Eliza Marshall

Eliza Marshall was born in Doncaster in 1815. At the age of nine her family moved to Leeds where she found work at a local textile factory. Eliza was interviewed by Michael Sadler and his House of Commons Committee on 26th May, 1832.

Young girl factory worker
Young girl factory worker
© , September 1997 - April 2014

Primary Sources

(1) Eliza Marshall was interviewed by Michael Sadler and his House of Commons Committee on 26th May, 1832.

Question: What was your hours of work?

Answer: When I first went to the mill we worked for six in the morning till seven in the evening. After a time we began at five in the morning, and worked till ten at night.

Question: Were you very much fatigued by that length of labour?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Did they beat you?

Answer: When I was younger they used to do it often.

Question: Did the labour affect your limbs?

Answer: Yes, when we worked over-hours I was worse by a great deal; I had stuff to rub my knees; and I used to rub my joints a quarter of an hour, and sometimes an hour or two.

Question: Were you straight before that?

Answer: Yes, I was; my master knows that well enough; and when I have asked for my wages, he said that I could not run about as I had been used to do.

Question: Are you crooked now?

Answer: Yes, I have an iron on my leg; my knee is contracted.

Question: Have the surgeons in the Infirmary told you by what your deformity was occasioned?

Answer: Yes, one of them said it was by standing; the marrow is dried out of the bone, so that there is no natural strength in it.

Question: You were quite straight till you had to labour so long in those mills?

Answer: Yes, I was as straight as any one.