John Fielden

(1784—1849) industrialist and politician

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William Cobbett (1763—1835) political writer and farmer

David Owen (b. 1938)

Richard Oastler (1789—1861) factory reformer

Ten Hours Act

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Factory reformer. A wealthy cotton‐spinner, whose mills dominated Todmorden, Fielden was a friend and admirer of Cobbett. He held that the welfare of labouring people should be the aim of all government. As MP for Oldham from 1832 he tirelessly sponsored bills to regulate minimum wages and hours of child labour in mills. In 1833–4 he collaborated with Robert Owen in the National Regeneration Society for an eight‐hour day. His pamphlet The Curse of the Factory System was published in 1836, but it was not until 1847 that his Ten Hours Bill was finally passed.

Subjects: British History.

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