Chimney Sweeps Act

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Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (1621—1683) politician

Jonas Hanway (1712—1786) merchant and philanthropist

Anthony Ashley Cooper Shaftesbury (1801—1885) philanthropist and politician


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The plight of small boys sent up to clean chimneys had been raised as early as the 1760s by the philanthropist Jonas Hanway. Legislation to ensure decent treatment was largely ineffective. Lord Shaftesbury took up the matter towards the end of his life. The 1875 Act (38 & 39 Vic. c. 70) laid down that chimney sweeps should be registered by the police and certificates withheld if they disregarded safety.

Subjects: British History.

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