprives