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So considerable a body of evidence was produced, that it was found necessary to adjourn the inquest until the following day, when the inquiry was resumed, and did not terminate until a late hour in the evening.

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Finding this, Holgate twice sent up another boy, whom he told he would be down soon enough, and then got higher up, to prevent the boy taking hold of him. He was not fast, but merely stupid. This so enraged Holgate, that he swore he would cut him in pieces, and that when he came down he would give him his dinner; he also used several other similar expressions. Holgate then lighted a fire, to bring him down, which had not the desired effect, and he at length sent up another boy, with a rope, which he fastened to the leg of the deceased, and with which Holgate pulled him down about two yards, and then fastened the rope to the bars of the fire grate to prevent his ascending again Shortly after this, Holgate went up to the deceased himself, and stayed with him about five minutes, and, when he came down, he said he had nipped him and felt his feet, and thought he was dying.

He then shortly after went up again, and untied the rope, and on his return said he was dead enough. The chimney was then pulled down, and the deceased taken out quite dead. That part of the chimney in which he was found was only one foot by ten inches. The body, chest, and head of the deceased were opened by Dr. The cruelty of master-sweeps towards climbing boys was notorious. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

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Notify me of new comments via email. Promoting the education and interest in all things death-related and removing the stigma from the fate we are all destined for. Climbing boys of a later date, perhaps scrubbed for the camera. Twitter Facebook Google Pinterest Tumblr. Coal dust creosote collected in the chimneys in greater quantities and could ignite and cause fires in the predominantly wooden structures.

Soot was valuable and sold to farmers for fertilizer. Because the Sweep was generally too large to climb the chimneys, he usually employed two to twenty Climbing Boys, depending on how many of them he could keep alive. The parish generally paid a Master Sweep to employ as many four to thirteen year old destitute children and orphans as possible.

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Most often they started around the age of six, as before that, the children were often too weak to climb the often feet to the tops of high chimneys. The children mainly signed letters of indenture, which forced them to work for the Sweep until they had reached their majority adulthood. This took the children off the hands of the parish. The Sweep was even allowed to buy children from poor parents or kidnap homeless waifs from the street to use. There were, of course slackers who did not follow these rules. Baths were often much more rare than weekly. One sweep only bathed his apprentices on Christmas, Whitsun just after Easter , and Goosefair early October.

Many only bathed them once monthly or bi-yearly, and that in the frigid river. They were seldom fed well, to keep them small enough to climb the chimneys. Often the child was so hungry he had to beg for food from the clients. If the child received clothing from a client, dishonest Sweeps might take the clothing to sell for more money. Flues were often tight some as small as 81 square inches with normal flues being 14 inches by 9 inches narrowing to 9X9 inches near the chimney pots on top. The boy or girl would pull their cap over their face to keep out as much soot as possible, then shimmy up the chimney, negotiating the twists and turns which allowed the ever narrower chimney flue to send a shaft of hot gas to suck air down into the fire.

The thinner the flue, the better the draw. When they first started to work, the children often had raw and bleeding elbows and knees from climbing and then sliding quickly down the chimneys. Often Climbing Boys got stuck in chimneys or lost their way in the maze of Stygian darkness. Heaven help the child that allowed his knees to get stuck next to his nose.

Sometimes they burned or suffocated to death. The Sweep would stand on the roof with a bucket to extinguish the child if he called out. Climbing Boys rarely got to bathe. Also, because the bag of clinker sometimes included warm coals, the Climbing Boy would sleep in or on the bag of clinker or ash for warmth.

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It was called Sleeping Black. There were other occupational hazards. They suffered from blindness due to soot in the eyes, bruises, burns, asthma, and exposure to the elements. They often went up warm or hot chimneys, some of which had fires in the soot, to put out the fire.

Another way was to send another boy up through the claustrophobic, cloying soot to poke the Climbing Boy in the feet or rear with pins.

Death of a Climbing Boy: | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

Even girls could be Climbing Boys, and if they survived the rigorous work and dangerous conditions, could become Master Sweeps themselves, employing Climbing Boys of their own. In George Smart invented the first mechanical sweeping machine. John Glass marketed a new and improved sweeping machine in , including the newest brush. But people were slow to trust the newfangled sweeping machine.

Clearly a human would to a better job than any machine. Another thing which contributed to the decline of Sweeps was the advent of gas or electric heating. The Sweep is rumored to be a symbol of good luck. In England, a Sweep brought good luck to a bride on the day of her wedding and would often hire himself out for the purpose. There are varying stories about the origin of that belief.

The Poor Life of An Apprentice Chimney Sweep - The History of Children at Work

In Germany, Sweep figures of candy usually marzipan or ornaments attached to bouquets of flowers are given as good luck gifts on New Years. European Sweeps still wear a black top hat and black uniform with golden buttons. The origin story for the top hat is also varied. Now they use a selection of brushes, chippers, lead or iron balls, vacuums, and cameras, and sweep the chimney usually from the bottom.

They can evaluate the situation and are often trained to repair, replace, or build the chimney and cement crown. His Sweep is an unprincipled wretch and interested in much more than cleaning chimneys. Meanwhile, check out my blog at www.

Death of a Climbing Boy: 1827

There were no ft. Those record-height chimneys are large industrial chimneys: By the time you have floor buildings or so and could possibly have a ft floo , using chimney boys was illegal. There were girl chimney sweeps though most were boys. Some chimney sweeps became wealthy though most either lived in poverty or muddled through. Your email address will not be published. Hancock beamed as Alicia reached her side, put an arm around Alicia, and brought her into their circle. Even more devastating up close, Lord Amesbury turned to her.

His piercing blue eyes threatened the strength in her knees. Though taller than most ladies, Alicia still had to look up to meet his gaze. No other color existed in those eyes; no green or gray, only deep, dark blue, like the fathomless depths of the ocean. All the other men she had met lately, namely those her uncle insisted she consider for a husband, had taken careful note of her figure. But this gentleman only looked into her eyes.

Lord Amesbury inclined his head.