Reddish Vale Country Park
In 1873, a James Wood of Levenshulme entered employment at the Bradshaw & Hammond Print Works in Reddish Vale. 23 year old James agreed to a seven year contract working as a machine printer with a starting wage of 18 shillings per week going up to twenty six shillings per week in the seventh year of employment.
Below is a transcript of the contract, at the bottom of the page is the actual contract.
An Agreement made and entered into this first day of July One Thousand eight hundred and seventy three between James Wood of Levenshulme in the County of Lancashire. Machine printer of the age of Twenty three years and upwards of the one part and William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond, all of Reddish near Manchester aforesaid Calico printers and copartners under the firm Bradshaw Hammond and Company of the other part.
Witnesseth that the said James Wood for and in consideration of the agreement herin after contained on the part of the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond and the survivors or survivor of them doth hereby promise and agree with the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond and with each of them in mannor following that is to say.
That he the said James Wood shall and will for and during the term of seven years to begin and be computed from the day of the date here of will truly diligently and faithfully serve abide and continue with the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond and with the survivors or survivor of them as this and his servants and diligently and faithfully according to the best and utmost of his power skill talent ability and knowledge exercise and employ himself as a machine printer in the said trade or buisness of a calico printer. And in and about everything connected there with for and of their and his account either at their work and premises in Reddish afore said or elsewhere as they or the survivors or survivor of them shall desire.
And also shall and will diligently faithfully and honestly employ himself in all business matters and things whatsoever usually and in anywise connected with such employment. And devote his whole time and attention there to so as to promote the interest of them the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond and their survivors or survivor of them. To the utmost of his power skill ability and knowledge. And shall not nor will either directly or indirectly at any times hereafter disclose or make known to any person or persons whatsoever any of the secrets business customers correspondence accounts or connections of the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond or either or any of them and shall and will be just true and faithful to them and each of them in all.
Wrongfully detain damage spoil damage embezzle or purloin any of their or his customers or connections goods monies wares materials or things whatsoever or see or permit the same to be done by others without giving immediate notice thereof to his said employers or employer in consideration whereof and of the service to be done and performed by the said James Wood as aforesaid. They the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond or someone of them shall and will employ the said James Wood for and during the said term of seven years as a machine printer in and about there the said trade or business of a calico printer and in and about any thing connected therewith as afore said and shall and will truly pay or ca--e to be paid unto the said James Wood for and in respect of such services the weekly sum of eighteen shillings weekly during the first five years of the said time of seven years. The weekly wages or sum of eighteen shillings weekly and every week during the second year of the said term. The weekly wages of eighteen shillings and every week during the third year of the said term. The weekly wages or sum of twenty shillings wekly and every week during the fourth year of the said term. The weekly wages or sum of twenty two shillings weekly and every week during the fifth year of the said term. The weekly wages or sum of twenty four shillings weekly and every week during the sixth year of the said term. Weekly wages or sum of twenty six shillings weekly and every week during the seventh and last year of the said term of seven years. The first of such payments of eighteen shillings per week to become due and to be made on the eleventh day of July inst and such weekly payments as aforesaid to continue to be made on every alternate Friday during the said term.
Provided always that in case the said James Wood shall at any time or times absent himself without such previous consent as aforesaid or be rendered incapable of performing his duty in the said service or shall regretfully willingly or maliciously spoil damage or deface any of the tools goods implements or utensils machinery or materials or property belonging to the said employers or to any or either of them or to any of their customers or connections it shall be lawfull for the said employers or any or either of them to retain and keep their our his hands the wages of the said James Wood for and during the term he may be incapacitated or shall have absented himself and until such losses as may be sustained in any cases aforesaid be made good and reimbursed and also that in case the said James Wood shall at any time during the said term absent himself from his said employment without consent it shall be lawful for the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond or the survivors or survivor of them.
And compel the said James Wood to serve them or him so many days after the end of the said term as the said James Wood shall have been so absent.
Provided always neverless and it is hereby expressly agreed that notwithstanding anything herin before contained it shall it will and shall be lawful to and for the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond or the survivors or survivor of them at any time here after to be determined and put an end to the service hereby agreed to be performed and to the payment of any further wages or salery in respect there of on giving the said James Wood one week previous notice in writing to quit the service of them the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond and survivors or survivor of them (such notice to expire on any Saturday during the said term) or in lieu thereof paying the said James Wood on weeks wages or salery after and at such of the aforesaid rates as shall then be payable as forsaid and upon the expiration of the said notice or upon payment of such one weeks wages or salery in lieu there of as the case may be all and every the agreement herein before contained on the part of William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond or their survivors or survivor of them for the employment of on a payment of wages or salery to the said James Wood shall end and determine to all intents and purposes whatsoever but without prejudice nevertheless to any remedy which the said William Bradshaw and Robert Hammond or their survivors or survivor of them may then or hereafter have under or by. Virtue of these presents for any breach nonobservance or nonperformance of all or any of the agreements herin on the part of the said James Wood to be kept done observed or performed.
In witness where of the said partners have herewith set their hand and seals the day and from first before written.
1873 contract of employment at the Bradshaw & Hammond Print Works at Reddish Vale.