Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

X.

not by his lodgers. Whereas, at Paris and c H A P. Edinburgh, the people who let lodgings have commonly no other means of fubfiftence; and the price of the lodging must pay, not only the rent of the house, but the whole expence of the family.

PART II.

Inequalities occasioned by the Policy of Europe.

SUCH

UCH are the inequalities in the whole of

the advantages and disadvantages of the different employments of labour and stock, which the defect of any of the three requisites abovementioned must occasion, even where there is the most perfect liberty. But the policy of Europe, by not leaving things at perfect liberty, occasions other inequalities of much greater importance.

It does this chiefly in the three following ways. First, by restraining the competition in fome employments to a smaller number than would otherwise be disposed to enter into them fecondly, by increasing it in others beyond what it naturally would be; and, thirdly, by obstructing the free circulation of labour and stock, both from employment to employment and from place to place.

First, The policy of Europe occasions a very important inequality in the whole of the advantages and disadvantages of the different employ. ments of labour and stock, by restraining the

N 4

competition

I.

BOO K competition in fome employments to a sinaller

number than might otherwise be disposed to enter into them.

The exclusive privileges of corporations are the principal means it makes use of for this pur. pose.

The exclusive privilege of an incorporated trade necessarily restrains the competition, in the town where it is established, to those who are free of the trade. To have served an appren. ticeship in the town, under a master properly qualified, is commonly the necessary requisite for obtaining this freedom. The bye-laws of the corporation regulate fometimes the number of apprentices which any master is allowed to have, and almost always the number of years which each apprentice is obliged to serve. The inten. tion of both regulations is to restrain the compe. tition to a much smaller number than might otherwise be disposed to enter into the trade, The limitation of the number of apprentices re. ftrains it directly. A long term of apprentice. ship restrains it more indirectly, but as effectu. ally, by increasing the expence of education.

In Sheffield no master cutler can have more than one apprentice at a time, by a bye-law of the corporation. In Norfolk and Norwich no master weaver can have more than two appren. tices, under pain of forfeiting five pounds & month to the king. No master hatter can have more than two apprentices any-where in Eng. land, or in the English plantations, under pain of forfeiting five pounds a month, half to the

X.

king, and half to him who shall fue in any court C HA P. of record. Both these regulations, though they have been confirmed by a public law of the kingdom, are evidently dictated by the fame corporation spirit which enacted the bye-law of Sheffield. The filk weavers in London had scarce been incorporated a year, when they en. acted a bye-law, restraining any master from having more than two apprentices at a time. It required a particular act of parliament to refcind this bye-law.

Seven years seem anciently to have been, all over Europe, the usual term established for the duration of apprenticeships in the greater part of incorporated trades. All such incorporations were anciently called universities; which indeed is the proper Latin name for any incorporation whatever. The university of smiths, the uni. versity of taylors, &c. are expressions which we commonly meet with in the old charters of ancient towns. When those particular incorpora. tions which are now peculiarly called univerfities were first established, the term of

years which it was necessary to study, in order to obtain the degree of master of arts, appears evi. dently to have been copied from the term of apprenticeship in common trades, of which the incorporations were much more ancient. As to have wrought seven years under a master pro. perly qualified, was necessary, in order to entitle any person to become a master, and to have himself apprentices in a common trade; fo to have ftudied seven years under a master properly qua

lified,

BOOK

1.

[ocr errors][merged small]

lified was necessary to entitle him to become a
mafter, teacher, or doctor (words anciently fyno-
nimous) in the liberal arts, and to have scholars
or apprentices (words likewise originally fyno-
nimous) to study under him.

By the 5th of Elizabeth, commonly called the
Statute of Apprenticeship, it was enacted, that
no person should for the future exercise any trade,
craft, or mystery at that time exercised in Eng-
land, unless he had previously served to it an
apprenticeship of seven years at least ; and what
before had been the bye-law of many particular
corporations, became in England the general
and public law of all trades carried on in mar-
ket towns. For though the words of the statute
are very general, and feem plainly to include the
whole kingdom, by interpretation its operation
has been limited to market towns, it having
been held that in country villages a person may
exercise several different trades, though he has
not served a seven years apprenticeship to each,
they being necessary for the conveniency of the
inhabitants, and the number of people fre-
quently not being fufficient to supply each with
a particular set of hands.

By a strict interpretation of the words too the operation of this statute has been limited to those trades which were established in England before the 5th of Elizabeth, and has never been ex. tended to such as have been introduced since that time. This limitation has given occasion to several diftinctions which, considered as rules of police, appear as foolish as can well be imag

gined. It has been adjudged, for example, that cH A P. a coach-maker can neither himself make nor

X. employ journeymen to make his coach-wheels ; but must buy them of a master wheel-wright; this latter trade having been exercised in England before the 5th of Elizabeth. But a wheelwright, though he has never served an apprenticeship to a coach-maker, may either himself make or employ journeymen to make coaches; the trade of a coach-maker not being within the statute, because not exercised in England at the time when it was made. The manufactures of Manchester, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton, are many of them, upon this account, not within the statute; not having been exercised in England before the 5th of Elizabeth.

In France, the duration of apprenticeships is different in different towns and in different trades. In Paris, five years is the term required in a great number ; but before any person can be qualified to exercise the trade as a master, he muft, in many of them, serve five years more as a journeyman. During this latter term he is called the companion of his master, and the term itself is called his companionship.

In Scotland there is no general law which regulates universally the duration of apprenticefhips. · The term is different in different corporations. Where it is long, a part of it may generally be redeemed by paying a finall fine, In most towns too a very small fine is sufficient to purchase the freedom of any corporation. The weavers of linen and hempen cloth, the principal

manu

« ForrigeFortsett »