agricultural gangs defined in 1939 yearagricultural gangs - Agricultural Gangs;
agricultural gangs - Gangs of women and children, usually taken from the workhouses and hired out to farmers to toil on the land. They were in charge of a gangmaster, who took them from place to place. The system was common in the earlier part of the 19th century, especially in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and the neighbourhood, where land had been recently reclaimed from the sea and local labour was difficult to obtain. The lot of these gangs was wretched, and in 1867, as the result of an inquiry, the Agricultural Gangs Act was passed. This forbade all children under eight to work in gangs and placed gangmasters under supervision, while an Act of 1876 made the restrictions still more severe, and the system soon died out. The gangs are described in Karl Marx's Capital.
near agricultural gangs in Knolik
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