The last of our foremen to whom I shall refer was worthy Thomas Crewdson. He entered our service as a smith, in which pursuit he displayed great skill. We soon noted the high order of his natural ability; promoted him from the ranks, and made him foreman of the smith's and forge-work department. In this he displayed every quality of excellence, not only in seeing to the turning out of the forge work in the highest state of perfection, but in managing the men under his charge with such kind discretion as to maintain the most perfect harmony in the workshops. This is always a matter of great importance -- that the foreman should inspire the workmen with his own spirit, and keep up their harmony and activity to the most productive point. Crewdson was so systematic in his use of time that we found that he was able also to undertake the foremanship of the boiler-making department, in addition to that of the smith work; and to this he was afterwards appointed, with highly satisfactory results to all concerned.

So strongly and clearly impressed is my mind with the recollection of the valuable assistance which I received during my engineering life from those vicegerents of practical management at Patricroft, that I feel that I cannot proceed further in my narrative without thus placing the merits of these worthy men upon record. It was a source of great good fortune to me to be associated with them, and I consider them to have been among the most important elements in the prosperity of the Bridgewater Foundry. There were many others, in comparatively humble positions, whom I have also reason to remember with gratitude. In all well-conducted concerns the law of "selection of the fittest" sooner or later comes into happy action, when a loyal and attached set of men work together harmoniously for their own advantage as well as for that of their employers.

It was not, however, without some difficulty that we were allowed to carry out our views as to Free Trade in Ability. As the buildings were increased, more men were taken on -- from Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool, as well as from more distant places. We were soon made to feel that our idea of promoting workmen according to their merits, and advancing them to improved positions and higher wages in proportion to their skill, ability, industry, and natural intelligence, was quite contrary to the views of many of our new employees. They took advantage of a large access of orders for machinery, which they knew had come into the foundry, to wait upon us suddenly, and to lay down their Trade Union law for our observance.

The men who waited upon us were deputed by the Engineer Mechanics' Trades' Union to inform us that there were men in our employment who were not, as they termed it, "legally entitled to the trade;" that is, they had never served a regular seven years' apprenticeship. "These men," said the delegates, "are filling up the places, and keeping out of work, the legal hands." We were accordingly requested to discharge the workmen whom we had promoted, in order to make room for members of the Trades' Union.

To have complied with this request would have altered the whole principles and practice on which we desired to conduct our business. I wished, and my partner agreed with me, to stimulate men to steadfast and skilful work by the hope of promotion. It was thus that I had taken several of the Worsley men from the rank of labourers, and raised them to the class mechanics with correspondingly higher wages. We were perfectly satisfied with the conduct of these workmen, and with the productive results of their labour. We thought it fair to them as well as to ourselves to resist the order to discharge them, and we consequently firmly refused to submit to the dictation of the Unionists.

The delegates left us with a distinct intimation that if we continued to retain the illegal men in our employment they would call out the Union men, and strike until "the grievance " was redressed. The Unionists, no doubt, fixed upon the right time to place their case before us. We wanted more workmen to execute the advantageous orders which had come in; and they thought that the strike would put an entire stop to our operations. On engaging the workmen we had never up to this time concerned ourselves with the question of whether they belonged to the Trades' Union or not. The only proof we required of a man was Ability. If, after a week's experience, he proved himself an efficient workman, we engaged him.

The strike took place. All the Union men were "called out," and left the works. Many of them expressed their great regret at leaving us, as they were perfectly satisfied with their employment as well as with their remuneration. But they were nevertheless compelled to obey the mandate of the Council. The

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