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stances the least consistent with any kind of mental culture, and where a moral feeling and moral principles can least of all be engendered. Instead of making rules to exclude these people from the benefits of education, the desirable thing would be to afford them additional inducements.
Mr Brougham speaks thus, from the knowledge which his inquiries have enabled him to obtain.
Where the town is considerable, though the people may be of various religious denominations, no impediment to instructing the whole arises from that circumstance, because there is room for schools upon both principles. The Churchmen can found a seminary, from whence Dissenters may be excluded by the lessons taught, and the observances required; while the sectaries, or those members of the Establishment who patronize the schools for all without distinction of creed, may support a school upon this universal principle, and teach those whom the rules of the Church Society exclude. But this is evidently impossible in smaller towns, where the utmost exertions of the wealthy inhabitants can only maintain a single school. There, if the bulk of the rich belong to the Church, no school will be afforded to the sectarian poor; though, certainly, if the bulk of the rich be Dissenters, the poor connected with the Establishment may profit by the school which is likely to be founded. If, on the other hand, the wealthy inhabitants are more equally divided, and the members of the Church refuse to abandon the exclusive plan, no school at all can be formed. Accordingly it is in places of this moderate size that the difference between the two plans is the most felt, and where I can have no doubt, that the progress of education has been materially checked by an unbending adherence to the system of the National Society. The moderate size of the place renders the distinction of sects most injurious to education, even where there exist the means and the disposition to establish schools by subscription.' p. 9, 10.
On the subject of the proposed inquiry into the state of the funds now existing, and applicable to the business of education, Mr Brougham informs us, that great progress has been made by the Committee itself.
It has,' he says, received a prodigious mass of information from all parts of the country. We are now diligently employed in prosecuting these researches, and in digesting their results into Tables, which may exhibit at one view a general, but minute chart of the state of education throughout the empire; so that the eye may readily perceive in each district what are the existing means of public instruction, and wherein those means are deficient; how many children in any given place are taught, and after what manner; how many are clothed or maintained; how the funds for their instruction or support arise; with much information of a miscellaneous nature, afford ing valuable suggestions to the commission which is about to issue, for the more rigorous investigation of all charitable abuses. When
these Tables shall be laid before the House, an ample foundation will be prepared for the legislative measure, which, sooner, or latter, I am convinced must be adopted; for they will indicate the kind of districts where parish schools are most wanted, and enable us to frame the provisions of the law, so as not to interfere with the exertions of private charity, and to avoid unnecessary, and, what is the same thing, hurtful legislation. p. 19, 20.
In proposing, however, a commission of inquiry, Mr Brougham took his usual comprehensive range. As the funds destined for education, were not the only charitable funds existing in the nation, nor the only charitable funds which had become subject to abuse, he who was of opinion, that as, wherever abuses existed, they ought to be searched out and removed, the commissioners, when they were to be appointed, might as well perform two services as one; that, not confining themselves to charitable funds for education, they should inquire into the abuses of charitable funds in general. I am persuaded,' says he, that the House will feel with me the necessity of adopting this measure, when I state a few particulars to show the large amount of these funds, and the abuses to which they are liable.'
The returns, in pursuance to the 26th Geo. III, commonly called Mr Gilbert's Act, are known to be exceedingly defective; yet they make the yearly income of charities about 48,000l. from money, and 210,000/. from land, in the year 1788. It appears from evidence laid before the Committee, that in one county, Berkshire, only a third part of the funds was returned. If we suppose this to be the average deficiency in the whole returns, it will follow, that the whole income actually received by charities was between 7 and 800,000l. a year. But this is very far from an accurate estimate of the real anpual value of charitable estates. Several circumstances concur to keep the income down. In the first place, the trustees have, generally speaking, very insufficient powers for the profitable management of the funds under their care. They are thus prevented from turning them to the best account. I know of many cases where, for want of the power to sell and exchange, pieces of land in the middle of towns lie waste which might yield large revenues. The right honourable gentleman opposite (Mr Huskisson), connected with the department of the land revenue, is perfectly aware how important an increase of income might be derived from an addition of this sort to the powers of trustees. It is a power which the donors would in almost every instance have conferred, had they foreseen the change of circumstances that renders it so desirable. Another source of diminution to the revenue of the poor, is the loss of property through defects in the original constitution of the trusts, and a consequent extinction, in many cases, of the trustees, without the possibility of supplying their places. Negligence in all its various branches is next to be named, including carelessness, ignorance, indolence, all the sins of omis
sion by which men suffer the affairs of others to perish in their hands, when they have the management of them gratuitously, and subject to no efficient check or control. Add to all these sources of mismanagement, the large head of wilful and corrupt abuse in its various branches, and we shall probably underrate the amount of the income which ought now to be received by Charities, if we say that it is nearer Two MILLIONS than fifteen hundred thousand a year; by far the greater part of which arises from real property.
p. 20-22. After some further observations, showing the great importance of the investigation, and the peculiar fitness of the present time for the undertaking, Mr Brougham mentions a number of cases, for the purpose of exhibiting a specimen merely of the mode in which charitable funds have been misapplied. The passage is somewhat long; but the matter is too important to be abridged, and the whole is too striking to be given in any language but that of the speaker himself.
'As the mass of evidence examined by the Committee cannot for some time be accessible to the members of this House, I think it may be useful if I now state a few cases of mismanagement and abuse, to serve for a sample of those which may be found in every part of the country. I shall not at present name the particular places, but only the counties whence the cases have come; because inaccurate reports of the charges made here against individuals are apt to get into circulation. When the whole details shall be presented in the Committee's Report, the persons accused will be pointed out; but they will then have an opportunity of seeing the statements on which the charges rest, and knowing the names of their accusers. A strange neglect, to say the least of it, has appeared in the administration of some Berkshire charities. In Charles the First's reign, the sum of 4000l. was left to be laid out in land for the use of a school; and in 1660, the purchases were completed, for 3900l., the remaining 1007. having probably gone for the expenses of the conveyance. What rent does the House think these lands have yielded? In 1811 it was only 1967. a year, five per cent. on the original purchase money a century and a half ago, and only 10%. more than was received a few years after the Restoration. The good and diligent trustees in Charles the Second's time dealt wisely and well with the estate, for they very soon made it yield 5 per cent.; but the less careful, I will not say less honest, stewards in George the Third's reign, granted a sixteen year's lease at a rise of ten pounds above the rent in the seventeenth century. In 1811, indeed, the rent was doubled; though there is every reason to believe that it is still very inadequate. To another school in the same county belongs an estate, let at 450%., which the surveyors value at above 10007, a year. And the income received from lands purchased seventy years ago, by different charities, with sums amounting in the whole to 22,000l., is now only 3791, being little more than one and a half
per cent. on the purchase money. A certain corporation in Hampshire has long had the management of estates devised to charitable uses, and valued at above 2000l. a year by surveyors. They are let for 2 or 3001. a year on fines. How are the fines disposed of? No one knows; at least no one will tell. Those interested in the application inquire in vain. The corporation wraps itself up in a dignified mystery, and withholds its books from vulgar inspection. The same worshipful body has obtained possession of a sum of 1000%, part of a bequest, well known by the name of White's Charity. In former times Sir Thomas White, a merchant in London, left certain estates to form a fund for assisting poor tradesmen with small loans, somewhat according to the plan adopted by Dean Swift, but which his peculiar temper frustrated, and rendered a source of great uneasiness to himself. The corporation to which I allude, became entrusted with 1000l. of this money; and what they have done with one half of it I know not; they may have lent it to poor traders; but I am aware that the other 500l. has not been so lent, either with or without interest, but applied to pay a corporation debt, and in this ingenious manner :-It has been lent without interest to the creditors of the corporation in satisfaction for the present of their debt, and a truly marvellous recommendation has been entered on the corporation books to their successors, to do the same as often as the demands of the creditor might require the operation to be performed. I hold in my hand forty or fifty more instances of abuse, extracted from the numerous returns made by the resident clergy. The Committee Room is directed to be opened to every member of the House; gentlemen will there see the returns arranged in piles, under the heads of the several counties; and the praiseworthy zeal of the two learned gentlemen (Mr Parry and Mr Koe) who assist the committee, will help them to find any of the particular cases to which I am now referring, as well as many others which I am obliged to omit. At a place in Devonshire, the question, What funds exist, destined to the purposes of education, is answered by a statement," that the funds of the Foundation School are known only to Mr Such-a-one." In another return it is said, that no account whatever can be obtained of the funds; and in a third, the estate belonging to the charity is alleged to have been let on a ninety-nine year's lease. Now this lease, of itself, I hold to be an abuse. To let and take a fine is an abuse; to let for so long a term without taking a fine, is a gross mismanagement of the property. What, then, will the House say of leases for eight and nine hundred years? We have evidence of both; and in one case for a peppercorn rent. In the county of Norfolk, a school was founded in 1680, for educating forty children; but none are now taught there at all. The reverend author of this return observes, that great mystery hangs aver this charity-a remark the less surprising, when we find that the estates produce 300l. a year, and that the accounts have not been audited for thirty years. A school was anciently endowed in
Derbyshire, and the lands produce 801. a year, but no children are taught; and the return describes the management of the funds to be "most shameful and abominable. The master has done nothing for ten years; the trustees are all dead, and no successors have been appointed. In Essex a school was founded many years ago; and at one time it had fallen into such mismanagement, that only a few boys were taught, I believe, by a mechanic whom the master appointed. The present incumbent provides for the education of 70 children; but so ample are the funds, that he receives about a thousand a year, after paying all the expenses of the establishment. Owing to the neglect of the trustees, the whole management of another school in that county has lapsed to Magdalen College, Cambridge; and the clause in the present bill, exempting all charities under the control of Colleges, will prevent the Commissioners from inquiring into the causes of this devolution, for which no blame can attach to Magdalen, but certainly the greatest neglect must be imputed to the trustees. In one place in Leicestershire, the property belonging to a school has lately been offered for sale, by what possible right or title I am unable to divine. A surplus fund is stated, in another return, to have been pocketed by the trustees. In Nottinghamshire there is a free school, the funds of which our reverend informant scruples not to say are grossly abused. The scholars are wholly neglected, and hush-money is given to the master. The income is stated to be 400l. a year. In Worcestershire a charitable foundation, which existed a few years ago, is said to have entirely disappeared. In the same county there is a school endowed with an income of 1000l. a year; and timber was lately cut upon the estates which sold for 370l. By the deed of foundation, all the inhabitants of the place are entitled to have their children educated; but the master has made so many exceptions and restrictions, that only eight boys belonging to that place are taught. In the North Riding of Yorkshire is a school, the revenue of which amounts to 1300l. a year: six boys are taught. The master of a school in the East Riding receives his salary, and lives in the West Riding; he has done so for thirty years past: It is needless to add, that " the school is a sinecure, and the funds grossly misapplied. In one of the Northamptonshire returns, the clergyman says, he can learn nothing of the application of a school estate of 751. a year, which never was registered; and he adds, that other charities in his parish are misapplied, and more in danger of being lost, "in consequence of the parish clerk having been plundered of all writings relative to charities." In Derbyshire, one return gives this answer to our question, What funds exist in your parish for education? "None; my Lord Such-a-one and his ancestors have withheld the rent of certain lands of considerable value from the grammar-school. A similar case seemed to be presented to our notice, by a remark in a county history The author says, that in a certain parish (in Westmoreland) a school was amply endowed and begun; " but being only in its probationary state, it was thought fit by the owner of the estate to