‘I know a woman who has gone home and washed herself, taken to her bed, delivered of a child, and gone to work again under the week.
I have a belt round my waist, and a chain passing between my legs, and I go on my hands and feet … There are six women and about six boys and girls in the pit I work in; it is very hard work for a woman. The pit is very wet where I work, and the water comes over our clog-tops always, and I have seen it up to my thighs; it rains in at the roof terribly. My clothes are wet through almost all day long. I never was ill in my life, but when I was lying in.
I am very tired when I get home at night; I fall asleep sometimes before I get washed. I am not so strong as I was, and cannot stand my work so well as I used to. I have drawn till I have bathe skin off me; the belt and chain is worse when we are in the family way. My feller has beaten me many a times for not being ready. I were not used to it at first, and he had little patience.’
Betty Harris, age 37, Great Britain, Parliamentary Papers, 1842, Vol. XV, p. 84
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