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Why did Samuel Greg establish a cotton mill at Styal in 1784?

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Introduction

Styal Mill 1. Why did Samuel Greg establish a cotton mill at Styal in 1784? (5) Samuel Greg chose to establish a cotton mill as he had a lot of previous experience as his uncle was a fustian dealer and had made him partner in his business. In 1782 his uncle died and Samuel inherited a large amount of money, about �27,000 in total from land, machinery and in cash, so Samuel wanted to invest his money. At this time cotton was a new and upcoming fabric, it was wanted by everyone, it was in fashion and was cheap. Samuel took his time finding the perfect place to have his mill and the land at styal was cheap as it couldn't be used for farming and it also had the River Bollin right next to it which was very important as it could run the water wheel. Also there was plenty of land so that the mill could be expanded in the future which is what Samuel ended up doing. There was also a nearby village, which could be used for the workers and would mean that Samuel would be able to employ the people from the village. ...read more.

Middle

Samuel and his wife cared for the children and set up education for the children and paid for the teachers himself, his wife Hannah and her children also taught at the house. The children were taught reading, writing and arithmetic, this also Samuel to give written instructions. They received about 1 lesson a week after work on a Sunday. The children were encouraged with their education if they were bright and interested and prizes were given. There were about 90 children living there and there was space to accommodate 100. There were more girls than boys as girls were seen to be better workers as they were smaller and boys were known as trouble makers and to be bad mannered. The children were taught in groups of between 15-20. Source B tells us that the children were well fed, clothed, educated and lodged under kind management. The girls gathered in Wilmslow church on a Sunday and were seen as lovely, creditable women, who looked better than the children who didn't live in the apprentice house and they were also better behaved than the other children. Source B also states that as well as the children at the apprentice house being taught educational topics they were also taught sewing and domestic avocations. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Greg's had a workforce that respected them and that were loyal to them. They cared for there well being outside of work as they built up the village to accommodate their needs, the children were cared for well and educated better than people in the towns. The diet that the children were fed was good, it included meat once or twice a week, vegetables, bread and milk as well as other things; and they could have as much food as they wanted as long as they had done there chores. Source D shows how the standard of living was good and that was due to the Greg's caring about their workforce. Although their wages weren't as good as Manchester the Greg's made sure that they could afford the rent and by having the village in a rural area they could grow their own food and raise livestock. The Greg's also split profit from the shop. I think that although there were some bad points to the standards of working and living in Styal compared to other mills at this time and conditions of living in a town at this time, the Greg's were very good employers and yes they do deserve to have that reputation. ...read more.

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