SADLER, Michael Thomas, 1780-1835, radical politician and philanthropic businessman

Scope and Content

Correspondence and miscellaneous printed pamphlets by and concerning Michael Sadler.

Administrative / Biographical History

Michael Sadler, 1780-1835, was born in Snelston, Derbyshire. While he was still young he assisted the Methodist movement. In 1800 he moved to Leeds where he became an importer of Irish linens. He was Tory MP for Newark, 1829 and 1830, and for Aldborough, North Yorkshire 1831-1832. He moved unsuccessfully for the establishment of poor law in Ireland, and moved resolution for improving the living conditions of the agricultural poor in England, 1831. On 16th March 1832 Sadler introduced a Bill in the House of Commons that proposed limiting the hours of all persons under the age of 18 to ten hours a day. Parliament was unwilling to pass Sadler's bill, but in April 1832 it was agreed that there should be another parliamentary enquiry into child labour. Sadler was made chairman and for the next three months the parliamentary committee interviewed 48 people who had worked in textile factories as children. On 9th July Michael Sadler discovered that at least six of these workers had been sacked for giving evidence to the parliamentary committee. Sadler announced that this victimisation meant that he could no longer ask factory workers to be interviewed. He now concentrated on interviewing doctors who had experience treating people who worked in textile factories. In the 1832 General Election, Sadler's opponent was John Marshall (1765-1845), the Leeds flax-spinning magnate. Marshall used his influence to win the election and Sadler lost his seat in the House of Commons. Sadler's report was published in January 1833. The information in the report shocked the British public and Parliament came under increasing pressure to protect the children working in factories. His publications include: 'An apology for the Methodists: being a copy of a letter to the Reverend Henry Stokes, vicar of Doveridge, Derbyshire. Containing some animadversions on one of his late discourses, and on a certain combination in that parish' (1797); 'Catholic question. Speech of Michael Thomas Sadler, Esq. MP for Newark, in the House of Commons, on Tuesday, the 17th of March, 1829, at the second reading of the Roman Catholic Emancipation Bill' (1829); 'The cause of the poor: The speech of M T Sadler, Esq. MP in the House of Commons, on Monday the 29th of August, on bringing forward his resolution for the permanent relief of the Irish poor' (1831); 'Condition of the labouring poor: Speech of Michael Thomas Sadler, Esq. in the House of Commons, on Tuesday evening, October 11, 1831, on obtaining leave to bring in a bill for bettering the condition of the labouring poor of England' (1831).


Three bound volumes as follows: Vol. 1 Correspondence; Vol. 2 Pamphlets; Vol. 3 Cuttings.

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Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on May 8, 2002

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