Saturday, 8 December 2012

8th December 1812: An illustration of how the anti-combination laws worked

The Times law reports of Wednesday 9th December 1812 carried an example of how the anti-combination laws worked where workers had effectively organised in their workplaces:
The King v. Collin, and Thirty-four Others.

This was an indictment charging the Defendants, who are journeyman curriers, with a conspiracy to raise their wages. The conspiracy was proved against eleven of them, who had struck for an advance of wages on the 10th of March last, and had subsequently been supported out of a fund provided by the journeyman for that purpose; but it appearing that they had returned to their duty seven or eight weeks ago, it was agreed on the suggestion of Lord Ellenborough, that a verdict of guilty should go against these eleven persons, with an understanding that they should not be brought up for judgment, except in the event of the conspiracy breaking out again.

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