Urban History

Industrial regulation, urban space and the boundaries of the workplace: mid-Victorian Nottingham

Robert Gray a1 and Donna Loftus a1
a1 School of Social and Historical Studies, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth


This article takes up recent concerns with languages of mid-Victorian reform and relates urban space to the workplace, with reference to Nottingham hosiery and lace. The article considers, first, official enquiries into lace manufacture, and second, the hosiery conciliation system. Attempts to map and to fix the boundaries of employment are characteristic of both these developments. Gender dimensions are emphasized, as is the contribution of these debates to liberal narratives of industrial progress. This is related to the formation of a wider culture of liberal reform.