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Thomas Priestley was a 13 year old boy who had run away from his workhouse. His workhouse was Styal mill, a cotton factory. The reason he gave for leaving the mill were that he was missing his mother and had been ill due to an accident in the mill.

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Introduction

Do you think that Thomas Priestley's evidence to the Middlesex magistrate's court is totally accurate? (6 marks) Thomas Priestley was a 13 year old boy who had run away from his workhouse. His workhouse was Styal mill, a cotton factory. The reason he gave for leaving the mill were that he was missing his mother and had been ill due to an accident in the mill. His transcript has been proven accurate, but only to a certain degree. It is accurate that a 13 year old boy would miss his mother, especially after a severe accident. Thomas had been working in the mill when one of the machines caught his finger and ripped it off; in the transcript Thomas commented 'it was the forefinger of my left hand'. ...read more.

Middle

The other information he gave on the conditions were also true, we know this by comparing them to those described in Joseph Seftons transcript. Joseph was also a runaway from Styal mill. Joseph quotes in his transcript 'boys were kept at one side of the house and the girls at the other' this supports Priestley's quote too. Joseph also said 'our rooms were very clean' so that is another quote to support their conditions. However a majority of Priestley's transcript is inaccurate, for example the transcript may not even be in Priestley's words. We know this because at the end it does not have a signature but says 'the mark of' this tells us that Priestley was illiterate and so did not write the transcript himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the transcript Thomas mentions his mother sending him money apparently 'she sent me a crown' this is surely incorrect because his mother works in another workhouse and so wouldn't be able to afford it, also his mother doesn't know that he has injured his finger. Thomas wouldn't be able to tell her because he couldn't read/write. The only way that his mother could have found out is if she was psychic! In conclusion I believe that there is no way that Thomas Priestley's transcript is totally accurate as there is evidence against him for several of his points. I also believe that because he didn't write it himself there would obviously be some flaws to begin with. ?? ?? ?? ?? Emerald Muschamp Q1 History coursework- Styal mill ...read more.

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