The Sadler’s Committee Report
The Sadler’s Committee Report (1832)
“In 1832, Member of Parliament Michael Sadler initiated and chaired a parliamentary investigation of the conditions of work in textile factories. The evidence collected, which extends to many volumes, consists of interviews like the following. As a result of the investigation, laws were passed limiting the number of hours women and children could be employed in textile factories” Source: Norton Anthology Online
Elizabeth Bentley, called in; and examined.
What age are you? — Twenty-three.
Where do you live? — At Leeds.
What time did you begin to work at a factory? — When I was six years old. At whose factory did you work? — Mr. Busk’s.
What kind of mill is it? — Flax-mill.
What was your business in that mill? — I was a little doffer. What were your hours of labour in that mill? — From 5 in the morning till 9 at night, when they were thronged.
For how long a time together have you worked that excessive length of time? — For about half a year.
What were your usual hours of labour when you were not so thronged? — From 6 in the morning till 7 at night.
What time was allowed for your meals? — Forty minutes at noon. Had you anytime to get your breakfast or drinking? — No, we got it as we could.
And when your work was bad, you had hardly any time to eat it at all? — No; we were obliged to leave it or take it home, and when we did not take it, the overlooker took it, and gave it to his pigs.
Do you consider doffing a laborious employment? — Yes.
Explain what it is you had to do? — When the frames are full, they have to stop the frames and take the flyers off, and take the full bobbins off, and carry them to the roller; and then put empty ones on and set the frame going again.
Does that keep you constantly on your feet? — Yes, there are so many frames, and they run so quick.
Your labour is...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document