Changing Lives

Robert Owen, 1771 - 1858. Pioneer socialistRobert Owen, 1771 - 1858. Pioneer socialist Design for the Dean Orphanage, EdinburghDesign for the Dean Orphanage, Edinburgh Rev. Thomas Chalmers, 1780 - 1847. Preacher and social reformerRev. Thomas Chalmers, 1780 - 1847. Preacher and social reformer Landscape with ruinLandscape with ruin Close No. 101 High Street, GlasgowClose No. 101 High Street, Glasgow Three Studies for the Decoration of the first Mortuary Chapel, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, EdinburghThree Studies for the Decoration of the first Mortuary Chapel, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh Pitch and TossPitch and Toss Children and Chalked Wall 3Children and Chalked Wall 3 Sir Basil Urwin Spence, 1907 - 1976. ArchitectSir Basil Urwin Spence, 1907 - 1976. Architect TenderTender

Albert Octavus Knoblauch

Pitch and Toss
1909

Until the late-nineteenth century the British government did not accept responsibility for the hardship that existed among its citizens. The popular point of view was that poverty was caused by idleness, drunkenness and other weaknesses on the part of the working classes. However, attitudes changed when two social surveys, by Charles Booth and Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, identified the causes of persistent poverty as illness, unemployment and age – both young and old. The ruling Liberal Party, under Lloyd George, realised the need for change. Between 1906 an 1914 they introduced groundbreaking welfare legislation, including provision for free school meals and more protection for children, the very first old age pensions and health and unemployment insurance.

  • Credits Presented by Mrs Ann Riddell, 1985
  • Medium Carbon print
  • Size 16.50 x 21.60 cm

Did you know?

In January 1909 the first ever old age pensions for people over 70 were celebrated with street parties and fireworks. Yet they were hardly generous; the maximum pension of five shillings a week would be worth just £20 in present-day money.