« PreviousContinue »
individual expense, and by his own personal attention, established a school wherein about 120 children are educated upon the Lancastrian plan, which, in some points, Mr. Booth has indeed improved upapon. Premiums of bibles and testaments were distributed at Christmas, among the most deserving of the children; all of whom are making a rapid progress in reading and writing. We have no hesitation in strongly recommending this infant establishment to the notice and patronage of the respectable inhabitants of Belfast, whose generosity, we are confident, will not leave the entire burthen of so useful an Institution to he sustained by a benevolent stranger, whose unobtrusive and modest exertions, give him a double claim upon their
It affords satisfaction to us to make eur pages the register of the progress of the work of diffusing education. At Baltore, a village in the county of Kildare, they have lately sent a young man to Dublin to be initiated into the Lancastrian plan. He returned after a stay of two weeks, instructed in the routine, and is now superintending a daily school of 70 children.→→ It is to be enlarged to 100 of each sex in separate apartments with suitable monitors, classes, &c. fully organized on the new plan. The catholic priest of the parish patronizes the plan, and leaves the management to the committee, who are Bot of his church. The children pay of farmers and shopkeepers 6d. per week, working tradesmen 4d. and day-labourers, 2d. This payment is likely to meet nearly all the expenses of the school, the house having been previously fitted up by subscription. We have in this instance a practical proof that much good may be effected by judicious exertion with very little expense. The plan of receiv ng payment may probably stimulate the parents to cause the children to give re
gular attendance, for sometimes what is procured without cost is not sufficiently valued.
During the year from February 1810 to February 1811, the number of patients at the county of Antrim infirmary, in Lisburn, has been
Interns (of whom 15 now remain)... 74
For medical advice.........
In a former number, we gave the resofutions of a number of proprietors of bleachgreens, who assembled at Belfast. We now insert a copy of the petition with the signatures annexed, and of a circular letter sent by the committee to such members of parliament as they hoped to be able to influence to a support of the petition either from considerations of a local nature, or on the principle of public spirit. The readiness, with which the petition was signed, with very few exceptions, shows the prevalence of more humane and enlightened sentiments. It is pleasing to contrast the general concurrence evinced on the present occasion, with the preju dices of former times, and to hail the progress of a liberal and enlightened philan thropy.
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE AND HONORABLE THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
The petition of the proprietors of Bleach-greens in the north of Ireland.
That your petitioners' property is much exposed while lying out at bleach; and great depredations are annually committed on your petitioners.
That the laws which punish the offence with death, have been found ineffectual to restrain these depredations; for that owing to the lenity of prosecutors, the unwillingness of juries to convict, and the general leaning to the side of mercy, when the punishment is by the common opinion of mankind considered as disproportioned to the offence, very few convictions take place, and in consequence of fenders mostly escape, and are encouraged in the commission of crimes, which are multiplied from the probability of escape being encreased, and from the impunity which lax prosecutions afford.
That petitioners are strongly impressed with the sentiment that by certainty of punishment being substituted for severity of punishment, crimes would be diminish
or such a period of confinement in penitentiary houses as to them may appear elis gible; provided a system of confinement in such houses should hereafter be adopted by the legislature.
Jackson, Eyre and Co.
John and Charles Hardy
Andw. and Thos. Sloan
John and Wm. Millar.
Francis Bennett and son Joseph Cunningham Hugh and John Jackson
Those marked (*) are calico printers in the vicinity of Dublin. The insertion
the names manifests how generally the petition has been signed.
The following Circular Letter has been forwarded
to many Members of Parliament. "The committee to whom the care of forwarding the petition was intrusted, beg leave to present a copy of the resolutions and petition to **********, and to beg the favour of his support to the petition, and to the bill which may be brought into parliament in consequence of the prayer of the petition. They have great satisfaction in stating, that the petition has been generally sigued by the proprietors of bleachgreens and calico print-yards, and they hope that so full a concurrence of those, whose interests are so immediately concerned, will have great weight in inducing the legislature to comply with their request for the mitigation of punishment, a measure they conceive equally demanded on the principles of humanity, and by a sound policy as best calculated to protect property, and diminish the number of crimes."
The list of signatures would have been longer if there had been time to offer the petition to all, but time pressed and prevented a full application.
It may not perhaps be known to many of our readers, that the law which made the robbing of bleach-greens, a capital felony, and enacted the punishment of death is not of a very old date. It is contained in the 3d George III. chap. 34, being the first great linen act, which with the concurrence of the linen-drapers of Belfast and Lisburn, was carried through parlia ment in 1763, by the old Earl of Hillsborough, afterwards created Marquis of Downshire. The 77th section takes away the benefit of clergy "from any felon convicted according to the due course of law, and statutes of this kingdom, of stealing linen, hempen, or cotton yarn or linen or hempen cloth, or cloth made of linen and cotton yarn, or any materials or utensils used in bleaching the same above the value of five shillings from any bleachvard, buck-house or work-house thereunto belonging, whether the fact be committed by day or by night."
In the petition for the repeal of this law, there is a favourable concurrence and co-operation by the persons interested, which cannot readily be procured in other cases, for in this instance the parties interested have a better opportunity of acting in concert, than in many other cases, where those concerned are more dispersed, and have little opportunity of expressing a
BELFAST MAG. NO, XXXI,
united judgment. But in this case the almost unanimous voice of those who are exclusively interested, is in favour of a more lenient, mode of punishment: a circumstance, which it is hoped the legis lature will not overlook. Sir Samuel Romilly demonstrates by his conduct that he is hearty in the cause; such conduct will insure to him, the best rewards, the approbation of his own mind, and entitle him to the veneration and respect of the enlightened among his fellow-citizens in the present times, as well as hand down his name to posterity as the friend to man, when the party feuds of the day shall be forgotten, or remembered with disgust. By his judicious exertions in the cause of humanity, he is laying the foundations of a well-earned and lasting fame, as an enlightened statesman and able se
It is pleasing to perceive the progress of a humane principle on the subject of capital punishments. At a meeting of the master calico printers in the vicinity of London, resolutions and a petition to Parliament, praying for a change of punishment for robbing print-yards, similar to those from this country, were agreed to with only one dissentient voice. The petition, it is expected, will be presented this week, as also the one from Ireland, which was transmitted to Sir Samuel Romilly last week.
On a copy of the calico printers' resolutions and petition being presented to Sir Samuel Romilly, he returned the following appropriate answer, characteristic of his benevolence and sound judgment.
Lincoln's Inn, Feb. 13, 1811.
SIR, I have received your letter, inclosing the resolutions come to at a meeting of the master calico printers in the vicinity of London, held on the 9th of the present month; and I shall have very great satisfaction in presenting their petition to the house of Commons, and in promoting the object of it, to the utmost of my abilities. The Irish petition has not yet been transmitted to me, but I am in daily expectation of receiving it, and I am very desirous of presenting it early. The thanks which the meeting has done me the honour to give me, have afforded me very great satisfaction, for though I cannot pretend to any greater merit than that of merely doing my duty, by endeavouring to avail myself of such means as I possess of being
BELFAST ACADEMICAL INSTITUTION.
To make our readers more fully acquainted with the present state of the Academical Institution in this town, we give the following interesting papers on that subjert. Sensible of the importance of education to all ranks, and ardently desirous that effectual measures might be taken to promote its benefits, we call the attention of our readers to the important subject, and with most hearty good will to the proposed Institution, we venture to express our wish, that in no part of the buildings or management, substantial use may be sacrificed to show; or that to gain patronage or additional aids, the important interests of an independent institution may not be bartered at the shrine of power.
THE Visitors, having summoned a general meeting of the Proprietors of the ACADEMICAL INSTITUTION, to take into their consideration a question which appears to them of vital importance to the success, and even the existence of their attempt to improve the state of Education in this part of the Kingdom, think it ne cessary to lay before them the following documents, in order that they may have the necessary information for coming to a
The management of the affairs of the Institution had been vested in the Board of Managers, by a general meeting of Proprietors, held on the 4th of F bruary, 1808, with instructions to proceed according to the recommendation of the Committee, with whom the plan was first digested and acted upon, by encreasing the subscriptions, and making the necessary preparations for opening Schools and delivering courses of Lectures. For some time it was doubtful whether the latter of these objects could be best effected by making a commencement in temporary buildings, or postponing it until suitable buildings should be erected. The latter of these was preferred by the concurrent decisions of several general meetings, and nothing now remained but to carry the wishes of the proprietors into effect, by encreasing the subscriptions, and making
the necessary arrangements for building. The total of the subscriptions at this time amounted to upwards of £15,000, and it appeared from the instructions given to the Architect chosen to draw a plan for the buildings, that £10,000 was to be laid out in their erection, leaving a remainder of £5000 for all the other purposes of the Institution. In this arrange ment the Board of Visitors acquiesced for some time under the idea that the Managers, seeing how inadequate such a portion of the funds would be to create, what must be called the soul of a literary institution, (the endowment of Professors. and Teachers, the purchase and forma-. tion of a Botanical Garden, the furnishing of a Library, and the providing ap paratus for the several professors) would see the necessity of exerting themselves in encreasing the funds. At length, however, fearing, from the inactivity of the Managers, that these observations had secaped their notice, they thought it neces sary on the 5th of September, 1808, to send them the following message...
"It is proposed to the Board of Managers, that for getting in the instalments already due, and collecting additional subscriptions, a Committee be appointed at every weekly meeting of the Managers, consisting of two persons who shall be required to use their endeavours for this purpose during the interval, and re-. port at the next weekly board. To obviate any objections that may be urged against them...the Collectors, in performing this duty, they shall be furnished with a short and perspicuous statement of the Institution, its funds, the views entertained respecting it, and the sum necessary to give it full effect; suppose. £10,000 for buildings, and £20,000 for professorships, &c. and candidly inform ing individuals that without their co-ope ration, this great national undertaking must even now fall, or degenerate into a common school, and become a reproach to the country."
An answer was sent, intimating, that such a committee as had been recommended was appointed;" but that the Managers thought it imprudent to press the collection of new subscriptions through the country, until some progress has been made in the buildings; that this was delayed for want of a plan, but that every exertion in their power was made to forward it."
On perceiving from this answer that no means were to be adopted to increase the fund necessary for establishing the Institution, while the greater part of that already in hands, was still intended to be appropriated to the buildings, seeing also that some part of the small portion not appropriated to the buildings (amounting to nearly £1000) had been expended in inclosing the ground, they thought it necessary again to remind the Managers of the impolicy of dissipating the funds in buildings, and of depending on future contingencies for procuring the means of its becoming effectual, and therefore on the 13th of October, 1808, they sent them the following message....
"The Board of Visitors having devoted great attention to discover the best means of rescuing the Institution from any unfavourable conclusions which the public may be inclined to draw from its present state of inactivity, as the result of their inquiries, earnestly represent to the Managers the necessity of appropriating a certain sum to be applied solely to the Literary department. They are of opinion that £10,000 should be set apart for this purpose, as being the smallest sum which can enable it to answer the ends for which it was formed. If the Managers acquiesce in this measure, the Visitors will then endeavour to arrange a plan which may be acted upon at the beginning of the ensuing winer at farthest, and which may by that tie have sufficient publicity to enable our countrymen to avail themselves of its ad vantages.
"Should the Managers agree to the specific disposition of the sum now mentioned, which can be considered adequate only to the commencement of our design, they will perceive the urgency of recurring to such measures as marked the early days of the Institution, in order to provide a sum sufficient not only to complete the body, or mere external part, but also progressively to encrease its usefulness, by extending the plan and facilitating the acquirement of a literary education."
The only notice taken of this message by the Managers, was the following Resolution on their books, of the 3d of November, 1808....
"Resolved, That the Managers are of opinion, that the appropriation of any part of the funds for any of the purposes mentioned in the communication of the
On the 8th of November, the Visitors sent the following message to the Managers...
"The Visitors having seen on the Managers book, what they suppose was intended as an answer to their late message, cannot avoid expressing their disappointment on seeing so brief and unsatisfactory a reply made to their note. The Managers must be sensible, that in acting as they have done, the Visitors have exercised a right vested in them by the fundamental laws of the Institution, which declare that they shall have authority to inspect at all times every department of the Institution.
Desirous, therefore, that the measure recommended by them in their last notice, should originate with the Board of Managers, rather than with the general Court of Proprietors, to which, in case of any avowed difference of opinion, it must ultimately be referred, and whose sentiments they are sensible, are perfectly conformable to their own, the Visitors trust that the Managers will reconsider the subject, and either unite with them in putting the measure into effect, or else explain in detail the arguments which may have had such influence on their determination."
To this message the following answer was given on the 11th of November...
"The Managers of the Academical Institution acknowledge, in the fullest extent, the authority of the Visitors to inspect at all times every department of the Institution, and will be much gratified by the sentiments of the Visitors on any point connected with the great object in view. At the same time, they feel it to be their bounden duty to exercise their own judgment on every department of the Institution, and also on every communication with which they may be favoured by the Visitors. The appropriation of the sum of £10,000 to the purposes mentioned in the communication of the Visitors, or of any specific sum for those purposes, the Managers deem premature. The amount of the funds of the Institution are not yet ascertained; neither the sum necessary for the buildings. Besides, the Prospectus directs, that should circumstances arise which may delay the founding the number of Lectureships at first intended, a fewer number are to be adopted, thereby pointing