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This piece of legislation was the first effective Factory Act to be passed. Two pieces of factory legislation had been passed earlier: the 1802 Health and Morals of Apprentices Act and the 1819 Cotton Mills Act but neither of them had had much effect.
... no person under eighteen years of age shall [work] between half-past eight in the evening and half-past five in the morning, in any cotton, woollen, worsted, hemp, flax, tow, linen or silk mill...
... no person under the age of eighteen shall be employed in any such mill ... more than twelve hours in ... one day, nor more than sixty-nine hours in ... one week...
There shall be allowed ... not less than one and a half hours for meals.
It shall not be lawful ... to employ in any factory ... as aforesaid, except in mills for the manufacture of silk, any child who shall not have completed his or her ninth year.
It shall not be lawful for any person to employ ... in any factory ... as aforesaid for longer than forty-eight hours in one week, nor for longer than nine hours in one day, any child who shall not have completed his or her eleventh year...
It shall be lawful for His Majesty to appoint four Inspectors of factories where ... children and young persons under eighteen years of age [are] employed, empowered to enter any ... mill, and any school ... belonging thereto, at all times ... by day or by night, when such ... factories are at work.
The Inspectors shall have power to make such rules as may be necessary for the execution of this act, binding on all persons subject to the provisions of this act; and are authorised to enforce the attendance at school of children employed in factories according to the provisions of this act.
Every child restricted to the performance of forty-eight hours of labour in any one week shall attend some school.
Statutes of the Realm, 3 & 4 William IV, c. 103.
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