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Quarry Bank Mill - questions and answers

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Coursework: Quarry Bank Mill 1) Why did Samuel Greg establish a cotton mill in Styal in 1784? Greg established a cotton mill rather than a silk mill or other type of factory because cotton was the material that everyone wanted. Greg was a cotton merchant so he knew of all the advances in technology that were making it easier for cotton to be spun and woven. He knew that the machines making peoples jobs easier were too big to fit in their houses as they had done in the past, so he decided that if he built a mill to house them then he could make a lot of money seeing as cotton was in demand. Greg was a cotton merchant, so he knew the area. In the summer people would be farming, and in the winter they would be spinning cotton. Greg knew that these people would want a regular job to do all year so cotton was a good industry as they were already experienced at it, and wasn't as laborious as farming. Also, due to the invention of John Kay's flying shuttle in 1733, the spinners were struggling to keep up, as they could not spin enough thread for the weavers. ...read more.


Also, other factory owners were doing just the same, and breaking other laws such as the night working of children, and making them work under the age of 9, whereas Greg was obeying these rules. Also, Greg employed families, so they could all work together, and employed apprentices. In Source A, Greg states that no children under 12 were made to work, however Greg wrote this himself so he could easily have lied as no inspector came to make sure he was telling the truth. Also, there were no birth certificates so it was impossible to prove how old the children actually were so Greg could make under 12s work and get away with it. Greg did not believe in punishing his workers, due to his religion, so there was no corporal punishment inflicted on his employees. Source A proves that Greg did not enforce corporal punishments, however, Source A is a questionnaire sent to Greg to answer about his own mill. The factory commissioners did not visit the mill; they just relied on the answers to the questionnaire given to them by the factory owners. Greg could have been biased in his answers because it was his own mill so he would probably have lied to make his mill seem better. ...read more.


In the workers village there was a church, and workers and apprentices attended the church regularly. Despite the cases against him, Greg appears to be a good employer. He was keeping almost all his working conditions within the law, and the factory conditions were no worse than other factories. He was educating his apprentices which was giving them a chance of a good future, and was sending them to church which wasn't necessary but he wanted them to go anyway. He employed a doctor which wasn't a requirement, so he wanted to keep his apprentices in good health. He also did not enforce physical punishments, and there were hardly any deaths. He provided them with cheap rent for good houses. I think that Greg was a good employer, but he did have an ulterior motive, which was money. By educating his apprentices they could do other jobs for him, which brought in more money than working machines. He may have built a mill purely because he was concerned about the families going out of business because of the new machines, or he would rather they worked in a factory with better conditions like his, or he built the mill because he wanted to make money, and he could make enough to afford to keep his workers happy. ...read more.

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