Martha Appleton's accident: letter from Inspector of Factories
PRO HO 45/6753

Re Appleton
Copy of a letter addressed by Mr Baker to Messrs Woods & Son of Wigan. August 31 1859
I have received another application from the Father of the girl Appleton who met with an accident at your Factory, and enclose you my answer.
The man has been misled to write to you by an Attorney, and has no apparent feeling against you and seemed willing to be moderate in his demands when I saw him.
His present application is for £150, which is more reasonable than his last was. Both he and his wife propose to put the girl to learn dressmaking, which will involve some years of maintenance: but this I suppose would not be very heavy, and I think this idea of theirs would be perhaps better than continuing at the Mill.
I tell you fairly that I am not sure whether I have the power to recommend an action. If I had, I had much rather recommend this poor child to your favourable consideration. But since the wheels can be boxed off without detriment to the working of the machine, they ought to have been, I and if they had, even though the child was faint, the accident could not have happened: and therefore you are morally bound to do something for her by way of compensation.
I shall be glad if when you have seen the Father, and you should be unable to come to terms with him, to use any effort between you for that purpose.
I am
Yours Truly
Robert Baker


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