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Agricultural Gangs


AGRICULTURAL GANGS, groups of women, girls and boys organized by an independent gang-master, under whose supervision they execute agricultural piece-work for farmers in certain parts of England. The evils of this system were so great as to lead to the passing of the Agricultural Gangs Act 1867, forbidding the employment of any child under eight years old, and of any female under a male gang-master unless a f emj,le licensed to act as gang-mistress were also present. Gang-masters must be licensed by two justices, and may not hold a liquor licence. Later legislation made more stringent the regulations under which children are employed in agricultural gangs. By the Elementary Education Act 1876, repealing and re-enacting the principal provisions of the Agricultural (Children) Act of 1873, employ ment of all children under II was forbidden and restricted under 13. Now, by the Education act of 1921, it is forbidden under 12 and restricted under 14.