adult instructresses are required); thirdly, in the regular and marked transfer from one class or room to another, no child being allowed to be so removed till his age and acquirements furnish a motive for the change-in the opinion of Italians, I should observe, a great improvement upon the plan of having all the children of an Infant school in one room—; and, lastly,—though not, I dare say, least in the opinion of most parents and children,-in the comfortable and substantial meal which is every day given to each little scholar.

In describing the benefits arising from these arrangements, I will use, as far as may be, the words of one of the directors, who kindly accompanied me in a visit to a school of the kind. “Look,” said he, “at the difference of the children in the first or junior class, as compared with those in the fifth, or even fourth and third classes. When first admitted, many of the poor creatures have weak eyes, emaciated bodies, and seem almost bewildered by the kindness and care shewn to them ; but as you pass from one room to another, you may mark the change in their countenances and general appearance. The gradual advance in age is not sufficient to account for this rapid improvement and development, whether of mind or body, and by the time they have been four or five years in this school, I would challenge any nation to produce me a more intelligent or healthy set of little happy beings. There is one other test of the value of the aid afforded by these institutions, of which there are six in this town, containing from two to three hundred children in each ; viz. that for several years past, parents do not have recourse to the Foundling Hospital* to the same extent as formerly, for bringing up their offspring, but are able to listen to the dictates of natural affection, which urges them to retain their little ones in their own care : For with the slight addition of a small roll, morning and evening, to their daily meal at the school, they are no longer obliged to consign them to the State, once the only alternative to death by starvation and disease. And to you, sir,” continued my benevolent and philosophic informant, “ I will confess, that I look to the moral, religious, and intellectual education received at such institutions as these, for the

*“At the Foundling Hospital (l'ospedale degli Innocenti) in Florence, whilst no child of tender age is refused admission, neither are any questions asked of those who bring their offspring and consign them to the care of the state.

Whatever may be thought of the tendency of such institutions as regards the morals of the people, all visitors must admire the attention to cleanliness and comfort which is everywhere observable. Healthy nurses are engaged, and of course it often occurs that amongst them might be found the mothers of some of the children. As an assistance in nourishing so numerous a little colony, a flock of she goats is kept, and to each of these animals are assigned two infants. It is a striking sight when they come from pasture in the evening, and at the cry of their nurslings, which each can accurately distinguish, hasten where placed in low cradles these are anxiously awaiting their arrival. There are five of such establishments in Tuscany, upon each of which between 7000 and 8000 human beings depend, either altogether or in part for their maintenance. The children soon after admission, unless they be in ill health, are sent to the houses of farmers or labourers willing to receive them, and who have a liberal weekly payment on their account. As they grow up, this sum gradually diminishes, and at sixteen years of age altogether ceases. It is much to be lamented that no provision is made for the instruction of these infants, although it is said, that in almost all cases they share with the children of the family into which they have been, as it were, adopted, any advantages of education which these enjoy."

regeneration of my country. According to my views, the only revolution worth contending for, is that which necessarily results from the enlightenment of public opinion,—to that master spirit both the ruler and the ruled must bow; and when that is attained, it matters not greatly under what form of government we live, for all laws opposed to it, whether in the statute book or not, must remain a dead letter. Whereas revolutions, in the common acceptation of the term, by the contempt of all authority, human and divine, by the recklessness of life, and the abandonment of principle which too often accompany their outbreak and progress, are far more likely to retard than to promote our advancement towards it.”

Such, then, my dear sir, were the opinions, and I believe words, of my Italian friend; for, believing them to be replete with justice and good feeling, I wrote them down at the time. They might indeed be commented upon at some length, but as they treat partly of a subject only indirectly connected with this Journal, I will not dwell upon them at present, but conclude in the hope that, should this brief statement of facts convince any persons of wealth or influence that the rising generation of some poor and neglected district in their neighbourhood might, under God, be raised from their sad condition in the course of a few years by some such means as have been adopted with success in Tuscany, they will not be deterred by the reflection, that it would cost a somewhat greater sacrifice of time and money than they had contemplated in their charities,* but will “ go and do likewise,”

Faithfully yours,




Mr. Editor.--As your Journal will not fail to be seen by many of the secretaries connected with our Boards of Education, I am induced to ask you whether, through the medium of the National Society, or by some other communication through the metropolis, it could not be arranged that facilities should be given for the interchange between secretaries and inspectors, of reports and other local documents. In the notices in your first number, you specify three reports as of great value. The very important one of the London Board, advertised in the Ecclesiastical Gazette, I had obtained through a bookseller, but know not how to become possessed of the other two. If each Board would send the overplus, or a certain suggested number, of its own documents to an assigned office or shop in London, and thereby become entitled, on application at the specified place, to receive a copy or two of like

*“ It has been ascertained that in most parts of England a good substantial soup might be provided for fifty infants at the rate of five shillings per diem. If the little scholars attended for five days in the week for forty eight weeks, this would amount to sixty pounds per annum."

documents furnished by other Boards, much might be accomplished in furtherance of the idea thrown out, with but little machinery. A notice of such office or shop in your Journal might be found all that is necessary for initiating so desirable a system of interchange. The results of this simple experiment would soon shew in what particulars the plan might need filling up. With sanguine anticipation of much practical benefit from the undertaking in which you are engaged, I beg to remain, Mr. Editor, yours faithfully,

J. H.,
Hon. Sec. for Board of Education for the Archdeaconry of Stafford.

[This hint is a valuable one. Upon inquiry at the office of the National Society, we find that it has only been by accident that a notice exactly meeting our correspondent's wishes, which appeared for several years successively in their Annual Report, has been omitted of late. The number of each document therein suggested was 50 : of course a larger number would now be required. The experiment, however, can be made at once.—ED.]

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The spot on which Christ's Hospital now stands was formerly occupied by the society of Grey Friars, which was removed from Cornbill some time in the fourteenth century. After the dissolution of the religious houses, the building was used as a store-house for French prize goods. But in the year 1546, Dr. Ridley, then one of the chaplains to Henry VIII. was directed by the king to announce in a sermon preached at St. Paul's Cross, that “the House of the Grey Friars, and the Hospital of St. Bartholomew, in Smithfield, were to be given to the Mayor and Commonalty of London, to settle the maintenance of a parish church, and for relieving the poor.” Christ Church was soon afterwards endowed, but it does not appear that anything was done at that time towards carrying out king Henry's intention regarding the poor.

In the beginning of the year 1553, Ridley, now Bishop of London, preached before king Edward VI during his illness. The bishop insisted strongly on the duty of giving to the poor, and called upon the rich and those who were in high stations, to be “merciful to the poor, and to travail by some charitable way and means to comfort and relieve them.” The king shortly after sent for Bishop Ridley, and (in the words of Stow) "caused him to come into the great gallery at Westminster, where to his knowledge, and the king likewise told him so,) there were present no more persons than they two; and then made him sit down in one chair and he himself in another, and caused the bishop, maugre his teeth, to be covered, and then entered into communication with him.” After thanking Ridley for his sermon, the king said, “I took myself to be especially touched by your speech, as well in regard of the abilities God hath given me, as in regard of the example which from me He will require; for as in the kingdom I am next under God, so must I most nearly approach Him in goodness and mercy; for as our miseries stand most in need of aid from Him, so are we the greatest debtors-debtors to all that are miserable—and shall be the greatest accountants of our dispensation therein; so direct me, I pray you, by what particular actions I may best discharge my duty.” The bishop, taken by surprise, “could not well tell what to say,” but after some hesitation, he proposed to the king that he should write to the lord mayor, “willing that he should call unto him such assistants as he should think meet, to consult of this matter.'

Ridley waited till the letter was written, and was then commanded by the king “not only to deliver the said letter himself, but also to signify unto the mayor, that it was the king's especial request and express commandment, that the mayor should therein travail, and so soon as he might conveniently, give him knowledge how far he had proceeded therein.”

Sir Richard Dobbs, the lord mayor, “joyfully received the letter, and agreed with all speed to forward the matter, for he favoured it very much.” A committee of aldermen and commoners was formed, and “by the good diligence of the bishop, the business was well followed.” A document was drawn up by the committee in which the poor were considered under three heads :-1. The poor by impotency; that is, the aged and the young, the blind and the lame. 2. The poor by casualty; that is, the wounded soldier, the decayed householder, and those visited by any grievous disease 3. The thriftless poor; that is, the riotous, the vagabond, and the idle person. "For these three sorts (continues Stow three several houses were provided. For the innocent and fatherless, which is the beggar's child, and is indeed the seed and breeder of beggary, they provided the house that was the late Grey Friars in London, and called it by the name of Christ's Hospital, where poor children are trained up in the knowledge of God, and in virtuous exercises, to the overthrow of beggary. For the second class were provided the hospitals of St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew; and for the third degree they provided Bridewell, where the vagabond and the idle are chastised and compelled to labour to the overthrow of the vicious life of idleness.” We are informed that at the same time, “they provided for the honest decayed householder, that he should be relieved at home at his own house, and in the parish where he dwelt, by a weekly relief and pension."

This plan was cordially received by the king. The charter of incorporation was forthwith granted to "the Mayor, Commonalty and Citizens of London, and the Governors of the Hospitals of king Edward VI.” As soon as the king had signed the charter, and filled in with his own hand the blank which had been left for the amount of the endowment, he blessed God and said, “Lord, I yield thee most hearty thanks that thou hast given me

life thus long to finish this work, to the glory of Thy name.” “ After this foundation was established,” says Stow, « he lived not above two days; whose life would have been wished equal to the patriarchs', if it had pleased God so to have prolonged it.”

In the month of November, 1553, the repairs of Christ's Hospital were completed, and a number of children were admitted into it. “On Christmasday in the afternoon, while the Lord Mayor and Aldermen rode to Paul's, the children of Christ's Hospital stood from St. Lawrence-lane end in Cheap, towards Paul's, all in one livery of Russet cotton, 340 in number; and at Easter next, they were in Blue, at the Spittle, and so have continued ever since."

The institution was enriched by a succession of pious benefactors, most of them citizens of London. King Charles II. at the suggestion of Sir Robert Clayton, the lord mayor, granted a second charter in the year 1676, with a gift of £1000 yearly for seven years, to endow a Mathematical School for forty boys; and an annuity of £370 was added for the purpose of educating and placing out yearly ten boys for the sea service. Out of this number, five every six months pass an examination before the Elder Brethren of the Trinity House, previous to their entering the Navy. The boys on this foundation are distinguished by a plated badge, with an appropriate device, worn upon the shoulder.

In the year 1683, the governors established a school in the town of Hertford, for the education of both boys and girls of an early age. The pupils are now taught chiefly according to the plan of Dr. Bell. As it regards the boys, the instruction they here receive is intended to prepare them for the more advanced education of the London school. The number of boys at Hertford is 400, about 200 of whom learn Latin. There are about 80 girls. The number of pupils in both London and Hertford, including the eighty girls, is nearly 1200. The average income of the Charity somewhat exceeds £40,000.

The buildings of the establishment in London have been erected at various periods. After the great fire of 1666, which destroyed Christ Church, and greatly damaged the Hospital, a considerable portion was re-built under the superintendence of Sir Christopher Wren, out of a fund subscribed by the city, to which Sir Robert Clayton (whose name has already been mentioned) largely contributed. The new Hall, the front of which is seen from Newgate-street, was opened in 1829, and the first stone of it was laid by the late Duke of York, in October, 1824. James Shaw was the architect, and the cost was defrayed by a public subscription.

The Governors of the Hospital are,
The Lord Mayor,
The Aldermen,

Twelve Common Councilmen, who are elected by the rest of the Common Council.

Benefactors to the amount of £500, if they are approved by the acting committee. No instance has occurred for many years of a benefactor to the said amount being rejected as a governor.

*Benefactors to the amount of £300 may also become governors, by the nomination of an Alderman, who has the power of so nominating one Governor shortly after his becoming an Alderman. The number of governors by benefaction is without limit. The total number of governors at the beginning of last year was 473.

The President must be an alderman, and is elected for life, provided he con

* The qualification for Governors' by benefaction has lately been raised. It was formerly £400, or £200 with an Alderman's nomination.

« ElőzőTovább »