The Apprentice house at Quarry Bank Mill was originally built in 1790 but later more was added on. In 1800 there were 90 children ranging from 10-12 year living there.
It was 40% boys and 60% because boys were thought to be more trouble than the girls. But the two sources I will be assessing do not show to follow this trend.In my essay I will be assessing sources E and F. Each from a different a person with their reasons to be one-sided for or against the mill. The sources talk about an apprentice from Quarry Bank Mill, named Ester Price. Source E was taken from the account of her punishment written by Robert Hyde Greg.
This will automatically give the reader the idea that his account might favor the mill, because his father, Samuel Greg was the founder of the mill.Robert Hyde Greg will admit to there being punishments at his mill. But maybe he had softened the punishment account because he would like to keep up the reputation of his mill. John Doherty writes the other account.
John Doherty was a campaigner who fought to reduce the hours of child employment in cotton mills. Once again it is understandable that he has his reasons for giving a one-sided account of the punishment. He would obviously like to try and taint the reputation of the mill. John Doherty had previously been imprisoned for organizing pickets as a result of the actions of a former partner Samuel Greg.Both sources give an account of the incident involving Ester Price.
Both sources discuss her leaving Quarry Bank Mill but Robert Hyde Greg talks about the fact that Ester Price had committed a violent assault the year before she left the mill unaccounted for, it was so bad she was put up before the magistrate. Robert Greg doesn’t mention the reason for here running away but mentions another crime she committed, this obviously emphasizes the fact that this Ester isn’t a first time offender. John Doherty wrote in his pamphlet that Ester Price had been denied permission to go to visit her father in Liverpool during the factory shut down. His wording made her seem incredibly innocent, as if it wasn’t her fault.
Only Robert Hyde Greg’s account mentioned the fact that there was another apprentice (Lucy Garner) that ran away with Ester Price. He also mentions the fact that Ester returned after Lucy Garner returned. Robert Hyde Greg mentions that the punishment for runaways would be for the girls to have their hair chopped off, while John Doherty claims that this room in the attic had been previously prepared the purpose of runaways.Mr Greg wrote in his report that she had the windows were boarded up because they assumed she would attempt to escape he also mentioned the room was partially dark. We know that the Greg’s used solitary confinement and girls having their hair cut off rather than the more commonly use form of physical punishment used in mills such as Litton Mill. In source F there was no reason given to why the windows were boarded and John Doherty wrote that the room was without light.
Also in Mr Greg’s account, he said that she begged to be let out due to the fact that there was a dead body of the matron in the room next door. She promised to finish her sentence but was left off. The way John Doherty phased his explanation of Ester Price was that she exited the confinement of the attic by herself, due to the fact she was too scared and would not complete her punishment.During our visit to Quarry Bank Mill we visited the apprentice house. While we were there we saw many things like the fact the apprentices had beds with sheets.
However the sheets the bed sheets were changed once a month and the beds were changed only once a year. This isn’t very healthy as the apprentices didn’t have washes very often. These beds would have two to a bed, while in work houses children would sleep on dirty floors, similarly towns like Manchester were suffering from overcrowding and often four to five families would share one small house. With a good nights sleep the apprentices could work harder.
Maybe Robert Hyde Greg did this for his advantage, so he could get more out of the apprentices or was it because he believed the apprentices deserved these luxuries. The windows didn’t open in the bedroom so during summer the rooms were very hot while in winter the rooms would be incredibly cold. The bedrooms would have bedpans under the bed, this meant that they didn’t have to go outside but they would have had to fill up the pan until they could empty it. According to mill source the apprentices were not malnourished as they were fed three meals a day; the food was also healthy as sources say they had vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, peas, beans and potatoes growing in their garden, which they took care of themselves. This meant that would be getting a healthier diet than children who were living in the city.
Although they were fed good diets they would still have to eat their meals out of their hands. If the apprentices had been working in the mill all day this means that their hand will have been dirty and greasy. This was not healthy. This would have been normal to the apprentices so they obviously would have thought of this as a bad thing.In the mill itself, there was a lot of dust and dirt, this would get into the apprentices lungs, but this didn’t seem to be a problem for Mr Greg until the parliament decided that it was a law for the windows to be open a certain amount.
Mr Greg complied with the law. This would make the rooms less stuffy and there will be less chance on the apprentices contracting breathing problems. Why Mr Greg followed the rules could have been because he would be heavily fined if he didn’t, doing it cost him money but so would a large fine.The Greg’s employed a doctor. The doctor was paid ï¿½24 a year for his work.
He would make sure all the apprentices were healthy. This suggests that the Greg’s had some interest in the apprentices health. This was far better than work houses as there wouldn’t be any type of health care. Doctors were very expensive during this time and he was one of the first people to employ someone for this kind of job. Even though they were employing a doctor, they still didn’t enforce any type of hygiene ruling.
The apprentices were still eating off dirty hands and not washing.The apprentices did not earn any money for their long hours of work. They worked 12 hour day 5 times a week and 9 hours on Saturdays. As for free time they had none. They were taken to church on Sundays and in evenings manly boys would be schooled. During their lessons boys would learn to read and write, it was basic however children in work houses wouldn’t have had this privilege.
Although they may have not seen it in this way, teaching the apprentices to read and write meant they could read danger or health signs when they were older, as most, once their apprentice finished their indentures, (which is their legally binding contract) would carry on their work at Quarry Bank Mill. The girls would be taught to sew. This meant they would have to fix the boys clothes.I think neither of the sources are very accurate in how the apprentices were treated.
Both are one sided. Favouring with the author feelings. Neither gave an account from a neutral party.Robert Hyde Greg puts up a good fight, he explains the fact he had been involved in an incident involving the same Ester Price a year prior to her running away. Mr Greg’ new way to deter running way was to chop off all the hair of the offender, (the Greg’s did not believe in physical punishments).
This was seen as a very harsh punishment. But still the punishment did not commence as Mrs. Shawcross and Mr. Greg’s sister (Sally) thought it was far to ruthless. Therefore it shows the mill wasn’t so tight on punishments.
Because both accounts contradict each other at points it is hard to come to a verdict. Mr Greg in his account writes it in first person, this gives the impression that he was present for the mass majority of the events. While John Doherty seems to have a lack of information at points.Comparing the sources to our site visit many things can be connected. We visited the room in which Ester Price was locked in, and the room in which Mrs Timperly’s body had been placed in.
Both were adjoining, therefore, John Doherty’s account correctly pointed this out.