Hood Family and Coal Mining

Laws relating to Coalworkers in Scotland - 1609 Act


1606 Act of the Scottish Parliament 'Anent Coalyers and Salters'


The act of the Scottish Parliament which began the system of bondage by preventing coalworkers getting work elsewhere unless released by their coalmaster.


1606 King James the Sext.

OUR SOVERAIGNE LORD, and Estates of this present Parliament, statutes and ordeins, that na person within this realme hereafter shall hyre or conduce any Salters, Coalyears or a coal-bearers, without a sufficient testimoniall of their Maister whom they last served, subscryved with his hand, or at least sufficient attestation of ane reasonable cause of their removing, made in presence of ane Baillie, of ane Magistrat of the part where they came fra. And in case any recesue, fee, hyre, supplie or intertaine any of the saids Coalyears, Salters or a Coal-bearers, without ane sufficient testimonie, as said is. The maisters whom fra they came, challenging their servants within yeare and day, that the partie from fra they are challenged, shall delyver them back againe within twentie foure houres, under the paine of ane hundreth pounds, to be payed to that persons whom fra they passed, and that for ilk person; and ilk tyme that they or any of them shall happen to be challenged, and not delyvered, and said is. And the said Coalyears, Coal-bearers and Salters to be esteemed, reput and halded as theives, and punished in their bodies, Viz. Sa many of them as shall receaue forewages and fees. And the saids Estates of this present Parliament, giues power and commission to all maisters and awners of Coal-heughs and pannes, to apprehend all vagabounds and sturdie beggers to be put to labour.



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