Child Employment Commission, 1841:: Richard Woodcock


No. 6.- Mr. Richard Woodcock, aged 50 years, Forge manager, Low Moor. Feb. 9, 1841 :-

You have boys under you in the forge not engaged in the mines? - Yes.
At what age do they come to you? - Sometimes as low as nine or ten.
Do the boys appear in good health under you? - Generally.
They are not often ill? - They get lamed now and then.
What hours do they work? - From six to six, having half an hour for breakfast, and an hour at dinner, and a short time at four o'clock when they generally get a little refreshment, in some parts of the works. In other parts of the works they stop nine times a day for a quarter of an hour each time after each heating of the furnace.
Are the boys hired by you or by the men whom they assist? - The men pay the boys.
Do the men ever beat them? - Seldom, we don't allow them.
If a man strikes a boy, what do you do with the man? - We dismiss him sometimes, if it's any thing serious.
Have you dismissed any man within the last three years for that offence? - We have suspended men in several cases, perhaps for a few days.
You effectually prevent the men from beating the boys? - Yes, it's seldom done now.
Do you find those make the best workmen who have received a good education? - Yes, it is a great help to them.
Is there any difference between men who have been educated and those who have not? - Yes, I think they conduct themselves better than those who are illiterate.

Do they make better fathers of families? - Yes, I think they do.