« FöregåendeFortsätt »
three or four years, at 8s. per week—got into bad company, and commenced thieving. About eighteen months back was sent to the House of Correction for stealing calico from a shop. It was the only time he got into trouble, but not the only one he deserved. He had been in the Refuge ten months, retained his vicious propensities for a long time after his admission, but after some months a considerable change took place in him. He began to amend from a conviction of the folly of ever attaining happiness in the way of sin, brought about by frequent private appeals to his conscience, and by continually directing his mind to higher and nobler pursuits than those in which he was in the habit of indulging. Had not this youth been snatched in time from his companions in vice, he would in all probability have been now a burden and nuisance to society.
CASE VI.-Aged 19; born in London; father was a hawker, and was transported to Sidney the same day this lad was born, for highway robbery, and has never been heard of since; mother has been dead nine years; has a brother a pieman in the streets; lived with an uncle till he went off travelling in the country. He turned the wheel at the Battersea silk mills for about three years; left; his mother died; worked at a paper-stainer's; left to go tramping; went with two or three others to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, often stealing as opportunity offered; was imprisoned six times—for stealing a loaf, bacon, handkerchiefs, breaking windows, attempts at Holborn Hill, and in the Strand; subsequently got jobs in the market, and for three months past chopped wood at Field Lane School.
CASE VII.-Aged 16; born in St. Giles's; father a shoemaker, has been dead fourteen years, mother still living, lives chiefly by begging in the streets, and is always on the tramp; no other relation living. He got work at a gardener's for about eighteen months, received no wages, food only. The garden was given up, and he was thrown on the streets; lived twelve months by begging and jobbing; during this time he got into trouble twice-once for attempting to take boots off the door-post of a shop, and once for begging; spent the money he got by begging, at gaffs, saloons, and theatres ; went three or four times every week; was taken into the Refuge at Westminster ten months since.
CASE VIII. He is a deserving young man, of steady and industrious habits, but has very vitiated parents. He has attended the Evening School from its commencement. His outfit has been provided by private subscription.
CASE IX.-A female, aged 19; born in St. Giles's; father and mother costermongers, and great drunkards; was employed by them to sell fruit in the streets. At the age of fourteen she was led astray, lived three years with her destroyer, and subsequently wandered about the streets. She attended Neal's Yard Ragged School, from which she was conveyed to the London Female Dormitory. Her wretched mother came to the farewell meeting in a state of intoxication.
CASE X.-A female, aged 20; born in the City of London; an orphan, mother having been dead fourteen years; and father two years, went to service very young, was prevailed upon to attend a low theatre, was led astray, and subsequently wandered about the streets for about four months. She sought and obtained admission into the Female Dormitory, from which she has been sent out to Australia.
The farewell meeting of the emigrants was held at Grotto Passage School, on Saturday evening, April 10th. Mr. Haselden presided. Tea was provided for the emigrants and Dormitory lads-in all forty. Prayer was offered by Messrs. Barker and Pearson, City Missionaries, and addresses were delivered by Messrs. Gent, Anderson, Chapman, and Hayward. It was a most profitable opportunity, and a service that will be long remembered by those present.
Plans and Progress.
MEETING OF DELEGATES FROM THE RAGGED SCHOOLS.
THE Quarterly Meeting of Delegates from the Metropolitan Ragged Schools was held on Thursday evening, April 8th, 1852, in Field Lane Ragged Schools, the Right Hon. the EARL OF SHAFTESBURY in the Chair.
Two subjects announced for discussion at the last meeting, but omitted for want of time, were the topics for the evening :
I.-New employments for scholars at Ragged Schools-The Shoe-Blacks-The Broomers-The Brassers-The Messengers-with their results.
II.—What plans are best to be adopted to insure the attendance of Ragged Scholars at Public Worship, either as individuals or as schools?
Mr. JOHN MACGREGOR, in introducing the first subject, said that he had been deputed to do so by Mr. Snape. He should but slightly refer to those out-ofdoor employments which had been fully discussed in the Magazine, and in the pamphlet published, called "Shoe-Blacks and Broomers." There are now about 1,500 children in the industrial classes, of 36 out of the 100 schools. In looking over the reports furnished from these schools a short time ago, there was not found an instance of disapprobation expressed. They were, however, employments useful only for discipline, but not for obtaining a livelihood in after life, while others might be found to be useful for both. Such employments as mat-making, wood-chopping, horsehairpicking, were only beneficial inasmuch as they tended to inculcate habits of industry and honesty, but nothing more. Other occupations, such as carpentering, tailoring, and shoe-making, would, to a limited extent, fit those engaged in them for future employment. Tailoring and shoe-making form a very large department in the schools, but after all they did not afford means of livelihood to more than a few. It therefore became an important question, whether any kind of employment could be suggested that would be useful to the children when grown-up.
The Shoe-Blacks and Broomers were started for the purpose of industrial training. Twenty boys were sent from Field Lane School alone, being nearly one-fourth of the whole number employed by the Parent Society, but they have had to dismiss most of them, and only four remain. He was, however, of opinion, that if the other schools would take the same amount of interest in the effort, at least two hundred boys might be so employed in the course of the next year. The only objection he could see to the Shoe-Black system is the apparent monotony of the employment, but it is in reality more varied than that which thousands are occupied with in factories during ten hours every day for a great part of their lives. He would only ask those present, from whose schools the boys had been supplied, whether they have not been satisfied and pleased with the cheerful conduct of the boys. Out of 94 boys who had been employed, 39 remained, 11 had left of their own accord, 24 had been dismissed, 13 sent to situations, and seven had emigrated.
In conclusion, Mr. Macgregor corrected a mistake which confounded the ShoeBlack Society with the Committee of the Union. They were perfectly distinct, though mutually assisting each other.
The discussion of this subject was continued, and various opinions given by the delegates as to the propriety of making the employments more of a mechanical character, so as to insure, not only present, but future benefits to the lads. Several other kinds of employments were alluded to, and suggestions made:
I. That boys should be instructed how to use Kent's Knife Cleaning Machine, and seek employment at houses where servants are not kept, to clean knives and windows.
II. That gentlemen connected with each school should employ as many boys and girls themselves as they can, and endeavour to get them into situations. (Several encouraging instances of efforts so directed were detailed.)
III. That a number of boys should be organised into a Messenger force, and application be made to the Directors of Railway Companies to allow them to stand inside the gates of the Railway Stations, to carry parcels or direct passengers.
IV. As important, in connection with every kind of employment in which the boys might be engaged, it was impressed upon the Meeting, that great care should be taken to teach them to write and read writing with facility, as the want of this had been an obstacle in providing boys suitable for messengers to be employed in the City.
Lord Shaftesbury said, that in discussing this question, the original design of the various employments should be borne in mind-teaching boys a trade, so as to put them in a position to obtain a livelihood thereby in after life, was never contemplated. If it had been, it would have been impossible to have carried it out. The children collected in these schools rarely stay beyond eleven, twelve, or thirteen years of age. It would therefore be impossible that by that time they could be taught a trade proficiently. Such a system could only be carried out on a large scale. Extensive premises, and a large staff of masters, would be required; and after all, the degree of knowledge attained would not enable them to go to a master and ask, as a competent mechanic, the market wages. The benefits contemplated by the various employments instituted have been fully realised, namely, training these lads to habits of industry and honesty. The character of the employment is of very small moment-the question seems to be, not so much what is the best thing to be done? as, what is the best plan we can adopt with the means we have?
His Lordship then called on Mr. WARE to introduce the second subject, namely, "The Plans best adapted to increase the Attendance of Ragged Scholars at Public Worship, either as Individuals or as Schools."
Mr. Ware, jun., observed-The evening was so far advanced, that he should only allude to the subject, hoping, however, the delegates would take it into their serious consideration. It must be admitted, that there existed a great reluctance on the part of the class with which they had to do, both children and adults, to attend public worship; and not only does their abject condition keep them out of the ordinary means of grace, but it causes them to feel that such places are not for them as well as others. But if the habit was instilled into them in early life, when they grew up they would not feel such reluctance to enter them. Again, the religious instruction imparted in Ragged Schools is necessarily very limited, and only of an elementary kind. In order that their views of religious truth may be more enlarged, it is necessary that they should be taken to places of worship, where they may become familiar with the distinctive doctrines of Christianity.
In the course of the discussion that followed, it was stated by several delegates from schools where the children are regularly taken to public worship, that the most beneficial results have followed. The good behaviour of the children in some instances had attracted the attention of the benevolent-situations had been obtained for them -contributions forwarded to the schools-and the children's minds had been greatly benefited.
It was, however, suggested that it might be well if the superintendents of each school would put themselves in communication with neighbouring ministers, and solicit the free use of seats for such scholars as the teachers may deem it wise to take. The discussion having closed, his Lordship rose and said: "You have heard of a Conference lately held at Birmingham, which, having had a number of sittings, and
come to a conclusion, are now anxious to ascertain how far the Union and the Schools will concur with them in applying to Government for grants to aid in carrying out Ragged School operations. The evening before last, the Committee of the Union met some of those gentlemen. There was a very amicable discussion, and the Memorial which they brought with them was considered of such importance, that we could not come to a conclusion until every person connected with the schools had been consulted. We have, therefore, had it printed, and you will now be presented with a copy of the same, together with a copy of the Report of the Proceedings of the Conference itself, that you may make yourselves thoroughly acquainted with its principles. I do not think it would be right on the present occasion to anticipate any conclusion to which they may lead you, nor to give you any opinions of our own. There will be a Special Meeting of Delegates, at which we can hear the opinions of all who shall have considered the subject, from which an estimate may be formed and a conclusion come to, as to whether Government shail or shall not be solicited to help us. This much, however, I must say it is a matter of the greatest importance-it is the turning-point in the existence and usefulness of the Ragged School Union. I do not say whether for good or evil. It may do good, but it is quite clear it will affect the whole of your operations; therefore it demands your most serious consideration." The Meeting was then adjourned till Tuesday evening, April 27th.
ANSWERS TO MARCH QUESTIONS.
QUESTION 7.-First Prize-Mary Ann Dyer, aged 11, Girls' Ragged School,
Second Prize-Euphemia Murray, aged 13, Original Ragged
QUESTION 8.-First Prize-George Pyne, aged 13, Union Mews Ragged
Second Prize-James Johnstone, aged 12, Original Ragged
QUESTION 9.-First Prize.-James Ward, aged 12, Compton Place Ragged
Second Prize.-James Nincham, aged 9, Southampton Ragged
Answers from the following children merit high approbation :-
QUESTION 9.-James W. Turner, Huntsworth Mews Ragged School, London, (nearly obtained 2nd Prize;) Ann Turner, Huntsworth Mews Ragged School, London; Maria Jager, Stanhope Street Ragged School, Liverpool; Charles Edwards, Ragged School, Southampton; Stephen Morgan, Ragged School, Southampton.
The children have evidently been encouraged by seeing the distribution of prizes to those who have been successful. Several answers to former questions have come too late from Dover, and from George Street, Lisson Grove, London. Our Scotch friends should recollect that the verses must be quoted, not simply referred to. Inattention to this has rendered useless
many Answers sent to Question 9, from all parts of the country. We mean by useless, unsuccessful in obtaining prizes, though we are assured that the search itself must have been of great benefit.
Some of our correspondents are anxious that the Answers should be printed in the Magazine. Experience shows that this would not be practicable, for the writing and spelling, which are considered in allotting prizes, could not well be reproduced in print. Besides this, a large amount of room would be occupied every month in the Magazine; for instance, the Answer which has obtained the first prize to Question 9, is written closely upon thirty-six pages of note paper, with a separate rider filling seven pages, (yet it is plainly the work of a Ragged School boy.) However, should the scheme we are now prosecuting increase in importance, it will be worth while to give the short answers in our pages.
Search the Scriptures, little friends-pray over them—and leave them not until you have found in them "eternal life." Then you will study them as messages of peace from a Heavenly Father.
QUESTIONS FOR May.
13. What particular men, living before the time of Christ, are so mentioned as to be certainly met with in heaven?
14. What women are spoken of with approval by St. Paul?
15. When did evil spirits pray to Jesus, and why did he grant their request ?
QUESTIONS FOR JUNE.
16. Where do the apostles speak of themselves as examples of conduct? 17. Give the character of Elijah in 30 words.
18. On what occasion did Christ pray for people long before they were
RAGGED SCHOOL REPOSITORY.
Ar the Delegates' Meeting, last month, had there been more time, the following suggestions would have been thrown out:-There are 1,500 of our children employed in Industrial Classes. Some of the work of one school would be useful for other schools, and some of it would be purchased by the public.
I think that if such articles as are thus disposable were collected in one place, they would find purchasers very readily. Suppose we begin by placing in one particular shop, boys' jackets and trousers, girls' frocks and pinafores, leather work, mats, nets, shoes, stockings, firewood fagots, drawings, books, magazines, maps, and other things produced by the labour of our schools, or required in fitting them up, it is pretty clear that more facility would be given for buying those articles, and for ordering, than is afforded now, where all these things are prepared at different places, very distant from each other.
As a commencement, we might induce some kind shopkeeper to allow these various articles to occupy a certain portion of his window, and if success attended the effort, we could set up a shop for ourselves. I will give £10 to start it.
Much time would be saved at the office, in Exeter Hall, if information, books, magazines, etc., were obtainable elsewhere, though, of course, it would only be such things as do not need inquiries about them from the Secretary, which ought to be found at the "Ragged School Repository."