Some factory owners, like Thomas Ashton at Hyde in Cheshire, insisted that female workers leave their employment upon marriage. A significant minority of wives, however, worked from sheer necessity.
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In the s, in Lancashire alone, a survey of cotton factories found that just over half of the , workers were female. Around 10, of them were married women. Babies and children were left with childminders, while the women worked.
Most mothers returned to work a fortnight after their confinement. The children were too drugged to eat and became malnourished.
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Some died from starvation; others grew up sickly and stunted. Following years of campaigning, in the working day in textile mills for women and young persons under 18 was reduced to ten hours to improve conditions. Another woman, however, said that she would rather work 12 hours as she needed the extra money; her tailor husband was often unemployed. By , over 26 per cent of women working in cotton mills nationally were married, three quarters of whom were of childbearing age.
Factory inspector Robert Baker pointed out that, if these women were excluded from the workplace, they could not support their children or pay for their education. But he did not suggest how they could be supported while their babies were tiny there was no statutory maternity benefit until Some thrifty women helped themselves and their families by using penny savings banks. Alone and penniless, her only hope is a once elegant Victorian house to restore and sell Single dad Ryan is unsettled by his attraction to the vulnerable Melissa - his young daughters and his work are all he has time for.
But as the falling snow and fairy lights turn Heatherdale into a place of magic, Ryan realises that all he wants for Christmas is Melissa. Meanwhile, her biological son has been raised single-handedly by handsome cardiac surgeon Leo Forester. With so much at stake sparks fly between the brooding surgeon and the feisty nurse, but when they're forced to spend time together for their boys' sakes, their uneasy attraction unfolds.
Could this heartrending mistake turn them into a truly special family? Log In Register Help.
About the author
Please log in to view pricing. Author s : Jennifer Taylor , Abigail Gordon.
Genre: Romance , Modern Fiction. Product recommendations. Midwives On Call For