Imagens das páginas

Jatires of Meetings, etc.

FIELD LANE RAGGED SCHOOL. The Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Field Lane Ragged School and Night Refuge for the Destitute was held in the large school-room, West Street, Victoria Street, Holborn, May 4th. The meeting was numerously attended, and was presided over by the Right Hon. the Earl of Sbaftesbury.

The Noble Chairman, in opening the proceedings, remarked, that it had been his lot to address them so often on the subject of Ragged Schools that he could now say little that was new upon the subject. Neither, he suspected, would the Report put before them anything that was new; but, at all events, he had no doubt that it would state to them this, that they stood in as good a position as they formerly did, and that they were in a situation weil adapted for enabling them to go forward; and he hoped, therefore, that they would not fall into a state of stagnation, for in institutions of this nature if they did not go forward, they were sure to go backwards. There was, in fact, no standing still; and let their watchword therefore be, Forward. There could be no doubt that they never had greater facilities for extending their efforts than they had at the present time, and he thought it would be extremely desirable if they could now commence a wellorganized effort for the cleansing of this metropolis. They knew what their own institution had already done; but although it and similar institutions had done much, they only touched the fringes of the case. There was a necessity that this and similar institutions should be extended Without saying whether men in power were doing right or were doing wrong, it was clear that in a very short time they were about to see an end of the punishment of transportation. It was, therefore, necessary that some provision should be made to meet such an event. Let them conceive what a state of things it would induce were three or four thousand convicts let loose upon it every year, which they must be were the punishment of transportation done away with. He confessed it appeared to him a question of so formidable an appearance, that he looked at it with fear and trembling, and he was convinced that the only mode of meeting it would be to devise some system foi the prevention crime. What was the use of men sitting down and exhausting their ingenuity for days, and months, and years, in devising schemes for the punishment of crime? If they wanted to meet the case effectually, they ought to do something for the prevention of it. if, by such a system of prevention, they could diminish it, then the difficulty would, to a certain extent, be obviated. 'No doubt crime there ever would be, in whatever state of society they existed, but, were a sound and thorough system of prevention put in operation, it would do much in lessening the amount of it; and as it was agreed on all hands that tbe period at which it, for the most part, developed itself was between the ages of twelve and fifteen or sixteen, there could be no better means of preventing it than by working institutions such as this on an extended and efficient scale.

Mr. S. Tawell, the Honorary Secretary of the Institution, then read a most gratifying Report


of the proceedings in connexion with it dur. ing the past year.

It stated that in connexion with the Institution, a Free Day School was conducted for Infants, Boys, and Girls, into which 200 fresh admissions had taken place during the year, making 1,538 since its opening; the average attendance being in summer from 120 to 160, and in winter from 130 to 140. There was also a school for youths and adults engaged in daily occupation, into which 181 boys and 272 men had been admitted since the last report, the attendance averaging from 130 to 160. "The Women's Evening School for improving character, and extending domestic usefulness, thereby making tender mothers and insuring comfortable homes, had been attended on an average by 30 women and 24 girls. The night refuge for the utterly destitute, which was opened in May, 1851, had been eminently successful. By its instrumentality 56 youths had been restored to their friends, while, since last report, 8,807 persons had participated in its benefits, 149 had obtained employment, and 89,284 loaves had been distributed among those who sought shelter in it. Besides these, there was also in connexion with the institution, industrial classes to teach youths tailoring and shoe-making, and employment in the shape of wood-chopping, as an industrial test for recommendation to situations; a home for boys when first engaged or placed apart from unwholesome contamination ; a clothing society for the naked, and distribution of bread to the starving; baths for the filthy, and a room to dry clothes worn in the rain during the day; Bible classes under voluntary teaching, by means of which 10,000 persons of all ages, but of one class, all in a state of physical and spiritual destitution, have heard set forth the glad tidings of salvation during the past year; a school missionary to supply the spiritual want of the sick, to scour the streets and bring youthful wanderers to the school, and a Ragged Church for the proclamation of the Gospel and the worship of God, the average attendance at which had been 140. The report also stated that the employment of the school missionary and the wood-chopping,'augmented the annual expense of the institution by about £150, and it was hoped those who wished it to prosper would come forward and enable the Committee to meet that additional demand. From the Treasurer's accounts it appeared that the income during the past year, including £104 carried from the previous year's account, and $ 220, being a legacy bequeathed to the institution by Miss Hardwicke, amounted to £1,029 158. ed., while the expenditure was £764 12s. 5d., leaving a balance in favour of the institution of £265 2s. 4d.

BREWER'S COURT, GREAT WYLD STREET. The Fifth Annual Meeting of this School was held at Freemasons' Hall, on May 23rd. Admiral Vernon Harcourt presided. The choir of the Crown Court Scottish Church kindly attended, and sang at intervals appropriate anthems.

The Report presented an historical summary of the proceedings of the school from its com

The operations of these schools consist of a Sabbath School, at which on the average the attendance is in the afternoon 30 boys and adult men, and 54 girls and adult women, and in the evening 27 boys. Infant Girls' Day School 116, Boys' Day School, 59. Week Evening School for boys and men 17; and also for girls and women, 19. Industrial Class for boys, who are taught tailoring, 12, and also for girls, who are instructed in needlework, 14. A Refuge for girls, which has now 18 inmates. Several girls, through the instrumentality of this department, have been placed out in respectable situations, and are conducting themselves satisfactorily. The lufant Nursery is now more known and better appreciated by the poor mothers, who gladly avail themselves of the benefits it confers on them. 61. 58. 8d. has been contributed by the boys towards clothing. Seven boys are now obtaining their living as shoe-blacks. One of them has saved £8 and is about to emigrate, and another £9, who is about to apprentice himself to a painter. The Reading Room was well used during the evenings of the past winter, and the Committee purpose opening it again in the ensuing winter months. Eighty-four Bibles have been purchased by the scholars during the year.

RED CROSS STREET. The First Annual Meeting of this School was held in the Infant School-room, Victoria Place, Union Street, on Wednesday evening, June 8th, 1853. The chair was taken by the Right Rev. Bishop Carr, D.D., late Bishop of Bombay.

The chairman observed, that he considered the institution of Ragged Schools, a sign of a great improvement in the views, feelings, and practices of the religious, middle, and upper classes of society. Forty years had elapsed since he had had some official acquaintance with the locality in which they were then assembled, and he remembered, that then, the feeling that generally existed concerning the degraded class was, that they were sunk too low ever to be benefited by any philanthropic effort. They were left as a living illustration of the truth that “evil communications corrupt good manners.” But of late years, Christians of various denominations and rank and station of life, in imitation of their Lord and Master, had gone among these degraded ones. It is true they have been blamed for so doing, but the good results, by the Divine blessing, have shown that it has been a step in the right direction. Ignorance, infidelity, atheism, and vice in its worst forms had accumulated like a pool of stagnant water. It was the Christian's duty to open the sluices upon it-the water of life-and by God's blessing it might be cleansed. But all such efforts must be in the exercise of faith and prayer, for he regarded all exertion apart from prayer as practical atheism, and on the other hand, prayer without corresponding effort as fanaticism.

The Report stated that this school had been established to meet the necessities of a numerous class of children who in consequence of their ragged and filthy condition, and immoral and vicious habits, could not be admitted into the schools affording a cheap education to the children of the decent and labouring poor of the neighbourhood. The building which consists of an old out-house in the rear of some premises, put into a state of repair at a cost of £30, is situated near what is called the “Mint. It affords accommodation for about

mencement, showing that it had its origin in the efforts of a devoted missionary, who having obtained the aid of a benevolent gentleman took two parlours of a dilapidated house in Brewer's Court. A Committee of 13 persons, obtained from five different denominations, was formed, and a Sabbath Evening School was opened in February, 1848. The attendance at first was 27 boys, but these soon increased to 50. They were collected from street prowlers and venders of sundry articles, such as oranges, onions, stay-laces, &c. The ignorance of some of the children was extreme.

These rooms soon became too small, and part of the adjoining house was added. Week Evening and Day Schools were added to the operations, and to these again Industrial Classes for girls. Much opposition had been experienced from the Roman Catholic priests, but notwithstanding, the school had been a blessing to many of the children, who in consequence of the migratory habits of their parents, have but a short stay in the school. This is obvious from the fact that above 2,000 children have been admitted since the establishment of the school.

The establishment of a Free Dispensary in connexion with the school has been found to be a means of great good.

The average attendance of scholars at day school is 120; week evening, 40 girls and 30 boys. Sabbath afternoon, 70. As many as 129 of the scholars have been provided with situations, and 218 drafted off to paying schools.

Thé Report concluded by stating that voluntary teachers were much wanted; that the balance due to the Treasurer amounted to £30; and as the lease of the premises is expiring, and the premises are too small for the operations, a Building Fund is about to be established.

FOSTER STREET. The Fourth Annual Meeting of this School was held at the Centenary Hall, Bishopsgate Street, on June 2nd; Sir James Duke, Bart., M.P., in the chair.

Sir James Duke in opening the proceedings of the evening said, that as an alderman he felt bound to aid to the utmost of his power the Ragged School effort, believing that it was a means of extensive good to the metropolis, and he felt happy to see so many influential and able gentlemen, on the platform who had attended to advocate the claims of the institution.

The Report stated that since the commencement of the Day Infant chool, 585 children have been admitted; the average attendance being 100; and 523 boys, and 460 girls had been admitted to the Evening School, which is open five evenings in the weex; the usual average attendance being 55 girls, and 60 boys. The Sabbath Evening School attendance is 160. In addition to education, there is an industrial class of 38 girls, who are trained to needlework and scrubbing. During the winter, 2,749 quarts of soup were distributed to the families of the children connected with the schools, provided by special contributions.


SCHOOL AND REFUGE. The Fourth Annual Meeting of these Schools was held in the School-room, Hill Street, on June 8th.

The meeting was presided over by J. 0. Hanson, Esq.

100 scholars. It is open four evenings in the week, and on Sabbath evening. The attendance has exceeded the accommodation. The eagerness manifested by the degraded class to be admitted to its benefits, and the improvement made physically, intellectually, and morally, have been very encouraging, and much attachment to the teachers has been shown. Industrial Classes, in which boys are taught tailoring and shoemaking, have been established, and have been found to be a means of great good. The receipts for the year baveamounted to £107.88.6d.; the expenditure has been £99. 8s. Id., leaving a balance in the hands of the treasurer of £8. Os. 5d.

CAMDEN TOWN RAGGED SCHOOLS. The Fifth Annual Meeting was held in the New Vestry Rooms of Saint Pancras, on Thursday evening, June 9th, 1853; Mr. Churchwarden Billett in the chair.

After prayer, the Report was read by Mr. Clabon, which gave the following particulars :1. Sunday School. Number on the books increased during the year from 115 to 130, average attendance from 75 to 105, managed by a superintendent, secretary, and 13 voluntary teachers. 2. Day School. Managed by a mistress, an assistant and monitors, number on the books, 370; average attendance increased during the year from 120 to 280; of this number, 120 are infants under six, and 75 are girls, and 85 boys of six years old and more; 40 can read well, 50 can read tolerably, 30 can write well in copy; books, 60 can write well on slates, 45 understand the common rules of arithmetic, and 60 girls can sew. 3. Evening School. Managed by a master, number on books 43, average attendance during the winter 40, now 30. 4. Boys' Industrial Class. Managed by a master, number on books 37, average attendance 10. As to finance the Committee report the annual receipts at €197.108.7d., and the expenditure £221. 128. 4d., exceeding the receipts by £24. 18. 9d. They report that the school is over-crowded, and that 60 children have been refused during the year, and they urge increased subscriptions to enable them to add to the accommodation of the schools, and to erect a dormitory.

The adoption of the Report was moved by the Rev. M. Courtenay, chaplain of St. Pancras Workhouse. He had visited the school that day, had found 300 children there under excellent management; 20 children had been refused during the last week. He urged the necessity for education, and called on the inhabitants of the locality to support the schools. The Rev. J. W. Langdale, M.A., the Honorary Treasurer, in seconding the motion, said, that Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost; that no class of the community could be said to be lost more than the poor destitute children of London, which was not only the capital of an empire, but an empire in itself. A poet had talked of “the silent crimes of capitals,” in the metropolis, 3,000 children every year received a regular education in crime. They were taught to pick pockets, to shoplift, to defraud. There never was a period when such institutions as Ragged Schools were so neces. sary. If it were not for these schools what would become of the poor children to whom he had referred? They would live a life of crime, and their souls would be ruined for ever. If knowledge and religion were taught them when young, though they might fall off from attention

to God's laws, there would be good hope that the seed sown in youth would not be sown in vain.

The Rev. J. C. Harrison, of Park Chapel, moved the second resolution, which was, " That the meeting desires to express devout thank fulness to Almighty God for the success of the schools, and for the blessing conferred by their means on the locality in which they were situate."

He said that the existence of free schools gave real cause for thankfulness to God. In the beginning of the century there were no free schools. In 1805 the British and Foreign School Society, on the system of Lancaster, was originated. In 1811, the National School Society, under the auspices of Bell, was established. In 1818, Lord Brougham moved for returns of the number of children then receiving instruction. It was 674,000. It is considered that if one person out of every nine in the country be in a school, that suffices for the educational wants of the people-Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth puts it at one in eight-but, taking the number at 674,000 in 1818, this was only one in 18. In 1833, the Earl of Kerry moved for returns. It appeared from them that 1,276,000 children were then at school, being one in 11} of the population. According to the census of 1851, 2,144,000 children were receiving daily education-or one in 8. It therefore appears that the number of children receiving education almost equals the estimate of the number who ought to be receiving it. It is a glorious fact, that there are 11,367 free schools in this nation almost entirely built by voluntary contribution. The late census has also shown that the poor of this country are paying £500,000 a year for the education of their children. The announcement of this in the House of Commons produced the greatest astonishment and admiration. It may be, that in some foreign countries, under a system of centralization, the results appear to be greater ; they represent the interest which Government takes in the education of the people; but the erection of our 11,367 free schools represents the interest taken by the rich, and the annual payment of £500,000 by the poor, represents the help given by them--facts far more interesting than that of education afforded by those in authority. Then it must be remembered, that our free schools are established by the Church of England or by Nonconformists, in selecting the teachers their piety as well as their competence in other respects is taken into consideration. It may, therefore, be said, that in our 11,367 free schools the whole man is educated; he is taught what will make him a reputable citizen-his spirit is educated for immortality. It must not, however, be supposed that we have all that is wanted in the way of education. It is assumed as the foundation of the above estimates that each child remains at school for five years. But many remain for eight or ten years; therefore, many are only at school for two or three years, and many not at all. There are crowds of children in our streets who never go to school. Ragged Schools have brought into notice a new phase of humanity; it was not supposed that children could be found whom no parent cared for-who had no one to look after them. They are now discovered, and a grand experiment on human nature is in progress. We shall see whether these poor children, by kindness and gospel truth, will become children of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Yes, they have feelings; their minds expand, many of them already are filling honourable stations in society; multitudes are, I trust, destined to live with Christ for ever.

What a benefit to society is therefore occasioned by

Day School is 90. And by these 93 articles of clothing have been made, and 260 repaired. In the evening, about 35 girls, varying in age from 12 to 26, are collected and taught in the same room; they are of the lowest character possible, but yield to discipline, and the force of moral and religious training. The school on Thursday evenings, and Sunday afternoons, conducted by voluntary teachers, was well-attended, and found to be very useful.

The balance in hand last year was £50. 98. 2d., the contribution, including liberal grants from the Ragged School Union, had amounted to £824.38. 6d. Total of payments, £899. 188.6d., and balance due to treasurer, £25. 68. 7d.

The Rev. F. Rogers observed, that the benefits of these Refuge Institutions were felt in the various prisons in proportion to the extent of their operations, which he much regretted were so limited. Formerly he had met with some, commonly called in prisons old hands, who had been in Grotto Passage School, but for a long time past he had not seen one. The old hands had been missing in the various prisons. He heartily wished that the funds of the Refuge were but equal to the efforts required to check the supplies of the young hands, who were being constantly trained to become thieves. He had ascertained, that trainers did not consider they had done badly, if they had succeeded in educating a recruit, at a cost of £10; that fact clearly proved to his mind that their gains must be enormous. He could refer to a prison that cost £20,000 per annum, and in point of reformation had done nothing, but, on the contrary, by the whipping system, had done much injury. Now, the Ragged School Union, with its £4,000, had done much to take criminals from jails, and if its means were only equal to the expenditure of that one prison, he was satisfied the good achieved would be great in proportion,


these schools! In supporting them we are preventing poor children from becoming thieves and vagabonds. We are performing a simple duty to ourselves. We are saving ourselves from annoyance and loss, and obviating, to a certain extent, the necessity for police laws. But we are doing more. When we see these poor children with souls travelling to eternity, and we possess the word of life, and impart our knowledge to them, we are performing a duty which we owe to Almighty God. They are his work-though in ruins, his work; souls to live for ever. Mr. Harrison concluded with an earnest exhortation to those present to contribute to the schools.

A vote of thanks to the Chairman and to the Vestry, for the use of the room, having been moved by Lieutenant Blackmore, and seconded by Mr. Clabon, the meeting was concluded with prayer by the Rev. J. C. Harrison.


ENWELL. The Annual Meeting of the above schools was held at the Parochial School-rooms, Amwell. street, Pentonville, on Monday evening, the 13th instant, and, although the weather was most unfavourable, the meeting was largely attended.

The Earl of Kintore presided, and in his opening address impressed upon the meeting the duty of instructing the ignorant and neglected, and thus obeying the command of Him who said, “ Feed my lambs.” The Report was then read, which proved, beyond a doubt, that God's blessing had been poured down upon the efforts of the Committee, and had crowned them with success.

The meeting was then addressed by the Revs. Messrs. Champneys, Neal, Wild, Garbett, also by T. Atkinson, and F. Cuthbertson, Esqs., and, after a hymn having been sung by the children, the benediction was pronounced, and the meeting separated.

The collection at the close of the meeting amounted to £38.

GROTTO PASSAGE REFUGE AND SCHOOLS. The Seventh Annual Meeting of this Institution was held on Tuesday, June 14th, at the Literary Institution, Edward Street, Portman Square. George Long, Esq., one of the magistrates of the Marylebone Police Court, occupied the chair.

The Report stated that the Refuge Department was still limited in its operations from want of funds. It had, however, been full during the year; and the places rendered vacant by some emigrating, and others being variously disposed of, have been filled up with fresh applicants. The Committee, aided by the Ragged School Union, have, during the year, sent seven of the Refuge lads abroad, and apprenticed six others in the merchant service. Particular attention had been paid to the industrial classes, which were found to be of great value. AS many as 70 pairs of men's boots had been made, and 120 pairs repaired ; 76 articles of clothing made, and 116 repaired; 70 mats of various kinds manufactured ; and 9,000 bundles of wood cut. The attendance of the Boys' Day School bas increased, so that an additional master is needed. The average attendance of the Infant

The Sixth Annual Meeting of this Institution was held in the school-room. Above 200 of the subscribers and friends took tea previous to the meeting, which was presided over by the Rev. William Miall. Plain and practical addresses were delivered by John Green, Esq., Messrs. Barwick, Johnson, W. Ferry, Cobden, Gooding, and Berlyn.

The Report spoke of the great improvement apparent in many still in the school-whose appearance and mental culture form a striking contrast with the condition in which they were when first admitted. The Infant School has an average attendance of 120. The clothing society is still much valued by the scholars, and found very beneficial. The deposits in the Penny Bank have amounted this year to €30 One of the scholars had emigrated, the parish contributing £4 towards the expenses. Twenty children have been provided with situations. One of the scholars, who, about four years ago, emigrated to Australia, had returned to England, visited the school, presented a sovereign as a donation, married, and gone to America to purchase land, with money obtained in Australia. He addressed the scholars of the school on several occasions, and publicly testified of the benefits he had received through the instrumentality of the school. During the year, 68 Bibles and 48 hymn-books have been purchased by the children.

Papers, Original and Selected.

RAGGED HOMES IMPROVING. It is always given to enterprise and energy that “fresh fields and pastures new " shall be opened up, and this emphatically holds true where enterprise and energy are controlled and directed by the spirit of Christian philanthropy. We have seen this illustrated in a remarkable manner in the movement which originated Ragged Schools. These institutions do not now stand alone. There are many auxiliary forces, 80 to speak, in operation at this moment, which, a few years ago, were not even dreamed of. And why is this? Because that the first efforts were tentative and experimental, and that when moral wants were discovered and sought to be remedied, it was speedily found that the physical and material element stood in stubborn opposition to the moral and the religious, and that until these were harmonised, generous aspirations for the elevation of the masses must in a large measure be disappointed. Lord Shaftesbury could, we are satisfied, himself testify that he had no idea when he first threw himself with enthusiasm into the cause of Ragged Schools, “ whereunto this would grow.” But it is written that unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.” And accordingly, when the dark alleys and courts were explored, whither the poor children returned at night, it was discovered that there the half, at least, of a whole day's painstaking with them was effectually done away.

Some years ago, special attention began to be directed to the condition of the dwellings of the poor in this Metropolis. These had been (except to the detective police and to the City Missionaries) an unknown territory. By the erection of new and splendid streets the case was aggravated. The increased overcrowding in the remaining lodging-houses, consequent on the sweeping away of the dilapidated buildings in which the lowest of the population had their abodes, became truly frightful. Efforts were made to erect model lodging-houses, and these were successful

, at St. Pancras, Spitalfields, and St. Giles's, but to an extent which did not keep pace with the ever-deepening tide of evil. The common lodging-houses became more and more filthy, unwholesome, and morally polluting. Crime there held its councils, as well as its training-schools, and celebrated its orgies. The deadly fever was there engendered and spread wide and far—the barriers of virtue and of youthful innocence were there overthrown—and shameless rampant vice seemed to defy alike the laws of God and man. Gladly would we hail a rapid multiplication of separate buildings, such as those already erected by "The Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes." These have conveniences and comforts for those who need to be rescued from the evils we have alluded to, and they afford facilities to

“ draw a pure breath, Where nature sickens and each gale is death," which ordinary lodging-houses cannot supply. As Lord Carlisle said at the opening of the new building in Spitalfields, in 1850, that such a Society, offering a safe investment and certain dividends, for money in NO. LVI.–VOL. V.


« AnteriorContinuar »