1872 – Breach of Contract


1872 July 16th Sheffield Independant

Breach of Contract

George Turner, farm servant, of Denaby, was summoned for leaving his master’s service without giving the proper notice. Mr F Parker Rhodes appealed for the complainant and Mr Edwards for the defendant.

Mr Rhodes said the complainant, William Bolton, farmer, of Denaby had summoned the defendant for leaving work without giving proper notice. On 19th January last, the complainant went to Thorne, and engage the defendant as a farm servant, at a salary of 14 shillings per week. The defendant was to serve until Martinmas next. Some time after the defendant had entered upon a service, the complaining gave him the place of horse driver, at an advance of salary, and a few weeks later the place of Foreman, with another increase of salary. The defendant left his work on the 15th
inst., and had not returned since. In consequence of the defendant’s conduct a quantity of a hay to be left out in the fields, and it was now washed away by the floods.

The complainant gave evidence in corroboration of this statement, admitting that the defendant and giving notice to leave several weeks ago.

For the defence, Mr Edwards contended that the contract to serve until Martinmas was completely void. The defendant was engaged as farm servants to serve a certain period, but had since accepted two other posts, and no fresh contracthad be made on either occasion. The defendant was paid weekly wages, and he was entitled to leave at a week or a month’s notice. This notice he had given. The defendant and his father corroborated this.

The chairman remarked that a great deal of trouble arose between masters and farm servants by reason of contract being drawn up in so loose and careless a manner. The contract to serve until Martinmashad been clearly voided by the defendantaccepting other posts. No doubthe hadgiven the complainant notice to leave, but the fact he still remained at work after his term of noticehad expired, annulled such notice. The Bench were determined to put a stop to the practice of farm servants leaving their masters in this way at Harvest times, and the defendant would be fined 40s and costs or in default one month´s imprisonment.