Despite the triumphant reports of the expanding British Empire and the industrial revolution, life in the 19th century was much more hazardous than it is today, especially for the working classes.
- There was a constant threat of incurable disease, with limited medical knowledge and no NHS.
- Relationships were also an unknown — marriage was a permanent union, whatever happened, and there was no reliable contraception.
- Business and profits came well before health and safety, which brought about numerous fatalities in the expanding industrial towns and railways.
As a result, survival was far more of a lottery. Your lottery ticket was, in many ways, decided by the class you were born into.
How would you have survived if you had been alive in those days? The interactive game that accompanies this exhibition guides you through some of the perils and hazards you could face in the 19th century from the perspective of a Settle resident. All of these people really existed and were discovered through the research into the graveyard at Holy Ascension Church, Settle carried out by local historian Sarah Lister.
You can either explore the exhibition using the buttons below and then learn about the lives of the individuals featured, or play the Lottery of Life game as often as you like, making different choices to see what you can find out about each resident.