Striving for a world transformed by justice and peace - a TL from 1827

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by pipisme, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    The Bryant and May factory workers elected a strike committee with Alice Thompson as its chairman. With members of the London Trades Council, they met the directors and made the following demands.
    1) That they stop using white phosphorus in matches
    2) That all fines be abolished
    3) That all deductions for paint, brushes, stamps etc be ended
    4) That the workers can choose to work 54 hours a week as 10 hours a day from 8am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays, and 4 hours on Saturdays from 8am to 12pm, rather than 8am to 6pm Mondays to Saturdays which they were obliged to.
    5) The girls and women were not banned from wearing trousers at work.

    The management agreed to the workers demands except for the first one. They said they could not afford to replace white phosphorus with the more expensive red phosphorus.

    The workers had the support of the Commonwealth Party. The strike committee met the Home Secretary, George Potter, and he told them that the government would introduce legislation to ban the use of white phosphorus in matches. This passed through the House of Commons and House of Lords in June 1875 and July 1875.
     
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  2. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    The workers at the Bryant and May factory formed a match workers union which was led by a woman.

    The living wage was three pence an hour for workers aged 16 or over, which was 13 shillings and six pence for a fifty four hour week. For workers aged between thirteen and sixteen the living wage was two and a half pence an hour, which was eleven shillings and three pence for a fifty four week. There was no provision in the Living Wage Act for the Living Wage to be increased. So it would stay the same without legislation to increase it and therefore steadily lose its value with inflation.

    It was mostly women workers who benefited from the living wage as they were concentrated in low paid jobs. In the summer of 1875 there was a series of articles on Women and Work in the Beacon, the Commonwealth Party weekly journal, by a female journalist. It described how women who worked in engineering were not made machine tuners and there could not be promoted to supervisory positions. Women who worked in the Potteries or as weavers in the textile mills were proud of the skilled work they did. In the textile industry the spinners were mostly men and the weavers were women, but the spinners were paid more.

    The expansion of the retail trade meant that more women were becoming shop assistants, but most shop managers were men. The exception was the Good To Wear chain of clothes shops where the majority of shop managers were women. Shops such as those selling luxury goods such as jewellery, wine or fine books were exclusively male. More women were getting jobs as clerical workers, either in the civil service or in the private sector, but there were none in executive positions.
     
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  3. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

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    Keep it up, pip! :)
     
  4. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    More from the articles on women and work in the Beacon . As regards professional jobs, teaching by far had the largest number of women, but there were no female head teachers except of girls schools. Nursing was another profession in which there were a large number of women. There were a small number of women doctors, but no surgeons. There were no women solicitors or barristers but there were female solicitors clerks. There were few female bank clerks, but no bank managers, and no women worked at the Bank of England or in the London Stock Exchange. Women worked in publishing, but none in senior positions. There were female artists, musicians and photographers. There were a few women members of parliament and Peers. There were a few women working at Commonwealth Party headquarters but none in senior posts.
     
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  5. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    The Liberal revival continued with the by-election in Darwen, Lancashire on 2 October 1875. This was caused by the death of the Conservative MP, Henry Fielden, on 5 September. The result was as follows [October 1874 general election]:
    Marquis of Hartington [Liberal]: 37.9% [34.7%]
    James Birley [Conservative]: 36.2% [42.5%]
    Commonwealth Party candidate: 25.9% [22.8%]
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Liberal majority: 1.7% [Conservative majority: 7.8%]
    ---------------------------------------------------
    There was a swing of 4.75% from Conservative to Liberal.

    Hartington had served as a minister in Liberal governments. He had lost his Heywood seat in the general election. Birley was the unsuccessful Conservative candidate for Ribble Valley in the general election.

    The result of the by-election in Bootle on 6 November 1875 caused by the death of Charles Turner [Conservative] on 15 October, was as follows [October 1874 general election]:
    John Ireland Blackburn [Conservative]: 41.8% [46.3%]
    Commonwealth Party candidate: 40.7% [34.9%]
    Liberal Party candidate: 17.5% [18.8%]
    ------------------------------------
    Conservative majority: 1.1% [11.4%]
    ------------------------------------
    The swing from Conservative to Commonwealth was 5.15%.

    William Dingwall Fordyce, the Liberal MP for Aberdeenshire East, died 27 November 1875. The result of the subsequent by-election held on 24 December was as follows [October 1874 general election]:
    Sir Alexander Hamilton Gordon [Liberal]: 48.6% [41.9%]
    Conservative Party candidate: 30.6% [39.2%]
    Commonwealth Party candidate: 20.8% [18.9%]
    ------------------------------
    Liberal majority: 18.0% [2.7%]
    ------------------------------
    There was a swing of 7.65% from Conservative to Liberal.
     
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  6. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

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    Keep it up, pip! :)
     
  7. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    In the November 1875 to August 1876 parliamentary session, the Poor Law Abolition Bill and the Social Insurance Bill passed through the House of Commons, but were thrown out by the House of Lords. These bills having now passed through the Commons twice, under the terms of the Parliament Act 1860, if they passed through the House of Commons for a third time, they would become law over the opposition of the Lords. They were reintroduced into the House of Commons in November 1876 and became law in February 1877.
     
  8. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    On Saturday afternoon 12 December 1875 Angharad Griffiths, her partner Helen Price and their Gwen Jenkins were shopping in Swansea town centre when a middle-aged man in his early sixties approached them and spoke to Helen saying:
    "Its my darling wife, Helen, who left me all these years ago."

    "I am not your wife, Alfred." She said.

    "Yes you are, my darling. We are still legally married, and I have the legal right to fuck you whenever I want."

    Then a young woman in her mid twenties turned to Alfred and said:
    "You never told me that you are married."

    "I must have forgotten. The bitch walked out on me about twenty-five years ago for another man. He had got her pregnant."

    Helen and her friends saw that the young woman with Alfred looked frightened. She was as thin as a rake with bruises on her face.

    Helen spoke to her gently:

    "What's your name, love."

    "Annwyl Davies" She said softly.

    "Annwyl is a beautiful name. What Alfred has told you is all lies. He walked out on me because I was pregnant with my son, Thomas. He is a fine, handsome young man and married to Nia, the second eldest daughter of my friend Angharad here," [looking towards her friend] "and they have four children."
     
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  9. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

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    Keep it up, pip! :)
     
  10. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    Annwyl looked pleadingly at Helen and said:

    "Alfred hits me. But he doesn't want to. He just can't help it when he gets angry with me. I'm scared of him, but I can't leave him. I love him. I need him. I'm expecting his baby but if he finds out he'll throw me out. I'm about two months gone. He never lets me leave the house except with him.

    Helen gently touched Annwyl's arm. As she was about to speak, Alfred cut in.

    "She needs me to buy all the laudanum she wants. [1] She is addicted to it. She lives a life of luxury in a big house in Sketty. [2] I buy her everything she wants - clothes, jewellery, laudanum. In return she lets me fuck her whenever I want, and does a bit of housework whenever she wants." He said. Then turning to Allwyn he said "I love you sweetheart. I will always look after you. Don't believe what that bitch Helen and those other women tell you. They are bad people. You must never see them again." Then he dragged her away and they were lost in the crowds.

    Alfred was wearing trousers, coat, waistcoat and top hat. He looked like a respectable middle-class gentleman. He sported a full beard and moustache. Annwyl was wearing jewellery and expensive clothes.

    [1] Laudanum was a mixture of opium with spices and distilled water. It was freely available and was stocked not only by pharmacists, but also grocers and general stores. Though an ounce cost only a penny, Alfred didn't allow Annwyl any money of her own. Also she needed more than ounce a day to feed her habit.

    [2] Sketty was a middle-class district in the west of Swansea.
     
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  11. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    Helen asked her friends what they should do now. Gwen suggested that they look in a street directory of Swansea in Swansea library to see if Alfred Price was listed in it. They went to the library and after some searching found that Alfred Price lived in Derwen Fawr Road in Sketty. Angharad said that they would be seeing Rhiannon and John the next day and would ask their advice about getting the police involved.
     
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  12. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

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    Keep it up, pip! :)
     
  13. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    On Sunday 13 December, Angharad and Helen visited Rhiannon and John at their house in Sketty, and told them what had happened. Rhiannon was Angharad's eldest daughter. Rhiannon said that the following morning she would go to the offices of Howell and Pritchard, solicitors, and ask their advice. She worked for them as their clerk before she gave birth to her daughter, Catrin.

    In the afternoon of 14 December, Rhiannon sent a telegram to her mother and Helen telling them that the solicitors had been to the police, who would be going to Alfred Price's house at 7 o'clock that evening to question him on the assault and unlawful imprisonment of Annwyl Davies, and also speak to Annwyl. She was not related to John Davies, Rhiannon's husband.
     
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  14. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    So at 7o'clock that evening a police sergeant and a constable together with Angharad and Helen knocked on the front door of Alfred Price's large detached house in Derwen Fawr Road. The door was opened by a maid.
    "Who is it?" Alfred asked her.

    "It's the police and two women". She said.

    "Let them in."

    So they went in to the spacious hall.

    "May I help you officer? Price asked the sergeant. "We have guests for dinner tonight."

    "Does Miss Annwyl Davies live here, sir? We would like to speak to her."

    "She does. She is in the dining room with our guests."

    They all went to the dining room. When Price opened the door they saw Annwyl dressed in her best clothes and acting the part of the upper middle class hostess. Henry Hussey Vivian and several other prominent Swansea industrialists with their wives were also there. Vivian was the owner and managing director of Vivian & Sons, which comprised the Hafod Copperworks and other works in Swansea.

    "Would you like to speak to Miss Davies?" Price asked the sergeant.

    "That will not be necessary. I apologise for troubling you."

    As they were leaving Helen shouted out to Annwyl:

    "It's Helen and Angharad, we have come to help you." But Annwyl said nothing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 8:43 AM
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  15. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

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    Keep it up, pip! :)
     
  16. pipisme Well-Known Member

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    Alfred Price was the manager of the Forest Spelter Works in Morriston, Swansea, which were owned by Vivian & Sons. Henry Hussey Vivian was a prominent member of Swansea Conservative Association and a generous donor to the party. Price was also a member and a party donor, though much less generous than Vivian. So Alfred's treatment of Annwyl now had a political dimension.

    The following morning, Tuesday 15 December 1875, Helen Price was called into the manager's office at Hafod Copperworks where she worked. He told her that she was dismissed immediately. When Helen asked him why, he was very apologetic about it and told her that Mr Vivian had ordered him to dismiss her. She would be paid for the one day she had worked that week. Of course Helen knew why she had been given the sack.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM
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