Kinnersley’s Kidsgrove (1841)

A report on Kidsgrove prepared by S.S. Scriven in 1841 for the Children’s Employment Commissioners says that:

“Some five or six years ago the inhabitants of this place were said to be in a state little removed from barbarism, notoriously ignorant, vicious and depraved and as much a terror to the surrounding countryside as the now equally notorious people from ‘Biddle (Biddulph) Moor’.

“About this time Mr Kinnersley (the owner of Kidsgrove’s ironworks and coal mines) erected at his own expense an exceedingly elegant and commodious church together with a Sunday School for both sexes. He appointed the Rev. Wade to the living and shortly afterwards established a day school for boys and girls with a master and mistress who worked under the Rev. Wade’s supervision.

“The character of the people is now entirely different from what it was. They attend church regularly. They are steady and domesticated at home. At work, they are industrious and hard-working and respectful and obedient to their superiors.

“Those miners I have spoken to appear to be conscious of the blessings bestowed upon them by Mr Kinnersley. Judging from their own admissions and from reports of what they were like, I should say they must indeed be an altered people.”