London Life in the XVIIIth Century

By M. Dorothy George | Go to book overview

NOTES TO CHAPTER IV, THE PEOPLE AND THE TRADES OF LONDON
(1)
Angeloni [Shebbeare], Letters on the English Nation, 2nd ed. 1756, p. 6.
(2)
A Journey from London to Genoa, 1770, i. p. 42.
(3)
Wendeborn, A View of England, p. 267.
(4)
T. Mortimer, Elements of Commerce, 1773, p. 45 n.
(5)
Grosley, A Tour to London, 1772, p. 84.
(6)
Review, April 14th 1705.
(7)
Quoted by W. Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce, 3rd ed. 1896, p. 559.
(8)
The trades of London, wages, earnings, hours, apprenticeship fees, and capital necessary for setting up in business, together with much information on methods and organisation, are set forth in: (1) A General Description of all Trades . . . 1747 (copies in the Guildhall Library and the Goldsmith's Library but not in the British Museum); (2) R. Campbell, The London Tradesman . . . 1747; (3) J. Collyer, The Parents and Guardians Directory and the Youths Guide in the Choice of a Profession or Trade, 1761. (1) Deals mainly with trades from the City standpoint; (2) and (3) with that of Middlesex, Westminster and the out-parishes: generally deprecate a seven years' apprenticeship for mere shop-keeping, etc. (3) is evidently based on (2), while neither appears to have any connection with (1). Kearsley Table of Trades, 1786, is admittedly based on (3) but gives earnings, etc., in a tabular form without explanatory text. Several entries suggest that advances of wages since 1761 have not been fully incorporated. The Book of Trades (six editions between 1804 and 1815) is more popular and less complete than its predecessors. A comparison of these five books gives much information on London wages, etc. Wages in the building trades are given in Tooke, History of Prices, i. p. 98. (Greenwich Hospital Accounts), in Jupp and Pocock, History of the Carpenters Company (Somerset House Accounts). They are also to be found in The Builders' Dictionary ( 1734), The Builders London Price-Book, and other similar publications. The London Sessions Papers give much incidental information on wages and methods: the question of a man's usual earnings was often raised as presumptive evidence of his innocence. Place collected information on London wages, some of which he published in The Gorgon ( 1818). Tailors' wages after 1720 were regulated by Act of Parliament, but more than the statutory rate was often paid.
(9)
Mrs. Charke, who was a strolling player for some years, came to the conclusion that "it would be more reputable to earn a groat a day in cindersifting at Tottenham Court than to be concerned with them"--that is with the generality of strolling players, the "rights" of those bred to the profession being "horribly invaded by barbers, 'prentices, taylors, and journeymen weavers. . . ." A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte Charke written by herself, 2nd ed. 1755, p. 188.
(10)
Mrs. Charke Life throws much light on the vicissitudes of performers at fairs, etc.
(11)
R. Campbell, op. cit., p. 165.
(12)
In 1747 the journeyman could earn from 30s. to £2 a week, and was "never out of work"; Place's brother-in-law, a journeyman chair-carver, could earn about 1788 "full £4 a week all the year round," chairs and other small pieces of furniture being sent to his workshop and he always had much more than he could do. Though "a good workman and remarkably swift," he was "an ignorant

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