Child Employment Commission, 1841:: Ellen Barraclough


No. 22.- Ellen Barraclough, Low Moor, 13 years old next birth-day :-

     Helps her father; draws no wages; father fills carriages with iron stone at the furnaces, and gets a sovereign a week.
Went to day-school at going of six years old; stayed till she was eight; then began to work. Has lately begun to go to night-school; does not go to Sunday-school. On Sunday morning works from 4 till 9 A.M., and on that account cannot go to Sunday-school.
Can read, cannot write, can sew, can cook a bit, but is never at home nobbud (nought but) nights.
Comes at six in a morning; breakfasts between half-past eight and nine; does not go home to breakfast; they bring it; gets sometimes coffee and cake, sometimes tea and cake, sometimes porridge; just stops while she gets her breakfast, and then starts on again. Goes home to dinner always; stops while she gets her dinner, and if she has a mind to stop a while, stops. Has her work to do between and night. Gets for dinner potatoes and bread and meat, and sometimes a bit of pudding too. Does not wash herself at dinner-time; thinks it would be better if she did; does not because "we has not time to wash us-self." Has done at night at four o'clock always; goes home, and always washes herself then; gets for supper butter and cake and a drop of drink; goes to night-school afterwards at present. Before she went to night-school used to sew and knit at nights. Mother taught her. Mother never worked about the pits; used to weave pieces.
Likes work; liked it very well at first; was all along of herself that she did work; mother let her go when she wanted with her father; would not have let her go with anybody but her father.
Is never pinched for meat; has very good health; never ails anything.
Is never beaten; other girls that work are never beaten; never heard of any girl being beaten. Boys are beaten sometimes when they won't do as they are telled. When girls won't do as they are telled they only call 'em.
Goes to church sometimes by herself; her mother does not go; father sometimes.

     When she does not go to church on a Sunday "sides up" for her mother; plays about fine summer evenings.