A Counterpane Weaver’s Hiring Agreement 1811

ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT made and fully agreed upon this first day of May, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven, between Elizabeth Scholfield, in the county of Lancaster, weaver, of the one part, and Joseph Phethean and John Phethean, of Brightmet aforesaid, counterpane weavers, of the other part, witnesseth that the said Elizabeth Scholfield, for the considerations hereinafter mentioned, hath of her own free will and accord put, placed and hired herself, and by these presents doth voluntarily, and of her own free will and accord, put place, and hire herself unto the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean to be employed by them in the capacity of a counterpane weaver, or in any other situation or employment which they the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean may think proper to put the said Elizabeth Scholfield to do, and to serve them honestly, justly, and faithfully for the terms of three years from the day of the date hereof, and fully to be complete and ended, save and except Sundays and Christmas Days, during all which said term she, the said Elizabeth Scholfield, shall and will continue with and faithfully and honestly serve the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean in manner and form aforesaid; and shall and will behave and conduct, and demean herself, and be just and true to the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean, and their assigns, agents and workmen, and keep all his and their secrets, and at all times and everywhere gladly do obey all his and their lawful and honest commands; hurt or damage to her said masters she shall not do; the goods of her said master she shall not waste, embezzle, nor lend them, or any part thereof, to any person or persons whomsoever without the consent of her said masters, shall and will at all times, and upon all occasions, as a faithful and honest servant ought to do, behave, conduct, and demean herself towards her said masters, and all their families during the said term.

And the said Elizabeth Scholfield doth hereby promise and agree to and with the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean , that she the said Elizabeth Scholfield shall and will continue with and well and truly honestly and faithfully serve them, the said Joseph and John Phethean, and the survivor of them in manner aforesaid during the said term, in consideration of which said faithful service of the said Elizabeth Scholfield, so to be done and performed as aforesaid, they the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean do hereby for themselves promise and agree to and with the said Elizabeth Scholfield , that the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean shall and will keep in full and constant employ the said Elizabeth Scholfield in the capacity of a counterpane weaver during the said term; and also that she, the said Elizabeth Scholfield, shall and will from time to time, and at all times during the said Term of Three years have and be entitled to one full half part or share of the wages which she, the said Elizabeth Scholfield may earn at any time or times during the said term of three years, and the other half part thereof shall be the property of and belong to the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean; and also that she the said Elizabeth Scholfield, shall and will during the time aforesaid have and be entitled also to each other fent or end of pieces which may at any time be made by the said Elizabeth Scholfield.

And also that they the said Joseph Phethean and John Phethean shall and will retain and keep in their hands out of the earnings of the said Elizabeth Scholfield from time to time such sum and sums of money as will be sufficient to purchase and pay for one half of the candles which may at any time during the said term of three years as aforesaid be used or burnt by the said Elizabeth Scholfield in the employment aforesaid.

And, lastly, if it shall at any time during the said term of three years, happen that the said Elizabeth Scholfield shall neglect or be absent from her employment aforesaid, either by sickness or otherwise, that then and in such case she the said Elizabeth Scholfield shall and will make up such deficiency or loss of time, at the end and expiration of the said term of three years.

In witness whereof the parties aforesaid have herewith set their hands the day and year first before written.
The mark of
Elizabeth Scholfield
Joseph Phethean
John Phethean
Signed in the presence of Thos. Rushton.

Note: Joseph Phethean was the eldest son of Josiah, and a somewhat important and active personage in the township of Brightmet. He succeeded, on the death of his mother, Alice Phethean (1806), as tenant of the Old Hare and Hounds, as the following copy of an old document will testify:-

”To the Worshipful the magistrates of Bolton.- We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, being respectable and substantial House Holders in the Township of Brightmet, in the County of Lancaster, do hereby certify unto his Majesty”s Justices of the Peace, acting in and for the Division of Bolton, in the said county, that Joseph Phethean, at the Hare and Hounds, in Brightmet aforesaid, is a person of good fame, sober life and conversation, and very fit to keep a Public House.- Brightmet, Sep. 12th, 1807.” – – (Names torn off.)

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