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.
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."
NOTE TO PAGE 704.
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.