A Bill To prohibit the Employment of Women and Girls in Mines and Collieries, to regulate the Employment of Boys, and make Provisions for the Safety of Persons working therein. 22 June 1842.—6 VICT.
Preamble - 1. Females not to be employed in Mines of Collieries
Whereas it is unfit that Women and Girls should be employed in any Mine or Colliery, and it is expedient to make regulations regarding the employment of Boys In Mines and Collieries, and to make provisions for the safety of persons working therein; it therefore enacted, by The QUEEN's most Excellent MAJESTY, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, THAT from and after the passing of this Act, it shall not be lawful for any Owner of any Mine or Colliery whatsoever to employ any Female person within any Mine or Colliery, or permit any Female person to work or be therein other than such as were at or before the passing of this Act employed within some Mine or Colliery; and that from and after Three calendar Months from the passing of this Act, it shall not be lawful for any Owner of any Mine or Colliery to employ any Female person, who at the passing of this Act shall be under the age of Eighteen Years within any Mine or Colliery, or permit such person to work or be therein ; and any indentures of apprenticeship whereby any Female person, who at the passing of this Act was under the age of Eighteen Years, shall be bound to work or be liable to be called on to work in any Mine or Colliery, shall at the expiration of Three calendar Months from the passing of this Act be absolutely void ; and from and after Six calendar Months from the passing of this Act, it shall not be lawful for any Owner of any Mine or Colliery to employ any Female person whatsoever within any Mine or Colliery, or to allow or permit any Female person to work or be therein ; and every indenture of apprenticeship, or other contract or engagement, whereby any Female person whatsoever shall be bound to work or be liable to be called on to work within any Mine or Colliery, (other than such as are before declared to be void at the end of Three calendar Months as aforesaid), shall from and after the expiration of Six calendar Months from the passing of this Act be absolutely void.
2. Males not to be employed in Mines or Collieries under Ten Years of age
And be it Enacted, That from and after the passing of this Act, it shall not be lawful for any Owner of any Mine or Colliery to employ any Male person under the age of Ten Years within any Mine or Colliery, or to permit any such Male person to work or be therein, other than such as at the passing of this Act shall have attained the age of Nine Years, and were at or before the passing of this Act employed within some Mine or Colliery; and every indenture of apprenticeship entered into before the passing of this Act, whereby any Male person shall be bound to work, or be liable to be called on to work within any Mine or Colliery, shall, at the expiration of Three calendar Months from the passing of this Act be absolutely void.
3. Clause (A) - Regulating the time of employment of Male persons under Thirteen Years
And be it Enacted, That no Male person under the age of Thirteen Years shall, after the expiration of One calendar Month from the passing of this Act, be employed within any Mine or Colliery for more than Twelve Hours in any one day, nor for more than Three Days in any one week, nor for any two consecutive days; nor shall any such Male person be employed during one and the same week in more than one Mine or Colliery, unless the different Mines or Collieries in which he shall be employed shall belong to the same Owner.
4. Clause (B) - Appointment of Inspectors of Mines and Collieries
And be it Enacted, That it shall be lawful for One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, if and when he shall think fit, to appoint any proper person or persons to inspect any Mine or Colliery; and it shall be lawful for every person so authorized to enter and examine any Mine or Colliery, and the works, buildings and machinery belonging thereto, at all times and seasons, by day or by night, and to make inquiry touching any matter within the provisions of this Act; and every person to be so appointed shall report his proceedings in the execution of this Act in such manner as may be directed by the Secretary of State ; and he shall in like manner report the state and condition of the Mine or Colliery he shall inspect, and of the persons working therein, and whether or not the provisions of this Act are properly observed in the Mine or Colliery which he shall so inspect.
5. Persons not to be apprenticed to work in Mines or Collieries
And be it Enacted, That from and after the passing of this Act, no person or persons shall take any apprentice who shall be bound to work or be liable to be called on to work, or be otherwise occupied within a Mine or Colliery, and every indenture of apprenticeship whereby any person shall be so bound shall be void.
6. Penalties for Offences against the Act
And be it Enacted, That every person or persons, body or company offending against any of the aforesaid provisions, shall forfeit a sum not more than Ten Pounds, nor less than Five Pounds, for every person employed or suffered to be in a Mine or Colliery contrary to the aforesaid provisions, to be sued for and recovered as after mentioned.
7. Where there are vertical or other Shafts, Steam and other Engines, to be under the care of competent persons
And be it Enacted, That where there shall be any entrance to a Mine or Colliery by means of a vertical shaft or pit, or inclined plane, or where there shall be any communication within any part of a Mine or Colliery to any other part thereof by a vertical shaft or pit, or inclined plane, then it shall not be lawful for any Owner of any such Mine or Colliery to allow any person or persons other than a Male of the age of Twenty-one Years and upwards, to have charge of any steam-engine or other engine, windlass or gin (whether driven or worked by manual labour, or any other power whatsoever), or to have charge of any part of the machinery, ropes, chains or other tackle of any such engine, by or by means of which engine, machinery, ropes, chains or other tackle, persons are brought up or passed down any such vertical shaft or pit or inclined planes, and any person or persons offending against the provision last aforesaid shall for every such offence forfeit a sum not exceeding Fifty Pounds, nor less than Twenty Pounds, to be recovered as after provided.
8. Not to affect persons employed above ground
And be it Enacted, That nothing herein contained shall prevent any person whatever from being employed in or about any Mine or Colliery so as such employment shall be carried on above-ground.
9. Abstract of Act to be painted at entrance of Mines and Collieries
And be it Enacted, That from and after the expiration of Six calendar Months from the passing of this Act, a board shall be fixed within Twenty feet from the principal entrance, or some one of the principal entrances, of every Mine and Colliery, on which shall be painted in legible characters an Abstract of this Act, in the form and manner set forth in the Schedule hereunto annexed; and so often as any part of the said Abstract shall be defaced, it shall be renewed, so that every part thereof shall at all times be distinctly legible ; and any person or persons offending against the provision last aforesaid shall for every such offence forfeit a sum not exceeding Five Pounds, nor less than Two Pounds, to be recovered as after provided.
10. Agents may be summoned for acting contrary to the Act without the knowledge of Owners
And be it Enacted, That if any offence shall be committed against this Act, for which the Owner of any Mine or Colliery is hereby made responsible, and it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of any Justices, Sheriff or Stewart, that the offence has been committed without the personal consent, concurrence or knowledge of such Owner, by or under the authority of some agent or servant or workman of such Owner, it shall be lawful for such Justices, Sheriff or Stewart to summon such agent or servant or workman before them or him to answer for such offence ; and such agent or servant or workman, if convicted, shall be liable to the penalties and punishment for such offence herein specified ; and such Justice, Sheriff or Stewart may convict such agent or servant or workman in lieu of such Owner.
11. Definition of terms “Owner” and “Agent”
And be it Enacted, That the “Owner” of a Mine or Colliery shall be taken to mean the proprietor or lessee or occupier thereof, and all persons working any Mine or Colliery, or any part of any Mine or Colliery, or any lode or seam thereof respectively, for their own benefit, or as sharers of the profit, and also all partners and companies so working such Mine or Colliery, or any part thereof; and the words "agent" and "servant" shall be taken to mean any person receiving a salary, wages, payment or remuneration for any description of service or work performed in a Mine or Colliery.
12. Summonses need not set forth Names of all the Proprietors in cases of partnership
And be it Enacted, That it shall not be necessary, in any information, summons or warrant issued under or in consequence of the provisions of this Act, to set forth the name or other designation of all the partners in any Mine or Colliery, or in the working of any such Mine or Colliery, but that it shall be sufficient to insert in any such information, summons or warrant the name of the ostensible proprietor, occupier, lessee or adventurer, or title of the firm or company by which the owners, lessees or workers of such Mine or Colliery are usually designated and known.
13. Recovery and application of Penalties
And be it Enacted, That all convictions for penalties for any offence against this Act may be had before Two or more Justices of the Peace acting for the county, riding, city, borough, division or place where the offence shall happen, or before the Sheriff or Stewart of any county or stewartry in Scotland, within which the offence may have been committed ; and such penalties, and the costs and charges attending the recovery thereof, shall be levied by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the offender or person liable or ordered to pay the same respectively, by warrant under the hands and seals of Two or more of the said Justices, or under the hand of any such Sheriff or Stewart, rendering the overplus of such distress and sale (if any) to the party or parties, after deducting the charge of making the same, which warrant such Justices or Sheriffs or Stewarts are hereby empowered and required to grant upon conviction of the offender, by confession or oath of One or more credible witness or witnesses ; and the penalties, costs and charges, when so levied, shall be paid, the One-half to the informer and the other Half to the overseers or managers of the poor of the parish, township or place where the offender shall dwell and inhabit, to be by such overseers or managers applied in aid of the rate or assessment raised for the relief of the poor of such parish, township or place, and in Scotland, in parishes where there shall be no assessment for the relief of the poor, as the said managers shall direct, or to Her Majesty, in case there shall be no such overseer or manager.
14. Persons not paying Penalties may be imprisoned
And be it Enacted, That the Justices of the Peace or Sheriffs or Stewarts by whom any person shall be convicted and adjudged to pay any sum of money for any offence against this Act, may adjudge that such person shall pay the same, together with costs, either immediately or within such period as the said Justices shall think fit; and that in default of payment at the time appointed, such person shall be imprisoned in the common gaol or house of correction (with or without hard labour), as to the said Justices or Sheriffs or Stewarts shall seem meet, for any time not exceeding Two calendar Months, the commitment to be determinable upon payment of the amount of the penalty and costs.
15. Inhabitants of Parishes not incompetent as Witnesses
And be it Enacted, That no inhabitant of any parish, township or place shall be deemed an incompetent witness in any suit, action, information, complaint, appeal, prosecution or proceeding to be had, made, prosecuted or carried on under the authority of this Act for any offence committed within such parish, township or place, by reason of such person being rated or assessed to, or liable to be rated or assessed to, or being otherwise interested in, the rates or assessments of any such parish, township or place.
16. Distress not unlawful for want of form
And be it Enacted, That where any distress shall be made for any sum or sums of money to be levied by virtue of this Act, the distress itself shall not be deemed unlawful, nor the party or parties making the same be deemed a trespasser or trespassers on account of any default or want of term in any proceedings relating thereto, nor shall the party or parties distraining be deemed a trespasser or trespassers from the beginning on account of any irregularity which shall be afterwards done by the party or panics distraining, but the person or persons aggrieved by such irregularity may recover full satisfaction for the special damage in an action on the case, to be brought in some of the Courts of Record at Westminster or Dublin, or by action raised or complaint preferred in the Court of Session in Scotland: Provided always, That no plaintiff or plaintiffs shall recover in any action for any such irregularity, trespass or wrongful proceeding, if tender of sufficient amends for any such special damage shall be made by or on behalf of the party or parties who shall have committed, or cause to have been committed, any such irregularity or wrongful proceeding before such action or complaint brought; and in case no such tender shall have been made, it shall be lawful for the defendant or defendants in any such action, by leave of the Court where such action shall depend, at any time before issue joined, to pay into Court such sum of money as he or they shall see fit; whereupon such proceedings or orders and judgments shall be had, made and given in and by such Court as in other actions where the defendant is allowed to pay money into Court.
17. Appeal to Quarter Sessions
And be it Enacted, That any person who shall think himself or herself aggrieved by any conviction by any Justice or Justices of the Peace under this Act, may appeal to the next Court of General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace, which shall beholden not less than Twelve Days after the day of such conviction, for the county, stewartry, riding, city, borough, division or place wherein the cause of complaint shall have arisen ; provided that such person shall give to the complainant a notice in writing of such appeal, and of the cause and matter thereof, within Three Days after such conviction, and Seven clear Days at the least before such Session, and shall also either remain in custody until the Session, or enter into a recognizance with Two sufficient sureties before a Justice of the Peace conditioned personally to appear at the said Session of the Peace and to try such appeal, and to abide the judgment of the Court thereupon, and to pay such costs as shall be by the Court awarded; and upon such notice being given, and such recognizance being entered into, the Justice before whom the same shall be entered into shall liberate such person, if in custody ; and the Court at such Session shall hear and determine the matter of the appeal, and shall make such order therein, with or without costs to either party, as to the Court shall seem meet; and in case of the dismissal of the appeal or affirmance of the conviction, shall order and adjudge the offender to be punished according to the conviction, and to pay such costs as shall be awarded, and shall, if necessary, issue process for enforcing such judgment: and all judgments, determinations and proceedings of such Justices not appealed from as aforesaid, and of such Sheriff or Stewart or Quarter Sessions, shall be final, and not subject to review by any process of law or court whatever, any law or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
18. Convictions not removable by Certiorari
And be it Enacted, That no conviction adjudication made on appeal therefrom shall be quashed for want of form, or be removed by Certiorari or otherwise, into any of Her Majesty's Superior Courts of Record ; and no warrant of commitment shall be held void by reason of any defect therein, provided it be therein alleged that the party has been convicted, and there be a good and valid conviction to sustain the same.
19. Act may be amended or repealed
And be it Enacted, That this Act may be amended or repealed by any Act to be passed in this Session of Parliament.
FORM of NOTICE to be fixed up at the Entrance of every Mine or Colliery.
The following Abstract of this Act shall be painted in oil on a board in black letters on a white ground, or in white letters on a black ground ; and no letter shall be less than Three-quarters of an Inch in height; and the board shall be fixed up at a height not less than Six Feet from the ground.
BY ACT OF PARLIAMENT, VICTORIA, c.
It it unlawful to employ any Woman or Girl in a Mine or Colliery: Penalty
It is unlawful to employ any Boy under Fourteen years of age in a Mine or Colliery: Penalty
It is unlawful for any other person than a Man between Twenty-one and Fifty years of age to have any charge of the Machinery by which persons are let down into or are brought up from a Mine or Colliery: Penalty
Every Indenture of Apprenticeship becomes null and void if the Apprentice is allowed to work in a Mine or Colliery.