On Thursday I presented the first half of the Great Northern Railway's 'Conditions of Admission to the Service' for new clerks from 1856, which I found in a rule book for station masters. While that half dealt principally with wages, the second half was where potential clerks' conditions of service, qualifications and security were discussed, as follows:
candidate as a Clerk will undergo a strict examination as to his
qualifications, in proportion to his age; he will be required to show a
good hand-writing, suited for accounts and correspondence, and that he
has a competent knowledge of mercantile arithmetic; and he must be in a
good state of health.
The candidate must, on attending at the Secretary's office to be examined, produce testimonials of character.
In the case of an Experienced Clerk; and of a Junior Clerk who has been before employed -
1. From his last employer.
2. One from each of two housekeepers of undoubted respectability.
In the case of a Lad Clerk; and of a Junior clerk who has NOT been before employed -
1. From the head master of the school at which he has been educated.
2. One from each of his two housekeepers of undoubted respectability.
nomination, with particulars of the examination and testimonials, will
be submitted to the directors on the candidate appearing before them,
and who will decide whether he be qualified and a proper person to be
The name of a Clerk, on
appointment, will be added to a list, from which he will be summoned in
turn for duty as a vacancy occurs, provided he has in the meantime,
given security; but should he, on being summoned, refuse or neglect
to join, his name will be struck out of the list, and he cannot
afterwards be re-admitted to the service.
must, immediately on appointment, give security to the amount of two
years' salary, or in not less that £100, through the medium of one of
the undermentioned Guarantee Societies; and he cannot subsequently,
under any pretence whatever, be allowed to change from the society first
The Guarantee Society, 19, Birchin Land City;
The British Guarantee Association, 9, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall;
The Times Life Assurance and Guarantee Company, 32, Ludgate Hill;
The United Guarantee and Life Assurance Company, 36, Old Jewery, City;
The United Service and General Life Assurance and Guarantee Association, 20, Cockspur Street, Charing Cross
The Railway Company pays the premium in the case of a Clerk whose salary does not exceed 21s. per week with, or 25s. per week without allowances.