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Sir Robert Peel, 1st Bt (1750-1830), Politician; father of the Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel

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.

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The House of Commons 1793-94

by Karl Anton Hickel
oil on canvas, 1793-1795
NPG 745


Sir Robert Peel, 1st Bt

by James Hopwood Sr, published by I.W.H. Payne
stipple engraving, published 1 February 1815
NPG D5482


Sir Robert Peel, 1st Bt

by John Henry Robinson, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
stipple and line engraving, mid 19th century
NPG D5481