The child-worker: James Jones, aged 12, Morfa Copperworks, 1841

Narrated by Ryan


I am James Jones, aged 12. It is 1841, and I work at the Morfa Copper works.

I work in the rolling mills. I put the copper sheets into the furnace to dry and when the man takes them out and cools them in water I put them up in a pile. There is another boy working at the same furnace. The work is very hot. The furnace door is down when the sheets are drying.

The work is not hard and the boys do it very well but they are sometimes obliged to be busy. I have been working three years. I work from six to six every day and at night every other night. I have meal times. I have lost very little time from sickness and have met with no accident. I work inside the mills. I get 5 shillings and six pence per week under the foremen. My father kept school at Morriston and had about 50 boys in it. He is dead. I can read Welsh and English.

Source:The Children’s Employment Commission 1842

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