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Reports of the Visitors of the Cotton and other Mills and Factories in the County of Derby; delivered in at the adjourned Quarter Sessions of that County, in August 1807.
Report of DR. DENMAN as to the Hundred of High Peake.
BAKEWELL. No apprentices.-Every thing in great order.
CALVER.--No apprentices. Every thing remarkably neat; and in order; except the want of the Act of Parliament respecting mills and factories.
CRESBROOK.-This is a small concern. The mill is not in so exact a state as might be wished, particularly as to the cleanness of the floors. There are about thirty apprentices, male and female, belonging to this mill, for whom there are separate apartments in a lodging-house a short distance from the mill. These apartments, though
small, are clean, not crowded, and apparently well conducted. LITTON.--Two rooms in this mill were clean, and all the working-rooms white-washed, and in all there was a free ventilation, but the privies not well conducted. There are about eighty apprentices,*who are kept in a lodging-house at no great distance from the mill. These apprentices work successively in the night, though this is expressly prohibited by the act.-It is by no means certain to what hours they are confined:-They are not instructed during the working hours:—and there is no copy
* Dr. Denman had stated these apprentices to have been sent from the Foundling Hospital. With his concurrence, that line is omitted. To prevent further misconception, I state that no apprentices have been sent from the Foundling Hos pital to any mills or factories in the county of Derby: nor (with the exception after mentioned), are any of the Foundling children apprenticed to any cotton or other mills or factories. The exception alluded to, refers to some of the girls, who after a fair trial in service, have proved incorrigible. These, if hopeless of amendment, are apprenticed to Mr. Oldknow, a gentleman in Lancashire, who, though he has cotton mills, has employed them as domestic servants, and has hardly in any case failed of producing a reform of conduct. Seven girls make the total amount of those so apprenticed.
of the Act of Parliament in any part of the mill.
Tho there are separate apartments for males
and females in the lodging-house, the rooms appear crowded; one in particular, in which are lodged sixteen apprentices, though in my opinion, eight ought to be the utmost number in it.-Upon the whole, from the dimensions of the building, it appears almost impossible to contain so many persons, consistently with health and any thing approaching to comfort.
As to Factories or Weaving Shops.
EYHAM.-There are two considerable facto ries in this place; one in which little business is done at present from the low state of the cotton trade. The proprietors, Messrs. Gregg and Co. of Manchester, have it in contemplation to vary the works; and in fact the looms, which I saw employed, were few, and engaged in new patterns. These buildings are excellent for their original purposes.
The other factory, belonging to Messrs.
Daintry and Co. employs about ninety hands; not as apprentices, but as work people under a written engagement. It is a great misfortune, that in these works belonging to these truly espectable persons, they thought themselves under the necessity of hiring an old building, formerly used for the same purpose, but, however convenient it might be at the moment, it seems to me inadequate to the health and comfort of the people employed.,
The weaving rooms are very narrow, very low, and very close. This is so obvious, that one can scarcely conceive how the health of the people is preserved, in any reasonable degree. I presume this good fortune, is owing to the circumstance of their being with their friends and relatives at home; many of them have, besides, the benefit of a morning and evening walk.
No attention whatever is paid to the Act of Parliament, respecting mills, and factories in these establishments; and possibly they may not be liable to the inspection of the magistrates. JOSEPH DEN MAN.
Report of Messrs. JEBB and OTTER, as to the
July 30th, 1807.
IN pursuance of our appointment to inspect the state of the cotton mills, in the Hundred. of Scarsdale, we visited the one at Pleasley on the 28th.
We have formerly made our report of the excellent management of the apprentices here; we have since separately, had various casual opportunities of information, all of which lead us to believe that it is systematic and uniform, and from our examination on the 28th, we have reason to think the regulations of the act under which we visit, are most strictly and carefully observed, and that the health, instructions, and morals of the apprentices, appear to receive a conscientious attention from two resident proprietors.