William Whatton was a doctor in Manchester. His work involved examining the workers at Peter Appleton's factory. Dr. Whatton was interviewed by Lord Kenyon's House of Lords Committee on 25th May, 1818.
Question: How long have you been a surgeon in Manchester?
Answer: Three years.
Question: Have you had, generally, an opportunity of observing whether you work of the children tends to produce bad health among them? Have you observed any particular symptoms of disease about the children.
Answer: No; I cannot say that I did.
Question: If a child was of a delicate constitution, would you think twelve hours was too long to keep him at work?
Answer: The labour is so moderate it can scarecely be called labour at all; and under those circumstances I should not think there would be any injury from it.
Question: Do you happen to know whether or not any particular effect is produced upon a child's frame that is kept standing longer than his strenth will permit, or rather, than he ought to be subjected to?
Answer: I am not aware of any effect.
Question: If a child is kept standing longer than his strength will permit, it will produce a diseased affection of the sinews of the knee?
Answer: I have never seen that?
Question: Take the instance of a young person of eight years of age; would not the instance of a young person of eight years old, kept standing for twelve hours during the day, be likely to produce a ricketty appearance?