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England's Great Transformation"Law, Labor, and the Industrial Revolution"$
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Marc W. Steinberg

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226329819

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226330013.001.0001

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Hull and the Fishing Trade

Hull and the Fishing Trade

(p.79) Chapter Five Hull and the Fishing Trade
England's Great Transformation

Marc W. Steinberg

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents a detailed study of how owners of the burgeoning fish trawling industry in Hull relied on apprentices and prosecutions using master and servant law to discipline them. Fish trawling was an industry with small profit margins and conducted using trawlers worked by crews of five. It was one of the most dangerous jobs in Victorian England, and the last one or two positions largely involved menial labor. Trawler owners increasingly relied on apprentices from Poor Law unions bound for seven years to fill these positions. Often unpaid and severely treated, many apprentices tried to escape. Trawler owners relied on the local stipendiary magistrate’s court to apprehend and convict these apprentices, and at any one point in time 20-30% were imprisoned waiting for their next voyage.

Keywords:   Kingston-upon-Hull, fishing industry, master and servant law, local magistrates’ courts, labor control

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