(20 December 1789 – 22 August 1861) "the Factory King" was a "Tory radical", an active opponent of Catholic Emancipation
and Parliamentary Reform
and a lifelong admirer of the Duke of Wellington
; but also an abolitionist
and prominent in the "anti-Poor Law" resistance to the implementation of the "New Poor Law
" of 1834. Most notably, as his sobriquet
indicates, he was at the heart of the campaign for a ten-hour working day
in its early years: although less so by the time of its successful culmination in the Factories Act 1847
, he retained the sobriquet.
"Moved by pity and indignation at the long hours worked by young children in factories, he devoted his life to their emancipation, and was a tireless champion of the Ten Hours Factory Bill" noted a commemorative plaque erected in Leeds parish church in 1925. "He cannot altogether claim prominence as a political thinker...but history acclaims him not as a politician, but as an agitator" commented the ''Yorkshire Post'' on that occasion.
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