Tuesday, 20 December 2016
CHILDREN AT WORK
Today we are taking it for granted that children do not work but it is not so long ago that children worked from a very young age. They worked in mines, factories and on farm land in barbaric long hours, very hard work and for very little money to support their huge families.
To think this happened during the height of the British Empire. Nothing has changed. Today the "Elite" still tramples on the back of the poor, disabled and general public to fill their pockets. Children and parents starving and people are homeless by the hundreds of thousands, yet it is the sixth richest country.
The task children did depended on their parents' position in society. On land children started to help in the fields at the age of three or four. They removed stones for easier ploughing; scared birds from the crops and pulled weeds.
Older children herded cows and sheep. At harvest time the whole family had to help by gathering wheat, grapes, fruits and any task they were able to do or some hardly.
Jobs for boys were mainly helping blacksmiths, wheelwrights or cobblers. For the girls it was limited to stay at home and plaid straw for hats, making lace or knitting.
In towns is was even harder for children to earn a penny. They had to beg, gather rags and bones to sell. Many boys were sent away from homes at the age of seven to learn a trade. They lived with the tradesman's family such as butcher, Tailor, baker or stonemason, if they were lucky.
Although most of their life was appalling where they slept and their food was menial, long hours and menial jobs. They endured it because it gave them some earnings for the family at home plus they were able to learn a trade which they could follow as adults.[
It was also a way of life where nobody thought about it and just accepted.
Girls were sent as servants in big houses from the age of 10 years old. They started as scullery maids, preparing vegetables and scrubbing floors. If they clever enough and lucky they would work their way up to Ladies' maids and housekeepers.
Daughters of rich families were not expected to work even so they learned to sew and housekeep.
The boys left home at the age of seven. In the Middle Ages they went to Monasteries where they learned to read and write and illumination or become monks themselves.
They also could become pages in noble households to ran errands, waited at tables and learned how to ride, hunt and fight. At 14 they became squires to knights and became knights themselves at the age of 21.
In the late Middle Ages schools began to appear for richer boys and by the 19th century most boys of the upper classes were sent away to school.
Trade Union achievements for the working class. If it wasn't for Trade Union we would still in this situation make no mistake. The mine- and mill-owners would not have given better wages, holidays or better housing unless pressured into.