Labour History Review

The Sheriff's Court or the Company Store: Truck, the Arrestment of Wages, and Working-Class Consumption in Scotland, 1837-71

Labour History Review (2014), 79, (2), 139–165.

Abstract

This paper will explore the repeated public debates over the inter-related issues of truck and the arrestment of wages in Scotland between 1830 and 1870, and what they reveal about how different social groups exploited the necessity of many working-class men and women to live off of short-term credit. During moments when anti-truck agitation was most intense, the question of the arrestment of wages was usually raised, investigated, and debated at the same time. For a period of nearly forty years Scottish shopkeepers and employers were able to prevent substantial reform of two exploitative systems for supplying goods to working people by arguing that reform of one system would lead to greater abuse by the other.

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Author details

Frank, Christopher