1847 Factory Act

R. W. Cooke-Taylor, the author of The Factory System was also an Inspector of Factories. In his book he explained the 1847 Factory Act.

After the 1844 Factory Act the agitation for a Ten Hour Bill continued. Early in 1846 Lord Ashley again brought forward a measure cast in this mould, which, on his defeat at the General Election that year, was taken up by John Fielden, and ultimately pressed to a division, when the Government escaped defeat by the narrow majority of ten. The next year the Whigs were in office, and Lord John Russell, Prime Minister. John Fielden reintroduced the Bill, and its progress through Parliament was one continued triumph.

With the enactment of the law the long struggle for a Ten Hours Bill is generally held to have come to a close. It limited the hours of labour to sixty-three per week from the 1st of July 1847, and to fifty-eight per week, from the 1st of May 1848, which with the stoppage on Saturday afternoon was the equivalent of ten hours work per day.

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