Question: At what age did you first go to work in a factory?
Question: Will you state the hours of labour?
Answer: From six in the morning to eight at night.
Question: Will you state the effect that those long hours had upon the state of your health?
Answer: I was very much fatigued at night when I left my work; so much so, that I sometimes could have slept as I walked, if I had not stumbled and started awake again; and so sick that I could not eat, and what I did eat I vomited.
Question: What work did you do?
Answer: I was a piecener.
Question: Will you state to this committee whether piecening is a very laborious employment for children?
Answer: It is very laborious employment; pieceners are continually running to and fro, and on their feet the whole day. It is commonly very difficult to keep up with the work.
Question: State the condition of the children towards the latter part of the day.
Answer: Towards the close of the day, when they come to be more fatigued, they cannot keep up very well and they are beaten to spur them on.
Question: What were you beaten with?
Answer: A strap.
Question: Anything else?
Answer: Yes, a stick sometimes: and there is a kind of roller, which runs on the top of the machine.
Question: What is the effect of the piecening upon the hands?
Answer: It makes them bleed' the skin is completely rubbed off, and in that case they bleed perhaps in a dozen parts.
Question: Do you take your food to the mill?
Answer: Yes. It was frequently covered by flues from the wool; and in that case they had to be blown off with the mouth, and picked off with the fingers, before it could be eaten.
Question: Did you attend the Sunday School?
Answer: Not very frequently. I very often slept till it was too late for school-time, or for divine worship; and the rest of the day I spent on walking out and taking the fresh air.
Question: How many grown-up females had you in the mill?
Answer: Perhaps there might be thirty-four or so that worked in the mill.
Question: How many of those had illegitimate children?
Answer: A great many of them; eighteen or nineteen of them, I think.
Question: Did they generally marry the men by whom they had children?
Question: Is it your opinion that those who have the charge of mills very often avail themselves of the opportunity they have to debauch the young women?
Answer: No, not generally; most of the improper conduct takes place among the younger people that work in the mill.