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to enable the overseers of the poor to Mr. I. H. Browne did not see the bill assist those whom they should think de- in the light of a compulsory one ; since serving, without rendering them liable to it went only to permit a temporary relief

, be removed.

Sir. W. Pulteney thought the bill yn. Mr. Estcourt said, it was asserted that necessary, and highly dangerous ; inas, the bill would do no good, as all those much as it tended to encourage idleness, who were liable to be removed, were dissipation, and want of economy. already sent back to their own parishes, Lord Sheffield said, that the tendency but it ought to be recollected, that many of the bill was, to increase and enforce a parishes were so liberal as not to act up spirit of exclusion in the several parishes. to their powers; and that many who had At present a spirited relief at an enorm. hitherto been able to subsist without re- ous expense was afforded to the poor, lief from the parish might, before the which would be checked by this bill. The ensuing harvest be reduced to that ne. whole system in their favour would be cessity,

deranged by it. His only satisfaction Mr. Buxton said, that the bill went to was, that, if it did pass, it would be perset aside the law of settlements which had fectly nugatory; it might take place para existed from Elizabeth to the present time, tially, and do much mischief. under which we had lived happily, and the Mr. Hobhouse said, that if the bill was dissolution of which would be attended voluntary, it would be altogether nugawith infinite confusion and innumerable tory; for who could suppose that any pa, law suits. The bill was particularly op- rishes would take upon themselves the pressive upon artificers, mechanics, the maintenance of the poor belonging to lower order of farmers, and the landed another parish? If it was compulsory, it interest in general; the small inconve- would be highly mischievous. niences it would remove would be more Mr. Baker said, he did not mean that than counterbalanced by the evils it would the bill should be in the least degree comoccasion.

puisory Mr. Pitt said, that the bill by no means The House divided : affected the general law of settlements.

Tellers. It was not proposed to extend the pro

Mr. Baker visions of it to the old, the infirm, and

21 the idle; but merely to those who, from the present high price of bread, were

Mr. Buxton

} 19 unable to live upon their wages.

Whether was it most humane, that they should be allowed to remain where their friends April 3. Mr. Baker moved the order and relations resided, or that they should of the day for the House to resolve itself be sent to a place, where they must be into a committee on the bill. On the ques. without a home, and without a friend? tion, That the Speaker do now leave the Whether was it most expedient that they chair, should be allowed to remain where they Mr. Ellison said, he was afraid the bill might assist to support themselves, and would occasion much abuse. The peces. where they might be of use to the com- sity of the bill was not clear to him from munity; that they should be sent to a the general scarcity. The bill was a mixplace where they can find no employ ture of obligation and volition. This ment, and must depend for their sub- might do much mischief. In one parish sistence on the charity of their neigh- the overseers might act upon it, and in? bours ?

another they might not." The obvious Mr. Simeon said, that this bill, far from tendency of this measure was, to increase being of service to the poor, would tend insolence in the poor, and to check the to their oppression. It was also quite bounty of those who were in superior unnecessary, as, from its being so expen-conditions of life. He hoped the bill sive to remove paupers, they would sel- would never be passed into a law. dom be removed. It was extremely Mr. Simeon insisted, that the dread of unjust to oblige a farmer to pay double, removal, should they become chargeable

, or perhaps ten times the poor rates he operated on the minds of the non-resident calculated upon paying when he took his poor as a spur to superior industry, but, farm. In great towns the act would be this inducement being taken away, there still more oppressive.

was reason to fear that the same indolence

Yeas {Mr. Estcourt
Noes {Mr. Crewe

would prevail among them as among the less of their duty. If this bill was passed, other class, and thus the parishioners those who were now frugal and industri. would be subjected to a double expense. ous would become extravagant and idle.

Mr, Pitt coasidered the principle of It would lay the foundation of the ruin of the bill to be humane, liberal, and politic. the middling tradesman, who found it He was afraid, however, that one of its difficult already to pay the poor-rates. clauses would tend to diminish the effect Mr. Buxton lamented the existence of intended to be produced by it; for he the poor laws, and wished that every man would not have one individual, whose could be compelled to support himself. industry and morals were unimpeachable, This was the case in Scotland and in Ire. removed on account of his happening to land. He had no objection, however, as be unable, from the extraordinary price matters stood, that a man should be reof provisions, to support himself and fa- lieved in his own parish; but this bill mily. Unless this bill passed, an indus. instead of giving relief, would produce trious man would be subject to be removed injury, by producing a general removal from a place where he was useful, to a from the parishes where they now resided, place where not only he was useless, but to the parishes where they did not. His where he would be a burthen; from a place fear was, that in attempting to do good, where he wanted only temporary aid, to it would occasion much evil. a place where he must be permanently Mr. R. Thornton said, that the bill, so supported; from a place which he had far from being serviceable to society, possibly contributed to enrich, to a place would tend to bring down its classes io for which he had done nothing; from a poverty, and make the benefactors poor place in which he might support himself themselves. again with credit, when this temporary The House divided : pressure was over, to a place in which he

Tellers. must be a pauper for life; for this must be the effect, in many cases, where an Sir John Wrottesley


23 industrious mechanic was removed from Sir William Geary his connexions, separated from his habits, and placed among strangers who had no

30 employment for him. Although this bill

Mr. Buxton did not go far enough in some respects, So it passed in the negative; after yet, as far as it did go, he was a friend to which, the bill was put off for six months : it.

Sir W. Pulteney said, that the bill would Debate in the Commons on the Bill to underve the whole system of our poor prevent Bull-baiting.] April 2. Sir W. laws. There was great danger in indulg. Pulteney said, that several gentlemen who ing such a principle as this bill involved: had been witnesses to the inconveniences it would hold out a premium to idleness, which the savage custom of Bull-baiting an invitation to extravagance ; and the occasioned, had come up to town for the Fant of economy was often the chief cause purpose of applying to parliament to put of poverty among a people. It appeared, a stop to the evil. He was therefore now that those who had no settlement seldom induced to move for leave to bring in a wanted relief, and that the expense of bill to prevent the practice. The reasons supporting them was trifling ; but those in favour of such a motion as this were who had settlements in the parish in obvious. The practice was cruel and which they resided wanted relief to a great inhuman; it drew together idle and disextent, and the expense of supporting orderly persons; it drew also from their them was very large. What did this occupations many who ought to be earn. prore, but that those who had settlements ing subsistence for themselves and fami. in the parishes where they lived wanted lies; it created many disorderly and miseconomy, and were, in many instances, chievous proceedings, and furnished exprofligate, and that those who had no amples of profligacy and cruelty. In settlement were frugal and industrious. short, it was a practice which ought to be Men who knew they could not command put a stop to. He then moved, " That relief when they wanted it, would take leave be given to bring in a bill for care not to be reduced to the necessity preventing the practice of Ball-baiting.” of asking for it ; whereas others, who Sir R. Hill said, that from a love of know they must be supported, were care- decency and decorum, and out of huna


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Noes Mr. Ellison

nity to the common people, he should of which I cannot but think my time, and second the motion.

more especially that of the House, is Mr. Baker said, that the practice was most miserably employed. This House certainly a very inhuman one, and occa ought only to legislate when an act of sioned many mischiefs; but bull baiting legislature is gravely and generally called was not the only practice to which these for; and not merely to gratify petiy, perobjections applied ; cock-fighting was, in sonal, and local motives, such as are in. his opinion, equally objectionable. He finitely beneath the deliberate dignity of hoped, therefore, that gentlemen would parliament ; especially in times like the turn their thoughts to the suppression of present, when questions of vital importthis as well as the other practice. ance are hourly pressing on our attention.

Leave was given, and the bill was Really, Sir, in turning from the great brought in and read a first time. It was interests of this country and of Europe, read a second time and committed on the to discuss with equal solemnity such meafollowing day.

sures as that which is now before us, the

House appears to me to resemble Mr. April 18. On the order of the day for Smirk, the auctioneer in the play, who taking the report into consideration, could hold forth just as eloquently upon

Mr. Windham said :-Sir; I rise for the a ribbon as upon a Raphael. This petty, purpose of opposing the motion which has meddling, legislative spirit, cannot be been made by the hon. baronet; and had productive of good: it serves only to I been present when this bill was in its multiply the laws, which are already too former stages, I should have even then numerous, and to furnish mankind with decidedly opposed it; for notwithstanding additional means of vexing and harassing the gravity with which it was introduced, one another. and the importance which seemed to be A great deal has lately been said reattached to it, I should certainly have specting the state of the poor, and the thought it my duty to ask the House if hardships which they are suffering. But they knew upon what it was that they if they are really in the condition which were going to legislate. Let me now ask is described, why should we set about to then what there is in bull-baiting which deprive them of the few enjoyments which they have suddenly found to be so alarm- are left to them? If we look back to the ing. It is no new practice ; it has existed state of the common people in those counmore than a thousand years, without hav- tries with which our youthful studies make ing been supposed to be pregnant with us acquainted, we find, that what with any of those crying evils that are now as- games, shows, festivals, and the instituscribed to it. Is it pretended that it has tions of their religion, their sources of increased, is increasing, and ought to be amusement and relaxation were so numerdiminished?" I, for one, cannot think ous as to make them appear to have enthat it has increased, nor can I see any joyed a perpetual holiday. If we look to necessity whatever for the interference of Catholic countries, it will also appear, the legislature in order to diminish it. In partly, perhaps, from many festivals and my whole life, indeed, I have never been ceremonies being adopted into their relipresent but at two bull-baitings, and they gion from the Pagan system, and afterhappened while I was a school boy; but wards so transformed as to incorporate I cannot say that I experienced any bad with it, that they all enjoy many more effects from the gratification of my curio- amusements and a much longer time for sity. I did not find myself the worse for relaxation than the poor in this country, it, nor could I suspect that the other who may say with justice, “Why interfere spectators were contaminated by the with the few sports that we have, while spectacle.

you leave to yourselves and the rich so Sir, there are some persons to whom a great a variety? You have your carriages, legislative measure like this may appear your town-houses, and your countryserious and important; but for my own houses ; your balls, your plays, your part, I cannot but look upon it as pro- operas, your masquerades, your cardceeding from a busy and anxious dispo- parties, your books, your dogs, and your sition to legislate on matters in which the horses to amuse you-On yourselves you laws are already sufficient to prevent lay no restraint-But from us you wish abuse :-it at best only argues a pruritus to take the little we have?leges ferendi, in the gratifying or opposing In the south of France and in Spain, at

the end of the day's labour, and in the even boxing was cried down' as an exercool of the evening's shade, the poor cise of ferocity. It is time to resist these dance in mirthful festivity on the green, unnecessary restraints; for, if this bill 10 the sound of the guitar. But in this should pass into a law, it would no doubt country. no such source of amusement be followed by other regulations equally, presents itself. If they dance, it must be frivolous and vexatious. It is idle to deoften in a marsh, or in the rain, for the claim against savage manners or disposipleasure of catching cold. But there is tions in this country. The character of a substitute in this country, well known the people is directly the reverse; their by the name of a Hop. We all know the sports are robust and hardy, but their alarm which the very word inspires, and tempers are not ferocious ; nay, it is a the sound of the fiddle calls forth the fact, that there is not a people in the magistrate to dissolve the meeting. Men whole world that feel a greater horror at bred in ignorance of the world, and hav- bloodshed. Compare them with the peoing no opportunity of mixing in its scenes ple of France or Italy, where all is suavity, or observing its manners, may be much sprightliness, and gaiety, and let us reForse employed than in learning some- joice in the difference between the humathing of its customs from theatrical repre- nity of their characters. I will not say, sentations; but if a company of strolling whether certain principles, if suffered to players make their appearance in a village, operate, might not have produced santhey are bonted immediately from it as a guinary scenes here as well as in other nuisance, except, perhaps, there be a few places; but I can safely assert, that cruelty, people of greater wealth in the neighbour. or the thirst of blood, is not in the nature bood

, whose wives and daughters patronize nor in the habits of Englishmen. On this them. Then the labouring people must subject, I may be permitted to make an have recourse to the public-house, where, allusion to an affråy which lately took perhaps, they get into conversation, and place in the Isle of Wight, in which some politics become the subject. That this is foreigners were engaged. Unfortunately, an employment sufficiently mischievous I murder was the consequence of that scufam willing enough to admit. What are fe, which, amongst Englishmen, would they to do then? Go home and read have terminated in a black eye or a bloody their Bibles ! This is, no doubt, very pro- nose. So congenial is this principle of per; but it would be well if the rich set humanity to she hearts of our people, and them a little better example in this way. so uniformly displayed in their actions, Whatever may be the habits of the more that it might imply the suspicion of effeluxurious climates of the continent, the minacy, if they had not so often given, on amusements ofour people were always com all occasions, such glorious testimonies of posed of athletic, manly, and hardy exer- courage and prowess in another way. In cises , affording trials of their courage, con.

war they are prodigal of their own blood; daeive to their health, and to them objects but after the shock of battle, or the fury of ambition and of glory. In the exercise of an assault, their first sentiment is alof those sports they may, indeed, some ways shown in mercy to the vanquished; tines hurt themselves, but could never and it is not unfair to attribute to their burt the nation. If a set of poor men, for manly amusements much of that valour sigorous recreation, prefer a game of which is so conspicuous in their martial cudgels

, instead of interrupting them, it achievements by sea and land. Courage siould be more our business to let them and humanity seem to grow out of their hate fair play; for victory is here to them wholesome exercises. 23 object of as much glory as greater

Sir, having premised thus much, I next men could aim at in a superior sphere. come to consider this case of bull-baiting These sports are, in my mind, as fair an in particular. The sport here, it must be object of emulation and of fame, as those confessed, is at the expense of an animal in which the higher classes are so proud which is not by any means a party to the 10.indulge ; and here I am ready to agree amusement; but it at the same time serves with the poet, that, in other circumstances, to cultivate the qualities of a certain spe" He that the world subdued, had been

cies of dogs, which affords as much plea" But the best wrestler on the green." sure to their owners as greyhounds do to Some little time since it was thought others; and why should the butcher be Datter of reproach for gentlemen to be deprived of his amusement any more than present at any of these athletic trials; and the gentleman ? That peculiar breed of

dogs, though now decreasing, and nearly who ought to be left at liberty to dispose extinct, has always been held in high of their money as they choose, it ought estimation in this island. Gratian, who to be the industrious labourers; and such wrote as early as the age of Augustus, men do not lose time by their amusementioned and described this animal, ments, but work harder and longer at which, indeed, has always been so much other times, to make up for what time a favourite, that many of our ships are they may lose in relaxation, and to furnish called after its name. It is no small re- them with additional money for the enjoy. commendation to bull-dogs, that they are ment of such recreations. I do not mean so much in repute with the populace. to speak against magistrates ; on the con

The advocates of this bill, Sir, pro- trary I am convinced of the value and posed to abolish ball-baiting on the score importance of the services they render to of cruelty. It is strange enough that the community, and of the general activity such an argument should be employed by and propriety with which they discharge a set of persons who have a most vexati- their duty: but I do think that many ous code of laws for the protection of of them appear to act upoo an opinion, their own amusements. I do not mean at that it is their duty at all times to control present to condemn the game laws; but the common people in their amusements, when gentlemen talk of cruelty, I must like some to whom the care of children is remind them, that it belongs as much to committed, who think it right to deny shooting, as to the sport of bull-baiting; them every thing which they seem eager nay more so, as it frequently happens, to have or enjoy. They appear to act on that where one bird is shot, a great many the opinion, that the common people have others go off much wounded. When, nothing to do with any amusement; but therefore, I hear humane gentlemen even ought only to eat, to sleep, and to work. make a boast of having wounded a Upon the whole, Sir, there does not number of birds in this way, it only af- appear to me to be any real evil in the fords me a further proof that savage sports practice of bull-baiting; that it would be do not make savage people. Has not the trifling to legislate upon such petty conbutcher as much right to demand the ex- cerns, and that it is in the present case ercise of his sport, as the man of fortune absurd, as the practice is already so much to demand that of hunting? Is not the fallen into disuse, that it seems as if the latter as painful to the horse, as the bill had been brought in now lest it should former to the bull? And do not gentle- be quite abolished before it could be men, for the empty fame of being in at passed. As to the cruelty of the practice, the death, frequently goad and spur their it is mere solemn mockery in gentlemen horses to exertions greatly beyond their to talk of it, while they themselves instrength ? Might not the butcher say, dulge in sports equally cruel. In a bull“ I have no coaches, horses, balls, mas. baiting, a hedge may be broken down, or querades, nor even books, which afford so a field of grass trodden down; but what is much delight to those in higher stations, this compared to the injury done by a and who have more leisure time; do not pack of hounds, followed by horses and therefore deprive me of the amusement I their riders, sweeping over fields and feel in setting the propensities of one ani- hedges without distinction ? Accidents mal against those of another.” The com- to the lookers-on do sometimes happen mon people may ask with justice, why at bull-baiting; but I am sure that I have abolish bull-baiting, and protect hunting known more fatal accidents than ever and shooting? What appearance must happened from bull-baiting, arise in the we make, if we, who have every source county of Norfolk alone keeping out of of amusement open to us, and yet follow the question those which have happened these cruel sports, become rigid censors merely from the danger always attending of the sports of the poor, and abolish the use of fire arms), by quarrels between them on account of their cruelty, when the game-invaders and the game-preserv. they are not more cruel than our own? ers, some being killed on the spot, and

It may be said, that in bull-baiting the others hanged afterwards for the murders. labouring poor throw away their money, What then is the plea by which the bill is and lose their time, which they ought to supported ? It cannot be from sensibility devote to labour, and that thus they them- and hatred of cruelty in those very genselves may become chargeable to the rich. tlemen who in the game-season, as it But surely, if there be any set of men has been justly said, become their own

butchers and poulterers.

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