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dicial to him, and so impolitic in only execute in sessions, of makits effects, as to counteract any ing orders of maintenance on near advantage which could be derived relations. from such diminution of litigation. That a power should also be These are among the reasons for given to enable overseers to rewhich the committee suppose that cover, by a summary process, the no alteration, short of that which possession of tenements which they venture to propose, would they may have rented and used for have the effect of removing the the accominodation of the poor, evil of litigation incident to the without being driven to the tedipresent law of settlement. But it ous and expensive proceeding by is to the labouring class of the way of ejectment. community that they conceive this Your committee moreover think, great alteration would be most that the vexation and expense of beneficial. It would insure their removals might, in some instances, being maintained where they had be saved, by an arrangement for maintained themselves; where they postponing the execution of the would be more likely, if merito. order, till after a final decision in rious persons, to experience in case of appeal. case of need the kindness of real It is also suggested, that the benerolence. It is hoped also that power given by the Mutiny Act it might operate as an inducement (vids 56 Geo. III. cap. 10, sect. to active, and faithful. service on 70,) “ to any justice of the peace, the one hand, and on the other, to where any soldier shall be quarterprevent such service being inter- ell, in case such soldier have either rupted by an interested consi. wife, child, or children, to exderation for parochial funds. And aminc such soldier as to the place they propose this alteration with of his last legal settlement, and the more confidence, because they which requires him to give an atthereby recommend the restoration tested copy to such soldier, of any of that law, which was coeval with affidavit made by bim in this re- • parochial contributions, whether spect, in order to be produced voluntary or compulsory; and when required ; and which probecause it is still the existing law vides that such attested copy shall in that part of the United King. be at any time admitted in evidom, Scotland, where the local dence, as to such last legal settlemanagement and maintenance of ment," be extended to any person the poor has been best conducted. confined in any gaol or place of
There are some other sugges. safe custody in Great Britain, protions of inferiorimportance, which vided that such copy of the examihave not found a place in the fore- nation shall not be admitted in going part of the Report, to which evidence after the discharge of your committee would refer be- such prisoner. fore they conclude their observa- By the act 22 Geo. III. c. 83, it tions.
is provided, that when any appliIt appears desirable, that jus. cation shall be made to a justice tices out of sessions should have of the peace for relief, such justice the power, which they can now shall not summon the guardian,
unless application shall have been riod of depression and distress first made by the applicant to the may bring out more prominently guardian, and if he refuses redress, the weak and unsound parts of to the visitor. In incorporated the system, it is obvious that the parishes, the visitor is frequently application of the most effectual from ten to fifteen miles distant remedies is at such a n:oment of from the residence of the pauper, more than ordinary difficulty. and frequently absent from home. And if it should be the pleasure of Some alteration in the law appears the House that the consideration necessary to obviate this incon. of this subject should be resumed venience.
in the next session of parliament, Your committee have thus stated no inconsiderable advantage will to the House the result of a la- be derived from thai mass of inborious investigation, which has formation contained in the returns been protracted to a period of the in 1815, to which they have not session which precludes their pro- yet bad access, and from a further posing at present such legislative valuable accession of detailed acenactments as it might be thought counts of the admirable practice fit to adopt. They cannot, how- of Scotland. erer, regret this circumstance; July 4, 1817. for, conceiving that the House expected at their hands a general revision of the whole system of The Committee appointed to eramine our Poor Laws, in which, though
the several Petitions, which hate it be not difficult to point out in
been presenied to the House against conveniences and mischiefs, yet
the Employment of Boys in sweepthe task of providing practical re
ing Chimneys; and who were emmedies is so arduous that your
powered to report the same, with committee is persuaded, that even
their Opinion and Observations more time and labour would not
thereupon, together with the Mihave been inispent in considering
nutes of the Evidence taken before further the various provisions of
them ;-having examined Erithe law, and the numerous pro
dence upon the subject, have agreed posals which, from different quar
to the following Report. ters, have been submitted to their judgment. The House also will Your committee have felt it not be called upon to adopt any their duty, in the first place, to of the suggestions of thiş Report, inquire into the law, that at pretill an ample opportunity will have sent regulate the tradeof chimney. been afforded to correct any errors. sweeping; and they find, that in in the judgment of your commit- the year 1788 an act of parliament tee, or to coufirm their opinions : (28 Geo. III. chap. 48,) was passand this delay will above all be sa. ed, entitled, “An Act for the betlutary, if the lapse of time, aidad ter regulation of Chimney-sleepty đ more favourable season, ers and their Apprentices." To should restore the kingdom in the preamble of which, they wish some degree to its wanted and to direct the attention of the healthy state. For, though a pe- House :- Whereas the laws now
in being, respecting masters and that it is the custom of the trade apprentices, do not provide suffi. to take the parent's word for the cient regulations, so as to prevent age of the apprentice that no various complicated miseries to other evidence is asked for that which boys employed in climbing he never heard of its being the and cleansing of chimneys are practice of the masters to get a liable, beyond any other employ- certificate of the age, and he was ment whatsoever in which boys of ignorant that the act of parliament tender years are engaged : and required it. Your committee rewhereas the misery of the said fer generally to the evidence for boys might be much alleviated, if proofs of the cruelties that are some legal powers and authorities practised, and of the ill-usage, were given for the regulation of and the peculiar hardships that are chimney-sweepers and their ap- the lot of the wretched children prentices."-This act, though it who are employed in this trade. It has in some respecto fulfilled the is in evidence that they are stolen intention of the legislature, yet from their parents, and inveigled your committee have heard in evi- out of workhouses; that in order dence before them, that its prin- to conquer the natural repugnance cipal enacting clause, viz. the re- of the infants to ascend the nargulating the age at which appren. row and dangerous chimneys, to tices shall be taken, is constantly clean which their labour is requir. evaded; and they are decidedly of ed, blows are used ; that pins are opinion, that the various and com- forced into their feet by the boy plicated miseries to which the un- that follows them up the chimney, fortunate children are exposed, in order to compel them to ascend cannot be relieved by regulations. it; and that lighted straw has The 28th of Geo. III. enacts, been applied for that purpose; "That no person shall employ any that the children are subject to boy, in the nature of an appren. sores and bruises, and woundo tice or seryant, under the age of and burns on their thighs, knees, eight years; yet your committee and elbows; and that it will rehave been informed, that infants quire many months before the exof the early ages of four, five and tremities of the elbows and knees six years, have been employed, it become sufficiently hard to resist being the practice for parents to the excoriations to which they are well their children to this trade, at tirst subject; and that one of ander-stating their age ; besides, the masters being asked if those this clause is not considered by boys are employed in sweeping the master chimney-sweepers as chimneys during the soreness of prohibiting their einployment of those parts, he answered, “It their own children; and instances depends upon the sort of master have been adduced before your they have got. Some are obliged committee, that have satisfied to pua them to work sooner than them that such cases are by no wthers; you must keep them a means unfrequent. Your com- little at it even during the sares, mittee have also heard, from one or they will never learn their of the master chimney-sweepers, business." Your committee are
informed, informed that the deformity of the tum; the witness never saw but spine, legs, arnis, &c. of these two instances of the former, boys, proceeds generally, if not though several of the latter. Mr. wholly, from the circumstance of Cline informed your committee by their being obliged to ascend letter, that this disease is rarely chimneys at an age when their seen in any other persons than bones are in a soft and growing chimney-sweepers, and in them state; but likewise, by their being cannot be considered as frequent; compelled to carry bags of sout for during his practice in St. and cloths, the weight of which Thomas's Hospital, for more than sometimes exceed twenty or thirty forty years, the number of those pounds, not including the soot, the cases could not exceed twenty; burthen of which they also occa. but your committee have been insionally bear for a great length of formed, that the dread of the opedistance and time; the knees and ration which it is necessary to ancle joints become deformed, in perform, deters many from subthe first instance, froin the position mitting to it; and from the evithey are obliged to put them in, in dence of persons engaged in the order to support themselves, not trade, it appears to be much more only while climbing up the chiin- common than Mr. Cline seems to ney, but more particularly so be aware of. But it is not only whilst coming down, when they the early and hard labour, the rest solely on the lower extremi- spare diet, wretched lodging, and ties, the arms being used for harsh treatment, which is the lot scraping and sweeping down the of these children, but in general soot. Your committee refer ge- they are kept almost entirely destinerally to the observation of every tute of education, and moral or one as to the stinted growth, the religious instruction ; they form deformed state of body, the look a sort of class by themselves, and of wretchedness and disease which from their work being done early characterizes this unfortunate in the day, they are turned into class ; but it is in evidence before the streets to pass their time in them, that there is a formidable idleness and depravity: thus they complaint which chimney-sweep become an easy prey to those ers in particular are liable to; whose occupation it is to delude from which circumstance, by way the ignorant and entrap the unof distinction, it is called the wary; and if their constitution is Chimney-sweeper's Cancer. Mr. strong enough to resist the disWright, a surgeon, informed eases and deformities which are your committee, that whilst he the consequences of their trade, was attending Guy's and Saint and that they should grow $0 Bartholomew's Hospitals, he had much in stature as no longer to several cases under his care, some be useful in it, they are cast upon of which were operated on; but the world without any means of in general they are apt to let them obtaining a livelihood, with no go too far before they apply for re- habits of industry, or rather, what lief. Cancers of the lips are not too freyuently happens, with conso general as cancers of the scro- firmcd habits of idleness and vice.
In addition to which, it appears, in general among the most respectthat from the trade being con- able part of the trade, the apstantly overstocked, a large pro- prentices are of the age prescribed portion of the older chimney by the act, viz. from 8 to 14; sweepers (as it is stated, one half) but even among the most respectare constantly in a course of being able it is the constant practice to thrown out of employ. Your borrow the younger boys from committee have endeavoured to one another, for the purpose of learn the number of persons who sweeping what are called the narmay be considered as engaged in row flues. No accurate account the trade within the bills of nior- could be obtained of the ages of tality: they have learnt that the the apprentices of the other clastotal number of master chimney ses ; but they had the youngest sweepers might be estimated at children, who either were their 200, who had among them 500 own, or engaged as apprentices; apprentices; that not above 20 of and who, in many instances, it those masters were reputable was ascertained, were much below tradesmen iu easy circumstances, the prescribed age; thus, the who appeared generally to conform youngest and most delicate childto the provisions of the act, and ren are in the service of the worst which twenty had, upon an aver- class of masters, and employed age, from four to five apprentices exclusively to clean Alues, which, each ; that about ninety were of an from their peculiar construction, inferior class of master chimney- cunnot be swept without great sweepers, who had, upon an ave personal hazard. rage, three apprentices each, and Your committee have had laid who were extremely negligent of before them an account of various their health, their morals, and their accidents that have happened to education ; and that about ninety, chimney-sweepers, by being forced the remainder of the 200 masters, to ascend these small fues. They were a class of chimney-sweepers beg leave to refer particularly to recently journeymen, who took a recent case, which occurred on up the trade because they had no Thursday the 6th day of March other resource-who picked up 1817, and which is contained in boys as they could-who lodged the minutes of evidence. They them with themselves in huts, wish also to direct the attention of sheds, and cellars, in the outskirts the House to one of those instances of the town, occasionally wander- of cruelty, which terminated in ing into the villages round : and the death of an infant of about that in these two classes, being in six years of age, in the month the proportion of 180 to 20, the of April 1816: William Moles miseries of the trade were princi- and Sarah his wife were tried pally to be found. It is in evin at the Old Bailey for the wildence before your committee, that ful murder of John Hewley alias at Hadleigh, Barnet, Uxbridge, Haseley, by cruelly beating him. and Windsor, female children - Under the direction of the learned have been employed.
judge, they were acquitted of the Your committee observe, that crime of murder, but the husband Vol. LIX.