Moral order and the industrial environment in the woollen textile districts of West Yorkshire, 1780-1880
This thesis is a study of how changing ideas of moral order between 1780 and 1880 were expressed in the perception of and designs for the industrial environment. The term industrial environment' includes industrial plant, especially textile mills, and built environments that were closely connected with the running of an industrial enterprise, for example workers' housing and public parks. The lives and works of five textile entrepreneurs are examined: the Gotts of Leeds, the Mimes of Wakefield, the Akroyds of Halifax, the Crossleys of Halifax and the Salts of Bradford and Saltaire. Chapter One is an examination of the theme of moral order and the industrial environment in England from 1780-1830. It considers varying and conflicting moral attitudes to industrial environments, those of poets like Wordsworth and industrialists like Arkwright. It includes a detailed criticism of the novel Shirley by Charlotte Brontë. Chapter Two is an examination of the attitudes of merchants and clothiers to the rise of the factory system in Leeds. Chapter Three considers the life and work of Benjamin Gott and his sons. Gott's attitude to industrial landscape reflected his dual role as a merchant and manufacturer. The careers of two families of Wakefield merchants, the Milnes and the Naylors, are examined in Chapter Four. Chapter Five is an examination of the theme of moral order and the industrial environment in England from 1830 to 1880. It emphasises how some Victorian industrialists attempted to extend their moral influence beyond their factory gates into the places where their workers spent their leisure time. This is seen as an attempt to foster more cordial class relations than existed in manufacturing districts in the l840s.This chapter includes a criticism of the novel 'North and South' by Elizabeth Gaskell. The industrial and social changes in early Victorian Halifax are outlined in Chapter Six. Chapters Seven and Eight examine the response of two large manufacturers to class conflict in Halifax in the 1840s. The Akroyds and the Crossleys created and sponsored a wide range of 'model' environments including houses, churches and parks. Chapters Nine and Ten are an examination of the career and influence of Titus Salt. Salt created a model mill village, Saltaire, as an antitype to the squalor, crime and industrial unrest of Bradford where he ran five mills in the 1840s. An assessment is made of how successful the Akroyds, Crossleys and Salts were in their attempts to moralise mill workers. Their moral attitudes are compared with those of the Gotts and the Milnes who made their careers in the period 1780-1830.