Moving for work

Letter from the Vicar at Cranfield about the transfer for work of some of his parishioners within the Poor Law Union,  July 7 1835 (Catalogue ref: MH12/1)

Poor Law Union: Ampthill

Union counties: Bedfordshire


Hope Hall Manchester


July 7th 1835

Dear Sirs,

You may possibly recollect that in the latter end of the month of May I had some consultation with you respecting the removal of some families from my parish (Cranfield, Bedfordshire) to this county and upon my arrival at home I found a letter of introduction here to proceed, I forthwith made an arrangement with the officers to send four families down to Mr Arkwright’s Mills at Mellor near Stockport. I selected good labourers with children and last Friday I went to Mellor to see how they went on, my Brother-in-law who lives [there] and… manages a property there gives me most satisfying account and the labourers seem delighted beyond expectation at their change of residence, they earn (that is their families three times as much as they did in [Bedfordshire], under half the advantage of fuel at 4 pence per cwt. I have made a further arrangement to send twelve more strong boys and girls and shall this day be introduced to several of the… spinners from Stayley Bridge and amongst them Mr Thomas Ashton from Hyde, and he seems to take the soundest view of the system of migration that I have met with- he says that unless someone is placed in Manchester to make inquiries who may want hands and… when the hands come from the agricultural districts they have someone to apply to. He concedes it to be impossible for many hands to be sent, they are wanted and must be had.  And if the Agricultural districts will act, send them… I therefore with all due submission by man to suppose the prosperity of your taking this matter into your consideration, as some labourers were sent from Buckinghamshire in a most deplorable condition. If this is too often repeated, migration will be partially impeded. I shall remain here until Tuesday. If you can spare any time to write, I would like to have your sentiments. Parishes in Bedfordshire are willing to send their surplus and the spinners are willing to take them, but unless something is done by way of arrangement between the parties, much evil may arise. In my own neighbourhood I have decided that they will only send respectable families. The transit from us here is little more than three days by boat and the expense not great. I have long known this county, and I think that trade of all kinds must increase and this scheme of migration if well conducted must prove highly beneficial. Hoping you will accept the trouble I have given you.

Obedient servant

Yours most faithfully,

James Beard

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