Born on 20th of July 1804
Died on 26th of May 1877
James Kay trained as a doctor in Edinburgh and practiced in Manchester, that work leading to his study of the health and conditions of cotton factory workers in the area. In 1839 he was made secretary of a Privy Council committee overseeing public spending on education, which became his great field – he established for instance the original school inspection system. He married Lady Janet Shuttleworth, who had inherited the magnificent Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham, and by royal licence added her surname to his. An acquaintance of Charlotte Bronte and Mrs Gaskell, not altogether liked by them, he held many public offices and was involved in good works throughout his life.
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