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. Association Fon the RRLIEF AND BEN EFIT or Tii e MANU FACTUR in G AND LA, Bouring poon.
At a meeting of the nobility, clergy, gentry, bankers, merchants, and manufacturers, held on the 23d May, 1812, at Freemasou's Hall, Great Queen Street, London, for the purpose of taking into consideration the distressed state of the labouring poor in certain of the manufacturing districts, his Royal Highness the luke of York took the chair, supported by his royal brothers, the Dukes of , Kent and Cambridge, his Grace the Duke of a Rutland, and others of the nobility, &c. &c. At this meeting, it was resolved, That the distress of the labouring poor, in certain ... manufacturing districts, reuders it the duty
the kingdom, to contribute towards their relief, in addition, to such assistance as can be locally afforded, during the present interruption of employment and high price of provisions.—A subscription was immediately opened for these purposes, and a commuittee ... appointed, to consider and adopt the best *, means of carrying the benevolent intentions of the subscribers into effect. The Committee, after stating the consideraChrist. Osskav, No. 126.
tions which led to the formation of the present association, most anxiously recommend, as a measure of primary importance, the forming of local associations for the relief of the poor in the manufacturing towns and districts. In most of our great manufacturing towns such institutions have probably been already formed: but when once it becomes known that an association has been set on foot in the metropolis for aiding local cfforts, local associations will probably take place in districts, in which, without the hope of some more effectual means of relief than they possess within themselves, the attempt might be deemed impracticable. At the same time it is evident, that, without such local
associations, that in London, however liberally of their fellow-subjects, in other parts of .
supported, could administer but a very limited measure of relief. But it is not merely by augmenting the sunds of local institutions, that this association may be of use; it may be highly serviceable, by communicating useful information, and suggestions: while every distressed manufacturing district will know, that such an association has been formed, to which it may state its sufferings, and which will at least endeavour to lessen their amount.
The Committee are of opinion, that an in
crease of the quantity of our stock of subsistence, and increased frugality in the use of it, are the best expedients for relieving the public necessities. Under this persuasion, they will endeavour to augment the amount of national provisions, by the importation of rice, and other attainable articles of subsistence, more especially fish. Measures, indeed, have been taken for securing to the metropolis a considerable quantity of excellent fish, which, from the fear of not finding a sale, would not otherwise be brought to any market". Economy in using the means of subsistence we at present possess, is an object of supreme importance: the Committee strongly recommend to all persons of authority and influence to adopt the most effectual methods for promoting it, more particularly to lessen the consumption of any articles which form the subsistence of the poor. In some of the distressed districts, barley, and still more generally oats, are their ordinary food. By limiting the consumption of the latter article by horses, an immense amount of provisions night be preserved for the use of man. A voluntary agreement of this kind among the affluent is no new idea. An association of a similar nature was entered into, during the last scarcity; and while it shewed that the higher classes sympathised with the distresses of the lower, it produced no small augmentation of the general stock of subsistence. The Committee confine their proposal to the opulent only, but they are satisfied that its effects would be eventually extended to every branch of the community. As to the best methods of assisting the distressed; much, of course, must be left to the intelligence and prudence of the local associations. In some districts it has been "stated, that the poor are in want of potatoes for seed. In others, that having pawned their wearing apparel for much less than its real value, they would be greatly benefited, at a moderate expense, by being enabled to redeem it. In some cases, it may be most advisable to purchase necessary articles by wholesale, and to retail them at reduced rates. But the Committee, in throwing out this last suggestion, feel it their duty to add,
*The most complete success has attended the efforts of the Committee in this respect, and vast quantities of mackarel have been brought to London, and sold to the poor at a penny for each. Such, indeed, has been the extraordinary supply of this article, in consequence of the means adopted by the Committee, that the coarser parts of butcher's meat, being those chiefly purchased by the poor, have allen in Spitalhelds about 3d per lb.
that it should scarcely ever be adopted, unless in the case of articles which are not of primary necessity, or of which there is an ample, or rather a superabundant, supply. Nor can the Committee here forbear from warning the benevolent against all modes of administering relief that will occasion an unrestrained consumption of any articles which constitute the staple of the national subsistence. This is a warning, which considerations of humanity, no less than of policy, powerfully enforce, as, by acting on the opposite principle, the most fatal consequences might ensue. At the same time, the Committee express great satisfaction in hearing from all parts of the kingdom, that the present appearance of the crops affords the most encouraging prospect of an abundant harvest; and they, therefore, entertain strong hopes that the distress which it is the object of the association to relieve, as far as it proceeds from the high price of provisions, will be of short duration. An admirable plan for the establishment of local institutions for the relief of the poor has been printed, and circulated by the Committee. It is formed on the model of a soup society, established in the poor and populous district of Spitalfields, which has afforded substantial relief to the distressed manufacturers, and has given rise to many important plans for the alleviation of human misery. The history of the origin of this society is instructive and encouraging, as it shews how much good may be ultimately effected by the labours of a few persons in the first instance : and the plan itself, as it has been remarkably successful, may serve as a model for similar institutions. In the year 1797, an individual, affected with the sufferings of the poor in Spitalfields, many of whom were starving, resolved to procure, if possible, the co-operation of some of his friends in a plan for affording relief to a few of the worst cases, and to ascertain which were really such, by visiting them in their houses. He communicated his idea to a friend. These two persons called a meeting of a few of their friends at a private house, wherein the subject was discussed. At a second meeting, about twenty were present, and this company resolved to form themselves into a society for the purpose of supplying the poor with meat soup at a penny per quart. A subscription was commenced, the society rapidly increased, and in the course of a few days a committee was formed. Sub-committees were appointed to draw up rules and regulations, and by a division of labour in this way, the society was quickly organized. The sub-committee appointed for that purpose soon met with eligible premises at No. 53, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, and no time was lost in adapting them to the purposes of the institution. Tickets were printed, and issued to the subscribers. On the first day of delivery the visitors attended, under no small degree of anxiety as to the result of their experiment. It succeeded, however, to their utmost wish : the applicants paid the penny per quart with cheerfulness, and carried home a supply of food which they could not have prepared of equal quality themselves, for four or five times that sum. The committee purchase at the first hand, at wholesale prices, meat, barley, &c. of prime quality; and as every thing is done by sub-committees and individuals, from the purest and most disinterested motives, there are no salaries for clerks, no commission to agents: the only expense beyond that of the ingredients of the soup is the rent of the premises, the hire of servants to prepare the soup under the iuspection of the visitors, and a moderate allowance to the superintendant. In the choice of the latter, the tommittee was most fortunate; they found a married woman possessing every requisite qualification for the office, which she has continued to discharge, with great credit to herself and benefit to the institution, down to the present day. The committee consists of above fifty gentlemen, some of them churchmen, and the rest dissenters of different denominations, who regularly meet once a sortnight, and transact their business with great harmony and regularity. Deeply sensible that the success of every chaiily mainly consists in personal inspection, and in a scrupulous and minute attention to all the details connected with it, the committee has framed its regulations accordingly. A constant oversight is kept up by the members of the committee in rotation, and the whole so contrived as not to press heavily upon any individual. It comes only to the turn of the same individual to attend at the making and distribution of the soup once in three weeks; and the days being fixed, every one knows his time. It has been found of great advantage to appoint sub-committees for particular purposes; one to provide the ineat, another for barley and peas, a third for pepper and salt, and a fourth for onions: there is also a committee for inspecting the visitors' book, and bringing forward any remarks recorded in that book which may appear of sufficient consequence to engage the attention of the
committee. There are other sub-committees for different purposes. The poor person takes the recommendation to the visitors at the soup house. It is here numbered, put upon a file, and the applicant receives a ticket in its stead, bearing the same number as that put upon the recommendation. It is usual to allow one quart of soup to every two persons in a family. In the boiling-house are five cast-iron boilers of different capacities, capable of making from 3000 to about 3300 quarts of soup. The following are the ingredients for one of the large boilers, which furnishes from 700te 800 quarts of soup. Beef, 200 lb.; Scotch barley, 100 lb.; split peas, 76 lb.; onions, 10 lb.; salt, 15 lb.; pepper, 15 oz. The original practice for some time was, to make the soup principally from the coarser pieces of beef; but the society has latterly adopted the plan of buying quarters of beef only, lest the demand on the market for coarser pieces should, by raising the price, be of prejudice to individuals, who may be in the habit of providing themselves with these only. Every article in the soup is of the best quality that cau be procured. Every quart of this soup contains the essence of about five ounces of beef, and nearly three ounces of solid barley and peas. It possesses the advantage of being ready cooked. Two or three quarts of it, if mixed with boiled potatoes, would furnish a savoury meal for a large family. The whole of the meat is cut up, and put into the boilers in the evening, and is left to simmer all night. During this time it becomes thoroughly stewed down, and the fleshy fibres equally distributed through the whole mass. The men come at six o'clock in the morning, rouse up the fires, add the barley and pease, and at eight o'clock the onions, pepper, and salt; and the whole is kept constantly stirred until it is served out. In order to prevent loss of time in disputing whether the money be good or not, the committee has ordered that ouly penny pieces, new halfpence, or silver be taken. The committee, indeed, has been very anxious to economize the time of the poor, and improvements suggested by experience have shortened the time of delivering the soup to limits scarcely credible; for some perhaps will not without difficulty be brought to believe, that upwards of three thousand quarts are daily distributed to above one thousand . persons applying for their families, their money taken, and their tickets marked, in less than two hours and a quarter on an ave
Yage: it has been done frequently within the two hours. The average of the detention of each person during the delivery, from the time of entering the house at one door and quitting it at the other, is about thirty-eight minutes; and as a great number of those who come for the soup, are either children, or aged persons past any very beneficial labour, it is evident that not much valuable time is lost in fetching it. In order to shelter the poor from the inconveniences and danger of being exposed to the weather, the committee has found means to receive about three hundred persons at once under cover; and to prevent that violence and confusion which at first were subjects of just complaint, a kind of railing has been constructed, which insures order by obliging each person to follow in regular succession to the place of serving. The average daily quantity of soup delivered is above 3100 quarts, and the daily cousumption of beef is 856 lb.; of Scotch barley, 426 lb.; of split peas, 317 lb.; of onions, 40 lb.; of pepper, 3 Ib. 14 oz.; of salt, 62 lb. It is calculated, that a meal is thus furnished for 7000 persons every day. The beef alone which enters into the composition of every quart, costs the institution twopence at the wholesale price: if this portion of meat were distributed to the poor, raw, it must be cooked ; if roasted or fried, besides the expense of fire, there would be waste: if boiled, some of the gelatine, one of the most nutritious parts of the meat, would be disdissolved out by the water; but in this mode of cooking the whole of the mourishment is preserved. For the detailed regulations for the proper management of such an institu"tion, we must refer to the account published by this association, which may be had on application to the secretary, W. G. Carter, Esq., John Street, America Square. The Committee suggest to local associations, that as all attempts to relieve the poor in a time of scarcity, by enabling them to purchase bread, flour, or meal, at reduced prices, has a direct tendency to increase the scarcity, it is strongly recommended that their attention be principally directed to such nourishing substitutes as rice and pease, also dried and fresh fish, where the latter can be procured, and to shops for the sale of these articles, at reduced prices, to persons who bring tickets; that a small tract or paper be circulated among the families of the industrious poor, pointing out the method by which they may form wholesome and palatable dishes at a rheap rate, from articles either to be purchas
ed at the market, or supplied as above; and that a ladies' committee be formed to attend to the cases of distressed lying-in women, and to clothing for the female poor, to which committee all cases within its province should be referred by the gentlemen's coin mittee.
All local establishments are requested to appoint one of their body to correspond with the Secretary of the London society; and if an account of the state of a place where distress revails has not been already forwarded, it would be desirable to receive it under the following heads, viz. extent of the distress; cause of the distress; employment of the poor and their average earnings; price of provisions; nature and extent of attempts at relief; general remarks, The principal object of this society is to administer such assistance to local establishments as the case may require, and their funds permit. And as the pressure on the labouring poor is pretty much confined to certain districts, while others are comparatively free, it is earnestly recommended to benevolent persons in the latter, to form auxiliary societies in aid of the pa. rent institution; and as on the above plan of personal inspection there will be ample security against a waste of the funds, the sums subscribed will be made to produce the greatest possible quantity of good, and the extent of the relief will only be limited by the extent of the means which this society may be enabled to employ.
prA Y FR-rook AND Homily society.
Since our last number was published, this infant society has become the subject of ve. lement attack, by persons calling themselves Churchinen. One man has assiduously circulated “a Consideration of the Reasons for establishing this Society,” and even Dr. Marsh, the Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge, has condescended to devote eleven pages of a new pamphlet to the purpose of discrediting this attempt to give additional circulation to the authorised compositions of the Church of England.
lt certainly is somewhat singular, not only that such an institution should be opposed by persons calling themselves Churchmen, but that the man who heads the opposition should be the very man who has sounded the alarm of the Church being in danger from the inadequate distribution of the Liturgy.
join has written a book to convince the
world that the Bible Society win overturn the Church, because it does not distribute
the Liturgy. The world, however, will not
populous district. Suppose some man were
consequences he has deduced from it. His inference is certainly not very logical. For our own parts, we deny it in toto. But
we should be willing to concede this point to Dr. Marsh, to allow him the triumph of having originated this society, if he would only support his own offspring. His conduct, however, is not a little unnatural. He claigns to be the father of the child, and yet re