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apanaceafor all our difficulties, and that it would do nothing. To suppose that education would do everything, was absurd ; that it would do nothing, was still more 50, John Locke said, “I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts in ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education; it is that which makes the great difference in mankind;” whilst the language of Solomon was, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Had any one shown any other means by which to attain so desirable an end? The growing spirit of democracy made it especially necessary to the safety of the country, that the public mind should be enlightened, by means of a sound, moral, and religious education, so that the working-classes might acquire that Sober, self control, which would enable them to govern and repress the workings of their passions. In spite, however, of all that had been done by the National Society, and Dissenting bodies, there still remained a terrible wilderness of spiritual destitution. Lord Ashley illustrated that p0sition by statistical figures. In 1801 the population of England and Wales was 8,872,980, whilst in 1841 the returns gave 15,906,829, showing an increase of more than 7,000,000 in less than half a century. Taking one-fifth of the present population, which, by the way, was understating it, as the number supposed to be capable of Some education, we should have 3,181,365. Deducting one-third from those as persons presumed to be educated at private expence, therewould still remain 2,120,910. Making a further deduction for

children supposed to be in Unionhouses of 50,000, and also, deducting 10 per cent. for absence and casualties, which would be 212,091, there would still remain 1,858,819, to be provided for at the public expense. Now, it appeared from tables made out by the Rev. Mr. Burgess of Chelsea, that the total number of daily scholars in connexion with the Established Church was 749,626; and from the same table it appeared that the total number of daily scholars in connexion with the Dissenting bodies was 95,000. The total number, then, of daily scholars in England and Wales was 844,626; leaving, without any daily instruction, 1,014,193 persons capable of some education. The number of commitments in 1841 of persons of all ages, was 27,760; and o' those, 11% per cent. on the whole amount were under sixteen years of age. Lord Ashley, quoted a great quantity of local statistics, taken from the Reports of the Children's Employment Commission, of the Factory Commissioners, and from private correspondence, mainly relating to the large manufacturing towns and mining districts. Of these we take an extract respecting Manchester, as a specimen of the facts set forth : — By the Police-returns for Manchester, made up to December, 1841, it appeared that 13,345 persons were taken into custody, of whom 10,208 were discharged by the Magistrates without any punishment. Of these, 3,069 were under twenty years of age, and 745 were females. The return for the next six months, namely to July, 1842, of persons taken into custody was 8,341; and if the whole year bore alike proportion,the number would

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CHAPTER III.

Further Debates on Domestic Affairs. On 28th February Lord Ashley moves an Address to the Cronun on behalf of Education for the Working-Classes —He enters into some shocking details of the Moral Condition of Great Towns—Speech of Sir Jas. Graham—He propounds the Intentions of the Government respecting Education— Remarks of Lord John Russell, Lord Sundon, Sir R. Inglis, Mr. C. Buller, and Sir R. Peel—The Motion is agreed to unanimously— Mr. C. Buller proposes on 8th April a Plan for Systematic Colonization—His copious and able Speech—Concluding nith a Motion for an Address to the Cronn–Lord Ashley seconds the Motion—Mr. Sharman Cranford opposes it, and moves an Amendment, seconded by Mr. John Fielden—Mr. Gally Knight supports the Motion— Lord Stanley expresses his concurrence in Mr. Buller's sentiments, but opposes the Motion as uncalled for, on the ground that an extensive system of Emigration n’as already carried on under Government —He moves the previous Question—Remarks of Lord Hon'ick, Sir R. H. Inglis, Lord Francis Egerton, Lord John Russell, Sir Honard Douglas, and Mr. Stuart Wortley—Mr. C. Buller replies, and nithdraws his Motion—Mr. S. Cranford's Amendment is also nvithdranwn.

HE discussion on the distressed state of the country, of which a summary has been given in the preceding chapter, will be appropriately followed by a notice of some other debates which took place subsequently in this session, relating to cognate topics of domestic policy. , Lord Ashley, whose philanthropic exertions on behalf of the neglected population of the great manufacturing towns have been already recorded in former volumes of this work, resumed early in the present session his labours in the same field. On the 28th of February, he moved the

following Resolution in the House
of Commons:—
“That an humble Address be
presented to Her Majesty, praying
that Her Majesty will be graciously
pleased to take into her instant
and serious consideration the best
means of diffusing the benefits and
blessings of a moral and religious
education among the working-
classes of her people.”
The present, he said, was a
favourable time for the opinion,
which he was about to propound,
when the public mind was almost
equally distant between the two
extremes, that education would be

a panacea for all our difficulties, and that it would do nothing. To suppose that education would do everything, was absurd ; that it would do nothing, was still more so. John Locke said, “I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts in ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education; it is that which makes the great difference in mankind;” whilst the language of Solomon was, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Had any one shown any other means by which to attain so desirable an end ? The growing spirit of democracy made it especially necessary to the safety of the country, that the public mind should be enlightened, by means of a sound, moral, and religious education, so that the working-classes might acquire that sober, self control, which would enable them to govern and repress the workings of their passions. In spite, however, of all that had been done by the National Society, and Dissenting bodies, there still remained a terrible wilderness of spiritual destitution. Lord Ashley illustrated that position by statistical figures. In 1801 the population of England and Wales was 8,872,980, whilst in 1841 the returns gave 15,906,829, showing an increase of more than 7,000,000 in less than half a century. Taking one-fifth of the present population, which, by the way, was understating it, as the number supposed to be capable of some education, we should have 3,181,365. Deducting one-third from those as persons presumed to be educated at private expence, there would still remain 2,120,910. Making a further deduction for

children supposed to be in Unionhouses of 50,000, and also, deducting 10 per cent. for absence and casualties, which would be 212,091, there would still remain 1,858,819, to be provided for at the public expense. Now, it appeared from tables made out by the Rev. Mr. Burgess of Chelsea, that the total number of daily scholars in connexion with the Established Church was 749,626; and from the same table it appeared that the total number of daily scholars in connexion with the Dissenting bodies was 95,000. The total number, then, of daily scholars in England and Wales was 844,626; leaving, without any daily instruction, 1,014, 193 persons capable of some education. The number of commitments in 1841 of persons of all ages, was 27,760; and o' those, 11% per cent. on the whole amount were under sixteen years of age. Lord Ashley quoted a great quantity of local statistics, taken irom the Reports of the Children's Employment Commission, of the Factory Commissioners, and from private correspondence, mainly relating to the large manufacturing towns and mining districts. Of these we take an extract respecting Manchester, as a specimen of the facts set forth : — By the Police-returns for Manchester, made up to December, 1841, it appeared that 13,345 persons were taken into custody, of whom 10,208 were discharged by the Magistrates without any punishment. Of these, 3,069 were under twenty years of age, and 745 were females. The return for the next six months, namely to July, 1842, of persons taken into custody was 8,341; and if the whole year bore alike proportion, the number would be 16,682. Of the 8,341 there were 5,810 males, and 2,531 females. What was the state of education in Manchester He would set but little by the mere fact of reading and writing; but yet it should be remembered that when a child was unable to read, one channel of instruction was closed upon him. Of the persons so committed, it appeared that the number who only read, or who read and wrote imperfectly, was —males, 1,999: females, 863. Of those who neither read nor wrote —males, 3,098 ; females, 1,519: making a total of 4,617. The number of those from fifteen years of age and under twenty was 2,360; and of these 1,639 were males, and 721 females. Take what might be called the curable portion, at ten years and under fifteen, at 665 : of these 547 were males, and 118 females. There were discharged by the Magistrates in the course of six months without punishment, 6,307 persons; which was at the rate of 12,614 in a year. Was it to be wondered at that crime should so abound, where there was every incentive to its committal P Hn Manchester, there were 129 pawnbrokers, 769 beer-houses, 498 public-houses, 309 brothels, 119 brothels lately suppressed, 163 houses where prostitutes are kept, 223 houses where they resort, and 763 street-walkers in the borough. The thieves known to reside in the borough, and who did nothing but steal, were 212. The persons following some lawful occupation, but who augmented their gains by habitual violation of the law, were 160. There were sixty-three houses for receiving stolen goods, and thirty-two others had been lately suppressed. Of lodging

houses, where the sexes indiscriminately slept together, there were 109. Another cause which tended to increase the amount of juvenile crime in Manchester was, that a vast number of children of tender years were allowed by their parents to roam through the streets, where they necessarily contracted the most idle and dissolute habits. The number of children found wandering about the streets, and restored to their parents by the police, in 1836, was 8,500; and in 1840 the number so restored was 5,500. It was calculated, that in the borough of Manchester 1,500 children are annually added to les classes dangereuses. Lord Ashley gave similar accounts respecting Birmingham, where the mistress of a dame school, being asked whether she gave moral and religious instruction, said she could not afford it at three-pence a week! Leeds presented the same spectacle; the juvenile depravity being there seen in its most horrid forms. “The spirit of lawless insubordination,” says Mr. Symons, the Sub-Commissioner, “which prevails at Leeds among the children is very manifest; it is matter for painful apprehension. James Child, Inspector of Police, said, “There is a great deal of drunkenness, especially among the young people. I have seen children very little higher than the table at these shops.’ ‘John Stubbs, of the Police force, confirms all the above testimony. “We have a deal of girls on the town under fifteen, and boys who live by thieving. There are half-a-dozen beer-shops where none but young ones go at all ; they support these houses.’” The Rev. Mr. Livesey, minister of St. Phillip's, where there is a population of 24,000, almost exclusively of the labouring classes, stated, that “the moral condition of the children was, in numerous instances, most deplorable. On Sunday afternoons it is impossible to pass along the highways, &c., beyond the police boundaries, without encountering numerous groups of boys, from twelve years and upwards, gaming for copper coin. The boys are early initiated into habits of drinking. But the most revolting feature of juvenile depravity is early contamination from the association of the sexes. The outskirts of the town are absolutely polluted by this abomination; nor is the veil of darkness or seclusion always sought by those degraded beings. Too often they are to be met in small parties, who appear to associate for the purpose of promiscuous intercourse; their ages being apparently about fourteen or fifteen.” And the Rev. Mr. Farish adds, “There are beerhouses attended by youths exclusively, for the men will not have them in the same houses with themselves.” Mr. Hugh Parker, Justice of the Peace, gave the following account—“A great proportion of the working-classes are ignorant and profligate — the morals of their children exceedingly depraved and corrupt — given at a very early age to petty theft, swearing, and lying; during minority to drunkenness, debauchery, idleness, profanation of the Sabbath, dog and prize fighting.”

The like accounts were given of Wolverhampton, and its neighbourhood, Warrington, the Potteries, Nottingham, and Sheffield. At Bilston the moral condition of the young, though with some exceptions, was on the whole very

superior, owing to the great exertions of some persons in the place. The evidence of John Corbett, a Birmingham mechanic, who was examined by Dr. Grainger, was very striking.— This poor but intelligent man stated, “I have seen the entire ruin of many families from the waste of money and the bad conduct of fathers and sons seeking amusement and pastime in an alehouse: from no other single cause does half so much demoralization and misery proceed.” He then added a most valuable sentence: and, speaking of what he had seen at his own house of the conduct of his own father and mother, said, “My own experience tells me that the instruction of females in the work of a house, in teaching them to produce cheerfulness and comfort at the fireside, would prevent a great amount of misery and crime. Then there would be fewer drunken husbands and disobedient children. As a working man, within my own observation, female education is disgracefully neglected. I attach more importance to it than to anything else.” Some of Lord Ashley's correspondents attributed the spirit of disaffection to the want of education. — A correspondent in the disturbed districts wrote, “I took down myself the following words as they fell from the lips of a Chartist orator—“The prevalence of intemperance and other vicious habits was the fault of the aristocracy and the millowners, who had neglected to supply the people with sufficient means of moral improvement, and it would form an item of that great account which they should one day be called upon to render to a people indignant at

the discovery of their own debase

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