Sivut kuvina

ployment for such as are able to work; and this principally by providing stocks of raw materials to be worked up at their separate homes, instead of accumulating all the poor in one common work-house; a practice which puts the sober and diligent upon a level (in point of their earnings) with those who are dissolute and idle, depresses the laudable emulation of domestic industry and neatness, and destroys all endearing family connections, the only felicity of the indigent. Whereas, if none were relieved but those who are incapable to get their livings, and that in proportion to their incapacity; if no children were removed from their parents but such as are brought up in rags and idleness; and if every poor man and his family were regularly furnished with employment, and allowed the whole prof its of their labor, a spirit of busy cheerfulness would soon diffuse itself through every cottage; work would become easy and habitual, when absolutely necessary for daily subsistence; and the peasant would go through his task without a murmur, if assured that he and his children (when incapable of work through infancy, age, or infirmity) would then, and then only, be entitled to support from his opulent neighbors.

This appears to have been the plan of the statute of Queen Elizabeth, in which the only defect was confining the management of the poor to small parochial districts, which are frequently incapable of furnishing proper work, or providing an able director. However, the laborious poor were then at liberty to seek employment wherever it was to be had, none being obliged to reside in the places of their settlement but such as were unable or unwilling to work, and those places of settlement being only such where they were born, or had made their abode, originally for three years, and afterward (in the case of vagabonds) for one year only.P

After the Restoration a very different plan was adopted, [362] which has rendered the employment of the poor more difficult, by authorizing the subdivision of parishes; has greatly increased their number, by confining them all to their respective dis

Stat. 19 Hen. VII., c. 12; 1 Edw. VI.,

c. 3; 3 Edw. VI., c. 16; 14 Eliz., c. 5.

in the receipt of parochial relief. Sects. 56 & 57 enact, that relief to the wife shall be deemed relief to the husband, and relief to the child relief to the parent; which, by sect. 58, may be considered as a loan. In order to recover the amount of such relief, justices are empowered, by sect. 59, to attach the wages of such husband or father in the hands of masters or employers; and, as to the recovery of relief given to poor persons, under 43 Eliz., c. 2, s. 7, see sect. 78. Sect. 60 repeals so much of 43 Geo. III., c 45, as requires relief to

P Stat. 39 Eliz., c. 4.

be given to the wives and families of
substitutes, hired men, or volunteers of
militia. By sect. 61, justices are required
to enforce compliance with the rules,
&c., of the commissioners relating to the
apprenticeship of poor children. Sect.
62 authorizes the raising of money by
any parish for the purposes of emigra-
tion; which money, and also money
raised for erecting or altering any work-
house, &c., may be advanced in Ex-
chequer bills, under 57 Geo. III., c. 34;
1 & 2 Vict., c. 88, and the subsequent

Law of settlements.

tricts; has given birth to the intricacy of our poor laws, by multiplying and rendering more easy the methods of gaining settlements; and, in consequence, has created an infinity of expensive lawsuits between contending neighborhoods concerning those settlements and removals." By the statute 13 & 14 Car. II., c. 12, a legal settlement was declared to be gained by birth, or by inhabitancy, apprenticeship, or service, for forty days; within which period all intruders were made removable from any parish by two justices of the peace, unless they settled in a tenement of the annual value of £10. The frauds naturally consequent upon this provision, which gave a settlement by so short a residence, produced the statute 1 Jac. II., c. 17, which directed notice in writing to be delivered to the parish officers before a settlement could be gained by such residence. Subsequent provisions allowed other circumstances of notoriety to be equivalent to such notice given; and those circumstances have from time to time been altered, enlarged, or restrained, whenever the experience of new inconveniences, arising daily from new regulations, suggested the necessity of a remedy. And the doctrine of certificates was invented, by way of counterpoise, to restrain a man and his family from acquiring a new settlement by any length of residence whatever, unless in two particular excepted cases, which makes parishes very cautious of giving such certificates, and of course confines the poor at home, where frequently no adequate employment can be had.

The law of settlements may be, therefore, now reduced to the following general heads; or a settlement in a parish may be acquired, I. By birth; for, wherever a child is first known to be, that is always primâ facie the place of settlement, until some other can be shown. This is also generally the place of settlement of a bastard child; for a bastard, having in the [363] eye of the law no father, can not be referred to his settlement as other children may.s30 But in legitimate children, though the place of birth be primâ facie the settlement, yet it is not conclusively so; for there are, 2. Settlements by parentage, being the settlement of one's father or mother; all legitimate children

Carth., 433; Comb., 364; Salk., 485; 1 Lord Raym., 567.

See p. 459.

• Salk., 427.

peal, and the latter against the parish serving a frivolous or vexatious ground of appeal, whether successful or not.

(29) Frivolous and vexatious appeals against orders of removal were, in some measure, checked by sect. 81 of the 4 & 5 Wm. IV., c. 76, which requires the parish appealing, at least fourteen days (30) By sect. 71 of 4 & 5 Wm. IV., c. before the sessions at which such appeal 76, every child born a bastard, after the is to be tried, to deliver to the overseers passing of that act, shall have and follow of the respondent parish a statement of the settlement of the mother; until such the grounds of appeal; and by the pro- child shall attain the age of sixteen, or visions of sects. 82 & 83, the former of shall acquire a settlement in its own which empowers the court to award right. costs against the parish losing the ap

being really settled in the parish where their parents are settled, until they get a new settlement for themselves. A new settlement may be acquired several ways; as, 3. By marriage; for a woman, marrying a man that is settled in another parish, changes her own settlement, the law not permitting the separation of husband and wife." But if the man has no settlement, her's is suspended during his life, if he remains in England, and is able to maintain her; but in his absence, or after his death, or during (perhaps) his inability, she may be removed to her old settlement. The other methods of acquiring settlements in any parish are all reducible to this one, of forty days' residence therein; but this forty days' residence (which is construed to be lodging or lying there) must not be by fraud, or stealth, or in any clandestine manner, but made notorious by one or other of the following concomitant circumstances. The next method, therefore, of gaining a settlement, is, 4. By forty days' residence and notice; for if a stranger comes into a parish, and delivers notice in writing of his place of abode, and number of his family, to one of the overseers (which must be read in the church and registered), and resides there unmolested for forty days after such notice, he is legally settled thereby.w For the law presumes that such a one at the time of notice is not likely to become chargeable, else he would not venture to give it ; or that, in such case, the parish would take care to remove him." But there are also other circumstances equivalent to such notice therefore, 5. Renting for a year a tenement of the yearly value of ten pounds, and residing forty days in the parish, gains a settlement without notice, upon the principle of having substance enough to gain credit for such a house." 6. Being charged to, and paying the public taxes and levies of the parish (excepting those for scavengers, highways, and the duties on houses and windowsz33); and, 7. Executing, when

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Jac. II., c. 17; 3 & 4 Wm. & M.,
c. 11.

* Stat. 13 & 14 Car. II., c. 12.
y Stat. 9 Geo. I., c. 7, § 6.

Stat. 21 Geo. II., c. 10; 18 Geo.
III., c. 26.

fied by 59 Geo. III., c. 50; 6 Geo. IV.,
c. 57, and 1 Wm. IV., c. 18.

(33) This mode of acquiring a settle-
ment has been much entangled with that
last mentioned, viz.: by hiring or rent-
ing a tenement. The 33 Geo. III., c.
101, in effect suspended it; but 59 Geo.
III., c. 50 (unintentionally, it is said),
brought it into operation again. Every
settlement claimed, in respect of pay-
ment of rates and levies under 3 Wm. &
M., c. 11, s. 6, is subject to the restric-
tions imposed by 6 Geo. IV., c. 57.



legally appointed, any public parochial office, for a whole year in the parish, as church-warden, &c., are both of them equivalent to notice, and gain a settlement,a if coupled with a residence of forty days." 8. Being hired for a year, when unmarried and childless, and serving a year in the same service;" and, 9. Being bound an apprentice, give the servant and apprentice a settlement without notice,b in that place wherein they serve the last forty days. This is meant to encourage application to trades, and going out to reputable services.' 10. Lastly, the having an estate of one's own, and residing thereon forty days, however small the value may be, in case it be acquired by act of law, or of a third person, as by descent, gift, devise, &c., is a sufficient settlement; but if a man acquire it by his own act, as by purchase (in its popular sense, in consideration of money paid), then, unless the consideration advanced bona fide be £30, it is no settlement for any longer time than the person shall inhabit thereon.d He is in no case removable from his own property; but he shall not, by any trifling or fraudulent purchase of his own, acquire a permanent and lasting settlement."7

All persons not so settled may be removed to their own parishes on complaint of the overseers by two justices of the peace, if they shall adjudge them likely to become chargeable" to the parish into which they have intruded; unless they are in a way of getting a legal settlement, as by having a hired house of £10 per annum, or living in an annual service;" for then

a Stat. 3 & 4 Wm. & M., c. 11.

b Stat. 3 & 4 Wm. & M., c. 11; 8 & 9 Wm. III., c. 10; 31 Geo. II., c. 11.

(34) This mode of acquiring a settlement was abolished by sect. 64 of 4 & 5 Wm. IV., c. 76.

(35) This mode of acquiring a settlement was also abolished by sects. 64 & 65 of 4 & 5 Wm. IV., c. 76.

(36) By sect. 67 of 4 & 5 Wm. IV., c. 76, it was enacted, that, after the passing of that act, no settlement should be acquired by being apprenticed in the sea service, or to a householder exercising the trade of the seas, as a fisherman, or otherwise, nor by any person then being such an apprentice, in respect of such apprenticeship.

c Salk., 524.

d Stat. 9 Geo. I., c. 7.

inhabit within such distance, and thereafter become chargeable, such person should be liable to be removed to the

parish wherein, previously to such inhabitancy, he might have been legally settled, or, in case he might have, subse quently to such inhabitancy, gained a legal settlement in some other parish, then to such other parish.

(38) Paupers are not removable until they become actually chargeable; see 35 Geo. III., c. 101, amended by 49 Geo. III., c. 129. As to the removal from England of poor persons born in Scotland or Ireland, see 3 & 4 Wm. IV., c. 40, which was confirmed and amended by 7 Wm. IV., and 1 Vict., c. 10, and 3 & 4 Vict., c. 27.

(39) But not until notice of such chargeability has been sent to the parish to which the justices' order of removal is directed; see 4 & 5 Wm. IV., c. 76,

(37) By sect. 68 of 4 & 5 Wm. IV., c. 76, it was enacted, that no person should be deemed to retain any settlement, gained by virtue of any possession of any estate, or interest in any parish, for any longer or further time than such person should inhabit within ten miles thereof; s. 79. and, in case such person should cease to

they are not removable. And in all other cases, if the parish to which they belong will grant them a certificate acknowledging them to be their parishioners, they can not be removed merely because likely to become chargeable, but only when [365] they become actually chargeable. But such certificated person can gain no settlement by any of the means above mentioned, unless by renting a tenement of £10 per annum, or by serving an annual office in the parish, being legally placed therein: neither can an apprentice or servant to such certificated person gain a settlement by such their service.go

These are the general heads of the laws relating to the poor, which, by the resolutions of the courts of justice thereon within a century past, are branched into a great variety. And yet, notwithstanding the pains that have been taken about them, they still remain very imperfect, and inadequate to the purposes they are designed for; a fate that has generally attended most of our statute laws, where they have not the foundation of the common law to build on. When the shires, the hundreds, and the tithings were kept in the same admirable order in which they were disposed by the great Alfred, there were no persons idle, consequently none but the impotent that needed relief; and the statute of 43 Eliz. seems entirely founded on the same principle. But when this excellent scheme was neglected and departed from, we can not but observe with concern what miserable shifts and lame expedients have from time to time been adopted, in order to patch up the flaws occasioned by this neglect. There is not a more necessary or more certain maxim in the frame and constitution of society, than that every individual must contribute his share in order to the wellbeing of the community; and surely they must be very deficient in sound policy who suffer one half of a parish to continue idle, dissolute, and unemployed; and at length are amazed to find that the industry of the other half is not able to maintain the whole.

e Salk., 472.

f Stat. 8 & 9 Wm. III., c. 30.

Stat. 12 Ann., c. 18.

(40) Vide supra, p. 364, n. 32-36.

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