[Acts for Artificers] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [and Porters.]414

[Acts for Artificers] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [and Porters.]

may conern, to know what the Laws are in this Case, the following Abstract of some few of them is here printed; with the Copy of a Petition subscribed by great numbers of Ticket Porters, who are not in Combination as aforesaid: which Petition was delivered unto a Committee of Common Council held at Guild-Hall, London, March 28, 1700.

An Abstract of divers Laws and Statutes for the Regulation of Labourers and Porters, &c.


BY an Act of Parliament made in the 2d and 3d of Edward VI. cap. 15. it is amongst other things Enacted, That if any Artificers, Workmen, or Labourers do conspire, covenant, or promise together, that they shall not make or do their Work, but at a certain Price or Rate, or shall not enterprise, or take upon them to finish that Work another hath begun, or shall do but a certain Work a Day, or shall not work but at certain Hours and Times, that then every Person so conspiring, covenanting or offending, being thereof convict by Witnesses, Confession, or otherwise, shall forfeit for the first Offence 10l. to the King; and if he pay not the same within six Days next after his Conviction, he shall suffer twenty Days Imprisonment. And for the second Offence shall forfeit 20l. to the King; and if he pay not the same in six Days next after his Conviction, he shall suffer the Punishment of the Pillory: And shall for the third Offence forfeit 40l. to the King; and if he pay not within six Days next after his Conviction, he shall sit on the Pillory, and lose one of his Ears, and shall be at all times after Infamous, and his Oath in any matter not to be credited.

Laws for regulating Wages of Artificers, Labourers, &c.

Justices of Assize, Justices of the Peace, Maiors, Bailiffs, &c. in their Sessions, Leets and Courts, shall have full Power and Authority to inquire, hear and determine all and singular the Offences committed against this Statute, and to cause to be punished the Offenders, according to the Tenour thereof.
Note, This Act includes Butchers, Bakers, Brewers, Poulterers, Cooks, &c.

BY an Act made the 5th of Elizabeth, cap. 4. Justices of the Peace, Maiors, Bailiffs, &c. in their general Sessions to be kept within six Weeks after every Easter, have Power to limit, rate and appoint the Wages to be taken of all Artificers, Handicrafts Men, or any other Labourers, Servants or Workmen; which being published by Proclamation, in the City or Market-Town within the Limits of such Justices, Maior, Bailiffs, &c. if any Person shall after such Proclamation, take Wages contrary to the Statute, or any Branch thereof, or the said Proclamation, and shall be thereof convict before the said Justices, Maior, Bailiffs, or any two of them, he shall for every Offence suffer Imprisonment by the space of one and twenty Days, without Bail or Mainprise. See the Statute.

In the 39th of Elizabeth, cap. 4. it is Enacted, That common Labourers being Persons able in Body, refusing to work for such reasonable Wages as is taxed in the Places where they dwell, not having living otherwise to maintain themselves, shall be taken, adjudged, and deemed Rogues and Vagabonds, and shall suffer all Pains and Punishments, as by that Act is in that behalf made and appointed. See the Statute.

By an Act of Common Council made the 26th Day of March, 1607, Sir John Watts Maior, it is amongst other things Enacted, That no Person or Persons whatsoever, using the Feat of a Porter, or being a Foreigner, Innholder, Wharfinger, or Key-keeper, where any Merchants Goods are to be landed, laid,or such like, shall at any time after the making of this Act, have, keep or use within the said City or Liberties thereof, any manner of Triangle with Beams, Scales and Weights, or any other Ballance, in any sort to weigh any of the Goods, Wares or Merchandizes of any Merchant or Merchants, Person or Persons whatsoever, within the said City or the Liberties thereof, whereby the Profits coming or growing by weighing at the Iron Beam, or the Great Beam at the Weigh-house, or the Profits of the Master-Weigher may in any wise be impeaches, hindred, or diminished, upon pain that every one that shall offend contrary to any Article, Clause or Sentence herein contained, shall foreit 5l. of lawful English Money for every Offence.

Act of Common Council for Porters, &c. not to keep Beams, Scales, &c.

By an Act of Common Council made the 16th Day of October,1646, Sir Thomas Adams Maior, it is Enacted, That Ticket Porters shall have two Shillings per Day in the Summer, and twenty Pence per Day in the Winter; the said Winter Work to be taken and accounted from the beginning of November to the End of February; and the said Summer Work from the End of February to the End of October. But in case any of the said Ticket Porters shall work by the Hour, then to be paid four Pence for every Hour, provided the Hours exceed not two Hours in any one Day, and if more, and not exceeding five Hours, then to be paid for half a Days Work according to the Rates aforesaid, and the Season of the Year.

Pay of Ticket Porters.

Note, Some of these very Laws are ingrossed in Parchment in the Porters Books, kept at the Hall they use, and are the Rules they obliged themselves to be conformable to, upon their Admittance.

A Copy of a Petition delivered the 28th of March 1700, subscribed by great numbers of the Ticket Porters of the City of London.


To the Worshipful the Committee of Common Council, appointed for the better executing the Act for regulating the City Beams.

The Humble Petition of the Ticket Porters, whose Names are hereunto subscribed, on behalf of themselves and many others.

"THAT your Petitioners being Freemen of London, were (upon giving Security for their honest Behaviour) admitted Ticket Porters, and as such, by the Laws and Customs of this City, they have a Right, in common with all other Ticket Porters, to be employed in any Work or Labour by any Merchants or others."

The Ticket Porters Petition.

"But for want of a due Observance and Execution of the said Laws, some of your Petitioners Brethren, minding their own private Gain, have of late Years entered into Combinations, Covenants and Confederacies, and divided themselves into divers Gangs or Fellowships at the Water-side, and in other Parts of the City; by which means they raise great Sums of Money upon every one they admit into any Gang or Fellowship, as 20l. 30l. 40l. and of some 50l. under pretence of buying and maintaining Beams, Scales, Weights, and other Tackle for weighing of Goods and Merchandizes between Buyers and Sellers, and other Uses."

"And such of your Petitioners as are not able to raise Money to be admitted into Fellowship as aforesaid, are not suffered to labour (so far as they can hinder them) except it be under some of the said Gangs, at very low and under Rates; and sometimes when your Petitioners Work is done, they find Ways and Means to de-"