Economic Annals of the Nineteenth Century

By William Smart | Go to book overview
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The barbarous, senseless, and obsolete law known as Wager of Battle was abolished, on the motion of the Attorney-General. It was explained that owing to the principle adopted by the courts of Scotland, of suffering laws to fall into desuetude, the present measure was unnecessary in that part of the kingdom.1

The Annual Register contains the following:

"The Marquis of Arboris Gattinars, of Bremen, has founded a premium of 3,600 francs for the best elementary treatise on Political Economy, calculated to be used as guide for the teachers of this science in the establishments of public instruction. The work may be composed in French, Italian, or English."2

The Bill was considerably modified and weakened in passing through Parliament. The following were the actual provisions: No child to be employed under the full age of nine years. No person under sixteen to be employed for more than twelve hours in any one day, such twelve hours to be between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m., exclusive of half an hour for breakfast, and one full hour for dinner between the hours of 11 and 2 o'clock; provided nevertheless that "if, at any time, in any such mill, manufactory, or buildings as are situated upon streams of water, time shall be lost in consequence of the want of a due supply, or of an excess of water, then, and in every such case, and so often as the same shall happen, it shall be lawful for the proprietors of any such mill, manufactory, or buildings to extend the beforementioned time of daily labour, after the rate of one additional hour per day, until such lost time shall have been made good, but no longer." In 1820, however, there was an amending Act (60 Geo. III. c. 4), providing that "on the event of one or move mills being suddenly destroyed by fire or other accident, the proprietors thereof, possessing other mills which are kept at work during the day, shall, for eighteen months from the day on which any such fire or other accident shall happen, be allowed to employ the persons who were previously at work in the mill or mills so destroyed, and employ them in the night time in any other mill or mills, for any period not exceeding ten hours in any one night." And the hour for dinner might be between eleven and four.
Hansard, xxxix. 415, 428, 434, 734, 1097, 1116, 1120. An interesting account of such a trial is given in Hansard, xl. 1204.
Chron. 28.


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Economic Annals of the Nineteenth Century
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