Actually, by 1881 the use of children as chimney sweeps had been abolished in the UK.
In 1840, the UK Parliament had passed a revised Chimney Sweeps Act which had raised the minimum age at which children could be "apprenticed" to chimney sweeps to 16. Unfortunately, the act was never enforced, and it was widely ignored. Finally, the Chimney Sweepers Act 1875 had required chimney sweeps to be licensed and made it the duty of the police to enforce all previous legislation.
Although sweeping chimneys was a relatively skilled occupation (certainly compared with most common labourers), adult chimney sweeps in Victorian England, were poor men. The occupation was dirty, and continuous exposure to the soot led to a number of health problems.
As you might expect, sweeps commonly developed a variety of lung diseases. Furthermore the first industrially related cancer to be documented, was actually associated with chimney sweeps. Although more common in those who had worked as sweeps as children, "Soot Wart" or "Chimney Sweep's Cancer" was a form of of scrotal squamous cell carcinoma.