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parish where there shall be any dwelling-house so let to any poor person, an officer called the Cottage-Warden, who shall be the resident Minister of the parish for the time being, if there shall be any such resident Minister, unless any other person shall be appointed to the said office, as herein after mentioned; but the Justices of the district, at their Easter Petty Sessions, when there shall be no resident Minister in any parish, or if the resident Minister shall decline to accept the said office, or if such Justices shall see any other sufficient cause, may appoint some principal inhabitant of such parish, willing to accept the same, to the said office; and if there shall be in any such parish no principal inhabitant who shall be willing to accept the said office, then the Justices may appoint any proper person in some adjoining or neighbouring parish, to the said office: And it shall be the duty of the Cottage-warden to examine the state of repair and condition of such dwellinghouse, and the quantity, quality, and situation of the land so let therewith, and shall endeavour to form a proper judgment, whether the same is let at a fair and reasonable rent; and if he shall find that to be the case, and if, upon
considering all these circumstances, it shall appear to him that the house so let will be a proper and sufficient habitation for the family of the person renting the same, and that the produce of the land, when properly cultivated, together with the produce of the labour of such family, will probably be sufficient for their maintenance, and that the last legal settlement of such poor person is in the said parish; and if, on the lease or agreement under which such house and land shall be so let being read over to both parties in his presence, they shall mutually acknowledge themselves to him satisfied with the covenants contained therein, and that they have signed the same, then he shall sign his name to the said lease or agreement. It shall also be the duty of the Cottage Warden, from time to time to visit the said dwellinghouses so let within his parish, and to inquire into all such particulars as may entitle, or not, the persons letting the same, to such rewards as they may respectively claim on that account; and such rewards as shall appear to him to be due, he shall order to be paid by the Overseer out of the poor-rate. It shall also be the duty of the said Cottage-Warden to attend the Petty Sessions of Appeal herein after mentioned,
if he shall have notice of their being any such Appeal, and shall, if required, answer to any questions relative to the same, that may be put to him by such Justices upon oath, to the best of his knowledge, judgment, and belief.
That any two Justices acting for the district may and shall, on the application of the Cottage-Warden to them, appoint some person to act as his assistant under his orders, which assistant shall and may do and execute, under his direction, any thing which such CottageWarden is authorized or required to do, except signing the said lease, and except determining whether such rewards are due or not, or settling any disputes that may arise between parties. The Cottage-Warden, or his assistant, shall be -entitled to receive annually, on account of every house so let (the lease of which shall be so signed by the Cottage-Warden), from the person letting the same, the sum of 5s. as a salary for his trouble; and it shall be sufficient if such assistant shall appear on behalf and instead of the Cottage-Warden, at any time and place where he ought otherwise to appear in the execution and in pursuance of these regulations.
The Cottage-Warden, or his assistant, shall every year, in the month of January, call a meeting of such persons as shall claim such rewards, by giving notice thereof in the church, immediately after or during the time of divine service in the church, on some Sunday at least four days before such meeting shall take place for the payment of such rewards as shall be by him determined to be due, and the same shall become due the 31st December in every year; and if the Cottage-Warden, or his deputy, shall neglect or refuse to call such meeting, by giving such notice, or if such meeting shall not be attended by him, or his assistant, he shall forfeit the sum of £5. and he shall then call such meeting in the month of February, under the like penalty, and so on from month to month, till such meeting shall be held; and the Overseers, or one of them, shall attend such meeting, and pay such rewards, under the like forfeiture of £5.; and the said rewards, in case the Overseers shall not so attend and pay the same, shall be levied by warrant of distress on their goods and chattels, except that they may withhold those rewards, against the payment of which they shall at such meeting, give notice of Appeal to the Justices in
Petty Sessions, as herein-after-mentioned, until such Appeal shall be determined.
Where there are several townships, hamlets, or tithings, in the same parish, the Justices may appoint one Cottage-Warden, and one assistant, to each separate township, hamlet, or tithing.
Where any dispute relative to the performance of any covenant contained in any lease by which any such house and land is held, shall arise between the persons letting, and the poor persons renting the same (such lease being signed by the Cottage-Warden) the same shall be settled by the Cottage-Warden of the parish for the time being, where the same is situated, with an appeal from his determination to the Justices of the district at their Petty Sessions.
No poor person, nor any of his family living with him, who shall be in the occupation of any house and land, the lease or agreement of which shall have been signed by the CottageWarden, shall receive any relief from the Overseer of the Poor, out of the poor-rate, without the consent of the Cottage-Warden, or without an order from a Justice of the Peace, granted under his hand and seal; nor