The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Memorandum On Provision For The Poor, In Hand B
Ref:15/2/5A-6B: 6A-B BLANK
Notes:Another copy at 15/2/3.

[Hartlib's hand: Mr Worsley.]
[hand B:]
            About the poore Advertisments /
             ----   -----   -----   ----
The meanes to improove the designe of taking away & providing for the poor of this Kingdome (according to the present constitution) may easily bee conceived to bee 2 fold viz.
The inviting and alluring of more indigent people and mained Souldiers And the encouraging and procuring more undertakers.
Neither of theis can be done: but by a complying with the privat interests of Both. For the poore will not worke or subject himselfe to order or dicipline without you can offer him a better Condition then hee enjoyed by begging and idlenesse/ And the Merchant will not deposite part of his stok to be emploied unlesse some gaine may acrew by it./
The Poore therefore thus gathered must first have all such things as are necessary for a convenient or moderate subsistence[H alters from subsistance] as meat[H alters from met] drinke. Lodging with some warmth and clothes[altered] That theie may find and others of that qualitie coming to them, may diserne a greatter blessing to be this way gayned then by gadding abroad.
2dly Order and dicipline sweetnesse and cleanlinesse (being once setled) must be compeld upon them For this being not carefully regarded the Creditt of the worke will be quickly diminished And their lyfe & employment unhealthy to themselves & an offence & discouragment to others
3dly All possible wayes even as many as may be/ are to be contrived to abatte[H alters] and lessen/ ther/ charg./ This being the maine hing upon which all the rest must orderly move And this must be the principall motive to attract/ vndertakers[H alters from undertakers].
Now seeing all sublunary things whatsoever are generable & Corruptible & That these 2 Generation[H alters] and corruption doe the one terminate/ into the other, making a Circle to charne the motions of nature,[H punctuates] out of which theie never wander causing the continuance of all things to stand still as theie formerly were. I know not why wee may not translate[H alters] Coruption into Policy and into action as to restraine it to the Physicks <H: and> Contemption only.
If therefore the Corruptible parts of our Aliments which nature daily seper- [catchword: attes]

separattes[H alters from seperattes] from us as [Excrementitious? altered] were by Art disposed as theie might be. It[H alters] would generate or produce something for Humane use and     nance[word incomplete] as well as now it is by nature wholly spent and converted into the last of the fishes,[H punctuates] or for pleasure and nourishment of the plant.
After therefore a Convenient worke house or lodging for the Poore shall be pitched upon & setled that shall be of sufficient largnesse & capacitie. Let att one convenient end[H alters] of it be a larg vault diggd for the easing of all the poore people for the conveying away of all the dust soyle and filth that shall be gathered togeather,[H punctuates] also with the Urine and sope sudds and the like,[H punctuates] that noe moysture [dyrt? H deletes] <left margin, H: dirt> and sluttishnesse be amoungst them. Lett this vault be about 5 or 6 foote deepe and of good largnesse to endure for some time. Above[H capitalises] lett it be devided into distinct houses one for the men another for the women both commanded to be kept cleanly And when this vault is full lett a Hole be digged answerable or larger [word deleted] <H: in> one part of the work-House and lett it be emptied into it by men accustomed to that[H alters] employment laying good store of [word deleted] <H: lyme> under & good store above it & filling it up with earth.
This after a day or 2 will be noe way noysome and by their continuall trampling upon it (if care be had that no spring or moysture come nigh it) will within 2 or 3 <years> turne to excellent salt-peter and will yeeld nigh as much as the charge of the keeping of them ordinarily will come to,[H punctuates] at least it will contribute very much to it. But there it is to be conceaved that your roome must be soe large as shall contayne the empytyngs of the vault 2 or 3 yeare togeather or more if need require. Thus I computte[H alters] that 150 persons whether men women or children will afford matter for ten tun of Peeter in a yeare which at but 70lb per tun will come to 700lb per annum and soe much will rise toward the keeping of them.