• After passing a Factory Act of some importance, which, however, was only the forerunner of much subsequent legislation, the House of Commons engaged in Poor Law Reform. In the winter of 1832-3 a very startling state of things was disclosed. In a period of great general prosperity, that portion of England in which the Poor Laws had their most extensive operation, and in which by much the largest expenditure of poor-rates had been made, was the scene of daily riot and nightly incendiarism. There were ninety-three parishes in four counties of which the population was 113,147 and the Poor-Law expenditure £81,978, or fourteen shillings and fivepence per head; and there were eighty parishes in three other counties the population of which was 105,728 and the Poor-Law expenditure £30,820, or five shillings and ninepence a head. In the counties in which the Poor-Law expenditure was large the industry and skill of the labourers were passing away, the connection between the master and servant had become precarious, the unmarried were defrauded of their fair earnings, and riots and incendiarism prevailed. In the counties where the expenditure was comparatively small, there was scarcely any instance of disorder; mutual attachment existed between the workman and his employer; the intelligence, skill, and good conduct of the labourers were unimpaired, or increased. This striking social contrast was but a specimen of what prevailed throughout large districts, and generally throughout the south and north of England, and it proved that either through the inherent vice of the system, or gross maladministration[362] in the southern counties, the Poor Law had a most demoralising effect upon the working classes, while it was rapidly eating up the capital upon which the employment of labour depended. This fact was placed beyond question by a commission of inquiry, which was composed of individuals distinguished by their interest in the subject and their intimate knowledge of its principles and details. Its labours were continued incessantly for two years. Witnesses most competent to give information were summoned from different parts of the country. The Commissioners had before them documentary evidence of every kind calculated to throw light on the subject. They personally visited localities, and examined the actual operation of the system on the spot; and when they could not go themselves, they called to their aid assistant commissioners, some of whom extended their inquiries into Scotland, Guernsey, France, and Flanders; while they also collected a vast mass of interesting evidence from our ambassadors and diplomatic agents in different countries of Europe and America. It was upon the report of this commission of inquiry that the Act was founded for the Amendment and Better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales (4 and 5 William IV., cap. 76). A more solid foundation for a legislative enactment could scarcely be found, and the importance of the subject fully warranted all the expense and labour by which it was obtained.stat
  • gossips
  • Thomas Moore, the poet, in the latter period of his life, published several biographical works—namely, a "Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan," in 1825; "Notices of the Life of Lord Byron," in 1830; and "Memoirs of Lord Edward Fitzgerald," in 1831. Byron had written memoirs of his own life, which he presented to Moore, and by the publication of which a very large sum of money could have been made; but Moore generously placed the MS. at the disposal of Mrs. Leigh, the poet's sister and executrix; and from a regard to his memory, they were consigned to the flames. It is supposed, however, that all that was valuable in them was found in the noble lord's journals and memorandum-books. Among literary biographies—a class of publications highly interesting to cultivated minds—the first place is due to Lockhart's "Life of Sir Walter Scott," a work that ranks next to Boswell's "Life of Johnson."ovokin
  • Lev
  • 日本漫画免费2021新_2021最新福理论利片_2021年欧美电影免费看

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