Midlothian’s 100 Objects - Children working in the mines

The Children's Employment Commission (Mines) 1842 Report. Photo: National Mining Museum Scotland
The Children's Employment Commission (Mines) 1842 Report. Photo: National Mining Museum Scotland

In the early 1800s, working in the mines was harsh and women and young children worked alongside the men.

In 1840, Parliament set up a commission to investigate conditions and it gathered evidence from all over the country. Some of the worst conditions were discovered in the East of Scotland.

The commissioners interviewed thousands of workers and published a report of their findings, the Children’s Employment Commission (Mines) 1842 Report.

Society was shocked and the Mines and Colliers Act of 1842 was soon passed. It made it illegal for boys under 10 and all females to work underground.

Photo: National Mining Museum Scotland

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