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CLIP 13655

Child labour in Victorian times

Child labour in Victorian times

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Key Info
  • Child labour in Victorian times
  • Duration: 18:19
  • Charles Dickens presents a topical chat show about child labour in Victorian times. We meet three children working in difficult and dangerous trades, including a mudlark (scavenger), a watercress seller and a 'pure' (dogs' mess) finder. Many Victorian children lived in desperate poverty, and worked to avoid starvation and the threat of the workhouse. We hear from a cotton mill owner about the benefits of employing young children in this dangerous work. Charles Dickens then interviews Lord Shaftesbury, champion of children's rights in parliament. His Ten Hour Act, which was at first rejected by parliament, aimed to restrict child working to ten hours a day. We learn about the Ragged Schools movement, which gave poor children some education for the first time. Classes were held in homes and halls, during the day and in the evening to fit in with the children's work. Charles Dickens speaks to ragged school pupils who explain how difficult it is to go to school after a long day's work. First broadcast on the Learning Zone on BBC2 in March 2012 as part of the programme The Charles Dickens Show.
  • Subject:



    Victorians: Child Labour

  • Keywords: child, children, poverty, pure, tanner, leather, factory, factories, mills, ragged, school, ten, hour, act, Lord, Shaftesbury, Charles, Dickens, show, education, parliament, law, labour, TheCharlesDickensShow
Ideas for use in class
  • Discuss: Should children work or go to school? Which Victorian laws improved the lives of children? Find out about changes to the law. Who wanted the laws to be changed? Research Victorian schools and compare to modern times. Were schools always free for all children? Profile important people in the story of child labour such as the life and works of Lord Shaftesbury.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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