Sir Robert Peel, 1st Bt (1750-1830), Politician and father of the Prime Minister
Sitter in 4 portraits
Father of the Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, a politician, industrialist and an early textile manufacturer of the industrial revolution. His father owned a calico-printing firm, Haworth, Peel & Yates in Blackburn. Peel joined the firm and was running it by the age of twenty-three. He established a cotton factory in Tamworth in Staffordshire, and imported workhouse children from London to work there. By the 1790s Peel was one of the country's leading industrialists, employing over 15,000 workers. Peel entered Parliament in 1790 as a Tory MP. He was responsible for the 1802 Health and Morals of Apprentices Act that limited the hours of pauper children, apprenticed in cotton mills, to twelve hours a day.