bondage system

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A system of tenure with defined services, common in Northumberland and south Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries, designed to provide casual labour in times of need. Farm servants who were hired annually were provided with a house, specified quantities of food and coals, and the keep of a cow or a pig. In return the servant contracted to supply a woman labourer (usually his wife or daughter) to work for his employer for cash wages when required. These female workers performed all the jobs on the farm except ploughing and ditching. The system had virtually died out by the 1890s.

Subjects: History — Psychology.

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