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immediate danger. The taxes, then, out in that NorFOLK Petition, which must be repealed; and this never will I moved, and which came from my pen be done effectually without a reform in I am your Grace's the people's House of Parliament. All
most humble, and men ought to wish for this; but Peers
most obedient servant, more anxiously than any other men.
WM. COBBETT. But the miserable trick of adding six members, is a thing for a Russell to The Duke of RıcıMOND, in a day or propose, and for the people to laugh at : two after the above-mentioned debate, such things deceive no longer : the tinie gave notice of a motion relating to the is approaching, when we must have the poor ; and Lord Texnham spoke too on radical reform, or when you will have the subject. What passed is curious, my Lord STANHOPE's last stage !
very curious ! If this reform had taken place in " The Duke of Richmond gave notice 1817; if we had then had a reform bill “ that he should, on Tuesday week, instead of a dungeon bill, the affair“ propose to their Lordships to form a might have been settled without that | select committee to inquire into the appropriation of church property, which condition of the labouring classes. was prayed for in the Norfolk Peri- " He should move that their Lordships TIOX. Now it cannot; and, if your “ be summoned for that day, though he Grace will take the trouble to read that “ had not yet settled the terms in which document, which you will find in the “ his motion would be framed. votes of the people's House of Febru “ Lord Ternam: As he had given ary, 1823, you will see how my Lord " notice of a motion on this subject, Stanhope's last stage may yet be pre- " wished to state, that the object of his vented : and I verily believe that there “ motion would be to appoint a select exist no other means of prevention. “ committee to inquire into the office That great mass of public property," and duties of overseer. He knew that commonly called church property, must great cruelties were practised on the now be resorted to; and if your Grace" poor
in some places; that they were will but come to my next lecture, next" shut up in pounds, and otherwise Thursday night, you will be, I am sure, “ treated in a manner that was most convinced of the legality, the justice,“ oppressive. and the necessity of the measure.
" The Duke of RICHMOND disclaimed However, I have no objection to your all intention of interfering with the pursuing your own course ; only, excuse “ noble Lord. He had no intention of me if I laugh all the while. I should " meddling with the office of overseer, be a base hypocrite to affect not to feel “ and he thought it was wrong to throw delight at your embarrassment; and a “ indiscriminate blame on the overseers. scandalous coward not to avow that I “ They had an arduous and thankless do feel it. Twenty-five years of ridi- “ office to fulfil, and it was not his incule, scorn, contempt, obloquy, calum-" tention to attack that useful class of ny, imprisonment, exile ; these have 1" men.” endured, because, and only because, I By-and-by we will see a little more foresaw and foretold this ruin of the about this “ useful class of men.' We country, and laboured to prevent it; shall find them quite a new class ; a ruin which the Government and Parlia- class wholly unknown to the laws of ment would have prevented; but did England, as those laws existed from the not, only because they could not with- 430 of Elizabeth to the day of the Bill out it being manifest to all the world of Sturges Bourne, whose father had, that my advice had triumphed! Of for so many many years, fat livings in this monstrous fact the whole nation is the church, as by law established. now convinced. And now, at last, the However, let us first see a BISHOP, Government and l’arliament have no (pull off your hat, reader !) taking part means of escape, except those pointed with the poor! “On Friday last," say the
parliamentary reporters, "the Bishop“ national distress. The petition was i of Baru and Wells having, at every “ read, and laid on the table.” “period of his life, felt much interested Bravo! Never mind the ten years, “ in the condition of the poor, rose to during which I have been complaining “ call their Lordships' attention to a of the poor being worked like cattle,
petition he held in his hand from the and during which time the right rev. "inhabitants of Frome-Selwood, pray- i fathers in God have been silent on the “ing relief in their present unexampled subject ! Never mind that: the “sınall
state of distress. Nobody except those piece of land to be given to each poor “ who had seen the distress could be " family ” will make up for all! Yes, “lieve the degree to which at present with a parliamentary reform; but not
misery prevailed amongst all ranks. else, my Lord Bishop. As to the "Chris“ He would not say so if the facts had tian heroism,” however, it does not seem
not fallen under his own notice ; but to be so completely predominant in " he had seen them, and knew that what other parts as in the bishop's diocese, as " he said was true. At Wells, where he the following accounts will clearly show.
generally resided, the distress was The people, armed with cudgels (for " appalling to humanity; many of the they are not paupers), have, in several
poor creatures had no fuel. At Shep- places, collected the poor rates them“ ton-Mallet there was also great dis- selves; in others they have compelled the
tress, and so there was at Frome. At overseers to give them money; but, in “ various places the number of persons the following cases, in Kent, they ap“ claiming relief was greater than that pear to have shown still less of that “ of the rate-payers. Bath was secured patience which the bishop so much “ from some of the distress by its situ- * admires." I take both of the articles “ation ; and its liberal inhabitants had from the Morning Chronicle, into which “ nobly contributed to the relief of their they were copied from two country “ fellow-creatures' suffering. He had papers, both published in Kent.
scen those fellow-creatures yoked to "On Monday night last a parish “ carts which they were dragging through “ meeting was held at the Bull Inu, “ the country. They were ready to do “ Benenden, at which the perpetual
any thing to obtain the food of which“ overseer (who is also a schoolmaster) “ they stood in need. Though he was “and a large company of other persons « sensible of this great distress, he had “ were present. In the course of the “ voted against the motion of the night " debates which ensued, the brother of “ before, because he thought that was "the above individual, wishing to give “not the practical way of relieving dis-" his opinion privately to him, beckoned “ tress. With all their sufferings, the “ him to lean bis head forward that he “ people had displayed no violence or "might whisper to him. On his re“ disposition to turbulence. He ad
He ad- “ clining his head a gun was fired from “ mired very much that bravery which“ outside through the pane of glass or went forth to meet the enemies of the “ before which he was sitting, though “ country, and risked life in its defence; " fortunately without injury to any of o but he admired still more that Chris-“ the party, the shots passing just over “ tian hero who submitted with patience the shoulder of the overseer. Upon " and fortitude to the privations of his “ examination, the curtain which hung “condition. His Lordship concluded " before the window, had marks of 27 “ by recommending to their Lordships' “ shots having perforated it. Imme. “ consideration the prayer of the peti- " diately search was made, but the night “tion, to give to cach poor family a being very dark, the guilty person was “ small spot of land, which had been a “ not discovered."-Kentish GAZETTE. “ favourite object with him for thirty “ A letter from Maidstone, dated so
years; and by expressing his hope “ recently as Friday last, states an oc• that the noble Duke would do all currence in the same neighbourhood,
which lay in his power to relieve the " which proves that depravity more
" than keeps pace with the distress. of no use in the villages and hamlets, of “Last week, says our correspondent, which there are, in England and Wales, “ whilst an overseer was sitting at the more than twenty thousand! O Gou!
pay-table of a house, in the front of What must now be the life of a fariner! " which the applicants were assembled, This Government and Parliament have “ a loaded gun was discharged at bim shown how the most pleasant life in the " through the window; but providen- world is to be made the most miserable:
tially, at the very moment his head That very village of Benenden is one “ was turned, and the shot, to the num- of the most delightful spots in this “ber of - sixty, entered the wainscot whole kingdom : it is the village where “ close behind where the overseer sat. the poor cripple made, and makes, my " The miscreant was sought for imme- straw-plat. But this system would make
diately by the police, but to the dis- hell of a paradise. “ grace of those who witnessed the trans The state of things in Buckingham" action outside, and who might have shire is thus described in the Morning " ensured his apprehension, they made Herald of Monday last, 1st March : " no effectnal effort to prevent his es " The failure in the collection of the
cape. As respeets this county, we poor-rates, in different parts of the " believe the wants of the poor are country, continues to be of the most “ well attended to, and that none com “ alarming extent. “ plain without receiving attention ; in “ A few days since, a magistrate, near * “every case where necessity requires “ Aylesbury, in the county of Bucks, " an appeal to the magistrate, redress" was applied to in consequence of the al" is immediately granted. Even the most total failure of the occupiers in one “ poor themselves must reflect with parish to pay the poor-rates. Eighteen “ satisfaction, that in the most pressing “ warrants to levy the rates were grant" cases, no act of violence on their part “ed by that magistrate ; and the con“ has been recorded in our Journal. sequence was that ten of the parties * The conclusion at which a respectable immediately threw themselves on the “ London Morning Paper arrived last
parish. 6 week, that the crime of arson was “ In another parish, also in that coun
attributable to the pauper, and that ty, the magistrates have signed a rate " the sufferers were generally overseers, “ for one pound five shillings and six“cannot with justice apply to this “ pence in the pound-the average of “ county; and we have never felt a dis- “ the rent and value of the land being "position to believe that such diaboli-“ about ll. per acre. " cal acts have been confined to a class “ At the Aylesbury petty sessions last “ which comes under the denomination week, several of the poor of Hadden" of the rural population.'"
“ham preferred, before Sir J. King, These may relate to one and the same “ bart., the Rev. T. Archer, the Rev. č. transaction, though the circumstances “ Turnour, and the Rev. W. Wodley, are different. The last account is the “ magistrates, a complaint, “ that their most alarming by far ; for here are many "' overseers were in arrears with their persons who see the shot fired, and who“ payments, that they had nothing to take no steps to seize the offender; nay, " . eat, and that their credit was exwho do not so much as tell his name!" hausted.' Mr. Pigott, one of the This they are either unwilling to do, or overseers, replied that he had not the afraid to do, no matter which! When money to pay them, and entered into things have come to this pass, the end a detail of sums of money due from cannot be expected to be far distant. 1 “ different persons for poor-rates ; many hope it will come from a radical reform, “ of which, he added, were irrecoverbut it will come at any rate. Send troops! “ able; and he further stated, that the Poh! The Government is not fool non-payment of such sums was made enough for that. Oh no! As long as “ the ground of refusal with some others there is fire in the country, that will be " for not paying the demands on them
"for the rates. Sir J. King said, hel“ in the amount of subscriptions, during “ felt it to be his duty to state that," the past year, to the Welch Charity “ however kind might be the feeling School, the children in this benevolent “ which prompted Mr. Pigott to abstain “ institution will not walk in procession " from taking measures against those " from the schoolhouse, in Gray’s-inn“who refused payment, it was produc- “ road, to church, and from thence to the “ tive of great distress, and highly in- “ Freemasons' Tavern to dine this day, “jurious to the poor. Mr. Pigott must" as heretofore on the anniversaries of “ do his duty, and take out warrants of “ St. David. The number of children “ distress against all persons refusing to" in the school is considerably less than
pay the rates ; the poor must not be " it has been for some years past." "permitted to starve. Mr. Pigott there. Even the famous "HORTICULTURAL ,
upon promised to pay that afternoon Society" appears to be on the eve part of the money due to the poor.” of a change, owing to its debis !
After inserting this, the editor makes Thus all the stays are loosening : the these remarks : “ Will not these facts joints are giving way: it is like the “ arouse the Ministers to some notion falling of the hips of a cow just as she “ of the severity and extent the dis. is about to calve: let us pray for a “ tress of the country? Are we to wait happy accouchement of the system : it “ till the poor go and collect the rates has, that is one comfort, most able mid“ for themselves, as they did ncar wifes, all deeply skilled in the science': “ Windsor, near Maidstone, &c., with the distress is a sort of a national lying
cudgels in their hands, before our in: the pains are beginning to come “ Ministers shall be convinced of the on pretty sharply: we shall have a “ dreadfully distressed state of the coun- chopping offspring, I warranı it.
try? By the way, have any legal But now to the Duke Of Ricar“ proceedings been adopted against mond's “ useful class of men,” who “ those labourers who so went in bodies have a “ Thankless office to perform." " and extorted the rates so very uncere- Class of men! Why, we all belong to
moniously? and, if not, WHY?" this “ class," if we pay rates. Aye, Oh, Sir, the WHY is clear enough. but the new laws have taken this away The jails would not hold a hundredth from us, and have put the poor into the part of the offenders ; and before one hands of “ assistant overseers ;" that is set were put down, others would rise up: to say, HIRELINGS, brought geneOliyers, EDWARDS, and CASTLbses, rally from distant parts, and paid a saare of no avail here! Nothing will lary. The real old-fashioned overseer quell hunger in millions of men. The has no power at all in the giving of reother day, in the “most noble assembly lief: he is to collect the rates; but it is of free men in the world," "Mr. LITTLE- the HIRELING who is to dispense “ TON presented a petition from the them! Two Acts of Parliament, 58
clergyman of a parish in the county" of Good Old King," chapter 69; and “ of Salop, complaining of the complete 59 of “ Good Old King," chapter 12, “ falling off of divine roorship in his assented to by the Regent in the name "parish, which he attributed to the and on the behalf of his Majesty ; both " great distress of the people, prevent acts, I believe, brought in by STORGES ing them having DECENT APPAREL BOURNE ; these have totally altered the EITIER FOR TIEMSELVES OR THEIR law. Before I go further, I beg the
CHILDREN." Oh, no! jails and troops Duke of Richmond to look back at my have no terror when it comes to this second LECTURE to the Duke of WelToo poor to go to church! Another lington; Register 23, Feb. 1828, where curious instance of this sort is men- he will find the following passage. tioned in the Herald of Ist March “ It being then clear that this seem • (Saint David's Day), as thus : “ A cor- “ ingly unnatural and really horrible "respondent informs us, that in conse" liking for the jail in preference to their
quence of a considerable falling off“ own homes; it being unquestionable
" that this arises solely from the MI-“ that most serious alterations have been " SERY, the unbearable misery, which made in these laws. They have been " is the constant inmate of those homes; “ chipped and pared away by innume" the next question for you to ascertain rable acts of Parliament; every suc“ is, what is the immediate cause of that" ceeding act throwing an additional " misery : The cause is want of employ- “ obstacle in the way of obtaining relief. ment at wages sufficient to give ade- “ To mention only two; the Select quate food and raiment. This is the “ Vestry Bill has put the whole of the
cause. Hundreds, and even thousands, management of the rates, and all the “ have been the schemes to effect the "authority to afford relief, into the “ reduction of wages. The employers “ hands of the rich parts of the parish. " bare tortured their inventive powers" The overseer can no longer relieve at “ to discover the means of just giving his discretion : any feelings of com" enough to prevent the working people passion that may be excited in his " from dying, and yet, to have their breast at the sight of the miserable " labour at the same time, and all the object, or by his intimate acquaint“profits attending it. The law provided" ance with the sufferings of the works " safficient relief
. If you would, my" ing man's shed, are repressed and con" Lord Duke, devote only about four " trolled by the select vestry, who are “ hours to the reading of the Poor “ those who never behold the miserable “Man's Friend,' price less than one “ creatures, and who are, when they
day's pay to a common foot soldier, meet, to decide on their fate. Even
you would there see the rights of the “ the power of the magistrate is here “poor fairly stated, without the omis- “ put under control; and, in short, the “sion of a statement of their duties; poor are placed completely at the " and you would there see it proved,
mercy of the rich. “ beyond all contradiction, that, accord “ The other alteration, to which I al
ing to the law of nature, according to “ luded, is this : the authority which is " the common law of England, accord- " now given by law, to employ and to “ ing to the opinions of the fathers of “ pay out of the rates, agents called “ the church, of Grotius, of Puppen- " ASSISTANT OVERSEĚRS. The
DORF, and according to the doctrine“ work of grinding down the people to " elaborately laid down by Bacon, a a state of starvaiion is too painful for * man who cannot obtain a sufficiency “ the delicate nerves of the rich, and is, “ of the necessaries of life by any other “ therefore, delegated to an agent of “ means than that of taking the goods “ this description, the amount of whose “ of his neighbour, ought not to be " wages is to be GREAT in tbe pro“punished for taking such goods. You “ portion in which he can cause the “ would there find, that the most outgoings of the parish on account of
strenuous advocates for the sacredness" the poor, to be SMALL! Juilge you, of private property, amongst whom “ my Lord Duke, of the compassionate
are Hale and BLACKSTONE, insist,“ practices of such a man! Of all the " that under no circumstances whatever “ inventions that ever sprang from the “is a man justified in taking his neigh- “ human mind, not one, in blackness, " bour's property, in England; but that ever was equal to this." " (and I beg you to mark it) they build This is the “ class" of men ! this is " their doctrine solely upon the ground, the new class : this is the “ useful class " that no man in England can possibly of men,” who have the “ arduous and “ be in such a state of extreme neces- thankless task to perform.". These are “sity, because the POOR LAWS have, the useful men, who shut the labourers “ on every possible spot, provided him up in cattle-pounds! One of these, in “ with the means of relief.
Wiltshire, set the poor men to walk “ Agreed, if the Poor Laws still have backward and forward in a paddock " that effect; but you cannot but know, behind his house, carrying a heavy stone, " or at least you ought now to know, all the working hours; and this practice