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ended on the 25th of March last. | the labourer) for the relief of the 2. That, after the passing of the poor clergy of the Churches of Act, no relief shall be given to England, Ireland and Scotland, any unmarried man, unless he be and for the relief of the poor afflicted with infirmity of body French and other Emigrants! . or old age. Nor to any married I have numbered the Paraa man, for himself, wife, or chil-graphs of this Bill; and you will dren, unless such man was married find the Scheme, the Pill, in the before the passing of the act. 3. 7th raragraph. To warrant the That no person shall be removed broaching of a scheme like this from one parish to another on the a man should be prepared with ground of such person being good and sufficient grounds. He chargeable to the parish where should be able to show, that the residing at the time of becoming thing was just, and not only just chargeable..
but necessary; and Lawyer SCARThe first of these Provisions LETT did neither of these ; and, seems to be nonsense, or, at least, I think, I shall be able most of no use, if it were possible to clearly to prove, that it is both make the second law. The third is unnecessary and unjust. : of nearly the same character. It is We find the Lawyer's grounds very bad, for many reasons; and stated in the first and second pamight produce great injustice to ragraphs of the Bill. We find towns and villages, to which peo- it there asserted, 1. that the poorple flock in consequence of some rates have increased in amount ; fleeting cause of prosperity. But, 2. that, if a check be not put to these two provisions are no more the increase, the lands in many than the tasteless flour that sur- parts of England, will not be rounds the deadly pill which we worth cultivating ; 3. that it is find in the second Provision, which the facility of obtaining relief by is neither more nor less than the men able to work that has produced scheme of PARSON MALTHUS the evil.. moulded into the shape of a Now, friend Hayes, I deny all legislative enactment.
these propositions. I say that This scheme denies relief to a not one of them is founded in man who is starving for want of truth. I say, that the poor-rates, employment, if he have no chilor, in correct words, the money, dren; and, it condemns to starva- given to the poor by others, has tion even the children of those not increased, but, on the conwho' are out of work, if the trary has been wholly withheld, children be the fruit of a marriage and that the whole amount of the which has taken place since the rates has been deducted from the passing of the act! This is to wages of the Labourer, including check population;' at a moment craftsmen and manufacturing lawhen the Landlords are wanting bourers. If this proposition of food to be dearer than it is; and, mine be true, the first proposi- . while immense sums are, without tion of Lawyer SCARLETT is dea single dissenting voice, voted molished, and his second and third yearly out of the taxes (paid by fall of course.
Let us see, then, how thel. The increase of the poor-rates Lawyer goes to work to shew the the Lawyer, in his speech to the necessity of bis scheme; or, in people in doors, states to have been the “ in doors” cant of the day, as follows. In 1750, taking in an os to make out his case.” He average of three years, the poorproves, from some report laid rates of England and Wales before the parliament, that the amounted to 689,971 pounds; poor-rates have been going on in- in 1776, they amounted to creasing, in peace (as he says) as 1,530,804 pounds; in 1783, well as in war, ever since 1750. they amounted to 2,437,000 That this is an evil no one denies. pounds ; in 1803, they amounted It is a horrid thing to think of. to 4,267,963 pounds; and in But, if it be not at all poor-rates; if 1815, they amounted to 6,129,831 it be not sums paid by others to pounds; and, therefore, unless relieve the poor; and, if the sums some measure were adopted to of increase have consisted of a put a stop to the evil, it was but deduction from wages by means too much to be apprehended that of a false and constantly in- it would go on increasing until creasing paper money; if this be there would be no maintenance the case, though the thing is still left for the poor ! Bless us! more shocking to real, and not what neither land nor cattle nor sham, humanity, it is not so much grass ! Nothing left for the man an evil in itself, as it is the sign to eat who raises the food! What and proof of an evil cause.' a queer state of things that
Not an idea of this kind enters must be! the head of SCARLETT any more What an absurdity, upon the than it did the head of MALTHUS. / face of the thing, to say, that These two worthies, whose minds the sums given out of the proseem to have been cast in the duce of the land, to those who same mould, look only at the perform the labours on the land, increuse of the sum, without pe- will be so great as to leave nonetrating into the cause of the in- thing to give out of the produce ! crease. They snuzzle about the Oh, no ! LAWYER SCARLETT ! No stem of the accursed tree without reason at all to apprehend this, I being able to get down to its assure you. But, as you seem to, root. They sec the sum of poor- be in great anxiety and tribularates increase; they see relief tion on this account; as your demanded by men, women, and tender heart seems to be sinking children. “Oh! make the number of within you, lest the produce of “these less;" though there be only the lands should not yield the just enough now to get in the means wherewith to relieve the barvest! “ How shall we inake wants of the labourers, I will, in “ them-less in number?” “ Pre- a moment, show you how they . “ vert them from marrying: may be amply relieved without “check population ?" No in- the aid of your bill, even supquiry into the cause of the in-| posing your notion as to causes crease: no reflection: no thought: to be as correct as it is erroneous. an evil is seen, and, to put a stop Cut off the 100,000 pounds a to it, coercion.
year, granted by the people in preventing them from marrying; doors to relieve the poor clergy of without making a law in the teeth the rich Church of England ; the of the law of God as explained 10,000 to the poor Clergy of and enforced by the Liturgy of Scotland; the 30, or 40,000' a the English Church, and not less year to the Clergy of the Irish in the teeth of the laws of nature
Churches; the enormous grants and the dictates of humanity.". ' . to make roads and canals in Scot-| But, my friend Hayes, though
land, to prevent the Scotch from this might suffice for SCARLETT, emigrating, while you propose to I must not, in addressing you, check the population of England ! confine myself to this vulgar Oh lord ! Cut off the 50,000 view of the matter. I must expounds a year, granted by the plore the subject, and come at the gentlemen in doors for the relief (obvious cause of the increase of of French and other foreign emi-| the sums paid out under the grants, to which grants Peter name of poor-rates. And, here, · Moore and Edward Ellice never before I enter further into this
object. Cut off the 90,000 matter, let me explain tlie nature pounds a year granted by the of poor-rates properly so called. gentlemen in doors, for secret They have their origin, in their service. Cut off the 200,000 a present form, in an act, passed year, granted by the same gen- in the reign of QUEEN ELIZAtlemen, to Yeomunry Cavalry in Beth, when the poor (properly Great Britain and freland. Cut so called) had been robbed of Coff the grants to the British Mu- the means of relief by the several seum, to the monument and beauti-l acts of confiscation of Churchfying and embellishing Committee.and-poor property, and by the *Cut off the bill of the printer to establishing of a wife-havingthe gentlemen' in doors. Thus, clergy, in the reigns of Henry in mere odds and ends, a great the Eighth and Edward the Sixth, deal more might be saved than confirmed by the acts of Elizawould pay the whole of the poor- beth. rates, great as they are. Therefore, ! In all times the really poor had keep these in your eye, good a right to relief out of the proSCARLETT, and your compassion- duce of the lands. BLACKSTONE ate bowels will no longer ache for says, that the poor-laws are fear of wanting the means of founded in the very principles of feeding the poor. Besides, re- civil society. And, certainly, collect, that, since 1750, more this is the case; for, when men than twice the amount of the whole consented to give up their naof the present poor-rates has been tural rights, the object must ADDED to the taxes on salt, have been the good of the whole; soap, candles, beer, and shoes, and, as misfortune, weakness of of the working classes. Bear this body, derangement of mind, orin mind, worthy compeer of phancy, infancy, old age, and PARSON MALTHUS; and you will helplessness, are naturally incieasily see abundant means of re- dent to mån, the good of the lieving distressed labourers without whole could never contemplate a
state of things, in which a man | Lawyer SCARLETT deny this? in good health should be exposed | Then let him explain, if he can, to starration, and in which help the meaning of two acts of parwas not always to be at hand liament, one passed in the reign to relieve persons truly helpless. of Richard the Second, and the Therefore, when the lands of other in the reign of Henry the England were placed by law in Fourth. . the hands of some persons to These acts are silencers of the the exclusion of others; when Clergy and the Landlords ; and, the lands became property, they therefore, pray attend to the Carried with them necessarily the cause of the passing of them. charge of providing for those who You have seen that Churches and had no lands, and who were unable Parishes arose out of the piety by their labour to earn a suffi- and benevolence of the Proprieciency of food. As long as the tors of Estates. You have seen mass of the people were vassals, that they had made a provision or slaves, to the proprietors, for the poor by allotting to them those 'proprietors took care of a fourth part of the tithes. But thiem of course. In later times, the proprietors held in their own when men had become more free, hands the power of always choosand when Christianity was intro-ing the priest, and that power duced, the proprietors got rid they left, of course, to their heirs. of the charge of immediately In time, however, monks, and providing for the indigent, by friars, and nuns came and lived setting apart, for that purpose, in monasteries of various descripa portion of the produce of their tions, founded and supported by estates. And this was done in Ipious and very foolish or very the following manner: The pro-wicked persons, who thought that prietor of an estate built a house these monks and friars and nuns for a Priest, built a church for could, by their intercessions, the people, endowed the house either keep them out of purgawith globe, or land, and endowed tory, or get them out of it very the Church (not the Priest) with quickly. Rich people gave moa tenth part of the annual pro- ney to these monasteries ; others duce of his estale. And, then, left them estates in house and this estate was called a parish ; land; and, in time, the cunning ibat is to say, a district in the creatures of monks and others charge of a priest..
prevailed on a great part of the - - Now, mind, the endowment proprietors of estates (now be. was not of the priest, but of the come parishes) to leave to the
Church. It was not for the sole use monasteries, and not to their own of the priest ; but, a fourth only sons and heirs, the power of choosof the tithes were for him; a fourth sing the parish priests! : to go to the support of the Church This was a grand stroke ; and • generally in the diocese ; a fourth now, mind the effect of it. A to keep hospitality with; and a monastery having got a power fourth to go to the support and like this, chose for a Parish Priest assistance of the poor. Will one of their own body; sent him
to live in the parish ; but made occupiers of house and land ; and him send the whole produce of the these are what we now call the tithes to the monastery, except a poor-rates, and which, as Sir small part which they allowed ROBERT WILSON manfully obo him to keep for himself. Thus, served, are the right of the poor of course, the poor of the parish as clearly as the land is the right had no means of relief. The evil of the landlord. having arrived at a great height, Now, then, that we know what the above-mentioned two acts were the poor-rates are, let us proceed passed, to compel the monasteries to inquire into the cause of their to leave in the parishes, in such increase in amount. Lawyer cases, enough to maintain the poor. SCARLETT says, that this “ relief Therefore, all the denials of the is scarcely considered in the Clergy and Landlords are vain. " light of a charity.” “ Scarcely!” It is clear, that a portion of the The man is an ass that ever suftithes belonged to the poor. fers the thought to come into his
And now. we come back to the head! It is a right, “ founded,” origin of the poor-rates. Henry as BLACKSTONE observes, “in the the Eighth suppressed all the mo- " very principles of civil society." nasteries and gave away their es- And, we shall presently see, that, tates to his greedy.courtiers. He, at the present time, the Labourers of course, took away the power receive, under the name of relief, of the monks to choose parish only a very small portion of what priests. He gave that to his has, by the workings of taxation courtiers. too; but he made no and the accursed paper-money provision for the poor. His son system, been deducted out of their and successor put the finishing I own wages. stroke to the thing; for he intro- It is the misfortune, of every duced the Protestant religion and country under a lawyer-like goallowed the Priests to marry, and, vernment, that is to say, where of course, they had families to a lawyer-like mind has ihe sway, eat up the share of the poor. to meet every evil, not by an inMary, in her short and mad reign, quiry into the cause of the evil, endeavoured to bring things but by some measure of check, back again ; but, when Eliza- or coercion, breathing the spirit beth came, she settled the Pro-of chastisement. When such a testant Clergy, and consolidated government perceives an evil, it the robbery of the poor. How-faces it with its power, instead of ever, she found that something hunting out its origin, and circummust be done to provide forventing it by a patient process. the indigent ; and, not being able Lawyer SCARLETT says nothing to do any thing with those who about the cause of the evil; and had robbed Church and Poor in yet, one would think, that that the reign of her father, she gave ought to have stood foremost in up the tithes, at once, to the his statement. Like Parson MALwife-having Clergy and the Lay- Thus, he is wholly silent upon tithe owners, and made a law to that head; and yet, when he had raise rates upon the whole of the showed, that the act of QUEEN