Acts of Parliament

Index to the Acts

See the index for the full list of Acts relating to children, schools and education and for notes on the texts.


Chimney Sweepers Act 1894

This was the last of six Acts regulating the work of chimney sweepers.

The 1788 Act set the minimum age at which boys could be employed to climb and clean chimneys at 8 years.

The 1834 Act repealed the 1788 Act and set the minimum age for climbing chimneys at 10 years.

The 1840 Act allowed 16 year olds to be apprentices, but no one under 21 was to climb chimneys.

The 1864 Act allowed 10 year olds to be employed, but no one under 16 was to be present when chimneys were being swept.

The 1875 Act required all chimney sweepers to obtain a certificate of authorisation from the local chief officer of police.

The 1894 Act prohibited chimney sweepers from 'cold calling' (as it is known today) to sell their services.

See also the 1938 Chimney Sweepers Acts (Repeal) Act.

For more on this subject see Chimney Sweep (Wikipedia).

The text of the Chimney Sweepers Act 1894 was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 2 January 2020.


Chimney Sweepers Act 1894

Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


[page 176]

CHAPTER 51.

An Act to make better provision for the Regulation of Chimney Sweepers. [25th August 1894.]

BE it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Penalty for knocking or ringing bells.

1. Any person who shall for the purpose of soliciting employment as a chimney sweeper knock at the houses from door to door, or ring a bell, or use any noisy instrument, or to the annoyance of any inhabitant thereof ring the door-bell of any house, or cause anyone to do any of the acts aforesaid, shall be liable on conviction to a penalty not exceeding ten shillings for the first offence, and to a penalty not exceeding twenty shillings for every subsequent offence.

Application of fees. 38 & 39 Vict. c. 70.

2. All fees received under the Chimney Sweepers Act, 1875, in England shall be paid to the pension fund of the police force of the police district in which the certificate under the said Act was issued.


[page 177]

Short title and construction. 3. This Act may be cited as the Chimney Sweepers Act, 1894, and shall be read as one with the Chimney Sweepers Act, 1875.

Extent of Act.

4. This Act shall not apply to Scotland.

Commencement of Act.

5. This Act shall come into operation on the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five.