Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lord Shaftesbury and the young miners.

Ninth grade students are now learning about the early Industrial Revolution and the effect it had on children.  They have also viewed a film about a young girl, Lyddie, who lived and worked in an Industrial Revolution Cotton Mill town.

Students also learned about the good earl, Lord Shaftesbury, who chose to use his background of wealth and education to make conditions better for children and their families in England during the middle of the 19th century.  Lord Shaftesbury's tireless reforms changed history.

This etching shows Lord Shaftesbury going down into the mines himself.  He saw the young boys and their mistreatment and spoke about it in Parliament.  There, no one could question him about his information--for he had been in the mines and seen the abuse of young people with his own eyes.  His testimony helped to contribute to the passing of important reform legislation, including the Mines Act of 1842.

One of his biographers, Georgina Battiscombe, has claimed that "No man has in fact ever done more to lessen the extent of human misery or to add to the sum total of human happiness"