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Some frauds, it is faid, were committed in CHA P. confequence of this ftatute; parish officers fometimes bribing their own poor to go clandeftinely to another parish, and by keeping themfelves concealed for forty days to gain a fettlement there, to the discharge of that to which they properly belonged. It was enacted, therefore, by the ift of James II. that the forty days undifturbed refidence of any perfon neceffary to gain a fettlement, fhould be accounted only from the time of his delivering notice in writing, of the place of his abode and the number of his family, to one of the churchwardens or overfeers of the parish where he came to dwell.


But parifh officers, it seems, were not always more honeft with regard to their own, than they had been with regard to other parishes, and fometimes connived at fuch intrusions, receiving the notice, and taking no proper steps in confequence of it. As every perfon in a parish, therefore, was fuppofed to have an intereft to prevent as much as poffible their being burdened by fuch intruders, it was further enacted by the 3d William III. that the forty days refidence fhould be accounted only from the publication of fuch notice in writing on Sunday in the church, immediately after divine fervice.

"After all," fays Doctor Burn, “ this kind " of fettlement, by continuing forty days after "publication of notice in writing, is very fel"dom obtained; and the defign of the acts is "not fo much for gaining of fettlements, as for "the avoiding of them by perfons coming into "a parish

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BOOK" a parish clandeftinely: for the giving of no"tice is only putting a force upon the parish "to remove. But if a perfon's fituation is “fuch, that it is doubtful whether he is actu"ally removable or not, he fhall by giving of "notice compel the parish either to allow him "a fettlement uncontested, by fuffering him to "continue forty days; or, by removing him, "to try the right."

This ftatute, therefore, rendered it almoft impracticable for a poor man to gain a new fettlement in the old way, by forty days inhabitancy. But that it might not appear to preclude altogether the common people of one parish from ever establishing themselves with fecurity in another, it appointed four other ways by which a fettlement might be gained without any notice delivered or published. The first was, by being taxed to parish rates and paying them; the fecond, by being elected into an annual parish office, and ferving in it a year; the third, by ferving an apprenticeship in the parish; the fourth, by being hired into fervice there for a year, and continuing in the fame fervice during the whole of it.

Nobody can gain a fettlement by either of the two firft ways, but by the public deed of the whole parish, who are too well aware of the confequences to adopt any new-comer who has nothing but his labour to fupport him, either by taxing him to parish rates, or by electing him into a parish office.



No married man can well gain any fettlement C HA P. in either of the two laft ways. An apprentice is fcarce ever married; and it is exprefsly enacted, that no married fervant fhall gain any fettlement by being hired for a year. The principal effect of introducing fettlement by fervice, has been to put out in a great measure the old fashion of hiring for a year, which before had been fo customary in England, that even at this day, if no particular term is agreed upon, the law intends that every fervant is hired for a year. But masters are not always willing to give their fervants a fettlement by hiring them in this manner; and fervants are not always willing to be fo hired, because, as every last fettlement discharges all the foregoing, they might thereby lose their original fettlement in the places of their nativity, the habitation of their parents and relations.

No independent workman, it is evident, whether labourer or artificer, is likely to gain any new fettlement either by apprenticeship or by fervice. When fuch a perfon, therefore, carried his industry to a new parish, he was liable to be removed, how healthy and industrious foever, at the caprice of any churchwarden or overfeer, unless he either rented a tenement of ten pounds a year, a thing impoffible for one who has nothing but his labour to live by; or could give fuch security for the discharge of the parifh as two juftices of the peace fhould judge fufficient. What fecurity they shall require, indeed, is left altogether to their discretion; but they cannot well require lefs than thirty pounds, it having been

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BOOK been enacted, that the purchase even of a freehold estate of less than thirty pounds value, shall not gain any perfon a fettlement, as not being fufficient for the discharge of the parish. But this is a fecurity which scarce any man who lives by labour can give; and much greater fecurity is frequently demanded.

In order to restore in fome measure that free circulation of labour which thofe different ftatutes had almost entirely taken away, the inven tion of certificates was fallen upon. By the 8th and 9th of William III. it was enacted, that if any perfon fhould bring a certificate from the parish where he was laft legally fettled, fubfcribed by the churchwardens and overfeers of the poor, and allowed by two juftices of the peace, that every other parifh fhould be obliged to receive him; that he fhould not be removeable merely upon account of his being likely to become chargeable, but only upon his becoming actually chargeable, and that then the parish which granted the certificate should be obliged to pay the expence both of his maintenance and of his removal. And in order to give the most perfect fecurity to the parish where fuch certificated man fhould come to refide, it was further enacted by the fame ftatute, that he should gain no fettlement there by any means whatever, except either by renting a tenement of ten pounds a year, or by ferving upon his own account in an annual parish office for one whole year; and confequently neither by notice, nor by fervice, nor by apprenticeship, nor by paying parish rates. By


the 12th of Queen Anne too, ftat. 1. c. 18. it was CHA P. further enacted, that neither the fervants nor apprentices of fuch certificated man should gain any fettlement in the parish where he refided under fuch certificate.

How far this invention has reftored that free circulation of labour which the preceding ftatutes had almost entirely taken away, we may learn from the following very judicious obfervation of Doctor Burn. "It is obvious," fays he, "that "there are divers good reafons for requiring "certificates with perfons coming to fettle in "any place; namely, that perfons refiding un, "der them can gain no fettlement, neither by "apprenticeship, nor by fervice, nor by giving "notice, nor by paying parish rates; that they "can fettle neither apprentices nor fervants; "that if they become chargeable, it is certainly "known whither to remove them, and the “ parish shall be paid for the removal, and for "their maintenance in the mean time; and "that if they fall fick, and cannot be removed, "the parish which gave the certificate muft "maintain them: none of all which can be "without a certificate. Which reafons will "hold proportionably for parishes not granting "certificates in ordinary cafes; for it is far "more than an equal chance, but that they will "have the certificated perfons again, and in a "worfe condition." The moral of this obfervation feems to be, that certificates ought always to be required by the parish where any poor man comes to refide, and that they ought very seldom


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