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ever, the people of the workshop saw that by too much pressing, the footing in this case might be totally lost, it was reduced one-half, viz. to 10s. He did not dare to tell his mother of the demand, lest the amount would drive her hopeless, and he should be withdrawn from the trade he greatly preferred. Although the family had never so far debased themselves as to ask charity, he was resolved on this occasion to break through the barrier of independence, and to solicit pecuniary assistance in the emergency. Accordingly he went every evening in the twilight to a great distance from his home, where he was unknown, and begged in the streets. The men allowed him from June till October, by which time he had made up the sum all to a few pence; his mother, after being acquainted of the circumstance, helping him with the small balance. The men got all drunk upon the occasion. And this individual afterwards fell into habits of drunkenness, but was reclaimed by means of Temperance Societies.
ENGLISH USAGES CONTINUED.
Usages of Coopers-Sawyers-Ropemakers - Turpentine Distillers-Stone
masons—Tailors—Blockmakers — Coachmakers — Coach-Spring MakersSkinners-Watchmakers.
Coopers.—The apprentice footing is 1l. and sometimes under that sum; according to circumstances. One informant has seen a supper on this occasion cost 31. This footing generally backed by the others by 1s. 6d. for each journeyman and 1s. for each other apprentice. The journeyman's footing varies from Is. to 4s., backed by a pint apiece. Marriage is 58., backed by 1s. Birth of a child, 28. 6d., backed by 6d. This is here called wetting the child's head. Dirty shirt and beard on Monday, 1s. Candles left not under charge of some one, 1s. If a cask let fall, 1s. All these sums go for drink. Tools are pawned for fines and footings. In some works men are linked” on the pay-night, and sent off in groups to find change anywhere; of course the resort is to that public-house which is the ordinary rendezvous of the shop; where the week's score is first of all paid up out of the wages. A shilling is claimed on a birth-day, with a pint each
of backing. Christmas-boxes are demandable from the hoop, stave, and nail-merchants, who usually furnish the shop.
Sawyers.—In this business the apprentices are often the sons of sawyers. The apprentice is in some cases bound not to the master, but to a topman. He pays 10s. 6d. for drink at entry, and to this the master adds 10s. 6d., and each sawyer in the yard backs with 1s. The same occurs at expiration of apprenticeship. It is seldom that the men are not drunk next day after such “a spree.” The journeyman's footing is a day's wages, averaging 4s., backed by the rest with a quart apiece. The following occurrences make a fine of 1s. for drink exigible, with a pint each of backing: viz. changing pit, man falling into pit, wood falling into pit, unshaved, dirty shirt, dirty shoes on Monday. I have been informed that the smallest fine often causes the men to spend towards 58. apiece, because the fine is imposed for the express purpose of " starting a drink.” I have often adverted to this fatal circumstance in the drinking usages of the country, that the regulation amount is seldom that which is adhered to, and a drinking usage must be looked to with reference to final results and consequences before we can form a fair estimate of the evils of a system of compulsory drinking customs. One informant states that the men in this trade, from having large wages, are extremely liable to inebriation. They often absent themselves from work for several days while drinking, and when they do come to work their alternations of tippling during their period of employment are frequent: working and drinking time about from 4 A.M. till 10 P.M. Although high wages be a very desirable object for the working classes, and not necessarily a cause of inebriation, yet it seems to be the case in the instance of men whose recreations are connected with attendance on the public-house, and whose minds are barren and resourceless, when they do get high wages, that they are apt, by the
circumstance of possessing the power of self-indulgence, to give in to a system of nearly perpetual drinking
In some cases, the sale of saw-dust in this trade is an addition in the shape of a perquisite to the funds for liquor.
Marriage is 58. Birth of first child, 5s.; rest, 28., with a backing of 3d. each. These occasions often raise a spree" which lasts several days.
In some cases the wages are paid over by the employer to a topman, who divides in a public-house. For wetting a new saw the topman pays 18., the pitman 6d., backed by the other
men with 3d. a-piece. If a journeyman delay to pay his footing he is put on a three-cornered piece of wood, carried to the public-house at the division of wages, and forced to pay; else he would not be helped with his work. On opening his first log of mahogany, a man is charged 1s. of drink money.
Ropemakers.— The average footing money for the apprentice is 1l., though in some places I found it to be only 2s. 6d. In some works there are no journeyman's footings; but in others it ranges from 2s. 6d. to 5s. When a former apprentice joins his own walk as a journeyman, it is only 2s. 6d. The following are occasions when a drink fine of a shilling is imposed—viz. going into the tar cabin with hat on, smoking there, having dirty shirt or being unshaved on Monday. Marriage is 5s., with backing of 6d. each; births the same. In some works wages are paid on Monday morning, and in distinct sums for each; but in others on Saturday night at the public-house. New clothes are expected to be wetted. Christmas-boxes are demanded from employers and others. There is in some places a particular carouse in this trade on the 5th of November.
The penalties for non-payment of drink money are similar to those of other trades; one of them is being caused to ride upon an uneven pole or piece of wood, carried by the others, and jogged roughly up and down. A strike is represented as the ultimate resort for non-compliance.
Turpentine Distillers.--A labourer who is a regular or constant man, not an occasional workman, pays 5s. for an entry drink; the other men back with 6d. each. A man who would refuse “ would have no life with the rest."
Stone Masons.-A journeyman engaged for a job pays for footing 2s., backed by others with 6d.; this among fifty or sixty causes the commencement of drinking, which not unfrequently is attended with bad consequences. The penalties seem to be what is usual in other trades. The following is a specimen :
" An extraordinary attempt, which was very nearly successful, was made at Manchester on the 4th July, 1837, to deprive a fellow-creature of life, under circumstances of savage atrocity_seldom surpassed in the annals of crime. A man named Joseph Armitage, having gone to visit a friend, employed with other stone masons in flagging Mr. Knox's factory, situate in what is called Little Ireland, from its being mostly inhabited by the lower order of Irish, was importuned by the workmen in question 'to pay his footing,' as they had
all the afternoon been drinking liquor supplied in that way by others. Armitage expostulated; said he had no money, and besides that he was not employed there. After some considerable altercation, they threatened his life if he refused to comply. He again stated his inability, and urged their having no claim upon him; but they continued to insist on their demand. At length one of the ruffians proposed to hang him, and the suggestion was immediately acted upon. Two or three of them seized upon him, and endeavoured to place a rope round his neck; when, finding his life really in danger (for at first he thought them only in jest), he made a desperate effort to free himself, and succeeded in drawing a knife from his pocket to defend himself. A violent struggle ensued, when the rest of the party, consisting of eight or nine, closed upon him and obtained possession of the knife, but not before he had received some severe wounds in the hands. They then dragged him to a post, to which they attached him by passing a rope about his neck and shoulders; and next, by taking his feet from the ground, and binding them up behind him, placed him in a most agonizing state of strangulation. In this miserable condition they kept him for about half an hour, they standing by to enjoy his agony, mocking and jeering at him; and they eventually left him to perish, or be rescued as he might. Fortunately for him and his cowardly assailants, a family residing on the premises had partially witnessed the transaction; but whether they had kept aloof from fear or criminal indifference remains yet to be proved. Be that as it may, one of them told some neighbours of the circumstance, and numbers speedily made their way to the spot. They found the poor fellow almost at the last extremity; and when released, it was for some time doubtful whether he would survive or not."*
In the central parts of England, among stone masons, there are drink payments as follows :-Boy going on trial 58., backed by men at 2s. 6d. each; the master gives 58. Apprentice footing 28. 6d., backed with 1s. each. Time half out 2s. 6d., backed with 1s. each. Expiration of apprenticeship 20s., backed with 5s. each. First job 5s., backing 1s. On using mallet and chisel 2s. 6d., backing 1s. Using tooler 28. 6d., backing 1s. Carving 5s., backing 2s. 6d. Marble-working 58., men 28. 6d. Marriage 20s., backing 2s. 6d. Birth 2s.6d., backing 1s. Christening 2s.6d., backing 1s. Birth-day 2s. 6d.,
* Isle of Man .Guardian
backing 1s. There are various penalties for refusal. One is denominated the “compulsion bottle.” The martyr is tied to a beam with his arms extended, and water from a bottle is poured down his sleeves, and his side is tapped. On breaking a stone there is a fine of 2s., with backing by the rest of 1s. each.
Tailors.—When a boy goes first to the shop, he is employed by the men to fetch beer; he collects the money to pay the public-house, and has on this account twopence in the shilling. The apprentice footing varies from 78. 6d. to 20s., with a backing of 6d. each by the other men. At expiration or loosing, it is 20s. or 30s., or sometimes the parents give a supper. At marriage 5s., with a backing of 6d. each. At a birth 1s., with a backing of 6d. each. The pay is generally on a Saturday night; the men are frequently" linked” together, and require to adjourn to the public-house, which is their ordinary rendezvous, in order to procure change, and divide. The score for the week is here paid. One informant knows of men being kept very late in this trade---sometimes till Sunday morning, before the pay money is obtained. If a man, on taking away a smoothing iron, leaves the fire in disorder, he is fined a quart of ale. There are some cases where a way-goose is given by the master ; but in general, instead of this festival, there is a bean feast in the month of August, to which the master contributes 20s., and the men make it up, in shops of average size, to about 41. The friendly societies of the trade generally meet in a public-house, where at least 3d. must be drunk by each member for the use of the room. Sometimes, if two men are seen together partaking of liquor, and the quantity they are sitting over be considered as too small by free drinkers (it may be half a pint for both), in this case a fine of half a pint is imposed for each man in the shop: an informant has seen sixty-two half-pints imposed and exacted in such a case. This may be called the perfection of compulsory drinking usage. New clothes for a man of the shop are wetted with half-a-pint. The sum of 5s. is charged to any one for the first job he works of any particularly difficult operation. A sort of watch-word is passed, that there is “a mouse in the straw.” The individual is kindly asked if ever he tried that kind of work before, as if with a view to assist him; but this is treacherous goodwill—a simulation only of benevolence, and is made in order to ensnare the unfortunate artificer into an acknowledgment which will subject him legally, so to speak, to a smart impo