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for labour. Every person in the workhouse is not obliged to work. Suppose a man is in a fever; were the master or keeper of a workhouse to exact labour from such a person, he would be indictable for it; and I have had several indictments of that kind before me. (1)
By 59 Geo. III. c. 12. s. 8. In any parish not having a workhouse, or where the workhouse shall be insufficient, the churchwardens and overseers, by the direction of the inhabitants in vestry assembled, may erect and build a suitable workhouse, or alter and enlarge any messuage or tenement belonging to the parish for that purpose, and purchase or take on lease any ground within the parish for the purpose of such building, or for enlarging any such messuage or tenement, or may enlarge any insufficient workhouse.
Insufficient Section 9. enables the churchwardens and overseers of workhouses may be sold.
any parish, by the direction of the inhabitants in vestry assembled, and with the consent of two justices under their hands, to sell any workhouse, or other houses or tenements belonging to such parish, where the same are insufficient and incapable of being enlarged or used as workhouses, together with the site thereof, and the outhouses, offices, yards, and gardens thereto belonging, and to convey the same to the purchaser, and to apply the produce of such sale, after deducting the reasonable expences thereof, , towards the purchase or building of a new workhouse, or towards the payment of any money borrowed under this
act, as the inhabitants in vestry shall direct. Where no Section 10. Where no sufficient workhouse can be proworkhouse
cured, the churchwardens and overseers may, by the can be procured, one
direction of the inhabitants in vestry, purchase or hire ang chased or built convenient building for that purpose, in any adjoining in an adjoin. parish, with the consent of two or more justices, to be ing parish.
written upon or annexed to the agreement for purchasing
(1) Per Lord Mansfield C. J., Rex v. Winship and Grunwell, Cald. 76.
or hiring such building, provided that no such building shall be situate more than three miles from the parish for which the same shall be purchased or hired.
Section 14. provides, that no sum exceeding an assess- Amount of ment at one shilling in the pound upon the annual value of sums to be
raised for the property in any parish assessable to the poor rates shall building and be raised or applied in any one year in purchasing buildings Pands, &c. or land under this act, or in repairing and fitting up and furnishing such buildings, and in stocking such land, or for any such purposes, unless the major part of the inhabitants and occupiers assessed to the relief of the poor in vestry shall consent thereto; nor until two-third parts in value of all the inhabitants and occupiers so assessed, whether present in vestry or not, shall have also signed their consent thereto in the vestry or parish book.
may be raised.
Section 15. Where the inhabitants of any parish shall By consent
further sums so consent that a greater sum than an assessment of one shilling in the pound shall be expended in one year for any of such purposes, the churchwardens and overseers of such parish, after the sums raised by an assessment of one shilling in the pound shall have been expended, may raise any additional sum by loan or by sale of annuities for any By loan or life or lives not being under the age of fifty years, or for sale of annui
ties. any term not exceeding fifteen years, so as the whole sum to be so raised shall not be more than five shillings in the Sum to be pound upon the annual value of the property assessed to raised limited. the poor rates; every proposal for such annuities being first approved by the inhabitants and occupiers of such parish in vestry. And the church wardens and overseers shall, in the names and on the behalf of the inhabitants of the parish, sign and execute securities for the money so borrowed, and for the annuities so granted; and shall charge the future poor rates with the repayment of the principal sum so borrowed and interest, or with the payment of the annuity thereby granted, as the case may be, upon the days and times, and in such manner and proportion, as the said securities respectively shall appoint and
express; and the future rates shall be subject to such pay
Sums to be. Section 16. provides that no greater sum than an assesscharged on future rates
ment at one shilling in the pound shall be charged upon limited to one the future rates, unless by consent of two-thirds in value shilling in the of the proprietors within such parish ; such consents by consent of to be given under the hands of all persons and cortwo-thirds of
porations sole, and the consent of every corporation proprietors.
aggregate, under the hand of the president thereof, and the consents of femes covert, minors, insane persons, and persons out of the kingdom, under the hands of their respective husbands, guardians, committees, trustees, attornies or agents, and of the major part of the trustees for trust estates.
Churchwardens and overseers may take and sue as bodies corporate.
Section 17. All buildings, lands, and hereditaments purchased, hired, or taken on lease by church
wardens and overseers,
purposes of this act, shall be conveyed and demised to such churchwardens and overseers respectively and their successors, in trust for the parish, who shall accept and hold them in the nature of a body corporate for and on behalf of the parish; as also all other buildings, lands, &c. belonging to such parish; and in all actions, suits, indictments, and other proceedings, for or in relation to any such buildings, &c. or the rent thereof; it shall be sufficient to name the churchwardens and overseers for the time being, describing them as the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the parish, and naming such parish ; and no action or suit, indictment or other proceeding, shall abate, or be discontinued, or impeded, by the death of any such churchwardens and overseers, or by their removal from or the expiration of their respective offices.
No suit or action, &c. shall abate by death.
Provisions of Section 18. The provisions contained in stat. 22 Geo. III. 22 Geo. III. c.83. by which c.83. for enabling bodies politic and corporate, trustees, incapacitated guardians, and incapacitated persons to contract for the persons are sale of, and to convey and lease lands, tenements, and hereditaments, for the purposes in that act; and with regard enabled to
convey. to the payment and application of the purchase-money for the same, shall extend to all purchases and takings of lands, &c. made under the authority of this act.
2. Concerning contracts for supplying the poor.
By 45 Geo. III. c. 54. no contract for lodging, maintain- Contractor to ing, and employing the poor of any parish, or parishes the parish
be resident in where two or more are united under 9 Geo. I. c. 7. s. 4., or contracting, any other law, shall be valid, unless the contractor shall, or where the
poor are during the contract, reside within the parish contracting, or inaintained. the parish within which the poor shall be lodged and maintained; or where parishes are united, reside in one of them, or in the parish where the poor shall be lodged or maintained ; nor unless one or more responsible householders resident in such parish, or in one of such united parishes, and to be approved of by the churchwardens and overseers, shall, at or before the signing such contract, give a joint and several bond, with a penalty in not less than one-half the assessment to the poor rates for the next year
year which such contract is entered into, for the faithful observ. ance of such contract by the party contracting, nor unless such contract shall be approved of and signed by two justices of the county where such parish, or such united parishes, or one of them, shall be.
By section 2. all contracts not entered into according to Contract to this act shall be absolutely void, and every contract cease when
contractor re. conformable to it (but where the person contracting ceases moves from to reside in the particular parish, or in one of the united the parish. parishes wherein the poor shall be maintained,) shall determine at the time of such persons ceasing so to reside; but Security to the security given as aforesaid, shall remain in force to stand. indemnify the parish against any expence incurred by non-performance of the contract. This act shall not Limitation of extend to places where the poor are maintained under act. any special act, nor vacate any contract made before the act.
Contractors subject to magistrates as overseers.
By 50 Geo. III. c. 50. s.2. contractors for the maintenance of the poor shall be subject, as far as regards their contracts, to the orders of justices as overseers are; and every order of justices shall be enforced against them, as against overseers, they shall be punishable for disobedience of any such orders as overseers are.
No church- By 55 Geo. III. c. 137. s.6. no churchwarden, overseer, warden or
or other person concerned jointly with or independently overseer to supply articles of them in collecting the poor rates, and providing for and a for the use of managing the poor, shall
, in his own name, or in the name of any other, furnish for his own profit any goods, materials, or provisions for the use of any workhouse, or for the support and maintenance of the poor in any parish, &c. for which he shall be so appointed, during the continuance of such
appointment, nor shall be concerned, directly or indirectly, under penalty in any such contract under pain of forfeiting 1001., with of 1001,
costs of suit, to any person who shall sue by action of debt, or on the case, in any courts of record at Westminster; in
which action no essoign, protection, wager of law, or more Exceptions. than one imparlance shall be allowed. But if no person
competent to supply such articles can be found within & convenient distance from the workhouse, two or more neighbouring justices (upon proof thereof on oath) may, by certificate under their hands and seals, permit such churchwarden, &c. to contract for the furnishing such articles.
The certificate shall be entered with the clerk of the peace or town clerk, for which is. shall be paid, and the party named in it shall be discharged from the penalty to which otherwise he would be liable.
The certificate may be pleaded generally, and upon proof thereof there shall be a verdict for the defendant; and if the plaintiff be nonsuited or discontinue, or the defendant have a verdict of judgment on demurrer, he shall have treble costs.