Back to Blog

7th August 2019 by Sue Jennings

Talk – Child Health in 19th Century Leeds Factories and Fevers – Talk by Dr Emma Storr

On Friday 13th September, we are delighted to be hosting this special event as part of Heritage Open Days 2019.

Dr Emma Storr is a GP and Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Leeds. Her talk will explore the experience of children living close to and working in the Factory’s and Mills of 19th Century Leeds.

This talk will be an exploration of two of the major dangers to child health during the 19th century in Leeds. The first danger for children was the hazardous work they carried out in the mills and factories, often leading to injury and premature death. The second danger was living in poor, overcrowded conditions without clean water or adequate disposal of waste. Infectious diseases were rife and spread quickly. The result was a high infant and child mortality, exacerbated by the effects of malnutrition and long hours of work.

The situation improved slowly due to new legislation such as the various Factory Acts limiting the hours children worked and the age at which they could be employed. Also relevant was the Public Health Act of 1848. These new laws came into existence partly due to campaigns by the Leeds physicians Charles Thackrah and Robert Baker and partly due to the work of MPs such as Richard Oastler and Michael Sadler. All expressed outrage at the ‘slave’ conditions experienced by the working class, especially the children.

Tickets are FREE and available via Eventbright here. Refreshments will be available.

Back to Blog | Back to top