Shaftesbury Anthony Ashley Cooper7th
Shaftesbury. ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER, 7TH EARL OF (1801-85), philanthropist, was born in London and educated at Harrow and Oxford, His parliamentary career began in 1826, when he was elected Conservative member for Woodstock; he afterwards represented Dorchester, (1830-31), Dorsetshire (1833-46), and Bath (1847-51), and held several Government offices prior to his succession to the earldom in 1851. Soon after his entrance into Parliament he showed himself a vigorous opponent of laissez faire, and his unwearied efforts on behalf of the labouring population at last bore fruit in the Act forbidding the employment in mines of women and of boys under thirteen (1842), and another measure, which realised one of his earliest hopes, the Ten Hours' Bill of 1844. Other objects which engaged his active sympathy were the protection of chimney-sweepers' apprentices, in whose favour he obtained an Act of Parliament, the establishment of ragged schools, and the erection of sanitary dwellings for the poor. In his religious views Lord Shaftesbury was an ardent Evangelical, He warmly supported the British and Foreign Bible Society, the London City Mission, and other institutions of a similar character.