a-year, or could give such security for the discharge 
of the parish where he was then living
as those justices should judge sufficient
Some frauds, it is said, were committed in 
consequence of this statute; parish officers 
sometimes bribing their own poor to go clandestinely 
to another parish, and, by keeping 
themselves concealed for forty days, to gain
settlement there, to the discharge of that to 
which they properly belonged. It was enacted
therefore, by the 1st of James II. that the 
forty days undisturbed residence of any person 
necessary to gain a settlement, should be 
accounted only from the time of his delivering 
notice, in writing, of the place of his abode 
and the number of his family, to one of 
the church-wardens or overseers of the parish 
where he came to dwell. 
But parish officers, it seems, were not always 
more honest with regard to their own 
than they had been with regard to other parishes
and sometimes connived at such intrusions
receiving the notice, and taking no proper 
steps in consequence of it. As every person 
in a parish, therefore, was supposed to have 
an interest to prevent as much as possible their 
being burdened by such intruders, it was further 
enacted by the 3d of William III. that 
the forty days residence should be accounted 
only from the publication of such notice in 
writing on Sunday in the church, immediately 
after divine service
"After all," says Doctor Burn, "this kind 
of settlement, by continuing forty days after 
publication of notice in writing, is very seldom 
obtained; and the design of the acts is not so 
much for gaining of settlements, as for the 
avoiding of them by persons coming into a 
parish clandestinely, for the giving of notice 
is only putting a force upon the parish to remove
But if a person's situation is such, 
that it is doubtful whether he is actually removable 
or not, he shall, by giving of notice
compel the parish either to allow him a settlement 
uncontested, by suffering him to continue 
forty days, or by removing him to try the 
This statute, therefore, rendered it almost 
impracticable for a poor man to gain a new 
settlement in the old way, by forty days inhabitancy. 
But that it might not appear to preclude 
altogether the common people of one 
parish from ever establishing themselves with 
security in another, it appointed four other 
ways by which a settlement might be gained 
without any notice delivered or published
The first was, by being taxed to parish rates 
and paying them; the second, by being elected 
into an annual parish office, and serving in 
it a year; the third, by serving an apprenticeship 
in the parish; the fourth, by being hired 
into service there for a year, and continuing 
in the same service during the whole of it. 
Nobody can gain a settlement by either of 
the first two ways, but by the public deed of 
the whole parish, who are too well aware of 
the consequences to adopt any new-comer, 
who has nothing but his labour to support 
him, either by taxing him to parish rates, or 
by electing him into a parish office
No married man can well gain any settlement 
in either of the two last ways. An apprentice 
is scarce ever married; and it is expressly 
enacted, that no married servant shall 
gain any settlement by being hired for a year
The principal effect of introducing settlement 
by service, has been to put out in a great measure 
the old fashion of hiring for a year
which before had been so customary in England, 
that even at this day, if no particular 
term is agreed upon, the law intends that 
every servant is hired for a year. But masters 
are not always willing to give their servants 
a settlement by hiring them in this manner; 
and servants are not always willing to be 
so hired, because, as every last settlement discharges 
all the foregoing, they might thereby 
lose their original settlement in the places of 
their nativity, the habitation of their parents 
and relations
No independent workman, it is evident
whether labourer or artificer, is likely to gain 
any new settlement, either by apprenticeship 
or by service. When such a person, therefore, 
carried his industry to a new parish, he 
was liable to be removed, how healthy and industrious 
soever, at the caprice of any church-warden 
or overseer, unless he either rented
tenement of ten pounds a-year, a thing impossible 
for one who has nothing but his labour 
to live by, or could give such security 
for the discharge of the parish as two justices 
of the peace should judge sufficient
What security they shall require, indeed, is 
left altogether to their discretion; but they 
cannot well require less than thirty pounds
it having been enacted, that the purchase even 
of a freehold estate of less than thirty pounds 
value, shall not gain any person a settlement
as not being sufficient for the discharge of the 
parish. But this is a security which scarce 
any man who lives by labour can give; and 
much greater security is frequently demanded
In order to restore, in some measure, that 
free circulation of labour which those different 
statutes had almost entirely taken away, 
the invention of certificates was fallen upon. 
By the 8th and 9th of William III. it was enacted 
that if any person should bring a certificate 
from the parish where he was last legally 
settled, subscribed by the church-wardens 
and overseers of the poor, and allowed by two 
justices of the peace, that every other parish 
should be obliged to receive him; that he 
should not be removable merely upon account 
of his being likely to become chargeable, but 
only upon his becoming actually chargeable
and that then the parish which granted the 
certificate should be obliged to pay the expense 
both of his maintenance, and of his removal