By N. H. Brasher (auth.)
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Grey's achievement was a triumph of determination. The anomalies of over-representation of the lesser boroughs and under-representation of the new industrial centres were to 1 Historians differ on the importance of Benthamism. For two contrasting views see the articles by D. MacDonagh and H. Parris in the Historical Journal of 1958 and that of 1960 respectively (London: Cambridge University Press). 40 THE WHIGS 1830-41 some extent removed. The electorate was almost doubled. Broadly speaking the Bill extended the vote to the middle classes.
There then followed a persistent campaign by the reformers, headed in Parliament by the Tory, Sadler, for the introduction of a ten-hour day. By 1833 Sadler was no longer in Parliament, having lost his seat in the election following the Reform Bill, but Lord Ashley gave his for:ffiidable support to the cause; moreover, the pressure for reform had been strong enough to cause the Government to appoint first a parliamentary committee, and then, in 1833, a Royal Commission to investigate * 84 THE WHIGS 1880-41 factory conditions.
A harsh system would cut the poor rate. Out-relief for the able-bodied was abolished, and every care was taken to make workhouse conditions as unpleasant as possible. Children were separated from parents, and husbands from wives, for the poor were already too numerous and should not be permitted to produce a new generation of paupers. Discipline was severe and food was sparse. The tyranny of the new arrangements did not even have the merit of efficiency. The Poor Law Commission Report had advocated that separate workhouses should be created for the different groups of paupers, the sick, the mad, the old, the young, the able-bodied.