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italics indicates hand written insertions]
Articles of Agreement entered into the tenth day of December 1842 between William Nicholls of Illogan in the County of CORNWALL, of the First Part, and Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, William Thompson, Alexander Robertson and Michael Williams, Esquires, Directors of the , for themselves, and others, engaged in the working of Mines in CUBA, of the Second Part.
The said William Nicholls engages himself in the service of the parties of the second part for Three Years, on the following Conditions:-
1. He shall proceed to CUBA at such time and in such manner as shall be prescribed by the parties of the second part.
He shall reside in such place, and remove from time to time to
such place or places as may be required by the parties of the second
part, or their Chief Agent or Agents.
He shall faithfully and diligently employ himself in the service
of the parties of the second part, as a miner or in such manner
as the parties of the second part, or the Chief Agent or Agents shall
He shall devote his whole time and attention to the service of
the parties of the second part, and work if required - [line drawn
through space]-------hours per day, exclusive of meals.
He shall use his utmost exertions to promote the interests of the
parties of the second part, and guard and defend their property from
spoil, waste, or injury; and shall give immediate information to the
Chief Agent or Agents of any robbery or embezzlement of the property of
the second part that may come to his knowledge.
He shall be subservient to and obey the orders and directions of
the parties of the second part, and of the Chief Agent or Agents in all
things; and shall submit to such local arrangements, fines, and
penalties, as may be imposed by the Agents or Mining Captains for the
His habitation shall be kept in good repair at his own expense.
He shall not sleep away from his station without a special
permission from the Agent or Agents [the following words illegible]:
Saturday nights excepted.
He shall not directly nor indirectly engage in any other service,
business or speculation whatever.
10. He shall pay due and becoming respect to the Civil and Religious Institutions and customs of CUBA aforesaid, abstaining from all interference therewith: and shall, at all times, conduct himself in a sober, orderly, and peaceable manner.
And in consideration of the Agreements hereinbefore contained on the part of the said William Nicholls to be done and performed, of the due, faithful, and exclusive services to be rendered by him to the said parties of the second part, for Three Years as aforesaid, the said parties of the second part do promise and agree with him in the following manner:-
11. THAT the parties of the second part shall pay him during the continuance of his services the sum of One hundred and twenty pounds sterling per annum, to commence on the day of his arrival at the Mines, and to be paid in England at the rate of Four pounds per Month from the time he embarks in England until his arrival at the Mines.
12. THAT all payments made in CUBA on account of salary shall be calculated in British sterling.
13. THAT such part, if any, of his salary as he may, at the time of signing this Agreement, direct to be paid in England to his own account, shall be paid by the parties of the second part in equal quarterly payments, to be made three months after they become due in CUBA, that time being required to receive information from the Mines.
14. THAT parties of the second part shall defray the expense of his passage to CUBA and of the journey from thence to the Mines; such journey to be performed in every respect according to the directions, rules, and regulations of the Agents of the parties of the second part, or of the Chief Agent or Agents at the Mines.
15. THAT the parties of the second part, or the Chief Agent or Agents, may dissolve this Agreement at any time during the said term of Three Years, on giving him four months’ notice, in writing or paying him four months’ salary in lieu of such notice, and also the reasonable expense of his return home, should be embark for England within two months of the dissolution of this Agreement.
16. THAT in the event of his being rendered incapable of performing his duty, from ill health or from other cause, he shall not be entitled to any wages so long as he shall continue unable to work; but it shall be at the discretion of the Chief Agent or Agents to allow him such proportion thereof as he or they may think fit. And in the event of his being incapacitated from returning to his work, if the Chief Agent and the Surgeon shall certify in writing, but not otherwise, that such incapacity was not attributable to any imprudence, excess, or misconduct on his part, or to any disease contracted previous to his Agreement, then the parties of the second part shall defray the expense of his return home; but on his arrival in England he shall have no claim to any further sum whatever, either as wages, allowance, gratuity, or otherwise, other than the parties of the second part themselves may think fit in their own discretion to award him.
17. THAT at the expiration of the term of this Agreement, the parties of the second part will defray the expense of his return home, provided he shall embark for England within two months of such expiration.
18. THAT if he shall at any time refuse to perform or comply with all or any of the Articles of his Agreement, he shall forfeit all wages due to him at the time of his dismissal, together with all Right, Benefit, and Advantage whatsoever reserved to him by this Agreement.
19. AND LASTLY, the said William Nicholls hereby binds himself under a penalty of One Hundred Pounds sterling to the said parties of the second part, diligently and faithfully to perform the various matters and things contained in this Agreement; and also further agrees to execute in CUBA whenever required to do so by the Chief Agent or Agents a Copy of this Agreement, made according to the form of Law used in that Island and containing the same provisos and penalties as are contained in these presents.
In witness thereof, the said Parties to these presents have hereunto set their Hands and Seals to five Copies of this Agreement, the day and year first above written.
(signed) [William Nicholls unable to sign own name, so leaving a mark - a circle]
I request that there may be retained in England, out of my Salary, the sum of Forty Eight pounds annually to be paid in quarterly payments to Messrs M Williams Jr and Brothers reserving Seventy two pounds to be paid to me in CUBA by the Chief Agent or Agents.
(signed with mark by Nicholls)
I acknowledge to have received of the parties of the second part the Sum of Ten pounds which is to be repaid out of my Salary.
(signed with mark by Nicholls)
FO 72/634 No. 15 enclosed with a letter from Clarke to the Earl of Aberdeen (FO), Santiago de Cuba, 13th August 1843