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|There was no catch on Sundays( long post)
Written by JulieW
(1/15/2004 9:48 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, One more question, penned by Line
They would have sailed on Mondays( weather permitting) but that catch would not reach the shops( unless one lived in a port) until Tuesday. Therefore no fish on Mondays.
I have been researching Sundays during this period becasue of General Tileny's mean act of sending poor Catherine Morland away on a Sunday. It had to be mentioned by JA for a reason.And it had to inciate more than Genral Tilney being a poor host. I think I have found the answer in the Sunday Observance Act of 1677, which remained in force throughout the 18th century.
But it applies in this instance as follows.
Basically the Act forbade commercial activity on a Sunday;
No treadesman ,articifer,workman, labourer and other person whatsoever shall do or exercise andy wolrdy labour, business or worl of their ordinary callings upon the lord's Day, or any part hereof( works of neccessitiy only excepted);and that every person being of the age of fourteen years or upwards, offending in teh permises shall for evry such offence forfiet the sum of five shillings; and that no person or persons whatsoever shall pubicly cry,shew forth, or expose to sale any wares, merchandises, fruit , herbs, goods or chattels whatsoever upon the lod's Day, or any part thereof, upon pain that every person so offending shall forfiet the same goods so cried or shewed forth or exposed to sale.
And it is further enacted that no drover, horse-courser, waggoner,butcher, higgler,they or any of their servnats, shall travel or come into his or their inn or lodgeing upon the Lord's Day or any part thereof, upon pain that each and every offender shall forfiet twenty shillings for every such offence; and that no person or persons shall use, employ of travel upon the Lord's Day with any boat, wherry, lighter or barge,except it be upon extraordinary occasion, to be allowed by some Justice of the Peace.....
Provided that nothing in the Act contained shall extened to the porhibiton of dressing of meat in families, or dressing or selling of meat in inns, cooks' shops , or victualing houses, for such as otherwise cannot be provided, not to the crying and selling of milk before nine o' clock in the morning and after four of the clock in the afternoon.
The Act also stated that hundreds( that is the local adninistative unit of local goverment) could not be held responsible for travellers who were robbed( for example by highwaymen) on a Sunday,and that warrants and writs must not be served on that day except in a case of treason, felony or breach of the peace.Therefore after 1677 no one could legally pursue his ordinary occuation on a Sunday except if they were engaged in specific food service.
Every person was expceted to devote the greater part of the day to public or private devotion, or to the giving or receiving of religious teaching in the family circle, or to sick-visiting.
Any recreation of a public nature must be confined to the parish in which one resided and must not prevent the performance of ones religious duties.
To be added to the above must be provisions of the 1761 Fish Carriage Act which dealt with the question of supplying fish to London and Westminster.It allowed special fish carriages that were used for speed in converying a fragile commodity to
travel, pass or be drawn on Sundays or Holydays on any road, whether laden or empty
But the Act did not allow any of the fish so transported to be sold on a Sunday excpet for mackerel.Mackerel could be sold before or after the time of Divine Service.
I ought to add that amonst the fishing fleet there was also the superstition that it was" unlucky" to be fishing on a Sunday.It certianly was if you were caught, fined and your goods forfiet.......
So basically no fish on a Monday for anyone living outside of London and Westminster.
My apolgies for along post,but I am so pleased to have found the answer to my question!
Its a long and quite complex picture, but I will be posting on teh Northnager Abbey Board with my researches,if you would care to read some more.
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