Sir Robert Peel, English manufacturer, early 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by H Robinson, after a portrait painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830). Sir Robert Peel (1750-1830) was the father of Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) and was responsible for the 1802 Act for the Preservation of the Health of Apprentices, which was the forerunner of the Factory Reform Act. He applied the discoveries of Sir Richard Arkwright and James Hargreaves to his calico-printing works in Lancashire, and employed Hargreaves, the inventor of the spinning-jenny, to construct an improved carding-machine.