|Description||Correspondence in this section is mainly between Harriet Martineau and Henry Whitworth, and deals primarily with two pamphlets Martineau wrote. Correspondence dated 1855-1856 regards Martineau's pamphlet related to fencing requirements in factories. This was titled 'The Factory Controversy; a warning against meddling legislation'. It was issued in 1855 by The National Association of Factory Occupiers. (A copy is held at the Cadbury Research Library, book classmark: HD 2356.G7).|
Letters HM/985-987 discuss the invitation to Martineau from Henry Whitworth to write another pamphlet, this time regarding Town Dues and Local Dues on Shipping. The expense of which was borne by the Association to Obtain the Right Appropriation of the Liverpool Town Dues. The remaining letters in this section mostly relate to the writing and publishing of this pamphlet, and detail suggested amendments by Whitworth, Mr Ashworth and Mr Heron, and reactions to various drafts and the final version. The title of Martineau's pamphlet is not mentioned in the correspondence, but it is thought to be Martineau's publication 'Corporate tradition and national rights: local dues on shipping, by Harriet Martineau', issued by the Association to Obtain the Right Appropriation of the Liverpool Town Dues. Published 1857. (A copy is held at the Cadbury Research Library, book classmark: HE 389.G7).
There are also a few further letters between Henry Whitworth and Robert Lowe, J. H. Farrer, and Alfred Higginson.
|Administrative History||Henry Whitworth was Secretary of the National Association of Factory Occupiers, and Secretary of the Association to Obtain the Right Appropriation of the Liverpool Town Dues. Both offices were based at 13 Corporation Street, Manchester.|
Information about the formation of the National Association of Factory Occupiers (taken in 2017 from http://www.historyofosh.org.uk/brief/):
Textile machinery in Victorian textile mills was commonly driven by belts from extensive systems of rotating overhead horizontal shafting, belt-driven in turn by extremely powerful steam engines. Entanglement with machinery usually meant serious mutilation and probable death. In spite of the evidence of numerous serious accidents, Inspectors' enforcement of the statutory requirement to fence mill gearing aroused strong opposition from employers, particularly amongst the Manchester cotton mill owners. They argued that unfenced transmission shafting above a height of seven feet from the ground was safe by its position and fencing was thus unnecessary. In 1854 the Inspectors issued a circular letter disagreeing with this view, stating that the experience of numerous accidents involving overhead shafting showed that all transmission shafting should be securely fenced. Opposition to the Inspectors' opinion came to a head at a meeting of manufacturers held in Manchester, where they decided to form a Factory Law Amendment Association. This local initiative soon widened, becoming the National Association of Factory Occupiers in 1855, with the objective of resisting the Factory Inspectors' fencing requirements.