Monday, 25 June 2012

Unauthorised absence

At the beginning of summer, many residents of Brisbane town may have the feeling that they just don't feel like going to work that day. Employers might not like it, but there is not much they can do about it when a worker takes a "sickie".

It was not always so. This advertisement appeared in The Moreton Bay Courier of Wednesday 19 October 1859.

There were two gentlmen in the colony who could have signed themself as "H Bell". It seems likely that Dr Hugh Bell (staff surgeon at the Hospital) would have used his title (as he did in other advertisements he placed), so the aggrieved employer was probably H Bell, Engineer and Gunsmith, of Edward Street.

Perhaps Caroline was a domestic servant. It would be fascinating to know what our 3xgreat grandmother was up to; and, if she did return to the employ of Mr Bell, what was the penalty for her absence without leave.

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