Second Statute of Labourers, 1351
Catalogue reference: C 74/1, m. 18


Come nadgairs contre la malice de servantz queux furent preciouses et nient voillantz servir apres la pestilence sanz trop outrageouses lowers prendre fuet ordine per nostre seigneur le roi et per assent des prelatz nobles et autres de son conseil qui tieux maners des servantz sibien hommes come femmes fussent tenuz de servir receyvantz salaries et gages accustumez es lieus ou ils deveront servir lan du regne le dit nostre seigneur le Roi vintisme ou cynk ou sis annz devant et que mesmes les servantz refusantz servir per autiele manere fuissent punys per emprisonement de lour corps sicome en mesme lordinance est contenuz plus au playn sur quoi commissions furent faites as diverses gentz en chescun counte denquere et punr touz ceaux qui venissent au contaire et ja per tant qui done est entendre a nostre dit seigneur le roi en cest present perlement per la peticion de al commune que les ditz servants nient eiantz regard a la dite ordenance mes a lour eses et singleurs covetises se retreent de servir as gantz ou as autres ceo qils soloient prendre le dit an vintisme et devant a gant damage des gantz et empovericement des toutz ceux de la dite commune don't il estoit prie per mesme la commune de remedie per quoi en mesme le perlement per assent des prelatz countes barons et autres gantz et de la dite commune iiloques assemblez per refreyndre la malice des ditz servantz sont ordenes et estables les choses suzescriptz

Cest assavoir; que chescun charetter carver chaceour des carues, bercher, porcher, deye et toutz autres servantz perignent liveresons et lowers accustumes le diit an vintisme et quatre annz devant issint qen pays ou furment soleit estre done perignent per le bussel x d ou furment a la volunte le donor tanq aurement soit ordeigne et qils soient allowes de servir per lanentier ou autres termes usuels et nemye per journes et qui nul perigne en temopsde sarcler ou fenys faire forq id le jour et fauchours des perez pour lacre v d ou per la journe v d et sciours des blees en la primere symaigne daust ij d et en la seconde iij d et issint tanq au fyn daust et meyns en pays ou meyns soliet estre done saunz mangier ou autre curtoysie demander doner ou prendre et qui tieux overours portent overtement en lour meyns as villes marchantz lour instrumentz et illoeques soient alowes en lieucommune et nemye prive.

Item que nul perigne pour le batre de un quarter de furment ou segle outre ij d ob et pour le quarter dorge feves poys et aveynes I d ob si tant soliet estre done et en pays ou homme soliet scier pour certeyns garbes et batre pour certeyns busseux ne perigne plus nen autre manere qil soliet le dit an vintisme et devant et que mesmes les servantz soient sermentez deuxfoitz per an devant seigneurs seneschals, bailiffs et constables de chescune ville a ceste chose tenir et faire et que nul de euxirra hors de la ville ou il demoert en yver pur servir en estee sil puisse avoir service en mesme la ville pernant come devant est dit. Sauve qui les gentz de Craven et de la marche de Gales et descoce et autres lieux puissent venir en temps daust de laborer en autres lieux countes et salvement retourner come ils soloient faire avant ses heirs; et qui ceux que refusant de faire tiel servment ou prefourer ceo qils ount jures ou empris soient mys en ceppes per les ditz seigneurs seneschaux bailiffs et constables des villes per trois jours ou pluis ou mandez a la procheyn gaole a demorer illoeques tanq ils se voillent justicer et que ceppes soient faitz en chescune ville per celle encheson entre cy et la Pentecost

Item que carpenters masons telgers et autrescoverours des mesons ne perignent le jour pour lour overynge fordq en manere come ils soloient cest assavoir mestre carpenter iij d et autre ij d mestre mason de franche peer iiij d et autre mason iij d lour servantz I d ob teguler iij d et son garceon j d ob et autre coverour de ros estreym iij d et son garceon I d ob Item plastrers et autres overours des mures darzill et lour garceons per mesme la maner suantz mangier ou boire cest assavoir de la Pasche tanq a ls Seynt Michel et de cel temps meyns solonc et discrecion des justices qi serront a ce assignez et que fount cariage per terre ou per ewe ne perignent plus pour tiel cariage faire qils ne soloient le dit an vintisme et quatre annz devant.

Item que corvoisers ne sours ne vendent botes soulers nature chose touchant lour mister per autre manere qils ne soleient le dit an vintisme et que orfeures sellers ferrours de chivaux esporoners tannours correours pelleters taillours et touz autres overours artificiers et laborers et touz autres servantz nient especifiez soient sermentez devant les dites justices de faire et user lour artes et offices en manere come ils fesoient le dit an vintisme et en temps devant sanz les refuser per cause de ceste ordinance et si nul des ditz servantz laborers oeverours ou artificers apres tiel serment fait viegne encontre celle ordinance soit puny per fin ranceon et emprisonement selonc la discrecion des dites justices.

Item que les ditz seneschalx bailiffs et constables des ditz villes soient sermentez devant meismes les justices denquere diligeaument per totes les bones voies qils pourent de toutz ceux qi vendront contre ceste ordinance et de certifier les justices de lour nouns a totes les foitz qils vendront en pays pour faire lour sessions issint que les ditz justoces ewe certification de meismes les seneschalx bailiffs et constables des nouns des rebaux les facent attacher pour lour corps destre devant meismes les justices a respondre des tielx contemptz issint qils facent fyn et raunceon au roi en cas qils soient commandez a la prison a y demourer averont trove seurete de servir et predre et lour overeignes faire et choses vendables vendre en la manere avantdite et en cas que nul de eux viegne contre son serment et de ceo soit atteint eit la prisone de xl jours et si autrefoitz il sont convicter eit la prisone dun quarter del an issint que a chescun foitz qil trespas et soit convicter eit la penance au double et que meismes les justices enquergent a chescun foitz qils vendront des ditz seneschaulx bailiffs et constables sils eient fait bon e et loiale certification ou nule concele per doun procurement ou affinite et les punir per fyn et raunceoun sils soient trovez coupables et que mesmes justices eient poair denquerre et faire due punissement des ditz ministres overours laborers et autres servantz queconques et auxint des hostelers herbergers et ceux qi vendont vitailles en retaille et autres choses nient especifiez si bien a la suite de partie come per presentment et doier et terminer et mettre la chose ne execucion per exigend apres le peimier capias si mestier soit et de deputer autres soutz eux tantz et tielz come ils veront que mieltz soit pour la garde de meisme cester ordinance et que ceux qi vorront suir vers tielx servantz overours et laborers pour excesse pris deux et ils soient de ce atteintz a lour suite qils puissent reavoir cel excesse et en case que nul voudra suir pour tiel excesse reavoir adonques soit leve des ditz servantz overours laborers et artificers le livere as coillours de la quinzisme en allegeance des villes ou tiel excesse fut pris

Item que viscontes conestables, bailiffs, gaolers clercs de justice ou des viscontes nauters ministres queconqes rienz ne perignent per cause de lour offices de meismesles servantz pour fees suete de prisone nen autre manere et sils eient rienz pris tiele manere qils les facent deliverer as coillours des disme et quinzisme en eide de la come pour temps que les disme et quinzisme courgent auxibien pour tout le temps passe come pour le temps avenir et que les dites justces enquergent en lour sessions si les ditz ministres eient rienz receuz de meismes les servantz et ce qils troveront per tiels enqustes que les ditz ministres averont receuz facent meismes les justices lever de chescun des ditz ministres et liverer as ditz coillours ensemblement od lexcesses fins et ranceons faitz et auxint les amerciementz de toux ceux qui seront amerciez devant les ditzjustices en allegeance des villes come desus est dit et en cas que lexcesse trove en une passe la quantite de la quinzisme de meisme la ville soit le remenant de tiel excesse leve et apie per les ditz coillours a les plus perscheines villes povres en eide de lour quinzisme per avisement des ditz justices et que les fins raunceons excesses et amerciamentz des ditz servants et laborers pour temps avenir courante la dite quinzisme soient liverez as ditz coillours en al forme susdite per endenture affaire entre eux et les ditz justices issint que meismes les coillours puissent estre chargez sur lour accompt per meismes les endentures en case que les ditz fins raunceons amerciementz et excesses ne soient paiez en eide de la quinzisme avantdite et cessante meisme la quinzisme soit leve al oeps le roi et respondu a lui per le viscont du countee

Item que les ditz justices facent lour sessions en touz les countes dengleterre au meins quatre foitz per an cest assavoir a les festes del Annunciation de notre Dame, Seinte Margarete, Seint Michel, et Seint Nicholas et auxint totes les foitz qil busoignera selonc la descrecion des justices et que ceux qi parlent en presence des dites justices ou autres choses facent en lour absence ou presence en abaudissement ou meintenance des ditz servantz et laborers au contraire de ceste ordinance soient grevement punys selonc la descrecion des dites jusitces et si nul des ditz laborers artificers ou servantz senfue dun countee tanq en autre per cause de ceste ordinance que les viscontes des countes ou tiels futives seront trovez les facent prendre au mandement des justices de contes don't ils senfeurenet et le mesnent a la chief gaole de meisme cel counte illoeques a demourer tanq a la proscheine session des meismes les justices et que les ditz viscontz retournent tielx mandementz devant meismes les justices a lour proscheines sessions et que ceste ordinance soit tenue et garde sibien dienz la citee de Londres come en autres citees et burghs et aillours permy la terre sibien deinz francise come dehors.


Translation

Whereas lately it was ordained by our lord king and by the assent of the prelates, earls, barons and others of his council, against the malice of servants who were idle and not willing to serve after the pestilence without excessive wages, that such manner of servants, men as well as women, should be bound to serve, receiving the customary salary and wages in the places where they are bound to serve in the twentieth year of the reign of the king that now is, or five or six years before, and that the same servants refusing to serve in such a manner should be punished by imprisonment of their bodies, as is more plainly contained in the said statute. Whereupon commissions were made to diverse people in every county to enquire and punish all those who offend against the same. And now for as much as it is given to the king to understand in the present parliament by the petition of the commons that the servants having no regard to the ordinance but to their ease and singular covetousness, do withdraw themselves from serving great men and others, unless they have livery and wages double or treble of what they were wont to take in the twentieth year and earlier, to the great damage of the great men and impoverishment of all the commonality; whereof the commonality prays remedy. Wherefore in the parliament by the assent of the prelates, earls, barons, and those of the commonality assembled there, in order to refrain the malice of the servants, there are ordained and established the underwriten articles.

Item that carters, ploughmen drivers of ploughs, shepherds, swineherds, day men, and all other servants shall take the liveries and wages accustomed in the twentieth year or four years before so that in the countryside where the wheat was wont to be given they shall take for the bushel 10 d, or wheat at the will of the gover until it be otherwise ordained. And that they be hired to serve by a whole year, or by other usual terms, and not by the day; and that none pay at haymaking time more than a penny a day; and a mower of meadows for he acre 5 d, or 5 d by the day; and reapers of corn in the first wekk of August 2 d, and the second 3 d and so on until the end of August and less in the country where less was wont to be given, without meat or drink, or other courtesy to be demanded, given, or taken; and that all workmen bring their tools openly in their hands to the merchant towns, and they shall be hired there in a common place and not privately.

Item that none take for the threshing of a quarter of wheat or rye over 2½ d and the quarter of barley, beans, peas and oats 1½ d, if so much were wont to be given. And in the country where it is usual to reap by certain sheaves and to thresh by certain bushels they shall take no more nor in other manner than was wont the said twenty year and before, and that the same servants be sworn two times a year before lords, stewards, bailiffs and constables of every town to observe and perform these ordinances; and that none of them go out of the town where he lives in the winter to serve the summer if he may serve in the same town, taking as before is said. Saving that the people of the counties of Stafford, Lancaster, and Derby, and people of Craven and of the marches of Wales and Scotland, and other places may come in time of August and labour in other counties, and safely return as they were wont ot do before this time; and that those who refuse to make such oath, or to not performas they were sworn to do or have taken upon them shall be put in the stocks by the said lords, stewards, bailiffs and constables of the towns for three dyas or more or sent to the next gaol, there to remain until they satisfy themselves. And that stocks be made in every town for such occasion, between now and the feast of Pentecost.

Item that carpenters masons and tilers and other workmen of houses shall not take by the day further work except in the manner as they were wont to do, that is to say, a master carpenter 3 d and other carpenters 2 d; a master mason 4 d and other masons 3 d and their servants 1½ d; tilers 3 d and their boys 1½ d; and other coverers of fern and straw 3 d and their boys 1½ d; plasterers and other worker of mud walls and their boys, in the same manner without meat and drink that is from Easter to Michaelmas and from that time less according to the rate and discretion of the justices who shall be assigned thereunto. And those who carry by land or by water shall take no more for such carriage to be made than they were wont to do in the said twentieth year and four years before.

Item that cordwainers and shoemakers shall not sell boots or shoes nor any other thing touching their craft, in any other maner than they were wont to do in the said twentieth year. Item that goldsmiths, sadlers, horsesmiths spurriers, tanners, corriers, tawers of leather, tailors and other workmen, artificers and labourers, and all other servants not here specified, shall be sworn before the justices, and do use their crafts and offices in this manner as they were wont to do the said twentieth year, and in the time before, without refusing the same because of this ordinance, and if any of the said servants, labourers, workmen or artificers, after such oath made, come against this ordinance, he shall be punished by fine and ransom and imprisonment after the discretion of the justices.

Item that the stewards, bialiffs and constables of the said towns be sworn before the same justices to enquire diligently by all the good ways they may, of all them that come against this ordinance and to certify the same justices of their names at all times, when they shall come into the country to make their sessions, so that the same justices upon the certificate of the said stewards, bailiffs, and constables, of the names of the rebels shall cause their bodies to be attached before the justices, to answer of such contempts so that they make fine and ransom to the king in case they be attainted, and moreover to be commanded to prison there to remain until they have found surety to serve and take and do their work and to sell things vendible in the manner aforesaid. And in case that any of them come against his oath and be thereof attainted, he shall have improisonment of forty days, and if he is convicted another time, he shall be imprisoned for a quarter of a year so that every time he offends and is convicted he shall have double pain. And that the same justices at every time they come into the country shall enquire of the said stewards, bailiffs and constables if they have made a good and lawful certificate or any concealment for gift, procurement or affinity, and punish them by fine and ransom of they are found guilty. And that the same justices have power to enquire and make due punishment of the said ministers, labourers, workmen and other servants, and also of hostlers, harbergers and all those that sell victuals by retail or other things here not specified, as well as the suit of the party as by presentment, and to hear and dertermine and put the things in execution by the exigend after the first capias if need be and to depute others under them, as many and such as they shall see best for the keeping of the same ordinances, and that they that will sue against such servants, workmen, labourers and artificers for excess taken of them, and they are attained thereof at their suit, they shall have again such excess. And in case none will sue to have again such excess then it shall be levied of the said servants, labourers, workmen and artificers and delivered to the collectors of the fifteenth in alleviation of the town where such excesses were taken.

Item that no sheriffs constables, bailiffs, and gaolers, the clerks of the justices or of the sheriffs nor other ministers whatsoever they be take any thing for the cause of their office of the same servants for fees, suit of prison or other manner and if they have any thing taken in such manner they shall deliver the same to the collectors of tenths and fifteenths in aid of the commons for the time that the tenth and fifteenth runs, as well for the time past as the time to come, and that the said justices enquire in their sessions if the said ministers have any thing received of the same servants, and that they shall find by such inquests that the said ministers have received, the same justices shall levy of every of thesaid ministers and deliver to the said collectors, together with the excess and fines and ransom made, and also the amercements of all them that shall be amerced before the said justices, in alleviation of the said towns as before is said. And in case the excess found in one town exceeds the quantity of the fifteenth of the same town the remnant of such excess shall be levied and paid by the said collectors to the next poor town, in aid of their fifteenth, by advice of the said justices, and that the fines and ransoms, excesses and amercements of the said servants, laboureres and artificiers for the time to come, running of the said fifteenth be delivered to the said collectors in the form aforesaid by indentures to be made between them and the said justices so that the same collectors may be charged upooon the account by the same indentures in case that the said fines ransoms, amercements and excesses be not paid in aid of the said fifteenth. And when the fifteenth ceases, it shall be levied to the king's use and answered to him by the sheriffs of the counties.

Item that the justices make their sessions in all English counties at least four times each year, that is to say at the feasts of the Annunciation of Our Lady, St Margaret, St Michael and St Nicholas, and also at all times that shall be necessary, according to the discretion of the justcices, and those who speak in the presence of the justices or do other things in their absence or presence in encouragement or maintenance of the servants, laboureres or craftsmen against this ordinance, shall be grievously punished by the discretion of the justices. And if any of the servants, labourers or artificers flee from one county to another, because of this ordinance, then the sheriffs of the counties where such fugitives shall be found shall cause them to be taken at the commandment of the said justices of the counties from where they flee, and bring them to the chief gaol of the shire there to abide until the next sessions of the justices. And that the sheriffs return the same commandments before the same justices at their next sessions. And that this ordinance be held and kept as well in the city of London as in other cities and boroughs, and other places throughout the land, within franchises as well as without.


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