Employment

JAMES WHITE, an apprentice, bound by indenture, in the employ of MR. FOSTER, Cumberland parquet office, Whitehaven, was charged with absenting himself from his employment. 

MR. FOSTER, on being sworn, said that WHITE had been in the habit of leaving his service from time to time without permission.  He had acted so during the whole course of his apprenticeship, and had frequently repeated the offence after he had been counselled and warned of the consequences.  He did not at first make any deduction from his wages, but had done so latterly.  He not only absented himself, but his conduct would probably influence the other boys if he was allowed to set him at defiance, as he had done.  He out to have been at work on Monday morning, but had not yet made his appearance.

The Chairman: What have you to say to this charge? 

WHITE replied that when he went to work on Friday morning last his master said he would kick him out of the place, but he thought he would go before he had a chance.  He could not stay, as the wages he got were not fit to keep him and his mother.  He had only this, a week, and that would not feed him and pay his lodgings.  If he got what would keep him he would stay. 

The Chairman: Your wages are specified in the indenture which you and your mother have signed.  and you are bound by law to serve MR. FOSTER during the time state in the indenture at the wages mentioned.

WHITE: yes, but when the wages won't keep me? 

The Chairman:  But you must make them keep you.  You should have thought of that before you bound yourself. 

WHITE:  My mother was able to work then, and assisted to keep me; but now she is in the workhouse. 

In answer to the Chairman MR. FOSTER stated that he had no wish to punish WHITE, but he wished to make him know that he was bound to serve him during his apprenticeship. 

The Chairman (to WHITE) :  MR. FOSTER does not wish to send you to prison; but unless you go back again to your master you must go to Carlisle goal.  Which do you choose?

WHITE chose the former alternative, and was then dismissed with an admonition.