BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 12077

Child labourer, Will Thorne describes how victorian children were treated in the workhouse.

Child labourer, Will Thorne describes how victorian children were treated in the workhouse.
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Key Info
  • Child labourer, Will Thorne describes how victorian children were treated in the workhouse.
  • Duration: 01:21
  • The child labour of Will Thorne, a vctorian child labourer is illustrated as an animation. Born in Hockley, he started his first job as a wheel turner in a rope factory but went on strike at the ripe old age of six after a dispute over his wages. From there he moved onto the brick works but quit that job after it nearly crippled him. In 1882 he moved to London, where he worked in a gas works and became politically active. He was taught to read and write by Karl Marx’s daughter Eleanor and went on to found the national gas workers union. He stood as an MP and was elected to parliament in 1906. He finally retired from political life in 1946 aged 87. This clip from ‘The Children Who Built Victorian Britain’ was first broadcast on BBC Four : bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t6t3r on 28 January 2011. Please note this clip is only available in Flash.
  • Subject:

    History

       Topic:

    Victorians: Child Labour

  • Keywords: Will Thorne, victorian, Workhouse Child labour, animation, wheel turner, factory
Ideas for use in class
  • Can the children research on the internet any other recounts of victorian life in a workhouse or the life and work of Will Thorne. How reliable are these recounts likely to be? Children research the Work and Children’s Act of the 1800 and 1900s. Children write their own recount of life in a victorian workhouse.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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