Child Labour in Britain, 1750–1870

  • Authors
  • Peter Kirby

Part of the Social History in Perspective book series (SHP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Peter Kirby
    Pages 1-8
  3. Peter Kirby
    Pages 93-130
  4. Peter Kirby
    Pages 131-134
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 135-172

About this book


What kinds of jobs did children do in the past, and how widespread was their employment? Why did so many poor families put their children to work? How did the state respond to child labour? What problems arise in the interpretation of evidence of child employment?

Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870
- Offers a broad empirical analysis of how the work of children was integrated with the major economic and occupational changes of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain
- argues that working children occupied a unique position within the context of the family, the labour market and the state
- discusses the key issues involved in the study of children's employment

In this clear and concise study, Peter Kirby convincingly argues that child labour provided an invaluable contribution to economic growth and the incomes of working-class households. Consequently, the picture that emerges is much more complex than that portrayed in many traditional approaches to the subject.


attention child children demography economic growth employment family growth income industrial revolution labor market organization production revolution state

Bibliographic information