To the Printer of the Leicester and Nottingham Journal.
I thank you for inserting what I requested. I intended not thereby to reflect on any Miller, I only asked a general question, that injured persons, by a proper answer, might be instructed how to proceed if they think fit, But
If Caps amongst a throng are thrown,
Let each one take—and use his own.
Mills for grinding Corn whilst in the hands of men of sound probity and honour, may well be ranked amongst the most useful of all inventions: But if they drop into the possession of men of opposite disposition, they are then rather a curse than a blessing to the neighbours.
Bread was wont heretofore to be reckoned the Staff of Life; but of late it is, by many, esteemed almost the bane thereof. For
Since the too general introduction of dressing tackle into Mills, Persons who are the best judged as to the purity of Flour, are, perhaps, utterly ignorant of the composition of that which they either see, or feel, or smell or taste.
Our kind Legislators were, I doubt not, very sensible of this mischief when they passed the Law of the 31, Geo. 2. c. 29. Wherein a penalty is laid on Offenders, who sell, offer or expose to sale, Meal or Flour, contrary to the directions of that Law, But in order to evade the humane intentions of that good Law, Dealers use the equivocal Terms of “First or best Flour, Second, Third, &c.”
It has been an easy task to trace great quantities of Pulse, Rye and Barley to Mills, but if any one will prove that a tenth part thereof has been vended back in Flour under the true appellation which it ought to bear according to that Law, erit mihi Magnus Apollo.
If Poor People who are inclined to frugality, could have the Meal or Flour of Pulse, Rye, Barley or even Maize, for the prices each sort reasonably deserves, they might reach some advantage; but if the Dealers have an immediate gain of 40, or 50, or perhaps near Cent per Cent, by their base mixtures, it is, I humbly conceive, too severe a grinding of the Poor to be suffered without complaint.
General complaints sometimes obtain public redress. And I heartily wish that those of the Poor in the case before us, may reach the ears of such good Persons as are in authority, and are willing to give relief.
If any person thinks what I have wrote on this subject to be actionable, I don’t request him to spare his
Nether-Seal, Nov. 1st 1769.