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in being, respecting masters and that it is the custom of the trade apprentices, do not provide suffi to take the parent's word for the cient regulations, so as to prevent age of the apprentice—that no various complicated miseries to other evidence is asked for that which boys employed in climbing he never heard of its being the and cleansing of chimneys are practice of the masters to get a liable, beyond any other employ- certificate of the age, and he was ment whatsoever in which boys of ignorant that the act of parliament tender years are engaged : and required it. Your committee rewhereas the misery of the said fer generally to the evidence for boys might be much alleviated, if proofs of the cruelties that are soine legal powers and authorities practised, and of the ill-usage, were given for the regulation of and the peculiar hardships that are chimney-sweepers and their ap- the lot of the wretched children prentices.”—This act, though it who are employed in this trade. It has in some respects fulfilled the is in evidence that they are stolen intention of the legislature, yet from their parents, and inveigled your committee have heard in evi out of workhouses ; that in order dence before them, that its prin- to conquer the natural repugnance cipal enacting clause, viz. the re of the infants to ascend the nargulating the age at which appren row and dangerous chimneys, to tices shall be taken, is constantly clean which their labour is requirevailed ; and they are decideüly of ed, blows are used ; that pins are opinion, that the various and com forced into their feet by the boy plicated miseries to which the un that follows them up the chimney, fortunate children are exposed, in order to compel them to ascend cannot be relieved by regulations. it; and that lighted straw has The 28th of Gco. Ill. enacts, been applied for that purpose ; That no person shall employ any that the children are subject to boy, in the nature of an appren
sores and bruises, and wounds tice or servant, under the age of and burns on their thighs, knces, eight years; yet your committee and elbows; and that it will rehave been informed, that infants quire many months before the exof the early ages of four, five and tremities of the elbows and knees six years, have been employed, it becoine sufficiently hard to resist being the practice for parents to the excoriations to which they are sell their children to this trade, at first subject; and that one of under-stating their age ; besides, the masters being asked if those this clause is not considered by boys are employed in sweeping the master chimney-sweepers as chimneys during the soreness of prohibiting their employment of those parts, he answered, “ It their own children; and instances depends upon the sort of master have been adduced before your they have got. Some are obliged committee, that have satisfied to put them to work sooner than them that such cases are by no others; you must keep them a means unfrequent. Your com little.at it even during the sures, nittee have also heard, from one or they will never learn their of the master chimney-sweepers, business." Your committee are
informed that the deformity of the tum; the witness never saw but spine, legs, arms, &c. of these two instances of the former, boys, proceeds generally, if not though several of the latter. Mr. wholly, from the circumstance of Cline inforined your committee by their being obliged to . ascend letter, that this disease is rarely chimneys at an age when their seen in any other persons than bones are in a soft and growing chimney-sweepers, and in them state; but likewise, by their being cannot be considered as frequent; compelled to carry bags of soot for during his practice in St. and cloths, the weight of which Thomas's Hospital, for more than sometimes exceed twenty or thirty forty years, the number of those pounds, not including the soot, the cases could not exceed twenty; burthen of which they also occa but your committee have been insionally bear for a great length of formed, that the dread of the opedistance and time; the knees and ration which it is necessary to ancle joints become deformed, in perform, deters many from subthe first instance, from the position mitting to it; and from the evithey are obliged to put them in, in dence of persons engaged in the order to support themselves, not trade, it appears to be much more only while climbing up the chino common than Mr. Cline seems to ney, but more particularly so be aware of. But it is not only whilst coming down, when they the early and hard labour, the rest solely on the lower extremi- spare diet, wretched lodging, and ties, the arms being used for harsh treatment, which is the lot scraping and sweeping down the of these children, but in general soot. Your committee refer ge- they are kept almost entirely destinerally to the observation of every tute of education, and moral or one as to the stinted growth, the religious instruction ; they form deformed state of body, the look a cort of class by themselves, and of wretchedness and disease which from their work being done early characterizes this unfortunate in the day, they are turned into
but it is in evidence before the streets to pass their time in them, that there is a formidable idleness and depravity : thus they complaint which chimney-sweep- become an easy prey to those ers iri particular are liable to; whose occupatiin it is to delude from which circumstance, by way the ignorant and entrap the unof distinction, it is called the wary; and if their constitution is Chimney-sweeper's Cancer. Mr. strong enough to resist the disWright, a surgeon, informed
eases and deformities which are your committee, that whilst he the consequences of their trade, was attending Guy's and Saint and that they should grow so Bartholomew's Hospitals, he had much in stature as no longer to several cases under his care, some be useful in it, they are cast upon of which were operated on; but the world without any means of in general they are apt to let thein obtaining a livelihood, with no go too far before they apply for re- habits of industry, or rather, what lief. Cancers of the lips are not too frequently happens, with conso general as cancers of the scro- firmed habits of idleness and vice.
In addition to which, it appears, in general among the most respectthat from the trade being con able part of the trade, the apstantly overstocked, a large pro- prentices are of the age prescribed portion of the older chimney by the act, viz. from 8 to 14 ; sweepers (as it is stated, one half) but even among the most respectare constantly in a course of being able it is the constant practice to thrown out of employ. Your borrow the younger boys from committee have endeavoured to one another, for the purpose of learn the number of persons who sweeping what are called the narmay be considered as engaged in row flues. No accurate account the trade within the bills of nior could be obtained of the ages of tality: they have learnt that the the apprentices of the other clastotal number of master chimney ses ; but they had the youngest sweepers might be estimated at children, who either were their 200, who had among them 500 own, or engaged as apprentices; apprentices; that not above 20 of and who, in many instances, it those masters were reputable was ascertained, were much below tradesmen in easy circumstances, the prescribed age; thus, the who appeared generally to conform youngest and most delicate childto the provisions of the act, and ren are in the service of the worst which twenty had, upon an aver class of masters, and employed age, from four to five apprentices exclusively to clean flues, which, each ; that about ninety were of an from their peculiar construction, inferior elass of master chimney- cunnot be swept without great sweepers, who had, upon an ave. personal hazard. rage, three apprentices each, and Your committee have had laid who were extremely negligent of before them an account of various their health, their morals, and their accidents that have happened to education ; and that about ninety, chimney-sweepers, by being forced the remainder of the 200 masters, to ascend these small flues. They were a class of chimney-sweepers beg leave to refer particularly to recently journeymen, who took a recent case, which occurred on up the trade because they had no Thursday the 6th day of March other resource-who picked up 1817, and which is contained in boys as they could—who lodged the minutes of evidence. They them with themselves in huts, wish also to direct the attention of sheds, and cellars, in the outskirts the House to one of those instances of the town, occasionally wander- of cruelty, which terminated in ing into the villages round: and the death of an infant of about that in these two classes, being in six years of age, in the month the proportion of 180 to 20, the of April 1816: William Moles miseries of the trade were princi- and Sarah his wife were tried pally to be found. It is in evi- at the Old Bailey for the wildence before your committee, that ful murder of John Hewley alias at Hadleigh, Barnet, Uxbridge, Haseley, by cruelly beating him. and Windsor, female children Under the direction of the learned have been employed.
judge, they were acquitted of the Your committee observe, that crime of murder, but the husband VOL. LIX.
was detained to take his trial for theinselves, who have been brought a misdemeanor, of which he was up in the trade, establishes the convicted upon the fullest eri- fact, that of the chimneys in the dence, and sentenced to two years metropolis three-fourths may be imprisonment. The facts of the as well, as cleanly, and as cbeaply case were, that this infant was swept by mechanical means as tyy forced up the chimney on the the present method ; and the reshoulder of a larger boy, and maining part being, on the very afierwards violently pulled down greatest calculation, one fourth of agrin by the leg, and dashed the whole number, with alteraagainst a marble hearth ; his leg tions that may easily and cheaply was thus broken, and he died a be inade, can be swept also wille few hours after ; on his body and out the employment of the climb knees were found sores, arising ing boy. Mr. Bevans, an archifrom wounds of a much older date. tect much conversant with buibeba But it is not only the ill-treatment ings in the Metropolis, has no which the regular apprentices doubt that 95 out of 100 can be suffer from the cruel conduct of swept by the machines that are at some masters that your comn:ittee present in use; and he has also are anxious to comment on; it no doubt that, suppusing there appears that in order to evade the was to be a legislative enactarent penalty of the act of parliament, that no chimney should be su eps some of these masters frequently by the means of climbing bus, hire young lads as journeymen that easy substitutes could be who have not been apprenticed to found that would sweep every chimney-sweepers; these are chile chimney that now exists. tie dren who have no parents, and adds, that though there may be who are enticed away from the difficulties in cleaning an horizodifferent work houses of the Me- tal fue, froin the quantity of ****, tropolis.
yet it is equally bad for the bus Having thus shortly detailed the as for the machine; because the leading facts of the evidence which boy, as he comes down, has an achas been given before them, of cumulation of soot about hon. the noiseries which the unfortu- which stops up the circulatan al nate class of beings who are sold air necessary to support life. So to this trade experienre, your that i* is evident, in all those committee have with great anxiety chinneys where, under the is jure examined various persons, as to sent construction, the machine the possibility of per forining by cannot be used, the hazard of bus the aid of machinery what is now of life to the bry who snerp done by the labour of the climbing thein, is most imminent. buys: the result of their inquiries Some of these thies are stated is, that though there may be some not to be ab neseven inches stare, ditierence of opinion as to the ex- and one of the witnesses, who re tent to which machinery is here lates this fact to the Commitice applicable, yet the lowest calcula- informs them, that he himsef band tion of practical and experienced been often in hazard of his life. persons, master chimney-sweepers and that he has frequeutly we;e
a long narrow flue in Goldsmith's FIRST RIPORT FROM THE SELECT Hall, in which he was shut up six COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. hours before his work was finished. l'pon a review then of the evidence of the evils necessarily belonging
The Select Committee appointed to this trade, as well as of the re
to inquire into, and state, the medies which have been suggested,
income and expenditure of the Furot, in the substitution of me
United Kingdom, for the year chanical means, thus superseding
ended the 5th of January, 1817; the necessity of employing chil
and also to consider and state dren in this painful and degrading
the probable income and expentrade ; and, secondly, in allowing
diture, (90 far as the same can the system to continue in the
now be estimated) for the years main as it is, with only those
ending the 5th of January, 1819, amendments to the existing law,
and the 5th of January, 1819, that may attempt to remedy the
respectively; and to report the present practice ;-your Commit
same, together with their obser. tee are decidedly of opinion, that
vations thereupon, from time to Do parliamentary regulations can
time, to the House, and also to attain this desirable end ; that as
consider what further measures long as master chimney-sweepers
may be adopted for the relief are permitted to employ elimbing
of the country from any part of boss, the natural result of that
the said expenditure, without permission will be the continuance
detriment to the public interest; of those miseries which the legis. Having had under their conlature has sought, but which it sideration the state of various ofhas failed to put an end to; they fices in the United Kingdom, which therefore recommend, that the are commonly, though incorrectly, we of climbing boys should be known under the general denomiprohibited aliogether; and that the nation of sinecures, conceive that age at which the apprenticeship they cannut better discharge the should commence should be ex: duty imposed upon them by the tended from eight tu fourteen, latter part of the order of reference, puttmg this trade upon the same than by bringing under the early furting as others which take ap- notice of the House, the annual prentices at that age; and, finally, charge incurred by the continuance yur committee have come to the of othces, either wholly useless, or fellowing resolution :
the salaries of which appear disResolved, That the Chairman proportionate to their actual duties; be directed to move for leave to and of the system, which they subkring in a bill for preventing the mit, as fit to be substituted in their further use of climbing boys in stead. sweeping of chimneys.
The subject is by no means new
to the house, having been brought 230 June, 1917.
under discussion at various tinies within the last ten years, and par. ticularly in the session of 1819, when it was made the foundation