Abbildungen der Seite

draining the soil, year by year, of its year's product, object of getting into prison. If to the number of and spending in England, and other favoured lands, the prisoners coming direct from Ireland, those of Irish money which, if laid out at home, would elevate their parentage (though born in England) be added, three. country to a par with the best of them. But our pre-quarters (Mr Hill says one-half] of our prisoners are sent business is not with the absentees, but with the generally Irish. The proportion of Irish prisoners has inundation of pauper labourers, which the want of nerve, ticularly during the year now closing. Three years ago,

been rapidly increasing for the last three years, and par. patriotism, and capacity of the landowners, throws upon the number of prisoners in the year who were born in our charity and our contempt.

Ireland was 1439 out of 4932, or less than thirty per In order to understand the conduct of the Irish of the cent. of the whole number of prisoners ; but last year pauper class abroad, we must remember their condition it was 2680 out of 6769, or forty per cent. of the whole at home. They have never in their lives been their own number, Thus out of a total increase in three years masters: they have never fairly possessed even their of 1837 prisoners, 1241 were Irish. The portion which miserable holdings; for their payments have, generally less than half their share of the criminality of the town;

the Irish form of the whole population of Liverpool is speaking, been merely instalments on a debt which hangs and this is not only the case with petty offences, but like a millstone round their necks: they have never with serious offences also. The number of felonies acquired even the independence frequently given in last year committed in Liverpool by persons born in England, by the voluntary acquittance of the landlord ; | Ireland was 222; while the whole number committed for in Ireland the forgiveness of rent amounts only to by persons born in Lancashire was only 269, though the transference of the sum to the next year's account: there are more than three times as many people in they have never passed a year without starving and Liverpool who were born in Lancashire as were born begging during a portion of it. Thus vagrancy with in Ireland. During the last three years, the number of them is so regular, so absolute a necessity in the nature felonies committed in Liverpool by Lancashire people

was actually diminished, notwithstanding the increase of things, as to be hardly considered a misfortune; and in the population ; but the felonies committed by the thus have they grown up from infancy, without pride, Irish have more than doubled, having increased from without self-respect, and, above all, without hope. When 108 in the year 1843–4, to 222 in the year 1846-7. such persons find themselves in the comparatively The very names of the prisoners and their brogue show wealthy towns of another country, they are indeed how many of them are Irish.' strangers-strangers in feelings and habits. They are To talk of the moral effect of a pestilence like this drawn together by a natural attraction, and seek, as if among the dense population of Liverpool would be a by instinct, the darkest and dirtiest nooks in the place, waste of words ; but it may be worth while showing, on where they remain, acting and reacting upon each other ings in prison for our visitors. The cost of the prison

the same authority, the cost we are at in finding lodg. in mutual contamination. In such circumstances, even last year, exclusive of the interest of the capital exhigh wages can have no power to change their cha- pended in the building, was nearly L.10,000, of which racter. They spend the surplus in the lowest animal forty per cent., or L.4000, must be considered as the exgratifications, and continue to burrow in filth and dark- pense falling on the borough of Liverpool for prisoners ness as before. Such is the picture of the Irish in strictly Irish, not to speak of the great cost of the proEngland, drawn by Mr Lewis, the poor-law commis- secution of these offenders, and of the expense of police sioner, in his Report ; but even in Australia they remain in watching them. Owing to the insufficiency and bad unchanged, crowding together in the back lanes of the about to be erected, the cost of which is estimated at

construction of the present prison, a new prison is towns, instead of pushing out, like other men, into the more than L.120,000. Of this great expense, forty per independence of the wilderness.

cent., or L.48,000, is caused by this same class of priThe effect of recent inundations of such visitors in soners; or, including all prisoners of Irish parentage, Liverpool, as described in the thirteenth Report of three-quarters of the sum, or L.90,000, must be put Mr Frederick Hill, inspector of prisons, is appalling. down as the estimated expense to the borough of LiverThe following is the evidence of the governor of the pool of providing prison accommodation for Irish priBorough Jail :—The present number of prisoners is soners. To have the pauperism of Ireland thrust upon much greater than at any former period, during the us is bad enough, viewed economically ; but this costly seven years that I have been governor of this prison. mass of crime must, we venture to say, be rejected, or The number began first to increase materially at the else, as Mr Vereker suggests, the absentee landlords beginning of this year, but has increased most rapidly taxed to cover the amount. The late alteration in the during the last three months. In the three months law of settlement does not affect the evil in the new ending November 30, 1846, the whole number of com- shape in which it appears. Perhaps the most dismittals was 2304, and the daily average number of heartening feature of the whole case is the fact that an prisoners was 583; but in the three months ending English prison is considered by many of the Irish an November 30, 1847, the number of committals was agreeable alternative, as compared with a return to 2680, and the daily average number of prisoners 701; their own country. In the county prison at Salford, and the number of prisoners has now risen to nearly where more than a third of the prisoners were Irish, or 800. The increase has been chiefly among prisoners of Irish parentage, an example of this occurred, accordcommitted for petty offences-particularly for vagrancy ing to the following evidence of the chaplain :- There and pilfering — and has been almost entirely among were five Irish in the prison, three men and two women, the Irish. In the three months ending November 30, for refusing to give information respecting their places 1846, the number of Irish committed to the prison of settlement in Ireland, so as to enable the interrogatwas 818, or about thirty-five per cent of the whole ing magistrates, if they thought fit, to order their renumber of prisoners; but in the three months just moval to their own country. Two of them had been in ended, the number of Irish was 1129, or forty-two per the prison more than four months, two more than six cent. of the whole number. Thus it appears that of 376 months, and one seven months. Í saw them all, and committals, the increase in the whole number of com- found that they were quite aware that they could at mittals in the last three months, as compared with the any time obtain their liberation from prison if they three months ending November 30, 1846, 311 were of were willing to give the information required of them.' Irish prisoners. The increase in the number of men We have no desire to enter into the question of races, has been somewhat greater in proportion than among now so commonly discussed ; holding, as we do, that the the women. It is well known that in some instances Celt is as fully entitled as the Saxon to the good offices the Irish have committed offences with the express of his fellow-men in the attempt to change what is

objectionable in his character. It will be more to sixpence in the pound were regularly paid up for thirty our present purpose to show, from the results of actual weeks—that is, 158. in the pound-the remaining 5s., experiment, that the change as regards the Irish at or twenty-five per cent., would be remitted as a bonus; home is not impossible nor even difficult; and to suggest but any person getting four weeks into arrear would be as a corollary from what we are about to state, that disentitled to this allowance; and this arrangement has the failures hitherto experienced may have been owing had a very beneficial effect. to the imprudent manner in which assistance bas been • The sum originally lent was L.20; this was subserendered. The noble achievement of Lord George Hill,* quently increased to L.50, which, with L.7 from the in reclaiming not only the seemingly impracticable London Ladies' Association for Promoting Employment, waste of Gweedore from a state of nature, but its L.6, 2s. 6d. the produce of clothing sold, and twenty miserable inhabitants from ignorance, poverty, idle- barrels of meal, constituted the whole amount advanced. ness, and crime, proves our position of itself. The truth With this, and the repayments, 178 loans have been ought no longer to be minced. The long course of made; and the parties thus assisted have, it appears, mismanagement of lands in Ireland is substantially besides (with little exception) regularly paying up their the foundation of Ireland's misery and wrongs. The instalments, been able to maintain themselves and those intolerable evil is not political ; it is social. According dependent upon them-at a time, too, when, in the surto the original compact on which lands are held from rounding parishes, the poor-law guardians were overthe crown, the understanding surely is, that the party whelmed with wretched objects imploring relief.' holding them shall do good service to the state. It Towards the close of last year, a deputation from the never could be meant that private proprietorship committee visited the district, and were much gratified should impart the privilege of covering the land with by the happy countenances, independent bearing, and weeds, and rearing up hordes of human creatures in consciousness of self-respect apparent among the fishersemi-starvation. And yet this has actually ensued over men.' Being desirous of conferring some tokens of a large portion of Ireland. As things stand, the com- approbation, they distributed as prizes to the most puncpact may be said to be broken ; and it may very fairly tual in their repayments a number of the warm, combe a question in what manner the state should interfere fortable woollen shirts worn by sailors, called Guernsey either to enforce allegiance to the tenure, or to recall frocks; and when the news was spread, it .effected a gift which has been so grossly abused. English ca- more than a score of processes emanating from a court pital waits but for an opportunity to pour itself into the of law. In the Second Quarterly Report a very remark. fap of Ireland, and how disgraceful that this cure for 80 able change of another kind is noted. The hamlets of many evils should be indefinitely postponed, all through the district were formerly so filthy, and contagious disthe existence of a pauperism for which common sense, eases so prevalent in them, that the Board of Health not to say legal obligation, points out a remedy. interfered with the most stringent measures. Its efforts,

Above, we have alluded to Gweedore, and are happy however, were unavailing. Nothing short of stopping to be able now to give publicity to another experi- their rations could induce the wretched inhabitants to ment of quite a different nature, but with a termi- use the lime and bricks that were supplied to them nation as favourable. This experiment, it is true, has gratuitously. But all this is now at an end. A wish to been on a small scale, and in a mountain parish con- please their benevolent visitors operates more strongly taining only between 2000 and 3000 inhabitants ; but than legal constraint or the fear of death; their houses it affords much encouragement, as well as much instruc- have been all newly thatched, and the whitened walls and tion, to the philanthropist.

neatly-sanded floors give an appearance of cleanliness The Ring district, as it is called, is situated on the and comfort to their humble dwellings. Our readers, western side of the Bay of Dungarvan, and is inhabited we are sure, will bear with us while we give one more by persons who derive their chief support from fishing. quotation, taken from the Fourth Quarterly Report, During the dreadful season of 1846-7, these poor crea- dated in July last :- I have much pleasure in stating, tures were in a far worse state of starvation than usual, with reference to our Loan fund, that the people here having been compelled to part with their nets for food, are every day appreciating the value of it more and and even to burn their oars for fuel. Their case was more, and, by their general good conduct and punctual brought by the vicar of Ring before the Waterford payments, have convinced me that were such a course Auxiliary Relief Committee of the Society of Friends; more generally adopted among this class of persons and that body determined to attempt something in their along the Irish coast, the benefits conferred would be favour, not by means of charity, but in a way that was incalculably great, for the small sums that we give are likely to educe and cultivate any dormant feelings of only intended to assist industry, not to foster or support self-respect that might lurk in their nature. This plan idleness. And here I may mention a curious fact, for was to give trifling loans on certain terms, and to dis- the accuracy of which I can vouch with confidence, tribute these loans according to character, not mere that the parties on whom such loans have been condestitution. The loans, varying from 10s. to L.3, ferred have prospered to such a degree in their different were to be expended solely for the repair of boats and speculations, that they are all impressed with the idea providing fishing apparatus; and whilst provisions were that there is some charm in the “ Friends' money;" and high-priced, a small weekly allowance of meal, as sea several persons whose circumstances disentitled them store, was given gratis to each boat's crew for a short to any relief from our funds, have come to me soliciting period. One month after the loan was made, repay- a loan, saying that their boat required a sail or a new ment was to commence in weekly instalments of not cable, and if I advanced them the price of it, they less than sixpence in the pound. The sums thus re- would repay me immediately the full amount advanced, ceived, it was announced, would be immediately re-lent without expecting to be allowed the usual abatement to other parties, and the persons assisted were therefore of twenty-five per cent. for regular payments ; adding, encouraged to do their part in benefiting their neigh- that unless I complied with their request, their crew bours, by paying in a greater sum than the stipulated would abandon them. And how are we to account for amount whenever the week's fishing proved successful; this extraordinary success? How explain whence origiand the expectant applicants exercised a salutary vigi- nated this strange impression among them, unless by lance that there should be no undue remissness in the attributing to industry, perseverance, and sobriety, payments. In order still further to induce punctuality, what they ascribe to talismanic influence? for they and likewise to aid these miserably poor people, without know perfectly well, that to meet the weekly payments, compromising the feelings of independence and self- they must labour constantly with diligence and assireliance, which the committee were most anxious to duity, so as not to fall into arrear. They must also be cherish, it was also stipulated that if the instalments of temperate and correct in their general conduct, other

wise they forfeit all claim to further assistance; and * Seo Journal, No. 157.

hence the great mystery may be solved.'

It will be seen that in this case the good Quakers ficial effect upon the character even of the absentees placed themselves in the natural position of the land- themselves, by relieving them from the withering and lord, and by means of a very trifling outlay of money, deadening sense of shame they must feel in walking our operated an almost magical change on the character streets, and reading our daily records of beggary and of the people--keeping the little settlement together, crime. instead of permitting its inhabitants to drift away to Liverpool and other towns, and there sink from A STEERAGE EMIGRANT'S JOURNAL FROM beggars into thieves. This latter process, be it observed, is the consequence of their wanderings; for in

BRISTOL TO NEW YORK. their own country, although offences against the April 26.—Left Cumberland Basin at seven o'clock, person are numerous, those against property are com- and passing by the Hotwells, gave three cheers to paratively rare. But we must likewise observe that the multitude on the shore, which was returned by the the experiment in question applies only to individuals waving of hats, handkerchiefs, &c. Reached Kinghaving some occupation independently of their land. road, and came to anchor at ten. Printed articles read We are not prepared to say that the loan system would by the captain. Rules nailed up to the mainmast: no be of any use to mere cultivators; for the abuses con- swearing allowed on board ; no smoking below deck; nected with land are so enormous, and of such long no lights after ten o'clock; and no steerage passenger standing, that it seems hopeless to attempt any re- to go abaft the mainmast. form, unless of a more decided kind. In a separate 27.—Got under weigh. Most of us busy unpacking: publication the writer has given an anecdote bearing pots, kettles, frying-pans, and the like, begin to show upon this point, which may be worth repeating here. It out; and a certain disorder, called sea-sickness, begins refers to the western coast, and to individuals who were to show its nose. Fine pickle below. Very poor appeable, in ordinary seasons, to extract a wretched living tite myself. Pipe my only solace. from their small holdings of land. “A gentleman, as 29.–Little boiling, toasting, or frying this morning. my informer told me, commiserating the condition of All down except four us. Cooks' galley free of access: the people, who patiently endured the pangs of hunger, the busy scene of cooking deferred till hungry appetites when the sea before them teemed with wholesome and awake anew. A little doing in the gruel way. After ! delicious food, purchased a boat for the purpose of noon.—More gruel in requisition. making an experiment. He invited some of the most 30.--A poor little swallow picked up on the deck destitute among them to accompany him to the fishing, quite tired; by intreaties suffered to live. For dinner, promising, in return for their share of the labour, to partook of fried eggs and bacon; the first meal with a give them a due share of what they caught. They good appetite since on board. My provision - chest, refused to labour without wages; and after in vain lashed on deck, I scarcely dare open. I have apples, endeavouring to make them comprehend that his offer some good cheese, and butter; that is pretty generally was much better than the ordinary rate of payment, he known. •Pray, sir, when are you going to open your added to the chance of the fishing a day's wages. On chest? I hear you have some nice cheese; should like this they consented. The fishing was completely suc- to beg a bit.' Another — Have you any apples to cessful ; and, in addition to supplying their families spare ? I hear yours is fine fruit.' A third-How I with abundance of excellent food, they made some should like to taste your bacon! I am told it is the money by selling what remained. This was all their best on board.' Many wet jackets to-day : much fun benefactor wanted. His experiment had succeeded ; and pastime on board. I was soaked; but salt water, for it had convinced the people that they were able, by it is said, produces no cold. My pipe a cure for all. their own industry, to make a comfortable and indepen. Now we go on gloriously, and are in the great and dent subsistence." I lend you my boat,” said he, “till much-talked-of Atlantic. Most of the passengers alive you are able to purchase one for yourselves. Go, and again. A prayer-meeting held below, at which many make a good use of it. Be industrious, and be happy.” engaged. But the day's wages ?”

cried they. The day's wages ! May 1.-In the course of this sail much tossing Argument was vain. They demanded a day's wages as about; plates, dishes, and the like suffered wreck. before, and would not stir without. Their benefactor Some alarm below : boxes and packages out of place; gave up his attempt in shame and sorrow, and the one tea-kettle, with hot water, showing off to the terror unhappy savages returned to their hunger and their of some females ; children crying; men busy replacing despair.'

things. What a crowd! No place to call my own. It will be remarked that even in this extreme case Here is my corner, dark as one's pocket: four berths, some little management, such as would have been prac- with five inmates, close to my heels: in an angle sleeps tised by the Quakers, might have accomplished the the under-steward; then over me are two in a berth ; object; and for ourselves, we believe, that if the then inside the partition, arm's-length from me, is the gentleman, instead of employing them to work, had forecastle, where the sailors sleep. Two holes, cut for said, 'Hollo, boys, come and have a bit of sport!' air, often admit water upon us, through the ship's hearhe would have been followed eagerly by the whole ing: and that is not all, here is the sailors' loud bawl community without fee or reward. But however changing watch, that dins in the ear, and jars and mars this may be, the question still recurs as to the obliga- the little peace in shape of rest. Say nothing of being tion of England to receive into her bosom the crime often heaved from side to side ; and should the ship in and beggary of a country whose fixed capital is hardly the night take a fresh tack, then, to our discomfitare, touched, and whose working capital is expended in heads are down and heels up. Then, after her bows, stimulating the industry of other nations. We have and next to us, is a farmer and his family. The old no hesitation in giving it as our opinion that this is man is a Universalist and a preacher. His creed I hold altogether wide of our duty, and that immediate not with, though his counsels often are savoury. His steps should be taken to compel the Irish capitalists, daughter is agreeable ; she is my pudding - maker. great and small, to do theirs, either by imitating the Next to these folks is an angle with four berths, filled Friends in person, and on the spot, or by forming a with two young men, a married couple, a married and national fund for people of more courage, humanity, single woman, and a married man. Then follows one and patriotism to work with. We say that the absentees side of the ship in double rows like a street and storeshould be compelled; for the fact of their being ab- houses—that is, from the fore to the main hatchsentees shows that they will do nothing without com- glutted with boxes and other packages ; the boundaries pulsion. The imposition of a special tax, in a case of marked out by some cumbersome article placed there. this kind, would be hailed with delight by every man, Overhead, as if for safety, are suspended beef, hans, woman, and child in Ireland; and by confining the Irish and the like, with caps, bonnets, and twenty other arInundation to their own shores, it would have a bene- ticles. The walking way is reduced to a narrow zigo

zag, ten inches at most. There lies somebody's bag to 12.-On deck to light my pipe. Hard work to reach be trod on. • Who has had my map?' Why, I just a fire. Coming therefrom, met a good ducking. borrowed it ; but my little boy has let it fall overboard.' Wished I could not smoke : should save many a wet Water-jars and pitchers, with a tea-kettle or two, often jacket. Much providing. Some broth overdone ; some form a group, lashed together for safety ; but the not done enough; and some not likely to be done at all. annoyance of the ship sometimes disturbs their repose Glad I am out of the cooking at all events. General in the night, and makes them cry out; and the sufferer proinenade among the women. Invited out to tea. has a nose, a lip, or a body broken, to the no small 17.— Potatoes short on board ; spared two pecks; teaze of its owner.

was paid ls. 6d. Here comes a little fellow who has 2.- Passengers now pretty well; pots, kettles, and been well all the voyage, and can run the deck while the like in requisition : two large fires and the cooks' all else are glad of a friendly rope. They tell me it is galley all full and crowded. To prevent accidents, a often so with children. Twelve o'clock — the sailors' chain runs across and over the grate ; but sometimes happy hour. At the cry of Grog, ho!' from the this wont do: there's a see-saw, then a capsize, and a steward, each man bottles a gill of rum ; this, unless scald perhaps follows. Much fun and pastime on deck; when there is extra allowance, is a day's quantum. three fiddles, and some dancing. A stiff breeze; ship For their food they have plenty of good boiled beef and began to roll, and we soon danced to another tune. pork every day; boiled peas and soup twice a-week ;

4.-Orders for a general cleaning below. All hands pudding once, and potatoes twice. Red herrings they mustered on deck. Much bustle and clatter. Great call old soldiers, and chiefly eat them for breakfast. scrubbing and fumigation ; lost some beer and cider on 20.-Bad news to-day : tobacco very scarce on board ; the occasion. Opened my chest : oranges spoiled ; my last morsel nearly in the pipe. This morning bread ditto ; and plumcake spoiling. Pipes, and a partook of some coffee-royal; which is brandy mixed dance to wind up.

in the boiling coffee, well sweetened. Butter sold on 5.-Hard squalls. Few ventured up. With diffi- board at 1s. a pound; beer and cider ls. a bottle ; culty reached the cooks' galley to light my pipe. brandy 3s. ; rum 2s. Crawling back, saw a female sitting near the capstan. 22.-Spoke the 'Sisters' from Sunderland to St A wave was coming, nearly mast-high ; I saw it be- Johns. We were so near as to converse without the fore me, but could not evade it: held fast: like a speaking-trumpet. To be an eye-witness, and close deluge it poured in upon us. I turned round to see alongside of a ship in full sail, with every stitch of what became of the poor woman. She was washed to canvas out, was a real picture. In the afternoon the the other side, much frightened, and quickly removed mate and four men in a boat sailed to an American below. Several came up to view the scene: paid for fisherman about a mile off. Two bottles of rum and peeping ; another mountain-wave laid them as flat as some pork were put on board, to exchange for cod fish. flounders. Little cooking to-day. Much grumbling In about an hour they returned loaded. There was among the women. One poor man I did pity. His quite a rage on board for fresh fish, and the captain wife complained that she and the children were hungry, was willing enough to sell it. Frying-pans, pots, and and they must have dinner. . Here is the pan; come, the like in active requisition; all hands busy washing, go and cut some bacon, and I'll break some eggs in a cleaning, cutting up, dressing, or eating their fish : it basin. Why, how unreasonable you are to suppose was truly a bustling time. When they were satisfied, that I or any man can cook in this weather : I can't, they began to recollect that it cost threepence a pound, nor wont. Give the children some bread and butter and to complain that it was dear. Asked by several, “No I shan't; I will have some bacon fried ; and I am Did not you buy any?' 'Thank you, no-I am sure you can do it if you like.' Obedient-like, loaded not partial to fish, particularly when it costs threewith ham, eggs, and bacon, he proceeded to do his best; pence a pound.' but on his way to the fire he was arrested, washed 23.-Smoking out of fashion: good reason, no tobacco down, and returned to his wife (who had prepared and on board ; a famine quite; a few pounds would be laid out the little table) with the frying-pan only worth something just now.

There, I told you how it would be ; but you would 24.— Fine weather; enjoyed my meals; but no have your own way.' She looked mighty sulky, but tobacco. said nothing. Did not escape myself: the cook had 26.—Very stormy; little doing; a solitary individual got me some lobscouse in a tin pot, and I went below, was seen holding on his kettle for boiling, at the risk thinking to have a good supper : placed it on a box for of being swilled; got a complete turn upside down; a table, and had not left it a minute, to get my spoon, much laughter as he crawled below. Found some when the ship rolled, and turned my junket upside tobacco unexpectedly; considerable pleasure therein. down. I was hungrily disappointed, and got laughed June 2.- - Good water scarce ; much complaining ; at into the bargain.

plenty in the hold, but not to be got at. Few pots 6.-Still squally. Busy scene in the cooks' galley. boiling ; long faces and short dinners. Mem.—Potatoes * I say, who has taken my kettle?' 'I was here before boiled in salt water with the rinds on; ate good; but you.' My pot shall go on; yours is hot.' 'I helped bad if pared- & secret worth knowing. Fresh meat to light the fire, and will have my chance before you.' and pudding good, boiled in half-salt water. Half. There's my wife out of patience; I can't make it boil past four. - Land seen from the mast-head: much if it wont. In the middle of this squabbling in comes joy and rejoicing; drank my last bottle of beer; the water in hogsheads, and drowns out the whole. most of us had a peep through a glass. At ten, made The old saying, “There's many a slip betwixt the cup out a beacon, and the sailors had an extra allowance and lip,' often verified. You have your food within an of grog. At eleven, went below for a little rest; made inch of your mouth-comes a roll of the ship, and you up my bed for the last time, and wished for the morare both off—the food one way, and you another. row. Pleasant to find you have crossed the Atlantic Sometimes, by way of security, I jammed myself be- without accident. tween two boxes ; but even this would not always do. 3.-Glorious morning! To the right is Long Island ; Neighbours' tea-things suffered much ; more borrowers to the left is Jersey State. What a fine country! Here than lenders ; children crying; women scolding; men at last is America. Yonder is Sandy Hook, with a enjoying the joke.

lighthouse. What neat wooden cots by the water's 10.-A shark passed us : bait thrown out, but no edge! Observe those forests of trees, with a house catch. Wedding on board : three bottles of brandy here and there peeping through the foliage. The sight given away on the occasion. Began my second ham; now before us compensates for all our toil and trouble ; very good, but no bread. Upset some soup that was it is worth coming to see, if to return immediately back given me. Job verily would have complained had he again. Three o'clock. — Reporter came on board for been here. A sheep killed; mutton ninepence per pound. papers and clean bill of health ; many questions asked

[ocr errors]


him; but the principal one was— Had he or his man any After presenting the table of the annual number of tobacco ?' • No luck about the house,' and the disap- marriages for the period alluded to, the Registrar enters pointment great. He left us at four, hoisting up into a detailed account of its various fluctuations, consignals to telegraph our arrival. Thirty miles from fronting these with a summary of the political, comNew York, and reckoned the news would reach in nine mercial, and fiscal conditions of the kingdom at the minutes. Six o'clock.–Pilot stepped on board ; nume- various periods in question. We may present a very rous questions asked ; tobacco not forgotten; and the abridged notice of a few of these fluctuations :negative proved a laugh against some of us. Shortly 1757-64.-Between 1757-61 the marriages rose twenty after the newsman came for letters, papers, &c.; but no per cent. — being nearly as great an increase as in tobacco. Names called over, and one dollar twenty 1842-5. The price of food continued low, and the cents each had to pay the captain for hospital money enthusiasm of the nation was roused by the spirit and and custom dues : children same price.

success with which Chatham conducted the French war, 4.-Up on deck by four in the morning. Arrived The increase was especially large in the towns; and opposite Staten Island. What a number of windows thus while in London 5823 were married in 1757, there the houses have! No tax, as in England. At seven, were 9376 in 1763. reached what is called the quarantine ground; can pro- 1782–7. — The rise at this time was rapid - from ceed no farther without being examined by the doctor. 126,142 to 152,896—being coincident with a fall in the Two sail near us under quarantine: afraid we shall add price of wheat. Pitt became prime minister in 1783, to the proscribed list, for one of our cabin passengers is and excited the hopes of the nation to the highest point ill. Just saw the doctor, who says he will be well by his delusive scheme of a sinking fund and his new enough to pass. All right. Eight o'clock.-All hands treaty with France. Manufactures, too, flourished. ordered on deck: signal hoisted for the hospital doctor. 1788–92.—The number of married persons, which had Two men came on board ; these were custom-house fallen again in 1788 to 140,064, rose, coincidently with officers. Then the doctor. Each passenger's name was a fall in corn, to 149,838 in 1792. Capital, which had called over, and every one had to pass in review before been accumulating, was now directed into the rashest him. Then all below was examined; and the ship speculations in canals, to be followed by a terrible rebeing pronounced healthy, was permitted to pass. The action in 1793, when the bankrupt list rose from its passing and repassing of steamboats enliven the scene. average of between 500 and 600 to 1300, and the number Almost all are on deck: the women and children much of persons married fell to 145,760, and to 143,594 in diverted with seeing the fishes play.

1794. In the local histories of towns the differences 5.- Most on board providing their last meal. Biscuits might often be found explicable. Thus in Birmingham, by wholesale trod under foot. My kit sold to the cap- in 1788–9, the numbers were 782 and 903; but in tain for two shillings and fourpence. Near upon half. 1790-2 they fell to 649, 705, and 606, the town having past eleven our ship took her station at what is called sustained an immense reduction of its trade by the disElephant Wharf. Carmen, visitors, and inquirers stepped continuance of the use of shoe-buckles. The Registrar on board; and at the end of forty days, once more I suggests that the depressed state of the population, trod on terra firma, quite well, grown much stouter, and which the marriage returns exhibit, may afford some in full health during all the voyage. Repaired to an explanation of the celebrated riots in 1792. Manchester, eating-house; dined off various dishes, including green which was flourishing in 1790–2, returned 1122, 1301, peas, and paid a shilling. Considered this not a bad and 1657 as the numbers married ; but after the revulspecimen of America, and looked forward to days of sion of 1793, these sunk to 1235. comfort.

1795–1803.—The marriages continued to diminish from 1793; and under the influence of the severe winter

and dear bread of 1795, the numbers married were only FLUCTUATION OF MARRIAGES. 137,678, being almost exactly the same number as that In the Eighth Annual Report of the Registrar-General, registered twelve years back: but with the return of recently published, which contains a summary of the cheaper times they rose again higher than they bad particulars relating to the births, marriages, and deaths ever yet been in 1798 (158,954). This increase took in England that have been registered in 1845, we find place in spite of the immense war-burdens the country

was charged with, and the extension of the poor-law to an interesting paper upon the fluctuation which mar- domiciliary relief; and was in part fostered by the riages have undergone during a period of ninety years, great manufacturing improvements, and by Mr Pitt's that is, from 1756, shortly after the Marriage Bill pro- extraordinary declaration in 1796—that a man had a hibiting clandestine marriages in England was passed, claim to relief just in proportion to the numbers of his and since which time marriages have been registered. family, on the ground of having enriched his country During this period they have proceeded at fluctuating swallowed up by the war must, however, not be for

with the greatest number of children. The numbers rates of increase or decrease, curiously and exactly in gotten. The minister's hint was taken, and the bapaccordance with the apparent or real condition of pros- tisms rose from 247,218 to 262,337. The marriages, perity or adversity of the country. As a general rule, however, again fell off in 1799–1801 to 155,114, 139,702, the diminution or augmentation of the price of corn has and 134,576 persons; but again rose in 1803 to 188,788 been rapidly followed by an increase or lessening of persons, being a fluctuation of forty per cent., and the their number, although occasionally other circunstances greatest on record. The years 1799-1800 were years have intervened, exciting temporarily a greater effect of scarcity and high prices, wheat falling from 1148. upon the prospects of the country than that of the the quarter in 1800, to 585. in 1803. more abiding one produced by the price of provisions.

1812–1815.-Remarkably little variation took place

from 1804 (171,476) to 1811 (172,778); but the four Notwithstanding the occasional fluctuations, the num- years 1812-15 were years of great fluctuation-namely, ber of marriages, upon the whole, has gone on steadily 164,132, 167,720, 185,608, and 199,888 : the price of increasing; so that while there were but 96,600 persons wheat being in each respectively 1298., 112s., 768., and married in 1757, there were 287,486 in 1845-being as

66s. In 1812, too, war with America had been defrom 1 to 3. So, too, the average number married clared, while in 1814-15 the Allies were in Paris. annually during the ten years 1756-65 was 112,549, sank from 199,888 in 1815, to 183,892 in 1816, and

1815-22. — Immediately after the war the numbers and during the ten years 1837-46 it was 248,050; the 176,468 in 1817 – the latter being years of deficient latter — the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of harvest, and gloom having taken possession of the the former — being more than double the number of public mind. But

from that time the prospects of the their ancestors.

country slowly and gradually improved ; and the num

« ZurückWeiter »