« AnteriorContinuar »
them on with his hat, they march- to this subject, and that so long ed at the point of the bayonet, to ago as the session of 1811, a bill come to close action with the Im- was brought into the House to perial Guard. But the latter be- amend the laws in respect to Pagan a retreat, which was soon rish Apprentices, and to make converted into flight, and the certain regulations with the view most complete rout ever exhibited of ameliorating their condition ; by soldiers. The famous rout but was withdrawn, in order of Vittoria was not even com- that some information might be parable to it:"
procured which was conceived to The General then adds several be wanting. reflections on the importance of A committee was in consethe victory, and in enumerating quence appointed, which set on the loss sustained, says :
foot an inquiry. This inquiry has « Of those who were by the since been prosecuted with as side of the Duke of Wellington, much perseverance as was requironly he and myself remained un. ed by a subject of so much imtouched in our persons and horses. portance to the happiness and The rest were all either killed, well-being of a large class of the wounded, or lost one or more community, though hitherto but horses. The Duke was unable to little made an object of the atrefrain from tears on witnessing tention of Parliament. the death of so many brave and It would have been obviously honourable men, and the loss of an impracticable task to have atso many friends and faithful com- tempted to ascertain the number panions, and which can alone be of parish apprentices bound, from compensated by the importance various parts of England, to a of the victory.”
distance from their parents; and the Committtee were therefore
under the necessity of limiting Report of the Committee of the
their inquiry to those points House of Commons on Parish which were capable of being asApprentices.
certained till the parishes, which
are comprehended in the Bills of The Committee appointed to exa- Mortality, would afford a toler
inine into the number and state able criterion to enable a judge
7th years of his present Majesty, Your Committee have to ob- some humane regulations were serve, that the attention of Parli- made in the management of Paament has for some time been called rish Apprentices in those parishes;
and and by the latter act, in certain of ing 1018 males, and 1008 females, those parishes, namely, the seven- were bound to persons in the teen parishes without the walls of country; of these, 58 were under London, the twenty-three in Mid- eight vears of age, 1008 between dlesex and Surrey, being within eight and eleven, 316 between the Bills of Mortality, and the eleven and twelve, 435 between liberty of the Tower of London, twelve and fourteen, and 907 beand the ten parishes within the tween fourteen and eighteen, beeity and liberty of Westminster, a sides two children whose ages are list of poor children bound ap- not mentioned in the returns from prentices was directed to be de- their parishes. livered annually from each parish Before they enter on the subto the clerk of the company of ject of what has become of these Parish-clerks, to be bound up children, your Committee beg and deposited with that company. leave to observe, that from all the To those lists your Committee parishes within the city of Lonhave had access, an abstract hav- don, only eleven apprentices have ing been made by the clerk of been sent to masters at a distance the Committee ; and it appears in the country ; that of the five from them that the whole num- parishes in Southwark, only one ber of apprentices bound, from (St. George's) has sent any conthe beginning of the year 1802 siderable number ; that in Westto the end of the year 181l, from minster, the parish of St. Anne these parishes, amounts to 5815 ; has not sent any since the year being 3446 males, and 2369 fe- 1802 ; those of St. Margaret and males. Of these were bound to St. John, since the year 1809; and trades, watermen, the sea-ser- the largest and most populous pa. vice, and to household employ. rish of St. Pancras has disconment, 2428 piales, and 1361 fe- tinued the practice since the year males, in all 3789; fifteen of 1806. From those of Newington, whom were bound under eight Shadwell, Islington, and severa) years of age, 493 between eight others, no children have at any and eleven years, 483 between time been sent. eleven and twelve, 1656 between The Committee directed pretwelve and fourteen, and 1102 cepts to be sent to the various between fourteen and eighteen. persons in the country to whom Though not immediately appli- the parish apprentices, to the cable to the subject of inquiry, amount of 2026, were bound, it may not be altogether irrele directing them to make returns, vant to mention, that of this stating what had become of gross number of children amount- them, to the best of their knowing to 3789, there were bound ledge. These returns have in to the sea-service, to watermen, general been complied with, but lightermen, and fishermen, 484; in some instances have not, OWto household employments, 528; ing probably to the bankruptcy and to various trades and pro- or discontinuence in business of fessions 2772: the remaining the parties to whom these chilchildren amounting to 2026, be- dren were apprenticed ; and in
ne, cases the information re- turns made by each master, or by ired has been furnished by the the overseer, as well as the names erseer of the poor, to whom of such masters as have not given s charge of assigning the ap- any answers at all, or unsatisentices devolved, on the failure factory ones; but they conceive the master.
that it might be invidious to do so,
especially as those details would ve general Classification may be make no difference in the state of may be made as follows:
the question wbich it is their obow serving under indenture 644 ject to bring before the considererved their time, and now ation of the House. They therefore
in the same employ...... 108 abstain from inserting any such erved, and settled elsewhere 99 returns in their Appendix, satis. Vead ...
... 80 fied that the House will give them inlisted in the army or navy. 86 credit for the reason of such omisuitted their service, chiefly sion. They think it right, how
run away..... ... 166 ever, to state generally, that of the Not bound to the person men- children bound in ten years, the
tioned in the return kept following is the proportion of the by the company of Parish- different trades andemployments : clerks ...
58 Silk Throwsters....... 118 Sent back to their friends... 57 Silk Manufacturers.. 26 Transfered totradesmen in dif
144 ferent parts of the kingdom 246 Flax Dressers. ... 21 Incapable of service...... 18 Flax Spinners ...
59 Not accounted for or men- Flax Manufacturers. . 88 tioned.....
5 Sail-clothManufacturers 8 In parish work-houses 26
175 Not: satisfactorily or intelli- Woollen Manufacturers 24 gibly accounted for by the Worsted Spinners....
2 persons to whom they were Worsted Manufacturers 146 bound, or by the overseers Carpet Weavers.... 2 where the masters have
174 become bankrupts....... 433 Frame-work Knitters. . 9
Earthenware Manufac2026 turers...
3 Of the number comprised under Cotton Spinners... 353 the last head, consisting of 433, Cotton Weavers. ..... 67 some few of the masters have sent Cotton Manufacturers. . 771 a return, but without giving an Cotton Twist Manufacaccount of the whole of the ap- turers. .....
7 prentices; so that it may be fairly Calico Weavers...... 198 judged that one-third of these Fustian Manufacturers 71 cannot be accounted for at all. Cotton Candlewick Ma- 24 Your Committee having ab- kers.....
-1493 stracted the whole list of parish Manufactures (supapprentices boundinto the country, posed to be Cotton... 98 mnight make this Report more full, by cnumerating the particular r'c
It appears by the returns from facturing districts of this kinga the metropolis, that the children dom, the professed object of bound to manufacturers in the which was to prohibit the bind. country have generally been ap- ing of parish apprentices to abure prenticed on the same day, in a certain distance from the abode numbers of from five or six to of their parents, and making forty or fifty. They have not other regulations in the insunfrequently been taken back to nagement of them, some of the their parents, and sometimes after parishes of the metropolis mehaving been bound, have been as. naced an opposition to the Bill; as signed to another master. In the taking from them the means of dis. parish of Bermondsey, out of posing of the children of the poor twenty-five apprenticed to manu- belonging to them, in the manner facturers, sixteen, it is said, did in which they had before been se not go, but no reason is given for customed to do. It was therefore it; and in several instances, after judged expedient to ascertain the the children have been taken into extent of the practice which had the country, they have been re- prevailed, in order to form a judg. turned to the parish, in conse- mentof the necessity of continuing quence of the surgeon having it; and with that view, as well as pronounced them unsound. It for the reasons before mentioned. appears also, that of the whole these returns ware called for. number of parish apprentices, in- There was also another reason for cluded in the above returns, no confining the returns to the meless a proportion than three- tropolis and its vicinity, exclusive fourths have been bound to mas- of the facility which the registers, ters connected with the cotton- kept as above-mentioned, affordmanufacture. Most of the re- ed for that purpose. marks, therefore, which they con. In the populous districts of ceive it their duty to make, will England, whether that popube more directly applicable to lation is caused by manufacthat branch of employment ; tures or by other employments, though many of their general ob- the same causes which produce it servations, as to the impolicy of provide support for the inhabiremoving children to a consider- tants of all ages, by various occuable distance from their parents, pations adapted to their means. as well as from those whose duty Thus in manufacturing districts, it is to see that they are properly the children are early taught to taken care of and treated, are equal- gain their subsistence by the difly applicable to all professions. ferent branches of those manu
In considering this subject, it factures. In districts where colis necessary to advert more par- leries or other mines abound, ticularly to the causes and circum- they are accustomed almost from sanccs attending the original ap- their infancy to employments unpointment of a committee. A der ground, which tend to train Bill having been brought into the and inure them to the occupation House four sessions ago, at the of their ancestors : but in Londesire and under the direction of don the lower class of the popuone of the most populous mapu- lation is not of that nature, but
composed of many different part of the parish officers, be an. escriptions, consisting of ser-nually bound to trades and douts in and out of place, trades- mestic employments, within such len, artisans, labourers, widows, a distance as to admit of occa, ad beggars, who being fre- sional intercourse with a parent, uently destitute of the means of and (what is perhaps of more conroviding for themselves, are de- sequence) the superintendence of endent on their parishes for the officers of the parish by which elief, which is seldom bestowed they were bound. That this is not rithout the parish claiming the attended with much difficulty xclusive right of disposing, at seems evident, froni the fact that heir pleasure, of all the children many parishes have nerer follow
the person receiving relief. ed the practice of binding their The system of apprenticeship is poor children to a distance, herefore resorted to of necessity, though quite as numerous and with a view of getting rid of those in which this practice has the burthen of supporting so prevailed; and that some parishes many individuals; and as it is pro- which had begun it, have long bably carried to a greater extent discontinued it. there than any where else, for the In making these observations, reasons here stated, your Com- your Committee beg to be unders mittee has been enabled to form stood as not extending them to an opinion, without the necessity the sea service, in favour of which of referring to any other part of they make a special reservation, the kingdom, whether it could be on account of considerations of discontinued, without taking away the highest political importfrom the parishes the means of ance connected with the madisposing of their poor children. It ritime interests of the country. certainly does appear to your Com- They therefore carefully abstain mittee, that this purpose might from recommending any interbe attained, without the violation ference with the law as it now of humanity, in separating chil- stands, which admits of binding dren forcibly, and conveying them parish apprentices to the King's to a distance from their parents, or merchant's naval service. whether those parents be de-The system of binding parish serving or undeserving. The apprentices, in the manner in peculiar circumstances of the which they are usually bound, metropolis, already alluded to, to a distance from their parer.ts may at first seem to furnish an
and relations, and from those parargument in favour of a con- rish officers whose duty it is to tinuance of this practice; but attend to their moral and physiit can hardly be a matter of cal state, is indeed highly 'ota' doubt that apprentices, to the jectionable; but the details and number of two hundred, which the consequences are very little is the yearly number bound on known, except to those persons the average of ten years before- to whom professional emplo;mentioned, might with the most ment, local situation, or accident, trifling possible exertion on the may have afforded the means of VOL. LVII.