Thomas Turner

Dr. Thomas Turner was the house surgeon and apothecary of the Manchester Workhouse. Dr. Turner was interviewed by Lord Kenyon's House of Lords Committee on 1st June, 1818.

Primary Sources

(1) Thomas Turner was interviewed by Lord Kenyon's House of Lords Committee on 1st June, 1818.

Question: During your experience, have you had an opportunity of forming an estimate of the comparative state of health of the children employed in cotton-factories and in other occupations?

Answer: I have.

Question: What is the result of your observation and experience of this subject?

Answer: That persons working in factories enjoy a much better state of health than weavers, and as good a state as any class of workpeople.

Question: Did you, in the course of last month, inspect the mills of MaConnell and Kennedy in Manchester?

Answer: I did.

Question: How many persons did you find to be employed in that factory?

Answer: 1125.

Question: What appeared to be the general state of health of those you saw?

Answer: The general appearance was good and healthy.

Question: Do you think it would benefit a child's health of eight years old to be kept twelve hours upon his legs?

Answer: I am not prepared to answer that question.

Question: Is your medical skill so limited that you can form no opinion, whether it would or would not be injurious?

Answer: It would be a matter of opinion.

Question: I ask your opinion?

Answer: As I have no facts to go by, I do not feel prepared to answer the question.

Question: Would you think a child of eight years old being kept fourteen hours upon its legs without any intermission, would or would not that be dangerous, if he was kept standing the whole time?

Answer: I think it would be fatiguing; whether the health would be materially injured by it, I am not prepared to say.

Question: You can form no opinion whether a child of eight years of age being kept standing fourteen hours, without intermission, would be injurious to his health or not?

Answer: I am not prepared to answer.

Question: Would you not expect that the persons employed in beating cotton, from which a great quantity of dust and dirt results, would be affected by it?

Answer: I have no reason to think so.