The Faulder family is known to me through pedigree tables, older family reminisces and heirlooms. I don’t know that I have ever met a Faulder – only their descendants who speak of them with a degree of awe. Oral family history tells me they were wealthy and somewhat connected.
I have never quite understood the awe and deep respect and that is likely due to being so many generations removed from the relatives that are always spoken of. Which is possibly why I have no compunction to write of the flaws I find when searching newspaper archives – and that’s what happened today.
Frederick John Faulder is my fourth great uncle. For those who are interested – he’s my mother’s, father’s, grandfather’s uncle … I think. He was the son of William Faulder and Mary Jane Moorby; younger brother of Joseph Thomas Faulder who emigrated to New South Wales.
He was born in 1817 in Oswestry, Shropshire – by my records, he was the youngest of nine children. His father, William, was an Excise Officer – a distant relative’s research states that he is listed in the Pigot’s Directory in 1818 as an Excise Supervisor and in 1830 as Superintendent of Excise. In 1851, he is retired and listed as a gentleman annuitant. William was a man of some means.
He married Sarah (possibly Taylor, possibly Wareing) and by 1851 he was living in Manchester when his eldest son was born. On his son’s baptism record he is listed as a Merchants Clerk. By 1854, he is listing himself as a silk mercer.
He is still pursuing this line of work when we find him before the Manchester Police Court in 1878. The case was reported in several newspapers however, the headline that caught my eye was in the Huddersfield Daily Chronicle – “Slavery” in Manchester.
Frederick is described as owning/managing one of the largest millinery establishments in Manchester employing approximately 30 “young persons” and women. According to the article, Frederick’s employees worked a twelve hour day – from 8am to 8pm five days per week and till 4pm on Saturdays.
Frederick was before the court for breaching the Act that modified the Workshops Regulation Act – possibly the Factory and Workshop Act 1878. The new Act allowed proprietors the ability to apply for approval to employ “young persons and women” for “24 days, two hours extra each day”. The Act required that a notice denoting permission granted to be hung in the shop which had not been done. In addition, Frederick has extended the work day from 8pm to 10pm however, the employees actually worked till 1am the following morning.
“This was the most flagrant violation of the law that [Mr King] had ever had to bring before the court.”
An employee gave evidence stating that she had worked on 4 Nov 1878 from 8am till 4am on 5 Nov 1878. She resumed work at 8:45am on 5 Nov 1878. Frederick stated that he was not aware that work had continued after the hour he had given in evidence (namely 10pm).
This was the first complaint that had been made against Frederick and his defence was that he had not known nor had any intention to violate the law. The magistrate instructed Frederick to engage more “girls” if he was unable to “do his work” with the current number. The work practices at his establishment was denounced as slavery and he was fined for each of the six counts plus costs – a total of 21 pounds 19 shillings.
Frederick died 10 or so months later in Aug 1879 at the age of 62. His estate, under 5000 pounds, was left to his widow, Sarah.