Wales in 1850. On the ground reporting from the engine-room of industrial Britain—with personal accounts from the people themselves.

Labour and the Poor Volume VIII - The Mining and Manufacturing Districts of Wales eBook Cover


Labour and the Poor Volume VIII: Wales, The Mining and Manufacturing Districts




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Fuelling the steam-powered factories and feeding the furnaces of Britain. This was Wales in the mid-nineteenth century, rich in coal, copper, iron-ore, and lead.

From “The Metropolis of the Iron Works”, Merthyr Tydfil, to the copper works of Swansea and the lead mines of the north. This volume will take you into the Welsh towns, into the alleys and courts inhabited by the poor, and underground in the varied and dangerous mines. We discover the domestic and social lives of the workers, pauperism and the education of pauper children, crime, strikes of miners, and the truck system and its effects, giving you a unique picture of Wales in early Victorian times.

The author or “Special Correspondent” for The Morning Chronicle, the identity of whom we have yet to determine, carried out an in-depth investigation into the lives of the working class people of Wales, running to 17 letters in total. The first letter was published on March 4th, 1850, and the last one appeared on April 25th, 1851.

The Table of Contents for Volume VIII is shown below but for a better appreciation of the material we suggest previewing the Print Edition Sample which includes the Table of Contents, a sample letter, and the Index.

Labour and the Poor Volume VIII: Wales

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Letter I.
    • Merthyr Tydfil.
    • “The Metropolis of the Iron Works.”
  • Letter II.
    • Merthyr Tydfil.
    • The Iron Manufacturing Process.
  • Letter III.
    • Merthyr Tydfil.
    • The Iron Workers.
  • Letter IV.
    • Mines and Collieries.
    • A Welsh Coal-Pit.
  • Letter V.
    • Aberdare.
    • A “Strike” of Colliers.
  • Letter VI.
    • Merthyr and Dowlais.
    • The Domestic and Social Lives of the Workers.
  • Letter VII.
    • Merthyr and Dowlais.
    • Public Health—The Irish—Religion in the Iron-Works.
  • Letter VIII.
    • Merthyr and Dowlais.
    • Public Charities—Education—Pauperism.
  • Letter IX.
    • Merthyr—Tredegar.
    • Education of Pauper Children—Pauperism—Crime.
  • Letter X.
    • “Truck” in the Iron-Works and Collieries.
    • The Truck System and its Effects.
  • Letter XI.
    • Abercarn and Gwythen Collieries.
    • A Visit to the “Model Collieries”.
  • Letter XII.
    • Swansea and the Copper-Works.
    • The History of the Copper Trade.
  • Letter XIII.
    • Swansea—The Copper Works.
    • The Copper Works and Sanitary Condition of the Town.
  • Letter XIV.
    • Swansea—The Copper Works.
    • The Process of Smelting and Manufacturing Copper.
  • Letter XV.
    • Swansea—The Copper Works and Potteries.
    • Copper, Health, and Housing.
  • Letter XVI.
    • The Welsh Lead Mines.
    • The History of Lead Mining—A Visit to the Gorn Lead Mine.
  • Letter XVII.
    • The Welsh Lead Mines and Works.
    • Processing of Lead Ores—Statements of Lead Miners.
  • Index   ** print editions only **

For anyone interested in family history or social history, the “Labour and the Poor” series really is an invaluable resource.