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traders in the country, to prosecute in nate solicitations in the street for chacases of forgery, in consequence of the rity, than is earned by the sober and severity of the law. The dread of be- most industrious artificers and labour. ing instrumental in inflicting deathers, by their utmost application to the had, with himself, and to his know- work in which they are employed. ledge with others, operated as a pro- The profits of mendicity are so great tection to the criminal.
as to afford a strong incitement to folThere are several points on which low the practice. the Committee are desirous of offering Beggars on their being searched some observation to the House ; two when brought before the magistrates, of these are of great importance; the a great deal of money has been found first relates to the best means of ena- about them, in their pockets, and in bling judges to pronounce sentence of their clothes. death only in those cases where they Beggars make great profits by vathink it probable that death will be rious practices, such as changing their inflicted ; the second, whether the es. clothes two or three times a day, and tablishment of unexpensive and acces- getting money intended for others. sible jurisdictions, for the trial of small Clear proof that a blind man and a offences, with the help of juries, but dog got 30s. in one day. with simple forms of proceeding and Another man got 5s. a-day ; he corrective punishments, might be a could with ease go through 60 streets means of checking the first steps to a.day. wards criminality. These and other Another man 6s. a-day. parts of this great subject, the Com- Two houses in the parish of St mittee hope that the House will al- Giles frequented by from 200 to 300 low them to consider, by permitting beggars ; receipts from 38. to 5s. a
em, in the next session, to resume, day, they could not be supposed to and, if possible, to complete their in- spend less than 2s. 6d. at night, and quiries.
pay 6d. for their bed.
A negro beggar retired to the West Indies with a fortune, it was supposed, of 15001.
Beggars gain 3s. or 4s. a-day by
begging shoes. ABSTRACT
Considerable sums of money pulled out, and shared amongst beggars.
Gains of beggars, 6., 7., or 8s., and of the Report of the Select Commiltee
sometimes more. appointed to Inquire into the State of
The value of 15s., 20s., and 30s., Mendicity in the Metropolis.
found upon them; they get more by
begging than they can by work; they The body of evidence ascertains be- get so much by begging, that they yond all possibility of doubt, the gross never apply for parochial
relief. and monstrous frauds practised by Found upon beggars, 8s., 10s., and mendicants in the capital, and in its 12s., that they had gained in the course immediate neighbourhood; the success of the day. of which affords a direct encourage- The beggars state that they get ment to vice, idleness, and profligacy, more by begging than they can by as much more is gained by importue work.
They get 4s. or 55. a-day.
A girl of 12 years of age had been Os. and 10s. gained in a day, mark. six years engaged in begging ; on ed on a pass.
some days got 3s. or 4s. a day; someA woman alleged she could go times more, usually 18d. or ls.; on through 60 streets in a day, and that Christmas-day, 4s. 6d. was a bad street that did not yield ld. One man will collect 3, 4, or 5
Beggars get from 10s. to 20s. a- children from different parents, paying day sometimes.
6d. and 9d. for each, to go begging A beggar would spend 50s. a-week with. Parents beat their children if for his board.
they do not carry home the sum reBeggars have said they go through quired. 40 streets in a day, and that it is a A woman in a constant state of inpoor street that does not yield 2d. toxication with S children.
A bad day that does not yield the A woman with twins who never beggars Ss. and more.
grew older ; sat for ten years. Twins The evils attending mendicity are not the children of the beggars one not, however, confined to adults ; chil, time in a hundred. dren of different ages are made use of A blind child hired to excite chato excite compassion ; 'sometimes by rity; 1s., 1s. 6d., or 2s.6d., gained by themselves, and at other times are car- each in a day. ried about by their parents, or per:
Children let out by the day, who sons pretending to be so. This use of carried to their parents 2s. 6d. a-day, children is not a novel one ; in a sta- as the price paid by the persons who tute of 1st Edward VI. c. 3, it is hired them; of course their gains must recited, that divers women and men have been more. go on begging, wayfaring, of which A litile boy and a little girl earned some be impotent and be lame, and 8s. a-day. some able enough to labour, which do An instance is stated of an old wocarry children about with them, some man who keeps a night-school for infour or five years of age, or younger structing children in the street -lanor older, which, brought up in idle- guage. ness, might be so rooted in it, that of the numbers of beggars in the hardly they may be brought after to streets in the metropolis, a probable good thrift and labour. And a simi, conjecture only can be formed. Mr lar recital in the 3d and 4th Edward Martin, who has been extremely acVI. c. 16.
tive in the department of inquiry about Beggars are furnished with children mendicity, stated them, thirteen years at houses in Whitechapel, Shoreditch; ago, at 15,000, of which 5300 were some who look like twins ; children Irish ; but the Committee will have frequently on women's backs. occasion to refer, in a subsequent part
A woman had four children with of this Report, to a statement which her begging ; much use made of chil. will shew the probability of the pumdren.
ber being considerably more. They Children are annually instructed in are most numerous in the outskirts of idleness and drinking, and of course the town; thirty or forty sleep in a lying ; idleness is sure to bring on ly, large round bed. ing and theft.
In the neighbourhood of WhiteChildren frequently sent out to beg, chapel, thirty or forty houses, appaand not to return with less than 6d. rently crowded, in which are nos less than 2000 people, one half of whom They eat no broken victuals, but live by prostitution and beggary; the have ham, beef, &c. remainder Irish labouring people. Forty or fifty sleep in a house, and
It appears by the evidence of the are locked in lest they should carry person who contracts for carrying va. any thing away, and are let out in the grants in and through the county of morning all at once Middlesex, that he has passed as many The beggars, mostly of a despeas 12,000 or 13,000 in a year ; but rately bad character, frequently sell no estimate can be formed from that, clothes that are given to them. as many of them are passed several Tear their clothes for an appearance times in the course of a year.
of distress. And it is proved that these people Beggars assemble in a morning, and are, in the course of eight or ten days, agree what route each shall take. in the same situation ; as they find no At some of the houses the knives difficulty in escaping as soon as they and forks chained to the tables, and are out of the hands of the Middlesex other articles chained to the walls. contractor.
The walks are sold. A magistrate in the office at White- In the summer they emigrate a good chapel thinks there is not one who is deal. not worthless. It certainly appears A variety of practices stated. uncontrovertible that an immense pro- Worthy persons, however distressportion of them are idle, profligate, ed, will not have recourse to begging. and lazy, and living in great dissipa- Street beggars, with very few extion,
ceptions, utterly worthless and incorThe rector of Saint Clement Danes rigible. describes them as living very well, es- Luxurious living pecially if they are pretty well maim- Advantages of begging are such, ed, blind, or if they have children; he that the parties would rather be im describes various practices of the beg- prisoned three months in the year than gars.
relinquish it. The beggars, after having peram- Beggars evade the Vagrant Act by bulated their circuits, live well, spend. carrying matches and articles of little ing a considerable portion of money; intrinsic value for sale. have hot suppers, and regale them- Gainful practices of a man who is selves with various liquors.
something of an attorney: From 200 to 300 beggars frequent Various practices for obtaining motwo public-houses in St Giles's, divi- ney by beggars who are complete imded into companies, and subdivided postors. into walks ; live luxuriously at night. Out of 400 beggars in St Giles's,
Beggars scarify their feet to make 350 are capable of earning their own the blood come; they change their living. routes every day ; share considerable In the course of this inquiry, it ap. sums of money, and get scandalously peared that in almost all of the city drunk ; quarrel and fight ; and one parishes, and in some of those in the teaches the other the mode of extort- neighbourhood, the poor are farmed ; ing money ; they are the worst of to which there appear to be considercharacters, blasphemous, and abusive ; able objections ; and, among others, when they are detected as impostors adding to the numbers of beggars in in one parish, they go into another. the streets, as the persons who take VOL. XIII. PART II.
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 pauIn another house at Hoxton, the pers ; in one of them no infirmary. poor of 17 parishes are farmed; in A practice of “ flating" prevailed, some parishes there are no poor to be which is an allowance of 24d. 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 Sa- quality of the food. On the whole
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 isbegging 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, A
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
700 of these poor people were found From the evidence of two members in situation likely to occasion a con. of the Committee, who visited the siderable risk of contagion. These are,
* 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 viowhere 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 Greenhas been found there is a misconcep- wich and Chelsea pensioners is pretty tion respecting that.
numerous ; they are represented to car. It 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 7. 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 of A pensioner who had 181. a-year the paupers is 80 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., 10., or 12s., 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 77. a-year, commitamong 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 direcGiles; but unhappily it has not suc- tions, at periods between the receipts ceeded to any considerable extent, note of their pension. When the parish of. withstanding the meritorious exertions ficers know that persons who receive of a very intelligent and humane mas. relief from them are entitled to pen. ter, 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