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for two or more years, defer the exercise of its
power of nomination till its payments shall have amounted to 101., or upwards, shall respectively be entitled for every 101. of such payment to nominate one student to be admitted and educated in like manner: and that every other student admitted into the said school or college, either on the recommendation of the governors, or in any other manner, shall pay the annual sum of 1. towards the funds of the said school or college, in addition to such fees as shall be determined on as an annual payment by the students generally
7. That this Act shall expire on the 1st day of August, 1853.
Some instructive evidence has been recently given by employers of labourers, in this and in foreign countries, on the influence of training and education on the value of workmen, and on the comparative eligibility of educated and uneducated workmen for employment.* I have been permitted to make use of a portion of it, bearing more particularly on the value of education to the workmen themselves.
One of the partners of a firm at Zurich, employing from 1500 to 2000 men, of various European nations, in their establishments in Switzerland, the Tyrol, Italy, and elsewhere, and having, therefore, “many opportunities of observing the moral and intellectual condition of working men, the natives of different countries, differently educated,” gives this testimony:
“From the accounts which pass through my hands, I invariably find that the best educated of our work people manage to live in the most respectable manner at the least expense, or make their money go the farthest in obtaining comforts. This applies equally to the work people of all nations that have come under my observation; the Saxons, and the Dutch, and the Swiss being, however, decidedly the most saving, without stinting themselves in their comforts, or failing in general respectability. With regard to the English, I may say that the educated workmen are the
* It is understood that it will shortly appear in a work about to be published under the authority of the Poor Law Commissioners.
only ones who save money out of their very large wages. By education I may say that I throughout mean not merely instruction in the arts of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but better general mental development; the acquisition of better tastes, and of mental amusements and enjoyments, which are cheaper, whilst they are more refined. The most educated of our British workmen is a Scotch engineer, a single man, who has a salary of 31. a-week, or 1501. per year, of which he spends about one-half; he lives in very respectable lodgings, he is always well dressed, he frequents reading-rooms, he subscribes to a circulating library, purchases mathematical instruments, studies German, and has every rational enjoyment. We have an English workman, a single man, also of the same standing, who has the same wages, also a very orderly and sober person ; but as his education does not open to him the resource of mental enjoyment, he spends his evenings and Sundays in wine-houses, because he cannot find other sources of amusement, which presuppose a better education, and he spends his whole pay, or one-half more than the other. The extra expenditure of the workman of lower education of 751. a-year arises entirely, as far as I can judge, from inferior arrangement, and the comparatively higher cost of the more sensual enjoyment in the wine-house. The wine-houses which he frequents may be equivalent to the better public-houses in England.”
“ Is the superior general usefulness of the Saxon, or workman of superior education, accompanied by any distinction of superiority as to moral habits ?-Decidedly so. The better educated workmen we find are distinguished by superior moral habits in every respect. In the first place, they are entirely sober; they are discreet in their enjoyments, which are of a more rational and refined kind; they are more refined themselves, and they have a taste for much better society, which they approach respectfully, and consequently find much readier admittance to it; they cultivate music; they read; they enjoy the pleasures of scenery, and make parties for excursions into the country; they are economical, and their economy extends beyond their own purse to the stock of their master; they are consequently honest and trustworthy.”
A manufacturer employing a considerable number of mechanics in Manchester and London is asked
“ Are you aware of the habits of the educated and uneducated workmen, in respect to their habits as regards sobriety out of the works?-_There is no doubt that the educated are more sober and less dissipated than the uneducated. During the hours of recreation the younger portion of the educated workmen indulge more by reading and mental pleasures; they attend more at readingrooms, and avail themselves of the facilities afforded by libraries, in scientific lectures, and lyceums. The older of the more educated workmen spend their time chiefly with their families, 'eading and walking out with them. The time of the uneducated
classes is spent very different, and chiefly in the grosser sensual indulgences."
“In respect to the conduct of workmen after their hours of labour, is there any expedient course which, upon experience, you can recommend for their improvement?—
The main thing, it appears to me, for their social improvement is to provide for the occupation of their leisure hours; the first of these is to make the home comfortable, and to minister to the household recreation and amusement: this is a point of view in which the education of the wives of labouring men is really of very great importance, that they may be rational companions for men. In this point of view, also, I think it very important that whatever out-door amusements are provided should not be provided for the men alone, but rather for the men and wives together, and their children.
“ Do you at the Lyceum make any arrangements for carrying out this principle?—Yes; we make a particular point of it. For example, a few nights ago a tea-party was given, to which the wives and families of the members were admitted, and at which there were various amusements. There was an exhibition of the musical glasses; there was also a piano for some instrumental and some vocal music; there were reading and recitations from favourite authors, and very great entertainment was given at a very cheap rate to 400 or 500 men, women, and children.”
The Prussian system of education, or one similar, pervades Germany. With respect to the education or domestic training received by the best Scotch and English workmen in his employ, the gentleman above alluded to states :
“ The mechanics who come from Scotland, and the north of England, Cumberland, and Northumberland, have generally received a tolerably good elementary education. Those from Scotland have been generally educated in the parochial school; they read and write; they are in general good arithmeticians, and in many instances they have a knowledge of the lower branches of mathematics; some of them draw very well. The English workmen from the northern counties are similarly, but variously, and not so well educated as the Scotch, and I attribute it to the want of parochial schools, which in my opinion are invaluable in Scotland. The Irish mechanics that we have here are chiefly from the north of Ireland, and in point of school education they rank very nearly with the mechanics from the English northern counties, though they are somewhat lower in technical training as mechanics. The mechanics from Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and the south of England, are below those of the northern counties, though they are very good mechanics.
“Are you aware whether in the northern counties in England, from which the better educated mechanics come, that better education arises from endowed schools, or from the better management of any endowed schools of the nature of the Scotch parochial
schools, or whether it arises from education obtained by the population in consequence of their perception of the advantages of education? - The better education in the counties of Durham and Northumberland does not arise from endowed schools, but from schools conducted on the Scotch parochial principle, and supported by the fees paid by the scholars, as also from the amalgamation of that part of the English with the Scotch population on the borders, and a similarity of habit or impression respecting the advantages of education. The parents of children in those counties are very generally aware of the advantages of the Scotch system of education."
A cotton manufacturer of Philadelphia, conversant with the manner of conducting manufactures in most of the manufacturing States, is of opinion that the superior condition and behaviour of the American workmen proceeds in a great measure from their superior education, their moral instruction, and temperate habits. He is asked
“ Have you any national system of education ?-We have public schools, supported partly by State funds, and partly by bequests. All children have the privilege of attending.
“ Do they, in point of fact, very generally attend in the manufacturing States ?- They universally attend, and I think that information is more generally diffused through the villages and the whole community of the New England States than amongst any other community of which I have any knowledge.
“ What is the general view taken of these schools by the manufacturers and persons of wealth in America ?-From their experience they deem them of the greatest importance to the welfare of the State. They are encouraged by the State governments and all the leading persons of the State.
“ How do the children whom you employ obtain education?The manufacturers are always anxious that the children should absent themselves from the manufactory during two or three months of the year to attend the schools. The manufacturers very freque suggest to the parents the necessity of the children being taken to school.”
The preparatory mining-school near Camborne is so advantageously placed, in reference to a large mining population, that it may be desirable to notice an examination of that school, recently made, and of which I have been obligingly furnished with the following account:Extract of a letter from the Rev. J. Punnett, Vicar of St. Erth. “You were correctly informed that I had lately assisted at an
examination of the school near Camborne, or, rather, of the boys composing the mining-class of that school.
“ The subjects of examination bore more or less directly on mining operations and pursuits, such, for instance, as the solid content of excavations, and the cost of making them ;-the force upon inclined planes of different inclination ;—the strain upon ropes acting obliquely with a given force ;--the pressure upon cylinders of different diameters ;—the relative strength of timber, on its flat or edge, and the comparative strength of materials in general; the conversion of the power of steam and water into corresponding horse power ;-the weight and quantity of water in the lifts of pumps, &c. One of the boys, who had been at the school longer than the rest, I examined in algebra, as far as expansions by the Binomial Theorem. The questions, ranging, as you will see, over a considerable surface, were solved with rapidity and correctness, and, as we found upon investigation, with a due understanding of the principles upon which the solution depended. Plans and drawings of sections of mines, well executed by the boys, were suspended round the room. The collection of mathematical instruments is unusually large for a school of this description; and the pupils enjoy the great advantage of accompanying the master in his visits to the mines, where they are practically instructed in surveying and dialling. For their information in a branch of the miner's profession, upon which, as I know, from experience, singular ignorance prevails, he is collecting a series of specimens of the different varieties of ores and gossans; so that they may acquire a greater familiarity, so far as the eye can help them to it, with the metallic and mineral combinations.
“It ought to be stated that the school is in a very initial state, the greater part of the boys having been but a short time under instruction. Indeed, so little encouragement did the master meet with from those very persons (mine agents, for instance, and managers) who, one might have supposed, would most readily have availed themselves of such a superior practical education for their children, that, but for the kind interest and liberality of Lady Basset extended towards it, he must have relinquished his school altogether, and have engaged in a different employment to obtain a livelihood. Matters are, however, beginning to wear a more favourable aspect; a reaction, I believe, is slowly, but surely, taking place in the public mind; and parties who previously held back, and declined to countenance any improved system of mining education, are beginning to perceive that there may be some benefit derivable from a better and more advanced course of instruction in a profession which, one would think, as much as any other, if not more so, must be advantaged by the resources of science and sound philosophy.”