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The said corporations are moreover, as soon as they Houses of Inpossess sufficient funds, to build hospitals to be called dustry or Workwork houses or houses of industry for the relief of the poor, houses to be proin their respective counties, "as plain, as durable, and vided.

prehended.

at as moderate expense as may be ;" which hospitals are to be divided into four parts, one for such poor helpless men, and one other for such poor helpless women as shall be judged worthy of admission; a third for the reception of men able to labour and committed as vagabonds or sturdy beggars; and the fourth for idle, strolling, and disorderly women, committed to the hospital and found fit for labour. Every man above the age of fifteen found begging Persons begwithout a licence and not wearing a badge, is to be ging without a committed to the stocks for any time not exceeding license to be apthree hours for the first offence, and six hours for every subsequent offence; and old persevering offenders may be indicted at the sessions, and if convicted are to suffer imprisonment not exceeding two months; after which, if they again offend, they may be publicly whipped, and be again imprisoned for four months, and so on continually for every subsequent offence. Every female found begging without a licence and badge, may be confined in any place appointed for that purpose, not exceeding three hours for the first offence, and for every subsequent offence not exceeding six hours; and every old and persevering offender is, as in the case of the men, to be proceeded against at the sessions; and in order that these directions may be carried into effect, the corporations are empowered to appoint such and so many persons as they shall think fit, at reasonable salaries, to seize and arrest all such persons whom they shall find begging without such licence and badge, and carry them before the next justice, who may commit the party to the stocks or otherwise as aforesaid." Justices are moreover empowered on their own view, to cause such persons to be seized and dealt with as is above directed for every first and subsequent offence.

46

Poor children

to be provided

for

Whenever a poor person deemed worthy of having a licence to beg, has one or more children under the age of ten years not apprenticed or otherwise provided for, the age and number of such children are to be inserted in the licence, by the person applied to in such case, or be may at his or their election take such and so many of them as he or they shall think fit from the parent, and convey such child or children to the committee of that county, city or town, and insert the names of the rest in the parents' license. If any fatherless or desert. ed poor children under eight years of age are found strolling or begging, they are to be conveyed to the committee of the particular county, city or town, to be placed in such charter school or nursery as will receive them when under eight, and the rest to be apprenticed. The committees are required to keep up a correspondence with the Protestant Charter Schools Society, that they may be informed from time to time when there is accommodation for poor children, in order that all poor children may as much as possible be prevented from strolling, and may be put to trades or to industry."

* Ante, p. 25.

ted.

As soon as the houses of industry are provided and furnished for the purpose, the corporations are to place therein so many vagrants, sturdy beggars, and vagabonds, and so many helpless poor as their funds admit of; and they are authorised to "require and seize every Strolling vaga- strolling vagrant capable of labour who hath no place bonds to be seiz- of abode, and who doth not live by his or her labour or ed and commit- industry, and every person above the age of fifteen who shall beg publicly without a licence or badge, and every strolling prostitute capable of labour, and to commit the said persons to the divisions allotted for them respectively in the said houses, and there to keep them to hard labour, and compel them to work, maintaining them properly," and inflicting reasonable punishment when necessary, for the periods named in the Act, varying from two months to four years.

ments.

In order to furnish some revenues for the said corporations at the outset, the grand juries are required to present Money to be provided by Grand annually at every spring assizes in every county of a city Jury Present- or town, to be raised off the lands and houses equally and rateably, any sum not less than £100 nor more than £200, and in every county at large not less than £200, nor more than £400, to be assessed and collected as other county taxes are, and paid to the corporations respectively, without fee or deduction whatever, for the charitable purpose of the Act. All rectors, vicars, and incumbents of parishes, are required likewise to permit such clergymen as the respective corporations may appoint to preach sermons in their churches annually, and to permit collections to be made for the objects contemplated by the Act.

We here see that provision has been made, partly by compulsory assessment, partly by voluntary contributions, and through the instrumentality of corporations especially appointed for the badging and licensing of the poor to beg, for providing hospitals, workhouses, or houses of industry in every county at large and county of a city or town for separately confining therein able-bodied vagabonds and disorderly women who are to be kept to hard labour-and for the maintenance therein of poor helpless men and women. Authority is likewise given to seize any one begging without a badge or licence, and to send such as are above fifteen to the house of industry for punishment, whilst the children are to be placed at school or put out on trade or service, and finally, persons are appointed at reasonable salaries to carry these enactments against unlicensed begging into effect."

Thus we see that Pauper Legislation in Ireland, with that tendency ever marking such legislation to go hunting after and to adopt at once, when found, any and every shift and expedient that presents itself no matter how discredited by experience elsewhere, had recourse in 1771, to the exploded crotchets of the 16th century in England. Licences and badges, entitling those possessed of them to the high privilege of begging, are provided for the "deserving" poor, and imprisonments,

hard labor, and corporeal punishment, for those whom the local authorities should adjudge to be fit but unwilling to work. No reservation in the latter case seems to have been made in favor of the able-bodied who could not find work. To the more antiquated English crotchets was superadded the Irish one of Charles the First's reign, constituting foundling hospitals, and the ends of proselytism were sought to be advanced by classes disposing not only of foundling children at the will of the governors and managers of the workhouses, &c., (all necessarily Protestants), but giving power forcibly to take away from even the licensed and badged beggars such and so many of their children as the local authorities should desire, and to put them in the long notorious "Charter-schools," there to be brought up as "true Protestants."

Our author now comes down to the Legislative Union, and with the same oracular enunciation which gives such dignity to all his other solemn dicta, expresses his high approval of that measure-an approval which doubtless for ever concludes all controversy on the subject! He then proceeds to notice, certain acts passed subsequent to the union, which it will be requisite to notice, as they shew the views of the now united Parliament in regard to Ireland and the relief of the Irish poor, and form also a necesary introduction to the more important measure of 1838.

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The first of these acts is the 41st Geo. 3, cap. 73, which directs the application of certain sums of money granted by Parliament to the Dublin Society and the Farming Societies-namely £4,500 Irish, to the first towards completing their repository in Hawkins'-street, and the botanic garden at Glasnevin, and £2,000 towards the purposes of the farming societies for the present year.... The 45th Geo. 3, cap. 111 recites that whereas the distance of many parts of each county from its infirmary, does not allow the poor of those parts the advantage of immediate medical aid, it is enacted that where the governors of the county infirmary certify to the grand jury that they have received from private subscription any sum for establishing a dispensary, the grand jury may raise from the county at large an equal sum for the purpose The 46 Geo. III., cap. 95, entitled "an Act for the more effectually providing for the relief of the poor and the management of infirmaries and hospitals." It directs, among other things, that with sanction of the going judges of assize, grand juries may present and levy from 4 to £700 towards building &c., houses of industry. . . . . In 1809 the 49 Geo. III. c. 101, enacted that the lord lieutenant might appoint nine commissioners for ascertaining the extent of such bogs as exceed 500 acres, and the practicability, mode, and expense of draining them, &c., &c., with a view to providing employment for the people, and "securing a supply of flax and

hemp for the linen manufacture and the use of the navy," &c., &c., (pp. 73-76.)

The 54th Geo. III. c. 112, empowered grand juries to present for fever hospitals, and the 58th Geo. III. cap. 47,enlarged the provisions of the preceding act, and made "other regulations for relief of the suffering poor." The 59 Geo. III. cap 41, followed, appointing officers of health to carry out these and other sanitary measures, and mean. time the 57 Geo. III. cap. 106,empowered the lord lieutenant to order the erection of lunatic asylums. (pp. 77-80.)

"The year 1822 was a period of much distress in Ireland, and the 3 Geo. IV. chapters 3 and 84,were passed empowering the lord lieutenant to order advances from the public Treasury in certain cases, anticipatory of grand jury presentments for the employment of the poor; and further advances (beyond the amount of such presentments) for extraordinary expenses for the same object. . . . . In 1825 the 6 Geo. IV.chapter 102, levied £5 on every parish where a deserted child was found, for the maintenance of that child-being the first act to give a legislative sanction to the rating of a parish for the relief of a destitute class found therein. (p. 80.)

Having thus enumerated all the acts actually passed previous to 1888, in any degree paving the way for a formal and regular legislative provision for the poor, and partaking in more or less degree of the nature of poor laws, our author proceeds to treat of the reports of committees on the state, &c., of the Irish poor in the interval between the Union and the year above mentioned.

In 1804 a committee specially appointed to make enquiry "respecting poor in Ireland," resolved that," the adoption of a general system of provision for the poor in Ireland, by way of parish-rate as in England or in any similar manner, would be highly injurious to that country, and would not produce any real or permanent advantage even to the lower class who must be its objects."-And they further resolved that the acts for establishing houses of industry, &c., &c., had only been very partially complied with-and after dealing with a few other matters, concluded their report by recommending that the very important objects referred to them should be taken up again in the ensuing session; which was not however done." (pp. 82-83.)

In 1819 a committee, of which Sir John Newport was chairman, was appointed to enquire into the state of disease and also into the condition of the labouring poor of Ireland . . . . . They "considered the prevalence of contagious fever a calamitous indication of general distress," and in order to "prevent the migration of large bodies of mendicants pressed by want, who fatally contributed to the general diffusion of disease," they recommend that magistrates, churchwardens, &c., "be empowered to remove out of their respective parishes any persons found begging or wandering as vagabonds; or to confine such persons to hard labour for 24 hours, or adopt both measures; and to cause their persons and clothes to be washed and cleansed.".

.. The

committee then express their intention of proceeding to enquire into the practicability of ameliorating the condition of the labouring poor, "by facilitating the application of the funds of private individuals and associations for their employment in useful and productive labour." Their enquiries under this head were particularly directed towards agriculture and the fisheries, as being the two most important departments of labour, and as those "which are capable of the greatest extension without hazarding re-action." They consider the report of the Bog-commission to prove the immense amount of land easily reclaimable and convertible to the production of grain almost without limit" -whilst "the small extent to which the commissioners' recommendations have been acted upon, domonstrates lamentably that want of capital which in Ireland unnerves all effort for improvement."

In 1823 another committee, with the present Lord Monteagle as chairman, was appointed "to enquire into the condition of the labouring poor in Ireland, with a view to facilitate the application of funds of private individuals and associations for employment of the poor in useful and productive labour." They recommended "the encouragement of the fisheries, erection of piers, formation of harbours, and opening of mountain roads." In conclusion, admitting the danger attending all interferences with industrial pursuits, which prosper best when left to their own natural development, they yet consider that the state of Ireland constituted her an exception to the general rule, and that the aid of Government in support of local effort was there absolutely necessary. (pp. 86-95.)

At the end of seven years-in 1830-another committee was appointed to "take into consideration the state of the poorer classes in Ireland and the best means of improving their condition," and they made a very elaborate and comprehensive report. They estimated the unemployed at from one-fifth to one-fourth of the population, and said that this fact, combined with the system of managing land, "produced misery and suffering which no language could adequately describe:" "where the increase of the population of a country proceeds in a greater ratio than the increase of her wealth (they observe) an increase of distress among the poor may be concurrent with an augmentation of national wealth," and this they considered to be the case of Ireland. Considering it impossible correctly to estimate the condition of the poorer classes without looking into the nature of the relations between landlord and tenant, they give great attention to this part of the subject. **** After describing the state of those relations and the causes of the evils marking them, and of the state of distress of the "ejected" tenantry, they went on to recommend as remedial measures, "emigration, the improvement of bogs and waste lands, embankment and drainage of marsh-lands, prosecution of public works on a large scale, education of the people not only in elementary knowledge, but habits of industry, encouragement of manufactures, extension of the fisheries, and lastly, the introduction of a system of poor-laws, either on the English or Scotch principles, or so modified as to be adapted to the peculiar circumstances of Ireland." (pp. 95. 106.)

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