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Some frauds, it is said, were committed in C HA P. consequence of this statute ; parish officers fome. times bribing their own poor to go clandestinely to another parish, and by keeping themselves concealed for forty days to gain a settlement there, to the discharge of that to which they properly belonged. It was enacted, therefore, by the ift of James II. that the forty days undisturbed residence of any person necessary to gain a settlement, should be accounted only from the time of his delivering notice in writing, of the place of his abode and the number of his family, to one of the churchwardens or overseers of the parish where he came to dwell.
But parish officers, it seems, were not always more honest with regard to their own, than they had been with regard to other parishes, and sometimes connived at such intrusions, receiving the notice, and taking no proper steps in consequence of it. As every person in a parish, there. fore, was supposed to have an interest to prevent as much as possible their being burdened by such intruders, it was further enacted by the 3d William III. that the forty days residence should be accounted only from the publication of such notice in writing on Sunday in the church, immediately after divine service.
“ After all,” says Doctor Burn, “ this kind “ of settlement, by continuing forty days after
publication of notice in writing, is very fel“ dom obtained; and the design of the acts is " not so much for gaining of settlements, as for “ the avoiding of them by persons coming into
“ a parish
BOOK“ a parish clandestinely: for the giving of no
“ tice is only putting a force upon the parish
to remove. But if a person's fituation is “ fuch, that it is doubtful whether he is actu
ally removable or not, he shall by giving of “ notice compel the parish either to allow him
settlement uncontested, by suffering him to “ continue forty days; or, by removing him, « to try the right."
This statute, therefore, rendered it almost impracticable for a poor man to gain a new settlement in the old way, by forty days inhabitancy. But that it might not appear to preclude altogether the common people of one parish from ever establishing themselves with fecurity in another, it appointed four other ways by which a settlement might be gained without any
notice delivered or published. The first was, by being taxed to parish rates and paying them; the second, by being elected into an annual parish office, and serving in it a year; the third, by serving an apprenticeship in the parish; the fourth, by being hired into service there for a year, and continuing in the same service during the whole of it.
Nobody can gain a settlement by either of the two first ways, but by the public deed of the whole parish, who are too well aware of the consequences to adopt any new-comer who has nothing but his labour to support him, either by taxing him to parish rates, or by electing him into a parish office.
No married man can well gain any settlement C HA P. in either of the two last ways. An apprentice is scarce ever married; and it is expressly enacted, that no married fervant shall gain any settlement by being hired for a year. The principal effect of introducing settlement by service, has been to put out in a great measure the old fashion of hiring for a year, which before had been fo customary in England, that even at this day, if no particular term is agreed upon, the law in. tends that every servant is hired for a year. But masters are not always willing to give their servants a settlement by hiring them in this manner; and servants are not always willing to be so hired, because, as every last fettlement discharges all the foregoing, they might thereby lose their original settlement in the places of their nativity, the habitation of their parents and relations.
No independent workman, it is evident, whether labourer or artificer, is likely to gain any new settlement either by apprenticeship or by service. When such a perfon, therefore, carried his industry to a new parish, he was liable to be removed, how healthy and industrious foever, at the caprice of any churchwarden or overseer, unless he either rented a tenement of ten pounds a year, a thing impossible for one who has nothing but his labour to live by; or could give such security for the discharge of the parish as two justices of the peace should judge fufficient. What security they shall require, indeed, is left altogether to their discretion; but they cannot well require less than thirty pounds, it having
BO O K been enacted, that the purchase even of a free
hold eftate of less than thirty pounds value, shall not gain any person a settlement, as not being fufficient for the discharge of the parish. But this is a security which scarce any man who lives by labour can give; and inuch greater security is frequently demanded.
In order to restore in some measure that free circulation of labour which those different statutes had almost entirely taken away, the invention of certificates was fallen upon. By the 8th and gth of William III, it was enacted, that if any person should bring a certificate from the parish where he was last legally settled, subscribed by the churchwardens and overseers of the poor, and allowed by two justices of the peace, that every other parish should be obliged to receive him ; that he should not be removeable merely upon account of his being likely to become chargeable, but only upon his becoming actually chargeable, and that then the parish which granted the certificate should be obliged to pay the expence both of his maintenance and of his removal. And in order to give the most perfect security to the parish where such certificated man should come to reside, it was further enacted by the same statute, that he should gain no settlement there by any means whatever, except either by renting a tenement of ten pounds a year, or by serving upon his own account in an annual parish office for one whole year; and consequently neither by notice, nor by service, nor by apprenticeship, nor by paying parish rates. By the 12th of Queen Anne too, ftat. 1. C. 18. it was C HA P. further enacted, that neither the servants nor ap
X. prentices of such certificated man should gain any settlement in the parish where he resided under such certificate.
How far this invention has restored that free circulation of labour which the preceding statutes had almost entirely taken away, we may learn from the following very judicious observation of Doctor Burn. “ It is obvious," says he, “ that " there are divers good reasons for requiring “ certificates with persons coming to settle in “ any place; namely, that persons residing un“ der them can gain no settlement, neither by
apprenticeship, nor by service, nor by giving “ notice, nor by paying parish rates ; that they
can settle neither apprentices nor servants ; " that if they become chargeable, it is certainly " known whither to remove them, and the “ parish shall be paid for the removal, and for " their maintenance in the mean time; and “ that if they fall fick, and cannot be removed, “ the parish which gave the certificate must 66 maintain them; none of all which can be « without a certificate, Which reasons will “ hold proportionably for parishes not granting “ certificates in ordinary cases; for it is far “ more than an equal chance, but that they will “ have the certificated persons again, and in a " worse condition.” The moral of this obser. vation seems to be, that certificates ought always to be required by the parish where any poor man comes to reside, and that they ought very feldom