A chimney sweep boy

41] The chimney sweep boy shown in the Painting does not appear in Kay’s Portraits but may well have been done by him for it is in his style.  Boys as young as six or even less were used by chimney sweeps to enter chimneys and manually remove soot.  It was a dangerous, dirty and unhealthy task and despite various regulations to limit the practice during the nineteenth century it was not until 1875 that Parliament succeeded in passing an act to abolish the practice.  It is curious that in the Painting, the boy is shown separately from the adult chimney sweeps or ‘tron men’.