<blockquote>Though painfully disappointed, I am not disheartened, nor am I at a loss either what course to take, or what advice to give. I shall preserver unto my last hour, and so must you; we must exhaust every legitimate means that the Constitution afford, in petitions to Parliament, in public meetings, and in friendly conferences with your employers; but you must infringe no law, and offend no proprieties; we must all work together as sensible men, who will one day give an account of their motives and actions; if this course is approved, no consideration shall detach me from your cause; if not, you must elect another advocate.
I know that, in resolving on this step, I exclude myself altogether from the tenure of office; I rejoice in the sacrifice, happy to devote the remainder of my days, be they many or be they few, as God in His wisdom shall determine, to an effort, however laborious, to ameliorate your moral and social condition.ref</blockquote>
In March 1844 Ashley moved an amendment to a Factory Bill limiting the working hours of adolescents to ten hours after Sir had introduced a Bill aiming to limit their working hours to twelve hours. Ashley's amendment was passed by eight votes, the first time the Commons had approved of the Ten Hour principle. However in a later vote his amendment was defeated by seven votes and the Bill was withdrawn.ref Later that month Graham introduced another Bill which again would limit the employment of adolescents to twelve hours. Ashley supported this Bill except that he wanted ten hours not twelve as the limit. In May he moved an amendment to limit the hours worked to ten hours but this was lost by 138 votes.ref
In 1846 whilst he was out of Parliament, Ashley strongly supported [[John Fielden]]'s Ten Hours Bill, which was lost by ten votes.ref In January 1847 Fielden reintroduced his Bill and it finally passed through Parliament to become the [[Factory Act 1847|Ten Hours Act]].ref