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Questions discussable on appeal.

As to the merits of the case; the child's fitness or unfitness to be bound (1), or of the party to receive an apprentice, are matters of fact upon which the justices are to decide according to discretion.

Sessions may

to take ap

Two justices bound a poor girl apprentice to a merdetermine,

chant. that a mer

The sessions discharged the order, because they chant is unfit thought it unfit to compel a merchant to take an appren

tice. Their order was affirmed, because 8&9 W.III. c. 30. prentice.

having given an appeal in this case to the sessions, it is in the discretion of the justices there to determine, whether it was or was not fitting to force an apprentice upon any one. (2)

Party when

But a party may debar himself from this right to appeal. concluded from appeal

. Thus, if he execute the counterpart of the indenture, he is

thereby concluded from appealing against it. (3)

Sessions state case. Order removable into K.B.

If the sessions entertain a doubt, they may state a case for the opinion of the court of King's Bench (4); or, if any illegality appear on the face of the order, the party may remove it into that court to be quashed for the defect.

Order 'direct- The overseers of a parish, with the assent of two jusing master to tices bound a poor child to an attorney, who appealed to of clothes, &c. the sessions. The sessions ordered him to seal the counill.

terpart of the indenture, which he refused, and removed it (5) by certiorari into the King's Bench. It was moved to quash the order ; because, in the close of the indenture, it is said, that the master, at the end of the term shall give his apprentice two suits of clothes; one for holidays,

(1) Rex v. Saltern, Cald. 444. ante, 340.(2).
(2) Minchamp's case, 2 Salk. 491. See also Rex v. Saltern, supra, (1).
(3) Rex v. Saltern, supra, (1).
(4) Ibid.
(5) i. e. the order.

and the other for working days, which, upon debate, the court held to be ill, and quashed the order. For the justice cannot order him wages during the term of his apprenticeship, they must only order him maintenance as an apprentice, and cannot order him any thing after the term is ended. (1)

(1) Rex v. Wagstaff, Fol. 225. See some exceptions, where parish apprentices are discharged by a justice's order, 32 Geo. III. c.57. s. 11, Vol. III.

352

CHAP. XXXIV.

Concerning relieving and ordering the Poor.

The objects of parish relief are either settled poor, or casual poor. They are relievable, Ist, at their own houses ; 2d, in workhouses ; 3d, in parishes incorporated under general statutes or some special act of parliament; 4th, as lunatic poor; 5th, in gaols; and 6thly, as the families of militia men. The regulations respecting these different modes of affording relief are contained in various acts of parliament, the substance of which will be set forth shortly in the following sections.

Officers must relieve without order.

But may be compelled.

It may be generally observed that parish officers are under a legal obligation to relieve and support their poor in the manner pointed out by these statutes without an order obtained for this purpose. (1) But a discretion as to the mode of relief is taken away from them in some instances and reposed in the justices, who are empowered to make an order to compel them (2), as they may in all cases within their jurisdiction where the officers have improperly refused to relieve.

SECT. I.

Concerning relieving the Poor at their own Houses, and herein

of the Authority of Justices to order Relief, of the Form of the Order, and of Select Vestries.

Poor to be set

By the 43 Eliz. c. 2. s. 1. the churchwardens and overto work.

seers, or the greater part of them, shall take order from

(1) Hays v. Bryant, 1 H. Black, 253. ante. 335. (2).
(2) 36 Geo. III.

time to time, by and with the consent of two or more justices of the county, for setting to work the children of all such whose parents shall not by the said churchwardens, &c. be thought able to keep and maintain their children; and also for setting to work all such persons, married or unmarried, having no means to maintain them, and using no ordinary and daily trade to get their living by. And also to raise by taxation, weekly or otherwise, a convenient stock to set the poor to work(1); and also Those not

able to work competent sums towards the necessary relief of the lame,

to be relieved. impotent, old, blind, and such other among them being poor and not able to work, and also to put out children apprentices.

By sect. 4. the justices are to send to the house of Those who correction or common gaol such as shall not employ them- refuse to work

. selves to work, being appointed thereunto.

The 3 Car. I. c.4. s. 20. authorises the churchwardens Trades set up and overseers, by the consent of two or more justices, to for the poor. set up any trade for setting the poor to work.

By stat. 59 Geo. III. c. 12. s. 12. reciting that, by 43 Eliz. Land to be c. 2., the churchwardens and

provided for overseers are directed

employing the to set to work certain persons therein described, and that poor. by the laws now in force sufficient powers are not given to the churchwardens and overseers to enable them to keep

(1) On an appeal against the allowance of overseers' accounts, a very important question was raised for the opinion of the court of K. B., namely, whether the overseers of the poor are justified in giving pecuniary relief to the able-bodied poor when out of employment, without setting them to work. The case was fully argued, but as it did not appear whether the overseers could or could not provide work for the unemployed poor, nor what endeavours they had made to attain that object, the court merely suggested that it was undoubtedly the primary duty of the overseers to find employment for the poor, if possible, and the case was sent back to sessions to find whether any, and if any, what endeavours had been made to procure employment for the able-bodied poor out of employment. Rex v. Collett, 2 B. &C. 324. VOL. II.

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such persons fully and constantly employed, it is enacted, that the churchwardens and overseers of the parish may, with the consent of the inhabitants in vestry assembled (1), take into their hands any land belonging to the parish or parish officers, or the poor thereof; or purchase, hire, and take on

lease, on account of the parish, any suitable portion of land Not to exceed within or near the parish not exceeding twenty acres, and

employ in the cultivation of it, on account of the parish, such Poor entitled persons as they are by law directed to set to work, and pay to wages.

such persons reasonable wages; who shall be entitled to the same remedies for the recovery of their wages, and shall be liable to the same punishment for misbehaviour, as other labourers in husbandry are.

20 acres.

Land may be let to the poor.

Section 13. For the promotion of industry amongst the poor; the churchwardens and overseers of any parish, with consent of the inhabitants in vestry assembled, may let any portion of parish land, or of the land purchased or taken on account of the parish, to any poor and industrious inhabitant to be occupied on their own account, at such reasonable rent, and for such term as shall be fixed by the inhabitants in vestry.

Rent.

Limitation of sums to be raised.

Section 14. limits the sum to be expended in one year, in purchasing and stocking land, and in purchasing and repairing buildings, to not exceeding one shilling in the pound upon the annual value of property in the parish, assessable to the poor's rate, unless by consent of the majority of inhabitants and occupiers assessed being present in vestry, and by consent in writing in the vestry-book of twothirds in value of the inhabitants and occupiers, whether present or not.

By 57 Geo. III. c. 34. the commissioners of His Majesty's

(1) As many powers respecting the relieving the poor in all its branches are given to the inhabitants of parishes in vestry assembled, see the statutes 58 Geo. III. c.69., and 59 Geo. III. c. 85., by which these meetings are regulated, Vol.I. p. 41.

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