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:: JOHN CLAUDIUS BERESFORD, Ese.
AS TO THE TIMBER GROWING ON THE COMPANIES
TO THE HONORABLE SOCIETY OF THE GOVERNOR AND
ASSISTANTS OF LONDON, OF THE NEW PLANTATION . IN ULSTER, WITHIN THE REALM OF IRELAND:
HAVING, by your direction, made as accurate an inquiry into the state of the timber growing on the several proportions in the county of Londonderry as I could do without putting the Society to expense, I beg leave to annex the following statement, which is as accurate as I could make it under the circumstances:
On the Skinners' proportion, to which Mr. Ogilby is tenant, there is no wood whatever, except a few scattered trees; altogether, as well as I can estimate, not worth £500.
On the Fishmongers' proportion there is a wood of some magnitude; it is divided into two parts by the road leading from Newtown-Limmavaddy to Londonderry. The part which is above the road is a growth of about thirty years, during which time it has been fenced and preserved by the tenant, Mr. Beresford; the lower part between the road and Lough Foyle, is an old wood of oak, fir, beech, ash, and lime; the oak is natural wood, the rest planted by the tenant and his ancestors.
On the Drapers' proportion, which is held by Mr. Rowley, there is no timber whatever.
On the Salters', which is held by Lord Londonderry and Mr. Bateson, there are some trees in hedge-rows, about the town of Magherafelt, but very little timber of any value besides ; I suppose in the whole there may be from £500 to £800 worth of trees.
On the Haberdashers' estate, which is held by Lord Waterford, there is no timber whatever, except here and there an odd tree or two to shelter the houses of the peasants.
The Ironmongers', of which Mr. Dupree is the tenant, has very little timber, except a small wood of ten or twelve acres on one of the native freeholds.
On the Merchant Taylors' estate there is not a tree, except at Mr. Richardson's demesne, which is just adjoining to the Coleraine Fishery, and which has been entirely planted by the tenant, the late Mr. Richardson.
The Cloth workers' is equally destitute of timber, except immediately about the demesne of Mr. Jackson, which is at the entrance of the town of Coleraine, where there are a good many old ash-trees of some value, and some ornamental plantations.
On the Grocers' proportion, Mr. Connelly has a wood of about thirty or forty acres, called the Glen of the Ness, but the trees are young and small, and of no value except for the bark, being oak,—that may be worth from £500 to £1000.
On the Vintners' proportion, the demesne of Castle Dawson has a considerable quantity of new plantation and some old trees; and about the neighbourhood of Bellaghy there is a good deal of scattered timber, but no regular wood or plantation.
On the Goldsmiths' proportion, tenanted by Mr. Ponsonby, there is no wood, except the demesne of Hamilton Ash, Esq. which is small, but well planted; I should think the timber on it worth from £1200 to £1400.
On the Mercers' proportion, tenanted by Mr. Stewart, brother to Lord Londonderry, there is very little timber of any kind. On the whole I may venture to say, that the county of Londonderry is perhaps the worst wooded county in the king's dominions.
J. C. BERESFORD. London, 27th January, 1803.
Report on Coleraine School.
THE FIRST REPORT FROM THE HONORABLE
THE IRISH SOCIETY'S INSTITUTION, COLERAINE, PROVINCE OF ULSTER, IRELAND, ADDRESSED TO THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN SCHOOL SOCIETY, BOROUGH-ROAD, LONDON.
THE importance of the trust, the onus of responsibility pro. perly attached to the honorable the Irish Society's Superintendant in this place, dictate the necessity, that in this first report of his proceedings, the Society should receive a full and faithful statement of the progress and present state of the institution here.
In all communications of the Superintendant with the honor. able the Irish Society, he received the strongest impression of the lively and intense interest for the instruction of the neglected youth of this place by which the Society was animated; the Superintendant can safely affirm that he has felt, and continues to feel, a congenial ardour in the pursuit of the same great object. He, on his arrival in Coleraine in the month of March last, regretted to find that much remained to be done, and various necessary alterations were required to be made in the rooms of the institution : he immediately took the necessary steps to prepare the institution for the reception of the children, but notwithstanding his most strenuous exertions, it was not until July that they could be admitted and the work of instruction commenced. Dü. ring this long interval of preparation the Superintendant availed himself of the best information to be obtained here relative to the seminary termed the “ Free School,” established by the honorable Society about the year 1741: he ascertained that it was not at any period of its existence in any degree competent to the instruction of that numerous class to which instruction was most essentially necessary. Besides the very limited size of that schoolroom, which could not receive more than about fifty scholars, and those selected on sectarian principles; while the numbers requiring admission were generally not less than from four to five hundred. The duties of the teacher were frequently executed with so lax a feeling, as to produce little, if any, improvement to the pupils.
The Superintendant, soon after his arrival here, became thoroughly sensible of the urgent necessity for instruction among the children of the lower ranks.
With a view to discover the disposition among the parents of the children who were to become the objects of the honorable Society's benevolence, with respect to education, the Superintendant issued printed circulars, inviting them to come forward and have their children's names entered, in order to their being received as scholars at the opening of the institution ; such was the ardent avidity with which the institution was met by their parents and friends, that in a few days the Superintendant's list contained the names of six hundred children, all eager for admission, (in fact he was obliged, from the extreme and dangerous pressure, to have the assistance of the town's officer to check its ardour). This strong exhibition of feeling in the lower classes afforded the Superintendant a high degree of pleasure ; accompanied with the painful reAlection that upwards of four hundred children, all in the most urgent want of instruction, must, from a want of room for their accommodation, be denied admittance to the honorable Society's new institution.
Could this circumstance have been foreseen, the Superintendant feels convinced that the liberal and enlightened philanthropy by which their operations are so much distinguished, would have furnished a building in Coleraine of so ample an extent as to have afforded admission to every applicant.
After having completed his preparations, the Superintendant opened the institution to the limited number of one hundred and thirty girls and one hundred and thirty boys. Since that period, the operations of the institution have proceeded with a degree of spirit and success most gratifying to the Superintendant.
Amidst the obstacles and difficulties inseparable from the commencement of such establishments, he has been sustained and animated by the cheering prospect of contributing to the formation of a new and superior character in the numerous youth of this place; he has been cheered by the most abundant proofs of capacity and intelligence in his pupils, of an eager thirst for instruction, and great facility in imbibing it.
Already the high importance and utility of the institution begin to be properly appreciated by most of the principal persons resident here. In order to afford those persons an opportunity of witnessing an outline of the mode of instruction, and of the proficiency of the children during the short period which has elapsed since the opening of the institution, an examination of the children was held in the institution on the 7th instant. The strong expression of approbation from the visitors on that occasion, yielded to the Superintendant the most heartfelt gratification. To the future he looks with earnest hope, that the value of useful knowledge will become more deeply impressed on the understandings and hearts of all, but especially on those of the poor of this place, than at any former period; and that the highest, and the best of all knowledge, viz. that of genuine and pure religion, may pervade and regulate all their pursuits, and dignify and exalt the whole of their future conduct.
In consequence of the wretchedness of the children in point of
habiliments, great numbers being unable to appear on Sabbathdays at any place of worship, the Superintendant hath at the suggestion of his own mind established in the honorable Society's institution-room, Sabbath-evening readings, connected with singing to make them perfect in which, he has engaged a master at his own expense), to which not only the children of the institution, but hundreds of others, flock with the most exemplary ardour, in connection with their parents, many of whom are equally wretched in point of accommodation as to dress. Here they can appear with comparative comfort, a small portion of the room being lighted on one side for the use of the singers and the respectable part of the inhabitants, who associate in great numbers, with a pleasure unequalled in any instance witnessed before : so that on the other side, which is comparatively dark, the poor creatures can have the advantage of hearing the Word of God read, without any exposure of person or feeling.
The Superintendant hath great pleasure in saying, that already there appears much good to have resulted from this appropriation of the Sabbath evening; and as a proof of its general manifestation, the most respectable inhabitants attend: the numbers altogether are from four to five hundred each evening. The Superin. tendant trusts that this additional effort to ameliorate (though at considerable personal expense) the condition of those more immediately under his care, will meet the approbation of the Society; resting with every degree of conscious innocence on the purity of his intentions, and the blessing of Providence for any good that may result to them in their present and future existence.
GENERAL AGENT'S REPORT ON THE FOREGOING
STATEMENT. Having attended the Public Examination of the boys at the honorable Irish Society's Institution for the Education of the Poor of Coleraine, and having repeatedly visited it since its opening in the month of July last, I have great pleasure in being enabled to certify the rapid progress of the boys; which is almost incredible, considering their former state of ignorance, and the short time they have had an opportunity of learning. Their reading and writing was not only surprising, but they had attained a degree of decorum in their manners, and decency and cleanliness in their persons, that did great credit to the Superintendant, and shewed the great attention he must have paid to them in every respect. Many of the chief inhabitants of the town attended the Examination, and universally expressed their great satisfaction,
J. C. BERESFORD,
General Agent to the Hon. Irish Society, January 5th 1822.