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Ten Hours Act

Ten Hours Act (1847). This Act, limiting the work of women and young persons (aged 13–18) in textile mills to ten hours a day for five days in the week and eight hours on Saturday, was the result of a sustained campaign from the 1830s managed in Parliament by Lord Ashley (Shaftesbury) and John Fielden and in the factory districts of Yorkshire and Lancashire by Richard Oastler and the short-time committees of working men. Although adult hours were not reduced until the system of working children in relays was suppressed in 1853, the Act was a triumph of welfare legislation over laissez-faire doctrine.

John F. C. Harrison

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