Handschriftlich von Jenny Marx (Tochter).
Schließen
Social cases.
 Handschriftlich von Marx.
Schließen
1869

[0]

 Handschriftlich von Marx.
Schließen
1869

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 25. Oktober 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 950, 25. Oktober 1868. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

PLACING A PAUPER IN THE DEAD-HOUSE.

Mary Ann Smith, a strong and healthy-looking young woman, nineteen years of age, was charged, at Greenwich Police-court on Tuesday, with refractory conduct in Rotherhithe workhouse. Mr. Aylward, the master of the workhouse, said that one of the male inmates complained of not having been served with his tea, and it being the prisoner’s duty to provide him with it, he (the master) directed her to do so, but she refused, and became very impudent, upon which he ordered her to be placed in the refractory ward. The prisoner, when asked what she had to say in defence, said the master placed her in the dead-house, and asked, “Is that a place to put any one in, where they keep the dead bodies till they are taken away to be buried? Mr. Aylward said the building in which the refractory ward was situated was being altered, and there was no other place, except the dead-house, in which to confine persons like the prisoner; but no dead bodies had been placed there for the previous ten days. Mr. Boustred, the clerk, said the prisoner had once before been charged with refractory conduct. Mr. Patterson committed her to Wandsworth Gaol for ten days.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 29. November 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 955, 29. November 1868. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

PRISONERS AND PAUPERS.—

On Monday afternoon Dr. Lankester, the coroner for Central Middlesex, held an inquest at the House of Correction, Coldbath-fields, respecting the death of John Ball, aged sixty-five, who on the 4th of August last was convicted and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labour for conspiring to defraud. Deceased had been a meat salesman in Newgate-market. On account of his age he was not put to hard labour. On the 4th instant he was attacked with a fainting fit while in chapel. He was removed to the infirmary, where he died on Thursday week. Dr. Smiles, the medical officer of the prison, said deceased appeared pale, as if through loss of blood. He was given three glasses of brandy daily for a time, and then six glasses of port wine instead. He died from degeneration of the heart. He said he was a moderate drinker, but Dr. Smiles thought he must have drunk a great deal. The coroner instanced a case in which a lady and gentleman were found dead who were stated to be “moderate drinkers,” whereas they had been in the habit of drinking four pints of spirits daily—gin, whisky and brandy. The new diet of the prisoners was referred to, when Dr. Smiles said the prisoners now had suet puddings. The coroner remarked that he had often said that the prisoners required more fat with their food. He had within the last three months held two inquests in that prison out of an average of 1,700 prisoners. A juror asked what the first-class diet was. Dr. Smiles replied that for four days in the week they had 4oz of meat for dinner, and on the other three days a pint of soup with potatoes. Each day they had 20oz of bread with cocoa for breakfast and gruel for supper. Independent of that they had suet pudding as stated. In feat, a surgeon in the neighbouring workhouse was surprised that the prisoners received so generous a diet. Dr. Lankester added that, as far as the diet was concerned, he would rather be prisoner than a pauper. Verdict—“Death from natural causes.”

[Ausschnitt aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

A PAUPER’S DEATH—

The other day, a pauper, who was at work is the stone-breaking yard of the Woolwich Union, and who, it is said, had been ailing for five years, complained to his comrade that he was unable to do the heavy work which was required in return for the relief afforded to him. At length, he deliberately folded his coat, lay down, using the coat as a pillow, and, after one long breath expired. The body was afterwards placed on a stretcher and taken to the house in which his wife resided. The coroner was made acquainted with the case, but did not think it was necessary to hold any inquiry respecting it.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 1. November 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 951, 1. November 1868. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

SOUTHWARK.

PAUPERS IN CANVAS.—

In the course of Monday two hearty-looking young girls, 15 and 16 years of age, dressed in rough canvas, marked all over, in large black letters, Bermondsey Workhouse, attended before Mr. Partridge, and complained of the master of Bermondsey Workhouse sending them out in such a state. They were the derision of all the boys in the streets, and were so ashamed of the dresses that they asked his worship to assist them in having them removed. The elder girl said that on the previous night they had wandered about until wet to the skin, and sought refuge in the casual ward. Their clothes were in rags and filthy and in the morning they could not put them on again. When they asked for others the dresses they now wore were given to them, and they were turned out of the workhouse. Mr. Partridge directed Walton, one of the warrant officers of the court, to take them to the workhouse, and ask the master to give them other clothes that ware not so conspicuous and disgraceful. Walton took the girls, as desired, and in a short time returned with them accompanied by Dr. Higgins, certified surgeon to factories, who met him in the street. Walton informed his worship that he had seen the master of the workhouse, who told him that the girls had torn up their clothing, and the dresses they wore were the only ones the parish gave to such persons, to prevent them from pawning or disposing of them. Dr. Higgins stigmatised the conduct of the authorities of Bermondsey parish to be disgraceful in the extreme—sending out two young women in such a plight. He would willingly attend before the guardians with the poor girls to ascertain whether they approved of such conduct on the part of their officers. Mr. Partridge directed Walton to take the girls before the board of guardians on their first meeting, and to take care of the girls in the meantime. Dr. Higgins would attend with them. The poor girls thanked his worship and Dr. Higgins for their kindness.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 23. August 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 941, 23. August 1868. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

SUICIDE THROUGH ALLEGED PAROCHIAL ILL-TREATMENT.

On Monday, Dr. Lankester held an inquest at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, St. Pancras, on the body of George Franklin, aged seventy-one. The deceased, it was alleged, had cut his throat through ill treatment on the part of a parish medical officer, and starvation, in the St. Pancras Workhouse.

Mary Ann Franklin, 25, Oxford-terrace, King’s road, said: Deceased was my husband. He was seventy-one years of age. He was a commercial traveller. He died last Thursday evening in St. Pancras Workhouse. He cut his throat last Tuesday evening. When I went home that evening he had been taken to the workhouse. I am positive he cut his throat through the cruelties of the parish doctor. He had been ill for twelve months. He received great cruelty from Dr. Harley, who would not give him any nurishment. Dr. Harley is the parish doctor, and all he would give my husband was a bottle of medicine and two shilling’s worth of meat and a little brandy all the time. A fortnight ago my husband went to the house with an order for order for the infirmary; but he was put into the able-bodied part of the house. He had no proper nourishment, and could not eat the food that was given him. He came home last Saturday week because he could not put up with the treatment in the house any longer. The doctor at the house refused to put him in the infirmary. My husband said he was starved at the house, and he might just as well starve at home or cut his throat. The treatment drove him mad. Last Monday I sent for two doctors, and they came, but he was delirious; and although I gave him enough to eat at home, he kept crying out to me not to send him back to the workhouse. His flannel shirt was taken from him at the house, and he caught a fresh cold through it. He had to ask for another shirt from the doctor, and he came out with one with the parish mark on it. A gentleman is in court that he wrote to, complaining of the treatment.

Dr. Gibson, of the workhouse infirmary, said he knew nothing of the deceased’s first stay in the house. Deceased was admitted on the 11th of August, with his throat cut. I asked him how it happened, and he said he was shaving, and his wife jobbed his elbow. He was delirious. He died on the 13th inst. I made a post mortem examination. There was an effusion of blood on the brain, and that might have caused the delirium. The lungs were diseased. The liver was cancerous, and the right kidney as well. The immediate cause of his death was the bleeding from the wound in the throat. The delirium, which was the result of the clot on the brain, could not have been caused by the alleged cruelty.

Dr. Harley said this was the first time he had heard of the charge of cruelty, and he was not prepared to say what he prescribed for deceased last winter. He (witness) ordered medicine and nourishment.

Mrs. Franklin: My husband refused to see Dr. Harvey any more, and went to University College Hospital, and the surgeons there said they never saw a man so reduced by starvation before, and they ordered him six hot dinners a week. Dr. Harley only saw my husband three times—once for each order, and if he denies that he is a false man. I call him a perfect brute.

Dr. Harley, continuing, said that prior to deceased entering the workhouse, he (witness) went to see him, and was met with a volley of abuse from the wife, who threatened to pitch him down stairs. Deceased said, “Do not talk to that vile woman any more, but come and sit down and hear what I have got to say.” Witness gave an order for the infirmary. After deceased came out of the workhouse witness saw him again, and gave an order for nourishment. The relieving-officer having said that Mrs. Franklin was not satisfied with this, witness gave a fresh order for the infirmary, which was not used.

Mr. Evans, medical officer to the male portion of the inmates of the house, said deceased was sent to the old men’s ward, because witness did not think it a case for the infirmary. It was the rule of the establishment to take the men’s shirts away when they came in and give them fresh ones. Witness could not say whether he went two days without a shirt. Witness did not order any deviation from the ordinary diet.

In answer to the coroner, Mrs. Franklin said it was not true that she jobbed her husband’s elbow and caused him to out his throat. It could be proved that she was out of the house at the time he did it.

The Coroner remarked that this would go to show that deceased in his delirium did not tell the truth on other points.

Mr. Main, who lived in the same house as deceased, said that deceased called witness’s wife, who went to the stairs, and said, “Do you want to speak to me, Mr. Franklin?” Deceased answered, “Yes, Mrs. Main; I’ve cut my throat.” Mrs. Main fell backward down the stairs. Witness sent for a doctor. Deceased said he had cut his throat because of the bad treatment in the workhouse. Witness ran to the workhouse for assistance, but they told him there they could do nothing—he must fetch a policeman. Witness went to the station-house, and two policemen took deceased to the workhouse on a stretcher. At the workhouse, deceased said he cut his throat for three reasons—two of which were, “That he was sorry for his wife working for him so,” and “because he was not treated well in the house.” Deceased and his wife had lived very comfortably together.

The Coroner said the delirium which resulted in deceased’s cutting his throat was caused by a clot of blood on the brain. If the jury thought this had been brought on by any ill-treatment to which deceased had been subjected, it would be best for them to adjourn for further inquiry. For his part he did not think such a case had been established.

Upon Mr. Watson (a guardian) undertaking to draw the attention of the board of guardian to the charges made against their officers,

The jury returned a verdict that deceased committed suicide whilst in an unsound state of mind.|

[1]

[The Standard, 3. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Standard, 3. Dezember 1868. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

ST. LUKES WORKHOUSE.

TO THE EDITOR.

Dec 3 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

SIR,—I was unable before writing to you on the 30th ult. to discover Ann Hutton’s lodging and question her further. My information was gained from the statement made by her in the imbecile ward, where the matron’s interruptions rendered it difficult to obtain a clear account. I have seen the woman this morning, and ascertained from her that she was not pursued to the master’s office, but that the matron and under-matron were waiting for her when she returned to the ward she had left.

She has also explained to me that the deficiency in the amount of her beer was about a quarter of a pint—that the quantity served to her was always less than her allowance when the matron drew it, but that when others drew it she usually received her full allowance.

It is fair to all parties to mention these errors of detail in my letter.

To the particulars which I sent you in my last she now adds the following:—

That her liberty to go out was taken away about six weeks previously to her confinement in the imbecile ward, and that the chairman of the visiting committee (Mr. Adams) told her that she should never go outside the gate again. That when first she was placed amongst the imbeciles she was for 14 nights immured in the padded ward, being incarcerated at half-past five in the afternoon and liberated at half-past seven the following morning. She complains that during this time she had neither pillow, sheet, nor blanket except for the last two nights, but was left to sleep on a flock bed with no covering but a hard tick, and that she was so cold as to be unable to dispense with her shoes and stockings.

The guardians of St. Luke’s say that she was not punished. What is punishment?—I am, Sir, your obliged servant,

WM. MILLINGTON
St. Barnabas, King-square, Dec. 2.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 23. August 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 941, 23. August 1868. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

“CONVICTED BY MISTAKE.”

Under the heading “Convicted by Mistake,” the following extraordinary letter appears in the Western Morning News:

“Sir,—The two girls Evans and Selway, who were sent to the Exeter Reformatory for four years by a Devonport magistrate for stealing five baby napkins, have lately been liberated. Will it be credited that they were convicted by mistake? The girls pleaded “Not guilty,” but wished the magistrate to deal with the case summarily, in order to avoid a long imprisonment prior to the sessions. The girls themselves and the parents inform me that there was no evidence; but they believe, although they could not hear distinctly, that a policeman made some remark to the effect that one of the girls had confessed, or was going to confess; and this careless expression, which of course was not evidence, induced the magistrate to pass the heavy sentence. These children are really deserving of commiseration, for their sufferings were very severe during their solitary confinement in prison, where it was my duty to pay them a daily visit. But this is not all; there is another aspect. Society is interested in it. Where magistrates act irrespective of evidence the liberty of the subject is endangered. If I have been misinformed, and if the story is susceptible of an explanation, I shall be pleased to be set right. The Mayor was present, and also the magistrates’ clerk, who can readily refer to the depositions.

E. T. May.
Formerly Chaplain to the Devonport Gaol.”

[Ausschnitt aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt. Ersatzquelle: The Times, 14. November 1868. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

SHOCKING DEATH FROM STARVATION.

Nov 15. Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Mr. Humphreys, the coroner, held an inquest at the Black Dog Tavern, Church-street, Bethnal-green, on Friday, respecting the death of James Bridges, aged fifty-one years.

Cecilia Bridges, 5, Turville-buildings, Bethnal-green, said the deceased was a willow cutter. He had been badly off for some time. The witness and three children lived in one room, for which they paid 2s. a week. One of the deceased’s sons worked with him when he could get work. Witness tried to support the family by selling clothes in Petticoat-lane on Sundays, but she never made more than 3s. The whole family earned 5s. a week. On Monday week the deceased got a job in Dog-row, and he had to work in an open yard the whole of the day. In the evening he returned home, threw 6d. down on the table, and said, “Have pity on me; I am dying through weakness. What I have suffered this day no one knows. I have been shivering with cold. My heart pains me.” Witness said to him, “Why did you not go the workhouse as I asked you, and they would have given you relief?” He replied, “Nonsense, you know we applied there last winter, and they refused us relief.” Witness then went to the workhouse, and they said, “Go and work.” Witness replied, “We have neither food nor fire.” “We have plenty of those tales,” said the gentleman; “send your husband.” “He has been, and was refused.” The gentleman then spoke very loud, and said, “I shall not give you anything; there is the door,” “Give me a loaf of bread,” said the witness. “No,” said the gentleman, “I shall not give you anything; there is the door.” That was on Saturday, and witness then went home. She, her husband, and their three children all lay down on the floor. They remained lying there until the middle of Sunday, when William, their eldest boy, got up and went out. He returned in a short time with 3d., which he had borrowed from another boy. He bought one pound of bread and a little tea with the money. On Tuesday the deceased died. Before he died the deceased said, “I have been walking about in search of work for three days. I have had no food day or night during those three days, except half a half penny loaf and a little cold water.” On the Saturday before his death he walked to the workhouse, but the doors were closed, and he thought that he should never reach home again, he felt so weak. The family had had no meat for five months; they felt happy when they got a hering to divide among them. The night before the deceased died he said he would make another effort to walk to the workhouse. Witness believed that he died from want of food.

Dr. C. C. Richards, parish doctor, said that he attended the deceased for a few hours before his death. He died from effusion of serum on the brain and in the cavities of the chest, caused by want of food and other necessaries.

Mr. Robert Arnott, relieving officer, said that on Monday he gave a doctor’s order for the deceased, and in the afternoon his assistant visited the case, and reported that a family was in great poverty. They then got 2lb. of mutton, a loaf of bread, and a quart of milk. He was not the relieving officer who had last winter refused relief.

Mrs. Bridges, recalled, said that the relieving officer who refused to give the family relief was Mr. Pringle. Mr. Arnott had been kind to her.

The foreman: Are we to understand that the doors of the relieving office are closed during the absence of the relieving officers?

Mr. Arnott: Yes.

The foreman: During what hours are the doors open?

Mr. Arnott: The hours are given on the brass plate at the door. They are from nine to ten in the morning, and from five to six o’clock in the evening. But let it be understood that the office is generally open from nine to one o’clock. It is often closed before one o’clock. If we were to keep the doors open people would be coming in all day. While the office is closed we are visiting the applicants for relief at their own houses.

The foreman: When the office is closed, supposing a case of necessity should arise, say food or a doctor’s order is wanted, is there no way of getting assistance?|

[2]

Mr. Arnott: The doors are closed from one to five o’clock and during that time no relief can be got.

A juror: Then someone ought to be left in the office during those hours.

The jury then deliberated for half an hour, and the foreman said: We find that the man died from starvation, and we think that the family ought to have gone to the workhouse sooner.

A juror: We do not wish to append that; there is blame attached to the workhouse people. The wife applied for relief, and she was rebuked, and told there was the door. The family had gone to the work house.

An animated discussion then ensued, and the following verdict was recorded:—“That the deceased died from effusion of serum on the brain and into the cavities of the chest caused by want and privation”

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 13. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 957, 13. Dezember 1868. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

MISERY IN LONDON.

On entering one of the houses in Millwall at haphazard we saw a woman surrounded by five young children in a most deplorable condition. They were all shoeless, and were otherwise wretchedly clad. Wan and haggard to the last degree, they were suffering from cutaneous disease, the result of impoverishment of blood, consequent upon long continued deprivation of nourishment. The woman stated that her husband worked in the labour-yard for the usual allowance; none of them had tasted meat for six weeks. She was suffering severely, for she was on the point of giving birth to another child. Her husband was the tenant of the whole house, and was bound to pay 5s. a week rent—a sum which it is needless to say was not paid. She had a lodger, who found it equally impossible to pay her 1s. 9d. a week for the room upstairs. With a view of adding to her husband’s miserable pittance she went a week ago to a rope factory in the Isle of Dogs and got a quarter of a hundredweight of oakum to pick. She and her children had worked at it ever since, and her husband, when he returned from the stone-yard at night, had assisted them; but, weak as they were from hunger, they had not yet been able to complete the task. For this week’s work of the woman, the five children, and the husband at night, the remuneration would be 1s. Going up-stairs, we found the front room occupied by seven persons, composing the family of the lodger already mentioned. The head of the family, a man in the prime of life, was seated on a stool in the corner; he was suffering terribly from neuralgic pains; his boots allowed his feet to be seen through their gaping sides; his other clothing was of the scantiest. The children were all young; they were starved and half clad; the expression of their gaunt faces denoted suffering from poverty of the direst kind. The mother, a respectable looking woman, very pale and feeble, spoke in a tone of pious resignation. She had that during the past two years her husband had had only six weeks continuous employment. He got occasional half-crowns by hanging about the docks, but ten days ago that resource failed altogether in consequence of his becoming too prostrate to work anymore. The parish allowance was, she said, quite insufficient to keep body and soul together. Nearly the whole of what they got they gave to the youngest child, as being the least able to bear the hunger. She mentioned—and it was a singular instance of the way in which the poor help the poor—that the woman below stairs at times gave them one of the loaves which her husband earned in the stone yard, to save them from total starvation. While this sad story of hopeless misery was being related, the father sat writhing in pain and sobbing loudly. In another house in the same street was a family which had only partaken of one meal since Sunday. To obtain it, the shoes of one of daughters, a girl of twelve, had been pawned for a shilling. They were in hopes of getting something on the Tuesday evening by the sale of the pawn-ticket for sixpence.—The Eastern Post.

[The Daily News, 13. August 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 6952, 13. August 1868. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

OUR unpaid Magistrates seem to have become suddenly possessed by a fanatical spirit of severity. From several distant points we receive simultaneously accounts of sentences being passed upon defendants in revolting disproportion to their offences. On Saturday a poor woman named SARAH JONES was brought before the Mayor and two magistrates of Chester for “stealing” “wheat,” a crime which appears to have consisted in gleaning cars in a field after the final operations of the harvest had been completed. The prosecutor, Mr. ROBERTS, said that he saw JONES picking up wheat, and sent a boy to her to tell her to desist. She appears to have been, as many of her class are, under the impression that gleaning is a legal right of the poor, and continued to pick up the ears. Mr. ROBERTS thereupon went to her himself, and took a handful of wheat from her. The prosecutor was asked by the magistrate whether there was any wheat crop on the ground where the prisoner was, and said, “No, it had been raked there.” This served to show that, at the most, the poor woman was only gleaning. Mr. ROBERTS added, however, as his reason for prosecuting, that “he wanted to” make an example of someone.” We take this, in connection with his other statements, to mean that he wished to elicit from the bench such a declaration of the law, accompanied with some slight penalty, as would remove a prevailing misconception from the minds of his poorer neighbours, and save him future trouble. That this was his intention appeared plainly afterwards, when he asked for mitigation of the sentence. We cannot, therefore, agree with those who on the strength of the sessions report have blamed him as if he were a cruel man, willing to bring any amount of suffering upon the poor woman for the sake of protecting his property. The subject of gleaning is one as to which it is very easy to be misled by sentiment. The practice is a very ancient one, and connects itself with some exceedingly pleasant ideas of social economy. But the propriety and advisability of retaining it under all circumstances is open to question. The fact that in many cases gleaning is merely an excuse for stealing may make the kindest farmer resolve not to permit it in his fields. But be this as it may, in the present case the Mayor of CHESTER, after the woman had expressed her sorrow, and pleaded that she did not know she was acting illegally, said to her, “You must go to gaol for seven days.” This excessive and irrational severity shocked Mr. JOHNSON, another magistrate, who declared that “he would be no party” to the sentence. The woman burst into tears, and said, “Seven” days for that? Do not send me to gaol from “my four children, and one sucking at the “breast.” The prosecutor, too, said that “he did” not ask for so much as that” and afterwards the prisoner was ordered to pay a fine and costs amounting together to 13s. 8d. or go to prison for three days. As the money was not forthcoming, to prison the woman went. This is a sentence which no man who had had any experience of the administration of justice would have pronounced. An observation of the magistrates’ clerk, “There is no other way of putting this “sort of thing down,” expressed, no doubt, the honest belief of the convicting magistrates; but it only shows their unfitness for the office which they unfortunately fill. A qualified police magistrate considers what punishment is sufficient to deter from the repetition of an offence, and does not exceed it; moreover, in thus judging he distinguishes between offences which have their origin in prejudice fostered by time and usage, and an obstinate defiance of the law. The blind and blundering honesty of many of our unpaid magistrates is unequal to the task of drawing such distinctions, and hence with the best intentions they continually outrage public sentiment.

Daily News August 68 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

[The Daily News, 6. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7025, 6. Dezember 1868. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

WINTER PROSPECTS IN EAST LONDON.

Even amid the excitement and turmoil of the parliamentary elections there is amongst those most familiar with the social condition of East London a considerable amount of uneasiness respecting the prospects of its myriads of unemployed poor during the coming rigorous of winter; and, to say the least, there are numerous cogent reasons for entertaining disagreeable forebodings. An unusually fine and prolonged summer, an exceptionally early and abundant harvest, and the briskness of trade in various parts of the kingdom, have all failed to produce any perceptible diminution in the existing vast amount of metropolitan pauperism. Whether this constantly-augmenting amount of pauperism is the result of a depression of local trade, or of increased habits of intemperance and improvidence amongst the labouring classes, or of some equally effectual predisposing cause, may be a matter for dispute, but there everywhere exists a singular unanimity of opinion that the evil must be promptly met, whatever be the cost. But how is this to be done? This forms the problem which the East London parochial authorities are now attempting to solve, although, in their perplexity, they scarcely know in which way to begin. The more they extend the means of relief the larger becomes the mass of destitution with which they have to deal. It is as if poverty begat poverty. The number of metropolitan paupers during the last week of July in the present year was no less than 127,119, an increase of 7.7 per |[3] cent on the number during the corresponding period in 1867. Of this great pauper army by far the largest proportion belonged to the eastern metropolitan districts, including Poplar, in which parish there are at the present moment something like 7,000 persons in receipt of parochial relief, the number three years ago not exceeding 700! It is sad to note the seeming helplessness of the East London poor. They seem to have become as mere children evincing little willingness or ability in seconding the efforts to rescue them from the abyss of poverty into which they have fallen; in fact, they appear to have acquired much of the fatalism characteristic of the Asiatic race, and to have tacitly accepted the curse of pauperism as their unavoidable destiny. Even the very children seem to have become affected with the social taint, for they no longer taunt each other with their parent’s acceptance of the workhouse dole. The Poplar guardians recently sent a deputation into Lancashire for the purpose of investigating the various modes of relief adopted during the cotton famine; but there is this difference between the distress formerly existing in the cotton-manufacturing districts and that now prevailing in East London—the former was of an exceptional and temporary character, while the latter bids fair to become permanent; various causes, amongst which must be named the indiscriminate bestowal of charity, having converted what, under a more systematic system of outside relief, would have proved merely a limited mass of destitution, into a corresponding amount of chronic pauperism.

Coincident with the steady increase of the pauper population, a fresh, but not unexpected evil is also beginning to manifest itself. Much of the relief afforded to the poor, although sufficient to maintain life, is utterly insufficient for the purpose of preserving the body in a state of health. Hence the increasing prevalence of sickness and fever amongst the East London poor. The generally debilitated condition of these poor creatures almost exceeds belief. A glance at the shivering crowds which daily cluster round the doors of the relieving officers shows how easy would be the triumph of pestilence if it once attacked the thin, emaciated forms which tremble like aspens in the cold November wind. Nothing but the numerous sanitary improvements effected during recent years, together with the unceasing vigilance of the various medical officers of health, has hitherto prevented London from falling a victim to the ravages of a terribly fatal epidemic. Even as it is, there exists no lack of danger. The increasing amount of pauper fever is painfully illustrated, not merely by the overcrowded state of the workhouse infirmaries, or the daily increase of applications at the local dispensaries and hospitals, but also by the fact that while the number of recipients of parochial relief is constantly receiving fresh accessions, the proportion of able-bodied paupers exhibits a steady decline. A few days since, Mr. Orton, the Limehouse medical officer of health, had his attention directed to several cases of fever in Ratcliff. On the matter being inquired into, it was found that the disease was less the result of sanitary deficiencies than the effect of low living produced by extreme poverty. Similar experiences have been obtained in Shadwell, Bethnalgreen, Whitechapel, and elsewhere. In Mile-end Old Town, a family, consisting of a father, mother, and five children, the eldest a girl of fourteen, were discovered by the relieving officer living in a small and wretchedly furnished room. They were all suffering from fever. The man and woman lay helplessly in one corner of the cheerless apartment, the eldest girl was crouching before the almost fireless grate, while three other children were huddled together on an old and rickety sofa, where a thin shawl was made to act as blanket and counterpane. Food, clothing, and other necessaries were immediately supplied, and within a few hours afterwards the father and three of the children were being conveyed to the Fever Hospital. Unfortunately in one case the assistance arrived too late, the head of the family, succumbing to the effects of the fever, dying in a day or two afterwards. Numerous other instances of fever are reported from the same district, no less than 32 cases having been sent during a single week to the Fever Hospital, the demands upon which institution are growing so excessive that the scale of hospital charges has recently been increased. The fever, it should be observed, is confined almost wholly to the outdoor paupers.

As if this increase of local pauperism and the widening spread of pauper sickness were not sufficient, the luckless East-end ratepayers find themselves threatened with fresh financial burdens, in consequence of their parochial representatives having been commanded by the now almost omnipotent Poor-law Board to erect new infirmaries, schools, and workhouse buildings. The buildings certainly are much needed; but the present is a most inconvenient time for adding to the rapidly rising amount of local taxation—the more so considering that the time cannot be far distant when the equalization of metropolitan taxation will have become an accomplished fact. In Poplar the present workhouse is to be pulled down, and a new one erected in its stead, at a cost of 50,000l. A similar sum is to be expended in Shoreditch on the erection of a new infirmary and schools. But who is ultimately to pay the piper? Large numbers of the smaller class of shopkeepers, affected by the surrounding poverty of the districts in which they reside, can scarcely manage to pay the rates; while as for the compound householder, his abolition is everywhere proving a prolific source of loss and trouble to the different parishes. In some places it is said that not a penny has yet been obtained from the new rate-paying class, and that the parish officials dare not put in the brokers, least the defaulters should be driven to the workhouse. Moreover, large numbers of these people are recipients of parochial relief. How seriously these things affect local taxation is shown by the circumstance, that the amount of poor rates to be collected in Hackney for the half-year ending Lady-day, 1869, is 36,161l., or more than was collected during the whole year ending Lady-day, 1868, when the amount was 35,368l. The standard of revolt which has been raised by the ratepayers of St. Pancras will speedily find adherents from other parishes, where the people are becoming tired of paying for public improvements at the West-end, and, at the same time, having to bear singlehanded their own heavy parochial expenses.

Such facts, however, only serve to stimulate the energies of the numerous earnest-hearted, men engaged in the praiseworthy task of supplementing work of parochial relief; but, as in former years, the old difficulty arising from the multiplicity of independent relief organizations is again being severely felt. The number of philanthropic funds, annuity societies, charitable associations, and the like, in East London, is enormous. They annually absorb vast sums of money without effecting any corresponding amount of good but, |[4] on the contrary, assisting largely in the evil labour of increasing the amount of pauper feeling amongst those whom they are professedly intended to relieve. The East-end Central Relief Committee, the head-quarters of which are in Poplar, desirous of doing something towards putting an end to this anomalous state of things, are endeavouring to effect an arrangement with the East London Mission and Relief Committee, whereby some degree of co-operation might be secured for the purpose of detecting imposture. The latter body combines religious instruction with the administration of relief, a circumstance which seriously impedes its real effectiveness. The East-end Central Relief Committee, on the contrary, base their operations on the system so successfully pursued in Lancashire during the cotton famine. It aims principally at relieving the really deserving poor, especially those on the verge of pauperism; and is its committee including several of the local parish guardians, any attempt at fraud is speedily detected. The recent letter of the Rev. J. F. Kitto, one of its members affords ample proof of the wise and enlightened manner in which the operations of the committee are conducted, and one cannot help regretting that its example should not be more extensively imitated, especially at a moment when the eastern portions of the metropolis are threatened with an amount of distress and privation compared with which all previous visitations of a like character must inevitably appear tame and insignificant.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 6. September 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 943, 6. September 1868. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

OUR DAILY CONTEMPORARIES.

ROBBING THE POOR.—

The Times says:—A return has just been printed, by order of the House of Commons, of the number of persons within the metropolitan parishes who, within the latter half of last year, were convicted of using false weights and measures. The return is lamentably extensive, occupying no less than sixteen folio pages. The whole number of convictions which it records within six months are no less than 659. If we put out of question the more rural parishes, we have considerably more than 500 convictions. In other words, there are known to have been between five and six hundred shops in the metropolis at which the quantities of goods sold were systematically falsified. The offenders are retail dealers in the commonest necessaries of life, and the loss chiefly falls on the poor. It is sad to think how grievous this loss must be. The number of little transactions which passed through these five or six hundred shops before the false measure was discovered must have been incalculable and the aggregate loss immense. There is nothing, perhaps, in which the poor are so unfortunate as in the conditions under which most of their current purchases are made. Their food is adulterated, it is excessively dear for its quality, and we now see that in numerous cases they have also to suffer from scant measure. A half pint of beer, for instance, in a public-house will cost two pence, though it will not be so wholesome as what a private gentleman drinks for less than a penny, and will, besides, be stinted in quantity. This is probably no unfair example of the waste generally inflicted on the small resources of the poor. They would, indeed, have abundant occasion to betake themselves to cooperative stores. The classes who have lately been forwarding that system are endeavouring to escape from comparatively moderate overcharge compared with that which oppresses the classes beneath them. It is true, a little more forethought and energy would be sufficient to deliver a great number of the poor from this thraldom. There is no reason why they should not pay a few shillings now and then for a cask of good and cheap beer, instead of buying it in pots every day from the public-house. There is no reason why their wives should not buy a great portion of their portion of their greengrocery at market, and purchase grocery and chandlery in rather larger quantities at better shops. But there will always be a large class who will never practice, or be in a position to practice, this kind of economy; and it is really a great hardship that they should be exposed to such grievous injustice as is indicated by the present [return.]

[The Daily News, 9. Oktober 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7001, 9. Oktober 1868. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

LAMBETH INTERIORS.

Oct 9. Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

The letter we published under the above heading a few days since rather understated than overstated its case. To visit the parish of St. Mary the Less, Lambeth, and its neighbour Vauxhall, is to become acquainted with a vast and densely populated district in which the first laws of health are systematically outraged or ignored. Damp floors and walls, close stifling rooms, insufficient cubical space, defective water supply, overcrowding and its attendant evils physical and moral, foul smells, bad drains, sewers and cesspools so near the surface that the rank, black soil oozing up between the rotting bricks of the flooring is itself putrescent; open and exposed dust heaps, of which dust is the least harmful part, are to be seen and smelt and shuddered at on every side. The recognized principles by which the health of a community is secured are forgotten or violated; and those epidemical diseases the rise and progress of which so often baffle medical science have here their nursery and their root. Moreover, the disorders engendered by the filth and misery in which the inhabitants of this typically poor neighbourhood are allowed to live and die inevitably spread, and in unhealthy seasons society pays the penalty in illness and loss of life for its wilful indifference and neglect of the poor. The house we are about to describe are tenanted by industrious people, many of whom have votes under the new Reform Bill, and they are periodically inspected by local officials. The duty of these gentlemen is to see that the most obvious sanitary requirements are fulfilled, and it is impossible to avoid the conviction that it is not performed. In winter, and in bad seasons, the poverty and distress are wide-spread and severe; but at the time of our visit on a Saturday the breadwinner was in most instances away and at work, and it was the wife or children who showed us over house and yard.

The stables recently converted into dwelling places were by no means the worst specimens we saw and consisted of single room with open waterbutt and panless closet in common, the latter having no regular supply of water and depending upon the landlord’s personal labours for being kept sweet. Here we found what was a common phase of terrorism. The people who read of agricultural tyranny, and who properly sympathize with the unrighteous interference of landlords with their tenants; who regard the small farmer as being under exceptional pressure, and the dwellers upon an estate as writhing under, or docilely submitting to, a dictation unknown to the denizens of large towns, should make themselves acquainted with the terms upon which small house property is held in London. The representative landlord who is, perhaps, a member of the vestry or is at least able to control some of the tradesmen who sit there, makes silent submission to things as they are a condition of tenancy. To complain is to be turns out. To aid the clergyman or district visitor, or philanthropic inquirer, by admitting what is as palpable as the pavement they walk upon, or the discoloured walls they see, is to play into the hands of the enemy, and to arouse the landlord’s wrath. There is no fear of his houses remaining unlet. Wretched as they are, there are scores of applicants ready to enter them directly the present holders quit, and the one answer to complaints is—“Can’t afford to do what you require, and if you don’t like it you can go.”

[The Daily News, 9. November 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7027, 9. November 1868. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

LAMBETH PIGSTYES.

Nov. 9 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—May I call the attention of the Inspectors of nuisances and other efficient officers connected with this parish to the state of the water in Pheasant-cottages, Salamanca-place, Gunnell’s-court, Salamanca-court, Salamanca-cottages, Lemon-cottages, Little Lemon-court, Granby’s-buildings, Salamanca-street, Jolly Gardeners-place, and several houses in New-street and Hampshire-place, &c. Little Lemon-court consists of four houses, 5s. 6d. a week each, and occupied by labourers and their families; the houses are swarming with rats, the rain pours in torrents through the roofs, the plastering is falling off the walls in the upper rooms. No water has ever been laid on, there are no dust-bins, and at No. 1, the stairs are only supported by a temporary prop. The state of Great Lemon-court is even worse; the eight pigsties are occupied by 90 persons. The partition walls are broken, the water-butts are old and unpitched, the closets dilapidated, and the smell from the drains is abominable. The court is the dust-bin. In Salamanca-court the rents are from 4s. to 7s. 6d. per week; there are 88 inhabitants in the 13 houses; what were originally intended for washhouses and closets extend down the center of the court; they are all but roofless; the only water for drinking is kept in rotten uncovered casks close to the closets; the washhouses, like many others, have neither coppers nor grates, nor have they fastenings of any kind to the doors. At No. 9, a woman fell through the ceiling; all the roofs, more or less, let in rain. At No. 1, they have no water at all. A few houses in Salamanca-street belong to the same landlord, and the rest to a landlord who is also proprietor of houses in Hampshire-place in the same state of repair. At No. 3 another person fell through the ceiling; a few of the houses are undermined by the rats, and the water-butts are old and filthy in the extreme. The vestry should insist upon all the butts in the parish being raised on brick piers high enough to enable the people to get the water out conveniently, instead of baling it out as they do at present. The dustmen, too, are over fastidious; refusing to remove any dust unless paid black mail by the poor people. No. 7 is a woodcutter; he pays 5s. 6d. a week for a den that would be dear at 6d.; the rooms are barely 9 feet square, and I am surprised any man can allow 17 human beings to live in a place worse than a dog kennel. In the yard the water is putrid, and the drains can never be worse—in fact the house should be pulled down. Granby’s buildings are each from 6s. 6d. to 8s. a week; they are fifteen in number, and contain 172 persons. At No. 1 the rain comes in the drain is stopped up, the house thoroughly out of repair. Two families have had the fever, and very likely others may take it, owing to the state of the drains and the houses, the landlords refusing to make the necessary repairs. Salamanca-place is the name of two houses; the rent is 4s. a week each—tiles off the roof, the ceilings broken down, the place full of rats, attracted by tallow chandelling and soap boiling. The people in Salamanca-street, too, are doubly benefited by the scent and smoke from Hunt’s bone-yard. At Gunnell’s-court the rain comes into all the kitchens, and the people have no conveniences for washing. In Jolly Gardeners-court, which it would be more appropriate to call cellars, the houses are unfit for any person to live in. I shall not occupy your space with a description of anymore; but should these houses not be put in thorough repair, and the needful sanitary alterations immediately commenced, I shall forward a statement, with the details of my note-book, to the Home Secretary. At 72, New-street, Princes-road, the water runs to waste because the people have only a washing tub to catch it in. At 11, Norfolk-street, a poor woman lies dangerously ill with the fever, brought on by the state the landlord keeps the house in. I was accosted by a person the other day, who told me the Inspector of nuisances and he considered me very impertinent and insolent to interfere with private property. I asked him who he was, and he said his name was Curtis; he followed me to a house, and put his arms across the door to prevent me leaving, and then having abused me in what he considered a satisfactory manner, he wound up by telling me that he was a gentleman, and that I was very insolent, that I was a Roman catholic Jesuit in disguise, and should be ashamed of myself, and he would like to know who made me a ruler and judge over the people. I have since discovered the “gentleman” is a retired petty haberdasher of Lambeth Walk, and if he or any other landlord in Lambeth molests me again in the |[5] public streets, I shall resort to legal proceedings against them. I have taken nearly three entire days to visit about seventy houses, which would never have been in their present condition if the local officers had attended to their duty, a duty I have no desire to usurp if it were done properly.—I am, &c.,

A DISTRICT VISITOR.
St. Mary the Less, Lambeth.

P.S.—The people pay 4d. in the pound three times a year for lighting and repairing the highways. Why are the courts and alleys not paved, and lighted by a gas lamp each?

[The Daily News, 26. Oktober 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7015, 26. Oktober 1868. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

OCTOBER 26

IT has probably not escaped the notice or our readers that Anti-Truck Associations are once more coming into activity. The Truck system was a very real and very serious evil in the early days of the vast development of our manufacturing industry. So long ago as the Parliament which preceded that which passed the first Reform Bill a special Act was passed for its suppression, and that Act, known as the Truck Act, is a kind of Magna Charta to the working population of the mining and manufacturing districts. The system which this Act was intended to suppress is not one which presents its worst side to the superficial observer. “Truck” is simply the payment of wages in goods instead of in coin. It probably arose in the most natural manner in the early days of mining and manufacturing enterprise. An employer took a number of men into some district remote from towns, built houses for them to live in, and opened shops for the supply of all the necessaries of life and comfort. The people, finding these shops an immense convenience, gradually began to run up bills in anticipation of their wages, and as the proprietor of the shop was the person from whom the wages were due it soon became customary for the payment of money to be dispensed with, and for the week’s wages merely to be entered as a set off to the weeks account. In this way the workman gradually became entirely dependent on the employer. Many families never had any money of their own; they bought all they wanted at the truck shop, where there was perpetual credit to the amount of their weekly income, and where they paid such prices as the employer chose to demand. Even under the most conscientious management this system was entirely destructive of the self-help and the independence of the working classes, and under the control of hard and grasping individuals it became nothing less than a new form of serfdom. The workman or labourer received his keep in return for his service; he was always in debt to his employer; and as he had no means of removing in order to better his condition, and no power of making terms as to the payment for his labour, he was as much bound to the mine, or the factory, or the works, as a serf was bound to the soil. It was to abolish this industrial feudalism that the Truck Act (1 and 2 William IV., c. 37) was passed. That Act provided that the wages of labour should be paid in a current coin of the realm, and that if they were paid in any other way such payment should be null and void, and the wages should be recoverable just as though no such payment in goods had ever been made. But if we may judge from the statements made in a case lately tried in the Wrexham County Court and from the extensive formation of Anti-Truck Associations in the mining districts, this Act has not been entirely fatal to the system. There is a perpetual temptation to recur to it in the profit it gives the employer and the convenience which, when honestly worked, it gives to unthrifty workmen; and these special organizations are needful to enforce a law which there seems to be a perpetual disposition to evade or defeat.

The case tried at Wrexham was one in which the question was raised, what payment in money really is. It was a case in which wages had practically been paid in goods instead of in coin. The New British Iron Company was sued by JOHN GRIFFITHS for 6l. 14s. wages due. It was admitted that goods to that amount had been received by the plaintiff, but it was pleaded by the defendants that the sum had been actually paid in cash. The question turned on the point whether the company’s method of payment was really a cash payment or not. They, with the best intention towards the men in their employ, had established a system of monthly settlements and weekly advances, with a small fortnightly cash payment called “sist”. The weekly advances were made at the shop where the goods were supplied to the workmen. Every Thursday the time-keeper sent to this shop a note of the amount of the man’s earnings, and when his wife went to the shop to buy goods this note was given her. She got goods at the counter for the amount, and the clerk who had served her having signed the note, she left the goods on the counter, took the note to a cash clerk, received the money, paid it over the counter for the goods, and was then at liberty to take them away. But, it should be noticed, she did not get the cash until she had bought the goods. There is no reason for supposing that she could go and draw the money and take it elsewhere; she must in fact spend it before it is paid to her; and spend it in the shop where she receives it. The jury, under the distinct ruling of the judge, declared this not to be payment in cash, but in goods, and gave a verdict for the amount the plaintiff claimed. The judge afterwards granted a case for appeal; but the verdict of the jury is so completely the common-sense view of the matter that its reversal is very improbable, and if we are correctly informed, the Company, desiring to act in the spirit as well as according to the letter of the law, has already changed their system of payment. But even should such a case as this eventually prove not to come within the meaning of the Truck Act, that Act must undergo early amendment to make its provisions more imperative and complete.

It is a part of public policy to give to the wage receiving classes the completest possible control of their wages. The objections to the Truck system are rather to it as a whole than to individual |[6] examples of it. It is very probable that in wages by rendering to the workman unable to seek a better market for his labour, and heightens prices by creating a monopoly in the supply. It keeps the people in perpetual leading strings, prevents them from saving, renders thrift and foresight needless, and reduces the whole population which becomes subject to it to the position of a dependent class. It is true that the half patriarchal relation it introduces between employers and employed may sometimes be of immense advantage to the people, just as an enlightened despotism may sometimes do more wisely than free governments; but unusual virtue on one side and unusual simplicity on the other are necessary to prevent it from degenerating into a degrading tyranny. The law cannot make provision for these unusual cases. It presumes that in the ordinary relations of society only ordinary virtue can be depended on, and it discourages relationships which need extraordinary virtue to make them bearable. The Truck system is hostile to the self-dependence and self-respect of all who are subject to it. If they must deal at a certain shop there is neither encouragement nor opportunity to make the best of their earnings, while power to spend money before it is actually in possession is certain to lead to extravagance and waste. The practical result of the system has been found to be in all cases to pauperise the people. Wherever it is in operation, poverty and degradation result from it. There is a sort of education in the act of laying out money to advantage which no class can do without, and it is of the utmost importance in the new position which the working classes are assuming in the State, that nothing which militates against their independence should be permitted. The law guarantees them the receipt of their wages in coin in order that they may retain complete control over the expenditure of their earnings, and it is in every way desirable that so just and beneficent a law should be everywhere enforced.

[The Daily News, 31. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7072, 31. Dezember 1868. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

EXTRAORDINARY DEATH OF A WOMAN IN A POLICE CELL.

SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST THE POLICE.

Dec 31 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Last evening Mr. John Humphreys, coroner, held an inquest at the Old Mermaid Tavern, High-street, Hackney, respecting the death of Mrs. Hannah Saunders, aged 55 years.

The deceased was the wife of a cab proprietor and her family alleged that her death had been caused by treatment which she had received while a prisoner in the Hackney Police-station, after the officers in charge of her had been informed that she was in a dangerous state.

Mr. William Saunders, 58, Great Chard-street, Hoxton, deposed that the deceased was his wife, and that the family had lived in one house 16 years. Witness had had a quarrel with the landlord and he gave him notice to quit, but witness refused to leave, and that fact preyed upon her mind. On Sunday he was informed that the police had arrested her on the charge of attempting to commit suicide. He went to the station, and after seeing his wife he told the police that she was ill and he offered to bail her out, but they refused to allow him to do so. She died five hours afterwards from the effects of the cold in the damp cell. Before her death repeated applications were made to the police for additional clothing for her, as she was very cold, the cell being paved with stone. She had nothing to rest upon except a wooden bench, and that was so uncomfortable that she had to sit upon it. Her feet—she had only stocking on touched the wet stones. She had been locked up in the cell for 24 hours and there was no light in it.

Jones Saunders, a boy aged 12, said that on Saturday evening, at half-past 6 o’clock, his mother bid him “Good bye” in so strange a manner that he was induced to follow her, but he lost sight of her while she was turning the corner of Huntington-street. She said to him when she was going out, “You will have to get a new mother.”

John Robson, a policeman, said that between 8 and 9 o’clock on Saturday night he heard a splash in the Regent’s Canal, near the Sir Walter Scott bridge, and upon going to see what was the matter, he so a dark object in the water. He procured the drags, and in seven minutes the deceased was taken out alive. She was carried to the Sir. Walter Scott Tavern and her clothes were taken off with the exception of her chemise. Dr. Thornton was sent for, and he said, “She is all right for removal,” and he left. Her chemise was quite wet, and she was then placed on a stretcher. The people at the tavern did not find her any clothes; but Mr. Jones, a fruiterer, seeing her lying on the stretcher in her wet chemise covered her with a sack which he lent for the purpose. She was then carried from the Queen’sroad Bridge, Dalston, to the Hackney police-station. Witness charged her with attempting to commit suicide. The reason why he sent for the stretcher was that she was naked for a time before it arrived.

Coroner—What evidence had you when you arrested that woman and took her to a police station instead of taking her to an hospital that she ever intended to commit suicide?

Witness—None. I do not know how she came in the water.

Coroner—Have you any instructions how to act in such a case?

Witness—None. The deceased was sensible when she was on the stretcher, for she said, “What are you going to do with me?” I told her, and she replied, “I never was in the water.”

Mr. Saunders said that his wife had stated that she was not sensible until after she was put in the cell.

The witness stated that the deceased was put into the cell at the station house about 9 o’clock.

A juror—With her chemise all wet?

Witness—Yes. I was then sent to the workhouse for clothes, and I brought back two skirts, a petticoat, a chemise, a pair of stockings, and a gown.

P. S. Hawkins, 33 N, said that when the deceased was brought into the station she was placed lying on a stretcher in front of the fire. She refused her name and address. Witness sent for clothing and a female searcher to put the clothes on. At 25 minutes past 9 o’clock she was placed in the cell. During the night she never complained. After she was put in the cell she got nothing to eat, but at 7 o’clock on Sunday morning she was given same coffee. At half-past 4 a.m. she gave the address of her husband.

Ellen Howes, the female searcher, deposed that the deceased said to her, “I hope you will take the wet clothes off, and put dry ones on.” She seemed quite stupid—witness thought from drink and from going into the water.

F. Eden, 504 N, deposed that at 7 o’clock on Sunday evening he found the deceased dead in the cell. A doctor was then called in to see her.

Sergeant J. Keenon said that he and his inspector had refused to allow the deceased out on bail when her husband requested them to do it. She had said to him during Sunday, “I do not feel well.” She did not say that her feet were cold.

By Mr. Saunders—He thought that the cell was a fit place for the deceased to be locked up in, taking into consideration the state in which she was after she had been in the canal. Witness let her husband see her in the cell.

Inspector J. Gibbons said that he refused to take bail on the ground that attempted suicide is not a bailable offence. The cell was warm, and was heated by a furnace underneath. The police regulated the amount of heat which the furnace was to give. The police have no regulations about the removal of half drowned people to hospitals or infirmaries. It is left to their judgment. If the deceased had been insensible she would have been taken to an hospital.

By the Coroner—Witness did not know the fact that sudden immersion is likely to produce shock and cause death 24 hours after the person has been taken out of the water. He did not think it necessary to send for the divisional surgeon to see the deceased.

Mrs. Mary Burdott, 60, Great Chard-street, said that she saw the deceased in the cell on Sunday at 2 o’clock. She said that she was very cold, and had not slept. She complained of her head and chest. She had nothing to lie on except a hard bench. Her feet were on the cold stone pavement, which was wet. The cell was very cold indeed. Witness gave her some brandy, and brought her some clothes. She said, “I am so cold.” She was so ill that she could not be dressed in the additional clothing. Witness told the inspector that the cell was dreadfully cold, and that the deceased begged for a coat to throw over her feet. Witness entreated of the police to let her out on bail. The family brought a cab to the door, and they asked the police to let the prisoner out, so that she might be placed in a warm bed. They asked the police to give the woman a bed while she was lying in the cell, but they refused to do so. The deceased told witness that she was not sensible until she awoke in the dark cell. The cell was not a fit place for a person in the condition of the deceased to have been placed in.

For the defense Inspector Gibbons called.

Mary Tuppley, the wife of a boot-closer, who stated that she was an inmate of the East London Union. On Boxing-day she became intoxicated, and the police put her in a cell. While she was there the deceased was brought in. There was no light in the cell, and the deceased was placed lying on a wooden bench, and she spoke of the cold. It was a very cold and damp cell, and it had a disagreeable smell. The deceased could not eat when she was offered a bit of bread and butter. On Sunday night she fell off the bench on to the stones, and then she groaned. Witness called the policeman in, and he turned his light upon the woman’s face, and it was very white. She was then dead. The doctor came and said so. She ought never to have been put in the cell, for she ought to have been taken to some place where a sick woman, who was very cold, could have been put into a bed to get warm. She asked the police for an old coat during the Saturday night, but they would not give her one. The cell was in a filthy state, but the police refused to clean it.

Mrs. Burdatt deposed to the same fact.

Mr. W. H. Wright, police surgeon, said that he saw the deceased after death. A post mortem examination of her body proved that her lungs were inflated and distended with water. She was suffering from disease of the heart and liver. She had died from shock caused by the immersion in the water. Great care ought to have been used to prevent fatal results after the immersion. Attention and warmth were absolutely necessary. The police cell was not a fit place for her to have been put in. She ought to have been removed to a hospital, and if witness had been called in to see her he should have ordered her removal to one. The cell was warm when witness was in it.|

[7]

The Coroner said that the police had, without evidence, charged a half-drowned woman with attempting to commit suicide, and then carried her through the streets only covered by a sack. She never had a chance for her life, for in the cell she was deprived of ventilation and warmth.

The Jury, after a long consultation, returned a verdict, “That the deceased expired from the effects of shock caused by immersion in the water while she was in a state of unsound mind, and they censure the police for not calling in the divisional surgeon, and looking her in a cell the whole of a night when she might have been taken to the German Hospital or to a workhouse infirmary, and they say that the police should in future call in the divisional surgeon of the force to see persons who have been rescued from drowning”.

[The Daily News, 28. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7069, 28. Dezember 1868. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

EAST LONDON DISTRESS.

The dismal cry of distress and misery is again being heard in the semi-pauperised districts of East London, where poverty and sickness are rapidly crushing the latent energies and hopes of the unemployed labouring classes, and reducing them to a state of helpless and child-like despair. It is true that in Poplar and some other parishes the number of those in receipt of out-door relief exhibits a marked diminution; but this decrease is only on the exceptionally high figures of last year, and may at any moment be replaced by a vast increase, so extremely precarious is the present condition of large masses of the poorer East-end population. In fact, nothing but the continued mildness of the weather, so unusual at this season of the year, has hitherto prevented East London from becoming the scene of an unprecedented amount of pauperism, almost beyond the means of boards of guardians and relief committees to grapple with effectually. The three local industries which exhibit the greatest amount of depression are silk-weaving, ship-building, and sugar-baking. Besides these there are a variety of minor trades, employing, when in full activity, many thousands of men, women, and children, all of which have remained in a state of complete stagnation ever since the great financial crisis of 1866. The results of that panic continue to be visible in every direction, and must for some time to come exercise a most depressing influence on trade and commercial enterprise in East London. The numerous dealers in books, jewellery, and articles of luxury generally, complain that their business has largely fallen off of late, in consequence of the numbers of professional persons and tradespeople whose incomes have become materially reduced within the last two years, to say nothing of the multitude of clerks, book-keepers, engineers’ assistants, and others of a like class, who have for months past been without employment. All these circumstances assist materially in restricting the prosperity of East London industry. Some of the trades most affected are those connected with the manufacture of articles of personal attire or ornament. In these the majority of workers are females, and the results of their continued deprivation of employment are visible in the greatly increased number of unfortunate creatures haunting the metropolitan thoroughfares after dark. The number of small houses unoccupied in Hackney, Poplar, and elsewhere is incredibly large, and of those which have tenants not a few are the residences of rate-receivers rather than of rate players. Hackney is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous of East London parishes, yet a few days since no less than 4,800 summonses for payment of poor rates were issued, not a small proportion of which related to the irrepressible compound householder. In the Isle of Dogs the state of affairs is positively deplorable. Lancashire during the worst days of the cotton famine never exhibited a more discouraging spectacle. The parochial authorities are acting nobly in the emergency, performing all that the law empowers them, but they can do little more than enable the miserable artisans and their families to keep body and soul together. It is most pitiable; yet what else can be done?

No wonder that the cry in favour of emigration is daily becoming stronger. The destitute workmen are ready to go anywhere—to Canada, to Australia, to Natal, no matter what colony, so long as they can escape from the region of misery and despair in which they at present drag on their weary existence. Last year two successful efforts were made to enable a few of the more deserving artisan families to proceed to Canada: one of these was conducted under the auspices of the Eastend Emigration and Relief Fund, the other being a private venture on the part of the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Hobart, Lady Mary Feilding, and a few other benevolent persons. The extremely satisfactory nature of the intelligence received concerning the behavior, condition, and prospects of the emigrants sent out by these agencies renders it extremely probable that further efforts will be made this winter by both bodies, but the general impression is that the government ought to take the matter up; and there is some talk of a deputation of unemployed artisans being sent to Downing-street, with the view of laying their case before the new ministry. The Canadian government is well satisfied with the East London emigrants and evinces considerable readiness to facilitate further endeavours to increase their number. Many of the letters received from the emigrants are very touching. The writers appear to feel like people who have stepped from the midst of death to life. One man writes that “Susy”—his wife—“has now plenty of milk for baby.” The full significance of that simple sentence can be understood only by those who have visited the homes of the poor, and beard the starving babes piteously wailing for the milk which their mothers could not give them. Such things are more common than most people dream of, not merely in homes where the bed consists simply of a heap of straw, but in abodes where the clean and tidy furniture affords few indications to the inexperienced observer of the poverty and destitution which reign within. At Rochdale, during the Lancashire distress, some of the most saddening cases were those of factory operatives who were prevented only by the combined assistance of the parochial authorities and relief committee from breaking up their comfortable little homes, and disposing of the furniture purchased at the cost of years of economy and thrift. Similar instances are painfully common in East London. There is scarcely a minister of religion, no matter what his creed may be, who is not familiar with several such, and it speaks well for the large-hearted charity of the various religious denominations that in numerous instances they have quietly and unostentatiously given much of the help so greatly needed by their poor and deserving fellow-creatures.|

[8]

As might have been expected, the two leading relief organizations, the East Central Relief Committee and the East London Mission and Relief Society, have resumed operations, this time in active concert with each other and with the various poor-law authorities, for the purpose of preventing imposture. The principle of relief adopted by the two associations seems to be leave the great mass of pauperism, including the chronic element, to be dealt with by the various parochial boards, confining their own operations to the supplementing of parish relief in deserving cases, and to the assistance of those who have not actually crossed the thin line separating the rate-receiver from the rate-payer. The East London Mission and Relief Society have determined to confine their operations almost entirely to the establishment of sewing classes, which are to be so conducted as to give poor women moderate employment, without drawing them too much from their homes. These sewing classes have been productive of much good. There are literally thousands of working class females who have never learned the use of the needle, and who are utterly incapable of performing the slightest repair to their attire. To many of these the sewing classes have formed an invaluable means of instruction, and small as is the weekly pittance received, it has in more than one case assisted in preventing the recipient being driven into a career of sin and infamy. It is most satisfactory to find that both associations have expressed their intention of avoiding anything which may have the least tendency to increase the already too prevalent pauper-feeling; that, wherever possible, the assistance given shall be in the nature of payment for work done. In many cases, however, the poor creatures have become too debilitated to perform even the easiest kinds of labour. Severe privation and insufficient food are causing sickness and low fever to become largely on the increase amongst the unemployed. Where the parents suffer so severely, the children do not escape, and but for the dinners occasionally provided for them by the hands of charity, the rate of infantile sickness and mortality would be considerably increased. These children’s dinners form one of the most practical and efficient forms of benevolence possible, and are less open to abuse than any other. Of their utility during such periods of privation as the present, there can be no question. The distress in Poplar, it should be remembered, is likely to be affected for the worse by that prevailing in Woolwich, concerning which we shall have something to say at another time, many of the artisans formerly employed in the Royal Arsenal and dockyards of the latter town having their residences in the Isle of Dogs. Altogether, the Christmas Prospects of the East London poor are anything but encouraging.

[Ausschnitt aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

LONDON CHARITIES AND PAUPERISM.

Dec 18 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Last evening a paper embodying startling facts as to the expenditure of the charities of London and the extent to which pauperism is encouraged by them was read by Dr. Hawksley, at a meeting which was held in the room of the Society of Arts. It was held under the auspices of the London Association for the Prevention of Pauperism and Crime, which, it was stated incidentally, is about to convene a conference with the view of adopting practical measures for the attainment of its objects. The meeting was presided over by the Earl of Shaftesbury, and among those present were Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, Mr. W. Cowper, Mr. J. Ruskin, Dr. Stallard, the Rev. H. Solly, and the Rev. Septimus Hansard. The noble Chairman at once introduced Dr. Hawksley to the meeting.

The paper commenced by referring to one read in June last by the Rev. H. Solly. That led to the appointment of a committee, which divided itself into sections for systematized work, and the result was the formation of this association. In the division of labour it fell to the author to take a survey of the means in operation to oppose pauperism; and the facts made out were thought by his colleagues sufficiently important to form the basis of a special discussion. These were some of the result arrived at:—There are in London 606 charities which give their annual income, and 382 which do not. The income of the first number is 3,857,119l. To allow for those whose sphere of operation was out of London, or only partially in it 144,655l. was subtracted, leaving 2,712,464l. Estimating the income of the charities which do not give returns at the same ratio, 1,499,176l. was added and that made a total of 4,211,630l. Classifying the charities, it was found that 121,414l. was spent in treating mental or corporeal disease, 951,302l. in supplying the ordinary necessaries of life, and 426,460l. for educational, training, moral, and religious purposes. So far Fry’s London Charities was used as a catalogue, by no means complete. In 1861 Mr. Sampson Low estimated the income of 640 institutions at 2,441,967l., stating the ratio of increase in the preceding ten years, and if that ratio had been maintained the income might be set down now at 3,011,753l., which showed that the present calculation was supported by that of seven years ago. There could, then, be little doubt that four millions was collected and distributed annually by the charities of London, while another million might be set down for offertory collections, &c., and an additional quarter of a million for private almsgiving. The police magistrates distributed about 9,600l. per annum. The parochial expenditure in 1867 equaled another million and a quarter, exclusive of the common fund expenditure for infirmaries &c. State expenditure in London for education might be set down at 100,000l., and for the repression and punishment of the crime which might fairly be put down to want of moral and industrial training at 80,000l. The result was that at least 7,000,000l. was spent annually in London in dealing with the requirements of poverty. If one-eighth of the whole population, or 400,000 persons, were dependent on the other seven-eighths, the sum named would supply to each 17l. a head for every man, woman, and child, or to every family of five persons 85l. per annum, with 50,000l. to spare for the expenses of collection and distribution. During the last ten years the population of London had increased one-sixth; the pauper part of it had increased one-half. Of offenders and suspected persons known to the police and at large in London there were, in 1867, 8,964; and in 1868, 10,342. The discontinuance of transportation turned 2,000 convicts loose upon the community every year, in addition to 100,000 of all sorts from our gaols. In London there were 100,000 children destitute of proper guardianship, and exposed for the most part to the training of beggars and thieves. He doubted whether a parallel to this picture could be found out of the Kingdom of Dahomey. He attributed this condition of things to erroneous method and want of organization. The new Poor Law dealt with destitution only in its completed state, and did not attempt to prevent pauperism. Through it we attempted to discharge the duties of humanity by proxy; we multiplied workhouse and officials, prisons and police, and how much did we do to prevent pauperism and crime? Including training and industrial schools, he had made out a list of 30 preventive institutions with an income of 60,000l. per annum. The second error of method (indirectly connected with this subject) was the diminution of our food supply by the pollution of our rivers. Experience had shown that we had an army of professional beggars, and that the aid afforded by our institutions often failed to reach those most in need of it. Reviewing the various causes of the failure of charitable agency to check pauperism, Dr. Hawksley submitted the following suggestions to remedy them;—First, a modification of our Poor Law system. There should be a more discriminating treatment of adults, and sufficient support given to the aged and infirm in their own homes, as well as to the sick (allowing for obviously exceptional cases). The ablebodied in health to work should be set on labour that would pay for maintenance. All children found without proper guardianship ought to be apprehended and sent to industrial schools, the parents being made, if possible, to contribute to their support. The schools should be made as far as possible self-supporting by apprenticing the children in sufficient time to make their labour profitable, or by employing the partially in factories. The difficulties in the way of the successful administration of the charities of London he proposed to remove in this way:—(a) By the union of all the charities, including the parochial, in a common understanding and obligation to attend only to applications authorized by an office of registration and inquiry placed in every parish or district. (b) Each office to be in communication with the others, and all to be subject to a central one, which latter would act as an office, not only of general control, but also for the general audit of charity accounts and for inspection of the annual reports of the same. The district office, on the other hand, would be constantly open to the application of all distressed or sick poor; the officer in charge would enter the particulars of the Applicant and his requirements in such a way as would identify the individual, and be evidence of truth or falsity of statement; he would then, or subsequently, either personally or by the agency of a district visitor, go and verify the statement, and he would at the time of application, if necessary, supply to the applicant a card directing him or her to the most appropriate charity or institution for the requisite relief, the card so given being the necessary but all-sufficient requirement by the charity or institution to which it was directed. In some instances it would be possible, when the inspector found that the applicant was not altogether destitute, to write on the card,—“The bearer can pay something towards the expenses of the charity;” and this would be as useful to the applicant as the institution, for everything that favours independence tends to diminish the mean and unmanly spirit of unnecessary dependency. Such machinery of a central and of district offices would constitute, in effect, a “police of charity.” It would require for its effectual working a large staff of voluntary or unpaid district visitors, who would be selected for their fitness, and act under the direction and government of systematic rules of conduct, and management. The district officer would teach them their duties and be responsible for their conduct, keeping a record, to be carefully and daily filled up, in which the particulars of every applicant would be “ledgered up,” and which would serve as a book of reference by other officers or by the public at all times, so that, when any one applied to private persons for relief, the latter could directly ascertain what had already been done in his or her behalf. If it were objected that such a system of charity police would be very expensive, it was easy to suggest how that would be met. Let charities pay 1l. per cent. of their annual income to a common fund for this purpose, and only 400,000l. of their income 40,000l. per annum would be immediately produced. There are 36 unions in the metropolitan area—suppose an average of five district offices to each union, and the expenses of each office equaled 200l. a year, the cost of the 180 offices would thus be 36,000l. per annum, leaving 4,000l. per annum for the central office. It might be found that fewer offices would do, but if not the work performed by them would be of the highest public utility. We should then obtain a public and independent audit of all charitable accounts and reports, which would strengthen the position of the good and deserving charities, and either reform or annihilate the bad ones. This agency would supply the poor with an easy, sure, and expeditious method of obtaining succor for the destitute and the real sufferer, for the office would possess the power of opening the door at once to the most suitable help at all hours of the day or night. Next, we should be able to prevent entirely the trade of begging, by identifying every dependent person, and obliging him to keep to his own district for relief, the correspondence of the offices making it impossible for the same person to obtain a ticket of relief from two offices, aided as the offices would be by the weekly reports of the different charities, and also by the reports of the district visitors. Put this system in complete action, and the law might mercifully |[9] sweep every beggar from the streets. The machinery thus sketched out would subserve other useful purposes. Each of those district offices might constitute a center of parochial usefulness to which Mr. Solly’s notions of working men’s clubs might be affiliated, or in other cases the head-quarters might be allied to them of those organizations of frankpledge, of registration, and of friendly supervision which were devised to favour the honourable industry of the rearmed criminal. In some concluding remarks Dr. Hawksley discussed a scheme for amending the Poor-Law, suggested by Dr. Stallard which he said was sound in principle, but he did not think it necessary to appoint Poor-law magistrates.

The Rev. H. SOLLY read passages from some of the evidence taken by the sub-committee in corroboration of the conclusions in Dr. Hawksley’s paper as to the encouragement of pauperism by indiscriminate charity. Instances were adduced in which persons had been detected going from one clergyman to another, and seeking relief as a trade. In some cases numbers of confirmed paupers had organized themselves into gangs, who exchanged information as to the institutions and individuals that could be easily imposed upon. In other persons spent a considerable portion of their time in identifying themselves with several places of worship in order to obtain the relief dispensed at each.

A lengthy discussion ensued.

The Rev. SEPTIMUS HANSARD, of Bethnal-green, said the facts revealed were startling and disgraceful to Englishmen. That people were dying of starvation while so much was spent in charity was a scandal to us in the eyes of Europe. He hoped this Parliament would set about the reform of the Poor-law, and he would suggest that given districts of London should combine their charitable agencies. Surely that might be done which was being done or attempted in Liverpool and Edinburgh. He disapproved the building of large schools, because they deprived children of home influence. Two hundred countesses would degenerate in character if brought up together without being subject to home influence. It was perfectly idle to talk of stopping the flow of charity by any well-organized scheme; but he believed that system would prompt rather than retard charity. It was indiscriminate relief, sanctioned, he was sorry to say, by the press, and adopted by the public, to ease their own consciences, that had produced chronic pauperism in the East-end of London.

Mr. RUSKIN said we did not know how the poor lived and died, and these were the things we had to learn. The first thing to be done was to register the poor, and this was not impossible if everyone in his own sphere would take pains to ascertain what he could concerning the poor about him. Let people give to those they knew and prevent them becoming beggars and criminals. Let us educate the poor by teaching them how to live and maintain themselves, for there was no education without employment; and the work was to be done by the organization of agencies that were to be found in abundance in all ranks society, and especially in the drawing-rooms of the wealthy.

Dr. STALLARD (who is to bring some phases of the subject before a special meeting of the Social Science Association on Monday evening) said he was well acquainted with a district of London which illustrated all the positions laid down in Dr. Hawksley’s paper, and, after giving some instances of imposture, he defended his proposal to appoint magistrates for the administration of relief, contending that that office demanded more knowledge and discretion, and involved more serious consequences than the ordinary administration of justice. He did not think it possible or necessary to interfere with individual or institutional charity, but with a dozen districts of London, under as many magistrates, he believed we should gradually accomplish our purpose—the diminution of pauperism.

Dr. RICHARDSON said we need not discuss the question of charities if the Legislature would provide work for those who wanted it, treat as criminals those who would not work, and make provision for the helpless, both young and aged.

Mr. FORBES, amid general applause, asked the meeting not to overlook intemperance as a cause of pauperism, and the temperance movement as an important agent to prevent and cure it.

Mr. MEASOR advocated the employment of persons out of work upon waste lands, the organization of a more effective scheme of emigration, and the complete registration of labour to facilitate discrimination between the worthy and the unworthy.

[The Daily News, 8. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7052, 8. Dezember 1868. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE AGRICULTURAL LABOURER.—VI. TECHNICAL EDUCATION.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

Dec 8 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

SIR,—Before entering upon the special topic which I have reserved for this letter—technical education—let me say a word with reference to an observation in my last, in which I stated that “where there is a superabundance of labourers in any particular district, a migration from one part of the country to another is doubtless desirable.” I am led to recur to this observation, because I find in an interesting and able article in the Edinburgh Review that the writer takes the same view and declares that” a migration of labour from the overstocked to the dearer market is the proper mode of rectifying the balance.” I think it right to say that this conclusion should be accepted with reservation, for however desirable it may be to encourage migration at certain seasons, there is not an agricultural district in Great Britain where a scarcity of hands exists all the year round. From autumn wheat sowing, ending in November, to spring bean sowing, beginning in February, there is an interim when there are sufficient hands in all districts to do the work of the period. At such time the importation of additional labourers would have the effect of lowering the price of labour below what it ought to be, and below what it now is, for it would be contrary to common sense to suppose that any farmer who has at one time to pay for his labour perhaps more than its real value, would at another offer eager applicants for work higher wages than they are willing to take. The migration of labourers from one agricultural district to another should, therefore, be seasonal, and with the power of locomotion afforded by railways there is no reason why it should not be of that character. It will have been observed in the statistics which I gave in my last letter, that among the purely agricultural counties in which the population has declined, there are those which are considered to be the very best farmed counties in England. I refer to Lincolnshire and Norfolk, where the average of weekly (money) wages is 13s. per week. In those counties, consisting chiefly of tillage farms, labourers are often scarce at certain seasons. At harvest additional hands are wanted to supply the place of the Irishmen who, before the potato famine, were accustomed to congregate there. At such time the benefit of importing the surplus labourers of the grass counties of the west would be great, but if it led to permanent settlement that benefit would be counteracted by the evil which would arise from excess of supply during the winter months. For many generations past it has been the custom for the surplus labourers of the eastern counties to travel “up country” at hay time, and return with money in their pockets, in good time for corn harvest at home. This practice still continues, showing that seasonal migration is practicable. To make an increase of farm wages permanent, not only must the migration of surplus hands be regulated by reference to all branches of industry and the demands of seasons, but the labour itself must be made more valuable to the employer; and this is the point to which may observations will now be directed.

Reverting to the subject of education; it will hardly be believed that, in spite of all that has been said on the subject in recent years, the children of the agricultural labourer leave school earlier now than they did a few years back. Such, however, is the case. While one boy remains at school till |[10] the age of thirteen, three will leave at the age of ten, the parents being fully satisfied that they have done their duty if their children can only read and write a little, and do a sum of addition. The accomplishment of writing is valued much higher than either reading or cyphering, as it is tangible evidence of ability in itself, which can be turned to good account directly an opportunity is found. If a lad is wanted at the village shop, or in the doctor’s surgery, or at the squireʼs stables, the bit of writing is the first thing shown by the parent. Should he be unable to furnish this passport to attention he is consigned to the farm either as a bird-keeper, crow-clapper, plough-boy, pig-keeper, cowman’s boy, or shepherd’s boy, it matters not which, nor how little or much he does in either capacity; one day he is kicked and cuffed by the ploughman the next by the herdsman, and the third by the shepherd, or he is sent with the pigs in search of acorns and finds himself under the hedge picking blackberries. It is true he may exercise his voice in singing while bird-keeping, but as this involves an effort he only does it when he sees his master coming. This literally and truly has been, and still is, the occupation of nearly every village boy during that time of his life when his mind is most susceptible of useful impressions. Though not altogether idle his mind is an empty one.

He sauntered on, not knowing what he sought,
and whistled as he went, for want of thought.

It is possible that the budding labourer can thus fit himself for earning higher wages than his father did? Can he “better himself” in agriculture under such a system as this? I contend that the system can be readily altered, and that a boy intended to be brought up as an agricultural labourer can serve a species of apprenticeship, first in one department, for a time sufficient to qualify him fully in it, and then in another, if it be necessary to fit himself for more descriptions of servitude than one. Hitherto we have appeared to think that with the farm operative it has not been necessary he should learn his business, but seeing that a little time back the generality of farmers themselves were little better taught than labourers are now, it may not be long before we look at matters very differently. One of the resolutions passed at the meetting held at Willis’s Rooms on the 21st of March last was to the effect “that as one means of raising the agricultural labourer from his present depressed condition, it is desirable to form district protection societies;” or in other words, to form labourer’s unions; and it was assumed that the proper elements existed upon which to base them. Now, what is the case? In all the better trades’ societies in the country the first rule is that “no one shall be admitted unless he possesses good abilities as a workman,” and the next “that he shall not work for less than the average rate of wages paid to members in the same branch of trade in which he is employed.” The quality of work regulates the price above the average, but not below. In fact, there is no restriction on wages for superior work, though there is positive veto to any man’s taking less than the average price of labour (prevailing outside the union), let the value of that labour be what it may. A workman for instance may gain 30s. per week though the mean rate of wages in the district is only 18s., but he must not take work at less wages than this latter amount. It is thus in these free trade times, when meat and bread has been reduced to the lowest cost by open competition, that trade operatives maintain the price of labour by a dictation which would appear to be opposed to every principle of national economy. The justification of trade combinations formed upon such grounds as these is, that the members have each had to pay a premium as an apprentice, and may have worked five or seven years at a merely nominal rate of wage to acquire a knowledge of their art, and that, therefore, they have a right to assume that they have those good qualities as workmen which will sanction their demanding at least the average rate of wages paid to members of the same branch of trade as themselves who have not been placed under the same test of ability. The act of apprenticeship is, in truth, the very basis of unions, and if protective societies are to be supported at all in agriculture, this crucial requirement must be acknowledged and acted upon. The demand for higher wages without regard to capabilities cannot be maintained by any species of reason; and if labour is to be made worth more money to an employer, it can only be done by means of technical—i.e., practical—instruction in early life, which is in other words an apprenticeship. To say that because a labourer does not earn enough to satisfy himself and his family he must necessarily be paid more, without proving that his employer can afford to pay it, is irrational, and to expect that any farmer will increase the wages he pays upon the mere presumption that with more money to be spent in food (bad beer?) he will get more work, amounts to an absurdity only to be equaled by the statement that the labourer of the farm requires only physical strength to perform his duties in the most profitable manner. If physical strength was the only measure of a labourer’s capability, the means of improvement would be simple. Nourishing food would be all that would be required, and certainly good wholesome meat and drink do much to increase the powers of all hard-working men, but it is too frequently found, when mind does not act upon matter, that the strongest men lose their strength in carelessness and idleness, and bring themselves to a level with the weakest. The truth of this may be observed every day in the farmers’ fields. Let a man be of what bodily strength he may, with a very small amount of intelligence, acting upon a good will, the labour of a weak and small man will be of the same value as that of a strong and big man. If the exertions of both are maintained by good beef or mutton, instead of being lowered by that miserable, pernicious compound of the village miscalled “beer,” each will do more work; but I question whether any improvement by such means, uninfluenced by intelligence of mind, will be equal in value to the extra cost of the meat. This was shown during the cotton famine, when, at the instigation of Mr. Tollemache, the member for Cheshire, a number of factory hands were employed in drainage works on his estate. When they first took the graft in their hands they could make no progress, and a great many of the stronger men refused to proceed; but some few of the more intelligent formed themselves into gangs, and soon earned as much money as the more practiced hands, although they were inferior specimens of physical strength. In my daily practice I have found that though good food maintains physical ability, when there is a will to work, good practical example—which is technical instruction—has much greater effect. For many years past I have adopted the weekly wage of 20s. as the basis of payment to the able-bodied labourers employed by the General Land Drainage and Improvement Company, and system upon which I have proceeded has been to make the earnings of a few good practiced bands of medium capability the data for paying all other hands. The price of piecework is generally fixed by the foreman of the works at such an amount as to apportion to the standard men from 16s. to 20s. a week according to the length of the day after paying for the repair of tools. While these wages are earned by them, the local labourers at commencement will seldom earn more than from 10s. to 12s. at the very time that the best hands will be gaining from 20s. to 24s. Gradually, however as the local men learn the proper use of their tools, get technical instruction from those about them, and take a pride in their work, they improve, and ultimately obtain the same wages. I can illustrate this fact by a striking case. In the year 1852 I had the control of some extensive drainage works in Dorsetshire. Wages in the district were from 7s. to 9s. a week. Impressed that such pay was inconsistent with suitable labour, I imported some north countrymen from Northumberland practiced in draining, to afford an example to such local men as chose to enter the trenches. I guaranteed to the northern men a minimum of 18s. a week, although I could have obtained the services of as many Dorsetshire men as I desired to employ at half that price. Many local labourers entered upon the work, and as soon as they knew what the north countrymen were getting and saw the character of the work executed by them, they applied all their energies in imitation. At first they took to bear and cider as a means of gaining strength, but they soon saw their error and imitated the northern men by taking to good meat and bread instead of an excess of drink. Eventually by the example afforded them—the technical education given by the Northumberland men—and by the effect of improved food, the despised Dorsetshire men were enabled to earn as much as their teachers, and it was not long before I actually removed them into the North of England to compete with Yorkshiremen in their own county, and the first place at which they were engaged was Swine, in Holderness, where there did not exist a public-house or beer-shop in the village. But perhaps the best illustration of the effect of practical instruction in conjunction with good food is to be found in the British navvy, who is really nothing more than a superior agricultural labourer. While making the railway in the Crimea during the late war the navvies received in rations twenty ounces of bread, twenty ounces of meat, two ounces of peas, two ounces of rice, one and three-quarter ounces of coffee, and four ounces of rum, and it will be readily understood how such food, given under special circumstances, supported the energies called into activity by the force of example and judicious organization. There is no greater mistake than to suppose that the genuine navvy is an illiterate brawler capable only of great physical exertions, as I have heard stated. On the contrary, there is not a more respectable labourer, and I question whether among the trade operatives, who are generally considered his superior, there exists greater intrepidity, perseverance, coolness, and courage, than is to be found in the sturdy navvy. Those men who disgrace the class by drunkenness are village vagrants in the glow of life, who leave their own parish for railways and public works under the false notion that they can get higher wages for the same amount of exertion and intel|[11]ligence as that which they applied to farm work at home. When the better-minded men have found their mistake and made use of their capabilities they make as good workmen as the older hands, and eventually earn from 15s. to 20s. a week and more, instead of 9s. or 10s.

Returning to agriculture; there is not a farmer in the country who, be he engaged in sheep farming, in dairying, in tillage, or in mixed farming, does not know the superior value of a labourer well acquainted with special duties, and I assert that there is not any branch of work connected with either description of farming that does not require learning before it can be practiced perfectly, and which would not be better learnt by a regular apprenticeship in youth than by the irregular system which now prevails. A shepherd, for instance, whose wages are 16s. a week, besides perquisites, is an essential labourer on most farms, and I venture to say that at this moment there is hardly any other description of agricultural service in which there are fewer capable men. A good shepherd, in fact, is one of the most difficult men to obtain, and the loss for want of them is very great. Again, good horsekeepers are almost as difficult to obtain as good shepherds. From my own experience I can say that the difference between a good horsekeeper and a bad one is not to be measured by the simple difference between scanty and liberal wages. Any one accustomed to horses knows immediately by the appearance or touch of their skins whether the man in charge of them knows his business, and he will confirm my opinion that any difference in wages will be more than counterbalanced by the saving in the corn which horses consume when well attended to, and the better service they obtain from them, compared with that gained when they are indifferently treated. The same remark will apply to the tending of neat stock. Speaking again from my own experience, I have found that cattle under the charge of a man who thoroughly understands them will fatten quicker, and in every respect do much better with less food than under a man who, from attempting indiscriminately all the duties of the farm, is master of none. In the minor matter of poultry, I have known many pounds lost by the want of proper treatment, and have found a labourer’s wife having special knowledge of the matter, with a small plot of ground raise more poultry than has been produced from a farm of several hundred acres.

If this be admitted to be the case with live stock, it will be unnecessary for me to point out the advantages of employing men in the use of implements who have taken pains to understand them. The loss sustained by farmers from their careless treatment is great. Few labourers know how to adjust them if they get out of order; and one who thoroughly understands the steam-engine so as to take charge of it when ploughing land or thrashing corn is indeed a prodigy in his parish. And why should we dread the purchase and use of steam-engines on our farms on the ground that we have not a labourer who could take care of them, when tuition in youth would supply the omission without difficulty? It is true that the implement makers now and then undertake to tutor a farm labourer in the management of the engine, if previously assured of his intelligence. This circumstance, while it shows how an individual difficulty may be overcome, must go some way to prove that technical education is to be attained in the lowest grade of agriculturists as in the more refined artisan class.

It would be tedious to pass through all the branches of a farmer’s business to show how technical knowledge in the labourer would apply. There is hardly an operation in tillage that would not be done better if the operator had thoroughly understood it in early life. Take the simple operations of ploughing, drilling, and sowing. Is not a good workman worth 1s. or 2s. more per week than a bad one? The same question may be asked as to hedging, ditching, draining and thatching, in which there is no comparison between an expert man and an unpracticed one. How, then, are these practices to be taught in youth? The only reasonable ground that parents have for keeping their children from school is the circumstance that, having hungry stomachs to fill and active bodies to clothe, they have not the means of providing for them without some assistance on the part of the children themselves; and so weighty is this excuse for sending them into the field instead of the school, that many authorities are led to doubt the policy of compulsory education, however limited it may be. What I would suggest is, that those children who are sent out to earn their food and clothes by labour should be placed in a situation on the farm to obtain fundamental technical knowledge, not one day doing one thing and the next another; but by putting them for a sufficient time under the shepherd, or the horsekeeper, or the stockkeeper, or the engineer, the hedger or the ditcher, the thatcher or the drainer, so that they may learn, as far as such labourers can teach them, their respective duties. There is no practical difficulty, though there may be some slight inconvenience, in the adoption of this plan. By it a youth employed on the farm would be systematically engaged, or I would rather say apprenticed, in one occupation until he has learned it thoroughly; and in order to encourage his master for the time being—that is, the shepherd, the dairyman, or the engineman—to teach him what he knows, a bonus or prize should be given to such as do that duty properly, the boys themselves receiving prizes, too, according to the knowledge they have acquired. It would not be long before the farmers took an interest in the system, for it would be the same with farm teachers, as it is with many other teachers, that they themselves would learn much while they were in the act of teaching, and then the farmers themselves would derive advantage from what would be going on. At the present moment the daughters of the agricultural labourer are far better taught as they grow into womanhood than are the sons in their approach to manhood, for as soon as they can go into service the farmers’ wives, for their own sakes, teach them the duties of the cook or the housemaid. The difficulty in the case of farm tuition would be in finding qualified examiners. Already throughout the country, in the autumn, we have matches in ploughing, ditching, and draining, and the interest the labourers take in the competitions may be accepted as some proof that, under proper control, competitive trial may be extended to farming youths engaged in various agricultural duties. Assuming that with the demand for examiners the supply was found, what is to prevent an examination of young shepherds in the practice of shearing sheep, or in the mode of treatment for foot-rot, fly, or tick, on the proper management of the ewe during the lambing time, the effects of different foods, and |[12] the best means of diversifying food so as to secure health, and so forth? Why should not a ploughboy practically demonstrate the best way in which he would dress a horse, give him a ball, and treat him under certain ailments, prepare his food, drive a team, &c.? The same I would ask of all live stock, from a fowl to a bullock, and when we approach the matter of implements and their uses, the examination would ramify to almost an unlimited extent. And the like may be said with regard to all field operations, commencing with the preparation of the land for seed, and ending with the thrashing of the corn and the consumption of fodder. I believe it cannot be denied that technical knowledge obtained in youth—first, at school in the way indicated in my last letter, and next as an apprentice on the farm, as sketched out in this—will render the labourer not only able to earn higher wage, but will give him an interest in his calling which he will never lose. And this is what we must aim at in agriculture, if we would satisfy both the employer and the employed.

I will not at present trouble you further. At a future time I will, with your permission, make some remarks on provident institutions, by which the savings of the labourer may be turned to the best advantage. I have been content with drawing attention simply to the way in which his condition may be improved, and his capability of earning better wages increased.—I am, &c.,

J. BAILEY DENTON.
Stevenage.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 13. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 957, 13. Dezember 1868. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE PEABODY GIFT.

The following letter has been addressed to the editor of the Times:—

“Sir,—Every one must be astonished by the magnificence of the gift to the poor of London by Mr. Peabody. Still there is a prevalent opinion that the really poor of London have reaped no benefit whatever by the gift, by reason of the mods adopted by the trustees in carrying out the donor’s wishes. I have called attention publicly to the fact that, about six months since, one building was half-full of lodgers, one building two-thirds occupied, and the remaining house was full. This state of part emptiness could not possibly be in accordance with Mr. Peabody’s wishes. Since then, however, the rooms have been all taken, and are now full, but at such rentals as to entirely exclude the poor, in any acceptation of the term. It is the well-to-do manager of some City business or careful clerk who is encouraged in these homes and no one who has the slightest look of manual labour or poverty. The whole scheme has degenerated into a commercial speculation. It is made to pay as high a rate of interest as can possibly be squeezed out of it, to the exclusion of the poor. There are two of the buildings, one situated in Shoreditch parish and one in Lime house, where upon inquiry it is found that not one poor person from either of those populous parishes has been able to avail himself of these so called homes, so that as a means of relief to the neighbourhood those buildings are of no avail. What society wants at the East-end of London is one or more buildings where the arrangement is such that one room can be let at 1s. per week. There are a large number of poor widows and single women who have to struggle very hard for but few shillings a week, and many of them having seen better days would be glad of the accommodation offered, and the quiet and order such a buildings should afford. If the trustees would but lower their views so as to come within the reach of the poor of London, they would indeed confer a benefit on all society; but it is no boon while conducted as at present.—I am, yours respectfully,

E. R. Rigby, a Member of the Board of Guardians City of London Union.
London, Dec. 8.”

[The Daily News, 14. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7057, 14. Dezember 1868. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE INMATES OF PROVINCIAL WORKHOUSES.

Dec 14 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

An interesting return has lately been published, which exhibits the character of the classes confined in provincial workhouses. It relates to the able-bodied—or those who are considered able to maintain themselves, whatever their age may be—and to the sick and infirm, suffering from various disorders at every time of life. The number of able-bodied male adults is, however, the true index of the use to which workhouses were intended to be put, for the majority of able-bodied females consists of young women who go in to be confined, and of those who are unable to support their illegitimate children without relief. The number of able-bodied males—and be it observed that there is a general tendency on the part of officials to over-state their power to work—is about five per cent of the entire number of inmates. On the 1st of July, 1867, there were 226 workhouses without a single male able-bodied inmate; and even on the 1st of January, 1868, 118 workhouses were in the same case; whilst at the former date there were 251 more which had not more than five, and at the latter date 163. On the 1st of July 477 workhouses or 75 per cent of the whole number in the kingdom, had either no able-bodied male inmate, or less than five. In July there were 14 workhouses, many of them of considerable size, without an able-bodied inmate of either sex; and in January six workhouses, containing 565 inmates, were in the same state. At Chesterfield, 248 helpless people were without a single able-bodied person; and at Warrington there were 300 inmates, of whom one male and one female only were considered able to do a fair day’s work. Of adults in workhouses, an average of 75 per cent., at every period of the year, are quite unable to maintain themselves.

If we turn to the tables which represent the nature of the ailments from which the inmates suffer, we find only about 5 per cent of the entire number of inmates, or 7.5 per cent of the adult inmates generally, to be suffering from acute disease, other than syphilis and fever. Deducting the mean number of able-bodied inmates who may be supposed to have nothing the matter with them—7.7 per cent of the inmates suffer either from syphilis, fever, or acute disease—the remainder consists of children and persons laboring under chronic complaints and old age, of whom the latter constitute by far the larger part. These statistics abundantly prove that the character of the workhouse inmates has changed equally I the provinces as in London. Erected for the treatment of able paupers, they have practically become gigantic almshouses, in which the orphan and illegitimate children, the aged, sick and infirm, and imbeciles, are more or less permanently lodged.

But with respect to the sick it will be interesting to pursue the subject into somewhat further detail. And first, with respect to fever and zymotic disease, we observe that the Poor-law Board has been in the habit of insisting on the erection of separate fever wards in nearly every workhouse, involving a nurse and separate attendance for the sick. It appears from the returns from which we are quoting that this separate arrangement is, for the most part, and for all practical purposes, of little use, and might be much more economically managed by a fever hospital common to a very considerable district. Thus out of 634 workhouses no less than 434 had not a single case of fever or zymotic disease, and 121 more had less than three in each. Of the whole number of workhouses only thirty-one had more than ten cases in each. There was not a single case of zymotic disease in the workhouses in the countries of Bedford and Rutland. Two-thirds of the entire cases are to be found in 16 workhouses, nearly all of which were in densely populated and more or less unwholesome districts. It is probable that the workhouse in Liverpool is the chief fever hospital of the town, as it contained 68 cases in January and 107 in July. There were also numerous fever patients at Manchester, Preston, Portsea, Birmingham, Bristol, and Sunderland. In these cases it is only proper that the wards should be separated completely from the rest of the workhouse. But we believe that it is a waste of expenditure to insist that every little workhouse with less than 100 inmates should be provided in the same way. With respect to venereal disease, in summer and winter there is an average of 857 patients, of whom two-thirds are females. Here also the distribution is most unequal. Even in the winter, which is selected by many as a preferable time for treatment, there were 463 workhouses without a single patient. There was not one patient in the counties of Cornwall and Rutland; only one in six workhouses in Bedfordshire; only four in 17 workhouses in Suffolk; and only eight cases in 18 workhouses in Norfolk. In Wolverhampton, Lancashire, and Birmingham, the workhouses appear to be the Lock hospitals of the several districts, and contained 213 cases. No less than 344, or one-third of all the cases recorded, are to be found in thirteen workhouses. As it is most important that venereal disease should be treated in separate wards, it is obvious that a proper Lock hospital for each county or large town ought to be provided, and that the provision of separate wards in every workhouse is a most extravagant system. In many cases the separation of the patients amounts to solitary confinement; and in the returns before us there are 100 persons who have no companion labouring under the same disease.

Of the acute cases, which average about 5,000 in the various workhouses, three-fifths are to be found in 50 workhouses, 169 had not a single acute case under treatment, and 90 had only one. Liverpool workhouse stands conspicuously out as a hospital for the treatment of acute disease. On the 1st of January 735 acute cases were under treatment. Barton, Salford, and Chorlton stand next with 286,238, and 177 patients in each respectively, and then at a far off distance come Preston, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Croydon with less than 50 patients each.

We now come to the classes which are more or less perfectly incompetent to maintain themselves. Of these the imbeciles must be noticed first. They vary very slightly in number, only a few being permitted to leave the workhouse during the summer season. They average about 3,700. There are 28 workhouses into which, apparently, they are not admitted, as none have been returned. Amongst these there are not more than 400 children, so that they constitute 7 per cent of the incompetent adult inmates.

The chronic sick and aged may be classed to|[13]gether. They average about 9,339, and one-fifth more are to be found in winter than in July. They constitute one-fifth of the incompetent classes, and they all require medical treatment from time to time. One-third of the cases are on the medical books.

Lastly, there are the aged and infirm who require no medical treatment or only extra diet. They number 11,748 in the summer and 16,091 in the winter, showing that many of them are able under favourable circumstances to earn a living, and only seek the workhouse in the winter when the weather keeps them within doors. Lastly, an average of 31,516 are on the doctors’ books, a proportion largely increased by the necessity of entering pauper nurses and helpers in order to give them extra diet.

In conclusion, no return could more clearly demonstrate the insufficiency, and at the same time wasteful and extravagant arrangements, of the present system. Nothing more clearly demonstrates that there is need of a special medical department at the Poor-law Board. The return incontestably prove that a great saving would be effected by combining large areas for special purposes, as for the care of imbeciles, the treatment of fever and venereal disease, and above all for the management of the able-bodied class, who cannot be properly employed whilst they are associated with the mass of old age, sickness, chronic misery, and childhood, which is the more general characteristic of the present inmates.

[The Daily News, 25. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7067, 25. Dezember 1868. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

DISTRESS IN SHADWELL. Dec 25 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—May we beg the aid of your powerful journal in an appeal to the generous British public? Shadwell is a very poor and suffering parish. The situation is unhealthy, and the tenements and habits of the poor are squalid. During the ensuing winter, we fear there will be among us much distress from probable frost and hard weather closing the docks, and thus throwing most of our labourers out of work. To meet this evil, we shall receive great assistance from the kind and considerate exertions of the guardians; but there are frequent instances of distress which can be relieved only by special local superintendence and succour; as e.g., by timely grants of coals, broth, and the more delicate nutriments. These, our long established local committee has been wont to furnish to all in need, irrespective of religious persuasion. Will you kindly aid us in procuring funds?—We are, &c.,

BRENCHLEY KINGSFORD, M. A., Rector of Shadwell.
HENRY SHEAFE KING,
THOMAS BARTON ROSE, Churchwardens.
To any of us contributions may be sent.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7067, 25. Dezember 1868. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

HOW THE POOR TENANTS OF THE LAMBETH PIGSTYES ARE FLEECED.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—Having read of a tenant residing at Camberwell who refused to be swindled out of the taxes by his landlord, who, with others, had previously paid them under the compounding system, I find there are very many poor people in this parish who not only pay exorbitant rents, but in addition the entire rates. The landlord in Camberwell, however, appears to have met with his match, for the tenant tendered his tax receipt for rent. The landlord refused to accept it, and distrained upon the goods. The tenant then brought an action at the country court for damages and an illegal distress, and was awarded by Mr. Pitt Taylor 4l. and costs. In George’s-street, in this parish, a poor man has a coal-shed and three dilapidated rooms, for which he pays 50s. a month. He tells me it is as much as he can do to pay his rent, but nevertheless he must make up the rates too; if they are not paid, expenses are added. If the poor people really derived the least benefit it would not so much matter; but they do not. Since the abolition of compounding every tenant in Lambeth has had 4d., 6d. and even 1s. a week added to the already sufficiently high rent. Surely the Reform Act was never intended to grind the poor in this horrible manner. A poor woman in William-street, Lambeth, told me to-day that for four rooms, in the most deplorable state of filth and repair, she pays 7s. a week. Since February she has paid respectively 18s. 41/2d., 19s. 101/2d. and on the last occasion 17s. 3d. At another house they pay for two rooms 5s. 6d. a week in the same state of repair and the rates. At another abode in this street the landlord in addition to 7s. a week rent proposed that the tenant should pay another shilling a week if he (the landlord) benevolently paid the rate. And in High-street, not far from the manufactory of an eminent potter and a late M. P. for the borough, a poor old widow has resided and earned her bread by washing and turning a mangle for 35 years; the eminent gentleman, with all the solicitude of a guardian of such like people, in the first instance charged the woman 5s. 6d. for three rooms; then on the passing of the new act, 6s. 6d.; at last he told her he could not be bothered paying the taxes—she must pay 6s. and all the rates herself, which she is really quite unable to do; so her children have to make up the amount. Thus he profits not only an additional sixpence a week under the excuse of the taxes, but also to their full amount besides. When such people condescend to turn the grindstone for the poor, what can be expected from the half-educated pettifogging tradesmen who compose the vestry and the board of guardians? With regard to the workhouse. On last Friday a man applied for himself and family, in a state of the greatest destitution. He had two loaves doled out, and on these bread five human beings starved till Monday. But these two loaves, generously provided out of more than 67,000l. a year, appear rather to have whetted than appeased the appetites of these audacious paupers, for the man had the boldness to present himself again for relief—we never, as a rule, in this parish pamper paupers—two loaves were handed him, with the stern intimation that he need never apply again, as he would get nothing more. Why? In spite of so many indulgences, such as fat mutton, and a good deal of abuse, the poor people, somehow, do not take kindly to the “house.” Some say they would rather be drowned than go in. The diet, the pauper-nursing, accompanied by occasional doses of morphine to keep the patients quiet, the handling poor sick people get, all tend to make this national institution anything but attractive. Indeed, I am not certain whether the board of guardians could not be indicted for keeping a disorderly house, for it resembles a bear garden more than anything else.—I am, &c.,

A DISTRICT VISITOR.
St. Mary’s-the-Less, Lambeth.

[The Daily News, 24. Dezember 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7066, 24. Dezember 1868. S. 4/5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

WHATEVER the weatherwise may say of the prospects of the winter, it needs no great wisdom to predict that for some portions of the community there are hard times at hand.

There is chronic distress in the East End of this metropolis, and a frost would be almost equivalent to famine among the labourers there. In Lancashire it seems that the effects of the cotton famine are not yet over, but that masters and men have now, after an interval of sunshine, to pass through the skirts of the storm. Short time in the cotton trade has been getting far too common as the winter has come on, and will, it appears, be far more common yet. Of 712 firms which answered a circular of the Cotton Spinners’ Association sixty per cent are already working short time, the average time of working being four and a half days in the week. Eighty-two per cent of the firms were so convinced that short time was inevitable that they expressed willingness to adopt it; and at a very large meeting of the trade held at the |[14] Manchester Town-hall, on Tuesday, it was resolved to recommend it to the whole trade, and an unanimous resolution was passed pledging all present to run their mills only thirty hours a week during the months of January and February, on condition that one-half the trade came into the arrangement. That condition will probably be satisfied, for it is most obviously the interest of the manufacturers to limit production for a time. For two years past their profits have been growing less and less. One of the speakers at the meeting, Mr. R. HAWORTH, said that they had had two years of the most unprofitable and disheartening trade he had ever known; and Mr. B. WHITWORTH, M. P., said that he did not know a single foreign market which was returning a fair profit on the day’s prices in Manchester; and that if they did not at once limit production, “there” would be nothing but disaster through that “part of the country.” Mr. FISH, of Blackburn expressed a similar opinion. “In short time lay “their only chance of salvation for the next two “or three years;” and the Chairman of the meeting (Mr. W. M. PEARSON) described the question before the meeting as being “whether they would “drag on a miserable existence from day to day “which would dissipate all their hard earnings.” Of course we take even the grumblings of cotton spinners cum grano salis, as they themselves would take the grumblings of farmers. But when they tell us they are doing business at a loss, and give proof of their earnestness by resolving to reduce it by one-half at a stroke, we see every reason for believing them. A resolution for half time adopted by so large and influential meeting shows that a serious crisis has arrived in the great staple manufacture which has its headquarters at Manchester.

The resolution to work half time will throw a gloom over the Christmas holiday in all the manufacturing towns of Lancashire. Hitherto the chief loss occasioned by the bad condition of the market has fallen upon the manufacturers, now the work-people must consent to share it. This time, too, the fault of the bad situation does not lie at the doors of the manufacturers. It is not said that the markets of the world are full, and that they have made a winding-sheet for their trade by weaving more cotton cloth than would be needful to wrap up the planet itself. On the contrary, cotton goods are everywhere wanted, but they are wanted at a lower price than that at which Manchester can make them. There has been over production; not that more has been made than the world wants, but more than the world can buy at the price. The supply of the raw material is not equal to the demand. The cotton spinners have gone on spinning more than they could sell at a profit, and by doing so they have lowered the value of manufactured goods by oversupply, and raised the price of the raw cotton by over demand, and so have burned their candle at both ends till they have begun to burn their fingers. The price of cotton has gone up 3d. to 31/2d. a pound, but the price of manufactured goods has gone down. Mr. WHITWORTH said that in 1860, when cotton was 61/2d. a pound, he could get a higher price for shirtings than he can now get with cotton at 11d.; and if that statement is a fair representation of the condition of the trade, the least commercial reader can at once see that the loss on the manufacture must now be considerable, unless the profits in 1860 were enormous. It is obvious, too, that there is only one remedy for this state of things. If the mills go on spinning at their full rate, the balance between the cost of raw material and the value of goods will not only fail to right itself, but will get worse, till goods are worth less than the cotton they are made of, and the whole cost of manufacture is a dead loss to the manufacturers, and a crash comes from which it may take years to recover. Such a calamity was warded off once by a short time movement among the operatives, it can only be avoided now by a short time movement of the manufacturers. To diminish the supply of goods will be to diminish the demand for cotton; and while the one will rise in value the other will fall in price. The balance of trade may thus be restored, and it is estimated that two months of this self-denying ordinance will allow the supplies of cotton to accumulate sufficiently to lower the price, and to make the trade once more healthy and profitable.

The strange thing is, however, that this balance does not restore itself. That spinners should go on spinning at a loss, is one of the strange phenomena of Lancashire trade. Is this one aspect of English inability to understand when we are beaten? The Lancashire people are the most energetic portion of the nation. Their enterprise is wonderful. The vast fabrics which make their county look like a land of giants are so many monuments of their untiring energy. But, as Mr. WHITWORTH said, “there is no other trade “in the world which does not lessen “its production when the demand for the “manufactured article falls off.” The cotton spinner, on the contrary, goes on spinning, as though by some necessity of nature, till, like a silkworm, he is buried in his own products. One speaker probably let out a part of the secret when he said that he could not go on working his mill thirty hours a week if his neighbour was working sixty. A mutual agreement to limit production ought to be possible in such circumstances, and should it be arrived at, it will be the salvation of the Lancashire trade. To the workpeople it comes, unhappily, as a blessing in disguise. To them half-time means hard times; and hard times are doubly hard when they come in the hard season. It means half-pay during the two winter months; and though happily it does not mean a population half-clothed and half-fed, the feeding must be plain and clothing somewhat scanty, for there will be little to earn and many to keep. But the Lancashire people are sufficiently instructed in the laws of trade to take the hardship kindly. They know that it is not legislation which puts the burden on their backs, and they will take half-time for two months of winter as better than the risk of no work at all through the spring and the summer.

[Ausschnitt aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

Among other lamentable facts, the Commissioners who inquired into the working of the gang system in the Eastern Counties of England found out that, in consequence of the field-work to which mothers resorted, the children of the agricultural poor died very fast.

Hoe in hand, a mother joined a gang, and worked from morning till night—leaving a young infant, meanwhile, in charge of another child only a few years older than itself, and perhaps giving the infant a sleeping draught to keep it quiet. The same practice, it is said, was once common in the cotton districts, when, more frequently than they are now, mothers were mill-workers. Hence, in those districts, and the “gang” counties, the rate of infant mortality was alarmingly high; the neglected children dying in infancy, or growing up with weakened frames that foreshadowed premature decay. It appears that in the colliery districts, also, the death-rate among children is equally alarming; and in those places the mortality cannot be explained by the occupation of the mothers in any handiwork which would divert their attention from their families. A pitman is well paid; he keeps a good table; his wife is seldom engaged away from home; and yet, as stated by “A Clergyman” in a letter to a contemporary, “all through the pit district in the county of Durham the mortality of children is something fearful.” “A Clergyman” seeks an explanation in the fact that colliery doctors are often unfit for their work; and he cites the case of one who as a pitman said, though “a clever chap enough is a sad drunken dog.” That is not the cause. Colliery doctors, so far from being all drunken dogs, are often most steady and exemplary practitioners. But they have to deal with rough materials. Of all English workmen, pitmen are perhaps the most ignorant, most reckless, and most contemptuous of sanitary arrangements. Though they earn good wages, and live more luxuriously than many middle-class families, their homes are often models of what the laws of health forbid houses to be. Hardy children can brave the effects of the uncleanliness, the close beds, and the draughts, which are the agreeable accompaniments of a pitman’s cottage; but delicate children cannot. That is the reason why so many children are carried off in the pit villages. And the remedy is, not higher wages, better food, warmer clothing, or less drunken doctors, but more knowledge. It is the school, not the drug-shop, that is at fault.|

[The Daily News, 12. September 1868]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 6968, 12. September 1868. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE METROPOLITAN POOR ACT, 1867.

ASSESSMENT TO THE METOROPOLITAN COMMON POOR FUND.

The following official documents have been forwarded to us for publication:

We, the Poor-law Board, acting under the Metropolitan Poor Act, 1867, do hereby assess on the several unions and parishes and places where there is no poor rate in the metropolis, the undermentioned amounts as their respective contributions to the Metropolitan Common Poor Fund, in respect of the half-year ended at Lady-day, 1868:

Unions, Parish, or Place. Annual rateable value. Amount of contribution.
Bermondsey, St. Mary Magd. £216,868 £1,807 4 8
Bethnal-green, St. Matthew 220,906 1,840 17 8
Camberwell, St. Giles 414,314 3,452 12 4
Chelsea, St. Luke 279,890 2,332 8 4
Clerkenwell, St. James 231,021 1,925 3 6
Fulham 256,980 2,141 10 0
George, St., Hanover-square 905,812 7,548 S S
George, St., in the East 181,119 1,509 6 6
George, St., the Martyr, Southwark 167,669 1,397 4 10
Giles, St., in the Fields, and St. George, Bloomsbury 254,819 2,123 9 10
Greenwich 368,892 3,074 2 0
Hackney 510,407 4,253 7 10
Hampstead, St. John 204,772 1,706 8 8
Holborn 184,546 1,537 17 8
Islington, St. Mary 840,611 7,005 1 10
Kensington, St. Mary Abbots 713,459 5,945 9 10
Lambeth, St. Mary 761,028 6,341 18 0
Lewisham 292,149 2,434 11 6
London, City of 1,836,135 15,301 2 6
London, East 187,895 1,565 15 10
London, West 170,035 1,416 19 2
Luke, St., Middlesex 224,888 1,874 1 4
Margaret, St., and St. John, Westminster 461,932 3,849 8 8
Marylebone, St. 1,017,073 8,475 12 2
Mile End Old Town 240,418 2,003 9 8
Newington, St. Mary 232,472 1,937 5 4
Olave, St. 126,400 1,053 6 8
Paddington 729,838 6,081 19 8
Pancras, St. 1,049,417 8,745 2 10
Poplar 473,359 3,944 13 2
Rotherhithe, St. Mary 116,921 974 6 10
Saint Saviour’s 216,545 1,804 10 10
Shoreditch, St. Leonard 366,239 3,051 19 10
Stepney 246,756 2,056 6 0
Strand 461,013 3,841 15 6
Wandsworth and Clapham 601,521 5,012 13 6
Westminster 531,221 4,426 16 10
Whitechapel 267,071 2,225 11 10
Woolwich 256,357 2,136 6 2
The Charter House 1,948 16 4 8
Gray’s-inn 12,652 105 8 8
The Close of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter 1,456 12 2 8
Inner Temple 19,866 165 11 0
Middle Temple 13,000 108 6 8
Lincoln’s-inn 17,244 143 14 0
Totals £16,884,934 £140,707 15 8

Given under our hand and seal of office this 11th day December, 1868.

DEVON, President.
H. FLEMING, Secretary.



TO JOHN LAMBERT, ESQUIRE, RECEIVER OF THE METROPOLITAN COMMON POOR FUND.

We, the Poor-law Board acting under the Metropolitan Poor Act, 1867, do issue this our precept under our seal to you, and do hereby direct you to repay out of the Metropolitan Common Poor Fund to the guardians of the several under-mentioned unions and parishes in the metropolis, and to the masters of the bench, treasurer, governors, or other body or persons having the chief control or authority in the several other under-mentioned places in the schedule here-under written, being the amounts actually expended on account of such unions, parishes, and places respectively during the half-year ended at Lady-day, 1868, in respect of expenses which are to be repaid out of the said Common Poor Fund. The schedule referred to:—

Names of Unions, Parishes, and Places. Expenditure repayable out of Metropolitan Common Poor Fund to each Union, Parish, and Place.
Bermondsey, St. Mary Magdalen £2,074 3 2
Bethnal-green, St. Matthew 6,659 19 10
Camberwell, St. Giles 4,091 18 6
Chelsea, St. Luke 3,092 16 7
Clerkenwell, St. James 773 17 0
Fulham 1,484 14 2
George, St., Hanover-square 3,570 12 9
George, St., in the East 4,028 9 10
George, St., the Martyr, Southwark 2,417 1 3
Giles, St., in the Fields, and St. George, Bloomsbury 1,238 5 2
Greenwich 5,115 16 6
Hackney 2,652 1 6
Hampstead, St. John 912 12 1
Holborn 1,127 7 7
Islington, St. Mary 3,386 4 5
Kensington, St. Mary Abbots 2,235 11 10
Lambeth, St. Mary 7,574 2 9
Lewisham 1,516 10 7
London, City of 4,228 9 5
London, East 2,411 5 8
London, West 2,008 17 10
Luke, St., Middlesex 1,343 0 5
Margaret, St., and St. John, Westminster 2,056 4 7
Marylebone, St. 8,288 12 5
Mile End Old Town 3,000 2 4
Newington, St. Mary 3,767 5 0
Olave, St. 1,137 0 0
Paddington 1,616 4 1
Pancras, St. 8,449 7 11
Poplar 5,768 14 4
Rotherhithe, St. Mary 1,540 13 10
Saint Saviour 2,207 15 4
Shoreditch, St. Leonard 4,095 17 6
Stepney 5,778 6 2
Strand 2,929 10 11
Strand (St. Martin in the Fields) 1,909 3 8
Westminster 3,590 4 2
Wandsworth and Clapham 3,153 16 0
Whitechapel 6,823 19 10
Woolwich nil.
The Charter House nil.
Gray’s-inn nil.

The Close of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter

nil.
Inner Temple nil.
Middle Temple nil.
Lincoln’s-inn nil.
Total £130,056 17 11

Given under our hand and seal of office this 11th day of December, 1868.

DEVON, President.
H. FLEMING, Secretary.|

[The Daily News, 1. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7074, 1. Januar 1869. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE POOR OF ST. MARY’S THE LESS, LAMBETH.

Jan 1. Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—There is at present a very great amount of distress existing in this parish, owing to sickness and the great number of men out of employment, the sickness arising in a great measure from the state of the dwellings of the poor and their very great privations. I noticed with surprise, as it happened to be in direct contradiction to the evidence of one’s own daily experience, Dr. Puckle’s late report at the vestry meeting, a few days ago, on the health of Lambeth. I have only to say, in reference to his curious statement, the report supplied to the guardians by the parish doctor tells a very different tale. Dr. Puckle extracts, it seems, for the public edification only the fevers that are designated by name, not always in the power of the medical attendant to supply for the first day or two—it may turn out to be the most virulent—but reported by the parish doctor as simply “fever,” it is, if there are many of such cases, I can quite understand the wherefore, more convenient to ignore the presence of disease altogether. Several families have suffered in my district from typhoid fever lately, and four members of one poor family have had it one after the other, owing to the gross neglect of the vestry in allowing the pigsties to remain, in spite of every warning, in a perfectly uninhabitable condition for months, and the result is the death of one of the children. In one court the fever not long since went from one house to another. A poor widow lost her daughter, aged 16, on whom the support of the family partly depended, and yet here the common sanitary precaution of whitewashing walls and ceilings to prevent infection has not been taken by the medical officer, Dr. Puckle, whose duty it is to inspect such places, and insist on this being done. The fever arose from the horrible foulness of the cesspools and the consequent impurity of the water in uncovered mutilated casks in close proximity to the insufferable stench. To judge by the state of the hundreds of houses I have visited, situations in the Lambeth Board of Health are complete sinecures. This delightful and salubrious locality is situated through an archway facing the work-house, and contains 22 pigsties. The vestry may be certain of one thing, I am only biding my time. As to threats of personal violence, I smile at them as I do at the vestry man who lately said he would kick me. Poor people shall have what their hard earned money pays for. I appeal to your readers to lend a helping hand, not only to those who are suffering from poverty and sickness, but also to such poor people who may require a little assistance when turned out of their houses, as many of them fully expect to be when they tender their tax receipts for rent. To give an idea of the profits arising from the Lambeth interiors, eight of them in George’s-street were bought for 130l. and the rents vary from 1l. for a shop, 12s. 6d. for three rooms and a coal-shed (the tenant pays the rates) and 8s. for the others (all four roomed). The Rev. Canon Gregory, A. M., St. Mary’s-vicarage, Lambeth, S. E., will thankfully receive any contributions of money, wine, or clothing for the poor.—I am, &c.,

A DISTRICT VISITOR.
St. Mary’s-the-Less, Lambeth, S. E.

[The Daily News, 2. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7074, 2. Januar 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE DEATH AT THE HACKNEY POLICE STATION.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

Jan. 2 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

SIR,—The conduct of the police at the Hackney police-station to the poor woman who died there on Sunday evening, as narrated in your report of the inquest, is a matter of grand public importance. Private, sergeant, and inspector, all showed want of promptitude in dealing with an emergency; want of knowledge of the extent of their duty, and want of the commonest feelings of humanity.

A policeman heard a splash at 9 o’clock on Saturday night, got the drags, and fished out an old woman nearly sixty years of age, very nearly drowned, and who had been in the water seven minutes on a winter’s night. He took her to a neighbouring tavern, but, beyond taking off all her clothes but her chemise, which was left on wet, does not appear to have done anything to dry, or warm, or restore the poor creature. She was then, nearly naked, laid upon a stretcher, and the police were proceeding to carry her in that state through the streets, on a cold night in December, and nobody interfered but a fruiterer named Jones, whose small act of kindness stands out conspicuously from the cruel narrative, and he, seeing her lying on the stretcher with nothing on but a wet chemise, lent a sack to cover her, for decency’s and humanity’s sake. The police carried her, not to the hospital, but the station-house, and the policeman Robson, who admitted at the inquest that he did not know how she came into the water, charged her with attempting to commit suicide. It does not appear who took the charge, or whether any one at the station took the trouble to ascertain whether there were any grounds for taking her into custody. A policeman at the station sent to the workhouse for some clothing, and the female searcher put it upon the sick woman, who, in the meantime, was lying in front of the fire at the station covered with the sack, and then the police put a woman, who had just been saved from a watery grave, who was old and insensible, into a cell with a stone floor, with no bed in it, no light in it, and a drunken woman, and in this dark cell the half-drowned woman first returned to consciousness, and here she was left without bed, food, refreshment, or attention till the following morning. Up to this time the police had been ignorant of the woman’s name, but on the Sunday morning it was found she was the wife of a cab proprietor, and as she had lived in the same house for sixteen years, might have been presumed to have been a respectable person. There were officers at the station who had probably been selected for promotion on account of their knowledge of criminal law and their consideration for the feelings of others; a Sergeant Keenon and an Inspector Gibbons, whose duty it was to decide whether the charge should be taken, and, if they thought it should be, to see that in the manner of their confinement of the accused they did not take upon themselves to inflict upon her the extreme penalty of the law in the shape of a lingering death. Sergeant Keenon was bold enough to avow his belief that the cell was a fit place to put a woman in under the circumstances, and Inspector Gibbons justified his refusal to take bail, on the ground that attempted suicide was not a bailable offence; but the public will be curious to know whether he took any trouble to ascertain if there was any ground for the charge. He said the police had no regulations with regard to the treatment of half-drowned people; it was left to what he facetiously called their “judgment”; but added, the woman would have been sent to the hospital if she had been insensible. I trust that if you, Mr. Editor, are ever unlucky enough to fall into a canal on a night in December, and are taken up for it, you may be insensible, or, if not, may have sense enough to pretend to be. The police cannot plead ignorance. Mrs. Burdett told the inspector on Sunday the cell was dreadfully cold and the woman so ill that additional clothing could not be got on to her, and the drunken woman asked the police for an old coat to put over the woman’s feet, and they refused to lend it. Her husband and friends on Sunday begged the police to let her out, and, failing this, begged that, considering her state of health, she might have a bed, and this also was refused; and, cold and dying, this respectable woman, who had lived in the same house for 16 years, who, so far as the police knew, had committed no crime, was locked up in the cold and damp to spend another night with the now sober companion, who in the darkness heard a fall and a groan, and 504 N came and turned his lamp on the pale face, and finding his prisoner dead sent for the doctor!

And all this happened in a country where there are many active and wealthy agencies for saving life and easing woe, and where there is a Royal Humane Society, with drags in constant readiness, which in this instance were used to drag a woman from a speedy death from drowning to a lingering death on a wooden bench in a dismal cell in a police station.

It is not long since a gentleman was found insensible in the street, and taken to the police station, put in a cell, and left to die, and it is high time the public knew more of what goes on in the various polices stations, how far confinement in them is harsh beyond the need for safe custody of the prisoner, and under what circumstances prisoners are locked up in the dark with drunken people. The disgusting cruelty of the Hackney police must make all persons who are liable to sudden attacks of illness pray that, if attacked in the street, it may not be in the district where Inspector Gibbons acts upon his “judgment.”—I am, &c.,

J. S.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7074, 2. Januar 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

AN AGED PAUPER SCALDED TO DEATH.

Jan. 2 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

An inquiry, which has excited much public interest, has been held this week, in the board-room of the Newbury Union Workhouse, before Dr. Bunny, coroner, touching the death of an imbecile inmate of the infirmary, named Ann Kempster, caused by most severe scalds, produced by being placed in a bath of far too high a temperature. Several members of the board of guardians and also relatives of the unfortunate woman were present throughout the investigation. The nurse, Elizabeth Allen, an imbecile pauper named Elizabeth Bird, who acted as assistant nurse, and a girl, Mary Ann Harmsworth, were the parties connected with the matter, and the coroner cautioned them that they were not required to say anything that would implicate themselves; and he also stated that he could not examine either of them. Mr. F. E. Ryott, medical officer of the union, and Mr. and Mrs. Ward, the master and matron, were examined at considerable length, and from their evidence it appeared that the deceased was admitted to the infirmary in April last, and since that time had been bedridden and dangerously ill. The medical officer had certified her as a person of unsound mind, and she rarely spoke to anyone, but had at times expressed herself satisfied with the attention paid her. Her habits were very filthy, and it was necessary that her whole body should be washed every morning. To accomplish this it was customary to place her in a bath fitted up in a small room adjoining the ward. Attached to the bath was a hot water tap, but not a corresponding means of obtaining cold water; the cold water tap being fixed over a sink some yards distant. It did not appear that any thermometer was kept in the bath-room; but it was stated by the master that, generally speaking, the water was too cold. On Monday morning last the nurse, Mrs. Allen, was attending a case of confinement in the lying-in ward, and whilst taking some linen to the laundry Bird and Harmsworth placed the deceased in the bath, and the water was so hot that it scalded the poor creature on the right leg, up her right side and arm, and also a portion of the buttock. She was allowed to remain in the bath for several minutes, and immediately she was taken out the nurse applied the remedies ordered by the medical officer in such cases. An additional supply of oil was required, and the matron immediately sent a note to the medical officer, requesting him to send some, but making no mention of what had occurred. The master was absent from the house at the time on business, and as soon as he returned the matron told him what had happened. He consulted with the nurse, and thinking all had been done that could be, and knowing it was the usual day for the medical officer to attend, did not send for him. Mr. Ryott’s assistant afterwards came up, and on his return reported the case, and Mr. Ryott without delay proceeded to the workhouse, when he found the poor women gnashing her teeth and pulseless. He saw at once that she could not recover from the scalds which she had sustained. Her age was 71 years. Death took place on Tuesday morning, the nurse being the only person present, having scarcely left her from the |[17] time she was taken out of the bath. Mr. Ryott immediately instituted inquiries, and both Bird and Harmsworth told him that what they had done was without the nurse’s knowledge or order, and that they did it from a good motive, namely, to get their work over quickly. An able-bodied inmate named Clark told the coroner she had assisted in the infirmary for months, and it was the practice of the nurse to test the temperature of the water immersed, and to remain in attendance until they were taken out. Mr. Ryott said that deceased was bathed without his knowledge; that the bath would not hurt her; and that, in fact, it was the best means of washing her. The master accounted for the high temperature of the water by the circumstance that little hot water was drawn out of the different taps in the workhouse on the preceding day. It was customary to add buckets of cold water to the bath when the water was too hot for bath purposes. The woman Bird had been a most useful assistant nurse for 10 years, but was not quite sound in her intellect. The direction given her was that she should invariably act under the instructions of the nurse. The coroner told the master that neither he nor the nurse were judges of the case, and ought to have sent immediately to the medical officer, requiring his prompt attendance. The nurse volunteered to state what she knew of the matter, and seemed much affected at what had occurred, but, acting under the coroner’s advice, she withheld her statement. The jury, after half an hour’s deliberation, returned a verdict that deceased died from scalding. They exonerated the nurse from blame, but considered that responsible persons should be employed to assist the nurse, which had not been the case in this instance.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 3. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 960, 3. Januar 1869. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

Jan. 3 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

In the Isle of Dogs (the shipbuilding district of London) the state of affairs is positively deplorable. Lancashire during the worst days of the cotton famine never exhibited a more discouraging spectacle. The parochial authorities are acting nobly in the emergency, performing all that the law empowers them, but they can do little more than enable the miserable artisans and their families to keep body and soul together. It is most pitiable; yet what else can be done? No wonder that the cry in favour of emigration is daily becoming stronger. The destitute workmen are ready to go anywhere—to Canada, to Australia, to Natal, no matter what colony, so long as they can escape from the region of misery and despair in which they at present drag on their weary existence. Last year two successful efforts were made to enable a few of the more deserving artisan families to proceed to Canada: one of these was conducted under the auspices of the East-end Emigration and Relief Fund, the other being a private venture on the part of the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Hoebart, Lady Mary Feillding, and a few other benevolent persons. The extremely satisfactory nature of the intelligence received concerning the behavior, condition, and prospects of the emigrants sent out by these agencies renders it extremely probable that further efforts will be made this winter by both bodies; but the general impression is that the Government ought to take the matter up; and there is some talk of a deputation of unemployed artisans being sent to Downing-street, with the view of laying their case before the new Ministry. The Canadian Government is well satisfied with their latest London emigrants and evince considerable readiness to facilitate further endeavours to increase their number. Many of the letters received from the emigrants are very touching. The writers appear to feel like people who have stepped from the midst of death to life. One man writes that “Susy,” his wife, “has now plenty of milk for baby.” The full significance of that simple sentence can be understood only by those who have visited the homes of the poor, and heard the starving babes piteously waiting for the milk which their mothers could not give them. Such things are more common than most people dream of, not merely in homes where the bed consists simply of a heap of straw, but in abodes where the clean and tidy furniture affords few indications to the inexperienced observer of the poverty and destitution which reign within. At Rochdale, during the Lancashire distress, some of the most saddening cases were those of factory operatives who were prevented only by the combined assistance of the parochial authorities and relief committees from breaking up their comfortable little homes, and disposing of the furniture purchased at the cost of years of economy and thrift. Similar instances are painfully common in East London. There is scarcely a minister of religion, no matter what his creed may be, who is not familiar with several such, and it speaks well for the large-hearted charity of the various religious denominations that in numerous instances they have quietly and unostentatiously given much of the help so greatly needed by their poor and deserving fellow-creatures.—Daily News.

[The Daily News, 2. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7074, 2. Januar 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

PAUPERISM, CHARITY, AND POOR LAWS.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

Jan. 2 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

SIR,—Will you permit me to draw your attention to the somewhat extraordinary way in which the Times has veered round on the subject of starvation as a cause of pauperism. In the original article on Dr. Stallardʼs paper read at the Social Science Association, after admitting the facts detailed concerning the great increase of pauperism, the Times charged Dr. Stallard with leading the Association in the wrong direction. An increased number of persons relieved without a corresponding increase of expenditure is not, in the opinion of the Times, any evidence of increased pauperism, but of the growth and development of the system of small doles supplementing the wages of the ordinary class of poor, nor is the number of patients evidence of increased sickness, because, according to Dr. Stallard’s admission, the administration of medical orders is abused. In maintaining that there is a real increase of pauperism, Dr. Stallard is supported by the Times, and the fact is important that there is an increase of 52 per cent in the number of patients attended gratuitously at 22 public hospitals. The moral, says the Times, is obvious, but it is strangely misapprehended by Dr. Stallard.

He treats these facts as evidence of the actual development of sickness and weakness—in other words, of the spread of the legitimate causes of pauperism—and he urges the adoption of a less restrictive system. Starvation, he says, cannot be relied on as a stimulus to labour. The population must be kept in the mind, and with the physical ability to work. The Times is really disappointed to see well-intentioned labour so wholly misdirected, and in its opinion the poor are not demoralized by sickness and want, but by the “small doles” alluded to. What is wanted is not a wider, but a narrower administration of the law, which one should have thought needless, seeing there is an average death by starvation recorded weekly.

Want, says the Times, is the commonest of all incentives to exertion, and “repression by starvation is the only check upon idleness which is universally applicable.” In this argument Dr. Stallard is not quite fairly treated. He nowhere says that want is not a stimulus to work, but that it cannot exclusively be relied upon, nor beyond a certain point. First, because starvation is not the certain consequence of idleness where indiscriminate charity prevails; secondly, because if real and prolonged, it leads to physical incapacity; and lastly, because the cause of destitution—viz., want of work—is often a matter beyond the labourer’s control and power to remedy.

But on Wednesday last a change has come over the Times, possibly resulting from a careful perusal of Dr. Stallard’s paper, since most of his arguments are reproduced with singular cogency and effect.|

[18]

“Bad fare and other miseries may bring down the strongest frame, and the strongest heart too, and a man then ceases to be able to help himself, for what brains he has will suffer with the rest of his system. To be hungry is a bad thing or a good thing just according to circumstances, and there are times and places where it only drives a man to despair, to pauperism, to recklessness, and to crime. It is now admitted to be a lamentable fact, which we cannot shut our eyes to, that one of the most common results of continued distress is an increasing want of resource, and even dread of enterprise.”

These are exactly Dr. Stallard’s views and the obvious deduction is that the public must exercise such a reasonable discretion as will prevent the poor, and especially the honest and industrious poor, from falling into continued distress and want—or in other words, into sickness and pauperism. This the Poor-Law, as now administered, does not do. It does not offer to the industrious man, when destitute, the opportunity of maintaining himself by independent labour; it does not profess to do anything more than to relieve destitution when it endangers life. Whether this opportunity of labour shall be given by emigration or home employment is a question of the highest moment, and both may be advantageous in their way. If, however, as Dr. Stallard states, discriminate and excessive charity on the one hand, and the repressive Poor-law system on the other, contribute to the increase of pauperism, the subject is worthy the attention of the legislature, since it cannot be denied that the state of the indigent classes is becoming most oppressive upon the ratepayers, and serious, if not dangerous, to the community at large.—I am, &c.,

OBSERVER.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 3. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 960, 3. Januar 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

WAS SHE A MURDERESS?

Jan. 3 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Priscilla Biggadyke was hanged in Lincoln Castle on Monday morning. She was poor, ignorant, and had no friends to defend her with zeal, and to supplicate for her the mercy of the Crown. The evidence against her was entirely circumstantial, or made up of little facts said to be inconsistent with innocence, and consistent with guilt. It is an axiom in the administration of our criminal law that “circumstances cannot lie” and it is true on one condition—that the circumstances are truly related. Priscilla Biggadyke lived with her husband in a small two-roomed cottage at Stickney, in Lincolnshire. They had two lodgers, Proctor and Ironmonger, and they all slept together in the same room. The result of such an arrangement was a natural one, and Biggadyke became jealous of his wife. Misery reigned in the household, and the wife was sometimes heard to utter her wishes for her husband’s removal from life. One day he came home and partook of a hearty meal of short-cake and cold mutton. He was violently seized, and the symptoms disclosed to the experienced eye of the surgeon the presence of an active poison. The surgeon took away with him the vomit of the dying man, and the wife asked if he suspected anything? She afterwards carried to the doctor a piece of the cake her husband had eaten, but the doctor said he did not wish to see it. The husband died next morning, at six o’clock, and then began the inconsistent statements of the wife, voluntarily made as soon as she found that her husband had died of the administration of a dose of arsenic. She was taken into custody, and to the superintendent of police said that she “found in her husband’s pocket a paper written on, saying that he had done it himself, as he was in dept.” She was reminded that her husband could not write, to which she replied that he might have got someone to write it for him, and that she had destroyed the paper. Afterwards, she made another statement, accusing Proctor, her lodger, who had, she said, poured some white powder into her husband’s tea-cup, and that he had placed some more in the medicine-bottle sent by the doctor, which, so mixed, she had given to her husband. Proctor was, with her, committed for trial; but the grand jury, under the advice of Mr. Justice Byles, threw out the bill against him. No poison was found in the house, nor does it appear to have been proved that she had purchased any; but some months before it was proved that she had offered to give white mercury to a friend.

The jury found the woman “Guilty,” but recommended her to mercy, on the ground that the evidence was entirely circumstantial; but this recommendation Mr. Justice Byles refused to accept, and she was sentenced to death, without hope of mercy. In the interval between sentence and execution, the convict steadily refused to make any confession of her guilt, and even showed some temper when she was very closely pressed by her relations. We come to the last scene of all—to the scene of the last hour, when the chaplain came to play his part. The poor woman was pinioned, and fainted during the operation; so that, even after she recovered, she heard little of the service for the dead, recited over a living being! She hoped that “her troubles were now all over,” and asked, plaintively, “Shall we be much longer?” The procession had arrived at the foot of the drop, and then the woman was detained on the threshold of death, in order that a little melodramatic scene might be enacted, which we believe is without a parallel, and which we hope will never be matched. Why should prisoners capitally convicted be teased and tortured to confess? We should accept the verdict of twelve sworn men, and hold it sacred. The chaplain of Lincoln Castle is of a different opinion, and it is to be regretted that the undersheriff and the governor had not more firmness and humanity than to interfere in the conversation between chaplain and convict as it was about to commence. The prisoner was asked by the chaplain if she persisted in the declaration of her innocence—“Whether she had anything to do with the crime in thought, word, or deed?” Standing at the foot of the steps leading to the floor of the scaffold, she replied in a firm voice, “I had not, sir.” That ought to have been sufficient; but the chaplain was allowed to pronounce an exhortation at his leisure and in order to enable him to do it the prisoner was “accommodated with a chair.” The speech of the reverend chaplain is a little too long for entire quotation here, but some of it is too remarkable not to provoke comment. “I implore you not to pass away from this world into another without confessing your sins generally, but especially this particular sin”—the very sin which the poor tortured and pinioned convict had just solemnly and firmly denied she had been privy to in thought, word, or deed. And then the priest peeped out. “I had hoped that you would have enabled me, as a minister of Christ, to have pronounced the forgiveness of your sins.” This was very cruel, for it assumed the existence of a human representation in the power of pardon, and it asked for a confession of a crime as the basis of the pardon. But suppose the poor woman had not been guilty in thought, word, or deed? Of what value would the human pardon have been for a crime never committed? And still the poor woman persisted in saying that she had no connection with the death of her husband, but still the chaplain would not let her go to her death. He left her in the hands of God—in whose hands she had always been—in the hope that she had confessed to Him, and lied to man. But still a little more torture for the convict. “What a satisfaction for your children, your relations, and your friends, to know that you had passed from death into life.” And then came out the priest again—“I fear I cannot offer you any consolation; I must leave you in the hands of God. Had you made a declaration of your sins, I should have done what, as a minister of Christ, I am entitled to do. I should have told you that ‘your sins, though many, are forgiven.’ I am sorry that I cannot exercise that authority at the present moment.”

And so the poor woman was led up the steps to her doom, and the executioner—the most humane person present—was permitted to do his office. But suppose that the convict had turned upon the chaplain, and asked him for authority to forgive her? or had asked him if he felt entitled, as a gentleman and a Christian, to assume her guilt as a certainly, which twelve sworn men had only found on circumstantial evidence which suggested, by its very doubtfulness, a recommendation to mercy? Mercy! The woman was poor, ignorant, perhaps immoral, and had no friends to plead in her behalf. It is not such as she to whom Home Secretaries extend mercy. Had she been the wife of a gentleman, a member of a family of the ruling class, then scientific evidence would have been forthcoming as to her insanity, founded upon her condition at the time of the deed. It is to convicts of the Victor Townley order—cold-blooded, matter-of-fact murderers—that reprieves are granted, in fact, even before evidence of insanity is offered. [It is the men of the] class of Samuel Wright, who [kill women in the] heat of passion, upon whom capital sentences are executed. Poverty makes all the difference. There is only one law; there are two mode of administering it—one for the rich, and one for the poor. At least, we may protect poor criminals from impertinence, and the vanity of priests claiming the power of remission of sins. And we may suggest to the landlords and farmers of Lincolnshire, who permit the condition of barbarism known as overcrowding, to ask themselves this question—“Was Priscilla Biggadyke alone guilty?”—if guilty she was, which we doubt. “Let him that is without sin,” in this matter of overcrowding, “cast the first stone”—after the chaplain.|

[Ausschnitt aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt. Es existieren viele Ersatzquellen. Originalnachricht in: Birmingham Daily Post, 13. Januar 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

A lot of little children, most of them under twelve, played pitch and toss near Stafford.

Somebody accused them. The magistrates found them guilty, and fined them sixpence each. Their mothers would have paid that, but the costs were £4 0s. 6d. They were handcuffed, bound to a thick chain, and marched to Stafford for a month’s imprisonment. They were met on the road by a gentleman, who inquired, interested other gentlemen, paid the money, and released the children. Had the children been the children of the magistrates who sentenced them, their condemnation would have been simply impossible.

[The Standard, 22. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Standard, 22. Januar 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

EMIGRATION.

Jan. 22 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

The last returns of metropolitan pauperism show that in the fourth week of December, 1868, there were 143,406 paupers in London, as compared with 147,610 in the corresponding week of the year before. The reduction was thus 4204. It is somewhat remarkable that the districts designated as the west, north, and south, all show an increase as compared with 1867, the only decrease being in the central district and the east. The union of Poplar alone exhibits a decrease of 2279 or more than half the total decrease of the metropolis. Poplar, however, still displays a formidable list, its aggregate of paupers being 7333. In the south district, Woolwich and Greenwich combined show a total of 11,155 paupers, as against 8446 for last year; an increase, therefore, of 2709. The cause of this latter augmentation is not far to seek, the abandonment of Woolwich Dockyard and the great reductions in the Arsenal having thrown an immense number of people out of work. The Woolwich Relief Committee has 2000 individuals on their funds. The materials for a great accession of paupers are now accumulating in that locality. Dire distress is overtaking hundreds of families, and it is by no means easy to say how the employment thus lost in Woolwich is to be obtained elsewhere.

Though we thus preface our remarks on emigration with poor-law statistics, it must not be inferred that we are going to describe a process of pauper emigration. For the present, we have simply to show how emigration may prevent pauperism. The East-end Emigration and Relief Committee have expended, for the purposes of migration and emigration, since July, 1867, the sum of 6370l. But it by no means follows that all whom they have sent cut of the kingdom have been paupers. On the contrary, the rule has rather been the other way, particularly during the season of 1868. Yet the effect has undoubtedly been to intercept some of those streams which otherwise would have gone to swell the great pauper list of Poplar may be partly attributed to the fact that most of the parties who were thus assisted to move off, either to another part of the kingdom or out of it altogether, were from Poplar. A certain amount of pauperism was thus prevented, and it is a circumstance not to be lost sight of that when a man once becomes a pauper, it is a very troublesome matter to induce the colonies to receive him. The difficulty which arose in the way of emigration to Canada last year was partly founded in this circumstance. It was alleged that England was shipping off her paupers to Canada with a view to get rid of them, and Canada, on her part, exhibited a very decided unwillingness to receive them—so much so that even the emigration of the poor, though non-pauper class, was for a time placed in jeopardy; and but for the kindly intervention of the Hon. Mr. Rose, the Canadian Finance Minister, who happened just then to be in England, the emigration movement in the direction of Canada must have been seriously checked.

The East-end Emigration Committee have now resolved to extend the sphere of their operations to all parts of the metropolis where their intervention is obviously called for—of course on the presumption that they have the necessary means to second their intentions. Woolwich is, therefore, a fair field for their labours. Unfortunately the funds at the disposal of the committee just now are very limited; nevertheless they have succeeded in assisting a small party of the Woolwich unemployed to set out for Queensland. Yesterday afternoon, these individuals, about twenty-five in number, reckoning men, women, and children, went on board the Flying Cloud, then lying in the East India Docks, and they are now on their way down the river. Of the vessel herself we may say that she is a fine clipper built sailing vessel of 1139 tons register, belonging to the Black Ball line. The accommodation provided for the emigrants seemed very good. The party sent from Woolwich is undoubtedly a small instalment; but if the opportunity be properly cultivated, it may be the beginning of great things. In addition to the Woolwich emigrants, there were others from all parts of the country, making up a total of 190 assisted emigrants, in addition to 50 who paid their own passage. The Queensland government makes grants in aid of emigration from Europe to their own shores, and both single men and married couples are thus assisted to go out. The voyage being long and the expense considerable, it was necessary for the Woolwich emigrants to be still further assisted by the East-end committee, the Woolwich committee also contributing a small sum per head. It is a fact of considerable importance at the present time, that from some cause or other, the government of Queensland, as well as that of South Australia, prefers acting independently of our Emigration Commissioners. In these days of economy and retrenchment, it might be fair to ask what the Emigration Board, established under the wing of our own Colonial Office, is really doing to promote emigration. Not even in the case of Canada can we discover that the board is of any essential service. With just one or two exceptions, the emigration movement in England seems to be carried on by volunteer committees and the agents of the colonial governments, all of whom act as if there was no Emigration Board in existence. It is commonly the case that correspondence of considerable importance, instead of being conducted by our government department, is really in the hands of private individuals, who communicate with the colonial authorities, and receive replies as regularly as if this were the only recognized mode of proceeding. The Emigration Commissioners look on, inspect the vessels, and collect the statistics, while the money is raised and expended without passing through their hands, and the work is done either by honorary agents or by those who are in the service of the colonial authorities. It may be well it should be so; but in that case the utility of maintaining an emigration department becomes |[20] doubtful. On the other hand, it would seem desirable that the strength of the government should, if possible, be brought to bear on a task which demands large resources and the most powerful appliances.

The liberality of the Queensland government in making grants in aid of immigration enables them in some degree to choose their immigrants. As we surveyed the party on board the Flying Cloud we could not but regret that so many stalwart workers and promising families should be taken from our shores. We should add, by-the-by, that free passages are granted to single women, domestic servants, and to a limited number of married couples of the class of farm labourers or shepherds with not more than one child under twelve years of age. In all cases, whether the emigrants go free, or are simply “assisted,” the agent of the Queensland government selects the individuals or families, and, as a matter of course, he picks for the best. A significant incident occurred in the case of the Woolwich party. One man was rejected solely on the ground that he had been for the last three months in the receipt of parochial relief.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 17. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 962, 17. Januar 1869. S. 8.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

DISTRESS IN LONDON.—

A considerable number of building firms having, on Saturday week, discharged a great many of their workmen, including bricklayers, stonemasons, joiners, plasterers, and bricklayers’ labourers, a large amount of unemployed labour has been thrown upon the metropolis; and, during the week, evidences of the fact were presented in the northern, southern, and western metropolitan districts. Gangs of men, not of the “common labourer” type, but composed of comfortably clad men, having all the appearance of skilled artisans, paraded many of the squares, chanting, in some cases, only the old refrain, “We’ve got no work to do.” In South London, the districts of Walworth, Kennington, and Camberwell were visited by the men, who in these places were tolerably successful in their solicitations. Gangs went through Russell, Bedford, Gordon, and Tavistock-squares, and then proceeded to the north-western district. In the west-end, the principal squares and portions of the Chelsea and Kensington districts were visited, and in almost every place where the unemployed men asked alms, their decent appearance elicited substantial sympathy. Not only workmen, but clerks and timekeepers, have lost their employment by reason of the reductions in building firms referred to, which have been caused by the completion of some large contracts and the temporary suspension of others.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 962, 17. Januar 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

JUSTICES’ JUSTICE IN ESSEX.

TO THE EDITOR OF REYNOLDS’S NEWSPAPER.

SIR,—Knowing your wish for justice, alike for poor and affluent, and for which you are a most strenuous advocate, I beg to send you the following account how “the gentlemen” of the Harwich bench of magistrates dispense it to the first named class. On the 29th day of December last a vessel belonging to Whitstable, through stress of weather, sought the harbour for shelter from the gales that were then prevailing, the crew being almost exhausted with their struggle with the wind and waves for the past four days. Anxious to acquaint his owner of the comparative safety of the ship, and his wife of his own, the captain sent one of his men to the post. On the way back to his ship, he drank one pint of porter. The exhausted state in which the man was failed to be proof against this moderate quantity and he sat down and fell asleep. Shortly after, one of that most ever watchful (for any case like this, but ever wanting when help is really needed) class of men called policemen discovered him, and forth with the poor sailor was looked up for the night. Next day he was fined 14s. 6d. by those members of the great unpaid who misadminister the law at Harwich. For what offence was he punished some of your readers may ask. Ay, indeed—for what? For not resisting the demand of Nature which she makes imperative; for sleeping when the weary eyelids refuse longer to keep open; for resting when both body and brain refuse to work continuously!

Shall I—shall any one—pity them for their finite wisdom, their gross disregard for humanity’s laws? No; but rather let us all raise our voices, and help to aid in abolishing that foul stain on English judicature—“the Unpaid Magistracy.” Sweep it away, and forever, and rid the country of the sad disgrace brought on it by such cases as John Cross’s and many others of a like nature. Let our laws, of which every Englishman ought to be proud, but with which many are disgusted, by the way they are misused, be administered by persons, not only learned in the law, but with reason and discretion in their brain; by competent stipendiary magistrates, who did they so far forget themselves as to allow might to overrule right, could and would be removed from their posts, never again to be vested with judicial power. In conclusion, I would ask your powerful aid to assist in preventing country squires and farmers making our laws a mockery and disgrace whose every judgment is but another proof that they are out of their proper sphere, and are totally unfit and incompetent for the position they occupy. Hoping you will oblige by the insertion of this,

I am, sir, yours respectfully,
T. S.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 31. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 964, 31. Januar 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

LIFE AND DEATH OF THE ENGLISH POOR.

On Thursday, an inquiry was held at the Folley House Tavern, Cubitt-town, Isle of Dogs, by Mr. Humphreys, respecting the death from alleged starvation of Catherine Spencer, aged thirty-four years, and her male child, who expired on Thursday week. Upon the jury going to view the bodies of the deceased, they found them lying upon the floor in a top back room, which was miserably furnished. The bed upon which the deceased woman and child had died was composed of rags, and there were no bed-clothes upon it. A small box placed upon a broken chair had served as a table. Upon it lay a tract, entitled, “The Goodness of God.” The only article of food in the room was a piece of salt, of which the deceased woman had eaten part before she died. The whole place presented a wretched appearance. The windows were broken, and an old iron tray had been fastened up against it. The house, which was No. 1, Steward’s-terrace, Cubitt-town, was a six-roomed one. In every room in that house a distinct family lived. Two families lived in the two kitchens. All the people in the house were in receipt of parish relief, and they were all connected with the iron shipbuilding works, and they had lost their all shortly after the works were closed, during the commercial crisis of 1866.

Great interest was felt in the proceedings, and several of the local authorities were present during the inquiry.

Mary Boney, a miserable-looking woman, who stated that she lived at 122, High-street, Shadwell, said that she was the wife of a shipwright out of employment. The deceased was the wife of a labourer. Witness saw her three weeks before Christmas. She then complained of the state in which she was, and she said that she did not think that she could not give her any assistance.

Hannah Robinson, 1, Steward’s-terrace, said that she was the wife of a man out of work. She paid 1s. 6d. a week rent for her room. The deceased paid a shilling a week for hers. She was very poor. She lived with her husband. He went mad two days after her death. She died on Thursday, and he became insane on Saturday.

Mr. Dowse said that the man had to be taken to the workhouse, where he was kept in confinement. He was not taken to the asylum, for it was crowded with mad people, and there was no room for him in it.

The witness said that the husband had been a long time out of work. He had relief from the parish. The woman never had any money to get anything with. During the whole of the Tuesday before her death she had no food to eat. Witness took her a cup of tea in the evening, and she drank it. A month ago the Rev. Mr. Carpenter gave her a ticket for meat. She had pledged all the clothes they had to buy food. A little time ago she had some of her furniture seized by the brokers for rent. She pawned her last blanket for 2s. as there was nothing in the house to eat. All the families in the house were badly off for food, and the deceased never wanted for food more than they did. The six families in the house paid the landlord 5s. 9d a week for rent. Witness did not think that the deceased’s death had been caused by want of food.

Maria Holt, a married woman, living in the back kitchen of the house, said deceased had often wanted bread all day, “like” witness “and all the others in the house.” She had never had what she really wanted—food; but witness was in the same state.

Mr. F. F. Delany, relieving officer, said that the deceased husband applied for relief on the 5th instant. He came before the board of guardians on the 6th; they ordered him the stone-yard, one pound of meat, two ounces of tea, and a pound of sugar.

Coroner: Did he come to the stone-yard? Witness: No.

Coroner: How much is a man allowed to earn in the stone-yard. Witness: Sevenpence, but never more than eight pence.

Coroner: So that, if a man has ten children, and he can earn 1s. 6d. in the stone yard during the day, he is not allowed to do so? Witness: No; but then he gets a loaf of bread every week for each child.

Coroner: How long had he been out of work? Witness: On and off, for two years and a half. I have heard that he earned 14s. one week. Some men told me that he did so at the beginning of this year. He only got the relief for three weeks.

Dr. J. Sarjent said that he attended the deceased in consequence of a parish order being sent to him. She died on Thursday. The child died shortly after its birth.

Dr. G. B. Phillips, 2, Spital-square, divisional surgeon of police, said that he only been able to find three ounces of fluid in the stomach. The intestines were empty, and collapsed from want of food and privation. They were thin and transparent from long want of food. The woman had suffered great privations. She had got into a weak, low, nervous condition from long want of food. Her death had been accelerated by want of food.

The Coroner said it was a case for grave consideration, whether a man with a family ought not to be allowed to earn more than 8d, a day in the stone yard.

A juror said that 8d. for a whole day’s work was ridiculous. A man ought to be allowed to earn what he could, particularly when he had a family to support. Why, any of the jurors there would eat more than 8d. worth at a meal. He had known cases in which men with families, who had been ordered to the stoneyard at 8d. a day, knowing that they could not keep their families upon it, had said, “I will not go there. It is no use. The parish must bury me.”

Another created some surprise by stating that it was no use returning a verdict of death from starvation. It would only cause the distress in the island to be talked about in the newspapers. What use were people when they were dead? He thought that they might be buried in an egg box, or perhaps it would be still better to bury them without a coffin at all.

The speaker, who was a well-known employer of labour on the island, was not applauded when he had ceased to make his remarks.

The jury returned a verdict, “That the deceased woman died from exhaustion, privation, and want of food.”


Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 964, 31. Januar 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

WHO IS HE?

We should very much like to know the name of the “employer of labour” who so feelingly observed at the Isle of Dogs inquest that he thought poor people might as well be buried in an egg-chest as a coffin! If we only knew his name, we would give it a prominent place in our columns, so that all the world might know who uttered such brutal, dastardly, and disgraceful words.|

[The Daily News, 29. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7097, 29. Januar 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

LIFE AND DEATH AT THE EAST-END.

Jan. 29 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Yesterday an inquiry was held at the Folley-house Tavern, Cubitt-town, Isle of Dogs, by Mr. Humphreys, respecting the death from alleged starvation of Catherine Spence, aged 34 years, and her male child, who expired on Thursday week. Upon the jury going to view the bodies of the deceased, they found them lying upon the floor in a top back room, which was miserably furnished. The bed upon which the deceased woman and child had died was composed of rags, and there were no bed-clothes upon it. A small box placed upon a broken chair had served as a table. Upon it lay a tract, entitled, “The Goodness of God.” The only article of food in the room was a piece of salt, of which the deceased woman had eaten part before she died. The whole place presented a wretched appearance. The windows were broken, and an old iron tray had been fastened up against one of them to keep the rain out. Another window had a board up against it. The house, which was No. 1, Steward’s-terrace, Cubitt-town, was a six roomed one. In every room in that house a distinct family lived. Two families lived in the two kitchens. All the people in the house were in receipt of parish relief, and they were all connected with the iron shipbuilding works, and they had lost their all shortly after the works were closed, during the commercial crisis of 1866.

Great interest was felt in the proceedings, and several of the local authorities were present during the inquiry.

Mary Boney, a miserable-looking woman, who stated that she lived at 122, High-street, Shadwell, said that she was the wife of a shipwright out of employment. The deceased was the wife of a labourer. Witness saw her three weeks before Christmas. She then complained of the state in which she was, and she said that she did not think could not give her any assistance.

Hannah Rollinson, I, Steward’s-terrace, said that she was the wife of a man out of work. She paid 1s. 6d. a week rent for her room. The deceased paid a shilling a week for hers. She was very poor. She lived with her husband. He went mad two days after her death. She died on Thursday, and he became insane on Saturday.

Mr. Dowse said that the man had to be taken to the workhouse where he was kept in confinement. He was not taken to the asylum, for it was crowded with mad people, and there was no room for him in it.

The witness said that the husband had been a long time out of work. He had relief from the parish. The woman never had any money to get anything with. During the whole of the Tuesday before her death she had no food to eat. Witness took her a cup of tea in the evening, and she drank it. A month ago the Rev. Mr. Carpenter gave her a ticket for meat. She had pledged all the clothes they had to buy food. A little time ago she had some of her furniture seized by the brokers for rent. She pawned her last blanket for 2s., as there was nothing in the house to eat. All the families in the house were badly off for food, and the deceased never wanted for food more than they did. The six families in the house paid the landlord 5s. 9d. a week for rent. Witness did not think that the deceased’s death had been caused by want of food.

Maria Holt, a married woman, living in the back kitchen of the house, said deceased had often wanted bread all day, “like” witness “and all the others in the house.” She had never had what she really wanted—food; but witness was in the same state.

Mr. J. J. Delany, relieving officer, said that the deceased’s husband applied for relief on the 5th instant. He came before the board of guardians on the 6th; they ordered him the stone-yard, one pound of meat, 2ozs. of tea, and a pound of sugar.

Coroner—Did he come to the stone-yard?

Witness—No.

Coroner—How much is a man allowed to earn in the stone-yard?

Witness—Sevenpence, but never more than eight pence.

Coroner—So that. If a man has ten children and he can earn 1s. 6d. in the stone-yard during the day, he is not allowed to do so?

Witness—No; but then he gets a loaf of bread every week for each child.

Coroner—How long had he been out of work?

Witness—On and off, for two years and a half. I have heard that he earned 14s. one week. Some men told me that he did so at the beginning of this year. He only got the relief for three weeks.

Dr. J. Sarjant said that he attended the deceased in consequence of a parish order being sent to him. She died on Thursday. The child died shortly after its birth.

Dr. G. B. Phillips, 2, Spital-square, divisional surgeon of police, said that he had only been able to find three ounces of fluid in the stomach. The intestines were empty, and collapsed from want of food and privation. They were thin and transparent from long want of food. The woman had suffered great privations. She had got into a weak, low, nervous condition from long want of food. Her death had been accelerated by want of food.

The Coroner said it was a case for grave consideration whether a man with a family ought not to be allowed to earn more than 8d. a day in the stone yard.

A juror said that 8d. for a whole day’s work was ridiculous. A man ought to be allowed to earn what he could, particularly when he had a family to support. Why any of the jurors there would eat more than 8d. worth at a meal. He had known cases in which men with families who had been ordered to the stoneyard at 8d. a day, knowing that they could not keep their families upon it, had said—“I will not go there. It is no use. The parish must bury me.”

Another created some surprise by stating that it was no use returning a verdict of death from starvation. It would only cause the distress in the island to be talked about in the newspapers. What use were people when they were dead? He thought that they might be buried in an egg box, or perhaps it would be still better to bury them without a coffin at all.

The speaker, who was a well-known employer of labour on the island, was not applauded when he had ceased to make his remarks.

The jury returned a verdict that the deceased woman died from exhaustion, privation, and want of food.

[The Daily News, 9. Februar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7106, 9. Februar 1869. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

PAUPER NURSING IN ST. PANCRAS WORKHOUSE.

Feb 9 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Yesterday Dr. Lankester held the adjourned inquiries at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, St. Pancras, on the bodies of Geo. Joseph Airey and John Fowler. Several serious charges had been made through letters sent to the coroner by an inmate respecting the treatment of the two deceased men, and it was thought that a thorough inquiry into the charges was necessary. Upon the opening of the court yesterday the coroner read a letter from the inmate who had written the complaints referred to, stating that all the witness who were to give evidence to the court had been called before the workhouse officials and examined as to what they were going to say before the coroner; that a wardsman who was to give evidence, and who had been suspended, had been reinstated, and put on extra diet, which was not usual.

Preliminary evidence in both cases was taken at the first sitting of the court. Yesterday the first cases proceeded with was that of Airey.

David Brown, an inmate of the workhouse, aged 74, said—I knew the deceased man, Airey. He was brought to the bed-ward, No. 253, on the 14th of last month. I am wardsman. All the men in my ward are able to take care of themselves. I was told by another wardsman that deceased was not right in his mind, and I must look after him, or he would not be able to find his bed a second time. I put him in a bed next the door, and gave him an extra blanket. The night of the 14th he made a great noise, and I got out of bed to him. I asked him if there was anything the matter with him. He said no. I got into bed again, and he commenced making the same noise as before. I did not get up to him then, as he had said there was nothing the matter with him. On Friday morning he saw Mr. Hill, the doctor, and afterwards went to bed. He did not get up on Saturday on Sunday, but he said there was nothing the matter with him. On Monday morning I found him dead in bed. I might have ordered him to get out of bed, but I do not remember. I am obliged to order a good many who lie late to get up, so that I may put the bed in order. The doctor did not see deceased from the Friday. I have been examined by the master and some of the guardians as to the evidence I have to give. A man named Edmunds did not say that deceased had been shamefully treated, and he should like to be called as a witness.

Mr. Longden and Mr. Watkins, guardians of St. Pancras, appeared to watch the case, and asked the witness several questions.|

[22]

Mr. Longden said the inquiry made by the guardians referred to was for the purpose of ascertaining what answer there was to the complaint that had been made.

Witness, continuing—I have had a pint of beer a day since this happened instead of half a pint, but that was because I said I would resign unless I had the extra allowance.

Mr. Longden confirmed this statement.

Mr. Joseph Hill, resident medical officer of St. Pancras Workhouse, said—The deceased when admitted did not complain of being ill. Nine days afterwards he complained that he had had an attack of paralysis in the legs during the night. As he could walk very well then I told him he was mistaken, but from my examination I found he had had an attack of syncope, and I prescribed for him accordingly. The next time I heard of him he was dead. I made a post-mortem examination, and found that death resulted from fatty degeneration of the heart. The wardsman ought to have told me afterwards of the deceased lying in bed two days, and he is to blame for not doing so.

Brown, the wardsman—I told the doctor’s man both on the Saturday and Sunday.

Mr. Hill—My “man,” as he is called, is a pauper who arranges my books and the medicine bottles, &c.

By Mr. Longden—There are about 1,200 able-bodied persons in the house who might come to me, but it is quite impossible for me to inquire personally after each person who has complained to me. It is their duty to come to me, or if they cannot do so the wardsman should come.

George Mummery, an inmate of the workhouse, said—Deceased complained very much on Sunday night of being very ill. He fell out of bed, and I put him in again. His hands were very cold, and he said he could not live long. About one o’clock he screamed enough to unnerve any man, and wanted to go to the infirmary, but Brown refused to go to the doctor. Deceased was convulsed. From four o’clock in the morning he breathed very hard, and at 8 o’clock he was dead. On Sunday morning I told Brown the man was very much worse, and he said, “D—your eyes, what do you know about it?” Brown never got up from his bed to the deceased. I have never had any quarrel with Brown. It was no use of me complaining to anyone but Brown, because they would not have interfered if he did not. It was no use speaking to Brown, because he knew all about it as much as I did.

David Kirkland, the pauper attendant on the doctor, said—I saw deceased for the first time last Friday week, when he came to the doctor. I saw him on Sunday and asked him what was the matter. He said “Nothing.” I don’t recollect Brown saying anything to me about moving Airey from the ward.

The Coroner said the case seemed perfectly clear to him. There was no doubt that deceased was most grossly neglected on the Sunday night referred to by Mummery. The only nurse in the ward was an old pauper, who would, of course, look more to his own ease than anybody else. Pauper nurses, as they were not allowed to receive any pay, were not incited to do their duty by fear of dismissal. The man Brown even discharged himself, and was induced to again undertake the duties for half a pint of beer a day. On Sunday night, when deceased was in convulsions, it was clearly a case in which the doctor ought to have been sent for. In wards which were full of old men there were sure very frequently to be some requiring attendance, and under such circumstances there ought to be paid nurses. Pauper nurses ought not to be depended upon.

Mr. Longden—We don’t defend the system; it is forced upon us.

Brown—There are 76 men in the ward, and at least 50 between my bed and the one where the man was laid.

The jury, after deliberation, returned a verdict of “Death from Natural Causes,” but added, “We consider that a pauper 74 years of age is not fit to discharge the duties of wardsman, especially during the night, in a ward in which so many aged people sleep, and we suggest that a better system of attendance in the wards should be adopted.”

The case of the deceased John Fowler was then proceeded with, the jury finding that there was no proof that blame attached to any of the workhouse officials.

[The Daily News, 12. Februar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7109, 12. Februar 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE fearful flood of distress and misery which has during the last two or three years overwhelmed the poorer districts of East London appears to have reached its maximum a few weeks since, and the overburdened ratepayers, it is hoped, now possess good reasons for believing that the general stagnation of trade and enterprise, which has so long deprived thousands of artisans and labourers of their customary means of employment, is about to give way to an improved state of things. Of course, few persons are sanguine enough to believe that the present year will behold the great industrial establishments of East London restored to their former state of activity and prosperity; but it is something to be able to believe that the worst period of the crisis is over. Already in some of the shipbuilding concerns on the Thames employment has been found for additional numbers of workmen, and although there are yet several yards remaining empty and desolate, and years may elapse before the Thames shipbuilding industry can hope to reach the magnitude attained previous to the conclusion of the great American conflict, there exist numerous indications that it is not likely to be driven wholly away from the metropolis to the Tyne or the Clyde, as frequently predicted by those disposed to take a gloomy view of industrial prospects in East London. The improved state of the eastern metropolitan districts is unmistakably shown by the latest returns published by the Poor-law Board. According to these, the number of paupers in the East London district—comprising Shore-ditch, Bethnal-green, Whitechapel, Stepney, St. George-in-the-East, Mile-end Old-town, and Poplar—during the fifth week of January last was 34,580, being a decrease of 6,817, as compared with the corresponding week in 1868, when the number was 41,937. The decrease is largest in the two hitherto most distressed parishes—Poplar and Stepney; the number of paupers in the former having sunk from 9,626 in 1868, to 7,467 in 1869; and in the latter, during the corresponding periods, from 6,396, to 4,666. The single exception to the general decrease is in St. George-in-the-East, the residence of a considerable number of men, chiefly Germans employed in sugar refining, a trade at present in a most depressed condition. In Bethnal-green the decrease has been large, being no less than 1,344. It has occurred chiefly amongst the migratory population.

   1868. 1869. Decrease.
Shoreditch 6,058 5,459 599
Bethnal-green 5,861 4,517 1,344
Whitechacel 5,076 4,692 384
St. George-in-the-East 4,607 4,624 Inc. 17
Stepney 6,396 4,666 1,730
Mile-end Old Town 3,773 3,155 618
Poplar 9,626 7,467 2,159
  41,397 34,580 6,817

Two causes have assisted materially in promoting this decrease of pauperism, viz., the gradually improving condition of trade, assisted by the exceptionally mild weather prevalent during the last few weeks, and the greater amount of discrimination exercised in the administration of parochial relief, combined with the partial check given to the system of wholesale and indiscriminate charity so long prevalent in East London. It is the general opinion of those most qualified to speak on the subject, that the amount of charitable contributions flowing into the eastern metropolitan parishes has this winter been, on the whole, far less than has been known for several years past. For once the numerous tribe of cadgers and vagrants who, during winter time, migrate eastwards, have found themselves to a great extent disappointed of their customary harvest. Hence the extensive removes to other metropolitan districts such as St. Pancras where the number of paupers has risen from 10,026 in 1868 to 10,133 in 1869. A similar increase is observable in Kensington, Fulham, Paddington, and Marylebone. This rise in the rate of West-end pauperism is also partly attributable to the distress existing amongst the building operatives, in consequence of the great depression from which their trade is at present suffering. An attempt is now being made to stimulate the emigration movement in East London which has hitherto made little progress. The unemployed, as a rule, know little respecting the colonies, or how to proceed thither; and where it is otherwise, the want of means for procuring the necessary outfit furnishes a formidable obstacle. With the revival of local industrial energy and enterprise the feeling in favour of emigration will, in all probability, subside almost as rapidly as it arose, the habitual disinclination of the working classes to leave the mother-country being far more general than is commonly supposed. Yet the destitute labourers and their families possess few inducements to remain in London. Probably at no former period were the homes of the unemployed metropolitan poor more miserable and cheerless than they are at present. The recent case of alleged starvation in the Isle of Dogsafforded a glimpse of what may be seen in some of these abodes; it also revealed something of the effects of the great vice of the laboring classes, a vice which does more than almost anything else to render them poor and helpless, and against the results of which the parochial authorities strive in vain to make headway. The intensity of the passion for beer and gin is fearful. The mania for drink follows a certain class of the poor to the very doors of the workhouse. The men employed in the stone yards will often be found spending their scanty earnings in beer and tobacco. Sometimes the loaves received by them are bartered for pints of ale, although at home the wives and children may be starving. In the |[23] same way many of the females receiving parochial relief will adjourn to neighbouring public-houses and expend a portion of the money assistance received by them in the purchase of glasses of gin, although aware that their vicious expenditure must entail on them the misery of a state of semi-starvation until the weekly day of relief again comes round. It is amongst this class that the cases of destitution and starvation with which the public have of late years become so familiar are most frequent. Nothing can exceed the state of wretchedness and suffering in which they usually live and which, in nine cases out of ten, is the result, rather than the cause, of their insatiable craving for beer or gin. It is a well-known fact that in many parts of East London the takings of the publicans have not become in any way diminished throughout the whole period of the prevailing distress.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 14. Februar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 966, 14. Februar 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

PAUPER NURSING IN A WORKHOUSE.

Feb. 14 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

On Monday, Dr. Lankester held adjourned inquiries at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, St. Pancras, on the bodies of George Joseph Airey and John Fowler. Several serious charges had been made through letters sent to the coroner by an inmate of St. Pancras workhouse, respecting the treatment of the two deceased men, and it was thought that a thorough inquiry into the charges was necessary. Upon the opening of the court, the Coroner read a letter from the inmate who had written the complaints referred to, stating that all the witnesses who were to give evidence to the court had been called before the workhouse officials and examined as to what they were going to say before the coroner; that a wardsman who was to give evidence, and who had been suspended, had been reinstated, and put on extra diet, which was not usual.

David Brown, an inmate of [the workhouse,] aged seventy-four, said: I knew the [deceased man,] Airey. He was brought to the bed-wa[rd, No. 253, on the 14th] of last month. I am wardsman[. All the men in my] ward are able to take care of the[mselves. I was told] by another wardsman that deceas[ed was not right in] his mind, and I must look after [him, or he would not] be able to find his bed a second [time. I put him in a] bed next the door, and gave him [an extra blanket.] The night of the 14th he made a g[reat noise, and I got] out of bed to him. I asked him if [there was anything] the matter with him. He said no. [I got into bed a]gain, and he commenced making the [same noise as before]. I did not get up to him then, as [he had said there] was nothing the matter with him. O[n Friday morning] he saw Mr. Hill, the doctor, and afte[rwards went to] bed. He did not get up on Saturday [or Sunday, but he] said there was nothing the matter w[ith him. On Mo]nday morning I found him dead in bed. [I might have ord]ered him to get out of bed, but I do [not remember.] I am obliged to order a good many w[ho lie late to get u]p, so that I may put the bed in orde[r. The doctor did] not see deceased from the Friday[. I have been exam]ined by the master and some of the [guardians as to the] evidence I have to give. A man [named Edmunds did] not say that deceased had been s[hamefully treated, and] he should like to be called as a w[itness. I have had a pi]nt of beer a day since this hap[pened, instead of half a pint,] but that was because I said [I would resign unless I had] the extra allowance.

Mr. Joseph Hill, resident [medical officer of St. Pancras] workhouse, said: The [deceased, when admitted, did not] complain of being ill. [Nine days afterwards he com]plained that he had ha[d an attack of paralysis in the] legs during the night. As [he could walk very well then,] I told him he was mistaken; but, from my exam[inations,] I found he had an attack of syncope, and I p[rescribed] for him accordingly. The next time I heard [of him he] was dead. I made a post-mortem exami[nation, and] found that death resulted from fatty degeneration [of the] heart. The wardsman ought to have told me afterwards of the deceased lying in bed two days, and he is to blame for not doing so.

Brown, the wardsman: I told the doctor’s man both on the Saturday and Sunday.

Mr. Hill: My “man,” as he is called, is a pauper, who arranges my books and the medicine bottles, &c.

By Mr. Longden: There are about 1,200 able-bodied persons in the house who might come to me, but it is quite impossible for me to inquire personally after each person who has complained to me. It is their duty to come to me, or if they cannot do so the wardsman should come.

George Mummery, an inmate of the workhouse, said: Deceased complained very much on Sunday night of being very ill. He fell out of bed, and I put him in again. His hands were very cold, and he said he could not live long. About one o’clock he screamed enough to unnerve any man, and wanted to go to the infirmary, but Brown refused to go to the doctor. Deceased was convulsed. From four o’clock in the morning he breathed very hard, and at eight o’clock he was dead. On Sunday morning I told Brown the man was very much worse, and he said, “D—— your eyes, what do you know about it?” Brown never got up from his bed to the deceased. I have never had any quarrel with Brown. It was no use of me complaining to anyone but Brown, because they would not have interfered if he did not. It was no use speaking to Brown, because he knew all about it as much as I did.

David Kirkland, the pauper attendant on the doctor, said: I saw the deceased for the first time last Friday week, when he came to the doctor. I saw him on Sunday and asked him what was the matter. He said “Nothing.” I don’t recollect Brown saying anything to [me about mov]ing Airey from the ward.

[The Coroner sa]id the case seemed perfectly clear to [him. There was no dou]bt the deceased was most grossly [neglected on the Sund]ay night referred to by Mummery. [The only nurse in the] ward was an old pauper, who [would, of course, loo]k more to his own ease than any[body else’s. Paup]er nurses, as they were not allowed to [receive any pay,] were not incited to do their duty by [fear of dismissal.] The man Brown even discharged [himself, and was induced] to again undertake the duties [for half a pint of beer a day.] On Sunday night, when deceased was in [convulsions,] it was clearly a case in which the doctor ought to have been sent for. In wards which were full of old men there were sure very frequently to be some requiring attendance, and under such circumstances there ought to be paid nurses. Pauper nurses ought not to be depended upon.

Mr. Longden: We don’t defend the system; it is forced upon us.

Brown: There are seventy-six men in the ward and at least fifty between my bed and the one where the man was laid.

The jury, after deliberation, returned a verdict of “Death from natural causes,” but added, “We consider that a pauper seventy-five years of age is not fit to discharge the duties of wardsman, [especially] during the night, in a ward [in which so many aged] people sleep, and we [suggest that a better system] of attendance in the wa[rds should be adopted.”]

[The case of the d]eceased John Fowler was then [proceeded with, the ju]ry finding that there was no proof [that blame attached to any of the work]house officials.|

[The Standard, 19. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Standard, 19. Januar 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

Jan. 19 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

A subject, which for a long time past we have been endeavouring to impress upon the public mind, is at length becoming so patent as to receive attention of some kind or another in all quarters. These columns have repeatedly borne witness to the fact that the distress of the working classes has gone beyond the power of the Poor Law. We have asked for something more than the Poor Law and for something better. We have pointed out that the problem was not likely to solve itself, and that it was a perilous thing to leave this state of affairs to be dealt with solely by boards of guardians and relieving officers. Where the distress is real the repressive system is worse than futile—it is a redhot iron to an ulcer. The common cry has been that we should trust to the Poor Law. To a great extent the public have so trusted; but at length a failure of the law is too palpable to be denied. Indiscriminate charity has been condemned, and very properly so. But the Poor Law is by no means remarkable for its discrimination, and by its treatment of the poor tends to destroy that very element of character which it is most important should be preserved—self-respect. The extent to which the Poor Law is—we might almost say—idolised by many who have considerable influence in society, is only equaled by the degree in which the same law is loathed by those who are cast upon its mercies. We have treated pauperism as a disease—a plague—a leprosy, and we have made it such. The last modicum of sympathy and kindliness has been weeded out, until rather than eat such bitter bread, some of the more impetuous of the poor resort to suicide. The general effect is either to irritate or to paralyse. It is not possible for such a state of things to last. No doubt if charity were to stay its action, the crisis would come all the sooner. But in what shape would it come? In multiplied deaths by starvation, in fever, in pestilence, in open riot and civil commotion. The old pauperism which the new Poor Law was to put down was a thing comparatively easy to get rid of, because much of it was artificial. But the pauperism of the present day is born of distress and aggravated by law. It is real and terrible. “In the districts aided by the association the distress is chronic. There is in addition this winter a large amount of sickness and fever, caused mainly from want of nourishing food, for which aid is earnestly solicited.” So say the Committee of the Metropolitan Visiting and Relief Association. “The weather has not hitherto been severe, but the scarcity of employment in several trades makes the position of the poor extremely precarious, and much assistance is needed.” Thus modestly does the Society for the Relief of Distress put the case. It is not merely East London distress that we have to speak of. It is also north, south, and west—and even central. With a winter of almost unexampled mildness—a January of buds and birds’-nests, flowers, and butterflies, London has more than 144,000 paupers, or only about 3000 less than a year ago. A severe winter would, in all probability, have thrown upon the poor rates of the metropolis no less than 200,000 persons. This marvelous spring-like winter has granted a respite which cannot be too diligently improved.

While we are deploring the distress of London we must remember that the question is more than metropolitan. The distress is widespread, and the peril of London affects the whole nation. Of all the daughters of the horseleech, there is none like the poor-rate collector. And what does he give us for our money? More paupers and more buildings to put them in. The Poor Law may be a good thing for a self-induced poverty. As a rod for the back of fools it may do very well, but as a staff for the help of the poor it is lamentably out of place. It is almost impossible to be blind to the startling facts which now present themselves. Swarms of beggars begin to infest our streets despite all the terrors of the law. Ratepayers are rising up in rebellion against poor rates, and boards of guardians are setting Whitehall at defiance. Never was the outlay so large; and never were the results more unsatisfactory. It was bad in a former age to give relief instead of wages, but thousands now complain that they neither get wages nor relief. Unfortunately the labour market does not exhibit much prospect that matters will improve. The closing of the dockyards at Deptford and Woolwich, the stagnation which is beginning to affect the building trades of the metropolis, the large reductions which are likely to take place in many of the Government establishments, and the short-time in the cotton-mills of the manufacturing districts, are all so many causes tending directly or indirectly to depress the industrial classes. If we are to go on in this way until next winter, a catastrophe may then become imminent, which will reconcile the public to remedies now scarcely to be thought of. But what are the propositions which we are now called upon to consider? In the first place, what is the temper of the Government? They have been asked to assist the distressed artisans of Woolwich, either by increased work or by grants in aid of emigration. In answer to a highly respectable deputation from the locality the Secretary of State for War replied “emphatically that he could not hold out any prospect of increased work, nor could he promise any assistance from the Government, who rather contemplated further reductions.” With this response to their appeal, the deputation left “evidently much chagrined with the result of their interview.”

But is the Government to look on with calm indifference at the wreck and ruin which is taking place? Some are proposing “public works.” This was better than the stone yard; but it is a desperate remedy. This is the Elberfeld system. That was infinitely better than the wretched, harumscarum method which we now pursue. But what is the essence of the success which has attended this Prussian plan? It seeks to raise the poor, while it relieves them. It ensures that relief shall be given to those who really need it, and replaces the lamentable “test” system of our English law by a personal and constant supervision. Instead of a relieving officer doing battle with hundreds of cases there is a “father”, or “cherisher” of the poor, with only four families, or, perhaps, four individuals, to look after. Thus the merits of every case are thoroughly known, without any need for that torturing process by which the reality of English destitution is put to the test. In Elberfeld the Poor-law Board endeavor to preserve the family tie—not to rend it asunder as a condition of relief, and hence, as a rule, the plan of out-door relief is the one that is acted upon. The results were given in our columns a year ago, and there is every reason to believe that the marvelous reduction in pauperism then referred to has been maintained. The poor are relieved, and they are not pauperised. There is one more resource, and that is—emigration. Mr. EDWARD JENKINS, of the Reform Club, would have emigrants go to the United States in preference to Canada, and in justification of this advice offers certain statements which are perfectly astounding as coming from a gentleman who apparently ought to know something of what he is writing about. As for the proposal of a national grant to promote emigration, we believe that nothing less than this will meet the exigencies of the case, though some other measures may be needed to make the remedy complete. Who are the parties to emigrate, is a critical part of the question. If emigration is to be successful and popular it must be voluntary and not compulsory. If we mean to send actual paupers to Canada or elsewhere, they must go of their own free will, or the scheme will assuredly break down. But why not send those who are distressed, though not on the poor rates, and who are anxious to escape the hourly peril of pauperism? Of these there are thousands in London alone, and thousands more, we doubt not, might be recruited in the provinces. If these stop where they are until next winter, many of them will then be paupers in the full sense of the term; and it seems scarcely desirable that we should keep them until they become paupers before we help them to emigrate.

[Ausschnitte aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt. Ersatzquellen: Clerkenwell News, 2. Februar 1869. S. 1/2; Daily Review, 2. Februar 1869. S. 6/7.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

POOR-LAW MEDICAL OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION.

At a meeting of this valuable society, held last evening at Freemason’s-hall, Dr. Rogers in the chair, an elaborate report was presented by the council. It stated that the association had recently been doing its best to obtain parliamentary support to the objects it had in view, and that letters had been received from many distinguished members of parliament in consequence. Mr. Bright declared how glad he would be to assist in doing justice to the medical officers in any matter of which they had a right to complain; and Mr. Lowe wrote that, as representative of a constituency containing a large number of the medical profession, he should feel it to be his duty to watch carefully over their interests, so far as they were affected by legislation. Letters of like import had been received from Mr. Goschen M. P., Mr. Hughes, M. P., Mr. Torrens, M. P., Mr. C. Reed, M. P., Sir H. Hoare, M. P., Mr. W. E. Porster, M. P., Mr. Onslow, M. P., and dozens of other members of parliament.

The PRESIDENT delivered a lengthy address. He pointed out, as a natural result he had long prophesied, that the London ratepayers were so alarmed at the reckless and injudicious local expenditure to which they were subject, that they were rising in rebellion against Mr. Hardy’s act. Having reason to believe that the system of medical relief to the poor in Ireland was vastly superior to ours, he had obtained some valuable information from the chief clerk to the Irish commission. In 13 months after the Irish Charities Act came into operation dispensaries had been established, and were in working |[25] order all over, and even in the remotest districts of the island. Under the first year’s working of the act the total expenditure on the poor was 937,556l. After it had been in operation seven years the amount had diminished to 513,048l. Up to 1867 it had slowly risen again, doubtless owing to the depressed state of the country. Notwithstanding this, the figures for 1867 represented a diminution of 142,662l. upon the outlay for 1852. Medicines and appliances for 1867 cost 21,776l. The salaries of medical officers amounted to 72,353l. and the total was 118,117l. Deducting this from 794,894l., the amount expended for the relief of the poor during the year 1867 would show the proportionate amount which medical relief bore to the general local poor rate. Starting from the same date a return issued by the English Poor-law Beard showed that the total amount expended for the relief of the poor in 1852 was 4,897, 685l.  From that period to 1867 there had been a nearly constant and steady increase of taxation under this head until in 1867 it had reached the enormous sum of 6,959,841l. or 6s. 6d. per head of population; in fact, it had increased to the extent of 2,062,155l. He had good reason for believing that if we had the returns to the present time still more damaging figures would come out. The amount of money expended for medical relief to the poor in England and Wales was 272,225l. In Ireland 118,000l. was expended for five and a half millions; in England 272,225l. was expended for a population of nearly four times the number. If, therefore, the English and Irish scales were assimilated, we should require the gross amount to be nearly 200,000l. more in order to secure for the English medical officer even the scanty measure of justice now accorded to the Irish medical profession in the treatment of the sick. Dr. Rogers, after entering into a vast array of statistics, drew the following conclusions: Now what should be the remedy for this state of things? Having so excellent a poor law medical service in the sister island, I would urge that it should be made the basis of any alteration in England and Wales. Above all things, I must press that all medicines and appliances should be provided at the public expense, not grudgingly, but at the discretion of the medical officer, subject of course to the supervision of persons competent to judge his requirements; and that dispensaries should be established in all fitting localities, and, in populous places, dispensers appointed. Should this be done, it would involve a probable annual outlay of, say, in round numbers, 500,000l. of which some 86,000l. would have to be expended in medicines and medical appliances, i.e., arguing from the Irish figures; leaving 414,000l. available for the salaries of medical officers, dispensers, and for contingencies. The question now arises, from what sources should this sum be raised? I utterly despair of every inducing the general body of guardians throughout the country to act justly, or even with an intelligent regard, to the public interest in this matter—(cheers)—and as the sickness of the poor should be a matter of national concern, I would throw the whole of the salaries of the officers—instead of, as at present, the half of them—upon the consolidated fund, compelling boards of guardians to find medicines. (Cheers.)

The report was unanimously passed, and several resolutions were adopted. The chief amongst them complained of the inadequate and unfair salaries of Poor-law medical officers; insisted that permanence of appointment was essential to the due and independent discharge of the duties of Poor-law medical officers, and that they should be considered entitled to superannuation allowance in common with the members of the civil service. A petition embodying these opinions was agreed upon for presentation to the House of Commons. The various speakers were earnest in their praise of the efforts of the association in the cause of Poor-law Medical Reform.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt. Ersatzquellen: Clerkenwell News, 2. Februar 1869. S. 1/2; Daily Review, 2. Februar 1869. S. 6/7.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE ALLEGED DEATH FROM STARVATION IN THE ISLE OF DOGS.

Yesterday afternoon, at the ordinary meeting of the Popular Board of Guardians, the clerk read a report which appeared in several of the morning journals of that day, of an inquest held by Mr. Humphreys, at the Folly House Tavern. Isle of Dogs, as to the death of Catherine Spencer, aged 34. The jury returned a verdict that the cause of death was “exhaustion, privation, and want of food.” The Rev. Mr. Carpenter, whose name was mentioned at the inquest, attended the meeting of the board, and stated that he had made very careful inquiries, and was convinced there was no truth whatever in the statement that the woman died from starvation. Her husband, he found, had had a quantity or work at intervals during the past month, and had actually received a sum of 6s. 6d. for wages the very day before the woman died. On the evening of that day deceased was in the nearest public-house, the Manchester Arms, drinking for a long time, and, as he was informed, was quite intoxicated. The man who passed as her husband—for they were not married—had worked at Millwall Docks, also for Mr. Wise, and had had other casual employment. Mr. Delaney, the relieving officer for the south district, then made a long statement, fully bearing out the contradiction given above to the evidence before the coroner, and the facts were further confirmed by neighbours of the deceased woman, who were called as witnesses. Mr. E. H. Currie made some strong observations on the manner in which the coroner ordered and conducted some of his inquiries, and said it was due to the credit of the board that some measures should be adopted for bringing the evidence in the case now before them under the notice of the proper authorities. He moved that the clerk be instructed to transmit copies of the evidence now taken and the published report to the coroner, the Poor-Law Board, and the Home Secretary. The motion was seconded by Mr. Ravenhill, and supported by Mr. Blott, who remarked that all who were acquainted with the liberal character of that board would be slow to believe that anyone would be likely to die of starvation in their district. The motion was put from the chair, and carried unanimously.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt. Es existieren viele Ersatzquellen.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

BURYING AN EMPTY COFFIN.—

One of those strange freaks of circumstances by which truth vindicates its pre-eminence in strangeness over fiction occurred within the last few days at Farnham workhouse. In the obituary of the 500th issue of this paper, the death of Mary Pitts was recorded as having taken place at Farnham workhouse. Arrangements were made for her burial. The undertaker had provided a special coffin for deceased, owing to the cramped position in which life had left her. The rule of the house is this:—When an inmate of the sick ward dies, the body, after being properly attended to by the nurse, is removed in a shell from the sick ward to the dead house. It appears that this was done in the case of Mary Pitts. When the undertaker brought this “special coffin” home, he placed it in the dead-house in the usual way. One day last week somebody was sent by somebody else to screw down the coffin lid. Shell and coffin lay side by side, and both with their lids on, and screws in the coffin lid just as the undertaker had left it. Without heed or care the screws were turned down by this irresponsible somebody, and on Friday the coffin brought out with all due solemnity, and, placed on Bent-all’s shillibeer-carriage, was conveyed to Aldershot cemetery. Sundry remarks were jocularly passed by the bearers upon the lightness of the coffin, but irresponsible somebody took no heed. The burial service of the church of England was read and in “sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection” the coffin was deposited in the grave and filled in. The family who were to have followed were misled by irresponsible somebody, and arrived about an hour after the service was ended. So matters stood, until another inmate of the workhouse died on Friday, the 22nd, and the shell was again required. Somebody was sent for it, and on his removing the lid, he exclaimed in utter amazement, “Good God! Here’s the woman we buried last Saturday!” The master was at once informed of the fact, the news soon flew, some of the guardians assembled, naturally indignant at the gross neglect of duty manifested by everybody concerned. On Monday the remains of the unfortunate woman were conveyed to Aldershot cemetery, and interred. On Wednesday a special meeting of the guardians was held in the board-room, and a report of the circumstance forwarded to the Poor-law Board. There the matter rests for the present, but whatever action may be taken, we may perhaps be allowed to suggest that above the spot where the empty coffin lies a memorial stone should be erected to mark forever the detestation and abhorrence which sensible men feel at the wretchedly-irresponsible system under which such things are possible. Let the stone read:—In memory of duties deputed, duties neglected, and duties unperformed. January 16th, 1869.—Surrey and Hants News and Guildford Times.|

[The Daily News, 18. Februar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7114, 18. Februar 1869. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

METROPOLITAN PAUPERISM.

Feb. 18 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

The statistical statements of the Poor-law Board furnishes the Returns of Pauperism in the Metropolis for the first week of February, 1868, compared with the numbers in the corresponding period of 1869.

In the West District there are the parishes and unions of Kensington, Fulham, Paddington, Chelsea; St. George, Hanover-square; St. Margaret and St. John, Westminster. In the first week of February in the present year there were 21,862 paupers, as against 21,746 last year.

The North District contains the unions and parishes of St. Marylebene, Hampstead, St. Pancras, Islington, and Hackney. Here the paupers numbered 30,605; last year they were 29,785.

The Central District comprises St. Giles and St. George, Bloomsbury, Strand, Holborn, Clerkenwell, St. Luke’s East London, West London, and the City. Instead of an increase, as shown in the two former districts, there is here a decided decrease. This year there were 25,750.

In the East District there are Shoreditch, Bethnal-green, Whitechapel, St. George-in-the-East, Stepney, Mile-end Old town, and Poplar. Here also there was a large diminution of pauperism—35,028 this year against 40,897 in February last.

The South District includes St. Saviour’s, Southwark; St. Olaveʼs, Bermondsey; St. George’s Southwark; Newington, Lambeth, Wandsworth, and Clapham, Camberwell, RotherLithe, Greenwich, Woolwich, and Lewisham. Here the decrease is very slight. This year there are 46,054 paupers, while last year there were 46,251.

The following comparative statement is annexed to the return:

   Number of paupers.
  In-door. Out-door. Total.
First week of Feb., 1869 37,061 118,040 155,101
  〃   week of Feb., 1868 37,192 127,237 164,429
  〃   week Feb., 1867 34,747 123,164 157,911
  〃   week Feb., 1866 32,479 74,782 107,261

[The Standard, 19. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Standard, 19. Januar 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

DISTRESS IN ST. PHILIP’S DISTRICT, KENNINGTON-ROAD.

TO THE EDITOR.

Jan 19 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

SIR,—Although the winter has hitherto not been so severe as usual, yet the poverty and distress amongst us is so great that I ask to trespass on a brief space in your columns. In populations of upwards of 7000 there are at this time about 100 families entirely, and many others more difficult to estimate, more or less out of work. I leave the facts to tell their own tale—they are but a sample from those which are continually brought to me.

1. Man, wife, five children. Has had no work for six weeks; children in rage; literally nothing in their room.

2. Man, wife, four children. Wife recently confined; hard-working woman; seeking to support the family by mangling since husband has been out of work. Mangle has been seized for rent.

3. Man, wife, six children. Surgical instrument maker; wholly incapacitated from following his employment by disease.

4. Man, wife, daughter. Man, paralysed; wife, infirm; and daughter in bad health. Man once kept a respectable inn.

5. Blind widow and two children. Has just lost a son, aged 19, in consumption.

6. Man, wife, and wife’s mother. The latter bedridden. Man, cabdriver, entirely laid by, through accident and disease.

I write from a list of thirty such cases now before me. Need I recall the fact that, besides distress arising from want of work, there must be many cases of infirmity which need at this time more than ordinary help? To hope to alleviate this distress from the locality would be futile when more than two-thirds of the population is living from hand to mouth. I look, of necessity, for help from without, and I am confident that some who have it in their power will not suffer me to be a continual witness of misery which I am unable to relieve.—I am, yours truly,

ALLEN T. EDWARDS, Vicar of St. Philip’s, Lambeth.
39, Upper Kennington-lane, S. E., Jan. 18.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 21. März 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 971, 21. März 1869. S. 8.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

HORRIBLE DISCOVERY OF TWO DEAD BODIES.

On Wednesday, an inquest was held at Sudbury, on the bodies of Mary Ready, aged seventy, and of her daughter, Mary Ann Ready, aged thirty-four. It appears from the report of the Suffolk and Essex Free Press, that the deceased women lived at No. 56, Cross-street, Sudbury, and that they were discovered dead in their residence on Tuesday morning. It seems that a young man named William Stevens, who it was understood was paying his addresses to the younger deceased, was an occasional lodger in the house, but had not been in the town for some time. The mother and daughter were known to be eccentric, and, according to the medical testimony, the younger woman was not of sound mind. Owing to want of work, as staymakers and milliners, they had been in a state of great poverty for a considerable period, but would not apply to the parish for relief. Nothing had been seen of the mother for some three weeks or a month past, and very little of the daughter. They were persons who did not go out very much. The last that is known of the existence of either, and that only as a matter of presumption, is that last Monday evening, the cottage door having been mischievously broken open by one of the many boys who were at play in the street, it was shut by someone inside, who was not seen. Between nine and ten o’clock on Tuesday morning the attention of a policeman was called to the cottage by seeing a crowd of people against it, and he was told that there was a woman lying inside the house naked. He entered the cottage and found the bodies of the two deceased women, one in a lower apartment, the other in an upper room of the cottage. The place was in a wretched and dilapidated condition, destitute of furniture and of all traces of food or fuel. The body of the mother presented the appearance of a skeleton merely covered with skin. It lay naked on the floor of the upper room, with a sort of coverlid thrown over it, and had apparently been “laid out” after death. It seemed that the idle boys of the town were in the habit of annoying the deceased women, and in addition to breaking open the door as described had broken several squares of glass in the cottage. The postman had delivered a letter at the house on Friday morning, and it was taken in by the younger woman, who partly opened the door for the purpose. Mr. Mason, surgeon, deposed that there were no marks of violence on the bodies, that they were very emaciated, that the elder female had probably been dead eight or ten days and the younger one from twenty-four to forty-eight hours, and that death appeared to have resulted from starvation. The inquest was adjourned to enable the post mortem examination of the bodies to be made.

Amongst the letters found in the cottage was the following suggestive one, seeming to show that the mother must have been dead a considerable time longer than the medical man judged:—

“March 2, 1869. 1, Little Coram-street,
Russell-square, London.

My dear,—I write these few lines to you to let you know I arrived safe after my long walk. God was very merciful, for I met with a bit of bread as soon as I got to Halstead, and has continued so until I reached London, but my shoes are off my feet entirely. My cousin complains of the hardness of the times, so that I cannot be here, I am afraid, and where I shall go, and what to do without money God only knows. Unless you send me some assistance in some way I must be in the streets of London. Write by return of post, and let me know how you get on with the funeral of your mother, as I am anxious to know. I sincerely hope you did not get into any trouble through such neglect. I prayed for you all the way on my perilous journey for your escape and welfare. I cannot ascertain any information as to where Bournhenger is, but London is in a dreadful starving state. I hope your aunt assisted you all she could in the sad case, and not offended with you in your sad condition. If you have any money to send for an order make it payable at Grenville-street, near Coram-street, Russell-square, London, W. C. If you send stamps that will do, as I want to try an advertisement in the Country Chronicle immediately, or I do not know what will become of me. I do feel uneasy until I hear from you. Yours affectionate,

WILLIAM STEVENS.”

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 14. März 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 970, 14. März 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

[Respectable Rascality]

The scripture enjoins us to let our light shine before men, that may emulate our good deeds, but we cannot call to mind any passage that sanctions an opposite course as regards evil actions.  Perhaps, however, those highly “respectable” and doubtless pious vestrymen entrusted with the responsibility of preventing the poor being plundered by rascals who purposely and systematically use short measures and light weights during six days of the week, and on the seventh invoke mercy for themselves as miserable sinners—perhaps they have some scripture authority for concealing the misdeeds of such men under a bushel.

In the following passage, extracted from a letter written to a local newspaper by Mr. T. Middleton, foreman of the inspectors of weights and measures for the large parish of St. Pancras, London, will be found a key to the above observations. He says:—

“The inspectors of balances, weights, and measures think the only way of lessening the numerous cases of deficient weights and measures in the parish are by giving publicity to those persons on whom the fines are levied. We think the parish authorities ought to take the matter in hand and be more strict. We sometimes feel sorry that we cannot inflict a heavier fine than we are allowed to do by law, for, in many instances, the fines are thought nothing of, and people go on in a careless manner, sooner paying the fine than paying the scale-makers. A famous tea merchant, on our last round, whom we had occasion to fine (he having a 21b. weight 6oz. deficient, and a 7lb. weight 4oz. deficient), said he would sooner pay any amount than have his name published. The number of persons fined each time varies from ten to sixteen, which, added up at the end of the year, would show how much cheating (for we cannot call it anything else) is going on only in the two wards we visit.”

But, notwithstanding it is well known that publicity is the only sure preventative of roguery behind the counter, the authorities whose duty it is to suppress such pernicious rascality continue to guard with the utmost secrecy the list containing the names of tradesmen fined for using short weights and measures. Rarely, indeed, is it that newspaper reporters can obtain a sight of these black lists, for vestrymen take particular care to keep them to themselves. Petty larceny, such as is mentioned in Mr. Middleton’s report, is perpetrated principally upon the very poorer orders, just the class of persons that feel it most severely. Doubtless many vestrymen—themselves regular church and chapel goers, highly “respectable” individuals in the opinion of their neighbours—place putty under their scales, and use false bottoms to their measures. |[27] Hence, perhaps, the distaste they entertain to publishing lists that probably frequently contain their own names. In all likelihood, burglars, coiners, thieves, and pickpockets entertain a strong aversion to having their names and deeds known to the world, but, notwithstanding this natural antipathy to publicity, justice requires that their misdeeds should be as well-known as possible.

The systematic robbery of the poor is one of the heaviest of delinquencies against the law of God, and a serious and mischievous breach of that of man. Yet the poor are plundered with comparative impunity, simply because those who could put a stop to such knavery belong to the same class as the knaves. One of the ugliest blots upon the administration of English justice is that which admits of people sitting, as it were, in judgment on themselves. As we find game preserving squires filling the bench when poaching cases are under adjudication, employers of labour in their magisterial capacity deciding disputes between workmen and masters, so do we have tradesmen vested with the power of screening themselves and their roguish brethren from the publicity that ought to follow every conviction of robbery of the poor.

[The Daily News, 29. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7097, 29. Januar 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

LAMBETH INTERIORS.

Jan 29 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

At the usual fortnightly meeting of the Lambeth vestry, yesterday evening, a report was read from the General Purposes Committee respecting the existence of pigsties, dustbins, and other nuisances in certain parts of the parish. The committee had visited several of the poorer streets and courts in the parish, and had found them to be on the whole not in a very uncleanly condition. Such repairs and improvements as were in the power of the vestry to order had been effected, and the medical officer had reported that in a very poor district containing 2,000 inhabitants there had not been for three months a single case of small-pox, only eight of scarlet fever, two of measles, and one or two of typhoid fever. The committee had found overcrowding to prevail, and a great reluctance on the part of the owners of property to build cesspools, pave courts, and execute other necessary repairs. The report concluded by recommending that the 100th section of the Metropolis Management Amendment Act be put into operation to compel owners of property to drain and pave the courts and passages, and, in default, that the vestry proceed to execute the works, and to recover the cost.

Mr. MITCHELL, looking at the length and importance of the report, moved that it be printed and circulated preparatory to its full discussion.

This motion gave rise to an animated discussion, in the course of which, and in answer to questions from Mr. GILES,

The MEDICAL OFFICER gave his opinion that contagious disease was more likely to spread in model lodging houses than in the ordinary small four-roomed houses. He had not found the block known as the Prince of Wales’s lodging houses particularly cleanly.

Mr. GILES complained of the animadversions of the public press respecting parochial matters, and proceeded to call attention to an appeal from the Rev. R. Gregory for “the unemployed 10,000 poor of Lambeth.” He reminded the meeting that Mr. Gregory’s church was only a district church, situated opposite the workhouse, in which the vestry was spending 1,350l. a week on the poor. Mr. Giles complained also of another appeal from the Rev. Mr. Edwards on behalf of 7,000 of the unemployed. Mr. Giles considered the statements contained in these appeals to be much exaggerated.

The amendment was then put, and decided in the negative. On the original motion for the adoption of the report,

Mr. HEATON moved another amendment, to the effect that all that was necessary to secure a good sanitary condition of the parish was greater vigilance on the part of the inspectors of nuisances, and a vigorous prosecution of offenders. The serving of notices upon the owners of property he looked upon as being quite useless. He said that a clause to the same effect as his amendment had originally stood in the report of the General Purposes Committee. His object was merely to have the clause replaced.

Mr. R. TAYLOR, jun., objected to the report. The General Purposes Committee had appointed a sub-committee of four to inspect a district, complaints of the sanitary state of which had been made in the newspapers by “A District Visitor” (Miss Nicholls). The letters of the “District Visitor” complained of the remissness of the medical officer, and yet that gentleman was made a member of the sub-committee. He thought that in common fairness the “District Visitor” should also have accompanied the inspectors. He moved that the report be referred back to the committee for reconsideration, and also that properly defined maps should be prepared of those portions of the parish that required special sanitary supervision.

Mr. FOWLER was of opinion that there was much in the condition of the parish that required reform, and that heavy charges of neglect must rest somewhere. Overcrowding was a general complaint in the parish. Over that the parish had no control, but it was their duty to secure for those poor crowded people the best possible sanitary condition of their tenements. Under those circumstances, he felt bound to support Mr. Heaton’s amendment.

Mr. JERVIS observed that a good many of the defects discovered by the inspecting committee had been created by the destructive tendencies of the tenants themselves. He would suggest public cast-iron dustbins. (A laugh.)

Mr. ACKERMAN opposed Mr. Heaton’s amendment on the ground that it reflected on the vigilance of the officers of the vestry.

Mr. STIFF made an explanation respecting a house of his which had been reported on by the General Purposes Committee. The house was situated in “Salamanca” (a district close to the church), and was occupied by a poor woman who had paid him no rent for the last two years. Her husband was in the workhouse hospital, and she had to support her family out of her own earnings. He (Mr. Stiff) had made various attempts to get her out, but without success. He knew the house to be in a most filthy state, but he would not touch it until he got rid of this tenant. He employed her son, and last Saturday night he refused the boy his wages unless he brought him the key. He also had paid two weeks rent for the woman elsewhere, but still she had not stirred. Until she left, he should resist every attempt to make him repair or cleanse the house.

Mr. GODDARD and Mr. HARDY severally testified to the wretched sanitary condition of the parish.

Mr. JAMES TAYLOR contended that they must have more extensive legal powers, and more inspection, if they wished to have the sanitary condition of the parish what it ought to be. The parish of Lambeth contained 4,015 acres. There were 90 miles of roadway, 27,000 houses, and 180,000 inhabitants. He asked were three inspectors sufficient to cover such an extent of ground?

The report, with Mr. Heaton’s amendment, was then put, and carried by a majority of two, the numbers being 24 to 22.

The vestry adjourned to that day fortnight.|

[The Daily News, 15. Februar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7111, 15. Februar 1869. S. 4/5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

Feb 15 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

OUR criticism of the expenditure proposed under Mr. HARDY’S Act will be brought to an end with a review of the new buildings proposed to be erected in the Northern and Eastern Districts. The arrangements for the sick in the Marylebone Workhouse are undoubtedly of superior quality, and the infirmary is honourably distinguished by a staff of paid nurses which has been in existence many years. Nevertheless the number of infirm and bedridden has of late so much increased that extra accommodation has been provided. The block of wards recently erected contains 240 females, and cost about 7,000l. A second block for 100 patients is in course of erection, at an expense of 4,200l. for the building; and if the present system of indoor relief be continued, 150 more beds will soon be required, for which provision has been made. We may put down the probable expenditure at 20,000l. for the 500 beds.

The expenditure in St. Pancras has been so freely canvassed, that we state it without comment:

For the Highgate Infirmary, for 524 patients £46,000
For the schools at Leaverlen 54,000
For alterations, &c., at Plaistow 1,100
Some margin should be allowed on these contracts and estimates, particularly as the drainage, wells, &c., are likely to be very expensive 5,000
£106,100

At the passing of Mr. HARDY’S Act, the Islington guardians were pledged to build a new workhouse, at a probable cost of 40,000l., but additional arrangements being made for a separate infirmary, the expense of building is increased to 63,300l., and by the time it is fitted and furnished the probable cost will be 100,000l. There will be additional accommodation for at least 1,000 persons, and, as the staff will be large and complete, the annual expense will not be less than 18l. per head, or 18,000l. The guardians have lately spent a considerable sum upon their schools.

The guardians of Hackney have fitted up nearly the whole of the existing workhouse as a most comfortable and sufficient asylum and infirmary, and they are about to build new wards for 350 able-bodied males and females. The building is contracted for at the price of 8,500l., and by the time fixtures and furniture, &c., are complete, the probable expenditure will be 11,000l. or 12,000l.

In the East District, the guardians of Shoreditch have been called upon to erect a separate infirmary, and to enlarge their schools. This case is the more remarkable, as when asked to put the cost of those various buildings upon the common poor fund, Mr. HARDY objected on the ground that it would be unfair to make those districts pay which had already provided sufficient accommodation, and he quoted the case of Shoreditch, which had recently expended more than 60,000l. in the erection of a new workhouse, in which the accommodation for the sick was ample and sufficient. Nevertheless the guardians, under pressure of the Poor-law Board, have taken steps to erect a new hospital for 300 patients at a cost of 40,000l., and are contemplating the enlargement of their schools at Brentwood at a cost of 18,000l. The proposal is the more unreasonable as nearly 200 imbeciles will be removed from the workhouse when the new asylums are complete, by which space will easily be provided for nearly an equal number of infirm and sick. The extra annual expenditure, if this scheme be carried out, cannot be less than 8,000l.

The guardians of Bethnal-green, on being requested to consider the question of a separate infirmary, have positively declined to do so, on the ground that they would be unable to raise the money from the struggling and impoverished ratepayers; but if compelled to carry out the wishes of the Poor-law Board, as expressed in their letter, they would have to provide a hospital on a new site for at least 300 patients, sickness in Bethnal-green forming the most prominent cause of pauperism. The probable cost of such an institution would be 40,000l. and its charge not less than 6,000l. per annum.

The guardians of Whitechapel have purchased the site for a new workhouse for able-bodied inmates at a cost of 5,000l., and they estimate the cost of buildings at an equal sum. Such an estimate seems extremely low, and we believe that 20,000l. is more likely to be the ultimate amount.

In St. George’s-in-the-East the guardians have purchased a piece of land at a cost of 7,000l., and they contemplate the erection of a now infirmary. They are also making great improvements in their present building. They will probably require to provide for 300 patients and it is observed that any number of occupants can be found as the labourer is remitted to the workhouse for the rest of life very early. Upon the slightest failure of health his place in the labour market is at once occupied by a strong and abler immigrant from the country. Not long ago a pauper died at the advanced age of 106, who had been 70 years a pauper, 30 of which had been passed in the workhouse. We may estimate the probable expenditure at 50,000l. Mile-end will not require to spend a very large sum in altering the workhouse so as to provide more suitably than at present for the sick and infirm. Probably 2,000l. will suffice.

The Stepney and Poplar Asylum will accommodate 600 patients, and is estimated to cost 68,000l. At 20l. per head the annual outlay will be 12,000l. per annum. The Forest-gate School District has been formed to take the children of Hackney, Poplar, and Whitechapel. The present buildings will be greatly enlarged, at a probable cost of 10,000l. at a very low estimate. The guardians of Poplar have also agreed to build a new workhouse for the able-bodied class, which is estimated to cost 40,000l., and as it will contain 1,000 inmates, will cost for officers and maintenance not less than 10,000l. a year.

To conclude this list, we have yet to mention that the South Metropolitan Schools are to be enlarged. The contracts for the work vary from 9,000l. to 28,000l., and may probably be taken at 20,000l. The managers of the Central London Schools are about to erect new reception wards at the possible cost of 2,000l. Summing up the items mentioned above, we have the following result:

Marylebone, 500 beds £20,000
St. Pancras, 524 beds, and 600 children 106,100
Islington, 1000 100,000
Hackney, 350 12,000
Shoreditch, 300 40,000
Shoreditch Schools 18,000
Required for Bethnal-green, 300 beds 40,000
Now Workhouse, Whitechapel, and site, 300 beds 20,000
Infirmary, St. George’s-in-the-East, 300 beds 50,000
Alterations, Mile-end 2,000
Stepney and Poplar Asylum, 600 beds 68,000
Forest-gate Schools 10,000
Poplar Workhouse, 1,000 beds 40,000
South Metropolitan Schools 20,000
Central London 2,000
558,100
Previously noticed 1,333,600
£1,891,700
The annual expenditure will be:  
2,900 hospital beds at 20l. £58,000
2,000 able-bodied at 4s. per week, say 20,000
Interest on borrowed money at 5 per cent. 28,000
Repayment, first year 18,600
1,000 children at 5l. a year extra 5,000
Total £129,600
Brought forward 301,900
Total £431,500

In making the foregoing estimate we wish to guard ourselves from the imputation of exaggeration. We are aware that many of the items are conjectural, and that those which have to a certain extent been settled may be considerably reduced in the hands of the Poor-law Board, since we are assured that Mr. GOSCHEN is most desirous of carrying out the economical views of the present Government. We are convinced, however, that our estimate, particularly as to the annual expenditure, is much below the actual probability, and even if the contrary, enough has been stated to justify a reconsideration of the whole question. The total accommodation noticed is as follows:

Imbeciles 3,000
Fever and small-pox 648
Sick asylums 6,700
Ordinary paupers 2,500
School 3,600
  16,448

which is increasing the indoor accommodation as near as possible 50 per cent and that for the most costly classes. The real question to be determined is whether it is better to provide an indefinite and ever-increasing amount of in-door accommodation for the aged, infirm, and chronic sick, or to relieve them at home, where the ties of kindred may be preserved, independence fostered, and industry to the full capacity of each may be pursued. This question was determined by the |[29] Poor-law Commissioners 30 years ago in favour of the latter plan, leaving the workhouse to the able-bodied classes; and it is important that Parliament should consider twice before the recommendations of that eminent Commission shall be so completely set aside as they are by the costly institutions provided under Mr. HARDY’S Poor Act.

[The Daily News, 24. April 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7170, 24. April 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

April 24 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

THERE is something almost sensational in Mr. BRUCE’S announcement that our pauperism has increased 45 per cent in the last three years. If every hundred thousand paupers in 1866 have become a hundred and forty-five thousand in 1869, we must either check the rate of pauper increase or succumb to the pauper’s fate. Given the number of paupers and the total number and rate of increase of the population, and it would be easy to name the date at which, should the same rate of pauper increase be continued, we must necessarily all have become paupers. We may fairly remember that the period during which this increase has taken place is just the period of the greatest and longest commercial depression which this generation has experienced. Three years ago the great collapse of credit took place, and that collapse followed on a period of inflation. In 1865 all went merry as a marriage bell; trade was brisk, credit good, prospects cheering, and pauperism was probably at its minimum, the forty-five per cent increase is, therefore, the full effect of a disastrous time; it is an increase of fifteen per cent per annum through three years of depression. But everybody agrees that we have weathered the worst of the crisis, and that through the winter of our discontent is not yet made glorious summer, still we are emerging from it into, at least, the fitful weather of reviving spring. The pauper increase has probably reached its term, and we may hope, not only for a diminishing rate of increase, but even for absolute decrease. This is one reassuring consideration. The other is, that the whole administration of the Poor Law is marked out for reconstruction. The increase of pauperism is not wholly due to diminished employment. Mr. BRUCE believes, with Lord OVERSTONE and some other noble lords, that the bad administration of the Poor Law is really at the bottom of the evil. We spread pauperism by ill-directed efforts to check it. Our workhouse are schools of idleness, and our out-door relief, by its utter want of real discrimination, increases the evil it seeks to remedy. The very growth of pauperism proves that our old system of dealing with it has broken down, but the fact which proves the old system to be effete prepares the way for a new one. Pauperism is no longer an evil to be palliated, it has become one to be played with—but a disease to be cured; and there is, at any rate, some reason to hope that an increase of forty-five per cent in the last three years may lead to such legislative and social efforts as will ensure a corresponding diminution in the next three years.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 14. Februar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 966, 14. Februar 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

MARYLEBONE.

xxxxx Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

DESTITUTION AND DESPERATION.—On Tuesday, Hannah Lee, aged 37, of 53, Hangton–street, Harrow-road, needlewoman, and the widow of a postman who died five years ago, was charged with attempting to commit suicide; also with attempting to deprive her child, Albert Lee, aged five and a half years, of its life, by administering laudanum to it. The landlady of the prisoner went to the room of the latter and found the door locked. Something was supposed to be wrong, and it was forced open. She then found the prisoner standing in the room, looking very wild and haggard. On being spoken to she fell, apparently stupefied. After she had been shaken and questioned she said she had taken laudanum. The witness saw the child with its face buried in the pillow, and asked her what was the matter with it. She replied he had had the draught as well. The witness, who saw two empty bottles on the able, ran out of the house and called a constable. The prisoner, on coming to himself, said it was hard to starve and see her child asking for bread which she could not give him. The witness told her that she ought to have let her know her state, and she would have had what she required. In reply to Mr. D’Eyncourt, witness said the prisoner was a hard-working, sober, and prudent woman. She was very fond of her child, and it surprised witness that she had attempted to take its life. Dr. Braythwaite Rogers said he was called in to see prisoner and her child, and found them both suffering from the poisonous effects of laudanum. He once administered what was requisite. In reply to questions, she told him distress and privation had driven her to commit the crime. She said her boy asked her that morning for breakfast, and she had none to give him. He cried, and having the poison, she gave him some and took some herself. She further said that she had bought the laudanum in small quantities at a time, and had kept it by her for more than two months. She had struggled “hard, very hard,” for employment, but could not succeed in getting any. The child vomited a good deal while he was in the room. She added that her husband had died very poor, and she had since got her living for herself and child by needlework and caring. There was not a particle of food or fire in the place. Mr. D’Eyncourt said it was a distressing case; but he must send her for trial for the attempt upon the life of her child. Prisoner begged not to be sent for trial. She only wanted work to maintain herself and her child. She did not wish for charity, but to maintain them both by her labour. The prisoner was committed to Newgate for trial.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 11. April 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 974, 11. April 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

BABY FARMING AT BOW.—

An investigation was held by Mr. Richards, on Thursday night, at the Lord Campbell tavern, Campbell-road, Bow, respecting the death of Frederick Wood, aged 2 years and 3 months. The proceedings attracted considerable interest in the neighbourhood, for it was known that out of 11 children that had resided at the baby farm 5 had died. Miss Annie Wood, 4, Nilein’s-street, Hexton, said that she was 23 years of age. She was the daughter of a shopkeeper. The deceased was a sickly child, and ten months ago witness took it to Mrs. Caroline Savill, of 24, Swayton-road, Bow. She paid her 4s. 6d. per week to take care of it. She thought it was thoroughly attended to, but she had not seen it for five weeks. Caroline Savill, 24, Swayton-road, Bow, said that she was the wife of an “agricultural manufacturer’s porter” in the City. The deceased had been with her ten months. She put it to bed at 9 o’clock on Saturday night and at half-past 8 o’clock on Sunday morning it was dead. When she was taking the deceased up to bed last October, she slipped on the stairs and fell upon the child. She was quite certain she was sober. It was a pair of old boots that caused the accident. She had eleven babies to keep at Bow. The pay ceases when a child dies. Mr. Edwards—Is your house a baby farm? Witness—I must leave that to the generosity of the jury. A Juror—The deceased was lying in an egg box with a little straw for a bed. Witness—The legs were drawn up. A Juror—The egg box was a short one and was sixteen inches wide. The child could not turn in it. By a Juror—Witness never tied the child’s legs together. She never discovered that the child’s thigh was broken until the morning she fell upon it. He cried, but she put him to bed. He fell upon the edge of the stairs, and her weight was upon him. She sent for a doctor next day.|

[Ausschnitt aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt. Es existieren viele Ersatzquellen.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

INFANTICIDE IN LONDON.—

Last evening Dr. Lankester, the coroner for Central Middlesex, delivered a lecture on this subject to a large audience, in the Free-mason’s-hall, over which Mr. Charles Reed, M. P., presided, in the absence of the Earl of Shaftesbury, who was detained in the House of Lords by the debate on the Life Peerages Bill. Dr. Lankester, after a scriptural and historical retrospect, proceeded to deal with the question as it addressed itself to the Christian world, and bore upon the wellbeing of society in modern times. Infanticide he defined to be the destruction or murder of a new-born child, but under another name the law also took cognizance of the destruction of a child before-it was born. He proposed to deal with the former of those crimes, and to draw upon his own experience for his facts, thus following in the footsteps of the late Mr. Wakley, who, like himself, had been wrongly accused of exaggeration while treating of this matter. In 1863 there were 55 cases of infanticide in his district; in 1864, 56; in 1865, 61; in 1866, 75; in 1867, 53; and in 1868, 52; but in too many instances he had discovered a tendency to return open verdicts of found dead or “still-born.” According to the judicial statistics of the Home-office the ratio of the crime for the whole of England was 1 in 170,000 of the population, and in Middlesex 1 in 20,000, while for the central and western districts it was 1 in 12,000, confirming him in the opinion that the crime was mainly confined to the domestic servants of the West-end. Indeed, on an average of five years the return for Clerkenwell was 1 in 30,000; St. Pancras, 1 in 20,000; Marylebone, 1 in 10,000; Paddington, 1 in 8,000; and Islington, 1 in 6,000. Having shown that the mother was generally alone in the murder and disposal of her child, Dr. Lankester went on to assert that the verdicts returned afforded no indication of the actual number of cases. He believed Mr. Wakley was right in fixing it at 300 a year, and as the murderess was generally twenty years of age, and seldom repeated her crime, taking the average life of women at 60, it followed that there were 12,000 women living who had committed the offence. He next glanced at the deaths occasioned amongst mothers and the effects of “baby farming,” observing that half the children upon whom he held inquests were illegitimate, and that from 40 to 80 per cent. of children admitted into foundling hospitals die within the first year, and concluded by stating his cure for the evil, which was to be worked through the pulpit, an alteration of the bastardy laws, as not more than one in 70 of the fathers contributed to the support of the child, the substitution of other than the capital punishment for the crime, a certified registration of births, as in Ireland and Scotland, and of still-born, as on the continent, and the enactment of punishments for the concealment of pregnancy.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 9. Mai 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 978, 9. Mai 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE VAGARIES OF THE “GREAT UNPAID.”

May 9 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

“Justices’ justice” is certainly a riddle which cannot be solved—a puzzle that cannot be fathomed. In short the ways of the “great unpaid are incomprehensible—inexplicable”. Their vagaries are not only ridiculous, but mischievous; and every day brings forth fresh evidence of how they render the sacred name of justice a by-word for scorn and derision. In further proof of this being the case, we would draw our readers’ attention to two cases that recently came under the jurisdiction of magisterial benches at South Shields and at Leeds, as showing what scandalous severity is displayed in one instance, and what disgraceful leniency in the other.

A few days ago, one William Spencer Jones, lessee of the Jarrow Theatre, was summoned for having assaulted Mary Montague, an actress in his employment. The young lady having been asked to play a certain part, declined on the ground that it was not in the line for which she was engaged. The rest of the story is thus told in the report of the proceedings before the South Shields justices by the local paper:—

“On Miss Montague refusing to take the part, Mrs. Jones seized her by the hair, and dragged her across the stage to where the defendant was, and they then both endeavoured to throw her down some stairs. Mrs. Jones, failing in that, caught complainant in her arms, and tossed her to Jones, saying, ‘Give it to her!’ whereupon Jones swung his arms round her, and getting her head in his left arm, commenced to batter her face with his fist. He struck her several blows under the chin, and knocked seven of her teeth out. She thought Jones was going to kill her, and ‘she gave herself to God,” saying, ‘Lord take my soul!’ When defendant relaxed his hold of her, her jaws were locked, and it took her two hands before she could open her mouth, and when she did so several teeth fell out.”

Here was a most violent and barbarous assault perpetrated on a helpless young woman, by an infuriated virago and a most ruffianly fellow. They kicked her, they cuffed her, they beat her brutally and knocked seven teeth out of her mouth! We have seldom read of a more fiendish, of a more aggravated or dastardly assault. Three months’ imprisonment, with hard labour, as a sentence, would scarcely have met the requirements of justice. Even the magistrates themselves considered the case “a very bad one,” but the sentence they passed was certainly not in accord with the opinion given from the bench. They imposed a fine of five pounds on the cowardly assailant, and generously ordained that the complainant should have half the fine! The woman Tones appears to have got off free. Poor Miss Montague gets fifty shillings as compensation for the loss of seven teeth, and as a recompense for being pummelled within an inch of her life. Of course, the poor girl’s professional prospects are materially injured, if not quite ruined, by the consequences of Mr. and Mrs. Jones’s brutal violence. But the bench does not seem to have taken that part into consideration; and, therefore, any theatrical lessee who is desirous of thrashing a young actress and disfiguring her for life can do so for the paltry consideration of a five pound note! But the key to the leniency of these South Shields Shallows is, we suspect, to be found in the following little piece of information contained in the newspaper report. It says, “The defendant has property in the Tyne Dock.” Of course, Mr. Jones being a man of means, lessee of a theatre, and proprietor of stock in a local dock, found favour in the eyes of local magistrates; and, although the case was pronounced a very bad one, he got off for about the same amount as would be levied upon a costermonger convicted of ill-treating his donkey.

But if the South Shields justices have been guilty of most culpable leniency, surely the same indictment cannot be laid to the charge of the Leeds magistracy, as the following extract from the Leeds Mercury shows:—

“At the West Riding petty sessions, held at Leeds, yesterday, a lad named William Barlow, sixteen years of age, was sent for fourteen days to goal for playing at pitch and toss at Allerton Bywater on Friday last. The sitting magistrates were Sir A. Fairbairn, Mr. Darnton Lupton, and Mr. W. Hey.”

Poor Billy Barlow! He has assuredly fallen upon hard times, and seems to have gotten within the fangs of very hard men! We wonder if any of the “worthy magistrates” themselves ever indulge in a rubber of whist, or such like diversion? Be that, however, as it may, really seems to us that the punishment inflicted upon the boy is shamefully disproportionate with his offence; and we also think the pranks of the Leeds magistrates, as well as the vagaries of the South Shields justices, should be made subjects for investigation by the Home Secretary.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 16. Mai 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 979, 16. Mai 1869. S. 4/5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE CASUAL POOR AND GENEROUS “GUARDIANS.”

May 16 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Do we live in a Christian country? Nominally and legally considered, we do; in reality, and according to the tone and teaching of the New Testament, we do not. It is true we are blessed—or cursed—with a State Church, presided over by her “sacred” Majesty, the Queen, and a pompous, pretentious, pelf-loving hierarchy of arch-prelates and prelates, who clearly—as an example unto others—“make the best of both words,” and, therefore, are “wise in their generation.” It is moreover true that those ecclesiastical, lawn-sleeved potentates enjoy princely salaries, inhabit princely palaces, and keep up courtly retinues of clerical and semi-clerical subordinates, ranking from the dignified office of a dean to the very undignified office of a verger. In addition, we have countless churches scattered over the country, and a whole army of clergy, of major and minor degree. These week after week remind us from the reading-desk, the altar, and the pulpit, that “we are all brethren”—that we should “love one another”—“do good unto all men; but especially to those who are of the household of faith”—in addition to a number of similar excellent admonitions. One would think, from the profusion of professions, made, that the apostolic spirit actuated every member of the Church, and that we had “all things in common.”

Alas! What a delusion! On Sunday professions ill accord with our every-day practice. What doleful, dreadful tales do we not daily read in the newspapers? How they harrow up the soul, and cause the blood to chill in one’s veins! We find by one journal how sordidly avaricious is that blind, crownless monarch, George of Hanover; and how he successfully sues in the Vice-Chancellor’s Court for the sum of over half a million—derived from the revenues of the electoral domain—which was invested, in 1783, in behalf of the reigning Elector of Hanover, King George III, and is now safely stored in the coffers of the Bank of England—a “godsend” which will materially help to alleviate “the sorrows of a poor old man.” In the same paper we alight upon a startling story, perfectly tragical in its nature. It records an inquest held upon a girl aged twelve years, at the Pitt’s Head Tavern, Bethnal-green. Her father, who was a shoemaker, died but three weeks ago. Hence his widow is left with a family of three children to support. Her utmost earnings amount to the munificent sum of two shillings and sixpence a-week, which she obtains by washing. Out of this paltry pittance she struggles—heaven only knows with what agony—to keep life in herself and her helpless orphans. In a week or ten days all the children are attacked by fever. Hence the miserable mother, crushed with sorrow upon sorrow, is compelled by sheer necessity to seek aid from the parish. She applies for relief, and this is the manner in which it is given. That magnificent official, the relieving officer, orders her two shillings in money and two shillings worth |[31] of bread!—Thinking, no doubt, with the singular sagacity of his class, that a wedge of a dry, hard loaf was very suitable for, and would be eagerly devoured by, fever-stricken children. The mother likewise—what noble philanthropy!—obtains an order for the medical man, who, however, happens not to “turn up.” Many hours elapse before the sick child is seen by a substitute for the parish doctor; and then his visit is made so late as nine o’clock at night. The following morning the poor mother wends her way to the “house” to receive her dole of bread. Upon returning to her dismal room she finds one of her children stark and cold on the floor!—its spirit passed away to Him who gave it. An inquest was duly held. The doctor says that the child had died from the effects of fever; and the sapient coroner’s jury returns the verdict, “Death from natural causes.” And all this occurs in Bethnal-green, of which parish Miss Burdett Coutts is one of the guardians. We wonder if any sanctimonious scripture-reader or pious proselytizer called in the interim and left a tract.

Last week we published the “Experiences of a Working Man in Workhouse.” It is a pithy and graphic narrative, and reveals a condition of things which is not only disgraceful but criminal. Driven by pinching poverty, and bent on search of work, the writer had to seek temporary shelter in no less than twenty-seven unions; only in one of which—that is, Birmingham—does a “casual” appear to be treated like a human being, much less a Christian brother. Here is an entry:—“Burton-on-Trent: No supper, no breakfast, no bed. A board to sleep on, covered by an old hop bag. I was insulted, sneered at, and told I had no business to allow hair to grow on my face until I could support myself.” And this in the region of wealthy brewers—the Basses and the Allsopps, who owe their fortunes mainly to the working man’s credulity in the wholesome and nutritious character of their ale! As Tom Hood says—

“Alas for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun.”

But particularly in Burton-upon-Trent! But let us turn to Lichfield, which our correspondent terms, naively enough, “the home of a bishop.” Surely, episcopal influence will be found manifested in the workhouse of that famous cathedral city?

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 13. Juni 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 983, 13. Juni 1869. S. 1.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE FATAL RIOTING AT MOLD.

The poor woman, Elizabeth Jones, who was shot in the riot, has since died, and the coroner held an inquest on the body. The jury returned a verdict of “Justifiable homicide.” While the inquest was going on the police made their appearance in the cottage of Mrs. Jones, where the dead body lay, and took the deceased’s husband, Isaac Jones, into custody on a charge of having been concerned in the disturbances.

On Monday, the following persons, who had been apprehended on a charge of taking an active part in the riot at Mold, last week, were brought before the justices at the County Hall: —William Griffiths, collier; Benjamin Tatham, gentleman’s servant; William Thomas Jones, collier; Isaac Jones, collier; John Roberts, driver; and Roland Jones, collier.

Mr. Taylor, solicitor, Flint, appeared for the prisoners Isaac Jones and William Thomas Jones. The other prisoners were undefended.

Mr. Browne, chief constable of Flintshire, deposed that on the previous Wednesday evening a mob of about one thousand five hundred colliers commenced hustling and throwing stones at the police and soldiers who had in charge the two prisoners committed to goal for committing an assault upon Mr. Young, manager of the Lees-wood Green Colliery. The first stone was thrown by a woman, and immediately afterwards the stone-throwing became general from all directions, the object of the rioters evidently being to rescue the two prisoners, and several of his men were struck with stones and knocked down. The volleys of stones hurled at the military and police darkened the air, and he saw several of his men bleeding from the face and head, the blood streaming down their uniforms. It was impossible for any of them to go out and face the mob. If a magistrate had gone out of the station to read the Riot Act he would certainly have been murdered. Life was decidedly in great and imminent danger at that moment in the station. The witness called upon Captain Blake, the officer in command of the military, to protect himself and his own men and the constables by firing into the mob. He refused to do so. The witness thought it was necessary to have a magistrate’s order to justify firing, and he said to a magistrate, Mr. Clough, “For God’s sake give the order to fire, or we shall be all murdered!” He then shouted out, as loudly as he could, “Fire!” The commanding officer even then was very reluctant to allow his men to fire, although at that moment his face was covered with blood, and blood was also streaming from a wound at the back of his head. Some of the soldiers, who were very severely cut, were writhing under the pain they were suffering. They wished to fire, but the captain held them back. One private who was wounded charged his rifle, and was about to step towards the station-gate with his rifle pointed towards the mob, when one of the officers caught hold of him round the waist and drew him back off his legs, at the same time crying out, “For God’s sake don’t fire!” The stone-throwing all this time was continued, the mob even coming round to the platform and across the line on the opposite side of the railway. The police and military were thus surrounded by the rioters, and he again called upon the officers to fire on their assailants. Immediately after witness heard the discharge of a rifle, followed by other shots. The officers were holding their men back, and using every effort to check them in firing, cautioning them not to take human life. They said, “For God’s sake, men, don’t fire where there’s no necessity for it!” To the best of his judgment, twelve or fifteen shots were fired, and then the mob dispersed, and the few soldiers that were firing were ordered back to the platform. The greatest number of shots was fired from the yard behind the station. One or two shots were fired from the station gate. There was no volley firing, only dropping shots, with long intervals between the firing. Witness recognized Isaac Jones as being in the crowd in the courtyard as the escort with the prisoners in charge was startling for the station, but did not see him throw stones. He could not speak to any of the other prisoners.

Sergeant Hughes and several other police officers gave corroborative evidence, and identified all the prisoners as having taken part in the riot.

Captain Blake, who was in command of the soldiers, was called. The officer had plasters upon his head and face where he had been hit with stones. On Wednesday he received an order from his commanding officer at Chester to take fifty men to Mold, and he did so. He brought them to the county hall, and escorted the police, who had two prisoners in their charge, to the railway station. As they were proceeding down the road to the station, stone-throwing began, and it increased tremendously as the escort approached the station. Several of the soldiers were struck down by the missiles that were hurled at them, and bled very much. The gateway leading to the station being fastened, it occupied some time to get the police and soldiers through a narrow |[32] doorway which formed the only other access to the station. It was impossible for anyone to have gone out and talked to the crowd. He did not give the order to fire until Mr. Clough, a magistrate from Chester, told him to do so. He had not been able since, by examining the men’s ammunition, to ascertain the number of shots that had been fired, because some of the cartridges had been lost. Witness considered that life was in danger in the station, and that it was quite necessary for the soldiers to fire upon the mob. They did not use blank cartridge, and they were not allowed under such circumstances to fire above the heads of the rioters. There were twenty-three out of the fifty soldiers wounded on the occasion. They did not intentionally fire over the heads of the rioters.

Mr. Taylor applied for and obtained an adjournment, on the ground that he had only just received instructions to defend the prisoners, and wished for time to get up the defense. He also applied for bail on behalf of Isaac Jones, who wanted to see his wife buried; and, after some consultation, the bench granted it, requiring two sureties of 50l. each and the prisoner in 50l.

[The Daily News, 8. Februar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7105, 8. Februar 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

EX-GOVERNOR SIR GEORGE GREY ON THE AGRICULTURAL LABOURER IN ENGAND.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

Feb 8 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

SIR,—I feel great anxiety as to the effects likely to be produced upon the public mind by the language which one of her Majesty’s present advisers has used regarding the condition of the agricultural poor in England. The language I allude to is of the following nature.

The laboring man had undoubtedly risen, his wages were raised, his dwelling was being attended to more and more, they were looking after his education, and all classes of agriculturists were in a more prosperous state than was ever known before.

Now, there is the clearest evidence to show that the position of the labourer is in some essential respects worse than perhaps for centuries has been the case.

Especially within the last twenty or thirty years the evil has been in very rapid increase and now in the highest degree deplorable. Except in so far as they whom his labour enriches see fit to treat him with a kind of pitiful indulgence, he is quite peculiarly helpless in the matter. Whether he shall find house-room on the land which he contributes to till, whether the house-room which he gets shall be human or swinish, whether he shall have the little space of garden that so vastly lessens the pressure of his poverty—all this does not depend on his willingness and ability to pay reasonable rent for the decent accommodation he requires, but depends on the use which others may see fit to make of their “right to do as they will with their own.”

I am quoting from the report made to the Privy Council, by their medical officers, on the house accommodation of rural labourers. The report then goes on to show, that the existing laws do not reserve for the labourer ever “so little right in that soil to which his industry is as needful as sun and rain;” that it has now become in many cases impossible for him to attain “the bit of garden which would be almost wealth to him, and for which he would cheerfully pay the outside rent which it is worth, whilst his money would have been as good as another man’s.” The report then points out that in the belief of the writers of it the miseries of the poor are in great part, at least, to be attributed to the influence of the Poor-law, which gives to each parish a pecuniary interest in reducing to a minimum the number of its resident labourers.

Who throw a burthen on land, which large proprietors feel very definitely and considerably, and while feeling it cannot but know that they have facilities, which are deemed not to be illegal, for shifting it away from themselves. They have but to resolve that there shall be no labourers’ dwellings on their estates, and their estates will thenceforth be virtually free from half their responsibilities for the poor. How far it has been intended in the English constitution and law that this kind of unconditionable property in land should be acquirable, and that a landlord “doing as he wills with his own,” should be able to treat the cultivators of the soil as aliens whom he may expel from his territory, is a question which I do not pretend to discuss. But I think it all-important that the working of this system should be clearly seen by those who can judge it in its legal as well as in its moral relations.

The report also states this terrible fact:

Unhappily, agricultural labour, instead of implying a safe and permanent independence for the hardworking labourer and his family, implies for the most part only a longer or shorter circuit to eventual pauperism—a pauperism which during the whole circuit is so near, that any illness, or temporary failure of occupation, necessitates immediate recourse to parochial relief.

It must not be thought that the power of eviction on the part of landlords, to which I allude in this letter, exists only in theory; on the contrary,

On a very large scale it prevails in practice—prevails as a main governing condition in the household circumstances of agricultural labour. Besides the extreme cases, where houses of a parish were pulled down in the teeth of an increasing population, there were also innumerable parishes where the demolition of houses was going on more rapidly than any lessening of the population could explain. When the process of depopulation has completed itself, the result is a show village where the cottages have been reduced to a few, and where none but persons who are needed as shepherds, gardeners, or gamekeepers are allowed to live, regular servants, who receive the good treatment usual to their class. But the land requires cultivation, and it will be found that the labourers employed upon it are not the tenants of the owner, but that they come from a neighbouring open village, perhaps three miles off, where a numerous small proprietary had received them when their cottages were destroyed in the close villages around. When things are tending to the above result, often the cottages which stand testify, in their unrepaired and wretched condition, to the extinction to which they are doomed. They are seen standing in the various stages of natural decay. While the shelter holds together, the labourer is permitted to rent it; and glad enough he will often he to do so, even at the price of a decent lodging. But no repair, no improvement shall it receive, except such as its penniless occupants can supply. And when at last it becomes quite uninhabitable—uninhabitable even according to the humblest standard of serfdom—it will be but one more destroyed cottage, and future poor rates will be somewhat lightened.

Aye; so much for the cottage, one more destroyed cottage in one parish out of the innumerable parishes in which this process is going on, but what of the one more family of human souls driven forth from that cottage? They are, for the most part, driven forth to a fate so cruel and terrible that I hesitate to write it. Another set of commissioners in the year 1867 traced out in part the condition of these unhappy beings whilst engaged in an inquiry totally independent of the report from which I have already quoted. On a future occasion I propose to analyze that report, but it is a sad task to enter upon, and discloses depths of human misery which are a disgrace to our race. But the report proceeds:

While great owners are thus escaping from poor-rates through the depopulation of the lands over which they have control, the nearest town or open village receives the evicted labourers; the nearest, I say, but this “nearest” may be three or four miles distant from the farm where the labourer has his daily toil. To that daily toil there will then have to be added, as though it were nothing, the daily need of walking six or eight miles for power of earning his bread, and whatever farm work is done by his wife and children is done at the same disadvantage. Nor is this nearly all the evil which the distance occasions him. In the open village cottage speculators buy scraps or land which they throng as densely as they can with the cheapest of all possible hovels, and into those wretched habitations (which even if they adjoin the open country have some of the worst features of the worst town residences) crowd the agricultural labourers of England.

The report of the medical officers of the Privy Council for the year following the report which I have already quoted (1865) shows what are the worst features of these town residences:

It is scarcely possible for the better-off classes to imagine, whose duty has not given them opportunities of practically knowing, what immensity of baneful influence is included in the evils to which I advert, and it may therefore be well for me to show what in practice are the forms in which the evils present themselves. By places unfit for human habitation I mean places in which, by common consent, even moderately healthy life is impossible to human dwellers—places which, therefore, in themselves(independently of removable filth which may be about them) answer to the common conceptions of nuisances—such, for instance, as those underground dwellings which permanently are almost, or entirely, dark and unventilatable and dwellings which are in such constructional partnership with public privies, or other depositaries of filth, that their very sources of ventilation are essentially offensive and injurious, and dwellings which have such relation to |[33] local drainage that they are habitually soaked into by water or sewage, and so forth. But beyond these instances, where the dwelling would, I think, even now be deemed by common consent unfit for human habitation, instances, varying in degree, are innumerable where in small closed courts, surrounded by high buildings, and approached by narrow and perhaps winding gangways, houses of the meanest sort stand, acre after acre of them, brick to brick, shut from all enjoyment of light and air, with but privies and dustbins to look upon, and surely such can only be counted fit for human habitation while the standard of that humanity is low.

Then follow in the report I am now quoting from accounts of the habitual overcrowding of these wretched residences, so shocking that I hesitate to quote them, accompanied with this general statement on the subject:

Though my official point of view is one exclusively physical, common humanity requires that the other aspect of this evil should not be ignored. For where overcrowding exists in its sanitary sense, almost always it exists even more perniciously in certain moral senses. In its higher degree it almost necessarily involves such negation of all delicacy, such unclean confusion of bodies and bodily functions, such mutual exposure of animal and sexual nakedness as is rather bestial than human. To be subject to these influences is a degradation which must become deeper and deeper for those on whom it continues to work. To children who are born under its curse it must often be a very baptism into infamy.

It is into these wretched habitations that now crowd the agricultural labourers of England from the innumerable parishes where the demolition of houses is going on more rapidly than any lessening of the population can explain, as well as from those parishes where the houses are pulled down in the teeth of an increasing population.

[The Daily News, 24. August 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7274, 24. August 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

HOW CRIMINALS ARE MADE.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—The following paragraph I have cut from a Lincoln paper of to-day. Middle Rasen is about sixteen miles from this city.

“THEFT BY A GIRL.—On Monday last, at the magistrates’ room, before the Rev. W. W. Cooper, and R. R. Dixon, Esq., Ann Wright, aged 14, was charged by the Rev. A. Hughes, curate of Middle Rasen, with stealing the sum of three pence, his property. The prosecutor occupies furnished rooms at Middle Rasen, and the defendant, an orphan from the union, was recently engaged as servant of all work by Mr. Fieldsend, the landlord. It appeared that the prosecutor had been in the habit of leaving sums of money about in his room, and eventually, as might have been expected, missed three pence. Defendant pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment at Kirton, and at the end of that term to be sent to a reformatory for four years.”

We are amazed at the rapid growth of our criminal classes, but we need not be after reading this and similar statements. Alas, poor orphan girl, only 14, taken from a workhouse, sent to be schooled at a prison for stealing three pence from “Rev. A. Hughes, curate of Middle Rasen,” who was in the habit of “leaving money about,” and probably to “matriculate” at the reformatory afterwards. This is “justices’ justice,” perhaps, but it is not God’s and it is a crying shame that the administration of the laws of this country should be left in the hands of such dabblers as these magistrates evidently are. Unfortunately such incidents are very common in this and other agricultural counties.—I am, &c.,

P. N. A.
Lincoln, August 21.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 8. August 1869]

Aug 8 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 991, 8. August 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

OUTRAGEROUSLY SERVER SENTENCE.—

John Ryan, 62, a labourer, was charged with obtaining by false pretenses 22s. and 257lbs. of bread from Mr. Henry Edmonds, relieving officer of Kensington Workhouse Mr. Edmonds said, that on the 13th of December, the prisoner applied for relief for himself, his wife, and four children. He said that his eldest child was named James, age ten and a-half, and that his other children were Catherine, aged eight Ellen nine, and William, aged six. He was cautioned that if his children were over sixteen he was not entitled to relief for them. A single man would only get 6d. a-day and 1lb. of bread; a married man was only entitled to 8d. a-day and 2lbs. of bread. By making the statement that his children were under sixteen, and dependent upon him, he obtained 1l. 2s. in money and 257lbs. of bread, worth 1l. 13s., more than he was entitled to. Witness had cautioned him about his statement that his children were under eleven. His youngest child was over sixteen. Prisoner: I never had relief. I broke nine bushels of stones every day, and for that he paid me 10d. I was at work twenty-six weeks. The Judge: The point is not that you did not do the work, but that you obtained extra pay by an untruth. Prisoner: If 10d. a day is too much for a man it is a wonder. The Judge: That is the law. I am not saying it is right, but that is the law. Prisoner (to the relieving officer): You are the man who is taking the parish money, and not the man who is getting 10d. a-day for his work. Evidence having been given that the children of the prisoner were over sixteen years, he said, “What have my children to do with the breaking of stones? I am the man that has got to do that. I do not know the ages of my children. I never booked their ages. He gave me 10d.; if he gave me too much I never knew the rule.” Mr. Edmonds: The children must be under the age of sixteen years to be entitled to relief. The judge: It is a serious matter for the ratepayers, who ought not to be defrauded. The jury returned a verdict of “Guilty,” with a recommendation to mercy. Mr. Edmonds then handed in a list of previous convictions which a sergeant of police had given him. The sergeant was not present to prove the facts alleged in the document. The Judge: I suspect that these are charges against the son of the prisoner, and we cannot punish the father for them. One is six months for stealing. Mr. Edmonds: His daughter states that it does apply to the son, but he has been bound over for beating his wife. The prisoner: She is given to drink. Mr. Edmonds: She is a hard-working woman. The prisoner’s daughter, having been sworn, said: I am sixteen. My mother is not given to drink. He used to bring the bread home, but mother threw it out of the window at 43, Yecman’s-row, Brompton, and called it “parish bread.” She has collected a mob before the house. The witness Payne saw her do it. Samuel Payne (an old pauper): I never did. Mr. Edmonds: What the daughter is may be known when I say that she comes home very early in the morning. The daughter: I am a laundress. The Judge: I do not believe your evidence. The sentence is nine months’ hard labour.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 991, 8. August 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

ROBBERY BY FRIENDS.—

John Buckhurst, 21, a letter-carrier, and Charles Ashton, 20, a riveter, were indicted for stealing a Bank of England note value 20l, the property of William Turner. Both the prisoners pleaded “Guilty.” The prosecutor was a young man who had lately taken a beer-house at 290, Bethnal-green-road, and he said that on the 15th of July he went to lodge with the prisoner Ashton, at 11, Old Bethnal-green-road. On Sunday, the 19th, he met the prisoner Buckhurst, and he went to sleep at the house. They made up a bed with their clothes, and all went to sleep. Witness rolled up and left four 20l. notes and 16l. in gold. He then placed his watch and chain at the foot of the bed. There was another man sleeping in the same room, and at six o’clock in the morning he awoke witness, and the watch and chain were then missing, and the prisoners were gone. He afterwards saw his purse at the Liverpool police-station. The prisoners were old friends of his. It will be recollected that the money belonged to a woman whom the prosecutor was going to marry, and with her consent it was handed back to him. The prisoners were then sentenced to eighteen months’ hard labour.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 22. August 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 993, 22. August 1869. S. 7.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

EXTRAORDINARY CASE OF BABY-FARMING.

Aug Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

On Monday afternoon, Mr. Richards, the deputy-coroner, held an inquiry at the Fountain Tavern, Virginia-row, Hackney-road, respecting the death of Arthur Fuller Gilroy, aged seven weeks.

The jury having been sworn, proceeded to Miss Burdett Coutts’s Model Lodging-houses, No. 102, |[34] Columbia-square, where they saw, in a room on the ground-floor, two babies. One lay dead in a coffin, and it weighed four and a half pounds. The other baby was a fat child ten months old, and its weight was one stone, ten pounds. Its mother said, “It didn’t get a prize, for there were so many beautiful babies like it at the show,” referring to the recent “Baby Show” at the Woolwich Gardens.

Mrs. Louisa Gilroy, of No. 32, Richmond-road, Barnsbury, stated that her husband, Francis Gilroy, a comedian, had died on the 20th of December. He left her with three children, and she was compelled to become forewoman at a shop in order to support them. Towards the end of June the deceased was born, and when it was a few hours old, Mrs. Susannah Smith, the wife of a hot-presser, living at No. 102, Columbia-square, took it to her home. Once or twice a week later that, witness saw the child, and it was nothing but skin and bone. It was a complete skeleton from its birth. Mrs. Smith had asked witness seven shillings a-week to take care of the child, but she ultimately agreed to take five shillings a-week. She fed the child on breast-milk for a month, and then she fed it on milk and corn-flour. Witness did not think that the child was starved. It was impossible to care for the child at home, for if that had been done the whole family must have starved. Since the death of her husband, she and her children had been half-starved. He was not a member of the Royal Dramatic College, and she received no money from any public institution.

Mrs. Susannah Smith said: I never advertised in a newspaper that I would take care of children. When I took charge of the deceased, it was left to my option as to whether I should feed it on the breast or not. I fed it on the breast for a fortnight, and then I found that I could not feed two children on the breast, so I fed it on corn flour and milk. I fed my own child on the breast. He is a beauty of a baby. I took him to the show at Woolwich Gardens. Oh, he is a beauty. He did not get a prize, for there were so many babies there. I was at the show with him for four days. I left the deceased at home while I was at the show. I could not suckle two babies, and that was the reason why I bought a bottle for him. While I was at the show I left him in charge of a woman. He died on Wednesday. I can, if you like, bring my baby here and show him to you; he is a beauty.

A juror: No; we want to hear about the dead one.

Mr. H. B. Lilley, M.R.C.S., said that the deceased weighed 41/2 lbs. It measured ten inches round the chest, and it was sixteen inches in length. There was very little fluid in the stomach. It had died from exhaustion and diarrhœa. It was a pitiable object after death.

The Coroner said that the case was a very painful one, and

The jury returned a verdict “That the deceased child expired from the effects of exhaustion.”

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 993, 22. August 1869. S. 7.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

SCANDALOUS TREATMENT OF THE POOR.

Aug 12 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

On Tuesday, Dr. Hardwicke, deputy-coroner, held an inquest at the College Arms, in Crowndale-road, Camden-town, on the body of James Crew, aged fifty-nine, a coachman, who died in the infirmary of the St. Pancras workhouse. It appeared that the deceased some time ago attempted to commit suicide, and, after having been taken to the House of Detention, was removed first to the insane ward of the workhouse, and then to Colney-hatch Asylum as insane. He was discharged from Colney-hatch as cured towards the end of last year, and then received 5s. and three loaves a week from St. Pancras as out-door relief. The guardians a short time ago discontinued this relief, and said the man, his wife, and three children, must go into the house if they required more relief. The wife objected to break up her home, as she received 10s. a week for minding a gentleman’s house, with which she was enabled to pay 4s. 6d. a week and support her three children. The husband, however, went into the house. The Discharge Committee suggested to him (as admitted by the relieving officer) that what little goods his wife had must be sold to pay part of his maintenance, and that the whole family must come into the house. The wife of deceased objected to give up her lodging and sell her goods, as she said the person whose house she was minding might return at a moment’s notice and then she would have nowhere to go to. She objected to go into the workhouse, and alleges that she told the relieving officer she would support her husband out of the house if the guardians only would allow her 1s. or 1s. 6d. per week. This the relieving officer did not remember, but he stated that he advised the Discharge Committee to continue the out-door relief as a better course than pauperizing the whole family. The committee did not agree with this, but insisted that the home must be broken up and the goods sold. Before any action, however, was taken the man died. The widow said the threat of the committee to sell them up preyed upon deceased’s mind, and when she visited him in the workhouse he said he should get on very well “only for that horrid committee.” He several times said he dreaded going before those men again. She believed his death was accelerated by anxiety, the result of the way the committee treated him. The medical evidence showed that death was caused by apoplexy. Mr. Watson, one of the minority of the Board of Guardians, said if the alleged threat had been held out, it was a most unusual and inhuman one. A juror said there was great blame to the guardians for acting as they had done. Dr. Hardwicke said it was the fault of the Poor-law system. Mr. Watson said, in spite of the Poor-law, they often gave out-door relief sooner than break up the homes of the poor. The foreman of the jury (Mr. Ward) said it was a wretched policy to try to make this poor woman give up a situation of ten shillings a week, sell what goods she had, and go into the workhouse with her children because her husband was too ill to work for his own living. A juror said if that was the policy of their new guardians it was a disgrace to them. After a short deliberation, the jury returned a verdict that death was the result of natural causes, but they appended a resolution, “That a more judicious temporary or permanent system of outdoor relief for the honest poor would be the most economical system to ratepayers, and would be more in accordance with the requirements of the poor, than breaking up their homes and compelling them to become permanent inmates of the workhouse.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 19. September 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 997, 19. September 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

SUPPLYING BAD BREAD TO A WORKHOUSE.

Sep 19 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

The Poor-law guardians of the Brackley Union met the other day to investigate charges preferred by the Rev. Francis Litchfield, an ex officio guardian, against Mr. Walton, bread contractor to the union, of supplying unwholesome bread, and against the relieving officers, Messrs. Curtis and Heath, with conniving at this being done. Mr. Peel, Poor-law inspector, was present during the inquiry. The Rev. F. Litchfield and several other witnesses gave evidence that the bread was bad. Mr. Curtis stated that he commenced to buy bread from Mr. Walton for his own family, in order that if it was bad he might bring it before the board. But it never was bad, although taken out of the cart from which bread to the poor was delivered. He admitted, however, that he had told Mr. Coleman, one of the guardians, that at one end of Walton’s cart there was good bread, and at the other heavy bread. Thomas Watts, an old man in receipt of outdoor relief at Horton, said he had lived on Walton’s bread for two years, and never yet had cause to complain; but sometimes, he admitted, when pressed by one of the guardians, it got a little moldy. Mr. Litchfield said he had asked some of the poor people why they did not complain, and their answer was, “For fear that the bread should be taken off, and they be compelled to go into the workhouse.” The Poor-law inspector, after bearing the evidence, said the case against the relieving officers was one which, if the guardians thought fit, would have to go before the Poor-law board. The guardians should have taken the trouble of seeing the bread occasionally themselves, and tasting it. Not only were they bound to see that it was good when new, but that it would keep a reasonable time. Mr. Peel then left, and the guardians after discussing the question, passed a resolution calling upon Mr. Walton to fulfill his contract according to sample, and stating that in future his tenders would not be received by the board. Another resolution was also adopted reprimanding the relieving officers, and directing them in future, when bad bread was supplied, to purchase good bread, and charge the difference in price to the contractor.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 997, 19. September 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

SUFFOCATION OF AN ENTIRE FAMILY THROUGH DESTITUTION.

Sep 19 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

A dreadful crime was perpetrated on Tuesday in a row of cottages off St. Leonard’s-road, Poplar, the east end of London, where the entire family of a mechanic recently thrown out of work, was destroyed with the utmost deliberation. It has been ascertained that the perpetrators or at least the chief perpetrator of the murder was Jonathan Judge, a driller employed in the building of iron ships, who had been for a long time out of employment. He resided with his wife, Clara Judge, a native of Devonshire, and his daughter Louisa, aged four years, and an infant son, Charles, aged ten months, at 18, Bromley cottages, St. Leonard’s road, not far from the East India Docks. During the great depression in the ship building trade, he was for a period of ten months wholly unemployed, and one of his children died, and the infant Charles was born. These combined circumstances threw the family into extreme distress, but they never applied to the workhouse for any relief, even though they were often dependent on the kindness of a neighbour for food. Their principal resource was a pawnshop, but a local club, the Great Eastern, gave some assistance on the occasion of the child’s death. Some six weeks ago, Judge got work at Messrs. Dudgeon’s shipbuilding-yard, but in three weeks the great fire occurred at Messrs. Dudgeon’s, and Judge was consequently again thrown out of work. This new blow seems quite to have overwhelmed him and his wife. A fortnight ago Mrs. Judge, while recounting her troubles to her next-door neighbour, Mrs. Farmer, of 17, Bromley-cottages, said her husband the night before had said something in a very peculiar way. He said, according to her, “I know a way of ending the whole thing. It is a very easy way that I have heard of. It is not my life or your life that I care about; but I do care about the children.”

On Monday evening Judge was summoned to attend a meeting of his club to consider whether a young man who had broken his leg in a fight should be assisted out of the club funds. The club meeting over, Judge returned to 18, Bromley-cottages, and finding his wife absent, he knocked at Mrs. Farmer’s wall to attract her attention. Mrs. Judge went to her husband, who appears to have fetched some beer in a can. He then, with some paste, which had been previously made for the purpose, carefully covered all the chinks of the windows with brown paper. He next went into the yard, and chopped up a great quantity of wood. He was so long engaged in this occupation that one of his neighbours gave him some pieces ready shopped, which he accepted. When he went indoors, nothing further was seen or heard of the family until half-past nine o’clock on Tuesday morning.

The neighbours finding that, contrary to custom, the Judges made no sign of stirring so late as half-past nine o’clock, and the singular words of Mrs. Judge a fortnight ago being called to mind, the police were communicated with. Sergeant Holton, of the K division, and Police-constable 299 K, at once proceeded to the spot, and with the aid of a ladder got in at the upper floor windows, and breaking the glass drew aside the blind. The fumes of charcoal were at once perceptible. The spectacle in the room was terrible. Judge and his wife lay on the bed in their night-dresses, and uncovered by the bed-clothes; Mrs. Judge was on her back, and Judge, by her side, clasped her in his arms, his head reclining on her breast. The infant was on the mother’s left side, and the little girl Louisa was nestling close to her father. |[35] All four were quite dead. The children had apparently died in their sleep without a pang. It was then seen that the door had been as carefully covered with paper to exclude air from the crevices as the window had been. A portion of an old milk can, which stood near the table and not far from the foot of the bed, had served as a brazier for the charcoal. The wood which had been given to Judge by the neighbour on Monday evening was found untouched, but the quantity of wood which he had himself cut up had disappeared, and it is therefore supposed that he had used it to intensify the fumes of the charcoal, of which he must have possessed himself with a view to the destruction of his family. Mr. Matthew Brownfield, police-surgeon, of the East India-road, was at once sent for, but he pronounced death to have occurred some considerable time previously.

On examining the premises more carefully two letters were found, one of which contained the words,—“Give the eight-day clock to Ben Jonathan Judge.” The other was a much longer document. It minutely specified the household things of which the family was possessed, and directed their distribution among their relatives. It is signed, or at least purports to be signed, by “Jonathan Judge” and “Clara Judge” This fact leads to the supposition that Judge persuaded his wife to join him in destroying the whole family, and, indeed, from the position in which the body was found—clasped in his arms, and with the eyes open, showing that she had not been suffocated in her sleep—there is a difficulty in accepting any other theory of the affair. But Mrs. Judge declares the signature, “Clara Judge”, is a forgery of her husband’s, who, according to her account, only imitated his wife’s writing very unskillfully.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 997, 19. September 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE INQUEST.

On Wednesday, Mr. John Humphreys, the Middlesex corner, held an investigation at the St. Leonard’s Arms Tavern, St. Leonard’s-road, Bromley, respecting the deaths of Jonathan Judge aged thirty-three years, Clara Ann Judge, aged thirty-three years, Louisa Emily Judge, aged three years, and that of Judge, aged ten months.

Henry Judge stated that he was the brother of the deceased man. Witness was a driller living at No. 37, Inglehorn-terrace, Millwall. His brother was a driller, residing at 18, Bromley-cottages. The deceased woman was the wife of the man, and the children found lying dead in the bed were theirs. Witness has never heard his brother threaten to destroy his life. The letters produced were in the handwriting of his brother.

Mrs. Harriet Farmer said the deceased family lived next door to her. On Monday night, at half-past nine o’clock, witness heard the deceased woman chopping a piece of very hard wood. It was so hard that witness gave her a softer piece. That was the last time witness saw her.

Mrs. Clara MʼGennis, 13. Bromley Cottages, was called, and said that on Monday night she and her husband saw the deceased man Judge near his own house. Witness said, “There you are,” and her husband cried out to him, “I’ll have your curls.” He made no reply. Witness had seen Mrs. Judge on the previous Friday, and she then said, “My husband is out of work, and there is no likelihood of his getting any.” She then walked towards the door, and then back again, as if she had something on her mid, and was afraid that she would tell it.

In answer to the coroner, Mrs. MʼGennis said that she knew the handwriting of the deceased woman, as she had often seen her sign a rent-book. She felt confident that the deceased woman intended to communicate something to her on the Friday, for she “seemed to hold her words back” as she was walking away from her.

Dr. Matthew Brownfield said there were no marks of violence externally on any of the bodies, which were all well-nourished and clean. He made a post mortem examination of the body of the woman by order. He found that the flesh was of a bright red color. The woman had died from the effects of carbonic acid, resulting from suffocation by charcoal. The man was evidently standing by the bed-side, and then he fell across the bodies of his wife and children, when the fumes of the charcoal had overpowered him. All the family died from suffocation.

Mrs. Eleanor Wilson said that the deceased woman was her sister, and that her husband was a little given to drink, and was very irritable. When he “took a drop” it affected his head. The writing, “Clara Judge,” on the letter, was her sisterʼs.

Robert Thorne, a driller, said that he knew that deceased’s family was in great poverty, for the man had been out of work for a long time. Witness, who was also out of employment, in consequence of the depression in the iron shipbuilding trade, was constantly with him. He was a very quiet man. He had been eight years a soldier in the 24 h Foot, and had served out in Bombay. The deceased had never complained of having received a sun stroke in India, and when he was out of work he said, “I wish I was back in India again.” His wages, when in work, were a guinea a week.

Sergeant Holton, 26 K, said that he found in the room two papers, on one of which was written the words, “I give the old family clock to my brother, Robert Judge, of Kew Gardens. (Signed) J. Judge” The next document was as follows,—“13th September. I, J. Judge, hereby certify and leave to Elanor Wilson all we possess. (Signed) J. Judge, Clara Judge”. The signatures were in the handwritings of the two deceased persons.

Some further evidence was taken, and the jury, after an hour’s deliberation, returned a verdict of “Wilful murder against Jonathan and Clara Judge, and that they had destroyed their own lives while in a state of unsound mind.”

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 22. August 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 993, 22. August 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

HOW HABITUAL CRIMINALS ARE MADE.

Aug 22 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

“Thou shalt not steal.” Once a week, all the year round, the priest from the altar proclaims, in solemn tone, this charge; to which the congregation piously respond, “Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.” Custom frequently renders things not only familiar, but absolutely foolish. Only fancy a well-dressed, well-to-do, highly-perfumed assembly of church-goers gravely repeating such pregnant words after the clergyman’s warning. Seriously considered, it seems offensive to presume that anyone who composes a fashionable, or, indeed, ordinary genteel, congregation of worshippers, would possess the slightest tendency to theft. Hence, one would suppose, this commandment, at least, might with propriety be expunged from the Decalogue as being only suited to “ragged Christmas” and “ragged charities.” But it is extremely difficult to conceive how select congregations can patiently bear with such a commandment being read to them, or how they can audibly join in a petition to the Almighty, having a due sense of the force and implication of the words they use. If the tendency to steal be so interwoven with human nature that we have constantly to pray to be delivered from the evil, it ought to make us merciful to those whose passion gets the victory over them, especially when this passion is pricked by the spur of adversity, and when the theft committed is trivial.

We all recognize the essential sentiment or principle of justice, but we do not all agree as to what constitutes it. As Hume remarks, “The rules of equity or justice depend entirely on the particular state and condition in which men are placed, and owe their origin and existence to that utility which results to the public from their strict and regular observance.” Even in order to arrive at what a person’s property is, we have to sift through statutes, customs and precedents which render the work of justice no easy task. At times, not only utility, but analogy, fails, and we are left to grope hopelessly in the dark. Now some |[36] modern administrators of justice bring not only themselves, but the majesty of the law, into complete contempt. They are set up as laughing-stocks for common-sense to jeer at. Certain silly, inexperienced, shallow-pated, would-be-virtuous squires, or equally silly, but puffed-up, coxcomb parsons, who enjoy what is called “the commission of the peace,” frequently perpetrate such flagrant antics in their administration of the law as call for severe and condign reprehension. They get the Queen’s “commission,”—not because they are learned in the law, or eminent for their judgment and discrimination; but because they possess wealth, landed estates, and local influence. No qualification beyond these is required in a modern magistrate, except he belong to the stipendiary class. Hence it is, that the law is so often and so flagrantly outraged, and common sense set at defiance. “Justices’ justice” has now grown into a by-word. This slur will needs continue until the whole tribe of petty justices be removed, and men appointed to administer the laws having a due knowledge of their duties, a becoming sense of their responsibilities, and a just respect for public opinion. An unpaid and unqualified magistracy is no slight curse. In this, as in most matters, cheap and nasty go hand-in-hand.

Only a few days since, a rigidly legal clergyman in Devon discovered an adventurous youth in his orchard purloining apples. Such a peccant “proclivity” is not unusual among boys, and a recent eminent Lord Chancellor confessed, late in life, to have perpetrated a similar heinous deed when at college. Having a sacred respect for the commandment which forbids stealing, but a more sacred regard for the rights of individual property, this smooth-faced, sleepy parson—the Rev. G. T. Lewis—had the poor culprit brought before a bench of justices, of whom Lord Poltimore was the chief. The evidence was taken in due form, and those sapient worthies felt the enormity of the boy’s offence to be such that they sentenced him to a month’s imprisonment in a common goal, and, in addition, to three years’ confinement in a reformatory!

Abominable and manifestly unjust sentences of a like nature, for comparatively slight offences, are on the increase. Not a week passes but we read of them. They not only outrage all sense of justice, but they shock the feelings even of “common” persons, who are supposed not to be particularly sensitive, like their betters. Besides, they tend to increase crime, and develop that unique class of evil-doers known as “habitual criminals;” to suppress which has been among the last efforts of the recent session of parliament. To send a young person to goal, or to a reformatory, for a first offence,—especially if it be of a trivial kind—is a grievous wrong. It is a wrong done to the petty delinquent, and a worse wrong done to society. Nothing can excuse or palliate it. One can scarcely touch pitch without becoming defiled, and the defilement generated by our gaols is notorious. If you go into these Sloughs of Despond pure—which is often the case—you come out impure, so active is the contagion. Besides, the slur sticks to you. You cannot wash off the felon’s brand, do what you might. All self-respect is gone forever. There is no getting over the loss of caste and character. Hence the tendency unquestionably is to prey on society and thus by a retributive but still wicked vengeance to punish it for its blindness.

We are conscientiously of opinion that the stupid sort of justice frequently administered by clerical and fox-hunting provincial magnates tends immensely to beget a contempt for law, to increase crime, and to the formation of habitual criminals. The county functionaries work like moles in the dark. As a rule, they know little or nothing of common law; are ignorant of the ordinary rules of evidence; and know not how to judge of an offence, or mete out proper punishment for it. They are a haughty, purse-proud class, who think themselves oligarchs in a small way. But they are, from their necessarily isolated position, narrow-minded and prejudiced in the extreme. Constantly their prejudice and passion warp their judgment, when they have any, and their decisions, in countless cases, bring on them merited odium and contempt. We shall be glad to see the whole privileged order abolished, and a legally-educated and paid magistracy appointed in their stead. In fact, it must come to this ere long. The public intelligence will not suffer such a disgrace to civilization to exist. The country has to maintain a vast body of criminals whom it cannot hope to reform. It will not suffer the administration of the laws to be placed in incompetent and blundering hands, and thereby add to an army of delinquents already formidable, under the imposing name of “habitual criminals.”

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 15. August 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 992, 15. August 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

HOW EMIGRANTS ARE TREATED ON BOARD SHIP.

Aug 15 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

It needs a journey to New York in an emigrant vessel properly to appreciate what those endure who, in search of work and bread, are forced to quit their native land. Even in the best regulated steam-ships, where the berths are spacious, where ventilation is free, and where the food supplied is ample and good, there is much to endure before the end of the voyage. Unfortunately, emigrants suffer from a twofold illness—namely, sickness of the stomach and sickness of heart. To render their voyage across the Atlantic at all bearable, it is essentially necessary that their comfort should be specially studied, and, above all things, that they should be supplied with a proper amount of wholesome provisions.

In our last impression we published a “complaint” from several emigrants who had reached New York by the City of Paris. They tell a short but pithy tale. First, the bread served out to them, when they had partially got over the sea-sickness, was sour; and it was only by repeated grumbling that a better quality was supplied. The fish they received on Fridays they describe as “abominable,” the effluvia from which drove many on deck. Salt beer of pork, with pea-soup, seems to have been the usual dinner; while the supper consisted merely of weak tea and biscuit. Some of the emigrants, it is averred, only escaped sheer starvation by having had the precaution to have brought a stock of provisions with them. These are certainly grave and even serious charges to bring against a steamship company; and they, doubtless, will have to be answered, and answered in a satisfactory manner.

We have reason to know that, as a rule, emigrants are not well treated on board ship. The owners or agents of emigrant vessels only covet to make the “run” pay. They look to little or nothing besides. Some companies practice the most parsimonious economy, from which niggardliness and shabbiness the saloon passengers are not wholly exempt. Of course, there are official inspectors, who must view the ship ere she clears the port, and be satisfied that the emigrants are not overcrowded, and that the provisions are sound and abundant. But this is merely a formal proceeding. A steamer, for example, will leave Liverpool with some four or five hundred people in the steerage. Next day she will call at an Irish port, when, possibly, four or five hundred additional emigrants will be taken on board. They are sent by the agent, and the captain cannot refuse to take them, although he well knows that the space “below” is sparse and the food scanty. The evils that follow can scarcely be described. In fact, nothing can be more revolting or shocking than the scenes frequently enacted on board vessels that carry steerage passengers.

Emigrants are treated with no higher regard than if they were so many hogs. They are huddled together by hundreds between decks, in close, foul-smelling berths, where they lie for days helpless and uncared for, except, indeed, they can wait upon themselves. ‘This true that one or two stewards bring them their meals at stated intervals, or rather place them on a table formed of planks, and improvised for the occasion, so that they can either take or leave, as they have a mind. They are looked upon as “scum” and treated accordingly. All decency is openly violated, and there is a woeful lack of accommodation of a most essential kind. The scenes on board are frequently revolting; in fact, no words can adequately describe them. Owing to dirt, foul air, and low diet, sickness often occurs. But there is no hospital accommodation worth naming provided in most emigrant vessels. Small-pox now and again breaks out; but when this is the case, the infected are hidden away; nothing is said about it, and the patients may be smuggled into port, and placed in hospital, without the local authorities being made cognizant of the fact. This we have known to be done in order to escape the inconvenience and expense of quarantine.

It would be well if, next session, the attention of parliament were drawn to the treatment of steerage passengers on board emigrant ships plying between this country and North America. A more comprehensive and efficient scheme of legislation is urgently needed to correct the scandalous, and, indeed, growing, abuses at present existing. As it stands, the law is too weak, and is easily evaded; while it is to be feared that emigration inspectors are not invariably faithful in the discharge of their onerous duties. One thing is certain—that steamship companies mainly look for profit on their freight, whether it be human or otherwise. They are too often indifferent to the comfort of emigrants, and may be so parsimonious as to stint the supply of food and drugs.|

[37]

Unfortunately, the “complaint” which we inserted last week is not new. It is a very common thing for emigrants to speak of the indifferent and unjust manner in which they are dealt with while at sea. That there exist grounds for their grumblings we have no manner of doubt. At the best, a journey of twelve, or may be fourteen, days across the Atlantic in the “steerage” of a steamer is no very desirable treat. By proper management, however, it might be made bearable. Of course, there can be no comfort, or even decency, where overcrowding is practiced; and we much fear that this is the rule and not the exception. Then, again, the sexes should be more carefully kept apart, while the crew should not be suffered to intermix with the female passengers. Finally, an ample supply and variety of good and wholesome food should be generously provided, and served up in a way not calculated to incite disgust and loathing.

One would think that the rivalry existing among steamship companies that run vessels across the Atlantic would of itself have rendered impossible the evils complained of. One cause of this lies in the fact that there is such an exodus from our shores that there is no dearth of human freight. The leading journal looks upon this circumstance as indicating a highly prosperous condition of the nation; and with artful sophistry endeavours to prove its assumption by force of argument, and by citing precedents. We are inclined to regard this mighty outpouring of the people in quite a different light. That wealth abounds we are not unmindful; but this wealth is locked up in a few hands. That poverty much more abounds none can gainsay; whence, tens of thousands are seeking to quit a country which, though it gave them birth, refuses to give them bread, or the means to earn it.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 14. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1005, 14. November 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

REVOLTING WORKHOUSE REVELATIONS.

Nov 14 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

The parish of St. Pancras has been kept in a state of angry commotion for a considerable time. The previous guardians of the poor, aware of the sad deficiency of hospital accommodation for the numerous sick who are compelled to enter the “house,” endeavoured to remedy that evil by erecting a commodious structure opposite the Small-pox Hospital. The edifice had gone far towards completion, when a cabal arose. A noisy clique of parsimonious and inhuman ratepayers got up a loud cry against it, on the ground of lavish expenditure of money for, as they maintained, an unnecessary object. The recalcitrant succeeded, and, at the recent election of guardians, gave their votes for those candidates who promised to study the interests of their constituents, and ignore the rights and necessities of the infirm poor. Hence men were elected to office who bound themselves to effect retrenchment and practice economy, no matter what principle was involved, or what sacrifice was adopted.

St. Pancras workhouse has already earned a most unenviable notoriety. Not long since circumstances were brought to light which have affixed a damning stain upon the manner in which its affairs are administered. And now comes the crowning condemnation. The details evoked at the last revelation make one shudder to dwell on. Good God! Can it be possible that, in a civilized and vauntedly Christian country, events transpire which would disgrace a savage nation were such enacted there? Yet such is the case. Our numerous readers, we are sure, will cry “Shame!” when we have recorded the shocking story.

A poor man, named Murphy, suffering from consumption, obtains an order for the St. Pancras workhouse. He is placed in an infirmary ward, and seen by the doctor, who seems to have treated his case lightly, “as there did not appear to be much the matter with him to call for immediate attention.” This was about four p.m. on the 2nd of November. At ten o’clock at night he was again seen by the medical officer, who ordered him a poultice and some cough mixture. Next day, at noon, the patient sinks and dies. His relatives are sent for, and, to avoid the exposure that may arise from an inquest, the dead body is given up to them. A practitioner, named Barnes, was induced to write out the necessary certificate of death, although he had not seen the deceased for three days previous to his demise! No wonder that the coroner should make the piquant remark—“In the three days since Mr. Barnes saw the man, that man might be murdered for all Mr. Barnes knew, or the man might be still alive; but there was the certificate of death in either case.”

Fortunately, however, something leaks out which induces Dr. Lankester, the coroner, to insist upon holding an inquest on the body of Murphy. The inquiry took place on Monday, when the most horrifying revelations were disclosed—revelations which cause the blood to creep in our veins while we write of them. At the outset we discover that the dead body was removed from the public mortuary to a house containing nine rooms, occupied by no less than twenty-seven persons, and in which malignant scarlet fever was raging. Into this fever-stricken abode the jury, of course, had to go, in order to view the body, respecting the death of which they were about to record their verdict.

According to the testimony of Dr. James Ellis, the resident medical officer of St. Pancras Workhouse, the sick man was placed in ward No. 11—which was reserved specially for male cases. There were thirty-seven cases in that ward, and as there were but twenty-eight beds, nine cases had no better accommodation than the floor! The cubic space given was about one-half the required allowance, so that the patients, through deficiency of room, had to lie between the bedsteads, down the gangways. As many as ninety-five sick people had to lie on the floor in the several wards during the previous week. The atmosphere was “very bad indeed,” and several deaths occurred lately in consequence. It was Dr. Ellis’s opinion that the death of Murphy was “accelerated” by this cause.

We believe Dr. Ellis to be a most humane and conscientious gentleman. His heart must have been deeply harrowed by the revolting state of things he was constantly obliged to witness. But what could he, a paid official, do against his masters, the board of guardians?—those petty pretentious potentates who make professions, it may be, of piety, and draw long faces at the Bethesda o’ Sundays, while the Rev. Boanerges Boreas rails against the devil and those who work wickedness. Although he could not do much directly, he might indirectly; consequently, he requests Mr. Samuel Solly, vice-president of St. Thomas’s Hospital, “to look at these wards some evening.” Mr. Solly does so; and here is his pungent testimony as to their disgraceful condition. This distinguished lecturer on surgery tells the coroner and the jury that on the night |[38] of the 4th of November he visited St. Pancras Workhouse Infirmary. Respecting ward No. 11, he emphatically states, “I have been in a good many foul places; but I don’t think I ever in all my life went into any room which stuck so beastly as that!” He gives it as his opinion that such a loathsome, pestiferous den must have accelerated Murphy’s death. He avers that not only was it overcrowded, but the ventilation was bad—so bad, indeed, that “it had such an effect upon me that after I left the ward I was obliged to stop to get fresh air before proceeding, so much was I overpowered by the stench.” Should a case of typhoid fever occur, it would inevitably go from bed to bed! All the wards he entered were foul and offensive, not excepting the room occupied by the nurses.

Mr. R. B. Carter, of Princes-street, Hanover-square, who accompanied Mr. Solly on his disagreeable mission, gives even more painful and disgusting details. The only ventilation was a broken window, through which a stone had been thrown. “I am familiar,” he states, “with the condition of sick wards and workhouse wards at night; but I never smelt anything so bad in any wards in my life. I have been in wards at all hours of the night, and I repeat that I never smelt anything so vile as those of St. Pancras. Speaking as a surgeon, I say that wounds would not heal in these wards, and I should not like to perform an operation there.” And yet the wards had been shut up but barely half an hour! “Tell it not in Gath, utter it not in the streets of Eskalon!” In addition to the horrible revelations adduced, it appears from the evidence of both the medical witness that the mattresses and coverlids were “thin,” and that the former “would be very painful to those lying upon them”—to such a desperate degree had parsimony and inhumanity been carried by the guardians of the poor

The verdict of the coroner’s jury was that the deceased died of consumption; and that his death was accelerated by the unwholesome state of the ward in which he was placed.” According to Dr. Ellis, one medical officer had died of fever, and another was invalided, and had since died through the like cause. As no action was taken against the guardians in either of these cases, it is not likely that the death of a mere costermonger will get them into trouble, or cause them any inconvenience, uneasiness, or remorse. Tis true the man Murphy, according to his wife’s testimony, did not want to go the workhouse. He sought to become an intern patient of the Middlesex Hospital, where he would not be admitted. He wished “to be somewhere free from the trouble of the children,” and the only available asylum that offered was the workhouse ward, where he speedily got forever relieved of the “the trouble of the children,” and the heartlessness of guardians to boot.

Such is London in the nineteenth century, and such is the barbarous mode in which the sick poor are dealt with in our workhouses. Ought the guardians of St. Pancras to escape scot free, under such circumstances? Is there no law to reach their case? Lately, an over-zealous Sabbatarian endeavoured to punish a poor fellow for trying to get a precarious but honest living by selling some articles on a Sunday morning; and, with this object, endeavoured to resuscitate an old Act of Charles II. Is there no law, obsolete or otherwise, that can make those derelict guardians smart for their betrayal of the poor, their gross violation of sacred obligations, and their grievous neglect of duty? If there is not, there ought to be. Nevertheless, such will be the just judgment of the public, that they will henceforth be compelled to hang their heads through very shame. We shall await with curiosity and impatience the course which the Poor-law Board will adopt with reference to them and their evil deeds. The death of the poor man Murphy, and the revolting revelations disclosed by eminent medical witnesses, it is to be hoped will quell all opposition to the rapid completion of the proposed new infirmary for St. Pancras, especially after the prompt communication from the Poor-law Board.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1005, 14. November 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

FRIGHTFUL MORTALITY IN A WORKHOUSE.

Nov 14 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

On Wednesday, an important investigation was opened before Dr. Lankester, the coroner for Central Middlesex, on the bodies of no less than seven persons who have died in the infirmary or other parts of the St. Pancras workhouse.

It may naturally be supposed that such an occurrence taking place so rapidly after the case of Michael Murphy, reported in page 6, and arising out of somewhat similar circumstances, created no small amount of excitement, not only amongst the guardians, but the ratepayers who had become cognizant of the proceedings. A considerable number of the former were present, and the inquest room was crowded. Mr. Samuel Solly, the vice-president of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Mr. R. B. Carter were in attendance to give evidence.

The jury was empannelled on the bodies of Jane Harrison, aged fifty-eight, Julia Conder, aged thirty, James Plant, aged fifty eight, Jane Hayes, Mary Brown, Mary Smith, and John Fox. The case of Jane Harrison was first taken.

Fr. James Ellis, medical officer of the infirmary, said the immediate cause of death was congestive apoplexy, but it was accelerated by the overcrowded state of the ward in which she lay and the impure atmosphere.

Mr. Solly was then examined. He deposed to the exceedingly foul condition of the air in the wards he had examined, and agreed with Dr. Ellis as to the death of the woman being in some measure due to the atmosphere she was compelled to breathe.

In the course of the subsequent proceedings it was stated by Mr. Watson, the vice-chairman of the board, that twenty-seven more bedsteads had been ordered to be put up in the infirmary, notwithstanding Dr. Ellis’s report as to its overcrowded condition.

This jury immediately returned the following verdict:—“That the deceased, June Harrison, died from the mortal effects of the effusion of serum into the brain, and that her death was accelerated by the overcrowding and want of ventilation of the ward in which she was placed in the infirmary of St. Pancras workhouse”

Evidence was then given as to the deaths of Julia Conder and James Plant, and in each case it was stated that the impure condition of the wards had hastened the fatal events. One of the guardians, Mr. Chandler, was examined. He said the wards were unfit for any sick person to be placed in. He must say, however, that himself and other guardians felt great difficulty in the matter through the conduct of the Poor law Board, who said that every patient ought not to have less than 850 cubic feet of space, and yet they certified for 205 patients in the infirmary. He contended that Mr. Corbett and Dr. Markham, if they considered that 850 cubic feet ought to be given to every inmate, had not done their duty.

The Coroner said it was certain that the infirmary to its present state was quite unfit for sick people, and steps ought to be taken without delay for removing them, as there was plenty of evidence to show that the infirmary was, in fact, killing them. There was a great wrong somewhere.

The investigation into this and other cases was ultimately adjourned.

[Ausschnitte aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

“FAMINE FEVER” IN LONDON.

Nov Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

We regret to learn that the number of cases of relapsing fever appears to be still on the increase in the metropolis, and we understand that, in view of meeting any exigency which may arise, a deputation from the managers of the Metropolitan Asylum Board waited upon the President of the Poor-law Board on Thursday, when it was arranged that negotiations should, if possible, be immediately concluded with the authorities of the Fever Hospital for the erection of a temporary building on the land belonging to the hospital, capable of containing sixty beds, that being the maximum addition for which there is room. It was also arranged that the managers should proceed immediately to enter into a provisional contract for the erection of another temporary building on one of the sites belonging to them, in case, as appears very probable, it should be found that further accommodation is afterwards required.

The re-appearance in this country of relapsing fever is a phenomenon which might have posited a moral if we had lately been indulging in boastfulness about our riches and prosperity. The wealthiest city in the world is threatened by a disease which implies chronic poverty, and is popularly known as “famine” fever. It is probably not indigenous in this island, but it certainly never makes way unless it finds conditions favourable to its progress. It searches out the weak and sickly in a population. Poland may be its birthplace; but the East-and of London would afford it no asylum if it did not find the same sort of grazing ground in Whitechapel as in the East of Europe. There is a moral as well as a physical element in it. It is not the bare want of food, but the hopelessness of earning food, which prepares the way for the fever’s ravages. Where body and mind are alike depressed, is its proper home. It is not easily dislodged, but it spreads over a wide extent of country. It ordinarily does not take away life, but it makes life seem not worth having, and it opens the door to mortal diseases.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE TREATMENT OF THE POOR IN ST. PANCRAS.

Yesterday, Dr. Lankester held two inquests at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, Camden-town, in cases bearing upon the administration of relief to the sick in St. Pancras workhouse. Several members of the new Board of Guardians were present, for the purpose of taking part in the proceedings should any evidence be given affecting them as a board. The first inquiry was on the body of Esther Wright, an infant, three weeks old, which was born in the workhouse, and whose mother prematurely left the house in consequence partly, as she alleged, of a neglect on the part of the workhouse authorities to supply the child with necessary nourishment. Sarah Wright, having been sworn, said she was confined in the workhouse. She was married. She left last Tuesday morning of her own accord. She was asked to stop longer on account of the child, but left because she thought it required more nourishment than she could get in the |[39] house. She told the doctor and Mrs. Sanson on Sunday last that she had no milk to give the child, but they did not give her any till Monday night. She only got it then because the child cried so. She asked for milk at six o’clock on Monday evening, but did not get it till ten. Coroner—That is a distinct charge against the workhouse authorities. Witness—When I went out I got the child milk and port wine. I went for Dr. Harding, but he did not order anything, because the child was too far gone. Mr. Thomas Marsey Harding, surgeon, said—I was called on Wednesday last. The child was dying when I saw it. It was a very feeble child, and much emaciated. There were no marks of violence. It was clean and properly attended to on the part of the mother. I opened the body. There was dense congestion of the brain and of the lungs. The right side of the heart was glutted. Both sides contained black blood. The stomach contained milk and port wine. There was no sign of poison. There was plenty of chyle in the stomach. The cause of death was congestion of the brain and lungs. Coroner—Is it your impression that there was any neglect on the part of the mother? Witness—No; it was a disease of debility, which might have come on naturally in a feeble child, even if it were properly attended to. By a Juror—Port wine would not have brought this passive kind of congestion on. Susan Sanson, resident midwife of the workhouse, swore, in opposition to the mother of deceased, that the child had milk given it twice last Monday. She also said it was a “miserable little thing from its birth,” and “she never expected it to live.” Sarah Wright, recalled, denied that the child had milk twice on Monday. Milk was asked for at six in the evening, and was not obtained till 10, Susan Sanson re-called, said the mothers in the lying-in ward could have milk for their children when they liked. Mary Ann Brant, who appeared at one time to have been a very intelligent woman, but who is now extremely feeble in mind and body, said she was the nurse who supplied the milk to Sarah Wright twice on Monday. The Coroner said Sarah Wright had not substantiated the charge of neglect against the authorities, and the only consideration was whether she had any hand in the death of the child by going out before she ought. She gave it some port wine, and it was a question whether she did not give it too much; but Mr. Harding could not say she had. (Mr. Harding: No.) It was rather an early age to begin giving a child alcohol, and the mother ought not to have done it without the advice of a medical man. The Foreman of the Jury to Mrs. Sanson—How many patients have you to look after? Mrs. Sanson—We are rather slack now. I have 12 mothers and their infants at the present moment. Foreman—Are there any others besides the woman Brant to assist you? Witness—Yes, there are three others. Juror—I think our parish should put a more able person to wait upon the poor creatures in the lying-in ward than this aged and decrepit woman (Brant). If they are all like her I should not wonder at patients being unattended to. Witness, by Mr. Watkins, a guardian.—This woman has no laborious work to perform. Juror—The mother swore she did not get the milk till 10 o’clock at night, although she asked for it at six; and it struck me that if this was the old woman who had attended on her it was very likely to be as she stated. Mr. Smith, a guardian, said the midwife could have any assistance she liked, and if she did not have enough it was her own fault. A verdict of “Death from natural causes” was returned.

The second case was that of George Edwards, an aged inmate of the insane ward. Margaret Edwards, a very aged and infirm woman, said she was the widow of deceased. They had been in the workhouse 12 months last June. Coroner—Did they separate you? Witness—Oh, yes sir. Coroner—Oh, yes! But there is a law which says you should not be separated; and it is a much higher law than guardians’ law. Witness proceeded to say she saw her husband once a week. He always knew her, and would not hurt her. Mr. Blake, the master of the house, was very kind to them. She saw her husband alive for the last time on Wednesday week last, Robert Hunter, a helper in the insane ward, very tersely described the sudden death as it took place on Monday last. He said: “All of a sudden he threw himself back, and went off.” Dr. Ellis said death was caused by the rupture of a large vessel in the chest. A verdict of “Death from natural causes” was returned.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 14. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1005, 14. November 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

MORE WORKHOUSE HORRORS.

Nov Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

On Monday, Dr. Lankester held an inquest at the Bull’s Head Inn, Tottenham-court-road, on the body of Michael Murphy, aged thirty-two, who had died in the infirmary of St. Pancras workhouse.

The case in itself was of a simple character, but as it involved the whole question of the treatment of the sick poor in the infirmary of St. Pancras workhouse—whether that infirmary is or is not sufficient for the wants of the parish, and whether even the large number of inquests which have been lately held on persons dying therein have not been rendered necessary by the acceleration of death from overcrowding—the inquiry was one of the highest importance.

The Coroner briefly explained the circumstances under which the case had come to his knowledge by a letter from the clerk to the board of guardians. It appeared that Michael Murphy, a costermonger, had been suffering from pulmonary consumption, and had been under the treatment of Mr. Barnes, one of the out-door medical officers, for some four or five weeks. Finding he was in the last stage, and that the house in which he resided, in Little Pancras-street, Tottenham-court-road, contained nine rooms, inhabited by twenty-seven persons, and that typhus fever was in the house, he ordered his removal, on Tuesday, the 2nd instant, to the workhouse infirmary. He was admitted about four o’clock, and was seen by Dr. Ellis, who prescribed for him, and placed him in No. 11—the men’s medical ward. He appeared better next morning, when seen about eight o’clock; but about half-past nine, when the doctor went his rounds, he had so changed as to appear dying. His friends were then sent for, and he died about twelve o’clock.

Dr. Ellis was sworn, and after stating the history of the case, in answer to a question from the coroner, said: I think his death was accelerated by the foul state of the atmosphere of the ward of the infirmary in which he was placed from overcrowding. On the day and night he was in it there were twenty-eight beds in it, and nine sleeping on the floor on mattresses, making thirty-seven patients in the ward. I think the length of the ward is seventy-four feet, twenty-one feet wide, and twelve feet high, which would give about 250 cubic feet of air to each patient, which is not half the amount required by the Poor-law Board. When patients are sent to us we are obliged to take them in. As Mr. Solly and another independent medical gentleman can give evidence on this point I should prefer you to hear them.

The Coroner remarked that he had no power to call or pay any other medical witnesses; but if Mr. Solly volunteered any evidence as to the cause of death he would hear him.

Mr. Samuel Solly sworn: I am the president of the Royal College of Surgeons, senior surgeon of St. Thomas’s Hospital, and F R S. I visited the St. Pancras Infirmary on the 4th inst., at half-past nine in the evening. I went over the whole infirmary, and amongst others No. 11, or male medical ward. I have been over and through the foulest of wards in hospitals and other institutions, but I never, in the whole course of my professional experience, entered so foul a place. I never experienced a stench so beastly in all my life arising from foul atmosphere. I should say that this disgusting foulness of atmosphere arose mainly from the want of ventilation, as well as the large number of patients there were in the ward. There were twenty-eight beds, and nine sleeping on the floor.

Dr. Brudenell Carter, fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, who accompanied Mr. Solly on his visit, corroborated the whole of his statements.

After considerable discussion the following special verdict was returned:—“That Michael Murphy died from consumption, accelerated by the unwholesome atmosphere of the ward in which he was placed in the workhouse. The jury also requested the guardians to direct their attention to the state of the receiving ward.”


 Es handelt sich um die Überschrift des folgenden Artikels, die mit ausgeschnitten worden ist.
Schließen
THE FATAL ACCIDENT AT WELWYN JUNCTION.

[The Daily News, 23. August 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7273, 23. August 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

PROBABLY there are not many persons out of the north of London, except those who are officially interested in Poor Law questions, to whom the inquiry into the conduct of some parochial authorities in St. Pancras has been of sufficient interest to induce them to follow it. The matter has, however, been one of great public importance, not merely as bearing on the administration of the Poor Law in one of the largest parishes in the kingdom, but as illustrating some of the evils incident to our Poor Law system. The inquiry originated in a parochial squabble, but the immediate cause which set the Poor Law Board in motion was a parochial tragedy. On the 25th of June, a poor woman named MARY ALLEN died in the Insane Ward of St. Pancras Workhouse. She had been transferred there from the Infirmary in the delirium of illness. She had entered the Infirmary on the 28th May with three of her children, having been suffering from scarlatina or scarlet fever, and being in a condition of considerable weakness. On the fourth of June she was discharged and sent home, but returned on the twentieth suffering from erysipelas. On the next day delirium came on, and she was sent to the Insane Ward, and four days afterwards she died. Her deceased created an uneasy feeling, and an inquest was held on the body, which resulted in a verdict that she died from natural causes, but the jury wished to declare in the verdict that her death was accelerated by her premature discharge from the Infirmary on the fourth of June. The Coroner told the jury that such a verdict was one of manslaughter against Mr. HARLEY, the House surgeon, and they therefore modified it to one of censure. Hence the inquiry which Mr. MONTAGUE BERE has conducted on behalf of the Poor-Law Board, which covered the whole treatment of the sick poor in the Infirmary, and which came to its close on Saturday.

The question as to MARY ALLEN was a complicated one. There was first the inquiry into the justice of the verdict censuring Mr. HARLEY for discharging her uncured, and next the question of Mr. HARLEY’S motive for doing so; and this latter question involved a part of the Board of Guardians. As to MARY ALLEN’S premature discharge, there was a very considerable preponderance of evidence in favour of the verdict. There can be no doubt that the poor woman herself believed that her death was caused by leaving the Infirmary too early. Indeed it was her own complaints on returning which called attention to her case. Mr. HARLEY declared that he believed her to be well, though weak; and Mr. TIZLEY, the relieving officer, said she did not complain to him, though he saw her often. Mrs. HUSSEY, a fellow-lodger of MARY ALLEN’S, gave similar evidence, and attributed her decease to a cold she had caught in taking home some washing several days after her discharge. But two of the nurses, Mr. NEW, a surgeon who attended Mrs. ALLEN gratuitously, and some other persons, testified that she urgently begged to be allowed to stay longer, and protested against being turned out; and Dr. ELLIS, Mr. HARLEY’S successor, produced a written statement made by Mrs. ALLEN when she returned, declaring that she had been turned out before she was well. How far the poor woman’s impression on this point was correct is another matter. One of the nurses, Mrs. GRIFFITH, said that her opinion at the time was that the woman was not well enough to go out. Mrs. CANNON said she could see when the woman came to be discharged that she was very ill, and indeed she thought herself, she said, weaker than when she came in; and JANE HILL, a nurse, who took part of the responsibility of her discharge, said she was well enough to go into the workhouse but not into the street. As to the children, it was shown that they had not done peeling, and were therefore in the stage when scarlatina infection is most dangerous; and there was some conflict in the medical evidence as to whether the woman herself was discharged too early or not. The fact, however, is quite insuperable. The poor woman enters the Infirmary to recover from a lowering fever which leaves the skin in a most dangerously sensitive state, she remains in but seven days, is then sent out against her own earnest wish and protest, has to work as a washerwoman in that condition, catches a cold which brings on an attack of erysipelas, the erysipelas flies to her brain and she becomes delirious and dies. Is she another Poor Law martyr as so many persons believe, and as the Coroner’s Jury found by their verdict, or was her own impression that she was so one of the delusions of her delirium?

But when this question has been decided, another question arises. If MARY ALLEN was a martyr, to what was she sacrificed? If the doctor was in an indecent hurry to get her out of the Infirmary, what made him so? Are there any other cases which show the same haste? Public opinion has been inclined to answer these questions in the affirmative, and has had some justification for doing so. An officer lately employed in the receiving ward said that many had been discharged before they were well, and primâ facie evidence for the statement is supplied in the fact that it was the boast of some of the Guardians that in a single month Mr. HARLEY had reduced the number of cases from 145 to 100. Such a clearance at least shows zeal; did it show discretion? Either the place must have been very full of hangers-on, or Mr. HARLEY must have been very successful in rapid cures, or the poor patients must have been hurried out. A number of cases were inquired into which certainly were not those of old “infirmary birds,” which, to say the least, did not show any remarkable curative skill, and which ran parallel in some respects to the case of MARY ALLEN. In fact, that poor woman’s case was, it is to be feared, typical of other cases. We will not anticipate the points of Mr. BERE’S report to the Poor Law Board; but there is a certain suggestiveness in the occurrence of these events just at the present moment. The late Board of Guardians, in pursuance of Mr. HARDY’S Act, are building an Infirmary for the parish, where the sick poor can be properly attended to. At the last election of Guardians a large number of persons were returned pledged to stop this expenditure if possible, and it was their policy to prove it to be needless. They gave Mr. HARLEY the temporary appointment of Infirmary surgeon, and he, knowing their feelings, endeavoured to do his duty as they wished it to be done. Several of these gentlemen gave evidence in the inquiry, and said that they had given no instructions to clear the Infirmary, nor is it likely that they had. But Mr. JAMES WATKINS, one of these new Guardians, admitted that Mr. HARLEY, as his own medical attendant, knew his opinion that the Workhouse Infirmary was sufficient, and that patients were kept too long. Dr. EDMUNDS, another new Guardian, admitted that he had freely expressed his opinion that there were people in the Infirmary who ought to be out of it, though he thought Mr. HARLEY had been too zealous in clearing it. We will not anticipate the decision of the Commissioner on Mr. HARLEY’S conduct; but whatever that decision may be, Mr. HARLEY is not the only person to be affected by it. The new Guardians represented a policy of which, unhappily, a large number of the ratepayers approve, which necessarily leads to such scenes as these. Nominally Guardians of the Poor, these persons are really guardians of the ratepayers’ pockets. They were elected not to administer the affairs of the Union efficiently, but to do them cheaply. Their great idea is to knock a penny or two in the pound off the poor-rate. Of course the poor suffer, and, equally of course, the poor-rates are not effectually relieved. MARY ALLEN, goes to a pauper’s grave, and leaves three children to the parish; scandals arise; the ratepayers’ money, saved by grinding the faces of the poor, is squandered in litigation, and the last state of the parish is worse than the first. When will the ratepayers learn that the interests of the poor are identical with their own?

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 18. Juli 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 988, 18. Juli 1869. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

OUR RURAL MAGISTRACY.

TO THE EDITOR OF REYNOLDS’S NEWSPAPER.

SIR,—Few persons see more thoroughly into the wretched system of caste pervading English society than those who are in frequent attendance upon the farces enacted by country justices. In the superior courts, and even in county courts, one expects to find a smattering of Mr. P. A. Taylor’s recently defined judicial requisites—to wit, “tact, temper, and discrimination”—but, in the case of country justices, the only essential qualifications laid down by the law of the land are the possession of either “blood” or soil. Brains are not wanted, else I should not so often hear the expression applied to the |[41] rural magistrate, “He is not all there.” Character can be of no account, else we should not see these men one hour signing the commitment of some poor “spinning-wheel” proprietor to the house of correction and the very next hour paying a visit to the nearest select gambling hell of our “noble aristocracy.” If a stripling is the son of a peer, he becomes a country justice as a matter of course, as soon as there is the slightest indication of anything akin to whiskers. As a representative of the great county families, he goes and lounges away an idle hour or two upon the bench, in the same spirit and style which sends him to the opera when in town. Perhaps of the two employments, the former is the most fascinating. For the time being, he feels himself a grand personage, surrounded by obsequious policemen, a subservient clerk, and a lowly and reverent populace. With covered head he sits in an easy chair, and his commands, like the mandates of other great potentates of the earth, are only uttered to be obeyed. He seldom smiles, and never reddens with passion until some well-known gamekeeper gets into the witness-box, and narrates some fearful onslaught on a rabbit-hole. If the representative of justice has become venerable, he will, at petty sessions, take a comfortable snooze during the examination of witness; but, if he is young, he will crack jokes with his associates, or book a bet upon the next St. Leger.

Your country magistrate enjoys a case under the poor laws. On all such occasions he comes from the board of guardians (where, as an ex officio member, he is a legislator on a small scale), ready primed with one side of the pending trial. For instance, a poor man is summoned to show cause why he should not contribute to the support of his parent, aged seventy-five, who had been a labourer all his life at 12s. a week, and not saved sufficient to purchase himself an annuity for his declining years. The relieving officer of the union is complaining witness, and makes a strong case against the offending son. The undutiful defendant has 13s. a week, a wife and only three young children, yet he is allowing his aged parent to luxuriate upon the public rates. “What have you to say to this charge?” says the representative of justice. “I am very sorry, your worship, but I can’t spare anything out of thirteen shillings a week; I wish I could.” The scene becomes impressive, as this creature, who never knew what hunger really was, exclaims, “All nonsense; you are an unnatural vagabond, and must pay the relieving officer half a crown a week. We are bound to protect the ratepayer from such pests as these, who would make the community keep the parents, who gave to them the privileges of English citizenship.” We take the man who has desired wife and family. He is brought into court manacled to a felon. Six weeks previously the prisoner at the bar could not get a job or work, and therefore as a last resource he went upon the tramp. From town to town he wandered, partaking of the voluptuous entertainment of the vagrant ward of “bumble dom” at night. He earns a penny or two by putting coal into a cellar, or perhaps even a shilling at a temporary job. Before his own belly has had one good fill, the man in blue is after him, and he gets a free ride to the lock up of his native town. He is a prisoner, and he has no money. In vain he protests that he can get no work; with a contemptuous sneer, he is told he will not want for work at the place to which a mockery of justice consigns him.

In game cases, none of the bench goes to sleep. If the prosecutor should not happen to be a magistrate, he will for the time being be allowed a seat alongside the dispensers of the game-laws. He goes through the formality of being sworn, but is not required to stand in the box appropriated to ordinary witnesses. Any little incident which might have escaped him during his examination is whispered to the ministers of justice, among whom he is received as an upholder of the British constitution. Sitting in that elevated position, he can watch his minions, the game-keepers, as they swear one against the other in angry competition to secure the heaviest penalty against their helpless victim. Often have I seen men convicted under these atrocious laws, for no other offence proved against them than wandering up some quiet lane, perchance in search of a primrose or a daisy. Residents in large towns have not the slightest conception of the intolerance which these game-laws sanction. Only a few weeks ago I was present when a respectable tradesman had, as the bench seemed to imagine, the audacity to summon a policeman for what impartial minds could not fail to designate as a most brutal assault. Upon the public highway he had been throttled, struck down, searched, with his clothes half torn off his back, and the justification was pleaded that the man’s pockets were bulky, and that, therefore, under the iniquitous poaching Prevention Act, the policeman had a right to search and misuse a man without warrant or any other instrument of legal authority. It was attempted to be made out that the man had unjustifiably resisted this interference with his personal liberty, and he was fined 5s. and costs, while the policeman became the pet of a game-preserving magistracy.

Among the other uses to which a rural bench is put, is that of deciding matters of contract between master and servant. A linen draper’s assistant, a housemaid, or a butler can “run away” without any chance of being hauled up before “the great unpaid.” That which in one class of the community amounts to a simple breach of contract, to be adjusted by a civil judge, renders a poor agricultural servant or bricklayer’s labour liable to be dragged up before a magistrate as a fugitive slave was wont to be into the olden time in any of the Southern States. These cases have always seemed to me to be pre-eminently relished by your country justice. Believers in feudalism, and holding to the creed that the bulk of mankind were born to be serfs, their sympathies flow exclusively in one direction. Though never having themselves done an hour’s honest hard work in their lives, they take care that those “beneath them” shall know who is master. In the case of agricultural servants, they resist the wholesome rule of a month’s wages or a month’s notice—a rule which prevails with all other grades of annual domestic hirelings. “Back to your master, or to prison,” is the rule. Surely it is time the working classes roused themselves in opposition to this abominable relic of an age of slavery.

At the sound of the words “trade unions,” your country justice holds up his hands with pious horror and indignation. A man connected with a strike had better compromise the most trivial assault, the most paltry indiscretion, than run his chance of getting justice before a bench of either town or country magistrates. There is scarcely a crime known to the law which is so heinous as that of working men combining to get a fair day’s wages for a fair days labour. Legislation may do something to help this progressive movement, but until there is a sweeping change in the method of administering rural justice in England, I see no hope for the life of the labourer being anything else than “endurance filched from death.”

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 15. August 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 992, 15. August 1869. S. 7.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

A SERIOUS CRIME!—

At the Bromley petty sessions on Monday last, Ellen Smith, a poor woman who gets her living by charing and washing, living at Orpington, was charged with the unlawful possession of a faggot of sticks. Police-constable 186 R, who produced a handful of sticks, said that he met the prisoner, whilst off duty, going home with a bundle of sticks. She told him she had gathered them in the wood of Mr. Berens, one of the county justices for the Bromley division. Mr. F. A. Lewin: What have you got to say to the charge? Prisoner: If you please, your worships, I had no money to buy coal, and as I was passing through Mr. Berens’ wood I gathered a few sticks to boil my kettle. There is a path through the wood, and I gathered the sticks by the side of the path. The bench fined her 2s. 6d. and 2s. 6d. costs, or seven days. As she was leaving the dock Mr. Edlmann expressed the hope that it would be a caution to her never to touch sticks in gentlemen’s woods again.|

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 992, 15. August 1869. S. 7.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE RIOTS AF MOLD.

August Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

The Commission for the Flintshire Assizes was opened by Lord Chief Justice Bovill. The calendar contained the names of seven colliers who had been committed on a charge of riot and assault. The prisoners were brought from Flint under the escort of a detachment, of the 1st Dragon Guards, who remained on duty outside the hall. There was also a large number of the 4th King’s Own stationed in the town, and all the police were armed with swords.

In charging the grand jury (of which Sir Stephen R. Glynne was foreman), the Lord Chief Justice, after praising the general good character of the people of the Principality, said that, unfortunately, at this assize there were two serious cases in which several indictments would be presented. Under ordinary circumstances he should not have thought it necessary to do more than call their attention to the general nature of the charges contained in the indictment; but in this instance the charges seemed to have assumed so much importance, and was of such great interest to the public, to the whole of the inhabitants of the county of Flint, and especially to a large body of working men, that he thought it right to let no doubt rest on the mind of anybody as to what was the law with respect to riots. It was the first duty of the Crown, of magistrates, of sheriffs, of constables, and of all who were concerned in the administration of the law, to protect and preserve the public peace. In doing so they afforded the best protection, both to men’s persons from death and violence, and also to property and its secure enjoyment. As the law must be administered in the name of the Crown and by the instrumentality of others, all those who acted as ministers of the law had a special protection thrown around them in the execution of their duty; in all cases effectual protection was given by the law, and their authority must always be vindicated. In making these observations, he wished it to be understood that there was no class of the community so interested in the preservation of law and public peace and protection of property, as the working classes of this country. It was in their interest especially that the law must be supported; it was to the law that they must look for the protection of their rights and their property. After some further remarks, his lordship said he was aware that magistrates were often placed in positions of considerable difficulty, as were all those who had the command of power for the purpose of putting down disturbances. On the one band, they were bound to act; on the other, they were bound not to exceed their duty; and very often cases of great difficulty and nicety would arise, requiring the soundest judgment, the firmest head, and great discretion. If such persons exercised a sound judgment and discretion, the law would protect them. The main object in all such cases must be to prevent and suppress disturbances of the public peace, and to do so effectually. It was sometimes supposed to be necessary, in cases of riots and before active measures were taken, that the Riot Act should be read. It should be publicly known that where the violence of the mob was so great as to prevent or obstruct a magistrate in reading the proclamation, greater effect was given by the law to that act of obstruction than if the proclamation had been read. All those who were acting in concert together became amenable to the law, and, if death ensued, all would be guilty of murder. He had felt these observations to be necessary, looking at the feeling which had prevailed in this part of the country. There had been an amount of bloodshed which it was dreadful to contemplate, arising out of the unruly conduct of men who had in view so inadequate an object.

In the course of the afternoon the grand jury found a true bill against the six prisoners who have been in goal for the past two months on the charge of riot. They threw out the bill against the seventh man, who was admitted to bail.

Soon afterwards, when all the other business had been disposed of, the six prisoners were arraigned, and each pleaded “Not guilty.” Their names are Isaac Jones, 39; William Griffiths, 48; Bowland Jones, 26; Gower Jones, 18; Richard Jones, 35; and William Hughes, 23; and they were indicted for feloniously wounding two persons with intent to do them grievous bodily harm, and also with feloniously wounding them with intent to resist and prevent the lawful detainer of two prisoners.

Under another indictment they were charged with unlawfully committing a riot and assaulting the police in the execution of their duty.

Mr. M’Intyre appeared for the prosecution; Mr. Morgan Lloyd and Mr. I. Williams defended the prisoners.

The circumstances out of which this charge arose as described by the prosecuting counsel occurred on the 2nd of June, when two men, named Ishmael Jones and John Jones, were committed for a month’s imprisonment for assaulting the undertaker at the Leeswood Green Colliery. The prisoners were being removed from the cells to the railway under a guard of soldiers about seven o’clock, when stones were thrown. At first the police and the soldiers took no notice, but as they approached the station, stones—of which there were considerable quantities, owing to the works that were carried on close by—were thrown in increasing number. The greatest forbearance was shown by the soldiers, notwithstanding the provocation which they received. Some of them were forced by the stones to seek refuge in the small room used as a telegraph-office, where the prisoners were also taken. The crowd went up to the office, broke in the windows, and stoned the persons within. The officer who was in command (Captain Blake) seeing several of his men and others of the police severely wounded, some so seriously that they have not yet recovered, was ordered by Mr. Clough, a magistrate, to fire on the mob. One or two shots were fired from the telegraph-office and others from the platform of the railway station. The mob, finding that the soldiers were determined to retain their prisoners, fell back.

Mr. M’intyre, in his opening speech, submitted to the jury that it was not necessary to show that either of the prisoners threw a stone, but that all he had to do was to show that they were in a crowd which was acting in concert. He should, however, call witnesses to show that the prisoners were seen throwing stones and actively engaged in the attempt to rescue the prisoners.

Captain Blake and other witnesses were called.

Lord Chief Justice Bovill, in summing up, said his only surprise was that, with so numerous a body of soldiers and constables who went through the eventful fifteen or twenty minutes, all escaped with their lives. It was fortunate for them, but still more fortunate for the prisoners, because, had death followed, it would have been the duty of the prosecution to have preferred charges of wilful murder against them. He had ruled that the men who were, on the day of the riot, being taken to the railway station were in lawful custody, and there was no excuse for attacking and wounding the constables. It must be made out to the satisfaction of the jury that the wounds were inflicted with one or other or all of the intents mentioned in the indictments in order to find the prisoners guilty. It was scarcely possible, and not necessary, to prove which man threw the stone that wounded any particular individual. The jury must judge from the numbers and conduct of the mob. He asked for what purpose 1,500 people remained one hour and a half after the men were committed to prison? No answer had been suggested by the prisoners’ counsel. He had been unable to discover with what lawful object the mob threw stones. Captain Blake deserved the greatest commendation for the humanity with which he exercised the power entrusted to him; for when the soldiers were ordered to fire, they were not to do so ineffectually.

The summing up occupied more than three hours and a half. The jury consulted for a quarter of an hour. They “Acquitted” Richard Jones, but “Convicted” all the other prisoners on all the counts.

The Lord Chief Justice, in passing sentence, said it was a painful thing that the prisoners should be placed in so serious a position. They were responsible for the loss of life and for the bloodshed that had occurred, and had run the most serious risk. They had endeavoured by violence to break the law and to defy authority. They thought to overpower a small body of men and to escape detection. The wonder was that hundreds of them did not welter in their blood. If such things were permitted, there would be an end to all order. But the law was too powerful for such attacks. They might be successful for the moment, but the consequence must recoil on the heads of all who had recourse to violence. It was impossible to look lightly on such an offence; but he had power to mitigate the extreme sentence which the law allowed. It was necessary to prevent the recurrence of such attacks. He sentenced each of the prisoners to penal servitude for ten years.

The sentence produced much sensation in court.

[The Daily News, 21. September 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7298, 21. September 1869. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN WORKHOUSES.

CURIOUS CHARGE OF INSUBORDINATION.

At the Hertford Borough Sessions, held yesterday, an elderly man named Bourchier, the son of a deceased Hertfordshire clergyman, but now an inmate of the Hertford Union Workhouse, was charged with insubordination in refusing to attend morning prayers. Bourchier had been taken before the board of guardians on Saturday, on the complaint of the master, and as he then stated that he should continue to refuse to attend prayers so long as they were read by the present master, the board directed that a summons should be taken out against him. Mr. Sworder, the clerk to the guardians, attended before the magistrates, and said that the prosecution was under the 124th, 17th, and 128th orders of the Poor Law Board. The 124th of the orders directed that prayers should be read before breakfast and after supper every day, and that all the inmates of the house should attend them except the sick, the infirm, persons of unsound mind, and young children, “provided that those paupers who may object to attend on account of their professing religious principles differing from those of the Established Church shall be exempt from such attendance.” The other orders applied generally to acts of wilful disobedience to the lawful orders of the master or other officers of the workhouse. In the present case the pauper, although by profession a Dissenter, had not objected to attending prayers on that ground, but had in fact regularly attended until Monday last. On that day, on the master entering the hall to read prayers, Bourchier got up and left; and on being afterwards spoken to about it, he said that the master was not a Christian and that he could not and would not attend prayers when they were read by such a man. On Tuesday and Thursday he repeated his refusal on the same grounds, and during the whole week he was absent from prayers. Under these circumstances Mr. Sworder submitted that there had been a violation of the 124th order, which required paupers to attend prayers, unless they objected on the ground that they were Dissenters; and of the other orders which relate to cases of wilful disobedience to lawful orders, the order being lawful in this case, since the only objection which could entitle the pauper to exemption was not raised. Mr. Wheeler, the master of the workhouse, having deposed to the facts stated by Mr. Sworder, Bourchier said in defense that on the 1st of August the gruel was burnt and spoilt by the burning of the bottom of the copper, and that, being unable to eat it, he asked the porter to get him some water. The master refused to allow this, and when he (Bourchier) attempted to go for it himself, the master stopped him. He considered this cruel, tyrannous, and unchristian conduct, and felt that he could no more attend at a religious service conducted by Mr. Wheeler. For some time after this occurrence, the master did not read prayers, and on his entering the hall on Monday for the purpose of doing so, he (Bourchier) felt compelled to leave. He did not object to the Church prayers, though he was a Dissenter, but he could not worship under the lead of the master and therefore now claimed exemption under the orders as a Baptist, which was the religious profession he made on entering the workhouse. The Mayor said there could be no doubt that the rules of the workhouse had been violated. Bourchier entered the house as a Dissenter, but he had never objected to attend prayers on that ground until the day in question, and could not therefore urge religious scruples in defence. If insubordination such as he had been guilty of were allowed, it would be impossible to maintain order in the workhouse. He must pay a fine of 2s. and 8s. costs or go to prison for seven days. A |[43] fortnight would be allowed for payment. Bourchier asked the bench whether he might not, as a Dissenter, be excused from attending prayers in a future. The Bench replied they would give him no advice in the matter.

[Ausschnitt aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

DEATH BEFORE THE WORKHOUSE.—

Last evening, Mr. Humphreys held an inquest at the Windsor Castle Tavern, Charles-street, Victoria-park, on the body of Ann Savage, aged 19 years. The deceased was the daughter of a widow, living at 3, Lusida-street, Victoria-park, and since the death of her father she had followed the occupation of a sewing machinist. The family, consisting of mother, the deceased, and another daughter, aged 17, who was subject to fits, were in the deepest poverty, and this fact preyed upon the mind of the deceased, and she often said, “I know it will all end in the workhouse, and I dread it, for there we shall be parted.” Her younger sister then said, “Sooner than go to the workhouse I would drown myself,” and on one occasion, after so saying, she ran from the house, and was absent for some hours. On her return she said to deceased, “Did you think I had drowned myself?” To which the reply was, “Those who threaten to commit suicide never do it.” On Sunday evening last deceased left the house, and shortly after was seen running in the direction of the Regent’s Canal, and on Monday, on its being dragged, her body was recovered. Her sister, who was by at the time as soon as she saw the body, endeavoured to jump into the water and was only prevented doing so by several men who were present. The jury returned a verdict that deceased committed suicide while in an unsound state of mind.

[The Daily News, 17. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7347, 17. November 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

Nov 17 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

A CASE which has just occurred at Braford will forcibly remind parochial officers of their responsibility in dealing with the poor. A coroner’s jury, after a long and careful inquiry into a case of death by exposure and want, has returned a verdict of manslaughter against the relieving officer, and that officer has been committed for trial on the charge. The deceased man, MCKENNA, being ill and in want, made several applications for relief to Mr. BURNISTON, the relieving officer for the south district of the Bradford Union. Mr. BURNISTON did not believe in the good faith of the application, gave the man sixpence and three pounds of oatmeal, and told him to go and break stones. The next day the man was worse, and as the lodging-house keeper feared he would die in her house, she got rid of him and of his wife and sent them to the workhouse. There admission to the house was refused him. The man persisted in desiring admission, and some high words passed between him and the relieving officer, and as the officer had failed to find him at the address he gave, his previous bad opinion of MCKENNA was confirmed. MCKENNA pleaded hard, and declared he should die in the street, but Mr. BURNISTON, still believing him to be a bad character, refused. That night MCKENNA and his wife got a lodging given them, and the next day they appeared again with the surgeon’s certificate that he was sick and destitute, and required admission to the workhouse. They then went to the workhouse in a cab, gave the note to the porter’s wife, who handed it to Mr. BURNISTON. He said, “It is naught,” gave Mrs. MCKENNA the note back, and the porter, having no direction to take them in, turned them out. The poor woman went away crying, leaving her husband, who was found late in the afternoon, on the front step of the workhouse, and being lifted to his feet, walked painfully away. At ten that night MCKENNA was heard of at a public-house where some persons had treated him to drink, and where he stayed till closing time. The landlord had tried in vain to get the man some shelter for the nights and at closing time MCKENNA turned out into the street. Shortly afterwards the police found him sitting in York-street, insensible, and took him to the police-office to die. He died of inflammation of the lungs, which had been going on for ten days, and which exposure rendered rapidly fatal. These are the facts as we gather them from evidence given at the inquest, and it is on them that the jury based their verdict. Of course that verdict is given without any statement from Mr. BURNISTON, and we have yet to hear his version of the story.

[The Standard, 18. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Standard, 18. November 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

ST. PANCRAS WORKHOUSE INFIRMARY.

MORE DEATHS AND SPECIAL VERDICTS.

Nov 18 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Yesterday Dr. Lankester, coroner, empanelled a jury at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, on the bodies of eight deceased persons, six of whom had died in either the St. Pancras Workhouse or Infirmary. These cases are entirely distinct from those which were opened last week and stand adjourned till next Monday.

Prior to the jurors viewing the bodies the Coroner briefly addressed them, stating that although his ideas were objected to he still entertained an opinion that inquests ought to be held upon every pauper dying in a workhouse, as well as in prisons or lunatic asylums, and recent events had justified him in coming to that conclusion. As some of the cases the jury were about to investigate were on persons who had died in St. Pancras Infirmary or Workhouse, it would be for the jury to say upon the evidence produced whether the deaths had resulted from any circumstances which had taken place in connection with that institution.

The first infirmary case was on the body of Jane Harvey, aged 35.

Dr. James Ellis said—I am medical officer of St. Pancras Workhouse infirmary. Deceased, Jane Harvey, was admitted to the Infirmary suffering from pleurisy and inflammation of the lungs, and was placed in the small ward, known as 25 ward. There were four beds in that ward whilst deceased was there, but there are seven now. She was admitted on November 9, and died on November 11. The ward in which she was placed is about half the size of this room (a good sized parlour). The ventilation is by the windows, but the amount of atmospheric space is by no means sufficient for the patients, and there is in that ward always a foul atmosphere and stench. If the windows are opened it is exceedingly dangerous to the patients in the foggy weather, as the cold air rushes in upon them, and they prefer the warmth under any circumstances. Mr. Solly and Mr. Carter both examined this ward when they went over the infirmary.

The Coroner.—And both Mr. Solly and Mr. Carter declared the atmosphere of all the wards to be very foul.

Witness.—Yes, the stench from this ward like the others comes in a great degree from the water closet, and although for some time the water closet has been closed up it still continues. I have made a post-mortem examination. I found the brain much congested and the ventricles thickened and gorged with blood, and there was also congestion throughout the lungs, which were in the first stage of pneumonia, and the pleura on the right side was also in an extreme state of inflammation. The cause of death was from inflammation of the lungs and pleura, no doubt accelerated by the foul atmosphere, the stench, and want of ventilation.

Dr. Ellis wished to read a report he had made to the board of guardians, dated Saturday, 13th.

A Juror.—Is that the report ordered to lie on the table?

The Coroner said he did not think they ought, in that particular case, to go into the general question; therefore, unless the report bore upon the state of this particular ward he thought they had better not hear it.

Dr. Ellis said it did.

Several of the jury expressed a wish that the report should |[44] be read.

Dr. Ellis read his report, which was as follows:—“Copy of Medical Officer’s Report. Nov. 13, 1809.—I received instructions from the visiting committee to remove from the infirm to the temporary infirm wards those male patients who had been sleeping on the floor, and to place more bedsteads in the wards occupied by females, so as to do away with the necessity of patients sleeping upon the floors; these instructions were at once carried out, and no patients have since done so. The male patients remained one night in the temporary infirm ward, and on Friday additional accommodation was found by using the second-class officers’ dining room for male insane patients, and appropriating for the use of infirmary patients a comfortable room on the first floor, in the male insane wards, capable of holding, as a makeshift, twelve beds. The board will be glad to learn that the removal of those patients has not resulted in any serious aggravation of their disorders, and I have every reason to believe good results will follow. I feel it my duty to add that further accommodation is desirable. On Friday evening several gentlemen, amongst whom I recognized the vicar of St. Pancras, went round the wards, and I am told by the patients and night nurse that one of them went into 24 ward on tiptoe, and opened the ventilator about ten minutes before the others came up On Saturday night, between nine and ten, a good many persons visited the infirmary; and I am told by the patients that one ordered the nurse in charge to take the dressing off the sores of the patients legs, which was done. There were 33 patients in No. 24 ward, which gave only 587 cubic feet to each patient, and when I visited the ward at seven o’clock this morning (Sunday) the air was excessively foul, though the ventilators at the ends of the wards were open. The night nurse reports the unwholesome smell to have suddenly become intensified as soon as the rain came on in the early morning. On referring to my weekly report book I find that, on September 18, I reported the existence of bad smells, of a sewage-like nature, in No. 24 ward: but no steps have been taken to remedy the evil till this week. Reports were also made on the existence of bad smells and defects of the bad drainage on May 15, April 24 and several other occasions. In February of the present year erysipelas pervaded, which was believed to be owing to the crowded state of the wards, and the cause in one case was traced to defects in the closets. I also beg respectfully to remind the board that on June 19 I reported the beds as full, and asked for instruction; also on July 24 I was obliged to send patients to the house that were not well, having no room for the more urgent cases. Inquests have been held on four cases, and the jury returned verdicts that death was accelerated by the bad state of the atmosphere of the wards. Up to Wednesday there were 58 instances of sleeping on the floor.”

In answer to the Jury,

Dr. Ellis said that nothing had been done until last week to remedy it. Since then it had been as bad as ever.

Elizabeth Turner.—I am a patient in 25 ward, and have been there one month. The smells are very bad, and they come in puffs from the water closet. The effect it has is that the tongue becomes dry, and then I begin to vomit.  No. 24 ward is worse than 25, because there are more patents there. There are six patients now in No. 25 ward. No. 24 was so bad that I begged to go into 25 only last nights; in 25 the patients had to remove from the fire because the stench that came up by the fireplace was so bad. We feel the stench more at night than in the day. When the windows are open the cold is so great that the patients cannot bear it, and when we shut them up we are suffocated by the smell. I have been in 24 ward for four months, and in 25 one month. The deceased in the night she came in complained very much of the smell and closeness of the ward.

Margaret Cain.—I am a paid nurse in 24 and 25 wards. I gave evidence as to 24 wards the other day. I have heard the patients complain of the bad smell and have noticed them myself; it comes from the closet. It has been closed up but that has had no effect. I have reported this to the doctor. The smell was very bad this morning; it is much worse at night than in the day. I do not think it can be got rid of by merely rinsing by a pail of water. The deceased when she came in did not look like a dying woman.

At the request of Dr. Ellis, who stated that imputation had been cast upon him that be had for a particular object ordered all the ventilators to be stopped up, thus causing the foul atmosphere of which these poor people had died, the night nurse was examined.

Ellen Pitt.—I am night nurse. I do not consider any of the infirmary wards are in the condition they ought to be. The smells in every ward are very bad, and nothing had been done to remedy the evil until last week; but in spite of what has been done the smells are as bad as ever. I have repeatedly reported No. 25 ward as being bad with regard to ventilation. On the night deceased, Jane Harvey, came in she complained of the closeness of the place, and said, “I shall be suffocated here”; and when the windows are open the cold is so great I cannot bear it. Dr. Ellis never ordered me to shut the window on any particular night.

The Coroner,—There is no ground whatever for the assertion, if any such has been made, that Dr. Ellis gave orders for the windows or ventilators to be closed on any particular night.

Mr. Watkins, a guardian, here called upon the coroner to allow him to cross-examine this witness, and, having had permission, he called upon the witness to state whether she had not, during the past week, told some one that Dr. Ellis had ordered her to close up all the ventilators of the wards on the occasion of Mr. Solly and Dr. Carter visiting the infirmary.

The Witness denied that she had made any such statement.

Mr. Watkins said he was prepared to prove that this statement was untrue, and tendered himself as a witness.

The Coroner said if Mr. Watkins was prepared to state that the atmosphere was not foul, and that all the evidence the jury had beard was perjury, he would hear him.

Several of the jury objected, and Mr. Watkins said he objected to the evidence of the nurse Pitt as being untrue.

Coroner,—Why we have the evidence of another paid nurse that the wards smell as badly this mornings as they ever did.

Mr. C. A. Lockart Robertson, M.R.C.S., and medical superintendent of the Sussex County Hospital, said he was well acquainted with wards of hospitals and public institutions, visited St. Pancras Workhouse a little before twelve on Sunday last. Found the whole of the wards frightfully overcrowded, with a most unpleasant smell, in spite of the large amount of window and door opening which existed—a proceeding he considered most improper, especially at this time of the year, on account of drafts. The smell, which was beastly to a degree, came mainly from the water-closets. There was no ventilation, he observed, except from the windows. The two long wards (11 and 24) were much overcrowded, recollected the small ward, No. 25, having a water-closet closet closed up. The atmosphere was very bad, worse than the other wards, although it was midday, and all the ventilators open and acting.

By the Coroner.—Should think it impossible to obtain medical success with patients in such wards. Examined some of the patients, and found two cases of continued fever. They were of the typhoid character, and he looked upon it as most dangerous to have them in such a place amongst so many others. Indeed, he looked upon it as absolutely consigning people to their graves thus to crowd them together. No doubt, the death of a person suffering from disease of the lungs would be accelerated by such atmosphere as he found. Should say that any attempt to improve such a place would neither be beneficial to the ratepayers nor the sick poor.

Ellen Hill, another nurse, was called, and, in answer to Dr. Ellis, denied that he had ever given her any special instructions to close up the ventilation. It had been left to her discretion.

Mr. Richardson, a guardian, wished some other nurse to be called, but the Jury considered they had heard enough; and after some discussion with the coroner as to the propriety of communicating with the Poor-law Board as to the antagonism between the guardians and the medical officers,

The Jury returned the following verdict:—“That the deceased, Jane Harvey, died from the mortal effects of inflammation of the side and lungs, accelerated by the want of sufficient sanitary precautions in the ward in which she died in St. Pancras Infirmary.”

The Foreman added that the jury wished to append the following:—“That in the face of the antagonistic feeling existing between the board of guardians and their medical officers, and their repeated inattention to their reports, that the coroner be requested to communicate with the Poor-law Board on the subject.”

The second inquest was on John Watts.

Dr. Ellis said deceased was admitted on Oct. 12, and placed in No. 6 ward, and was found dead in bed on the morning of the 8th instant. A post-mortem revealed the fact that deceased had died from congestive apoplexy, which had, no doubt, been accelerated by the impure atmosphere of the ward.

James Ryley, a patient, said there were 24 men in this ward, and the smells were still so bad that the previous night even, notwithstanding the fog, they were glad to have the windows open. The smells were much worse in the summer, but all the patients still complained of them. Never heard of Dr. Ellis giving a general order to close the windows.

By the Coroner.—This is the ground floor or rat ward (laughter). Had had them running over his bed, and used sometimes to sit up at night and have what was called a rat hunt (renewed laughter).

Verdict—“That John Watts died from effusion of serum on the brain, accelerated by the impure air of the ward in which he was placed in St. Pancras Infirmary.”

Elizabeth Ramsay, seven months old, was the third workhouse case, and was in the infant nursery with her mother. There were 23 children in the ward, and 10 women.

Dr. Hill, the workhouse surgeon, said the child was in good health till the 6th instant, when the drains were opened, and the soil left exposed in the basement. This made several of the children ill, and caused the deceased’s death. He had no doubt from examination of the body that it died from the effects of the inhalation of sulphuretted hydrogen, contained in the soil referred to.

The Jury returned a verdict “That Elizabeth Ramsay died from the poisonous effects of sulphuretted hydrogen proceeding from the drains of the nursery of St. Pancras Workhouse.”

In consequence of the great length of the sitting the coroner discharged the jury in two other cases, and postponed them.

[The Standard, 17. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Standard, 17. November 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

SICKNESS AND DISTRESS IN LONDON.

Nov 17 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Nearly six weeks ago reference was made in the columns of this journal to the appearance of relapsing fever—otherwise known as “famine fever”—among the poor of the metropolis. Mention was made of the fact that 70 cases had been received at the London Fever Hospital between May 1 and October 1, out of which number as many as 30 cases were admitted in the last 15 days of the period. The number has continued to increase, so that a few days ago there were no less than 120 cases of this nature at the Fever Hospital, in addition to others treated at home. Every bed that can be spared for patients suffering from this disease being occupied, it has become necessary to provide against the probability of further demands. Accordingly it has been proposed that a temporary building should be erected on ground belonging to the authorities of the Fever Hospital, whereby 60 additional beds should be made available for patients of this class. This plan, it appears, will be carried out, with the co-operation of the managers of the Metropolitan Asylum Board, under the sanction of the Poor-law Board, the asylum managers also undertaking to provide temporary accommodation on their building site at Hampstead. The gravity of the crisis is increased by the fact that, in addition to the epidemic of relapsing fever, there is an enormous amount of scarlet fever in the metropolis, which, at the Registrar General states, “has fallen with all its violence on the East districts.” Hence the Poplar Board of Guardians, on the recommendation of Mr. Gray, one of the medical officers of the union, have applied to the Poor-law Board for permission to re-open their North-street Infirmary for the reception of fever patients. The sanitary condition of the district is also under careful consideration on the part of the Poplar District Board of Works. Mr. Ellison, the medical officer for the parish of All Saints, Poplar, has prepared statistics showing nearly 100 deaths from scarlet fever as occurring in that portion of the district since April last. In eight instances there are two deaths, in one there are three deaths, and in another instance there |[45] are as many as four deaths in one house. It has been decided to erect a mortuary and a disinfecting house for the parish of All Saints (which is simply and really Poplar, including the Isle of Dogs). For the purpose of collecting the clothes, bedding, &c., of fever patients, an iron truck will be used, with a tight-fitting lid. The infected articles will be conveyed in this truck from the dwelling to the disinfecting house, where the truck with its contents will be fumigated by means of burning sulphur, ignited in a sort of iron tray, which draws in and out underneath the truck, the bottom of the truck being perforated to allow of the entrance of the vapour, while a metal tube inserted in the lid of the truck carries off the fumes from the clothing into a chimney. Thus the clothes themselves receive no handling, and their transit through the street in the first instance is accompanied with no danger to the public. It is also contemplated to increase the sanitary staff of the board, and to commence a house-to-house visitation.

Relapsing fever is not a conspicuous ailment in poplar at the present time, though it exists to a certain extent. It has doubtless been kept down by what we may call the superior liberality of the Poplar Board of Guardians. It seems to predominate in St. Giles and Whitechapel. It is said that this disease has been imported from the Continent. That such was the case last year seems tolerably evident, according to the researches of Dr. Charles Murchison. The Polish Jews have an unenviable notoriety for this miserable complaint. But the visitation this year does not seem clearly traceable to that source, and there is too much reason to fear that it has a home origin. It naturally occurs to a population after a period of protracted privation. Where every sanitary precaution is taken this disease may yet arise, though it is aggravated and extended by the depressing and polluting influence of foul air, whether from bad drainage or overcrowding. Of itself, relapsing fever seldom kills, but it finds a ready ally in typhus, by which it is often followed. The victim of relapsing fever is sorely enfeebled, and the vigour of the constitution is seriously impaired. The citadel thus undermined soon falls, and the famine fever is perhaps most to be dreaded as preparing the way for another disease more fatal in its character. Relapsing fever thus conceals itself from view, so far as the statistics of the Registrar General are concerned, but is nevertheless, a very dangerous foe to the lives of the poor.

According to a paper just issued by Mr. Simon, the medical officer to the Privy Council, 73 cases of relapsing fever were admitted into the London. Fever Hospital in the first nine days of the present month, besides a few cases admitted into other hospitals. On the 10th inst. there were 138 cases in the Fever Hospital, and the wards were over flowing. From the beginning of the year to the evening of the 9th inst. 280 cases had been admitted into hospitals, and four attendants at hospital had caught the complaint. Out of the 284 cases only one had proved directly fatal. These are evidently not the full statistics of the disease, for it is stated that in the middle of October “not a few” suffers from relapsing fever were found remaining in private houses, in Whitechapel and St. Giles’s. Referring to the hospital cases, we find that these came from 156 houses, of which 48 were in Whitechapel, 24 in St. Giles’s, 9 in Bethnal-green, and 6 in St. Pancras, the remainder being scattered in various parts of the metropolis. Out of the 280 patients, Whitechapel has furnished 64, St. Giles’s 50, Bethnal-green 27, Camberwell 24 and St. Pancras 9. The number attributed to Camberwell is really fortuitous, the cases, with only one exception, having all been found in the casual wards of that parish. In other parts of London, also, the casual wards have been found to contribute patients of this class, and danger exists lest the tramps afflicted with this disorder should convey the infection to other parts of the kingdom. At present relapsing fever appears to be limited to the metropolis. Mr. Simon refers to the fact that the hospitals in London are now full, and no accommodation can be expected in these institutions which shall be adequate to the probable growth of the epidemic. It is consequently urged that those districts where the disease exists will be very seriously endangered, if special hospital accommodation be not at once provided. As an instance, we may mention that Mr. Liddle, the medical officer of health to the Board of Works for the Whitechapel district, in company with Mr. Vallance, the clerk to the guardians, waited on the authorities of the London Hospital on Monday, to learn whether any possible provision could be made for fever patients by that institution. The reply was in the negative, the hospital being completely full (to the extent of 502), of its ordinary patients.

The presence of scarlet fever in Whitechapel is shown by the following statistics, compiled from the books of the medical officers of the union:—In the three months ending October 2, there were 135 cases of scarlet fever, as against 17, in the corresponding quarter of last year. The deaths from this disease were 82 against 11. From October 2 up to the 6th of the present month, 60 fresh cases of scarlet fever have appeared, and 30 deaths have occurred. “Continued fever,” strange to say, including typhus, typhoid and relapsing fever, shows a decrease in the last quarter, as compared with the previous year; but relapsing fever, taken by itself, would palpably lead to a different issue. Moreover, since the completion of the quarter (October 2), there have been 60 cases of continued fever in Whitechapel in the space of five weeks, which is in Whitechapel in the space of five weeks, which are in a higher ratio than the December quarter of 1868. We must likewise observe that there were only 25 cases of scarlet fever in the December quarter of 1868, as against 60 in the first five weeks of the present quarter, the deaths from scarlet fever (30) in those five weeks being more numerous than the attacks in the whole December quarter of 1868, the deaths from scarlet fever in that quarter being but 19.

It is not only the present but the prospective condition of the eastern parishes which excites anxiety—we might perhaps say alarm. The existing hospitals are taxed to the full extent of their resources; but it is by no means clear that epidemic fever is at its height. Even if scarlet fever should decline, there is the ominous advance of the famine fever, in all probability to be followed by typhus. Viewing the contingencies which now beset the public health, particularly the enormous difficulty of battling with contagious disease in the crowded dwellings of the London poor, it is impossible not to feel the importance of prompt and united action on the part of the local authorities. Boards of guardians and boards of works ought to join hand in hand against the common foe. Happily this is already the case in some |[46] districts, though we fear it is not so in all. We have mentioned some of the precautions which are being taken in Poplar. In Whitechapel Mr. Liddle has recommended certain measures to the Board of Works, which is at the present time under consideration. These may be enumerated under the somewhat formidable number of six distinct heads. First, the erection of a mortuary; secondly, the establishment of a disinfecting house; thirdly, a carriage for the conveyance of infected persons; fourthly, a place in which dead bodies may be kept while undergoing post-mortem examination; fifthly, a house of refuge for the reception of persons living in a room where infectious or contagious disease exists; and sixthly, a house which might be used as a hospital for the reception and treatment of persons suffering from fever and other infectious disorders. The first, the third, and the fourth of these recommendations cannot be considered extraordinary; but the others are evidently belonging more immediately to a period of special danger, though evidently of use at all times. It is easy to find in Whitechapel masses of houses which seem only adapted to generate pauperism and fever. Whether such dens ought to exist for the benefit of landlords and the burden of ratepayers, is a practical question, the solution of which must come at some time or other. Fever in such places is like fire. The inhabitants pay rents and starve. Sickness seizes the people, and the public have to defray the cost. Finally, all these symptoms are aggravated in times of distress, such as those which now beset the working classes.

The condition of a very large proportion of the London poor is very much the same as if the metropolis were in a state of siege. Multitudes are unable to get sufficient and proper food. It may be said that bread is not dear at the present time. But cheapness is a relative term, and breads at a low price is yet dear to the man who lacks the money wherewith to purchase the “cheap loaf.” The benevolent contributions of the public have enabled Mrs. Kitto, of St. Matthias, Poplar, to furnish children’s dinners at a cost to the recipient of only a single penny. But when the ticket is obtained by the parent it is a hard matter sometimes to find the penny. A case recently transpired in which three-farthings had been raised for this purpose by the sale of some old rags; but the other farthing was not forthcoming, and the tempting dinner was actually foregone, though we need hardly say that it would not have been withheld under such circumstances. Notwithstanding the so-called cheapness of bread, a family, consisted of father, mother, and six children, have been known within a very recent period to live on potatoes for a week. In another instance a widow maintained herself and two children for a like period of time on a most singular article. Having some semolina given her, she obtained a pennyworth of yeast, and made the semolina into bread, and this was the sole sustenance of a little family for several days. It is too much to expect that people thus circumstanced shall continue healthy. Want of employment, followed by poverty, also leads to overcrowding. How can fever be stopped in a district where it is common for a whole family to live in one room? Hence the necessity for hospitals and infirmaries. Again, how is the convalescent to become thoroughly well and fit for work? Certainly not in their dwellings. Unless the labouring classes can get work they cannot get wages, and without wages they cannot live, let the price of food be what it may. We fall back on the poor law; but here we find the labour-test often supplanted by the house-test, and the latter alternative is a frightful thing to the more deserving class. Still, according to the returns for the fifth week of October, there are more than 100,000 persons in the metropolis in the receipt of out-door relief. The in-door poor at that date were over 35,000. It is palpable that London could not receive all her paupers into the existing workhouses. It is lamentable also to observe that the metropolis has nearly 2000 more paupers than it had in the corresponding week of the previous year, and nearly 13,000 more than in the corresponding week of 1867. Poplar, indeed, shows a decrease in the last twelvemonths, for which we are probably indebted to emigration as well as to migration. There are now, we are told, about 600 empty houses in the Isle of Dogs, some of which can be purchased almost literally for nothing.

In the parish of St. Jude’s, Whitechapel, small but crowded, there is a population of nearly 17,000, presenting scarcely one satisfactory element in their condition. In their character these people are somewhat varied; some are honest, others are not so, but all are wretched. Among the more respectable portion, both here and elsewhere in Whitechapel, the cry is for work. One reason why this is so scarce is to be found in the collapse of the large sugar bakeries of East London. This industry is virtually at an end in Whitechapel and St. George’s-in-the-East, and a vast amount of distress arises from that cause alone. Coopers, Carmen, and shopkeepers suffer more or less in common with the workpeople. As usual, where poverty is most prevalent the poor rates are at a maximum, St. Jude paying at the rate of 5s. 6d. in the pound “to the relief of the poor”—a phrase which might sometimes be rendered in a contrary sense. Here and in other parts we find the health condition of the people far from satisfactory. Notwithstanding all the efforts of the sanitary authorities—often extremely praiseworthy—the people exhibit a state of body almost equivalent to a form of blood poisoning. Boils break out, slight injuries are extremely difficult of cure, and in many cases there is an unhappy craving for stimulants. The poor Jews are said to satisfy themselves with strong coffee except during the Feast of Purim, when some of them esteem it a sort of duty to indulge excessively in a more exciting beverage. That beer-shops and public-houses are far too abundant in many of the poorer districts of the metropolis, is a fact not to be denied. But those who most deplore it are often, conscious of the depressing influence of a visit paid to the dwellings of the poor, and feel it a reasonable precaution to imbibe a stimulant after their exploration. The administration of charity is replete with difficulties; the poor law appears powerless to prevent pauperism; sickness of a serious kind seems now inevitable, and unless employment can be found for these starving multitudes, it is difficult to foresee what will be the ultimate consequence.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 21. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1006, 21. November 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

WHOLESALE PLUNDER OF THE POOR.

TO THE EDITOR OF REYNOLDS’S NEWSPAPER.

SIR,—There is more downright rascality to be found in bank parlours, in private committee rooms, and in the board rooms of our public institutions, than in all the prisons of the metropolis, with Newgate at their head. Some of the so-called London charities may well, in truth, be also designated London rascalities. It is, indeed, the same in the provinces as in the metropolis. Moneys left by charitable persons for the purpose of clothing, educating, and relieving the poor in sickness and in want, have been diverted from their legitimate purposes, and scandalously misappropriated by those into whose hands their appropriation was confided. Like birds of prey over a carcase, well clad, sanctimonious, smug-faced church and chapel-going harpies have fastened themselves on the bodies of our national charities, and are sucking the life-blood out of them. It is a common saying, that nothing can be done without jobbery in this country; but it does appear a monstrous, a shameful, and a scandalous fact, that not even charities are exempt from this prevailing evil.

Jobbery, I fear, is sadly curtailing the utility of many of those noble and necessary institutions, the public hospitals; and, judging by some disclosures recently made in reference to the management of Bartholomew’s Hospital, there is reason to suspect that the poor reap but little benefit from the forty-eight thousand pounds income that charity enjoys. It is said that pretty well the whole and sole control of the hospital is vested in the hands of a very highly salaried functionary named Foster White, who is a sort of bashaw in the establishment, and monarch of all he surveys. Ugly rumours have oozed out lately as to the shabby treatment of the indoor patients at this magnificently endowed hospital; and, likewise, it has been shown, and proven, that the medical treatment of out-door patients is little better than a cruel, and, indeed, dangerous, farce.

One of the medical men connected with the hospital, more thin-skinned, perhaps, than some of his brethren, recently resigned because he would not be an accomplice to what appeared to him a gross and cruel deception. It seems that the doctors appointed to relieve the out-door patients are expected to “knock them off” with such rapidity, that only some twenty or twenty-five seconds can be devoted to each case! Never mind how serious or how trivial the ailment, the doctor on duty must make himself acquainted with every particular of the malady in the time mentioned, or he will fall into arrears with his patients, and into disgrace with the hospital authorities. The martyr to cancer must be disposed of in the same time as the sufferer by a catarrh. “Come and go” seems to be the order at Barthlomew’s, and, I fear, at most London hospitals. No time can be spared to inquire minutely as to the origin and nature of the out-door patient’s maladies, but he is dismissed after the most hurried and superficial examination, with the inevitable bolus or blister.

Indeed, it is doubtful whether more out-door patients are not killed than cured through their visits to some of the public hospitals. Of course, this hasty, unsatisfactory, and discreditable way |[47] of doing business might easily be remedied by enlarging the staff of the hospitals, and letting half a dozen, instead of two or three, doctors attend applicants for medical advice and aid. There are hundreds of fully qualified surgeons who would gladly undertake these duties; but the hospital authorities will not go out of the old grooves to which they have been so long accustomed, and they set their faces against all innovations, however needful and beneficial they may be. They like keeping all authority, all patronage, and all pickings to themselves, and refuse to alter the existing state of things, fearing that interlopers might interfere with the loaves and fishes.

It appears there is a brown jug ready at hand, from whence pretty well all patients are physicked alike. “A Clerkenwell Guardian” makes the following astounding statement in reference to a case, which, if true, reflects the utmost discredit upon the authorities of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. He writes as follows:—

“Amongst the applicants to the Clerkenwell Relief Committee was William Clarke. His arm was in a sling, and his hand was swathed in hospital bandages. He evidently came from some remote village, and had the appearance of an agricultural labourer. He informed the committee that he had had one of his fingers amputated at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital a few days before, and that half an hour after the operation, he was sent out friendless, homeless, and penniless. The night was bitterly cold, and after wandering about for some time, a police-officer directed him to the Clerkenwell casual wards. He was at once admitted, and from thence, the next day, he was received into the workhouse. The committee ordered his detention in our infirmary, where he will receive the attention of the surgeon and have sick diet, notwithstanding his not belonging to the parish.”

And this accusation, brought against a hospital with 48,000l. per annum, with the Prince of Wales as patron, and with a treasurer and manager who receives a very large salary! I rejoice to say the scandals that have got abroad in reference to St. Bartholomew’s, have induced the authorities at last to order an investigation as to their truth.

And so it is thus that some of the noblest charities are cramped in the good work their founders meant them to execute. And thus it is that the poor are made to suffer, and to suffer severely, because they are comparatively helpless to protect themselves against those who fatten and flourish upon the proceeds of bequests intended for the behoof and benefit of others. Charities abroad are admirably administered compared with those at home. In most cases the administrators are honorary officers, and make that a work of love which the paid secretaries, treasurers, and the hundreds of other harpies that fasten and fatten upon English charities, regard purely in a mercenary point of view. The results are consequently most opposite. Out of a thousand pounds given to the poor in France, nine hundred and ninety is expended upon them; whilst here half the amount would be frittered away upon officials, functionaries, and a host of other leeches that must all have a nibble at the substance. Some of these cormorants are not contented with a nibble, but make a large bite into the bequests intended for the poor, and extract therefrom, under the designation of salary, five, six, eight hundred, and sometimes, fifteen hundred per annum.

At least a million is filched annually from the poor by those who have obtained control over charitable funds. The sums purloined by the public officers and public companies of the City of London in the aggregate make an enormous amount, but so powerful is the interest of these rogues in crimson, mazarine, and broadcloth, that they easily stifle all attempts to get at how they appropriate the funds entrusted for charitable purposes to their keeping. We all know they spend an enormous amount in guzzling; that they appoint each other to sinecure offices with large salaries attached thereto, and adopt other equally ingenious and disgraceful methods of spending on themselves funds intended for the poor.

[The Daily News, 23. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7352, 23. November 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE ST. PANCRAS INFIRMARY.

ADJOURNED INQUEST.

Yesterday morning, shortly after 10 o’clock, Dr. Lankester resumed, at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, St. Pancras, the inquiry into the causes of the death of several persons recently in the infirmary of St. Pancras Workhouse. The case of James Plant was, it may be remembered, partly heard on the 10th instant, when, in consequence of the remarkable evidence given by Mr. S. Solly, Surgeon and Lecturer of St. Thomas’s Hospital and Vice-President of the College of Surgeons, and of Mr. R. Brudenell Carter, F. R. C. S., an adjournment took place in order that the investigation might be made as complete as possible. At the first sitting verdicts were returned in the cases of two persons, viz., Jane Harrison and Julia Conder, who died in the infirmary, to the effect that death was accelerated by overcrowding and want of ventilation. The names of the deceased, whose cases had still to be investigated, were, besides James Plant, Jane Hayes, Mary Brown, Mary Smith, and John Fox.

Mr. Parker, jun., of 40, Bedford-row, appeared yesterday on behalf of the relatives of June Hayes and Mary Brown.

The Coroner, having reminded the jury of the nature of the evidence given at the previous sitting by Mr. Carter and Mr. Solly with regard to the impure atmosphere of the wards, referred to the charge made since the 10th inst. against Dr. Ellis, the surgeon of the infirmary, to the effect that he caused the ventilation to be stopped immediately before Mr. Solly’s visit, and observed that if that serious charge could be proved, Dr. Ellis must have been guilty of manslaughter, if not of murder. There had, it appeared, been some improvements in the wards since the deceased persons died, but of course that could not affect the verdict with regard to the cause of death. Since the last sitting, he had written to the President of the Poor Law Board, drawing his attention to the state of the infirmary, and asking him to allow the Poor Law inspectors who had visited it to give evidence. The reply was to the effect that the unsatisfactory state of the infirmary was well known to the board, whose best efforts had been directed to the removal of the evils complained of; and it was hoped that in a few weeks the new infirmary at Highgate would be ready for the reception of patients; and that as an official inquiry covering part of the question at issue was about to take place, the Board did not consider it desirable to comply with the request made. It was added that the inspectors might of course be summoned in the usual way.

Some of the jury having here expressed a wish to visit the infirmary they were conducted thither by the coroner’s officer. On their return, after the lapse of about twenty minutes, the case of Jane Hayes was, for special reasons connected with witnesses, first proceeded with.

Dr. Ellis deposed that deceased, who was 17 years of age, was admitted on the 24th of July into No. 24 ward, and died on the 2nd of November from phthisis. When she died there were, he said, 29 patients in the ward, and the quantity of cubic feet of air per patient was 600, or 250 feet below the minimum requirement of the Poor Law Board. On a post mortem examination, the brain was found to be congested, and he believed the cause of death was typhoid or gastric fever, connected with consumption, and that death was accelerated by the |[48] poisonous air of the ward. On the previous day he saw some water, obtained by the dispenser from the bottom of the air shaft of the infirmary, and found that it contained sewage contamination. That water ought not to have been there. It was not his duty to look after the air shafts, and he did not know whose duty it was.

The Coroner said it seemed very remarkable that, in the case of that workhouse there was no one to look after such matters. He wished to know what the witness meant to do with regard to this water.

The witness said he should report to the Board on the subject, as he had already reported from time to time. He reported the existence of bad smells in No. 24 ward as far back as September 18. Two new ventilators had been put into No. 24 ward since Jane Hayes died, but he did not perceive any improvement. There had been no reduction in the number of patients, but rather an increase. On June 30, and at other times, he reported to the Board that patients had been sleeping on the floor. Reporters as to bad smells were made before he entered upon office, which was in June last, by Drs. Harley and Gibson. He agreed with Dr. Edward Smith that the minimum number of patients in the wards should be 144. On July 1st, there were 168 beds, and within the last ten days there had been 203. More beds had been put in the wards since Mr. Solly and Mr. Carter gave their evidence.

The Coroner—Then you think the tendency to overcrowding and the acceleration of deaths has rather increased since the revelations of the 10th of November?

Witness—Yes, sir.

Examination continued—On the 6th of November there were 169 patients in the infirmary, and yesterday (Sunday) there were 190. The witness then put in his half-yearly report to the Board of Guardians, and also a reply from that Board requesting him to couch his reports in language more becoming a medical man and a gentleman.

Mr. Corbett, Poor Law Inspector, was then examined. He deposed that he had been acquainted with the St. Pancras Infirmary since October, 1866, and that from that period the Infirmary wards had always been more or less overcrowded. He had reported this to the Poor Law Board, and the reason why the order that there should be 850 cubic feet for each patient was not enforced, was—

Dr. Edmunds, one of the guardians, here interposed, and begged the Coroner to afford them facilities for aiding in the elicitation of the truth, especially by letting him have a chair to take notes, and prepare for an examination of the witness. The guardians had, he said, to contend against a conspiracy. Several gentlemen in the room, evidently connected with the vestry, loudly protested against this expression, and quite a scene occurred in the court. In the course of the uproar—for such it was—the foreman protested against a statement which he had seen, that the Coroner’s officer could easily pack a jury; but the Coroner assured him that he need not trouble himself about the matter, as he could defend his court against any imputation of that kind. Dr. Edmunds was then with some difficulty—the room being crowded—accommodated with a seat at the Coroner’s table.

Mr. Corbett’s examination continued—The order that there should be 850 cubic feet per patient was not enforced by the Poor Law Board, because it was thought that many patients whose cases were urgent might thus be excluded, and because better provision was being made for patients. He visited No. 24 ward between half-past four and five that (Monday) morning. The air was still offensive, but he did not think it was quite as offensive as it was on the night of the 14th instant, when there were two more patients in the ward. He believed that after Dr. Markham’s report as to bad smells the guardians conscientiously endeavoured to remove the cause of the evil. He could not tell whether the Poor Law Board had power to do anything beyond calling the attention of the guardians to the matter. The witness then deposed to the removal of one serious sewage nuisance in consequence of a complaint on the part of the Poor Law Board.

By the Foreman—In consequence of the crowded state of the infirmary wards some persons who were ill had been placed in the infirm wards.

By the Coroner—On the night of the 14th of Nov. there [were] 32 patients in No. 24 ward, whereas on the 15th of Oct. there were only 27. The position of the water-closets was not satisfactory, but he had never had occasion to complain of their condition. He thought the ventilation of the wards might be improved with a limited number of beds and proper care. That morning he found the patients in No. 11 ward nearly all coughing in a distressing manner, and he thought that was owing to the circumstances that the ventilators, which were about 3 feet above the heads of the patients, were open.

Dr. Edmunds, who said he had been a guardian only since April last, then examined the witness upon points of discipline in workhouse management. Referring to a resolution of the guardians, passed, he said, last Friday week, requiring that no more patients should be admitted to the wards than the number prescribed by the Poor Law Board, he asked whether the medical officer was not responsible for any excess.

The witness replied that the person responsible was he who gave the order for additional beds, adding that the responsibility in such cases devolved, as he thought, on the master.

By the Coroner—As a lawyer, he did not think the Board of Guardians could expose themselves to a verdict of manslaughter by allowing an excessive number of patients.

The Coroner said he was afraid there was no law on the subject. The public had trusted to gospel, and it had failed them.

Dr. Edmunds continued his examination of the witness at considerable length, for the purpose of showing that the Board of Guardians had done everything in their power to improve the ventilation.

Dr. John Henry Brydges, Acting-Inspector of the Poor Law Board, was next examined. He said he had visited the infirmary but once, namely, on the 14th instant. The size and construction of some of the wards he considered pretty good, but there was a bad smell from one of the sinks. There were too many patients in all the wards; and he thought that persons suffering from phthisis and disease of the lungs would be likely to have their deaths accelerated by the state of the wards. He made a report to the Poor Law Board of what he observed, and that was all he could do.

The Coroner—Don’t you think, Dr. Brydges, that the people of England, when they read the report of this inquiry, will be astonished to learn that you, representing the Government, found this state of things and were powerless to remedy it?

The witness repeated that he had only power to report.

In reply to Dr. Edmunds, the witness said he believed the Poor Law Board had power to make an order limiting the number of patients in the infirmary. There were hospitals in London where a patient suffering from lung disease would be much better off as regarded pure air than at his own home. He thought that an opening at the top and at the bottom in the St. Pancras Infirmary would be better than the present system of ventilation. He did not know any workhouse infirmary in which there was better structural ventilation than there was in that one.

It was here stated, in reply to inquiries from the coroner, that the infirmary was built about 1849.

The Coroner—Ventilating apparatus was not as effective then as it is now.

The Court then adjourned for half an hour.

When the Court had again met,

Mr. B. Carter was re-examined. He deposed to having visited that morning Nos. 16 and 24 female wards, and No. 11 male ward. Having visited them on the 4th of November, he found little improvement; the air being close and offensive; and he thought that, with precautions to prevent cold, the ventilation might have been improved. The condition of No. 24 wards, as he found it that morning, would accelerate the death of a patient suffering from phthisis. Did not know any hospital in London where there was as much overcrowding, or as great a want of ventilation as he had found in St. Pancras Infirmary. Would be sorry to spend 24 hours in the wards, and considered them quite unfit for human habitation.

Mr. J. W. Barnes, surgeon, was, at his own urgent request, here examined with regard to the deceased James Plant, whom he attended just before his admission into the infirmary. The gist of his evidence was that he found Plant in such a state that in his opinion he could not possibly live; but, in reply to the coroner, he admitted that he did not discover any organic disease. Knew the wards, and when he visited them found no want of ventilation. Did not believe their state had accelerated the death of anyone.

The witness was pressed very closely by the coroner and the foreman with questions on this point, but he adhered substantially to his statement. In reply to a question suggested by Mr. Parker, he said that he is elected one of the parish surgeons annually by the board of guardians.

Dr. Ellis, medical officer of the infirmary, was then cross-examined, it being a cross-examination only in form, by Mr. Parker. His evidence related chiefly to reports which he and some of his predecessors had made at different times to the board of guardians, with respect to the objectionable state of the wards, and he expressed his belief that, if his own suggestions had been carried out, considerable improvement would have resulted.

Mr. George Blake, master of the workhouse, who was there in that capacity for two years and left on the 1st inst., said that when he entered upon office the number of beds was 203, which number was gradually reduced. On the 27th of May last he reported to the board about an increase. When he quitted the house there were 169 beds—a number which exceeded that prescribed by the Poor Law Board. During his term of office there were many complaints of smells, and though a good deal had been done to remedy the evil, there were smells when he left. Had the new ventilators been supplied earlier, he would have used them. To meet the evils complained of, the old guardians sent twelve patients to King’s College Hospital, and they would have sent more had there been room for them. The workhouse was drained very well, but the infirmary very badly. Saw the new Infirmary at Highgate in October, and believed it was then dry enough to be occupied by patients. The ventilators were not generally used while he was in the house, being too close to the patients’ heads.

James Peel, medical dispenser of the workhouse, was then examined with regard to the water just found by him, as stated by Dr. Ellis, in the air-shaft of the infirmary, and deposed in effect that, having analyzed it, he found that it contained organic matter connected with the sewage. The witness gave the quantity of such matter, and said it far exceeded the organic matter in the ordinary water of the workhouse.

John Ward, engineer of the workhouse, was thereupon examined, and said he thought the water in question must have percolated through a main which was broken six or seven weeks ago, adding that the air shaft was used, not to let in air, but to draw it off, and therefore the patients could not have been injured by that cause. He had found that morning a stench arising from a cesspool outside the infirmary walls, on the ground of the Midland Railway Company, and he believed that smells in the wards arose from that source, knew of the existence of that cesspool before.

The Coroner asked the witness why he did not report the fact of its existence to the Medical Officer of Health?

The witness replied that it was not his duty to do so, and went on to say that the cesspool was not used now, and he was surprised that it had not been removed.

Ellen Petts, night nurse in the infirmary, deposed that on the night of Mr. Solly’s visit to the infirmary it was in its ordinary state, and she had no orders to close the ventilators. Great efforts had been made to improve the state of the wards during the last two or three weeks.

The Coroner then asked the jury if they felt themselves in a position to come to a conclusion on the case of Jane Hayes.

The jury having intimated that they did,

The Coroner addressed them. He observed that although 80 cubic feet of air was the prescribed quantity per patient it had not been enforced, and no one appeared to be legally responsible for a deficiency. He did not think the jury could find any one criminally guilty, although some persons had, no doubt, been negligent. Before the guardians were blamed by the jury it should be considered whether the Poor-law Board should not have exercised the authority vested in it. Dr. Ellis had, the Coroner remarked, been cleared from the charge of having purposely over-crowded the wards.

The room was then cleared for the jury to consult. After the lapse of about an hour they declared that the death of Jane Hayes was accelerated by the overcrowded condition of the ward in which she died; adding to this verdict the following expression of opinion:—“That the wards of St. Pancras Infirmary have been overcrowded for the last three years, and the jury desire to express their regret that the Poor Law Board have not enforced the sanitary measures which they have from time to time recommended to be carried out; and they also feel that the Board of Guardians have failed in their duty towards the parishioners of St. Pancras in not carrying into effect the recommendations of the Poor Law Board.”

The court adjourned at a quarter-past six for the hearing of the other cases until Monday, the 29th instant, at four o’clock.|

[The Pall Mall Gazette, 25. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Pall Mall Gazette. Nr. 1494, 25. November 1869. S. 1/2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE BURDEN OF LONDON PAUPERISM.

OUR recent strictures upon the conduct of the St. Pancras ratepayers in electing, and still more in supporting, the guardians whose conduct in office has been the objects of so much just condemnation do not seem to call for any sort of qualification. Still there is another aspect of the question which must be taken into account before drawing any practical conclusion. If the ratepayers had insisted on keeping the old infirmary in use simply for the purpose of killing sick paupers, or if the economy which really actuated them had been pursued for its own sake, and with no reference to the state of their own pockets, there would have been nothing for it but to resort to wholesale disfranchisement. Men who compel the sick whom the law consigns to their mercy to breathe sulphureted hydrogen, because it is a safe way of getting them off their hands, or whose desire to save sixpence in rates is compatible with lavish expenditure in other ways, can never, by any process short of miraculous conversion, be safely entrusted with a voice in the administration of poor relief. But in this case it is not necessary to take so extreme a view. There is no doubt that the small shopkeepers of Northern London do find the poor rate a very heavy burden. This fact supplies no excuse for the steps they have taken to lighten it, any more than infanticide is excused by the fact that the food and clothes of a child cost money. But it is nevertheless an element which should be kept in mind when we are considering how to put things on a better footing. The business of life must ordinarily be carried on by men who would keep pretty straight if they were not tempted into crooked ways; and if it is in our power to remove temptation from them without injustice to other people, it will probably be easier to do so than to find men of stronger principle to take their places. A poor ratepayer, who feels that humanity, at all events at the outset, is a very costly process, will commit acts of cruelty, of which, if the outlay demanded of him had been less, he would honestly have thought himself incapable. In dealing with persons of this class it is important, therefore, to determine whether the pressure laid upon them admits of being lightened—in other words, whether they get more than their just share of it. If it turns out that they have been hardly dealt with in this respect, our dislike of the means they have taken to help themselves ought not to hinder us from helping them in a more legitimate manner. By so doing we shall be really effecting two ends at once—the redress of a grievance which is not the less a grievance because it has been met in an improper spirit and by disgraceful acts, and the removal of one, at least, of the principal motives which have led to their abuse of their powers.

That the unequal distribution of rates in London constitutes a real hardship to the poorer districts will hardly be denied. The class which comes most often on the parish for relief naturally congregates in particular districts. In some parts of the town there is still a considerable social mixture, and the poor live in a nest of back streets with a facing of wealth all round them. But more often the proletariat of the capital dwells in a colony of its own, and men whose work may lie at the other end of London go home at night to Whitechapel or Bethnal-green. Consequently the neighbourhood which bears the cost of maintaining these men when they are out of work is rarely the neighbourhood which benefits by their work when they can get any. The theory on which the poor rate is supposed to be distributed—that the pauperism of each district is supported by the property of the district—is thus set at defiance, and the pauperized artisan |[50] apply for relief to a ratepayer with whom, except as a pauper, he has no relations whatever. Thus the wealthier class escapes the responsibilities which of right belong to it, and, as commonly happens, is none the better for escaping them; while the middle class comes in for responsibilities which it has only incurred accidentally, and by an equally common process is exasperated and hardened by the inequality.

The objection most frequently urged against the equalization of the poor rate over the whole of London is that it would tend to discourage economy. Under the present system, it is argued, relief is administered by the people who have to pay the cost of it, and whose interest it is to calculate it on the most limited scale, whereas on a system of equalized rates each parish would be administering a fund contributed by the entire metropolis, and the increased cost of careless or lavish expenditure would only be slightly felt by the particular district guilty of it. It is evident, however, that the consequences of the present system are very much more sweeping than they were designed to be, and that in our anxiety to ensure prudence we have ensured a degree of niggardliness which occasionally is not distinguishable from wanton cruelty, It becomes worthy of consideration, therefore, whether the attempt to maintain necessary economy by indirect means has not led us to overlook the possibility of maintaining it by direct means. Now that the burden of poor relief in London falls almost exclusively on a few parishes—and that the least able to sustain it—the most brutal expedients are, as we have seen, resorted to in order to lessen the pressure. The theory which underlies the existing relations between the central and the local authorities is that the latter are always well-meaning, but a little apt to be behind the age. This defect is supposed to be met by the appointment of inspectors, who test the practice of the guardians by the standard prescribed by the Commissioners, and report all defections and shortcomings; upon which the Board notifies to the guardians the points in which their administration is faulty, and the guardians gratefully adopt the wise counsels of their superior officers. It is needless to say that this pleasing picture is often quite imaginary. The guardians think they know their own business much better than anybody can tell it them, and they resent the suggestions of the Poor Law Board as so much wanton interference with their darling fetish of local self-government. Unless the public are prepared to have the abominations of St. Pancras repeated whenever the same conditions recur they must insist on giving the Poor Law Board authority to say, this must be done, and if you do not choose to do it we shall step in and do it for you. If a department of the Government, the head of which has always a seat in Parliament, and is frequently a member of the Cabinet, cannot be trusted with this amount of discretionary power, what is the use of keeping up a Central Board? Why not make each board of guardians an independent republic, and abandon the farce of subjecting them to a common authority? But when things have been carried thus far there will be nothing to prevent their being pushed a little farther. If Parliament can enable the Poor Law Board to say to a board of guardians, you shall do this, it can equally enable them to say, You shall not do that. The authority which is competent to enforce humanity must be competent to restrain extravagance. The lavish expenditure of other people’s money which is predicted by some alarmists as the result of an equitable distribution of the poor rate must take one of three forms—a too generous scale of relief, over-payment of officials, or a needless erection of new buildings. Certainly these are not the sins which the metropolitan guardians are at present most inclined to; but even conceding—which we are by no means disposed to do—that the fact of the poor rate being raised from the whole of London equally would work a complete revolution in all three respects, what is there to prevent any one of these kinds of outlay from being subjected to the control of a vigilant central office? The average cost of a pauper’s bare maintenance and the average salary of workhouse officials are known quantities in poor law calculations, and if any one board of guardians—or, to put a case of extreme improbability, if all the boards of guardians in London—chose to exceed these sums, the Commissioners would be able to forbid the excess being paid out of the rates and thus to leave the guardians responsible as for debts incurred of their own mere motion. To the erection of new buildings the consent of the Poor Law Board would still be an indispensable condition, and they would have as efficient methods of ascertaining when they are wanted. If it was still found that little items of extravagance slipped through the meshes of central supervision, it might be expedient to subject the metropolitan guardians to some special check in the shape of paid chairmen—appointed by and responsible to the Poor Law Board—whose consent should be requisite for all expenditure beyond a certain sum proportionate to the number of paupers.

[The Daily News, 30. November 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7358, 30. November 1869. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE ST. PANCRAS INFIRMARY.

The adjourned inquest on the causes of certain deaths in the infirmary of St. Pancras Workhouse took place at four o’clock yesterday afternoon, at the College Arms, Crowndale-road.

The names of the deceased whose cases had still to be heard are Mary Brown, James Plant, Mary Smith, and John Fox.

Mr. Parker, jun., of No. 40. Bedford-row, appeared on behalf of the relatives of Mary Brown, whose case was taken first.

Dr. James Ellis, infirmary surgeon, said the deceased woman was suffered from ulceration of the nose, which was not necessarily a fatal disease, and she never seemed to improve. She complained that the ward (No. 16) was close, and her case was one in which an abundance of fresh air was especially desirable. She ought to have had more cubic space, and if he could have got it for her he would. On the night when she died there were 32 patients in the ward, each having 700 cubic feet of air, and the beds were all full. Deceased was found dead by the night nurse on the morning of the 6th. He afterwards found the brain and liver congested, and the cause of death was, he believed, congestive apoplexy.

Jane Mather, day nurse, deposed that on the evening of the 5th there were seven patients lying on the floor of the ward.

By Mr. Parker—Mr. Robertson, one of the guardians, once opened a ventilator on his own authority.

By the Coroner—Had been lately in the habit of opening and shutting windows at the request of guardians without consulting Dr. Ellis.

The Coroner remarked that under such a state of things patients might be almost blown in pieces one moment and almost suffocated the next.

Frances Blott, an assistant nurse, stated that one patient, a countryman, killed fourteen rats within five weeks.

Ellen Petts, general night nurse, who was examined at the last sitting, stated that on the following day she received a notice of dismissal. She commenced her duties last March, and no formal complaint had ever been made against her, though she had had words with Dr. Edmunds and Mr. Watkins. Could not tell why she was dismissed. Did not know that she was either stupid or negligent, as had been stated in a newspaper since she gave her evidence.|

[51]

The Foreman expressed a desire to ascertain the cause of dismissal from the guardians’ minute books, but the Coroner deprecated any more time being occupied with a matter not directly bearing on the question before the jury, especially as they could all draw their own inferences.

Dr. Ellis, having been recalled, stated, in reply to Mr. Parker, that he unhesitatingly attributed the death of the deceased to the state of the ward.

William Richard Freethy, a clerk in the guardians’ offices, produced the minute-books of the guardians and their visiting committee and, at the request of Mr. Parker, read entries respecting complaints of Dr. Gibson, Dr. Harley, and Dr. Ellis, about the state of the infirmary.

From a statement of Mr. Blake, the late master of the workhouse, who was again present, and here examined on this question, it appeared that the complaints of the two first-named gentlemen were attended to.

The witness Freethy was examined minutely and closely by Mr. Parker, evidently with the view of fixing legal responsibility on guardians present at various meetings, on the ground that they had not, in accordance with the requests of Dr. Ellis, done what was necessary for the improvement of the infirmary. One of Dr. Ellis’s reports, placed before the guardians on the 8th instant, was, it appeared, simply ordered, on the motion of Mr. Watkins, to lie on the table. This report related to the excessive number of beds in some of the wards.

Mr. Joseph Smith, a member of the Board of guardians, and also of the visiting committee, was examined with regard to a meeting of the latter in July, in which a resolution was passed in reference to a report of Dr. Ellis, to the effect that no action should be taken upon it. He himself disapproved of that course. The other members present were Mr. Robertson and Mr. Borsley. As regarded the capacity of the infirmary, the witness said that until lately he never heard that the number of patients should be limited to 144, and if he had known that he would not have consented to any addition. He was not now aware that there had ever been more than 168.

In reply to the Coroner, Dr. Ellis here stated that there are at present 190 patients, whereupon Dr. Lankester expressed his surprise at such a want of knowledge on the part of a guardian.

The witness went on to state that the day after Dr. Solly gave his evidence he himself went to the infirmary, and arranged for additional accommodation, in the form of an extra ward, which Dr. Ellis accepted.

Dr. Edmunds, a guardian and doctor of medicine, was recalled, and examined on the same point. In defense of the guardians, he stated that up to last week an order of the Poor-law Board, dated November, 1868, required that as many as 212 patients should be received into the infirmary. Dr. Edmunds afterwards alluded very warmly to charges recently made against himself as a guardian, saying that he had been “shamefully libelled.”

The Coroner protested against the use of such language in that court, where, he said, the witness had met with the greatest indulgence.

The Coroner having briefly addressed the jury on the case of Mary Brown, the cases of John Fox and Mary Smith, which were workhouse, and not infirmary cases, were then inquired into, in order that all the remaining verdicts might be returned together. In both these cases, which were of an ordinary character, the verdict was, that death arose from natural causes, with the addition, in the last, that death was accelerated by the want of proper nursing and medical attendance prior to deceased’s admission to the house. The verdict in the cases of James plant and Mary Brown was, that the deaths were accelerated by the unsanitary condition of the wards in St. Pancras Infirmary in which they died, with the following addition:—“The jury wish to express their undiminished conviction that the death of the said deceased was traceable to the neglect of the Poor-law Board and the Board of Guardians to provide proper sanitary arrangements for the inmates of the wards of St. Pancras Infirmary.”

The inquiry did not terminate till about 9 o’clock.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 19. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1010, 19. Dezember 1869. S. 1.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

ABOMINABLE TREATMENT OF THE INDUSTRIAL POOR.

On Friday, at Lambeth Police court, a large body of men, comprising artisans and labourers, came before Mr. Woolrych to ask his advice and assistance under very distressing circumstances.

A respectable looking man said they had come there as a body of working men, most of whom had wives and families. They were out of employment, and forced to go to the parish for relief. They were offered two days’ work on the mill in the yard of the workhouse, which entitles them to half a quartered loaf for each child and themselves. They were not allowed to work in the yard, as there was not room, and an order was made that they should work on the roads. After doing this work, for which two winters ago they were paid 1s. per day as well as the bread, they certainly were refused, and all they got was dry bread.

Mr. Woolrych: Why not go into the workhouse? Applicant: We do not, as honest working men, wish to break up our homes and go into the house.

Mr. Woolrych: It seems hard that these poor men should be sent out to work on the roads, and only receive dry bread as their payment. Is this the order of the guardians?

Mr. Cobb (one of the assistant relieving-officers to the parish of Lambeth): Yes. They are allowed the same for working on the roads as on the mill in the yard.

Mr. Woolrych: That is dry bread? Mr. Cobb: Yes.

Mr. Woolrych: But I have many before me who get bread, and yet do no work. Mr. Cobb: They are widows and children, and not able-bodied persons. Most of these have been in the yard all the year round nearly. (Cries of “No, it is not true. We are working men.”)

Mr. Woolrych (to Mr. Cobb): Are these men all those who usually work on the mill in the yard? Mr. Cobb: I don’t say all the men present are such. (A voice: You know it is false.)

Mr. Woolrych: How is it that you have sent these poor men on the roads to work? Mr. Cobb: We are so pressed for room, and have to work these coming to the yard by half –days.

Mr. Woolrych: How long do they work on the roads? Mr. Cobb: Six hours.

Mr. Woolrych: And only get the same allowance of bread as if they work in the yard? Mr. Cobb: Yes, sir. A loaf for each child. (Voices: No, it is only half a loaf. Twelve pounds of bread for a man, his wife, and six children.)

Mr. Woolrych: I think the parish authorities would better lessen the ultimate strain upon the rates by giving these men some help further than the bread. Mr. Cobb: It is the order of the Poor Law-board, and we are bound to follow it.

Mr. Woolrych: I am extremely sorry for the position of these poor men, but cannot help them in this matter, as the guardians by law are masters of such an arrangement. I would willingly have aided them if I had the power.

The applicant thanked the magistrate on the part of himself and fellow-sufferers for the kind attention he had given to the matter.

Mr. Woolrych ultimately said he would give each of those present under this application 1s. 6d., but did not intend to make that a rule with others who might apply.

The poor men again expressed their gratitude for this further kindness, and withdrew.|

[The Daily News, 16. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7372, 16. Dezember 1869. S. 4/5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THERE is something almost grotesque in the proceedings which are taking place at the bedside of a little girl in Wales. Welsh Fasting Girls are by no means novelties, and the latest example is perhaps, like her predecessors, half deceiving and half deceived. The case has, however, been taken up in such serious earnest, that several experienced nurses are actually engaged in watching her, and a committee of physicians are issuing daily bulletins to the universal public. The latest of these is, that at the close of the fifth day of the watching, the girl had actually fasted, and was very weak and ill. This would seem to be so natural a result of five days’ fasting, that the wonder seems to be that the nurses do not at once persuade her to take some nourishment. Suppose the poor girl has hitherto been fed unconsciously to herself, and is too weak to desire food, or too languid to express a wish for it, the result of this watching may simply be that she will be starved to death. Now it is all very well that science should have its martyrs, and, of course, fraud and superstition will have their victims; but which will this poor girl be if she should die under the eyes of these nurses, and die of starvation? Probably the persons concerned have already ascertained what their legal position would be in such a case. We presume that, if the girl died, an inquest must be held; but what verdict could it return? If it were “Felo de se,” it would reflect on those who saw the suicide and did nothing to prevent it. It could hardly be death from natural causes or accidental death—there is nothing natural or accidental about it. Even the favourite formula, “Visitation of God,” would be out of place, for the real cause would be a visitation of nurses. Suppose that, in the unfitness of these ordinary verdicts, the jury should stumble upon “manslaughter”, what would the nurses or the committee have to urge against it?

[The Daily News, 18. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7374, 18. Dezember 1869. S. 4/5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

Dec 18 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

THE problem which we ventured to put before the nurses and Committee who were watching the Welsh Fasting Girl has now been put before them with startling suddenness by circumstances. The Fasting Girl is dead. For six days the nurses kept her without food, the parents declined to force food upon her, and the inevitable result has followed, for on the seventh day she became delirious and died. Now, it is tolerably obvious that this result was inevitable. There was no alternative before the girl but to eat or to die. She was herself, probably, in that condition of entire weakness and prostration in which all desire for food had left her, and it was clearly the duty of those who had her in charge to force food upon her. The refusal of the parents to do this may have been the result either of a blind belief in her powers of fasting, or of a dogged determination to play the game to the end. But however this may have been, it must now be rendered evident even to the most sensational lovers of the marvelous that, however long the girl might have kept what was called her fast when only her parents were watching her, she could not keep it under the new conditions of a strict and disinterested watch. At the touch of really serious investigation the case breaks down—as all sensible persons knew it must. Now, however, arises the rather serious question, we put two days ago, as to where the responsibility of starving the girl to death rests? Is it with the girl herself, with her parents, or with the watchers? We will not venture an answer to this question, and will not even venture to say that it must or should be answered. One thing, however, is and must remain clear for all future time. No Welsh Fasting Girls must any more be treated with this fatal seriousness. It is not science, but superstition, even to inquire into the possibility of any human being living a conscious life without food. The very profession to do so is either disease, fanaticism or imposture and should be treated as such. But the tendency to believe in marvels is perennial and is perennially supplied with the wonders it seeks. This little girl might probably have been saved had her case been treated medically from the point of view of unbelief in her fasting powers, instead of from the point of view of an assumption that they might be real. Had food been given her instead of watchfully kept from her, she would probably have been now alive. She can, however, well be spared if the fatal result in her case explodes such pretensions henceforth, and we hear no more of fasting girls even among the hills of Wales.

[The Daily News, 20. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7375, 20. Dezember 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE DEATH OF THE “WELSH FASTING GIRL.”

THE NURSES’ REPORT.

A meeting of the committee who undertook the watching of the “Welsh Fasting Girl ” was held at the Eagle Inn, Lianfihangel-rhosicorn, on Saturday afternoon. The Rev. E. Jones, vicar of the parish, was voted to the chair. The Chairman called upon the sister nurse from Guy’s Hospital to read the report of the nurses for the eight days during which they watched the “Fasting Girl” prior to her death (which, as has already been announced by telegram, occurred at 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon). The report was as follows:—“Dec. 9, Thursday.—Attrick and Palmer (two nurses) on duty at night. Dec. 10, Friday.—Nurses tell me that the girl slept until 2 o’clock, and then was only awake for five minutes. She then slept until 6 o’clock, when I found her the same as yesterday. No change. At half-past 7 she began to read in a loud voice until 8 o’clock. Still read at intervals during the morning. 2 p.m.: Nurses tell me she was very cheerful, went to sleep at a quarter-past 7 until a quarter-past 11, slept after that until 2 o’clock. Her sleep was restless up to that time. She then slept until half-past 5 o’clock quietly. I and Jones at night Dec. 11 Saturday—6 o’clock: Assisted nurse to remove girl from her bed. She did not faint, but allowed me to assist in dressing her. She thanked me and said I did not hurt her. Left her at 7 p.m., reading; looking very cheerful and happy. Nurses tell me she has been cheerful, reading and talking to them. I do not think she is looking so well. Went to sleep at half past 7. (The nurse explained that on this day she found three spots, as of stains of excrementation, on the girl’s night-dress. The largest spot was the size of a crown piece.) Dec. 12, Sunday, 6 o’clock in the morning: Nurses tell me she has had a quiet night; slept until 5 o’clock, then went to sleep again until quarter past 6. Found her looking very cheerful; she asked for her book to read, and then read aloud for some time. Her face was flushed and her eyes bright during the morning. Went to sleep at a quarter-past 7 p.m. Dec. 13, Monday.—Girl awoke at half-past 5 in the morning. Quiet night. Assisted nurse to get her out of bed; she did not faint. We changed her night-dress, and I was for some time combing her hair. She appeared pleased and cheerful, and I left her reading aloud. She has passed a large quantity of urine during the night. 2 p.m.: Nurses tell me she has been cheerful, and that she amused herself by reading. She looks the same. 8 p.m.: Was obliged to change her bed. She was not so much fatigued as may have been expected. She tells me she is very comfortable. She has passed a large quantity of urine during the day. 9 o’clock: She is now sleeping soundly. Dec. 14th, Tuesday.—6 o’clock: Nurse tells me the girl slept until 4 o’clock, and then was only awake a short time. Slept until half-past 5. I found her reading. Shortly after I came in, the water bottle she had for her feet fell to the floor (cord of sacking having given way) and startled her. She then had a slight fainting fit, but soon recovered. I don’t think she is so well; her voice in reading is not so strong, and she has been much flushed; her lips are dry. She has not passed any more urine. 10 o’clock p.m.: Nurses tell me she has been much the same as when I left her. She went to sleep at a quarter-past 6: awake at 9, and did not remain awake long. She has passed a small quantity of urine.—Dec. 15, Wednesday, 6 o’clock morning: She has had a wakeful night; not restless. She has passed some urine during the night. She does not complaint of having any pains; face flushed. Nurse assisted me to remove her from her bed; she did not faint. 2 o’clock p.m.: I found her much the same as when I left her. 7 o’clock p.m.: She went to sleep, but I found her restless. Her feet were cold. I had to warm flannels to put to them. 8 o’clock: She is now sleeping quietly. Dec. 16, Thursday morning.—Nurses tell me she has had a bad night; no sleep until after three o’clock. She wished the bed made, and they made it. Then she slept for about 10 minutes at a time; not more, and still threw her arms about. 6 o’clock: I found her looking very pale and anxious; I think it was for want of sleep. She suffered much during the night from cold; they gave her warm flannels. She is now much warmer. Dr. Davies came at a quarter-past 12 o’clock, and he thinks there is no danger. 10 o’clock: Found Sarah Jacob much worse. Has been restless, and throwing the things off all the night. Was very cold; two hot water bottles in bed, and hot flannels, but cou[ld not] get warm. The father then wished the litt[le girl (a] younger sister) to be put in the bed, and [I consented,] because I thought Sarah was dying. I [told that father and] mother to get near to the bed to [her, but I still] watched to see they gave her nothing. [She has not asked for food from the first day we began to watch her, and]

[The Daily News, 22. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7377, 22. Dezember 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE DEATH OF THE WELSH FASTING GIRL.—THE INQUEST.

(BY TELEGRAPH.)

CARMARTHEN, Tuesday Night.

The inquest on the Welsh fasting girl was held to-day. The Coroner said he intended to call the nurses and the medical gentlemen, and perhaps the father; but the inquiry would not be further extended unless it should be found desirable. The object of the inquest was to ascertain the cause of death, but if any part of the evidence criminated any one, showing him to have been guilty of a breach of the criminal law, it would be the duty of the jury to return a verdict to that effect, and his duty would be to send the person for trial.

The senior nurse was examined for nearly three hours, but stated little which has not been previously published. She was certain that the girl moved her left leg and left arm in her sleep. She told the girl she should let her know when she wanted to pass water. The girl replied that she did it involuntarily and did not know when. She only once passed excrement and then only a stain; no substance. The witness’s instructions from the committee were not to offer food, but if it were asked for to give it immediately, and to call in the doctors if any change took place. The girl did not have anything—not a drop of water—during the eight days of the watching. On the Tuesday four medical gentlemen visited the deceased. The father refused to allow them to examine the girl’s person. She never offered the child food, being told that if she did so the child would go into a fit. Deceased complained of no pain throughout. She was very restless from Wednesday. The body was cold, and there was difficulty in keeping her warm. The nurses |[53] ceased to watch on Thursday night, seeing that the girl was dying, and allowed her parents to go to her. Could not say whether they gave her food; saw none given the girl died at a few minutes past three on Friday delirious.

Mr. James Thomas, surgeon, Newcastle Emlyn, made the post-mortem examination, with Mr. Phillips, a surgeon, in the presence of several medical men on Monday. He examined the body of the deceased, who was said to be about twelve years and six months old. The body measured about 54 inches, was plump, and well-formed, showing indications of puberty. He opened the head, and found the membranes of the brain considerably injected with blood. The substance of the brain was not very vascular, but was of a perfectly healthy and proper consistence. There was no difference between the sides of the brain, as there would have been if there had been palsy. An incision was made from the top of the chest to the lower part of the body, which displayed fine layers of fat from half an inch to an inch in thickness. There was fat all through the incision. The contents of the chest, lungs, and heart, and the great vessels, were perfectly sound and healthy, though the latter contained very little blood. The most important part of the examination of the alimentary canal showed no obstruction. There was no stricture from the mouth to the termination of the gut. The stomach was opened, and it contained three tea-spoonful of semi-glutinous substance, having a slight acid reaction with the test paper. The small intestines were empty. In the colon and return there was about half a pound of excrement, in a hard state. The liver was healthy. The gall bladder was considerably distended with bile. The kidneys and spleen were perfectly sound. The urinary bladder was empty. The body was free from disease, judging from the healthy appearance of the organs. Being questioned, Mr. Thomas stated that he believed part of the excrement had been in the body for a fortnight, and had probably been checked. It was no more possible that there could be excrement without food than ashes without fuel. My opinion, if you want it, is that death resulted from want of food or sustenance. I believe the child labored under hysteria, which frequently manifests itself by very extraordinary freaks and in her case by refusal to take food before the public.

The Coroner—You mean that if it were offered her when not before the public she would take it.

Witness—I have no other conclusion to come to.

Mr. J. Phillips, surgeon, agreed with everything in Mr. Thomas’s evidence, and added that he found the toe nails had been recently cut, and also that under the left arm there was a hollow sufficient to conceal a half-pint bottle. He thought the hard portion of excrement next to the rectum had been there for weeks. The intestines got thicker near the rectum.

In reply to a juryman, the witness said there was plenty of room for fluid to pass. The hard excrement might have been there five or six weeks.

Mr. H. H. Davis, surgeon, Llandyssil, said he first attended the girl in February, 1867. She was then suffering from internal inflammation in the lower part of the chest, the pleura was inflamed. He treated her accordingly, and she was under his care for six weeks. He prescribed milk diet. She adhered to it for a time. She was not then, he thought, suffering from hysteria or epilepsy. He thought it was catalepsy. There was a rigidity of muscles of the left leg. She became much emaciated, and almost a skeleton, and was for one month in a kind of permanent fit. When he saw her he scarcely knew whether she was alive or dead. She was almost pulseless. She recovered in a fortnight. He discontinued his attendance after prescribing her diet. He saw nothing of her until the spring of this year, when she was known as the “Welsh Fasting Girl.” He did not believe her story, and was one of the committee for watching her to find out the deception. Four men watched for a fortnight, and reported satisfactorily; but witness believed they were deceived. In compliance with a request, he attended a meeting at Llanfihangelarth about a month since, when it was decided to have four nurses from Guy’s Hospital. He was one of the medical committee. The instructions to the nurses were not to desire the child to take food or water, but if she asked for them they were to be given to her. He visited the girl on Tuesday last after five days’ watching she appeared weaker. He told her father, who seemed indifferent. He (witness) did not suggest any food, because it was against the rules laid down by the father. He did not think any immediate danger was to be apprehended. Saw her again on Thursday, when she appeared much weaker, and he went to Pencader and saw an uncle of the child, named Daniels, and asked him to try and get the father to send the nurses away, or allow them to give her food. He also telegraphed to the medical committee at Carmarthen.

By the Coroner—Did not ask the father about food, because he knew he would feel annoyed, and wished first to have a consultation with the medical men.

Coroner—The child might have died in the meantime.

Witness—She was not, I think, in such imminent danger as that. I saw her again on Friday morning, when she was sinking fast. I told the parents so, and asked permission to give her stimulants. I mentioned brandy and water. The father said, in Welsh, “No, nothing; she cannot swallow; it would kill her.”

The Coroner—Did you believe that?

Witness—I did not know what to believe; nothing is certain.

The Coroner—Except that the child is dead. You have watched the case; what do you think is the cause of death?

Witness—Exhaustion.

The Coroner—Yes; but exhaustion from what?

Witness—Want of nourishment.

The Coroner then read the evidence of Messrs. Thomas and Phillips’ post mortem, and asked, “Do you think the child would have lived if the parents had allowed you to give it stimulants on Friday?”

Witness—I do if they had been given on the day before.

The inquest was then adjourned till Thursday next. The Coroner stating that it would be competent for persons believing the story of the girl’s fasting to give evidence on that day.

[The Daily News, 23. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7378, 23. Dezember 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE WELSH FASTING GIRL.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—If Mr. Charles White had read the nurses’ report on the above case attentively, he would have seen that the nurse there states, “Had she (Sarah Jacobs) asked for food, I would have given her some.” Mr. White, in common with many other worthy people, seems completely to misunderstand the reason for which the nurses were placed around the “Fasting Girl.” It was not to prevent her taking food, but to observe whether she did so. In reply to his inquiry, “Is there no one to blame in all this for the death of Sarah Jacobs?” I should say, those undoubtedly who have (designedly or otherwise as may be) encouraged her for so long a period in her deception. Following Mr. White’s example, I attach my real name, and trust the fact of my following a somewhat similar walk in life to the nurses will be accepted as an equally valid excuse as his for troubling you on the matter.—I am, &c.,

J. C. BEST, Attendant on the Insane.
Liverpool, Dec. 21.


TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—As a lawyer, I hope that an indictment for manslaughter may be preferred against all parties concerned, directly or indirectly, in bringing about the death of this most miserable girl. I am convinced a grand jury would find a true bill against one parent at all events, and probably others in attendance on the deceased. The evidence of the surgeon, as I read it in your impression of to-day, who made the post-mortem examination, is quite conclusive as to the fact that the girl was literally starved to death. Grant that the girl, a mere child in years, was a party to the deception, she was assuredly coerced to persist in it to the last, for it is inconceivable that a mere child should have held out so steadfastly against the horrible pangs of hunger and thirst. Such an occurrence is a monstrous scandal to the civilization of this nineteenth century, and to me it is perfectly inconceivable that educated men should deliberately have recognized the possibility, for it amounts to that, of a human being existing without food or drink. I say that these gentlemen, in not compelling the girl to take sustenance when they found she was sinking, are in some degree morally responsible for her death.—I am, &c.,

P. S.
Dec. 22.|

[The Daily News, 10. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7367, 10. Dezember 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE ST. PANCRAS GUARDIANS AGAIN.

On Wednesday evening Dr. Lankester held six inquests at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, Camden-town, several of which referred to parish cases. The last held was the most important, as it involved a charge that the foetid air of the nursery had been fatal, and still was exercising a fatal influence on the infant inmates. The inquiry was held on the body of William James, aged six months. The Coroner prefaced the evidence by stating that he had held three or four inquests lately on the bodies of children who had died in the infirmary, and this had caused a feeling that the unhealthy condition of the wards had caused the deaths. It would be for the jury to find whether this was the case in the present instance. Dr. Hill, resident medical officer of the infirmary workhouse, said the child was admitted to the infant nursery on the 17th of November. It was six months old. Its mother was in the Fever Hospital, and it was therefore fed by means of a bottle. It got ill on Friday, the 3rd of December, and died on the 6th of congestion of the brain and lungs. Coroner—Do you believe that death was accelerated in any manner by the action of the air of the ward? Witness—Yes; I believe it was. It was a healthy child as far as external appearances went. The wards have been very bad since the 6th of November. I have reported the state of the wards to the guardians twice since that date, but nothing has been done. To-day at eight a.m. the nursery smelt very bad, although the doors and windows had been open for some time. I believe the smell is occasioned by the defective drainage and not by the bad nursing of the children. The ward is kept as clean as it can be considering the nature of the inmates. The floors are scrubbed every morning. On Nov. 6 some alterations were made affecting the drainage, and since that time the wards have been worse than before. One trap of a drain four yards from the nursery door is completely out of order. A week ago the master told the engineer to remedy this, but he has not done it. The master will not pass through it, and the paupers take it up in order to let the water run down, and then leave it off. This is only one cause of the smell, there are others. Witness, in answer to further questions, said chloride of lime was put in the cupboard of the nursery by his order, but that would not be injurious. In the adjoining ward a number of rats have been killed, but they do not come nearer the nursery than the windows. Ten rats were killed last week in the ward I allude to. Coroner—The presence of rats in such numbers is indicative of a very bad state of things. Emma Hows, late superintendent of the nursery, but who was summarily discharged by the guardians at their last meeting, was called. She said the board discharged me without examining me or allowing me to make any defense. I can only think that I am discharged for giving evidence about the wards at the last inquest. Coroner—This is the second nurse who has been discharged immediately after giving evidence at this court. It seems to me that the guardians are not anxious to discover the truth. (Mr. Smith: Myself and Mr. Chandler were opposed to the dismissal.) Witness here produced her letter of dismissal, which merely said she was discharged for “general inefficiency.” Dr. Hill, in answer to questions, said—I have known Emma Howse as nurse in the house for 125 months. I have never had occasion to complain of her for inefficiency; on the contrary, I am perfectly sure she is a very efficient nurse. Coroner: And you have never had to report her? Dr. Hill—No. Coroner—I allow these questions to be put it order to see how far the witness was to be credited. Emma Howse recalled—I have been at the workhouse 15 months, and I have never to my knowledge been complained of. On the 7th of July last the guardians gave me double duties to perform, on account of my efficiency; and my salary was increased. Witness then corroborated the previous testimony as to the state of the nursery, and added, it was so bad that all the women complained of it. I was never complained of till I gave evidence here. Ann Moore said—I am an inmate of the nursery. I had charge of the deceased. In the night and the first thing in the morning the wards smell very badly. I have been in the nursery three weeks, and there have been smells ever since I have been in it. The child was fine and healthy when it was brought in. Henry Goodson, master of the Workhouse, said the defective drain-trap had been repaired. He believed the smell in the wards to be caused by carbolic acid and chloride of lime. The Visiting Committee had called his attention to the fact that crusts and other things were lying about in the nursery. Dr. Hill said as an allegation was made that the smell was caused by chloride of lime, he wished to state that all the chloride of lime in the ward was 11/2 lb., in a bag in the cupboard. Dr. Ellis went round the ward directly the allegation was made, and he would like him to be examined. The drain-trap had not been altered, and the master was laboring under a mistake in saying that it had. Mr. Ward, the engineer, was called, and excused the neglect that he had not a proper trap by him at the time. The Coroner asked what the price of a trap was. Mr. Ward—About 7d. Coroner—For the sake of 7d. Then the children are to be put in danger. Dr. Ellis was called, and said that the smell in the nursery was certainly not caused by chloride of lime. A probable cause was old sewage. Within 30 yards of the nursery that day he saw several barrow-loads of sewage being carried away from an old cesspool that had been found by overflow. Mr. George John Parson, a guardian, said—Yesterday week, in company with six other guardians, I visited the infant nursery ward, in consequence of the complaints made about it. When we went in we found bread and butter and dirty clothes lying about the floor. At the west end of the room there was not the slightest smell whatever. On the east side there was a smell, and as we approached the end of the ward became more offensive. We opened the door and went into the kitchen, but there the smell ceased. We opened the cupboard door in the nursery, and there found a bag of chloride of lime which had caused the smell. We called the master and matron, and directed them to see to the clearing the ward of the impure air. We stopped in the committee room till half-past ten, when the matron reported that the ward was perfectly wholesome. In answer to questions, Mr. Parson admitted that the committee did not go back to see whether that was so or not. The foreman of the jury, after a few minutes’ consultation with the jury, returned a verdict that death was caused by congestion of the lungs and brain, accelerated by the impure air of the nursery, and added that they were very much disgusted with the iniquitous conduct of the guardians in dismissing witness who appeared before the coroner’s court.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News, 10. Dezember 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

EXTRAORDINARY TREATMENT OF A DYING PAUPER.

Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Humphreys, the Middlesex Coroner, held an investigation at the Green Man Tavern, Hoxton, respecting the alleged murder of John Presnall, who was a pauper in the Shoreditch Workhouse.

The proceedings created intense excitement in the locality, in consequence of certain statements which had been made with respect to the conduct of a nurse and a wardsman who had charge of the ward in which the deceased man expired. As the remains of the pauper had been buried at Colney Hatch Cemetery, the Coroner, when he was informed of certain facts which tended to implicate two persons, ordered the body of the dead man to be exhumed, and it was removed to the Shoreditch dead-house. The court was crowded.

Mr. Child said that he had been instructed to watch the case on behalf of the board of guardians; Mr. Death, the chairman of the board, was present; and the Rev. Mr. Pounall, the chairman of the Visiting Committee, represented that body.

It may be stated that Mrs. Hart admitted to the board of guardians that she had been intimate with the pauper wardsman, and she resigned her situation.

Ann Presnall, the widow of the deceased, said that her husband was a bedstead-maker. He was 63 years of age. He lately became an inmate of the Shoreditch Workhouse. Last Monday week she was sent for, and told that her husband was dying, and she went to see him. He was then in a drowsy state, and although she remained with him two hours and a half, she could not get him to speak, and he did not appear to know the nature of anything that was said to him. Witness knew nothing of the circumstances which had caused her husband’s death.

Joseph Hallett, a pauper, said that on Monday, the 22nd of November, he was in the workhouse. There was a nurse named Hart in the workhouse ward. The ward was the infirmary. The deceased was then lying on a bed, and he was delirious. He shouted, “Tobacco, tobacco.” The nurse Hart then said, “Hold that noise,” or “Stop that noise.” She then went and held a handkerchief over his mouth.

Coroner—How long did she hold it over his mouth?

Witness—For two minutes, and when it was removed the deceased shouted “Murder.” The wardsman, a man named Clarke, then said “I will do it.” Clarke then went over to the deceased, and he put a handkerchief over his mouth. He was going to tie it at the back of his head, and the nurse said, “That is not allowed—I’ll soon quiet him.” The nurse then left the ward, and she returned with something. Clarke then held the deceased down by pressing his hand against his chest. The woman then stood on the opposite side of the bed, and she poured something down the deceased’s throat. Witness heard the contents “rattle” as it went down the deceased’s throat. After the dose had been given to the deceased he never spoke nor made any more noise. He remained insensible until within about one hour of his death. I reported the conduct of the nurse to the master and the doctor, who said that they did not allow the patients to be injured.

By Mr. Child—I told the doctor all about what I had seen. The nurse is a paid one. The doctor said, “I will not allow my patients to be ill-treated.” I did not hear the deceased speak to his wife. Had the nurse tied the handkerchief over the man’s mouth, I should have got up and untied it.

Coroner—Were the nurse and the wardsman on very intimate terms?

Witness—Yes, sir.

Coroner—That is all I shall say about that.

John Britnall, an inmate of the workhouse infirmary, confirmed the evidence of the last witness, adding that the deceased died in twenty-four hours after the liquid was given to him.

Mr. Child—Did the deceased not say to his wife, “Have you brought any tobacco?”

Witness—Yes; and she gave him half an ounce. He put it under his pillow. She then asked him if he knew her, but he made no reply. She gave him no gin.

By a Juror—When the handkerchief was pulled over his mouth, the deceased shouted “Murder! What the—are you up to?” The placing of the handkerchief over his mouth appeared to give him pain, and that made him shout “Murder.”

Mrs. Presnall, recalled, denied that the deceased had said to her, “Have you brought any tobacco.” He did not speak to her. She said to him, “John, give me your hand,” and he turned his eyes towards her. He did not give her his hand. He often shouted for tobacco when he was in a delirious state.

Elizabeth Hampson, the day nurse, said that she came on duty at 7 o’clock on the morning of the 22nd Nov. The deceased was then asleep. At 12, or in the afternoon, he woke up and took some milk.

Coroner—Was he drowsy?

Witness—No; his eyes were quite bright. He did not speak. I was present when his wife came. She asked him if he would take some milk, and he looked at her, as much as to say, yes. He then pressed his wife’s hand, and she gave him some milk. I asked him if he would like some gin-and-water, and he looked, “yes”. His wife then gave him some.

Coroner—Do not answer this question before giving yourself time to think. Have you stated since that the man appeared drowsy before he died?

Witness—No, sir.

Coroner—Did you not state to my officer last night that he was drowsy?

Witness—No.

Samuel Clarke said—I was a pauper wardsman at that time. Since then I have lost my birth, and I am now an inmate of the house. On the day the deceased was very noisy, and Mrs. Hart said, “I shall be under the necessity of gagging you.” He then put a handkerchief over his mouth. He was very “obstorpolus,” and I thought that I would intimidate him as I had done the night before to get him to take a pill, and I went over to him. Mrs. Hart then went and got some of the customary soothing medicine, and gave it to him. He slept until half-past 1 in the morning, and when he awoke up Mrs. Hart said to him, “You ought to be much obliged to me for what I gave you,” but the man made no reply. When I put the handkerchief into the deceased’s mouth it was done for the purpose of stopping his noise and Mrs. Hart did it because the man would not keep quiet. She put the handkerchief over him and “it was just what a mother would have done to a refractory child.”

This statement created great excitement in court, and the witness was loudly hissed, and several persons in the body of the court cried, “Murder, murder, the man has been murdered, hiss, hiss, murder” when order had been restored.

Mrs. Susannah Hart was called, and after having been cautioned, she said—This is all done through revenge.

The Coroner then requested the witness to defend her conduct if she could, and he assured her that the jury would do their duty without any feeling.|

[55]

Mrs. Hart then said—I was a paid nurse at the Shore-ditch Workhouse Infirmary. At ten minutes to one o’clock on the morning of the 22nd November I was in the ward, and I did say to the deceased, “If you aint quiet I will gag you.” He said, “No”; and I held a handkerchief over his mouth. Again he said “Yes,” and I took it away. He then became outrageous, and I not having my senses about me—nobody always has—and I did not recollect that the man who spoke here to-day was present, said, “I will go and get something that will quiet him.” I then gave him some soothing mixture which I have for noisy patients. It is supplied to me by the dispenser, and it is left to my discretion as to when I shall use it. The doctor never gave me any instructions about using it. There is morphia in the mixture. Half a bottle of it would have done the man no harm.

A juror—Yet there is morphia in it?

Witness said that she had been two years and a half in the Brompton Hospital, and she had to leave there through a false charge.

Dr. John Whitmore, medical officer of health for Marylebone, said that he had made a post mortem examination of the body of the deceased since it has been exhumed. He found no appearance of death from suffocation caused by placing the handkerchief over the mouth. Judging from the evidence, and finding that the drowsiness did not increase during the day after the morphia had been taken, he was of opinion that a sufficient quantity of it had not been administered to cause death. The morphia would become wholly absorbed into the system, and that would account for its not being found. In the opinion of witness death had resulted from dropsy.

Dr. Forbes said that he agreed with the evidence of Dr. Whitmore. He had never authorised the nurse to give morphia nor sedative medicines to any of the patients.

The Coroner said that the first information he had had of this case was reading an account in the newspaper headed “A Model Nurse,” and it would have been well if the guardians had communicated with him when they had discovered the facts. At this distant date the result of the post-mortem examination was against them, for all trace of morphia would have disappeared from the system during the time.

The jury after a long consultation with closed doors returned a verdict “that the deceased man expired from the mortal effects of dropsy, and the jury are opinion that the conduct of Mrs. Hart, the infirmary nurse, is highly censurable for administering morphia without the doctor’s sanction; and they are further of opinion that the wardman Clarke and Mrs. Hart are both censurable for their cruel conduct in tyeing a handkerchief over a dying man’s mouth.”

[The Daily News, 24. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7379, 24. Dezember 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE DEATH OF THE WELSH FASTING GIRL.—ADJOURNED INQUEST.

(BY TELEGRAPH.)

CARMARTHEN, THURSDAY NIGHT.

At the adjourned inquest to–day on the body of Sarah Jacobs, Mr. Bishop, of Llandilo, and Mr. Lloyd, of Lampeter, solicitors, attended on behalf of the parents of the deceased girl.

Ann Jones, Sarah Palmer, and Sarah Attock, three of the nurses of Guy’s Hospital, corroborated the evidence of Elizabeth Clinch, the sister nurse, given on Tuesday.

The Rev. W. Thomas, the secretary of the Watching Committee, was examined in reference to the particular state of the girl. One-half of the committee was sceptics, and the other half believers in her story.

John Daniel, brother-in-law of the father, proved that he requested the father to give her food when the child was dying. He refused to offer her any.

Evan Jacobs, the father, was not called, but volunteered to give evidence. He made an extraordinary statement. Having been sworn, he said, in Welsh—I am the father of the deceased, I have a wife and seven children, and servant-man, at Lietherneud. The eldest is a girl of eighteen. The deceased was my third daughter; the second child is a girl of fifteen. Sarah was twelve years old, and was a very healthy child until the change which took place last February two years. She was at school, and one morning complained to her mother that she spat blood. She was ill for three days. We thought it was a cold. After the first three days, during which she was confined to her bed, she was up for three days; then she got worse, and took to bed for three days. On the third day she got worse, and we sent for Dr. Davies. When he arrived she was crying, and complaining of pain in the side. The doctor gave her medicine and eased the pain that night. I went on the morrow to Dr. Davies to fetch some medicine according to arrangement, when he gave me a bottle of medicine which gave her no relief. The week after the pain in the side became more acute. Dr. Davies thought she had worms, and treated her accordingly. He attended for a month, and then confessed his inability to understand the complaint. At the end of the month he said he could not relieve her, and that none could cure her but the Great Doctor—God Almighty. Dr. Davies withdrew, but told me I could go to other doctors, but it would be of no use but to spend money. I called in Mr. Hopkins, M. D., who said, if he had been called nine days sooner—(laughter)—he would have had a chance; but there was no cure now, and no hopes, as she had inflammation of the brain. This was in April, 1867. Dr. Hopkins only came once; he gave two pills, but she could not take them, being too ill. Dr. Davies was again sent for and came. He said there would be some change on Sunday. On the following Sunday he thought she was going to die. She called in a faint voice for milk. She had not taken food before for months. Used to moisten her lips with weak table beer, and just inside the mouth, but she did not swallow any. She passed no excrement, and but a small quantity of urine. She had a clyster up to the following August, when she took six cup full of rice a milk. Her bowels were not regular—not for a week or eight days. She only swallowed the food, which came back with froth and blood. From August to September she was not willing to allow us to give her food, only at times. She was not willing to take it. Between the periods named she had fits, in which she threw her arms about. She was weak in bed constantly from September to October. She took a little apple dumpling twice a day, and some milk and sugar towards the end of the month. She took a little apple in a spoon, about the size of a pill, in the morning and evening. She passed water every other day. The neighbours then began coming to see her. She was not very thin, but was looking bad in the face, and suffered from pain in the left side. From the beginning to the end of October, 1867, she would not allow us to take food into her sight. She never took food from that time until her death. We moistened her lips with water several times a day. Three weeks after she ceased to take food she had motions every day for a week—−very large stools. The excrement was very hard. She passed water in a middling quantity during the same week. At the end of the week the stool was very large, but she had no stool afterwards till the time of her death. Three weeks after the end of the week when she had the last stool, she continually every morning at 5 o’clock passed water—the usual quantity that girls of her age would be expected to pass. From that time, the end of Dec., 1867, to Dec., 1868, I am quite sure she passed no water. She remained in bed up to the time of her death. A utensil was in the room under another bed in which I and my wife slept, but none under hers. She could not have used that utensil, as she could not move. Neither I nor my wife ever observed water in that or the other vessel which we had any reason to believe came from her. I am sure of this. She was sensible except when in a fit. She sometimes had a fit several times in a day. The fit sometimes lasted a quarter of an hour, and then there was an interval of about a quarter of an hour, and then she was in it again for another quarter of an hour. This lasted, excepting when she slept, from about 11 at night to 11 in the morning. The fits only occurred at night time when she was awake. This state of things went on for a few weeks. I am quite sure about the water, because I always made her bed. In |[55a] November, 1867, my wife was confined. Since then I have made the bed.

The Coroner—You had two daughters, one 18 and the other 16, had you not?

Witness—Yes.

The Coroner—They were strong and healthy?

Witness—Yes.

The Coroner—Their mother recovered from her confinement, did she not?

Witness—Yes.

The Coroner—Yet you made the bed?

Witness—Yes.

The Coroner—You say you never saw the stains of urine out of the bed?

Witness—Never.

Coroner—And that from August, 1867, to December, 1868, she never made water?

Witness—Yes.

Coroner—And then for how long?

Witness—Three days—consecutive days. I made the bed on alternate days, but counted the spots on the bed. She was unconscious of passing water.

Coroner—How do you know?

Witness—She was not willing to talk about it.

Coroner—What do you mean by spots?

Witness—Spots of urine. The quantity expected of a child of one year old.

Examination continued—The first time strangers came was in the spring of this year. I commenced to dress her in the manner described. When she ceased to take food the shop-keepers gave her ribbon. She had a crucifix before taken ill, I think. I certainly can’t say who is the first person to give money. I don’t remember ever taking money from any one. Hundreds came to see her, many put sixpence or a shilling on the girl’s chest. I can’t say how much they left.

By Mr. Lloyd—Another reason why I made the bed was, that her mother did not make it so well or so smooth. It was made every other day. Something did precede the discharges of the urine. The special cause of her doing so was that something was on her mind. Last year she passed water because she was watched by strangers at the first watching, and did so last summer because the cow died. She could cry like another child. When I consented to the present watching I had no reason to think she took food. I was never told by the doctors my daughter’s life was in peril from the commencement of the watching until the morning of the day of her death. Dr. Davies sent John Daniel, my brother-in-law, to tell me that the child got worse. What took place between me and Dr. Davies was that he then said, “You would not like to give her a dose of brandy and water.” I said, “No.” I had not offered her anything for two years, as she always got ill when I offered her anything.” He said might he offer it. I was perfectly willing. Dr. Davies went to her, and when he came back I asked him if he offered her anything. He said, “No; he was afraid, as she did so long without food it would choke her.” Dr. Davies told me on Thursday night she was better than on the previous night, and there was no danger.

By Mr. Bishop—All her brothers had access sometimes to the bedroom. I can’t say whether they could not take food. It made her ill. None of the doctors told me that my child was dying for want of food, nor did the nurse. Dr. Hughes and Dr. Davies asked me on Thursday evening if I should like to get rid of the nurses, and I said I should not, because I did not see her getting worse, and I could do nothing for her as being so long a date without food. If I knew the child was dying of starvation I certainly would not have refused.

By a Juror—The candle was put out at night when she went to sleep.

By Mr. Bishop—I found the scent bottle on the bed-clothes. I never found things concealed before.

The Coroner then read over the whole of the evidence, and summed up ably. He could not understand how a rational person could believe the story of the girl’s fasting. Urine and excrement must have come from something. Doctors ought not to be blamed. They were deceived by the father. There were two branches of inquiry: firstly, the cause of death; secondly, who was responsible for that cause. There could be no question of the starvation, and of the responsibility of the father. The law makes a father responsible, not merely for providing, but also for inducing the child to take food. The mother was not responsible unless it was proved that she was given food by the father, and kept it from the child. The criminal negligence on the part of the father was only a question of degree. It was marvelous how the father could tell such an ingenious story on oath, and so endeavor to impose on the jury with the hideous mass of nonsense. Which was easier to believe—that natural laws had been reversed, or that the father was stating falsehoods? The child’s life had been sacrificed, and it was a case of either murder or manslaughter.

The jury deliberated for a quarter of an hour, and then returned a verdict that the girl died of starvation, owing to negligence to induce the child to take food on the part of the father. This constituted manslaughter.

He was admitted to bail.

[The Daily News, 25. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7380, 25. Dezember 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE WELSH FASTING GIRL.

(From the Saturday Review.)

Now what we have to say is that there was here a fundamental mistake in arranging this voluntary commission to detect the imposture. It was something more than a mistake; it was a crime in the medical and scientific authorities to have planned and carried out this peculiar method of proof or disproof. No doubt it was decisive and exhaustive, but the medical people must have known that they were only using a weapon of death. If they had, as we suppose they must have had, a lurking and concealed suspicion that the thing might be true and genuine, this mental attitude incapacitated them from being scientific judges. No scientific man ought over to lend himself to any investigation which implies that the great laws of nature and science may possibly be untrue. If the investigators and committee of watches had any object, it was to satisfy themselves whether in a particular instance a universal law of nature did or did not take effect. On such a point science to does not want to satisfy itself; nor ought science to admit, as the medical men and clergymen did inferentially admit, that a law of nature might perhaps not be true. No doubt it is of importance as a moral and social matter, and a matter of police, to detect and expose Cock-lane ghosts. Mr. Home’s floating on the air, and other absurdities of this sort; but Faraday was perfectly right in declining to waste his time in detecting the tricks and juggling of table-moving and spirit-hands. In this particular case it is possible that the Commission of Inquiry did not exactly contemplate the tragical event which has solved their little doubts, or confirmed their suspicions; but they ought to have known that to take every precaution that a human being should have no food, and actually to prevent her from getting any food, must only end in killing her. The business of a physician is to preserve life, not to be accessory, as in this case, to destroying life. To be sure, they have proved, and most demonstrably, that there was throughout delusion somewhere; but they ought to have been quite satisfied of this antecedently, and not have worked out the problem to the bitter end. They ought never to have admitted that there was any problem to solve. They ought not to have allowed that it was a hypothesis which required experiments and quite an open question whether human life could be sustained without nourishment. And yet it was to settle this doubtful and difficult question that they organized the Commission of Inquiry. Science foregoes its imperial state when, as in this instance, it condescends to take up the position of an amateur detective, bent upon finding out the tricks of a conjuror. What did it matter, or rather what ought it to have mattered, to the authorities of Guy’s Hospital, that there was down in Wales, a girl said never to eat or drink? What do we care if a man exhibits himself as one in the daily habit of drinking half a pint of prussic acid? Would Sir William Jenner or Mr. Paget feel themselves justified in assisting at an investigation of such a case, and taking especial care that the prussic acid came from Apothecaries’ Hall, and administering it with their own hands? And yet, as far as principle goes, were they to do so, it would be difficult to say that they were acting very differently from the Carmarthen Commission of Inquiry. This is the moral of this discreditable event. It serves to show what a loose and uncertain hold the greatest and simplest physical truths have on the popular mind. We believe generally in the law of gravitation, but when some impudent charlatan says that in this or that case the law of gravitation does not hold, and that ten stone of man can float unsupported in the air, we listen to him; we in our heart of hearts hesitate: we think there may perhaps be something in it. We are told that it is very unphilosophical and very bigoted to refuse to attend to or to investigate new phenomena; and hence it comes to this, that we consent to inquire into able-turning and the “spirits.” What we ought to do is to say at once to the new facts; that they are incapable of rational investigation; that evidence does not apply to this sort of thing. If a man, or if 500 men told us that he saw the lion on Northumberland-house wag his tail, and that we might see it if we pleased, we should certainly not be at the trouble of going to Charing-cross to “investigate and settle the question.” The Welsh Fasting case settled itself by announcing itself. Public opinion, we fairly admit, was embodied in the organizing of the Commission of Inquiry, but public opinion must acknowledge that it has done a very foolish and a very culpable and cruel thing. A human life has been sacrificed to prove what required no proof, and ought never to have been submitted to proof. And now very likely public opinion, in panic terror at the consequences of its own stupidity, will turn round on the Commission of Inquiry, and threaten all sorts of terrible consequences. The newspaper correspondents, now that it is too late, are condemning with great severity the Carmarthen scientific detectives. It would have been more to the purpose had they protested—which we are not aware that they did—against the commission sitting at all. In the case of Ann Moore, the fasting woman of Tutbury, a committee of magistrates and clergymen (of whom Legh Richmond was one) appointed themselves to detect the imposture. But they were timely wise, and seeing that the subject was rapidly sinking, “apprehensive of being inculpated in the charge of murder,” as the narrative says, they hastily quitted the room, and ordered in food and restoratives. Ann Moore recovered and admitted her importance. The poor child Sarah Jacobs has been sacrificed to her own obstinacy, or rather to her own diseased, hysterical and cataleptic state; to the parents’ folly or cupidity; and to public opinion—that is, to public stupidity and inability to grasp the first and elementary physical truths.

(From The Lancet.)

“Starved to Death!” Such is the conclusion which must have forced itself upon the mind of everyone on hearing of the Welsh fasting girl—the miserable victim of her own delusions and of the superstition, ignorance, and fraud of some of those about her. We confess to a feeling of indignation, and a sense of shame, as we read the account of this cruel demonstration of that which needed no proof. The end was inevitable, unless someone stepped in to avert it. The rapid pulse, the depression of temperature—which was probably the immediate cause of death—and the final stage of delirium, are the ordinary phenomena of death by starvation. It appears to us monstrous that such an occurrence should have taken place in the nineteenth century. The two years’ fasting was a gross imposition, which the careful weighing of the patient before and after a few days’ watching might have demonstrated. The girl was no doubt victim of a diseased volition, and a hysterical aversion to food on her part was so fostered by everything that took place around her that it even dominated the stronger natural instincts. That she took some food, however, before the watching, the result of that experiment must have proved to all. The duty of the sister and nurses was not to prevent the child from taking food, but to discover whether any was taken, and they seem to us to have discharged their part in the transaction with skill and tenderness. They were warned, we are assured, to be on the alert for the symptoms of exhaustion, and to meet them by the timely use of nutriment. They were, we assume, instructed by the daily medical attendant, and we have no hesitation in saying that it was his duty, on perceiving any such symptoms, to have acted with promptitude and decision. He ought to have warned the parents in unmistakable terms that if the girl died from the effects of abstinence from food, they would be held guilty, legally and morally, of her death, and be made responsible for it. In the event of their refusal to administer nutriment, he should unquestionably have assumed the responsibility of doing so. Some of the members of the medical committee appear to have perceived that they might be made to occupy a false position, and they therefore wisely retired. Members of the medical profession have often been accused of rising like one man in order to place their backs against the door to investigation. They had not gauged, it was said, all the facts of physiology and pathology. From the first moment that we heard of this so-called miracle we did not hesitate to characterize it as a gross imposition. Every scientific man knew that it was a palpable absurdity, and in contravention of all known laws and experience, to suppose that the temperature and the development of tissue could have been maintained without any waste or change of substance. The only medical aspect of the case of any interest ought to have been the cure of the child, and this would have been mainly induced by moral means easily accomplished in |[55b] the wards of a hospital, whither she ought to have been removed long ago. So deluded were those who ought to have known better, that our opinions were, of course, rejected by many as the arrogant expressions of professional prejudice. The case will, we trust, meet with a searching investigation. That someone had been fraudulently and surreptitiously supplying this miserable girl with food there can be no shadow of doubt, and the medical attendants should not have allowed themselves to have been in the least degree influenced, as one of them appears to have been, by those who were obviously interested in the maintenance of the fraud. The practical lesson is clear—the medical profession should have nothing to do, directly or indirectly, with the investigation of any of the absurd stories arising from time to time out of ignorance, deceit, or superstition. The sacrifice of this child ought to be enough in all conscience to make any future attempts at similar impostures penal.

(From the Medical Times and Gazette.)

It would be a departure from our custom to comment at length on this case until the public inquiry has terminated. All we can say at present is that it is impossible not to regard it with indignation. The poor hysterical child who is dead was not the chief person to blame. The facts of her having breathed for two years and passed urine prove undeniably that she must have taken food. That she denied the fact is only a common symptom of hysterical disease and that she found persons in her father’s house to humor her and assist her in the deceit is not surprising when it is remembered that she attracted sightseers, who paid or made her presents. Those who are most to blame are the educated gentry and professional persons in the neighbourhood, who, instead of scouting the idea of anything but hysteria and fraud in the case, lent their aid by talking and writing in a half-credulous fashion, in spreading the girl’s reputation as a living wonder. If a physician had in the first instance told the parents that stimulating fasting was a well-known phase of hysteria, and that the proper treatment was to introduce a tube into the stomach or rectum, and to feed her thereby, and had insisted on seeing his prescription carried into effect, or, in case of opposition, had appealed for power to a magistrate, the poor girl’s life might have been saved. Instead of this we have had silly people kept on the qui vive for two years by sensational paragraphs in medical and other papers—then “a committee formed to investigate the case”, and nurses sent down from a London hospital to watch her, with what result has been seen. The whole thing is as great a national disgrace as it would be to try a woman for witchcraft by the ordeal of drowning.


TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—I cannot allow the case of the Welsh Fasting Girl to be disposed of without saying a few words for the parents. Their story is one which ought to be received with respect, as it may be true, and with caution, as it may be false. From my long experience of mesmeric and biological phenomena, I have no hesitation in stating that in some very rare and exceptional states of abnormal humanity it is possible to support life for some indefinite period without ordinary food. This result may be attained by the exercise of mesmeric agency, consciously or unconsciously exerted, but the elucidation of this subject would lead me into a discussion for which the world is not yet ripe. Those who have devoted much attention to this study will understand me when I say that I attribute the immediate cause of the child’s death to mesmeric violence. The treatment actually adopted was the very reverse of curative, and was characterized throughout by the most astounding ignorance of biological experience. The coroner must excuse me if I tell him that he spoke more nonsense than the father uttered in his evidence; in fact, the father appears to me to be the only person about the child who had any right glimmer of her condition. His great error was in calling in a committee of investigation, and handing his child over to the tender mercies of metropolitan doctors. Her speedy death was then inevitable.—I am, &c., 

NEWTON CROSLAND.
Blackheath, Dec. 24.

[The Pall Mall Gazette, 23. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Pall Mall Gazette, 23. Dezember 1869. S. 8.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE WELSH FASTING GIRL.

The adjourned inquest on the death of Sarah Jacobs was opened today at the Pencader school-room. This morning’s Western Mail says:—“It is not likely that any other witnesses but Mr. Jacobs, the father of the girl, will be examined and the question for the jury will be, was there connivance. And, if so, to what extent, and by whom? It will, of course, be unwise to comment upon this branch of the inquiry, but I may state that the verdict is looked forward to with a great amount of interest. The funeral of the deceased child was to have taken place to-day, but the coroner gave instructions that interment is not to take place till after the adjourned inquiry to-morrow, when the remains of the unfortunate deceased will be interred in the parish churchyard of Llanfihangel-ar-Arth. Had the funeral taken place to-day the weather would have been most inclement, to-morrow it may be more favourable, though there is not much promise of it. It is stated, although Mr. Jacobs himself declined to have legal advice on the subject, that his relatives thought it advisable, and have prevailed upon him to employ a solicitor to watch the case to-morrow on his behalf, and that the services of a gentleman from Carmarthen have been retained. It would be a curious study to analyze the little cloud of speculations that have hovered about the couch of the so-called fasting girl for the past eighteen months; a very curious study indeed to find out just how much of scientific research, and how much of ignorance, imposture, duplicity, and superstition went to make up the miserable and worthless whole. The spectacle of Majendie, in his surgical investigation, cutting to pieces his favourite lapdog to find out the cause of a human nervous affection, may form no inapt illustration of little Sarah Jacobs and her self-constituted inquisitors. For the tiny dog, you know, in its unutterable agony, kept licking the face of its executioner in love. And so did the poor little fasting girl, at the last, call out, ‘Kissey me, kissey me!’ And they kissed her and let her die.”

[The Daily News, 24. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7379, 24. Dezember 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE ST. PANCRAS GUARDIANS AND THE CORONER.

At a recent meeting of the St. Pancras guardians great indignation was expressed by them against Dr. Lankester, the coroner, on account of the large number of inquests he has held on persons dying in the workhouse and infirmary, and a resolution was passed that a complaint should be made to the Home Secretary on the subject. This resolution was carried out, and the following correspondence thereupon took place between Dr. Lankester and Mr. Bruce:

“Whitehall, Dec. 4, 1869.—Sir,—I am directed by the Secretary of State to transmit to you for your report thereon the enclosed letter from the Clerk to the Guardians of the Poor of the parish of St. Pancras, forwarding copies of several requisitions for inquests to be held on bodies of persons dying in the workhouse, and adding that the guardians consider that many of the inquests held have been unnecessary.—I am, sir, your obedient servant,—A. F. O. LIDDELL.—Dr. Lankester, Coroner for Middlesex, 8, Savile-row, W.”

(Enclosure.)

“2nd Dec., 1869.—Sir,—I am instructed by the guardians of the poor of the parish to inform you that they have lately had under consideration the frequency and number of the inquests which have recently been held upon the bodies of persons dying in the workhouse. In accordance with a resolution of the guardians, dated the 26th November, 1868, the medical officers of the workhouse have communicated with the clerk in every case in which they have been of opinion that an inquest was necessary. The guardians, in considering the subject, and upon an examination of these communications, are of opinion that many of the inquests held are unnecessary, and that the reasons set forth in many instances are trivial, and not of sufficient weight to warrant inquests being held. They have, therefore, instructed me to forward the accompanying copies of requisitions for your information.—(Signed)—A. J. Davies, Acting Clerk. To the Right Hon. H. A. Bruce, Esq., Secretary of State, Home Department.

The copies of requisitions forwarded, upon which the coroner ordered inquests, are ten in number. No. 1 assigns as the reason for holding an inquiry that deceased (a child) had been picked up at Gloucester-gate, Regent’s-park, in a state of starvation, and had apparently died |[56] from the effects in the workhouse, seven or eight days after being found. No. 2 assigns as the reason for an inquiry that deceased died the day after his admission to the house, without the medical officer being able to ascertain how far the removal to the house occasioned his death. No. 3. That previous symptoms were not such as to indicate so rapid a death as took place. No. 4. That injuries to the side had caused death. No. 5. That death had been accelerated by injury. No. 6. That death had been accelerated by exposure and neglect. No. 7. That death had been caused by desertion and neglect. No. 8. That death was accelerated by the occupation of deceased. No. 9. That an accident accelerated death. No. 10. That deceased (a child) had pined away for want of breast-milk. In reply to the Home Secretary Dr. Lankester forwarded the following letter:

“Coroner’s-office, 23, Great Marlborough-street, W., Dec. 17, 1869.—Sir,—I am glad of the opportunity your letter gives me of answering the inquiries of the Board of Guardians. First. From the verdicts delivered in the cases transmitted to you, of which I send a list, I believe that none of the inquiries were unnecessary. Second. I do not think that any inquests held on the death of any person dying at the present time in St. Pancras Infirmary would be unnecessary on account of the obvious mismanagement of that institution. Third. I think it would be for the advantage of the poor in all our workhouses throughout the country that inquests should be held in every case of death, as it has now been demonstrated by the case of St. Pancras, that no inspection, however good, and no exercise of central authority, however able, can prevent the most gross abuses from prevailing in our workhouses. Having reported on the letter of the guardians as requested, I venture to add that the coroner is liable to indictment for refusing to hold an inquest, but that he must exercise his own discretion as to the propriety of holding it on the information laid before him, and that he is accountable only to the Lord Chancellor, and in some special cases to the Court of Queen’s Bench, and that the information from the guardians should have been addressed to either of those judicial authorities, and that in all cases not so provided, he is the sole authority in his court. I have said so much in the desire to uphold the independence of the office, and from no discourtesy to yourself, in the hope also that such complaints may be directed to the proper authorities in future.—I am, &c.,

EDWIN LANKESTER, Coroner.”

[The Daily News, 25. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7380, 25. Dezember 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE jury which has been inquiring into the death of the “Welsh Fasting Girl” has come to the only verdict consistent with the facts. Before the certain end had come in sight, we pointed out to those concerned that the girl would die, and that if she did die, it would be neither suicide, accidental death, nor “visitation of God”—that in short it could be nothing less than manslaughter. The evidence given at the inquest has entirely borne out all that we said upon the case. The imposture was doubly exposed—first, by the quickness with which a real fast was followed by its natural and necessary result, and secondly, by the post-mortem proofs the body presented of having been fed. The doctors declared that the child died from sheer exhaustion, and might have been saved had food and stimulants been given her the day before her death. It was proved, too, that the father and mother had distinctly refused to give food to their child—pleading an oath which they pretended to have taken two years ago never to give her food again, and keeping up to the very last the pretence that food would cause convulsions. The nurses excused their neglect to feed her by their instructions, which were simply to watch. They had not taken her out of the charge of her parents, but were merely observing how the parents discharged their trust. They were certainly witnesses of the starving to death of the child, but their plea, of [course], is that they were there as detectives engaged to expose an imposture, and not as accessories before the fact to manslaughter. They stood by in the passionless attitude of science to see what would come of it, and they saw death come of it, and did nothing to stop its coming. But why did the father and mother let the child starve? They could not have believed in her fasting powers, for during two years of pretended fast somebody had fed her. The oath the father pleaded could not have been the reason, for food had been given her in spite of it up to the very time, or within a very short period of it, when the watching began. But there are glimpses in the evidence of another motive which may have actuated them. This was the second watching the girl had undergone, and the parents probably hoped to tide through this as they had done through the first. On the first occasion four men watched for a fortnight and reported in favour of the fast, but Mr. DAVIS, surgeon, of Llandyssil, who had attended the girl, had no doubt that they were deceived. The final watch by the nurses was unfortunately, but quite naturally, arranged by Dr. FERGUSON to last for the same period, and the Rev. WILLIAM THOMAS, who had taken part in the investigation to expose what he felt sure was an imposture, believed that nothing more had been said to the father than that they wanted to watch for a fortnight. There was therefore just the possibility that the parents might see in the limitation of the time a chance of escape. If once or twice during that time they could catch the watches napping, and give the child food, as they had done before, they might tide over the watch and get a testimonial from science itself in favour of their miracle. They were never really brought face to face with the question—shall we let the child die, or shall we confess and give her food? Day by day the doctors were reporting on her condition, but as the father would not allow them to examine her, they could only judge by appearances, and did not report, so far as the nurses could hear any signs of sinking. Even on the Thursday afternoon one doctor remarked that the child seemed cheerful; and Mr. DAVIS stated in his evidence that though, on that day, the child was evidently a weaker he did not suggest food to the father “because he knew he would be offended.” Yet it was during the Thursday night, or the early hours of Friday morning, that she was so clearly dying, that the nurses ceased to watch, and gave her up to her parents. Whether the parents then offered her food or not the nurses could not say. She had gone beyond it, and was becoming delirious. Nurse Jones recommended brandy, but the mother still pleaded her oath, and neither parent made any admission of the child’s need of food. The father, indeed, professed at the inquest that had he thought, on the Thursday, that the child was sinking for want of food, he would have allowed it to be given her. It was probably too late when the watch ceased and the parents had the child in their own hands again, for she became delirious in the early hours of Friday morning, and died in the afternoon.

If this is the true explanation of the motives of the parent, it justifies the verdict of the coroner’s jury. A deliberate sacrifice of the child, in order to save their reputation and prevent discovery, would have been murder; a sacrifice which was not deliberate and intentional, but which was the result of a foolish reliance on the chapter of accidents, would be manslaughter, and the jury evidently believed that to be the case with SARAH JACOBS. The inquiry did not, of course, include the further question as to the means by which the pretence of fasting bad been so long kept up. It was shown that the girl did not wish for food, and was probably afflicted with that form of hysteria which rejects it, and even strives against it; but two facts came out which to say the least, are significant. ANN JONES, one of the nurses, said that one day the little girl asked Nurse CLENCH to give her some scent, and a bottle containing eau de cologne was given to her. The bottle disappeared, and both the nurses searched the bed for it but failed to find it. When she was put back in bed her father found it at once. On the previous day of the inquiry some facts had been mentioned which are suggestive in connection with this statement. The father had always resisted the desire of the doctors to examine the child’s person, and when, after her death, the examination took place, there was found, according to the evidence of Mr. PHILIPPS, the surgeon, “a hollow, under the left arm, sufficient to conceal a half-pint bottle.” Beyond these suggestive statements no light has been thrown on the method of the imposture. All that the committees have done is to prove what every rational being knew before, that the pretense of fasting was a sham. Is it, though, altogether creditable to the age that a committee of gentlemen, some London doctors and nurses, the starving of a girl to death; and a coroner’s inquest resulting in a verdict of manslaughter, should be required to prove that it was not possible to live without eating? We said, at the first, that even an inquiry into the possibility of the thing was superstition and not science. Such an inquiry is only possible in an age which, half skeptical and half credulous, shows at once its skepticism and its credulity by assuming that nothing has been proven, and that all questions are open questions. The experience of mankind in all ages has been that food is the condition of life, yet no sooner do some ignorant people in Wales set up a pretense of disproving the universal experience, than it is regarded as a subject for inquiry. There are certain pretentions which, on the face of them, are false, and the pretension to dispense with the regular order of nature is one of them. Ridicule, reprobation, in some cases even punishment, are the fit reply to such claims; audience, investigation, inquiry are out of place respecting them. The investigators into this case of the Welsh Fasting |[57] Girl are a warning to the credulous public; the coroner’s jury, in sending Mr. EVAN JACOBS for trial on a charge of manslaughter, have taught a lesson to those who minister to its credulity. It is quite possible for people to make fools of themselves in the name of scientific inquiry, and very probable that supernatural pretensions may end in crime and punishment.

[Ausschnitt aus unbekannter Quelle]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Unbekannt.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

A MELANCHOLY AFFAIR.—

A sad story reaches us from Delhi. An officer of the 79th Highlanders has caused the death of a native by beating him, and is in custody pending inquiry. The facts are said to be these. The deceased, a mason, was whitewashing some building in the Fort; by accident, the officer, whose rashness has brought him into a very unpleasant, if not dangerous position, was accidentally sprinkled when passing under the scaffolding. He called the man down and beat him so that he died. The letter before us makes use of the words “cruel” and “brutal,” but we hope the inquiry will result in the acquittal of the unfortunate gentleman of every intention to cause anything approaching bodily harm, much less death. Of course natives have their own tale. This is excusable, but the fact should be remember by those addicted to striking them.—Delhi Gazette. Dec 4.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 12. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1009, 12. Dezember 1869. S. 1.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

WORKHOUSE HORRORS.

Dec 12 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

On Thursday, Mr. John Homphreys, the Middlesex coroner, held an investigation at the Green Gats Tavern, Hoxton High-street, respecting the alleged murder of John Presnall, who was a pauper in the Shoreditch workhouse.

The proceedings created intense excitement in the locality, in consequence of certain statements which had been made with respect to the conduct of a nurse and a wardsman who had charge of the ward in which the deceased man expired. The remains of the ward in which the deceased man expired. The remains of the pauper had been buried at Coloney Hatch Cemetery, but the coroner ordered the body to be exhumed, and it was removed to the Shoreditch dead-house.

The court was crowded. The principal witness was Joseph Hallet, a pauper, who said that on Monday, the 22nd of November, he was in the workhouse. There was a nurse named Hart in the ward in the infirmary. The deceased was then lying on a bed, and he was delirious. He shouted “Tobacco—tobacco!” the nurse Hart then said, “Hold that noise”, or “Stop that noise.” She then went and held a handkerchief over his mouth.

Coroner: How long did she hold it over his mouth?

Witness: For two minutes, and when it was removed the deceased shouted “Murder.” The wardsman, a man named Clark, then said “I will do it.” Clark then went over to the deceased, and he put a handkerchief over his mouth. He was going to tie it at the back of his head, and the nurse said, “That is not allowed; I’ll soon quiet him”. The nurse then left the ward, and she returned with something. Clark then held the deceased down by pressing his hands against the chest. The women then stood on the opposite side of the bed, and she poured something down the deceased’s throat Witness heard the contents of the bottle “rattle” as it went down the deceased’s throat. After the dose had been given to the deceased, he never spoke nor made any more noise. He remained insensible until within about an hour of his death—twenty four hours afterwards. The placing of the handkerchief over his mouth appeared to give him pain, and that made him shout “Murder.”

Clark, the wardsman, said that on the day mentioned the deceased was very noisy, and Mrs. Hart said, “I shall be under the necessity of gagging you.” She then put a handkerchief over his mouth. He was very violent and I thought that I would intimidate him, as I had done the night before, to get him to take a pill, and I went over to him. Mrs. Hart then went and got some of the customary soothing mixture, and gave it to him. He slept until half-past six in the morning, and when he awoke Mrs. Hart said to him, “You ought to be much obliged to me for what I gave you,” but the man made no reply. When I put the handkerchief over the deceased’s mouth it was done for the purpose of stopping his noise and Mrs. Hart did it because the man would not keep quiet. She put the handkerchief over him, and “it was just what a mother would do for a refractory child.”

This statement created intense excitement in court, the witness being loudly hissed, and several persons also cried “Murder, murder.”

The woman Hart admitted placing the handkerchief over the deceasedʼs mouth, and further said; The deceased became outrageous, and I not having my senses about me—nobody always has—said “I will go and get something that will quiet him” I then gave him some soothing mixture which I have for noisy patients. It is supplied to me by the dispenser and it is left to my discretion as to when I shall use it. The doctor never gave me any instructions about using it. There is morphia in the mixture. Half a bottle of it would have done the man no harm.

Dr. John Whitmore, medical officer of health for Marylebone, said that he had made a post mortem examination of the body of the deceased man since it has been exhumed. He had found no appearance of death from suffocation caused by placing the handkerchief over the mouth. Judging from the evidence, and finding that the drowsiness did not increase during the day after the morphia had been taken, he was of opinion that a sufficient quantity of it had not been administered to cause death. The morphia would become wholly absorbed into the system, and that would account for its not being found. In the opinion of witness death had resulted from dropsy.

Dr. Forbes, the medical officer of the workhouse, said that he agreed with the evidence of Dr. Whitmore. He had never authorized the nurse to give morphia nor sedative mixtures to any of the patients.

The jury after a long consultation with closed doors returned a verdict “that the deceased man expired from the mortal effects of dropsy; and they are of opinion that the conduct of Mrs. Hart, the infirmary nurse, is highly censurable for administering morphia without the doctor’s sanction, and they are further of opinion that the wardsman Clarke and Mrs. Hart are both censurable for their cruel conduct in tying a handkerchief over a dying man’s mouth.”


Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1009, 12. Dezember 1869. S. 1.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE ST. PANCRAS GUARDIANS.

On Wednesday evening, Dr. Lankester held six inquests at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, Camden-town, several of which referred to parish cases. The last held was the most important, as it involved a very serious charge—that the foetid air of the nursery had been fatal and still was exercising a fatal influence on the infant inmates. The inquiry was held on the body of William James, aged six months. The coroner prefaced the evidence by stating that he had held three or four inquests lately on the bodies of children who had died in the infirmary and this had caused a feeling that the unhealthy condition of the wards had caused the deaths. It would be for the jury to find whether this had been the case in the present instance. Dr. Hill, resident medical officer of the workhouse, said the child was admitted to the infant nursery on the 17th of November. It was six months’ old. Its mother was in the Fever Hospital and it was therefore fed by the bottle. It was ill on Friday, the 3rd of December, and died on the 6th, of congestion of the brain and lunges. Coroner: Do you believe that death was accelerated in any manner by the action of the air of the ward?—Witness: Yes, sir; I believe it was. Emma Hows, late superintendent of the nursery, but who was summarily discharged by the guardians at their last meeting, was called. She said: The board discharged me without examining me or allowing me to make any defense. I can only think l that I am discharged for giving evidence about the wards at the last inquest. Coroner: This is the second nurse who has been discharged immediately after giving evidence at this court. It seems to me that the guardians are not anxious to discover the truth. Mr. Smith: Myself and Mr. Chandler were opposed to the dismissal. The foreman of the jury, Mr. J. Bromwich, |[58] after a few minutes’ consultation with the jury, returned a verdict “That death was caused by the congestion of the lungs and brain, accelerated by the impure air of the nursery; and added that they were very much disgusted with the iniquitous conduct of the guardians in dismissing witnesses who appeared before the coroner’s court.”

[The Daily News, 28. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7382, 28. Dezember 1869. S. 4.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE half-social, half-political war which is raging in Wales has scarcely received sufficient notice from the public. They know that there was in the Principality at the last general election an insurrection of the tenant farmers against landlord usurpation of their political rights, that this insurrection was followed by a proscription in which the landlords avenged themselves upon their disobedient vassals; that the matter was mentioned in Parliament, discussed in the press, and made the subject of a conference and a subscription. Beyond this, public knowledge of the matter does not reach, and has not much opportunity of reaching. Indeed, the public are in a fair way to be entirely misinformed about it. The movement in Wales has frightened the landlords and their agents into a yet further movement to suppress information. The evicted tenants are poor, and have no means of calling the world to listen to their story; the evicting landlords are rich, and have access to the public ear. Moreover, difficult as it is to prove a fact, it is singularly hard to prove a motive. A lot of evictions took place directly after an election; they all happened to be the cases of tenants who had voted against the wishes, in some cases against the orders, of their landlords; and of course the natural conclusion is that the evictions took place for political reasons. But as soon as public attention is called to the matter the landlord class takes alarm. They assume an attitude of injured innocence, and declare, like a gentlemanly pickpocket taken in the fact, that the whole charge is a mistake, that the evictions have not taken place and that the tenants were evicted for purely business reasons; that the hardships spoken of are all inventions and that in fact they were the fault of those who suffered them; and various other conflicting pleas. Then, too, the whole landlord class, Liberal and Tory, inclines by nature to the landlord side; and even Liberal politicians of the class mildly apologize for the sins of their brethren, pooh-pooh the tenants’ complaints, and whisper vague suspicions of exaggeration. Conservative journals, of course, follow suit, and but that they “do protest too much”, might make Conservative readers believe that the tenants have done the wrong and the landlords have suffered it. In fact, that is the landlords’ view. They hold that the tenants owed them their votes and broke the confidence and destroyed the goodwill which existed between them and their landlords by daring to vote of their own free-will. And there really seems to be some danger lest the public should be so overborne by protests which proceed on this principle as to believe that the tenants really have cried out for nothing; that the lamb really did foul the stream of which higher up the wolf was drinking; and that the poor creature really almost deserved its doom.

We have before us a number of reports collected by a trustworthy Commissioner of the Cambria Daily Leader, who spent the month of October in gathering and verifying them. The first list of cases given by this gentleman occurred in the county of Caermarthen. On the first estate named there are fourteen tenants on the county register. They were canvassed by the landlord’s agent, and hard pressed at three separate times to vote for the landlord’s candidate. Thirteen of the fourteen, however, voted for the Liberal candidate, and as soon as the election was over all received notice to quit, on the ground that the estate was to be revalued. The re-valuation took place, and to nine of the tenants the farms were offered at the higher price; the other four were refused. In the next estate, which belonged, it is said, to the heir of a man who once stood in the Liberal interest for Cardigan County, four tenants were supporters of the Liberal cause. One worked hard for the Liberal candidate, but was unable from illness to get out and vote, the other three voted Liberal. Three have been since ejected, and one of the three from a house he had himself built, trusting in his landlord’s honour, without protecting himself by a lease. The fourth had been born on the estate, but was ejected from all the land he held as tenant, and even threatened with ejection from buildings he had erected under an agreement for a lease which, though signed, was not stamped. This threat, made before the election, and with distinct reference to it, has for obvious reasons not been carried out. Close by these tenants, in the same parish of Llanybyther, was a nurseryman who had been promised a piece of land, and had got some thousands of plants to put in it, and built some premises conveniently near it. He, too, was pressed to vote by his landlord’s agent for the Conservatives, and as he refused, the land was refused him, and he lost his plants, and his premises were rendered nearly useless. In another parish two farming preachers took an active part in the election. One of them was told before the election “to remember on whose land his bed lay!” the other was an excellent farmer, who had lately spent 100l. in erecting buildings on his land; and they were both reminded after the election on whose lands their beds lay, by being ejected from them. One of these tenants had, before the election, joined, with five others, in a memorial to their landlord, begging that difference of political action might not make any change in the good feeling which had subsisted between them for years. The landlord replied by a haughty letter, which ended by saying, “As you know my wishes, I certainly expect you will vote with me.” The above-mentioned ejected tenant was the only one who after this ventured to vote against the landlord, and he was the only one evicted. In another parish a farmer, with a wife and ten children, dared to vote according to his convictions, relying on the long connection of himself and his family with the estate. He was an excellent farmer, a most upright and conscientious man, and a faithful tenant, but the avenging notice was served on him, and as he knew it to be ruin it broke his heart. The neighbours joined in an earnest appeal to the landlord on behalf of the widow and family; but political proscription knows no mercy, and the appeals were vain. They were turned out, though, happily, they found a good Samaritan who took them in.

The neighbouring county of Cardigan suffered more, perhaps, than Caermarthenshire. No fewer than twenty-three cases are named by the Commissioner of the Cambria Daily Leader, and they are but a part. Some of these are cases of great hardship. One poor man and his wife were confirmed invalids who had lived in a little place many years and made it look like a garden. The man had no vote, but his brother-in-law had and was active in behalf of the Liberal candidate. The landlord punished the brother-in-law through his invalid relatives, by turning then out of their little holding, and on being appealed to by neighbours said, “He is brother-in-law of—, and not one of the family shall remain on my property.” Another man, a lady’s tenant, was prudent enough to remain neutral. He had lived on his farm nearly 20 years, had spent 200l. upon it, and did not want to lose his all. But the lady said that he who was not with her was against her, and turned him out. In another case the tenant’s family had held the farm for 200 years, but he voted for Mr. Richards and was evicted. Another was so good a farmer that in the previous year his landlord had pressed him to add more land to a holding he had farmed for many years. He took it, and when the election came was so hard pressed for a Tory vote that he remained neutral; but in his case too neutrality was fatal, and he got his notice of eviction. Another evicted tenant is 82 years old, and was born on the farm of which he had in due succession become the tenant. He had another qualification for his vote, and, deeming that an excuse for independence, voted conscientiously. But he had been told that his vote was expected to go with his landlord, and that he would be turned out if it did not, and the threat was enforced, and at 82 years old he is turned out to begin the world again. These are only samples of evictions which have set the Principality by the ears. Of course, there is some difficulty in proving that they arose out of the elections, and now that public attention is being called to the subject, the landlords are finding other reasons to explain their conduct. But the public must draw their own conclusions from the facts. These great batches of evictions followed a contested election, and they were evictions of Liberals by Tory landlords. For the first time |[59] there was a great uprising of the Welsh farmers to vote according to their Liberal convictions. The movement was successful, and the evictions. The movement was successful, and the evictions followed it. The question for the Liberal party now is, whether this great landlord coup shall strike terror into the Welsh farmers, and be the death-blow of their independence, or shall bring the strong to the succour of the weak, and make the blow recoil on those who dealt it. It is not enough to give the tenants the Ballot, and thus emancipate them forever; those who have already suffered should be compensated, as the Aberystwith Conference has proposed to do. The landlords have thrown down a challenge to all the Liberalism in the country and the Liberal party must pick up the gage of battle, and make them rue it.

[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 26. Dezember 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1011, 26. Dezember 1869. S. 5.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

ANOTHER ST. PANCRAS HORROR.

On Wednesday, Dr. Lankester, coroner for Central Middlesex, and a jury of gentlemen selected from the vicinity of St. Mark’s-square, Glosester-road, and Regents-park, were engaged some hours investigating eight deaths—five of which were those of persons connected with the infirmary or workhouse of St. Pancras. One inquest was on Hannah Butt, aged sixty-one, an inmate of the infirmary, to whom a newly appointed nurse had administered five grains of calomel, which had been prescribed by the medical officer for a young woman in the next bed suffering from pleurisy. Dr. Ellis was first examined. He said deceased was admitted on the 6th inst. suffering from debility and slightly from diarrhoea, for which he had ordered her a mixture. He had also ordered five grains of calomel to be given to a strong young woman suffering from pleurisy in the next bed. The next morning he (Dr. Ellis) found that the nurse of the ward, who had been appointed temporarily, had given the calomel to the old woman instead of the young woman. The dose given to the deceased in mistake no doubt killed her, as on a post mortem examination all the organs were very pale. All the bottles of medicine for the patients are labelled with the numbers of the beds to which the patients belong. Susan Pentelow, an inmate, and helper in the ward in which deceased died, said she remembered the young man from the dispensary bringing a powder into the ward and give it to her. She gave it to the paid nurse, who gave it to the old woman, deceased. She never rallied afterwards. The names of the two patients, the old woman and the young woman, were not similar. The jury desired to have the evidence of the nurse who had administered the wrong medicine to the deceased, but were informed that the master of the workhouse having discharged her she had left, and it was not known where to find her. Ultimately a verdict of “Death from misadventure” was recorded.