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unbridled and the shameless, and generations of boys and girls are growing up without family-ties or anything to bind them to society, but rather with evil feelings in their hearts at the restraints and harshnesses they are subjected to, and the grudging nature and manner of the support they receive.

His Second Report, that of November, 1837, was in its main features nearly identical with the first, and confirmatory of its views and proposals. It was thrown more into theform of an answer to objections than its predecessor, but the objections are, as often happens in such cases, not very candidly, or at least very fully stated. We pass to the more precise matters of distinct and positive predictions and tested statistics.

The following was an estimate prepared by Sir George Nicholls during the progress of the Poor Relief Act through Parliament, of the expense of working it as a law :~

Assuming that there will be a hundred Unions, each having a Workhouse capable of accommodating 800 persons, the paid officials, with their respective salaries in each Union, may be stated as follows, viz. :

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For the hundred Unions, this would give a total expenditure in salaries of from 45,000, to 65,0607. per annum; or say, 55,000l. on an average.

In addition to the above, it may be further assumed, that on an average throughout the year, the workhouses will be three-parts full, and the total cost of maintenance, clothing, bedding, wear and tear, &c., will amount to 1s. 6d. per head per week, which is equal to £3 188. or say £4 per head per annum ; this will give an expenditure of 240,000l. per annum, for maintenance, &c., in the hundred Unions, which, added to the 55,0002, for salaries, will make a total charge of 295,0001, annually, for the relief of the destitute, under the provisions of the bill.

The money for building the workhouses is to be advanced by Government free of interest for ten years; and is to be repaid by annual instalments of five per cent. The cost of the workhouses has been stated at 700,000l., but assuming it to amount to 1,000,000l., this

would impose an additional charge of 50,000l. annually, for the first 20 years, (exclusive of the interest after the first ten years on the then residue of the principal), which, added to the above, makes an aggregate charge of £345,000 per annum.

Before proceeding with our author to review at least summarily, the successive annual Reports of the Poor Law Commissioners for Ireland upon the working of his law, from 1840, when the first Report was made, up to the Report of last year, it will not be considered out of place here to note one striking instance of the failure of our author's predictions, the testimony to which failure we quote from the Report of the Commissioners for taking the Census of Ireland in 1851. Sir George Nicholls had promised that his Poor Law should at any rate prevent deaths from starvation. Not in any intentional reference to this, but as incidental to their subject, the Irish Census Commissioners say in their Report, Part V, "On the Tables of Deaths," page 253

In every country, even in England, with all its wealth-with its workhouses and its long established public institutions-deaths from starvation are annually recorded. The deaths registered in England from privation of food, were, for many years, above 100 annually; and even in the year 1853, as many as twenty-eight persons perished there from want. In the Irish returns made in 1841, only 117 deaths were registered from starvation for the ten years prior to that period; but from thence, according to the registration made in 1851, deaths from this cause began notably to increase, from 187 in the year 1842, to 516 in 1845. After that period deaths attributed to starvation increased rapidly so as to amount to 2,041 for the year 1846; in 1847 they reached the great height of 6,058; and in the two following years, 1848 and 1849, taken together they amounted to 9,395. In 1850 they were even more than in 1846, and during the first quarter of 1851 as many as 652 deaths attributed to starvation were recorded. The total deaths returned to us under the head of starvation amounted to 21,770, the sexes being in the proportion of 70.6 females to 100 males.

In our judgment the facts just stated would alone be enough to exemplify and expose the fatal miscalculations and delusions under which the Poor Law was introduced into Ireland. One of the chiefest and most confident assurances given us at the time of its introduction was, that it would at any rate put an end to the shocking recurrence, year after year, of deaths from absolute want. Yet as we have just seen and are told by the Census Commissioners, "these deaths increased notably after 1811,-amounting in the succeeding year 1842

to nearly double what they had been in the whole ten years from 1881 to 1841, and in 1845 to between four and five times that amount"!

After that came the famine, and of course much is to be allowed in that score-still the fearful figure of 6,058, for the year 1846, when the famine had only just begun, and the resources of private charity were not yet strained,—and that of 652 for only the first quarter of 1851, when the circumstances of the country were improving, and the great previous waste of life, the enormous emigration, and the large extension of the workhouse system, ought, one would have thought to have reduced very low the numbers of those obnoxious to so horrible a fate,—these speak trumpet-tongued of the real inefficacy of the Poor Law for its most obvious and loudest proclaimed purposes, and of its sad efficacy in drying up the previously abounding natural channels of benevolence.

The First Report of the Irish Poor Law Commissioners was dated the 1st of May, 1839, and necessarily contained little beyond an account of the steps taken preparatory to bringing the new law into operation. The Second Report dated 30th April, 1840, brought the proceedings towards this end down to the 25th March, in the last named year, by which time the number of " Unions" declared was 104.

"It was thought (says Sir George Nicholls, p. 245) that thirty more Unions would probably complete the number into which it might be desirable that the country should be arranged. This would be a greater number than was at first contemplated, but a strong desire for small Unions was found to be very general; and this desire added to the want of convenient. centres and other local circumstances, led to an increase of the number beyond the original estimate."

Sir George Nicholls has omitted in his summary in the present work, of his first Report, that portion of it in which, with his usual unhesitating confidence, he pronounced that eighty workhouses would be amply sufficient for all the requirements of Ireland. In the foregoing extract it will be seen how gently he lets himself down, and how anxiously he endeavors to cover the gross miscalculation.

The Third Report, dated May 1st, and reporting up to the preceding 25th March, 1841, announced that 127 unions had been declared, and 115 workhouses were either built or in process of building. The number of inmates in the South

Dublin Workhouse on the 25th of March was 2,080, and in the. North Dublin the number was 1,887. Something of a clue to the extraordinary increase before noticed, in the number of deaths from starvation, may, for at least the period at which the third Report was made 1840-41-be found in the circumstance mentioned by our author at page 261, where remarking on the extraordinary influx of paupers into the newly opened Dublin workhouses.

Even after the first influx of mendicity paupers had ceased, there was a great pressure for admission, on which account a cautionary letter was addressed to the guardians, recommending they should at one time select only such a moderate number, 'as could be conveniently cleansed, classified, placed in their proper wards and registered in course of that and the following day,' and that likewise the visiting committee should report as to the condition of the inmates, and whether they had been disposed of in accordance with the regulations, previous to further admissions taking place on the days fixed for the purpose.'

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Thus "convenience," and "regulations," and inspection and reports of " visiting committees," and other red tape formalities, were to be first considered, and when they had had ample room and verge enough, then the business of saving life was to be gone on with. No doubt it was great perverseness on the part of some of the starving applicants to die during these delays. No doubt these regulations, &c., were all" very proper," and doubtless necessary also for the "good" ordering" of the workhouses, and Poor Law Commissioners are the most unfortunate of men, that human nature will not always work in the grooves, and he dealt with by the rule and square which they so scientifically and ingeniously arrange for it and would adapt it to!

The Report for 1842, bringing the account of proceedings down to the 1st of May in that year, announced the completed division of Ireland into 130 unions, and the opening of 81 workhouses. A second miscalculation of our infallible author began now to be exposed. The "one million sterling" at which he estimated the cost of building workhouses for Ireland, had already to be supplemented with a loan of £150,000, and that too common and constantly recurring incident of the workhouse system, the mortality of young children, had already begun to shew itself in an alarming manner.

On the 1st of January, 1842, work house relief was shewn to be

administered in 37 unions together, to 15,246 destitute persons, at an expense of £110,277. These figures had respectively increased as follows on the 1st of January, 1843, as shewn by the 5th Report of the Irish Poor Law Commissioners presented in 1843, viz., ninety-two unions at work, supporting 31,572 paupers, at a cost of £281,233.

In his notice of the Sixth Report, 1st of May, 1844, (page 290-294) Sir George Nicholls, faithful to his self-imposed task of lecturing as well as legislating for us, mere Irish, proclaims that in his opinion the agitation for the Repeal of the Legislative Union, then and for some years previously and subsequently in operation, "diverted the people from their legitimate and necessary occupations, excited jealousy and ill-feelings towards England, inculcated distrust of the government (!) weakened the authority of law, and incited to a resistance of whatever was established, including of course the Poor Law"!!! We leave the Repealers to answer these grave charges coming from so exalted and important a source. It was doubtless only his characteristic modesty which made him omit the additional charge of not sufficiently recognizing the blessing conferred upon Ireland by having her economic interests confided to the legislation of such a man!

The following figures we collate from his detailed remarks on the period 1841-1846, being that intervening between the first regular coming into operation of the new law, and the first serious development of the Famine.

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Although in the above table the total expense for the year just expired is stated in each case, it will be seen that the numbers given of the inmates of the workhouses are merely the numbers in each on the first of January in each year, and not

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