The Herefordshire Domestic and Farm Servants' Registration Society, of which J.H. Arkwright was secretary and treasurer, was founded in 1867 under the title of the Herefordshire Domestic and General Farm Servants' Registration Society. Its original aim was to provide facilities for farm servants wishing to bring testimonials from former employers, but almost at once it widened its scope to include all servants and changed its title accordingly. Its promoters also wanted to provide better conditions and facilities than obtained at mop fairs and markets, especially for young girls and children.
Registration offices were opened in Hereford, Ledbury, Bromyard, Leominster, Ross, Pembridge and Wigmore. Each was supervised by a local committee consisting of a layman (i.e. a landed gentleman), a clergyman and three tenant farmers and the members of these committees together formed the central committee. Otherwise members were of two kinds, donors contributing a pound and subscribers of half a crown. Domestic servants only were charged a registration fee of one shilling, but all applicants had to bring a nomination from a clergyman or some one of similar standing. The clergy were particularly asked to co-operate in providing nominations for children leaving school. But the society did not flourish. The clergy, landed gentry and yeoman farmers were not enthusiastic in their support and the servants disliked the nomination system. It seems to have died a quiet death some time during 1869.
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