Imatges de pàgina
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them to farm derive a profit from al- houses at Hoxton and Mile End, it lowing them to go out to ask charity appears they were much crowded, and

One person at Hoxton farms the extremely filthy; nine, and ten, and poor of 40 parishes, all within the eleven persons in a room ; no space in city; the number of paupers about the rooms when the beds were let 300, many of whom beg.

down; no classification of the pau. In another house at Hoxton, the pers ; in one of them no infirmary, poor of 17 parishes are farmed ; in A practice of “ Aating" prevailed, some parishes there are no poor to be which is an allowance of 2 d. in lieu sent to farm.

of a dinner. In one of the houses at At Mile End there is a house where Hoxton, the paupers had the means the poor of nearly 40 parishes, mostly of going out when they chose to do in the city, are farmed; some from 80. Twenty-two persons slept in a neighbouring parishes ; 350 paupers room 28 feet by 15; idiots were misat Mile End, and 150 in another house ed with other paupers. Great comat Old Ford.

plaint of the clothing being very deThe whole number may go out fective, and of the insufficiency and twice a-week, Wednesdays and San quality of the food. On the whole

, turdays.

the situation of the paupers in the The persons farming them do not houses of these contractors appears to admit that the paupers beg to their be very

wretched.* knowledge ; they have not, however, One class of paupers is so numerous always distinguishing dresses. It is as to render it desirable to make a spe alleged the paupers have their meals cial statement respecting them. We on going-out days, and that they have allude to the natives of Ireland, in religious instruction.

which part of the united kingdom there The poor of three parishes, six only are no laws for the support and mainin number, farmed in a house near the tenance of the poor. Some of these Minories ; they are allowed to go out come to England (chiefly to London, on Fridays and Saturdays, or Sundays; or to places near it) in search of work, on other days not without leave. at a particular season of the year, and

A police magistrate states he had frequently do not return. proof of hundreds of parish paupers Much pains, by very particular inbegging on a Sunday.

quiries, were taken in the year 1815, A custom prevails in workhouses by a remarkably humane gentleman, in general, to suffer the paupers to go to ascertain the number in London, out occasionally for holidays at cer- only distinguishing the parishes; the tain times of the year.

result of which was, that 6876 adults, pauper,

farmed out by a city pa- and 7288 children, were then found, rish, had a weekly allowance from the making a total of 14,164, farmer of the poor at Hoxton, by In a court in Mary-le-bonne parish, whom he was permitted to go out to containing only 24 very small houses, beg.

700 of these poor people were found From the evidence of two members in a situation likely to occasion a con. of the Committee, who visited the siderable risk of contagion. These are,

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* This seems to be the entire cause of the evil. The poor are cruelly, or harshly and illiberally treated in poor-houses, and thence they become mendicants as an al ternative.-EDITOR.

however, not all mendicants; but it Another class of beggars to which has been stated by the gentleman who the Committee are desirous of drawing gave

that evidence, since his examina- the attention of the House, are pertion, that there were few of that num- sons who receive pensions, from the ber who had not themselves begged, or Royal Hospitals at Greenwich and employed some in their families to do so. Chelsea for naval and military services,

In the parish of St Giles, 32,0001. as some of them are amongst the most was raised for the poor ; of which importunate of those who infest the 20,0001. was applied to the lowest streets. Irish.

Some who have pensions as soldiers The chief clerk to the magistrates or sailors are among those who apply at Guildhall states, that these people by letters for charity ; one sailor, who are passed to Bristol and Liverpool, had lost a leg, is one of the most vio. where they take ship to go across. lent and desperate characters in the

And the clerk to the Lord Mayor metropolis. supposes there are agents in those Among beggars of the very worst ports to convey paupers to Ireland, sort there are about thirty Greenwich who are passed under the 17 Geo. II. pensioners, who have instruments of c. 5. ; but the Committee will have music, and go about in parties. occasion to state, that on inquiry it The class of beggars who are Green. has been found there is a misconcep- wich and Chelsea pensioners is pretty tion respecting that.

numerous ; they are represented to carIt is stated, that not one in ten who ry on the trade of begging to a consiare passed to Ireland are shipped. derable extent.

A few of the poorer sort are enabled A marine, who complained he had to return to their country by the Irish only 71. a-year pension, said, he could Society, lately instituted, but the funds make a day's work in an hour in any of that benevolent establishment are square in London. too limited to enable it to give much Some are guilty of acts of violence assistance to such as are desirous of when in the custody of the contractor going home.

for removing beggars. The allowance for the

passage A pensioner who had 181. a-year the paupers is so small, that they have from Chelsea, when taken up begging, been nearly famished when that has had bank notes in a tin box concealed been a long one.

in his waistcoat ; and on many of that Probably 5000 more Irish poor in description frequently 8s., 10s., or 125., \ London in the latter end of June than are found, that they have got in a there had been five weks before.

day. Some reform has been attempted A pensioner of 71. a-year, commit. among the lower Irish in the capital, ted for begging ; sailors frequently go by the establishment of a free school four or five together. for their benefit in the parish of St Chelsea pensioners beg in all direc. Giles; but unhappily it has not suc- tions, at periods between the receipts ceeded to any considerable extent, not of their pension. When the parish ofwithstanding the meritorious exertions ficers know that persons who receive of a

very intelligent and humane mas. relief from them are entitled to penter, who attributes the failure princi- sions, they deduct half the amount of pally to the parents taking the chil- the pensions on sending in a list to the dren from the school for the more pro. office. fitable occupation of begging.

A Chelsea pensioner, who receives

of

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some to want.

18. 6d. a-day, is one of the most noto. and it will be seen how ineffectual rious beggars who infest the town. those have generally been where they

A Greenwich pensioner of 71. a-year were attempted. gets from 5s. to 10s. for writing beg- Before they proceed, however, to ging letters.

do that, they think it right to observe, The last description of beggars that that remain for your Committee to take The frequent resort to gin shops is notice of, are those who seek charity stated as a means of encouraging beg. by letters.

gars in their practice. Some thousand applications by let- And that lotteries have reduced ters are made for charity to ladies, noblemen, and gentlemen, in the metro- On the other hand, Sunday schools polis : two thousand on an average

are stated to have produced a most were within the knowledge of one in- beneficial effect on the morals and hadividual, who was employed to make bits of the lower order of the people. inquiries.

The sturdy beggars are sent to Some were from persons receiving Bridewell, but are turned loose agaio. pensions as sailors or soldiers, or from Beggars are sent to Bridewell for the public companies.

merely begging; if insolent for a month, Several persons subsist by writing the city parish officer sends them alletters ; one woman profits by the prace ways out of his district. tice, who receives a guinea a-week as

The chaplain of Bridewell, who apa legacy from a relation, and has laid pears to have been not merely attentive out 2001. in the funds. Letters have to the duty required of him, but with been written by the same person in much zeal to have exceeded that, states, five or six different hands.

that in the course of fourteen years, Persons who write begging letters there were not six instances of persons are called twopenny-post beggars, and having been reformed by having been profit considerably by the practice. committed to Bridewell. He mention.

Petitions carried about frequently ed one of a woman having been comobtain money; many persons live by mitted there thirty-nine times, for a writing these letters.

week, a fortnight, or a month ; and A man who keeps a school writes others a great number of times. begging letters for 2d. each.

Beggars are not reformed in Bride. A gross imposition detected, that well, too short a time there. was attempted in a begging letter. Apprentices have been committed

The vagrant act evaded by persons to Bridewell two or three times ; but resorting to begging by letters. A not many instances of that. person who has been an attorney's Vain attempts at reform of women. clerk much employed in writing such In ten days or a fortnight after the letters.

beggars from Bridewell are passed inThe facts here stated having im- to the country, they are on their hands pressed upon your Committee a clear again. conviction of the extent of the practi- It appears from the whole of this ces of mendicity in various ways in the evidence, that a uniform and active metropolis, and having brought under exercise of the duty of the magistrates their view the magnitude and perni- would go far to clear the streets of the cious consequences of the evil, they metropolis ; but if the mendicants, next thought it their duty to inquire when removed by the justices, shall be what corrections had been applied; allowed to go where they please in the

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country, the evil will only be trans- are to be subject to the said punishferred 'there, where the nuisance of ments as rogues and vagabonds; and their practices is as intolerable as in a reward of ten shillings is payable to the capital.

any one, whether parish officers or not,
There is clear evidence that when who shall take up such persons.
they are sent on their

way
to their

parishes, they escape and disperse after the first

stage. Beggars who have been passed to

MEMORIAL their parishes, frequently return.

Reference has been had to the evi. To the American Senate and House of dence of the person who contracts for Representatives on African Coloniconveying the beggars from the me- zation. tropolis, to shew,

that he conveys annually from 12,000 to 13,000 in a THE President and Board of Manayear; many times the same persons gers of the American Colonization who have returned to the capital. Society respectfully represent, that be

The legal authority for repressing ing about to commence the execution the practices so justly complained of, of the object to which their views have and so clearly proved to exist, appears been long directed, they deem it pro. apparently to be confined to the pro- per and necessary to address themselves visions of the 17th Geo. II. c. 5. get to the legislative council of their counnerally called the vagrant act ; no in- try. They trust that this object will stances appear where the magistrates be considered in itself of great national have acted under

any
other.

importance, will be found inseparably
That act professes to divide the va- connected with another, vitally affect-
grants into three classes—idle and dis- ing the honour and interest of this na.
orderly persons, rogues and vagabonds, tion, and leading in its consequences
and incorrigible rogues ; allotting dif- to the most desirable results.
ferent punishments to each, according Believing that examination and re-
to the degree of the offence. But the flection will shew that such are its
humble mendicant, asking alms in a connexions and tendency, they are en-
state of nearly famishing, is included couraged to present themselves, and
in the first class, and so is liable to their cause, where they know that a
commitment to the house of correction, public measure, having these advanta-
in like manner as the sturdy and inso. ges, cannot fail to receive all the coun-
lent beggar, living in a state of com- tenance and aid it may require.
parative luxury, is : “ All persons The last census shews the number
going about from door to door, or of free people of colour of the United
placing themselves in streets, high- States, and their rapid increase. Sup-
ways, or passages, to beg or gather posing them to increase in the same
alms, in the parishes or places where ratio, it will appear how large a pro-
they dwell, shall be deemed idle and portion of our population will, in the
disorderly persons ; and it shall be course of even a few years, consist of
lawful for any justice of the peace to persons of that description.
commit such offenders to the house of

No argument is necessary to shew correction, to be kept to hard labour that this is very far indeed from confor any time not exceeding one month.” stituting an increase of our physical If such persons shall resist being car- strength; nor can there be a popularied to the house of correction, they tion, in any country, neutral as to its

effects upon society. The least obser. ticability, though doubted by many at vation shews, that this description of first, is daily less questioned. persons are not, and cannot be, either The two last Reports of the Society, useful or happy among us; and many to which your memorialists beg leare considerations, which need not be men- to refer, shew the success of their mis. tioned, prove, beyond dispute, that it sion to Africa, and the result of their is best for all the parties interested that inquiries upon that continent. From there should be a separation; that those those it is manifest that a situation can who are now free, and those who may be readily obtained, favourable to come become so hereafter, should be pro- merce and agriculture, in a healthy vided with the means of attaining to a and fertile country, and that the nastate of respectability and happiness, tives are well disposed to give every which it is certain they have never yet encouragement to the establishment of reached, and therefore can never be such a settlement among them. Thus likely to reach in this country:

it

appears, that an object of great da. Several of the states, deeply interest. tional concern, already expressly deed in this subject, have already applied sired by some of the states, and truly to the general government; and con- desirable to all, receiving also the curring in the views of your memorial- approbation of those upon whom it ists, both from considerations of justice is more immediately to operate, is towards themselves and humanity to brought within our reach. the coloured people, have expressed But this subject derives, perhaps, to the general government, their de. its chief interest from its connexion sire that a country should be procured with a measure which has already, to for them in the land of their forefa- the honour of our couotry, occupied thers, to which such of them as should the deliberation of the Congress of the choose to avail themselves of the op- United States. portunity might be removed. It has Your memorialists refer with pleabeen the one single object of the so- sure to the act passed at the last ses. ciety, which your memorialists repre- sion of Congress, supplementary to the sent, to effect this end. They have act formerly passed for the suppression made the most cautious and particular of the slave trade. The means afford. inquiries as to the practicability of ed, by the provisions of that act, for such a plan, and its prospects of suc- the accomplishment of its object, are cess, both in this country and in Afri- certainly great ; but the total extir. ca ; and they are warranted in decla. pation of this disgraceful trade canring, that there are no difficulties which not, perhaps, be expected from any they do not confidently expect will be measures which rely alone upon the easily overcome by a moderate exer- employment of a maritime force, hor. tion of discretion and

perseverance. ever considerable. In this country, and in almost every The profits attending it are so es. part of it, they have found a zealous traordinary, that the cupidity of the and decided approbation expressed, unprincipled will still be tempted to both in words and deeds, by a vast continue it, as long as there is any majority of all classes of our citizens ; chance of escaping the vigilance of the and thís sentiment is continually in- cruisers engaged against them. From creasing as the measure becomes more the best information your memorialists the subject of discussion and reflection. have been able to obtain of the nature, Its importance all admit; and its prac. causes, and course of this trade, and of

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