Harriet Martineau was born on June 12th, 1802, in Norwich. She was the sixth of eight children. Her father owned a textile factory in Norwich. Harriet was a weak child, which began because of a lack of milk as a baby. She also had a milk intolerance which no one recognised in those days, but which left her feeling ill every day. Her mother was very strict and Harriet felt a lack of physical affection which, she believed, helped to make her an unhappy and difficult child.