The Diary of a Young Mill Worker

Dear Diary, Monday 7th September 1797
The mill is great! My name is Amelia Northwood, I am 11 years old and come from Liverpool workhouse; I was abandoned by my parents at the age of 4. Life in the workhouse was hard; we were expected to work for 15 hours a day, in terrible conditions with no pay. Conditions in the mill seem to be much better. This morning, Mr Greg visited the workhouse, he chose 20 children, (all examined by a doctor first), and asked us if we would like to be his new apprentices, not surprisingly every child picked, took him up on his offer. My first impressions of Mr Greg was that he was smart, strict and business like, but after talking to him on the journey to The Apprentice house, I found out that he was kind and caring as well. When we arrived at The Apprentice house, Mr Greg introduced us to our house master, Mr Shawcross. Mr Shaw cross took us on a guide of The Apprentice house, told us our daily routine and told us what was expected of us. We are expected to work for 12 hours a day, not as bad as the workhouse where we were to work for 15 hours a day! Today was ‘Just a day off’ as Mr Shawcross told us, but tomorrow we are expected to work. We do get days off, including Christmas, New Year, Easter and two days off in the summer, as well as every Sunday. Below, I have drawn a picture of The Apprentice House followed by as a copy of the Quarry Bank Mill Rules & Conditions of employment.

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Dear Diary, Tuesday 8th September 1797
Today was my first day at the mill. I am a ‘Fetcher’ this is carrying red tins to and from machines. Sounds easy but you have to be efficient and if the person you are working for runs out of cotton, you are to work overtime. However, if you work quickly and efficiently the person working the machines may give you extra money! One of the things I dislike about the mill is that the apprentice workers do not get paid, but the normal work children do..

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The Diary of a Young Mill Worker. (2018, Sep 04). Retrieved from