Frederick Stephen Myers is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Tom Myers and Mary Ellen Procter. Our common ancestors are William Stowell and Ellen Lane – my 3x great grandparents.
Frederick was born on 24 April 1893 in Burnley, Lancashire.
In the 1911 census Frederick is living at 4 Forrest Street, Nelson, Lancashire and working as a cotton weaver. At some point in the next eleven years Frederick went into partnership with George Mitchell and Daniel Roscoe working as electricians under the name of George Mitchell &Co.
On 2 February 1922 that partnership was dissolved but Frederick and George continued in business under the same name. Just over five years later the pair found themselves in court over National Insurance Contributions failures. The Burnley News of Saturday 19 March 1927 ran the following story (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).
Burnley Firm and Insurance Contributions
BENCH AND A BAD CASE
At Burnley Police Court, on Wednesday, George Mitchell, 4 Forrest Street, Nelson, and Frederick Stephen Myers, 43 Clevelands Road, Burnley, trading as G. Mitchell and Co., electrical and mechanical engineers, Burnley, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 to 1925, and three breaches of the National Health Insurance Act, 1924.
Mr. J. H. Sinkinson, prosecuting, said the defendants had three employees, Henry Hargreaves, Harold Barrett and Cecil Ibbotson, an apprentice, to whose unemployment and health insurance cards they had failed to affix stamps. In the case of Hargreaves defendants failed to pay health insurance and pensions contributions for 20 weeks at 1s. 6d. a week, a total of £1 10s. No contribution was made for the whole of the last half year up to the time of the visit in November of an official of the Ministry.
Regarding unemployment insurance contributions, the defendants during the period 1925-26, failed to make, in respect of Hargreaves, sixteen contribution at 1s. 3d. weekly, and during the current period had failed to pay for twenty weeks, a total of £2 5s. In the case of Barrett twenty health insurance payments, representing £1 10s., and twenty-four unemployment insurance payments representing another £1 10s. were not made. With reference to Ibbotson, nineteen health insurance contributions were not paid – £1 8s. 6d. in all – and they could have taken proceedings in that case in respect of non-payment of unemployment insurance. The total amount of arrears for which defendants were summoned was £8 3s 6d.
“I don’t know how your worships look on these cases.” said Mr. Sinkinson, “but to me they appear as very serious matters.” Proceedings had been taken in that Court previously, and the Bench had expressed very strongly their feelings concerning the neglect of employers who failed to affix the required stamps. The newspapers, recognising the importance of such cases had given most extensive reports of them which must have been read by defendants, who could hardly plead that they knew nothing about it. Personally, he could hardly find words sometimes to describe employers who thus would deliberately jeopardise the rights of working men and women to the health insurance, unemployment insurance, and pensions provided for them by the State. Often officials had great difficulty in securing benefits for claimants because of the neglect of employers to affix stamps. In that case each defendant had rendered himself liable to a £10 fine in each case. Of the two he was afraid that Myers was the most to blame, for he had undertaken the clerical work of the firm. A bad feature too, was that Myers had taken 1s. 6d. a week from the wages of his employees as their contributions to health and unemployment stamps, or 2d. more than he was entitled to deduct.
Mitchell said that he did not know that the cards had not been stamped.
Myers said at the time the cards should have been filled up he was off ill for a fortnight. He could not find Hargreaves’s card when he came back. He offered to stamp them, but they were taken away. He was told by a cashier at a local engineering shop that 1s. 6d. a week should be deducted from wages, and since he had been informed that it was 1s. 4d. he had refunded the difference. On account of Hargreaves’ card having been lost he kept putting off the stamping of the cards.
The Mayor said the magistrates regarded the case as a bad one. Defendants would be required to pay the arrears and each would be fined 10s. including costs in each case, and special costs, a total of £13 7s. 6d.