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
(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?
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.