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* 43 Eliz. c. 2.
he enjoyment of them; but also furnishes him with everything necessary or their support. For there is no man so indigent or wretched, but he may emand a supply, sufficient for all the necessities of life, from the more pulent part of the community, by means of several statutes enacted for elief of the poor. Till the time of Henry VIII., the poor of England ubsisted entirely by private benevolence. In Ireland, the poor have not o this day any relief for their wretchedness, but private charity alone. By ancient statutes, the poor were directed to remain in the cities and towns vhere they were born, or wherein they had dwelt for three years. This eems to have been the origin of parish settlements. After the dissolution of the religious houses, in the reign of Henry VIII., the idle who would not, and the indigent, infirm, and aged, who could not work, were exceedingly Before the Reformation, the monasteries were their principal These frequently supported and fed a number of idle and indoent poor. This inconvenience was quickly felt throughout the kingdom. Abundance of statutes were made by Henry and his children, to provide for the poor and impotent. These poor were principally of two sorts: the sick and impotent-the idle and sturdy. The former could not, and the latter would not work. To provide for these in the metropolis, Edward VI. founded Christ's and St Thomas's hospitals, for the relief of the impotent through infancy or sickness; and bridewell, for the punishment and employment of the vigorous and idle. These were insufficient for the poor of the whole kingdom. After many fruitless experiments, overseers of the poor were appointed in every parish.* Their office and duty were chiefly these: 1. to raise competent sums for the necessary relief of the poor, impotent, old, blind, and such other being poor and not able to work, and them only; 2. to provide work for such as are able and cannot otherwise get employment. By virtue of this statute, the overseers are nominated annually, in Easter week, or within a month after.
After the Restoration, a different plan was adopted, which has rendered the employment of the poor more difficult, by authorizing the subdivision of parishes, has greatly increased the number of the poor, by confining them to their respective districts; and has given birth to the intricacy of the poor laws, by multiplying and rendering more easy the methods of gaining settlements. In consequence, innumerable and expensive lawsuits are annually entered into, between contending parishes, respecting settlements and removals. A legal settlement was declared † to be gained by birth, inhabitancy, apprenticeship, or service for forty days; within which periods, all intruders were removable from any parish, by two justices of the peace, unless they settled in a tenement of the annual value of £10,
† 13 and 14 Char. II. c. 12.
The frauds naturally following this provision, produced a subsequent statute, which required a written notice, to be given to the parish officers, before a settlement could be gained by so short a residence. Subsequent provisions allowed other notorious circumstances to be equivalent to a written notice. These circumstances have again, from time to time, been altered, enlarged, or restrained, whenever experience of new inconvenience suggested the necessity of a remedy. The system of certificates was invented, by way of counterpoise, to restrain a man and his family from acquiring a new settlement by any length of residence whatever. By the statute of Charles II., † all persons who are likely to become chargeable, unless they settle upon a tenement of the yearly value of £10, may be removed to the places where they are legally settled. This statute was an infringement of the liberty of the subject, as nothing can be more cruel and impolitic than to prevent a person from residing in that situation where, by his industry and occupation, he can best procure a competent provision for himself and family. To alleviate this hardship and inconvenience, another statute provided, that the major part of the churchwardens and overseers of any parish or township, shall grant a certificate, under their hands and seals, attested by two witnesses, and allowed and subscribed by two justices, acknowledging the person and his family therein specified to have a legal settlement in their parish or township, and shall direct to some particular parish or township. Such person having delivered this certificate to the parish officers where it is directed, then neither he nor his family are removable from thence till they are actually chargeable. But, as the object of the certificate was to prevent him from bringing any encumbrance upon the parish where he is thus permitted to reside, he is restrained from gaining a settlement where he lives under the protection of the certificate, by any means whatever, except by renting a tenement of the yearly value of £10, and by a residence in the parish for forty days, or by executing an annual office. But besides these two cases mentioned in the act, it has been held, that a certificate person may gain a settlement by residing upon, or having in the parish where he resides, any estate whatever of his own, provided, if it has been actually purchased by him, he has bona fide paid £30 for it. But the object of granting certificates is now extinguished, by an enactment, that no person shall be removed by an order of removal till he becomes actually chargeable. Every unmarried woman who is pregnant shall be deemed actually chargeable, and also all persons convicted of any felony, and rogues, vagabonds, and idle or disorderly persons, and persons of evil fame, or reputed thieves, not giving a satisfactory account of themselves, may be removed, as if they were
* 1 Jam. III. c. 17. † 13 and 14, c. 12. 8 and 9 Will. III. c. 30. § 35 Geo. III. c. 101.
ctually chargeable. And when a pauper is ordered to be removed by an rder of removal, or by a vagrant pass in case of the sickness of the pauer, the justices making such an order may direct its execution to be susended and in the case of an order of removal, the expenses of the mainenance of the pauper during such suspension shall be borne by the parish o which the order of removal shall be made. And if an unmarried wonan is delivered of a child during such suspension, it shall be settled in the arish which at the time of the birth was the mother's legal settlement.* There are several descriptions of persons who are incapable of gaining ny settlement by any acts of their own. The first is that of married wonen, who during their marriage state cannot acquire any settlement by ny act of their own. The next description is infants under seven years of age. Attainted persons are incapable of acquiring a settlement. A eserter from the army or navy cannot do any act which will entitle him o a settlement. Soldiers, while quartered in any place, cannot acquire a ettlement there by hiring and service.
It remains now to show by what methods a settlement may be gained: iz. I. by birth; II. by parentage, being the settlement of either the father or mother; III. by marriage; IV. by forty days' residence and notice; V. renting for a year a tenement of the annual value of £10; VI. by beng charged to and paying the public taxes and levies of the parish; VII. executing any parochial office; VIII. by hiring and service; IX. by apprenticeship; X. by estate.
It will be observed, that the first three are cases where settlements may rather be said to be communicated than gained by the parties: the rest are cases of settlements gained by the immediate act of the parties themselves. The following act is of some importance, and therefore necessary to be noticed here. The preamble recites, that divers local acts of parliament having lately passed, containing enactments relative to the maintenance and regulations of the poor, varying the general law with respect of particular districts, parishes, townships, or hamlets, and being expedient that some of such enactments should be repealed, &c., it is enacted,
I. That all enactments and provisions contained in any act or acts of parliament since the commencement of the reign of his late majesty George I., whereby any alteration is made in respect of gaining or not gaining a settlement within any particular district, parish, township, or hamlet, shall be and the same are hereby repealed; and that all and every person shall be deemed and taken to have acquired and to acquire a settlement in every such district, parish, township, or hamlet, by any ways and means he, she, or they would or might do, in case such act or acts, or any of them, had not been made and passed; and notwithstanding the same or any of them are or was in force and operation.
II. No person shall be deemed or taken to acquire any settlement in any district, parish,
* Professor Christian's Notes on Blackstone.
&c., by reason of such person being born of the body of any mother actually confined as a prisoner within the walls of any prison, or any house licensed for the reception of pregnant women, in pursuance of an act made and passed in the 13th year of his present majesty's reign, for the better regulation of lying-in hospitals and other places appropriated for the charitable reception of pregnant women, in which any such prison or house shall be situated
III. That whensoever any person shall be born of the body of any poor person, in any house of industry or house for the reception and care of the poor of any district, &c., which shall be locally situated in such parish, &c., not contributing to such expense, such person shall, so far as regards the settlement of such person, be deemed and taken to be born in the district, &c., by whom the mother of such person was sent to, and on whose account the mother of such person was received and maintained in such house.
IV. No person shall be deemed or taken to gain any settlement by reason of any residence within any parish, &c., while he, she, or they shall be detained or confined as a prisoner within any such parish, &c., on any civil process, or for any contempt whatsoever.
V. No gatekeeper or tollkeeper of any turnpike road or navigation, or person renting the tolls, and residing in any tollhouse of any turnpike road or navigation, shall thereby gain any settlement in any parish, &c.
VI. No person or persons shall gain any settlement in any parish, &c., by reason of any residence in any house or other dwelling place provided for the residence of such person or persons, by any charitable institution, while such person or persons shall be supported and maintained at the expense of such charitable institution, as an object or objects of such charity.*
By another statute it is enacted, that every house and building which shall be purchased or hired under its authority, shall in all questions relative to the settlement of persons born or lodged therein, be deemed and taken to be part of the parish on behalf of which the same shall be purchased or hired, and by which the same shall be used as a poorhouse or workhouse.f
SETTLEMENT BY BIRTH.-"By 13 Geo. II. c. 29, for confirming and enlarging the powers given by charter to the governors and guardians of the hospital for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children, it is provided, that no child, nurse, or servant, received or employed in such hospital, shall, by virtue thereof, gain any settlement in the parish where such hospital shall be situated, and consequently, the settlement of foundlings is not different from that of all other persons; that is, if they are legitimate children they shall follow their father's settlement, if known; if not, then their mother's settlement. If neither of these is known, or if they are bastards, they shall be settled where they were born; if that cannot be known which is properly the case of a foundling, this seems to fall under the general rule, that every person shall be maintained and provided for in the place where he happens to be, until a settlement can be found; for, in a Christian civilized country, no person ought to be suffered to perish merely for want of necessaries." Only in the present case, the act takes such children of the parish, and leaves them to the provision of the hospital. A bastard child is prima facie settled where born; because a bastard must from necessity gain a settlement in its place of birth, for having no father in the eye of the law it cannot be
* 51 Geo. III. c. 170.
† 59 Geo. III. c. 12.
otherwise provided for, except a reputed father can be found. But to this general rule there are several exceptions. If a woman come into a place by privity and collusion of the officers where she belongs, and there is delivered of a bastard, it gains no settlement, notwithstanding its birth. If a bastard is born under an order of removal, and before the mother can be sent to her place of settlement, the child gains no settlement where so born, but at the mother's settlement. A child born in the house of correction or of industry takes its mother's settlement.
Legitimate children's birth does not entitle them to a settlement, except where that of their father and mother is unknown, and then only till it is known. Formerly it was held, that a child shall continue with its parents as a nurse child, until it shall be eight years of age, during which time it shall not be deemed capable of gaining a settlement in its own right; but by the later resolutions it seems to be agreed, that a legitimate child shall necessarily follow its parent's settlement as a nurse child, or as part of the family, only until it shall be seven years of age; and that after that age it shall not be removed as part of the father's family, but with an adjudication of the place of its own last legal settlement, as being deemed capable at that age of having gained a settlement for itself. The precise time when any one may have acquired a settlement in his own right, is at the age of seven years and forty days; for a child of seven years of age may be bound apprentice to a shipwright, fisherman, owner of a ship, or other person using the trade of the seas;* and by the vagrant act † a vagrant's child of that age may by the justices be put out an apprentice; and as soon as he shall have resided and lodged in a parish for forty days under the indenture, he will have thereby gained a settlement.
BY APPRENTICESHIP.-By the statute‡ "If any person shall be bound an apprentice by indenture, and inhabit in any town or parish, such binding and inhabitation shall be adjudged a good settlement, though no such notice in writing be delivered and published." Being bound an apprentice
*5 Eiiz. c. 5, s. 12.
gives the servant and apprentice a settlement without notice, in that place where they serve the last forty days. This is meant to encourage industry and application to trades and reputable service.
BY SERVICE.-By a clause in the act § it is enacted, that "If any unmarried person, not having child or children, shall be lawfully hired into any parish or town for one year, such service shall be adjudged and deemed a good settlement therein, though no such notice in writing be delivered and published." And further, "Whereas some doubts having arisen touching the settlement of unmarried persons not having child or children, lawfully hired into any parish or town for one year, it is enacted
+ 17 Geo. II.
13 W. and M. c. 8.
$3 W. and M.