Children in the Victorian Age


We are going to tell you about children in the Victorian age.

Children at work

Children had an unhappy childhood. They worked hard to satisfy the needs of their parents because families were very poor and they didn't have enough money, so children worked. They underwent very difficult conditions of employment. Days were long for them : eight or twelve hours a day, six days a week.


In this picture we can see many children at work and we see they worked in very dangerous conditions because they carried heavy stones and they didn't wear shoes because families were too poor to buy them. Children worked in very sad conditions when they were in rags.The building could collapse because at that times, streets were very poor.

In the industrial revolution, they looked like slaves.




Children worked in manufactories.

At that time, there was no insurance and when children had accidents or were ill they didn't have any help.

Many children often worked with adults : they worked under the same conditions. Children were small, they could go into narrow spaces, children were clever too and employers appreciated these qualities.

In 2001, in poor countries, many children often work to help their parents but the conditions of employment may be better than the industrial revolution in England.


In this picture, we can see many children at work in a manufactory. We think they were very sad and weren't happy.

Life Conditions

In this picture we can see a dark , a poor street. People lived in very dangerous conditions because they didn't have hygiene. There were many people in this street.

In the 19th century, children lived in very difficult conditions because they lived near
factories and in unhealthy flats or in suburbs with poor hygiene. They had bad nutrition. They ate some bread, pork, milk or cheese (not everyday). This favoured infant mortality and diseases. Towards 1830 charity associations came to help children and their families. It gave food and clothes to everybody. After 1840 school was an obligation and children stopped working. But the conditions remained very difficult for all because streets and suburbs were very dirty in England.


In this picture we can see a dirty and a poor home because they didn't have hygiene. They were many in their home ; we can see five children. We think they were very sad and sorry. It was one room for seven persons.




Children's illness

In 1830, children could be ill with cholera when they drank water. Streets in London were dirty. Conditions of life were very difficult. Children lived in the street and the industrial revolution caused pollution. Many children were very ill. Children's lungs infected and they blackened. They had tuberculosis. These diseases were the infection of the lungs. Whooping cough was pratically the same as tuberculosis. It was a virus. In the 19 th century vaccins didn't exist. The rate of mortality was high.


In this picture we can see death scything people. This document is very horrifying. This drawing comes from the news paper: "Le petit journal" on Sunday the first of December 1912. Cholera disappeared in western Europe but it remained in eastern and the mediterranean..



Rich children

Parents of rich children often were bankers, merchants, industrials or civil servants. They lived in beautiful suburbs, sometimes in private hotels. The upper class organized parties and could go to festivals whereas the poor worked.

Only children from rich families went to school. But these ones were not many.

Boys were in famous schools like Eton where education was very strict. Eton is a big school near London in front of Windsor.

They could go to school invented by Thomas ARNOLD, a rugbyman, where behaviour, friendship, fair play were more important than others. Thomas ARNOLD and parents thought it was more important for gentlemen to learn classical authors than sciences.

Girls didn't have the same education as boys. They learned to become good wives and good mothers.

This education was very unfair so in 1870, the Education Act was passed. It offered schools for all children between the age of 5 and 13.

On this photo you can see Queen Victoria with five of her nine children. She was very strict with them. They didn't do what they wanted. Tutors came to give them lessons. Their clothes were very expensive.


Here we can see rich families with their children in Hyde Park in London.


This has been written by Bénédicte, Anna, Bénédicte and Charlotte.