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24 September 2014
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Harehills children go back in time
Harehills pupils go Victorian

Year 6 pupils at Harehills School welcomed four Victorian characters, modelled by pupils, into their classroom to learn about life in Victorian Leeds.

SEE ALSO

BBC Schools

BBC British History

Victorian Toys

WEB LINKS

Thackray Museum

Beckett Street Cemetery
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FACTS
In 1851, more people lived in British towns than the countryside for the first time in British history. (Channel 4)

Until the mid-1880s, children as young as 5 worked underground in mines. (aboutbritain.com)

After 1870, all children aged 5 to 13 had to go to school by law. (Nettlesworth School)
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Different lifestyles

Life for Victorian children in Leeds would have been very different from today. For a start, until certain laws were brought in, they did not have to go school!

A young chimney sweep

What kind of life do you think the characters in these photos had?

Work conditions for a young chimney sweep's assistant were dark, cramped, dusty and dangerous.

 

A privileged life

Daughter of a wealthy family

Many children worked to earn money. Those from rich families would have enjoyed a privileged life, although they would still have been expected to always be on their best behaviour. This young girl would have been taught at home by a governess.

 

The Workhouse

An orphan in tattered clothes

Those less fortunate, like orphans, might have ended up in a workhouse such as the Leeds Workhouse (now the Thackray Museum) where they were expected to earn their keep. Life in the workhouse was hard but it was better than being on the streets.

 

In service

A young Victorian maid

Young girls were sometimes sent to large homes to work as maids. Days were long and the work hard, but at least maids were fed and housed by their employers.

 

 

So, would you rather have been a child in Victorian times or in modern times?

Have a look at the toys that Victorian children played with.

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