Act Prevent Unlawful Combinations

Act to Prevent Unlawful Combinations


SKU: 002576 Categories: ,


[002576] [Combination Act]. An Abstract of an Act, to Prevent Unlawful Combinations Amongst Journeymen to Raise Wages, &c. Passed the 19th of July, 1799. Leeds: Edward Baines, 1799. First Edition. 12mo. Paper Covers. Pamphlet. Good. 12pp, disbound.

Lightly soiled, browned to edges, final text leaf lightly foxed with mathematics to blank bottom third of the page.

A precis of the first of the Combination Acts, (another followed a year later), with Chase noting the acts had “immense psychological and practical impact on the way trade unionism evolved … the mere presence of such a measure on the statute book underlined the convergence of landed and manufacturing interests in opposition to those of labour, and even its perfunctory application constituted a powerful reminder of the power relations within contemporary society” (Chase, ‘Early Trade Unionism’, pages 84-5).

Baines (1774-1848), started as a printer (see BBTI), but quickly became a newspaper proprietor (the Leeds Mercury), and eventually the MP for Leeds. He apparently, though this was disputed by Cobbett, also played a part in the unmasking of the spy ‘Oliver’.

Unrecorded in ESTC, but COPAC shows at Bishopsgate and Sheffield