Opium and the Workers `Infant Doping‘ and `Luxurious Use‘

was not simply the public health dangers of adulteration and overdosing
which brought a new way of looking at opium. For the question of who
was using the drug – and how – was also important. Middle-class
dependence has always been much more acceptable than the establishment
of the habit within the working class and this class reaction to opium
was characteristic throughout the nineteenth century. But it was
particularly the case in the course of the public health movement at
mid-century. The publication of De Quincey’s Confessions was, it has
already been noted, only a matter for interested comment; and one
searches the journals of the time in vain for much by way of concern
about the widespread use of the drug in `respectable society‘. Yet
popular opium use was another matter. The dangers of urban opiate use
ran as a theme throughout the discussions of opium poisoning and
restriction of sale. This was seen to be more threatening than the
widespread reliance on opium in the rural Fens. Misunderstanding of the
popular culture of opiate use had its roots in the class tensions of
the period, and found expression in two ways – in the issue of infant
dosing with opium, and in the belief in the workingclass `stimulant‘
use of the drug.

Opium and children

dosing of working-class infants with soothing syrups based on opium has
always attracted much attention as a public health issue.1 The practice
was an undoubted reality, but implicit in the campaign against it was
class interest and a desire to re-mould popular culture into a more
acceptable form. Opium was the immediate concern, but the campaign
against it criticized basic patterns of working-class child-rearing
too. The rationale, however imperfect, behind practices like child
doping was ignored. Opium, as elsewhere, was a useful scapegoat.
Criticism of its use diverted attention from the social situation to
the individual failings of working-class mothers.
Numerous soothing
syrups were on the market. The best known names were Godfrey’s Cordial,
Dalby’s Carminative, Daffy’s Elixir, Atkinson’s Infants‘ Preservative,
Mrs Winslow’s Soothing Syrup and Street’s Infant Quietness. Other
preparations in use for this purpose were, like syrup of white poppies,
also made up commercially. Some, especially in rural areas, were still
brewed at home.
Godfrey’s was, though, the most famous of all the
`infant’s preservatives‘. With origins dating back to the eighteenth
century, it had originally been sold as a `general cordial‘ by Thomas
Godfrey 0f Hunsdon in Hertfordshire and after his death remained on the
market ‚prepared according to a receipt written by his own
…‘.2 Like Dalby’s, which also dated back to the eighteenth century,
it was sold in distinctive steeple-shaped bottles. In an 1837 medical
catalogue, F. Jacobson and Son were rather quaintly advertising
‚Godfreyes round‘ and ‚Godfreyes flat‘.3 Small chemists and corner
stores selling patent medicines were in the habit of making up their
own ‚Godfrey‘ and one 0f its dangerous features was therefore that it
could vary widely in its composition. For instance, in Hull in the
1850s, Godfreyes bought from one chemist had half a grain of opium per
fluid ounce; from another the proportion was four grains to an ounce .4
A pharmacist remembered the days when he used to make up Godfreyes by
the gallon : `I … can see with memory’s eye the fluted green syrup
bottle with its recessed label in red and gold in which it was kept. I
can smell still the oil 0f sassafras which, with alcohol and laudanum,
I stirred into the black treacle. One 0f the recognized perquisites of
the apprentice was t0 lick clean the sticky film adhering to the wooden
spoon at the end of the operation.’5
There were local preferences –
Atkinson’s Infants‘ Preservative, the product of an old-established
Manchester firm, was more popular than Godfrey’s in the 1840s in
Midland towns like Dudley and Sedgley. Claiming a sale of 70,000
bottles a year, it declared itself free of `pernicious stupefactives,
whose basis is laudanum or other opiates‘, but was in fact a mixture of
chalk and laudanum.6 `Children’s Draught‘, `Infants‘ Quietness‘,
`Soothing Syrup‘, `Nurses‘ Drops‘, `Mothers‘ Quietness‘ – the names
were legion, but opium the one invariable ingredient of these many
different preparations. Slowe’s Infants‘ Preservative was popular in
the Manchester area. In Kentish Town a notice on Thomson’s in Queen’s
Crescent still urges passers-by to `Try Thomsons Soothing Syrup for
Baby‘. The actual dosage of opium which was given to a child was highly
variable and could be very large. The usual dose of Godfrey’s was said
to be from half a teaspoonful to two teaspoonfuls. Where weighing was
erratic and the preparation evaporated to such an extent that it was
much stronger than expected, two or three teaspoonfuls would be
`stronger of poison than anybody knew‘. Babies could soon develop
tolerance of the drug, and mothers were then tempted to use stronger
preparations, including laudanum itself.7
The same series of
parliamentary inquiries which brought to light the issues of opium
poisoning, the drug’s use as a suicide agent and its adulteration
brought the child `doping‘ issue forward also. Dr Baker of Derby, in
evidence to the Factory Commission in 1834, early made the connection
with a mother’s absence at work which was to be a continuing theme in
all discussions. He commented, `many mothers employed in mills are in
the habit of giving opiates, such as Godfrey’s cordial, Daffy’s elixir,
or laudanum, to their infants, that they may sleep during the mother’s
absence; and I have traced permanent squinting to this cause…‘.,,8
Nottingham, too, was particularly noted for the practice. Women
lace-makers were accustomed to use Godfrey’s or laudanum to quiet their
children while they worked at the frame. Lyon Playfair’s survey of
large towns in Lancashire collected further evidence from Rochdale,
Manchester, Wigan, Bury and other centres. The Provincial Medical and
Surgical Association (forerunner of the British Medical Association),
the newly-established Pharmaceutical Society, the short-lived General
Board of Health, all became involved in the question.
The children
and opium issue came to a head in the 1860s in line with the wider
campaign to control the open sale of the drug. The medical input, as in
the other `public health‘ issues, was striking, and Sir John Simon’s
reports were again particularly telling.
Nearly all the reports to
the Privy Council made in this decade had some mention of the infant
doping question. The statistical emphasis already noted in the public
health campaign in general was used with telling effect here. Simon’s
anxiety about high rates of infant mortality – over twenty-four in
every hundred thousand live births in towns like Wolverhampton,
Ashton-under-Lyne, Preston and Whittlesey, twenty-six per 100.000 in
Manchester and Wisbech – concentrated on the unrestricted sale of
children’s opiates.9 His anxiety was supported by the contemporaneous
publication of Registrar-General’s reports. These showed that the major
proportion of opium poisoning deaths occurred among young children, in
particular among infants less than one year old. Between 1863 and 1867,
235 such infants had died, and fifty-six children aged between one and
four; 340 children and adults over five had died. An average 20.5 such
poisoning deaths per million population occurred in that period among
the under-fives; there was a comparative rate of 7.8 per million among
the over-thirty-five age group.’10
The matter was brought up in
Commons debate. The medical press was full of it; and infants poisoned
by opiates provided a never-ending stream of patients for doctors
anxious to try out the latest treatment methods.“ The full weight of
the voluntary side of the public health movement was brought to bear.
The Manchester and Salford Sanitary Association gave public lectures in
the 1850s and 1860s on `The Injurious Influence of Certain Narcotics
upon Human Life, both Infant and Adult‘. On a national level, the
Ladies Sanitary Association acted as a propagandist body. Penny tracts
such as `The Massacre of Innocents‘ and `How to Manage a Baby‘ (along
with `Why Do Not Women Swim?‘ and `The Evils of Perambulators‘) would,
it was hoped, improve working-class child-rearing methods. 12 In the
Englishwoman’s Journal, the Association expressed its anxiety about
doping: `Few but those who have been much among the poor, know how
fearfully mismanaged their little ones are – how the infant shares his
mother’s dram and all her food, from red herring to cucumber – how he
takes medicine sufficient homeopathically to treat the whole community
– and how finally, an incautiously large dose of laudanum wraps him in
the sleep that knows no waking.13 The National Association for the
Promotion of Social Science and the statistical societies took up the
question. Professor Taylor added his testimony on the question of
children’s narcotics. Both in his evidence to the Select Committee on
the Sale of Poisons in 1857 and in his textbook on poisons, he used
evidence of infant mortality from opium to support his general demand
for restriction. 14
There were certain assumptions, however, which
underlay this campaign. Although it is still common to find Victorian
statements about child doping reproduced in discussions of disease and
mortality without further analysis, the campaign against the practice
was full of the class assumptions which did much to mould attitudes to
the use of opium in general. 15 The campaigners assumed that the
mother’s absence at work was the root cause and that dosing was the
habit of unqualified nurses, in whose care the infants were left. Dr
Alfred Wiltshire, a medical inspector for the Privy Council in the late
1860s, was sure that maternal care was all that was needed to stop the
use of cordials. `I think if the child were kept at home it would not
get opiates, but the mother would attend to it.‘ Nurses, rather than
mothers, were criticized. These repositories of `ignorance, tradition
and prejudice‘ were at fault.16 The child-minder who took in large
numbers of babies and kept them quiet with liberal doses of soothing
syrup was a widely disseminated stereotype.“
Yet professional
child-minders in fact cared for a minute proportion of children in the
factory areas. Most women with young babies did not go out to work, or
did not work in the way presented in the parliamentary inquiries. Most
women operatives were in the sixteen to twenty-one age group and tended
to leave work after marriage. Domestic employment was more common and
might have meant that a mother took her child along with her. Over one
third of all working women in Preston in the 1850s for instance were in
non-factory occupations, while others worked irregularly or
part-time.18 Child-minders were on occasion undoubtedly neglectful. But
the reformers were working within a range of evidence and options which
supported their own predilections. For a mother to stay at home and not
work often led to lower, not higher, standards of child care; the
absence of an extra wage led to a lower standard of nutrition. There
was no correlation between the mother’s presence and healthy infants.
In Sheffield, for instance, only one per cent of mothers worked, but 21
per cent of babies were unhygienically bottle-fed.19
Both the
culture of poverty and the economic realities of working-class life
were ignored. For opium was at least a palliative for the
gastro-intestinal complaints which, in conditions of poor housing and
sanitation, in fact caused most infant deaths. Its ability to quieten
infants made fretful by these and other digestive complaints aggravated
by feeding habits based on `scraps‘ should not be underestimated.
Despite the undoubted dangers involved in overdosing, opium did have
some role to play in a very imperfect system of infant management.
was ignored, too, was the positive belief in the beneficial properties
of opium for a baby shared by those who used it. There is no doubt that
some factory hands were resolutely opposed to the dosing of their
children. But there was a continuing popular belief in its powers as a
restorative, reflected in the use of terms like `cordial‘ and
`preservative‘. This was related to a reliance on the beneficial
properties of sleep and the sort of passivity which made a child easier
for a harassed mother to handle. Godfrey’s and laudanum were given to
children on the day they were born, and were even prepared in readiness
for the event. Such preparations were believed to be `strengthening‘,
and there was every incentive for the mother of a sickly baby to use
them. Mary Colton, a twenty-year-old lace-runner in Nottingham, spoke
of how women in her community had advised her to care for her
illegitimate child:

She could not afford to pay for the nursing
of the child, and so gave it Godfrey’s to keep it quiet, that she might
not be interrupted at the lace place; she gradually increased the
quantity by a drop or two at a time until it reached a teaspoonful;
when the infant was four months old it was so ‚wankle‘ and thin that
folks persuaded her to give it laudanum to bring it on, as it did other

Other examples of a popular belief in the `stimulant‘
powers of opium are not hard to find. Mr Herford, the Manchester
coroner, reported in the 1 840s that he had seen many cases where the
parents had given large doses of narcotics, `but neither I nor the jury
believed that the person who gave the drugs thought that they would
kill or do harm‘.20 It is indeed difficult to see how else many
working-class families lacking day care facilities, properbaby foods
and access to medical facilities could otherwise_ have coped.
campaign against child doping was, then, culturally and economically
insensitive to this extent. It was also silent about the extent of the
practice outside the working class. Working-class self-medication was
wrong; yet opium was used for children both by the medical profession
and in the nurseries of the well-to-do. In official medical circles,
the use, and in particular the self-administration, of opiates was
frowned upon. Marshall Hall had produced a paper on `The effects of the
habit of giving opiates on the infantine constitution‘ in the Edinburgh
Medical and Surgical Journal of 1816.21 John Clarke gave similar
warnings in his Commentaries on Some of the Most Important Diseases of
Children (1815) in which he stated that children’s cordials had been
`ignorantly and indiscriminately given…. Nothing is more uncertain
than the effects of opium on young subjects; and it ought never to be
employed even by medical men, except with the greatest caution…. ’22
Most medical writers, however, did not advocate a complete ban on the
use of the drug for children (and there remained some prepared
resolutely to advance its claims). Dr Charles West in his Report on the
Progress of Midwifery and the Diseases of Women and Children (1844-5)
stated that preparations like laudanum, camphorated tincture or Dover’s
Powder should be used in the treatment of children’s diseases in
preference to preparations like syrup of poppies, which were variable
in strength .23
This medical tolerance of the professional use of
opium for young children extended into general practice. Prescription
books show that opium-based remedies for children and infants were
dispensed. A chemist in Islington dispensed in 1864 a mixture
containing Battley’s Sedative Solution (an opium preparation) for Mrs
Ballard’s infant. The baby was suffering from a rash and was probably
fretful; two teaspoonfuls were to be given twice a day. The mention of
such preparations for infants, or for young `master‘ this and that,
sprinkled throughout the records indicates that the profession was not
averse to prescribing opiates for young children.24 It was primarily
self-medication, or ’non-medical‘ use, which was objected to.
Nor did the narcotizing of middle-class infants arouse as much anxiety. For many middle-class children, confined more severely
in this period to a life based on the nursery and separate from that of
their parents, were likely to be cared for by a nursemaid accustomed to
using opium as a quietener. This was recognized at the time. The
standard text on children, Thomas Bull’s
Maternal Management of Children in Health and Disease, warned
‚Godfrey’s Cordial and other preparations of opium are too often kept
in the nursery, and secretly given by unprincipled nurses to quiet a
restless and sick child‘. Bull advised that teething or restlessness at
night should be dealt with, not by a drug, but by taking the child
frequently out of its cot and carrying it about in an airy room .25
Nurses who already worked long hours, whether `indiscreet and lazy‘ or
not, must surely have preferred sedation to getting out of bed once
more to quieten a crying baby in a chilly nursery.26 Even in the 1
880s, infants‘ preservatives were still on sale at tenpence a bottle in
the respectable Army and Navy and Civil Service Stores.
The passing
of the 1868 Pharmacy Act, as Chapter 1 o will show, had a notable
effect on overall infant mortality. But the campaign against child
`doping‘ by working-class mothers continued with a shift of focus after
this date. It became part of the campaign to control unqualified
baby-minding. As such, it was part of the more to ‚professionalize‘ all
forms of child cam-midwifery-most obviously. The use of opium by
unqualified women again served to detract attention from the wider
context of living conditions, and environment. A report was published
by the Harveian Society on infanticide in 1867, and one by the
Obstetrical Society in 1869 dealt with infant mortality. Both raised
the question of unqualified child `doping‘. In an address to the
National Association for the Promotion of Social Science in 1867, J.
Brendon Curgenven, honorary secretary of the Harveian Society, stressed
this point. Unqualified nurses were at fault and also the `pernicious
use of opium‘, which was `carried on to a great extent in the Midland
manufacturing counties, and the poor, wizened, dull, illnourished
infants are really pitiable to behold‘, comments which were
illustrative more of the role of malnutrition and poverty than of
opium.27 Nevertheless, as secretary of the Infant Life Protection
Society, founded in 1870, Curgenven agitated for the registration of
childminders, compulsory registration of births and deaths, and an end
to infant dosing.28
There were undoubtedly scandals involving opium and children
in these years. The Waters and Ellis baby-farming case in 1870, where
illegitimate children were being taken off their mothers‘ hands for a
fee and later disposed 0f, was shown t0 have involved the use of
laudanum t0 keep the babies quiet.29 The Infant Life Protection Act of
1872, put on the statute book in part as a reaction to this case,
limited its provisions to those who looked after two or more children
under one year old; it thus effectively excluded the working-class
child-minder, who could go on using opium as she pleased. The
compulsory registration of births and deaths did, however, make it more
likely that an opium death would be detected.

Working-class `stimulant‘ use of opium

campaign against child drugging had misjudged the issue. It showed a
distinct bias in ignoring the use 0f opiates to dose children outside
the working class. Adult working-class use of opium was treated in much
the same way. For the widespread popular use of opiates already
described and in particular the use of opium as an adjunct to alcohol,
as an informal means of sobering up, was presented, partly through the
public health inquiries of the 1830s to 1850s, as a distinct threat and
a justification for control.
It was De Quincey himself, whose own
`stimulant‘ consumption of opium had met an interested, yet
unperturbed, reception who was among the first to present working-class
opium use as a problem. In the Confessions, he wrote:

… some
years ago, on passing through Manchester, I was informed by several
cotton-manufacturers, that their workpeople were rapidly getting into
the practice of opium eating; so much so, that on a Saturday afternoon
the counters of the druggists were strewed with pills of one, two, or
three grains, in preparation for the known demand of the evening. The
immediate occasion of this practice was the lowness of wages, which, at
that time would not allow them to indulge in ale or
spirits …30

A letter written by Coleridge in 1808 (not in fact published until 1837) confirmed this: `. . . the practice of taking opium is
dreadfully spread – throughout Lancashire and Yorkshire it is the
common dram of the lower order of people – in the small town of Thorpe
the druggist informed that he commonly sold on market days two or three
pounds of opium, and a gallon of Laudanum – all among the labouring
The belief was that working people were turning to opium
for ’non-medical‘ or `stimulant‘ purposes, that their use was not for
medical reasons at all, but that they used the drug as a cheaper
alternative to drink. This view of popular opium use was commonly to be
found at the time.. In Mrs Gaskell’s novel of Manchester factory life,
Mary Barton (1848), the character of John Barton falls victim to the
seductive properties of the drug. 32 Jonathan Pereira added a new
section in 1853 to the third edition of his classic textbook of materia
medica specifically to warn of the dangers of the drug’s lower-class
use .33 The Westminster Medical Society was told in 1840 that `the
consumption of opium was increasing among the working-classes to a
frightful extent‘. Nor was its action among them a sedative one, for it
`affected all that was good and virtuous in woman, it acted as an
aphrodisiac, and subverted all morality‘.34 Some observers of
working-class life thought the extent of the practice `somewhat
exaggerated‘. Nevertheless evidence was forthcoming from Glasgow,
Salford and other parts of the factory districts. A druggist with a
business in a Salford mill area related how, on market days, his
customers `come in from Lymm and Warrington, and buy the pure drug for
themselves, and „Godfrey“ or „quietness“ for the children. Habitual
drunkards often give up spirits and take to laudanum, as being cheaper
and more intensely stimulating‘. 35
The mid-century `public health‘
inquiries added to the definition of the problem. The consideration of
child doping among the working class naturally led to concern about
adult use too. The Factory Commissioners specifically made inquiries in
the 1830s about the `stimulant‘ use of opium and were met with
unanimous testimony from doctors working in the factory areas that such
practices did not exist.36 Yet the dangers of lower-class use remained
a continuing theme, discussed in particular during the inquiries into
the open sale of poisons. Messrs Abraham and Edwards of the Liverpool
Chemists‘ Association told the Select Committee inquiring into the sale
of poisons in 1857 that laudanum was often `very much abused‘ in their
area. It was sold to be administered as a stimulant to adults and taken
as `a dram‘. Professor Alfred Taylor concurred in condemning the `bad
use‘ made of opium in the manufacturing towns. 37
Some outside
observers were tolerant of the possibility; in Blackwood’s Magazine in
1830, for instance, the habit was seen to have advantages: `… who can
say, when eighteen hours toil out of the four and twenty have bowed
down both body and soul to the dust, a few drops of laudanum may not
be, in the best term, a blessing?’38 Yet, in general, the possibility
of working-class `stimulant‘ use was a problem, part of the different
framework within which opiate use was coming to be perceived at this
time. As with children and opium, the emphasis was all on lower-class
use; similar practices in the rest of society went unremarked or were
viewed more tolerantly. The contrast in response to the use of opium by
public speakers and the use of opium by factory operatives was, for
instance, instructive. ‚Medicus‘, writing in the Lancet in 1815 (which
consistently publicized the dangers of lowerclass use), put it thus :
`For those unfortunate creatures who daily resort of this baneful drug
as a cheap species of intoxication, I have but little sympathy or
commiseration. Their weakness entails a severe punishment even in this
world.‘ However there were others, `especially among the middle-classes
of society, who resort to the use of opium, under the pressure of
severe mental
distress . . .‘.39
The connection of popular opium
use and drink was also a convenient argument in the much wider debate
over temperance in Victorian society. The temperance movement had its
origin at the time that concern over lower-class opium use began to
manifest itself. The British and Foreign Temperance Society was
launched in 1831 as the spearhead of the anti-spirits movements, and
the more extreme teetotal movement was gaining artisan and radical
support, at least in the North of England, from the early 1830s.40
There was a belief that prohibitory or interventionist moves over the
consumption of drink would inevitably lead to a corresponding increase
in opium consumption. Some of the earliest investigations of opiate use
did make this connection with drinking habits. Christison, for
instance, in his analysis in 1831 of ten opium eaters, thought that the
lower classes often combined opium eating with `the practice of
excessive drinking‘. He himself found it difficult to distinguish
between the two : `I fully anticipate that this habit will be found not
less destructive than the vice of drinking spirits. 141 The idea of
opium as an alternative rather than an accompaniment to drink was a
later refinement. It was not until the end of the decade that the
specific point mentioned by De Quincey was again raised. Jellinger
Symons, one of the assistant commissioners inquiring into the state of
the handloom weavers, reported that `When the drunkards in Glasgow
become too poor to satiate their appetite for spirits, they now resort
in great measure to laudanum, which, in an adulterated state, is
consumed in considerable quantities.’42 This point was generally
accepted, even sometimes among temperance supporters. It was a quite
common argument in medical discussions of the issue, too, to point out
that an opium-eating working class was indeed preferable to a
spiritdrinking one, since opium eaters were not violent and spirit
drinkers were. Sir Benjamin Brodie, the Queen’s Physician, made this
point before the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society in 1840, and it
was much discussed in the course of the more extensive anti-opium
debate at the end of the century.43
In general this idea of opium as
an alternative to drink and consequently one of the possible
repercussions of temperance was accepted. Only Julius Jeffreys, who was
later a surgeon in India, investigated further. Unable to find any
opium eater who was also teetotal, he traced the idea back to a journal
run by the drink interest, whose editor asserted that the connection
was indeed possible since a decrease in the consumption of spirits had
been accompanied by a rise in that of opium.44 The argument was a
fallacy, for in fact both per capita spirit and beer consumption were
rising until the 1870s and declining thereafter, a pattern of
consumption similar to that of opium. The pattern of concern about
popular opium use however remained a subsidiary theme in the fortunes
of the temperance movement. The Licensing Acts of 1872 and 1874, and
the debate on Sir Wilfred Lawson’s Permissive Bill in the same decade,
brought the matter forward again. Opium and drink remained thus far
connected in the temperance cause.
This continuing belief in the
stimulant consumption of opium was an indication of how `official‘
representation of popular habits could remould them into something
quite different. As Chapter 3 has already shown, opium was indeed
widely on sale in the factory districts, but it was consumed in rural
areas, too, and at all levels of society. Working people were generally
using the drug in self-medication. The connection with drink was
present, but it was the sobering and not the `stimulant‘ effect of the
drug which most consumers expected. The distinction between `medical‘
and ’non-medical‘ use was impossible to draw, and it was easy enough
for observers to substitute moral judgement (the `bad use‘ of opium)
for cultural sensibility.. The use of the drug in the working class,
whether for children or by adults, was nevertheless considered at this
time as a part of the `opium problem‘.


As for example in M. Hewitt, Wives and Mothers in Victorian Industry
(London, Rockliff, 1958), pp. 141-52; E. Lomax, `The uses and abuses of
opiates in nineteenth century England‘, Bulletin of the History of
Medicine, 47 (1973), pp. 167-76; and A. E. Roberts, `Feeding and
mortality in the early months of life; changes in medical opinion and
popular feeding practice, 1850-1900′ (University of Hull Ph.D. thesis,
1973), Chapter 8.
2. A. C. Wootton, Chronicles of Pharmacy (London, Macmillan, 1910), vol. 2, pp. 177-8.
J. K. Crellin and J. R. Scott, `Pharmaceutical history and its sources
in the Wellcome collections. III. Fluid medicines, prescription reform
and posology, 1700-1900′, Medical History, 14 (1970), p. 151.
4. ‚Godfrey’s Cordial‘, Pharmaceutical Journal, 11 (1851-2), p. 237.
`Onward from Galen; a current causerie‘, Chemist and Druggist, 167
(1957), PP. 164-5; `Poisoning by Godfrey’s Cordial‘, Pharmaceutical
Journal, 3rd ser. 10 (1879-80), pp. 746-7.
6. P.P. 1843, XI II:
Children’s Employment Commission: Second Report of the Commissioners on
Trade and Manufactures, q. 30, qs. 73-4, q.
7. See the
evidence on all this presented, for instance, to P.P. 1844, XVII: First
Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring into the State of Large Towns
and Populous Districts, op. cit., Rev. J. Clay, `Report on the sanatory
(sic) condition of the Borough of Preston‘, p. 46, and J. R. Coulthart,
`Report on the sanatory condition of Ashton under Lyne‘, pp. 77-80.
Also P.P 1845, V: Second Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring into
the State of Large Towns and Populous Districts, Appendix 2, `Lyon
Playfair’s report on the sanatory condition of large towns in
Lancashire‘, pp. 365-71.
8. P.P. 1834, X I X, op. cit., PP. 538-9.
P.P. 1864, XX VIII : Sixth Report, op. cit., p. 34. Most of Simon’s
reports have something on child drugging and the use of Godfrey’s.
10. Annual Reports (London, H.M.S.O., 1867), op. cit.; also V. Berridge and N. Rawson, op. cit.
11. Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 3rd ser. 77 (1845), cols. 449-50.
Manchester and Salford Sanitary Association, Annual Reports, 1856
7,1861, 1864; Ladies Sanitary Association, Annual Reports, 1881, 1882.
13. `The details of woman’s work in sanitary reform‘, Englishwoman’s Journal, 3 (1859), p. 223.
P.P. 1857, X I I, op. cit., Sale of Poisons, qs. 860-62; A. S: Taylor,
On Poisons, op. cit., pp. 586-7; see also, for example, J. Elder
Cummings, `The neglect of infants‘, Transactions of the National
Association for the Promotion of Social Science, x894 (London,
Longmans, Green, 1875), P. 723.
15. For example, G. Rosen, `Disease,
debility and death‘, in H. J. Dyos and M. Wolff, eds., The Victorian
City (London, Routledge, 1973), vol. 2, p. 65o.
16. P.P. 1871, V I I: Select Committee on the Protection of Infant Life, q. 374
17. As for example fictionally in B. Disraeli, Sybil, or The Two Nations (London, 1845; Longmans, Green, 1881), p. 113.
Evidence of this is in I. Pinchbeck, Women Workers and the Industrial
Revolution, 1750-1850 (first edition 193o, reprinted London, Frank
Cass, 1969), p. 197; R. B. Litchfield, `The family and the mill; cotton
mill work, family work patterns, and fertility in mid-Victorian
Stockport‘, pp. 18o-96 in A. S. Wohl, ed., The Victorian Family.
Structure and Stresses (London, Croom Helm, 1978); M. Anderson, Family
Structure in Nineteenth Century Lancashire (Cambridge University Press,
1971), PP- 71-2.
19. A. Wohl, `Working wives or healthy homes?‘,
Bulletin of the Society for the Social History of Medicine, 21 (1977),
pp. 20-24.
20. P.P. 1843, X I V : Children’s Employment Commission;
Appendix to the Second Report of the Commissioners (Trades. and
Manufactures), part I,
`Report by R. D. Grainger on the employment
of children and young persons in the manufactures and trades of
Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Birmingham and London …‘ f. 61-2. See
also F. Engels, The Condition of the Working-class in England (London,
1892, Panther edn 1969), p. 135.
21. M. Hall, `The effects of the
habit of giving opiates on the infantine constitution‘, Edinburgh
Medical and Surgical journal, 12 (1816) pp. 423-4.
22. Quoted in Lyon Playfair’s report to the commission on Large Towns and Populous Districts, 1845, OP. cit., p. 366.
23. Review of Dr West’s book in British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review, 20 (1845), P. 551.
24. Prescription book of an Islington chemist, op. cit.
25. T. Bull, The Maternal Management of Children, in Health and Disease (London, Longman, 1840), pp. 110-12.
For examples of such cases, see The Times, 12 November 1857;
Macclesfield Infant Mortality Committee, Infant Mortality in
Macclesfield. Report of a Special Committee of the Town Council
(Macclesfield, Swinnerton and Brown, 1877), p. I I.
27. J. B.
Curgenven, The Waste of Infant Life (London, Faithfull and Head, 1867),
P. 4; Home Office papers, H.O. 45, 8040, 1867, Recommendations of
Harveian Society on infanticide; and `Report of the Infant Mortality
Committee‘, Transactions of the Obstetrical Society of London, it
(1869), pp. 132-49, and 12 (1870), PP. 388-403.
28. P.P. 1871, VII : Select Committee on the Protection of Infant Life.
29. See I. Pinchbeck and M. Hewitt, Children in English Society (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973), vol. 2, pp. 596, 613.
30. T. De Quincey, op. cit., p. 31.
31. M. Lefebure, op. cit., P. 59.
32. Mrs E. Gaskell, Mary Barton. A Tale of Manchester Life (London, Chapman and Hall, 1848, Penguin edn 1970), p. 219.
J. Pereira, op. cit. (London, Orme, Brown, Green and Longmans,1854-7),
vol. 3, p. 623. For other examples, see P.P. 1844, op. cit., q. 943,
and `The factory system‘, Quarterly Review, 57 (1836), PP. 396 443
34. Westminster Medical Society, `The opium trade‘, Medical Times and Gazette, r (1840), pp. 162-3.
35. Morning Chronicle, 15 November 1849.
36. P.P. 1834, XIX: Factories Inquiry Commission, op. cit., pp. 538-9.
37. P.P. 1857, op. cit., qs. 218-31 and qs. 852-8.
38. ‚Noctes Ambrosianae‘, Blackwood’s Magazine, 28 (1830), p. 391.
39. ‚Medicus‘, `Teetotalism and opium taking‘, Lancet, r (,851), p. 694.
40. B. Harrison, Drink and the Victorians (London, Faber and Faber,1971), pp. 107-26
41. R. Christison, Lancet, op. cit., pp. 614-17.
P.P. 1839, XLII: Hand Loom Weavers, `Report with Appendices of the
Assistant Commissioners on Southern and Eastern Scotland and Several
Countries in Continental Europe‘, p. 52. See also P.P.1840, XI: Report
from the Select Committee on the Health of Towns,q. 1086.
43. J. Jeffreys, `Observations on the improper use of opium in England‘, Lancet, r (1840-41), PP. 382-3.
44. J. Jeffreys, The Traffic in Opium in the East (London, Longman, 1858), pp. 18-19.



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