[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 8. August bis 14. November 1869]

Aug 8 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 991, 8. August 1869. S. 6.
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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.

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 991, 8. August 1869. S. 6.
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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.

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 993, 22. August 1869. S. 7.
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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, Columbia-|34square, 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.”

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 993, 22. August 1869. S. 7.
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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.

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 997, 19. September 1869. S. 5.
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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.



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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 997, 19. September 1869. S. 5.
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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.

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 997, 19. September 1869. S. 5.
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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.”

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 993, 22. August 1869. S. 4.
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HOW HABITUAL CRIMINALS ARE MADE.

“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.

Aug 22 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

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.”

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 992, 15. August 1869. S. 4.
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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.|

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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.

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1005, 14. November 1869. S. 4.
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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.

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 1005, 14. November 1869. S. 5.
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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.

Inhalt:

  • Social cases. 1869