statute of Artificers

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Growing concern at the number of masterless men, increasing vagabondage, and escalating crime underlay the promulgation of conditions of service between masters and servants. All unmarried persons below 30 who had received craft training could not refuse to serve if requested, those between 12 and 60 obliged to serve in husbandry were defined, and unmarried women between 12 and 40 could also be made to serve. Wage rates were to be set yearly at the Court of Chancery, and then proclaimed in every county. Anyone failing to carry letters testimonial was punishable for vagrancy.

Subjects: British History.

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