My husband just returned from the Mere Anglicanism conference. He heard a lecture on Lord Ashley, who abolished the practice of using young boys in the dangerous work of sweeping chimneys. What a wonderful role model.
Anthony Ashley Cooper 7th earl of Shaftesbury–(born April 28, 1801, London, Eng. — died Oct. 1, 1885, Folkestone, Kent) English politician and social reformer. When his father succeeded to the earldom in 1811, Cooper became Lord Ashley. . . . From 1833 he led the factory reform movement in Parliament and effected passage of the Mines Act (1842) and the Ten Hours Act (1847), known as Lord Ashley’s Act, which shortened the working day in textile mills. As president of the Ragged Schools Union (1843 – 83), he promoted the free education of destitute children. Succeeding to his father’s title in 1851, he continued his work as one of the most effective social reformers of 19th-century England. He also led the Evangelical movement within the Church of England and financially supported several missionary societies.
A brief fascinating biography is found here.
His family bullied him. The one person who treated him well was Anna Milles, the family housekeeper. She loved him and told him Bible stories, and taught him to pray. “She told him of Calvary and the Empty Tomb and spoke of the Lord Jesus as the risen Redeemer who could be a Friend.” Ashley believed because of her witness and later said, “God be praised for her and her loving faithfulness; we shall meet… in the House where there are many mansions.” Ashley’s choice for Christ became the determining fact of his life.
We thank You for the faithful witness of the housekeeper Anna Milles and the boy she influenced, the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury. Bless the work of Christian housekeepers, babysitters, and teachers throughout this land. May they remain in You and You in them, that they, too, may bear much fruit. Apart from You, they can do nothing. Stay with them, we plea. Amen.