Child Employment Commission, 1841:: Matthew Best


No. 10. Matthew Best, aged 17 years.

     Wages 9s. a week, weekly wages.
Never went to day-school much, nor to evening-school, nor to Sunday-school; learned to read a little when he was about fifteen; began to work at eight years old; minded coal fires; came into forge at sixteen; got 7s. a week before he came into the forge; lives at home; draws his own wages and gives them to his mother.
Has always had middling good health, has never wanted a doctor; is sometimes tired with his work, but never so tired but he can sleep, and be well the day after. Gets up about six o'clock or half-past five sometimes; could like a bit more sleep sometimes; is sleepy when he gets up, but not after he has got to his work; goes to bed about eight o'clock; gets meat and potatoes and bread for dinner, and never reckons to get a supper; don't reckon to have any at their house, could get it if he wanted it; is never pinched for meat; gets his dinner at the forge, all the boys do; stop none for dinner, but a bit of time; don't stop regular; lakes up and down on Sunday evenings; is never too tired to lake.

     Sometimes goes to Methodist chapel on Sundays; has two suits of clothes; goes to chapel perhaps once in two months, other Sundays lakes up and down; never catches colds; likes night-work, has no objection to it; had rather have day-work of the two. Always washes himself well when he goes home. The boys in the forge have good health; they don't ail anything much; does not often hear of the doctor.