The Document Chest

1867 - Terms of employment

Between John Barber, fellmonger, and Robert Jago


This interesting document between an affluent fellmonger (see Note below), John Barber, and his employee Robert Jago, sets out the terms of employment - hours, pay, etc. - for the five year period of the contract, and beyond. John Barber's factory was later known as Newis' Mills.


Note - a fellmonger was a dealer in hides, skins and furs. He also recycled inedible animal parts for glue, fertiliser, offal, horn, bone, gut etc. Basically, he ran the "knacker's yard".



Memorandum of Agreement made this fourteenth day of September One thousand eight hundred and Sixty Seven between John Barber of Yeovil in the County of Somerset of the one part and Robert Jago of the same place of the other part

Whereby the said John Barber agrees to employ and the said Robert Jago to serve the said John Barber in the Trade or business of a Fellmonger and Tanner carried on by the said John Barber at Yeovil aforesaid for the Term of Five Years from the day of the date hereof at the weekly wages of Sixteen shillings per week, the said Robert Jago to be under the Superintendance and direction of the said John Barber and is to obey his orders and directions in all things and to do such work as may be required by him in and about the said Fellmongering [inserted = and Tanning] And further such other work or employment as the said John barber may require him to do to the best of his skill and ability and not to work for any other Master during the said Term - the hours of work to be from Six O Clock in the morning to seven in the evening during the Summer months and from daylight until seven O clock in the winter - or from 8 O clock in the morning breakfasting before coming - in winter half an hour being allowed for breakfast and one hour for dinner subject to the condition of 8 in the morning as before stated. The Summer months to be from the first day of March untill the first day of October and the Winter from the first day of October untill the first day of March. Any part of the said Term not being served by the said Rob[er]t Jago from any cause to be added to the said term of Five Years and Further this agreement to remain in full effect for any term after the expiration of the Five Years should the said Robert Jago be in any way indebited to the aid John Barber.
Furthermore both parties namely John Barber and Robert Jago hereby agree to give or take one months Notice after the said Term of Five Years shall be expired before the employment and service shall cease.

As witness the hand of both parties
John Barber
Robert Jago


Transcribed by Bob Osborn


From my collection