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March Ores, Tons. Cwts. Qrs. Per Ton.
Increase. 6 7 3 at £4 4 0... £26 15 0... £1 0 0 Real amount £:26 15 0 at 135. 4d. from 20s.
£. $. d.
d. 18 10 0 Cash
7 0 0 Smith's Cost
0 8 10 Dressing Cost
1 14 8 2 Men, Club 3s., Doctor 1s.
0 4 0 18 lbs. of Candles at 8d.
0 120 50 lbs. Powder at
1 13 4 3 Hilts.
0 0 9
Coils Sump Rod
0 5 11
Oil 120 feet Safety-Rod
0 5 0 Tar Paper Grinding at 6s. 8d. per ton
2 2 5
-1 4 17 11
3 12 1
John Francis and Co. Fower Consols Mines. 27th June, 1840.
Pay for May Month.
£. $. d.
13 0 0 2 0 0 at 1508.
15 0 0 0 3 0 at 140s.
3 10 0
31 10 0
£. . d.
0 1 0
0 0 3
0 19 10
17 0 2
14 9 10 Taking into consideration the fact that every miner, and the family of every miner, has a direct interest in the accuracy of these calculations, and also that many of them are by no means simple, the expediency of leaning so much in this particular on the acquirements of others may be doubted. But as respects domestic management, the ill effects of not having the power to make calculations by figures, and to keep proper accounts, seem very readily traceable, in an improper distribution of expenditure -in a want of provision against recurring demands—in debts and embarrassments, that become the more harassing in proportion to the inability to represent accurately in figures the probable resources available to meet them. It appeared to be a common and very natural opinion, that the uneasy feeling resulting from
ignorance in these simple matters tended in no slight degree to perpetuate improvidence.-(Vide Appendix II.)
It is not improbable that the example of intelligent and welltrained masters would act in various ways upon the conduct of the parents. The power of gentle means and moral influence is very little known to the latter in the management of their children. Severity and indulgence, alike capricious, are the usual modes of government. Authority appears to have a precarious hold; and, on the other hand, the bonds of affection and duty are often relaxed at a very early period. In the well-regulated school the parent would see the image of a well-regulated family, and it might be hoped that the deportment and modes of discipline of the one might pass insensibly into the other.
Vocal music is much attended to in their chapels. It is also much practised as a recreation. Singing, chiefly of a devotional character, is often heard in the cottages. The children may be heard singing at their
work at the mine, and the men while going down the ladders. Facilities for learning music from notation would perhaps be embraced with some readiness, especially if it was found to make them acquainted with rich and impressive compositions. It may be mentioned as a recent occurrence in one of the mining parishes, that a certain number of individuals having agreed to appropriate towards a musical society the sums they had been in the habit of expending monthly in beer, they are now possessed of musical instruments of the value of 401., and are gradually increasing the number of their members.
That they are fond of the productions of art, as far as they have the opportunity of appreciating them, may be inferred from the prints and other objects which may be seen in almost every cottage. If those objects can in general convey no ideas of correct taste or of beauty of form, they are at least the only specimens of the imitative arts which fall within their reach. The habit of accurate observation, the appreciation of correct outline and proportion, acquired by drawing from just and simple models at the school, would give a right direction to this natural feeling. What the church in earlier ages was to the surrounding population, in respect of art, such, in its sphere, might the school be now.
While addressing the uninstructed through the eye, the objects of art, which enriched the church, gave to all who beheld them a familiarity with productions from which the mind was enabled to receive an elevation and refinement.
The fondness of the miner for exhibitions of strength has long made wrestling a favourite and characteristic amusement.
Meetings for this purpose sometimes take place under the superintendence of individuals of some influence in their neighbourhoods. If these meetings have, however, been generally discouraged, partly in consequence of the accidents and disasters to which they often gave rise, the taste for athletic exercises might perhaps receive a harmless direction from the introduction of gymnastics, as now practised at elementary schools, for recreation and the development of muscular power.
Garden cultivation, wherever united to schools, in addition to its value in teaching how to make the most of the cottage-garden, in the management of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, would be further useful, if taken advantage of as a means of instruction in the method of keeping strict and orderly accounts; the habit of which it might tend to create. Something of shoemaking, tailoring, and carpentering, might be occasionally taught out of school-hours: the two first, for a very moderate remuneration, by persons disabled for any better employment; the last by the schoolmaster himself. Many of the miners now learn to mend their own shoes and those of their family; some few are able to mend their own clothes. The opportunity of learning thus much of those trades for future domestic use might operate as an additional inducement with some parents to send their children to school.
Among the greatest advantages which would result to the labouring population from the improvement of the elementary schools would be that of the more complete and practical training of the female children. These can seldom write, and not often read. At the period of marriage they are rarely able to make their own dresses, and are often unable to sew. Of other female duties they know very little. If, from various causes, the old domestic sources of instruction in these simple matters no longer exist, their place cannot be too soon supplied by other means. A skilful mistress, when residing in a building attached to the day-school, has opportunities of imparting just notions and habits in regard to many details of domestic management, together with practical lessons in keeping accounts; while, at the same time, appropriate industrial teaching of other kinds, and a due proportion of mental cultivation, are not neglected. In the less laborious parts of garden culture the girls would usefully participate.
The comparatively full and regular attendance of children at the few elementary schools at which the opportunities of good instruction are somewhat improved, and the payments continue moderate, together with the slightly increasing attendance of adults at the evening-schools opened by the masters of a portion of them, may perhaps be noticed as favourable indications. It is probable that advice and encouragement from the proper quarters might do much to fuster this disposition. From no quarter would suggestions of this nature come with more effect than from the mine agents. The influence of this intelligent body of men is great. On their judgment and skill depends for the most part the whole arrangement of each mine. Their opinion is taken with regard, among other matters, to the direction in which the lode is to be followed, the levels which are to be driven, and the shafts sunk, in searching for ore, or opening communications, the machinery required, and the most desirable spot for its application, the number of men to be employed, and the sum per fathom or per cent. on the produce of the ore, which, after personal inspection of the work to be done, it appears reasonable to offer. It is a part of their duty to become acquainted with the character of the men, and their skill as workmen. Having, in general, been working men themselves, they have acquired a thorough knowledge of all the details of a miner's life. Their natural intelligence and ability are not more conspicuous than the considerate benevolence which they show, as far as opportunities offer, towards the sick or convalescent, towards the children of the disabled, or of those otherwise placed in difficulties, in cases which admit of judicious interposition.* Whatever measures have in view the benefit of the labouring miner or his children must at first owe much of their success to the representations and encouragement of the mine agents, whose opinions have naturally much weight with those under them. And although the varieties of opinion were great among them, as to the necessity or value to themselves or their employers of a higher degree of scientific instruction-opinions natural to men who, with so small an amount of science, have succeeded, by natural intelligence, long experience, and at great cost to their employers, in raising the mines to their present state-I found no difference of opinion as to the necessity and value of an improved kind of elementary schools. Some characteristics of the county seem also to afford ground to hope that encouragement and aid from other classes would not be withheld. In any matter which recommends itself to the general opinion of the county, a unity of action among all classes appears still to be occasionally manifested. In such cases the Cornish motto, “One and All," may be recognised as still possessing some degree of vitality. In binding society together by the ties of common feelings and mutual understanding, it may be asserted that no institutions would have a much more effectual influence than well-devised elementary schools ; by manifesting to the labouring classes an interest in their welfare and a sympathy with their wants—by aiding them to acquire just principles, clear knowledge, undebasing enjoyments--by giving a right direction to their good qualities and their virtues, and by assisting them to obtain dominion over their vices. This county is still apparently in the position that evils may here be checked at their birth which elsewhere are threatening to disturb the social system. Nevertheless, general causes, which perhaps reach remote localities last, do not cease in their advance towards them, and signs of uneasiness and dislocation have not been wanting even here.