The Victorian Chimney Sweepers started in the United Kingdom. In the 1700s-1800s with children being kidnapped or sold by their parents. These children were kept under an apprentice and had to sleep in unsatisfactory places also being forced to work under harsh conditions. Most of these children were under the age of ten but older than three cleaning inside chimneys, causing life threatening situations. One of the requirements of being a chimney sweeper was the fact that the children had to be small. In order to have a toddler, a master or an apprentice would buy these boys from their parents or kidnapped them off the streets. What would happen next is these young boys were often starved in order to fit inside a chimney and clean soot off the walls. Another is that the small little boys had to fit in the narrow chimneys that were no bigger than 20 inches.
In addition, to the requirements there was several controversial subjects in the victorian era about the young boys working conditions. The controversial subjects included not being paid, children dying, developing cancer, being disfigured throughout their lifetime, and the fact that a small child forced to clean inside a chimney. Whenever the boys would mature they soon developed cancer in their scrotum and die during this tragic ordeal. Also the small boys bones would end up expanding differently than average children their age. Many of these children were not paid, and some were paid in food while others not so lucky. While inside the chimneys the toddlers would die due to suffocation and get stuck and die. The master’s next action was to send yet again another child up the chimney up to remove the body, most frequently both boys ended up stuck.
In later years, there would soon be many acts stopping children from working at young ages. After multiple deaths, and unpleasant labor conditions this was brought to the attention of parliament in the United Kingdom many acts were created to prevent children from dying in chimneys. A first act of defence was The Chimney Sweepers Act of 1788 that was established so no boy would work younger than eight years old. This was a first of many motions to prohibit child labor in the United Kingdom.
Another was The Act of Chimney Sweepers and Chimney Regulation Act in 1840 this was meant to stop anyone from cleaning and working in chimneys under the age of twenty-one. Ultimately in 1875, an edited version of the past chimney sweepers acts a new act named the Chimney Sweepers Act of 1875 mission was to forbid child labor following the death of George Brewster aged 12. Shortly following his death, George’s master Mr.
Wyer was sent to jail and charged with manslaughter. Unfortunately George Brewster’s body was jammed inside the chimney while removing the soot from the walls. Once realizing young Mr.
Brewster was stuck multiple people attempted to break down the wall and free George but in the end he was declared dead. George Brewster became the final child to have died inside a chimney while removing the soot.As the future prolonged, there is no longer chimney’s that require anyone to climb inside and remove soot. In today’s time chimney now run on firewood and are not being cleaned daily.
It is now illegal for any child to clean a chimney as a career. In addition children are not being sold in exchange for money from their broke and greedy parents but also they are not being kidnapped.