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Do these sources, and the site at Quarry Bank Mill, fully explain what working conditions were like for children in textile mills, such as the one at Quarry Bank Mill, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Explain your answer with referen

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Introduction

Do these sources, and the site at Quarry Bank Mill, fully explain what working conditions were like for children in textile mills, such as the one at Quarry Bank Mill, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Explain your answer with reference to your site study of Quarry Bank Mill, the sources and knowledge from your studies. A site visit to the mill at Styal is very useful for our studies because it gives us a sense of perspective about the mill and the conditions around working there. Going on a site visit brings what I have learnt together. But, what a site visit can not provide is a rounded view point on child labour in textile mills in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: this is because Quarry Bank Mill is only one mill. A visit lets us see the lofty airy rooms, and see and hear the machinery work. To gain a fuller viewpoint of child labour we must compare Styal Mill to others. To find a universally applied answer as to what conditions were like for children working in textile mills, we need to compare what we know about Quarry Bank to others. ...read more.

Middle

This often led to serious injuries and sometimes even death. At other mills, such as the Fielden Brothers Mill in Todmorden, pauper apprentices, as old as seven, would strip the full spools from spinning jennies and replace them with empty ones while the machine was still running, this was even more dangerous. In this aspect the mills were very similar, and only slightly preferable at Styal. Conditions for labouring children working in textile mills in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth were dire when examining what jobs children would be forced to do to earn a living. The wages of children was lowly relating to this dangerous work undertaken. At Quarry Bank Mill, children under 13 were paid as little as 1 to 3 shillings a week: As opposed to 3s/9d to 4s/2d in Manchester Towns. The mills in Manchester paid their workers a much higher wage than the Greg paid his at Styal. The wage gap could be explained by the free schooling, access to a doctor and adequate living conditions, the apprentices in Manchester didn't have access to these 'luxuries'. Quarry Bank Mill's workforce was lowly paid and is unfavourable when wages were considered. ...read more.

Conclusion

Gregg explains, "To the cotton master the apprentice children were as much his property as the machines they tended. Kind treatment did not pay. It was more economical to work one batch out then get another." This certainly didn't represent Styal and so Styal was conclusively not typical. Samuel Greg looked after his child employees by providing a doctor, schooling and treating them well and generously. Samuel Greg believed this was economical, and not "to work one batch out and then get another". This may be one of the reasons Quarry Bank Mill was a successful business venture. Pauline Gregg later goes on to describe, "stories of the treatment of the children while at work were sickening. They suffered constant flogging to keep them awake. One boy as a punishment was hung by his wrists over moving machinery, so that he was compelled to hold his legs up to avoid mutilation." This is far from Source D's description of punishments at Styal; punishments at Styal were liberal, far lighter and less brutal. At Quarry Bank Mill, age starting, hours worked, safety, death rates, and treatment were all preferable to the mills I have compared it too. The sources and a visit to Quarry Bank aren't sufficient to find a rounded answer, about child labouring conditions in textile mills. ...read more.

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