Period television drama based on real-life stories and people of the textile mill workers at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, England, and combined with fictional characters and events.
The Chartist rally at Kersal Moor is just around the corner and Daniel does everything that he can to try and rally the workers. Esther holds a secret ballot in an attempt to convince William Greg to close the factory so that the workers can attend the rally.Watch Now:Amazon
Esther is in the final stages of pregnancy as eight months have now passed. She finally gives birth to a healthy baby boy following a difficult labour. She then returns to work the following day, but finds it hard to keep up as Lucy covers for her so she can rest and the friends finally reconcile. The Chartist Petition containing over one million signatures is rejected by Parliament. Daniel urges his disillusioned comrades not to resort to physical force.
During the 1830s, children worked 12-hour shifts in the mills, and the new class of mill-owning families prospered. A third of the workforce at Quarry Bank are apprentices, sold by different workhouses to the Greg family. The apprentices have no choice but to work at the mill until they reach adulthood.
The striking workers create a picket line outside the mill gates. William Greg gets a group of men together to break the stand-off, who are joined by John Howlett's special constables. Daniel is arrested but urges for the workers to keep fighting. Esther is selected to attend the union meeting in Manchester in Daniel's place.
Esther Price shows up at at court in Manchester after having assaulted her overseer, Charlie Crout. Apprentice house manager Mr Timperley has been sent to the workhouse in Liverpool to collect a replacement apprentice and comes back two sisters called Lucy and Catherine Garner.
Esther and Lucy make their towards Liverpool, followed by Timperley. They find out that Lucy's sister never returned to the workhouse, while the apprentices are shown political activist John Doherty's pamphlet. Robert discovers who the father of Susannah's child is and arranges to move her to another mill.Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Lucy and Esther believe that Mr Timperley is responsible for Catherine's disappearance and become determined to expose him but are blocked every time they try. Esther's sister Martha discovers one of the notes Esther left there and travels to Quarry Bank Mill hoping to find her. Robert returns to the Mill with the news that parliament has not passed the Ten Hour Bill, meaning children will continue to have to work 12-hour days.Watch Now:iTunes
William has no choice but to reduce wages as the cotton industry feels the impact of the recession. Daniel thinks that the workers should withdraw their labour. Esther's views on going on strike change after the consequences of the cuts leaves her son Billy's life in danger and she joins Daniel at the centre of the protest.Watch Now:Amazon
Four years on from the Poor Law Amendment Act, impoverished economic migrants from the south of England start to arrive at Quarry Bank Mill. The appearance of John and Rebecca Howlett with their children Jack and Timothy, and Will Whittaker and his grandfather Abe, causes unease in Styal village as the mill workers worry that these desperately poor families will drive down everyone's wages. The impact of the new law hits home for feisty apprentice Esther Price when she discovers that the beggar in the mill yard is, in fact, her sister Martha.
Esther leaves the apprentice house after signing her contract of employment. Her new home is a small, dirty cellar in Styal village, but it gives her some freedom. Patience makes the younger girls' lives a misery following Esther's departure.Watch Now:AmazoniTunes