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This is being copied from a manuscript which uses the letter 'f' for the letter 's' in some words, which at that period was the custom.


An Act for the better regulating Apprentices, and Perfons working under contract.

Whereas Perfons employed in several manufactories of this Kingdom frequently take Apprentices who are very young, and, for several years of their apprenticeships, are rather a Burthen than otherwise to their Masters:

And Whereas it frequently happens that such Apprentices, when they might be expected to be useful to their masters, absent themselves from their service:

And Whereas the Laws in being are not sufficient to prevent these inconveniences:

For Remedy whereof, may it please Your Majesty that it may be enacted; and, be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and confent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this prefent Parliament affembled, and by the authority of the fame, That from and after the Twenty Fourth day of June, One thousand feven hundred and firty fix, if any Apprentice fhall absent himfelf from his Master's Service before the Term of his Apprenticeship fhall be expired, every fuch Apprentice fhall, at any Time or Times thereafter, whenever he fhall be found, be compelled to serve his faid Master for fo long a time as he fhall have fo absented himslef from fuch Service, unlefs he fhall make Satisfaction to his Master for the Lofs he fhall have fustained by his absence from his Service; and fo, from time to time, as often as any fuch Apprentice fhall, without leave of his Master, abfent himfelf from his Service before the Term of his Contract fhall be fulfilled:

And in cafe any fuch Apprentice shall refufe to ferve as hereby required, or to make fuch Satisfaction to hif Mafter, fuch Mafter may complain. upon Oath, to the Juftice of the Peace of the County or Place where he fhall refide, which Oath fuch Juftice is hereby impowered to adminfter, and to iffue a Warrant under hif Hand and Seal for apprehending any fuch Apprentice; and fuch Juftice, upon hearing the Complaint, may determine what Satifaction fhall be made to fuch Mafter by fuch Apprentice; and in cafe fuch Apprentice fhall not give Security to make fuch Satisfaction according to fuch Determination, it fhall and may be lawfull for fuch Juftice to commit every fuch Apprentice to the Houfe of Correction for any time not exceeding Three Months.

Provided always, That nothing in thif Act contained fhall extend to any Apprentice,whofe Mafter fhall have received with fuch Apprentice the Sum of Ten Pounds.

Provided alfo, That no Apprentice fhall be compelled to ferve for any Time or Term, or to make any Satisfaction to any Mafter, after the Expiration of Feven Years next after the end of the Term for which fuch Apprentice fhall have contracted to ferve; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithftanding.

{The dialogue goes to recite certain trades in order that no uncertainty about this Act is considered!)

These Trades are as Follows:

Artificers, Callicoe Printers, Handicraftmen, Miners, Colliers, Keelmen, Pitmen, Glassmen, Potters, Labourers and others, who contract with persons for certain terms.

(Justices were also impowered to grant Warrants against Artificers and others for not fulfilling their contracts, or being guilty of any misdemeanour!)