Aireborough Historical Society

1832 Workers Committees

Workers Committees
Date 1832
Location Aireborough
Photo ID
Compiled by Carlo Harrison from documents held in the AHS Archive Room, Yeadon Town Hall

During 1832 a committee under Sadler took evidence, from the manufacturing districts & published a terrible indictment of the factory owners.
Among the witnesses was one Hannah Brown of Bradford, who had started work at the age of 9. She described conditions in a mill in Otley, where she stated she had worked for 14 hours a day - & sometimes longer - without a break. Children, she said, had been punished who became tired.
In April 1832, a mammoth County meeting of factory operatives, weavers & their families, was held in York & local men marched there & back with the Leeds & Bradford contingents.
But in December, Sadler lost the election in Leeds. A hastily convened conference at Bradford sent the Yorkshire organiser, the Rev. George Bull, to London, to choose a new Parliamentary leader; he selected Lord Ashley (Later Earl of Shaftsbury), who thus began his long service to the cause of humanitarian reforms.
During the winter, local committees were formed in the smaller towns & villages. The Stanningley branch was founded on Boxing Day 1832. Three weeks later, Bull formed a Pudsey Committee under the Vicar. The rest of the area followed quickly branches were started at Yeadon, Guiseley Calverley & Farsley during January 1883, but the foundation meeting at Otley was broken up by Ackroyd's supporters, & the Otley branch was not formed until March.
In July, the Guiseley, Yeadon & Otley committees were part of the Bradford "division" at a meeting of over 100,000 workmen held on Wibsey Moor.


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