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HORACE HART. PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY
LIBRARY OF THE LELANB STANFORD, JR., UNIVERSITI
No. XXXVII. January, 1894.
THE LAST DAYS OF BONDAGE IN GREAT BRITAIN. IN the light of Mr. Leadam's most interesting article on "The 1 Last Days of Bondage in England,' which appeared in a recent number of the Law QUARTERLY REVIEW ?, it may be well to note that, while bondage came to an end in England towards the end of the sixteenth century, it only disappeared from Great Britain within the lifetime of people still living. Down to the year 1799 a large number of the Scottish colliers and salt-workers, or 'salters' as they were called, were literally slaves. They belonged to their respective works and were sold as a part of the gearing. They could not leave at will, nor change their occupation. Generation after generation lived in this state of servitude, for, while the servitude was not hereditary in the eye of the law, it was so in practice. The child of a bondman, if never entered with the work, was free, but, belonging as it did to a degraded and avoided class, entering was its natural destination, especially as the owner of the work prevented to the best of his power the possibility of its getting employment in the neighbourhood. The Scottish Habeas Corpus Act passed in 1701, which provided for the liberty of the subject in Scotland and introduced regulations against 'wrongous imprisonment and undue delay in trials,' contained these words, 'it is hereby provided and declared that this present Act is noways to be extended to colliers or salters. The first Act passed for their relief became law in 1775. This statute (15 George III. c. 28), after stating in the preamble that 'many colliers and salters were in a state of slavery and bondage,' einancipated all those who should begin to work as colliers and salters after the first of July 1775,
· Vol. ix. p. 348. VOL. X.