The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Petition Concerning Maintenance Of The Poor
Ref:15/2/35A-38B: 38B BLANK

Whereas there is a designe setting forward in this Cittie, by many Men & Weomen of Ranke & quallity Wee hope we shall haue your assistance by stirring vp the harts of people to embrace it, The designe is, That all poore people which driuen from their dwellings are come from diuers parts of England & Ireland to this Cittie for refuge & reliefe may haue some imployment to helpe mainetaine them that soe they may not be exposed to beg for mainetenance, as many poore of the Cittie doe now for want of some Imployment.
The way to bring this good worke to effect as a helpe to preuent misery & wickednes in the tyme of this reformation,
1 That Workehouses and Bridewells may be set vp in and about the Cittie the workehouse to traine vp Children in Trades to imploy the honest & laborious the Bridewells (are needfull) to punish the obstenate and refractorie who will not liue conformeable to a ciuill life nor take paines for the comfort of themselfes & others./
These houses if they may haue in them honest SchooleMasters and Mechanick Arts Masters will be a great helpe to Ministers & Maiestrates to helpe them to gouern obstinate people & to reforme them from Idlenes & other wickednes as Sweareing Sabbath brakeing & such like./
There are 2 obiections made by some to ouerthro & hinder this good worke which tendeth to the pulling downe of sinne and the setting vp of the Charritable workes./

1: Ob Some say the tyme is not seasonable for such things because of the many troubles./
2. Ob That the want of mony will hinder this worke for the present
Answer to the first Ob: though the tymes are troublesome and therefore vnseasonable as some say yet the pulling downe of sinne is very seasonable at all tymes as St Iames sheweth what pure religion is viz to visite the Fatherles & widdow & to keepe Men off from the spotts and sinnes of the world./
Answer to the 2d Ob: The want of mony at this tyme will hinder the bussines to such I answer it is not intended that workehouses should be set vp to raise great stocks of mony whereby the Arts Masters should growe careles & proud but rather such houses are appointed & set vp to restraine people from Idlenes & begging & other debaushnes which will be a great assistance & comfort to Magestrates and Ministers, and honest people when the Idle people of Parishes shall be reformed by the helpe of workehouses & Bridewells And whereas Clothiers doe find their Spinars & Weauors Wool to imploy them, which doth much inrich the Clothier so may the Marchants & Shopmen prouide Materialls to imply the poore of the workehouses which will not only be a great releife & comfort to the poore but the Marchants & Shopmen will gaine (like the Clothier) a great estate by it./
Many Clothiers when they began to set vp Clothing trade were worth but little but by the helpe of the poore in few yeares they were worth hondreds; All this being considered

wee may goe one with the worke for the good of the rich and the poore, though the tymes are troublesome and mony wanting yet for silcke, hempe & Flax & Wooll to make Serge of there is enough in the Cittie to imploy the poore/
The Consideration of this is one good Motiue to induce Ministers and stirr vp rich Marchants & great Trading Shopmen to find out honest handycrafts Men as Weavours Butten makers, Taylors & such like & place them in those workehouses and send Materialls of hempe Flax silcke & such like whereby they may keepe all the poore both Young & old to take some paines for their Liueings & not to liue Idlely and wickedly as they haue done./
Another Motiue is to induce Ministers to stirr vp the rich to this worke, it will be a meanes to bring much honor to God & Christ by helpeing poore Widdowes & Fatherles Childeren which are vnwilling to goe to Bridewell to worke least they should be mocked & called Bridewell birds but if there were workehouses haueing Schooles in them to teach Boyes & Girles to write & read And alsoe to teach them some handy trades whereby they may be able to get their liueings and soe saue their Parents some charge of mony to bind them Prentizes & to such houses many sufficient people will send there Childeren to be taught these things but to a Bridewell they will not send them, And when Children by being among honest Godly people in the workehouses are trained vp in faith & Godlines. Taught to write & read & are entred into the knowledge of a Trade Godly Masters [catchword: had]

had rather take such a Boy with 40s then a raw ignorant boy for 5lb which is rawe & ignorant in the state of his soule as he is in the skill of his Trade./
These things being considered I pray God euery Good Minister may be earnest to haue workehouses set vp in & about the Cittie of London & soe through out the whole Kingdome (in Gods good tyme) that soe noe wandring begger may haue excuse to goe out of his Parish for want of worke, but be enjoyned to come to the workehouse or else sent to Bridewell then people would not giue at their doores & whereas many house keepers some tymes haue broth & other things sometymes to spare if the poore of the workehouse may be sufferred to fetch it, It will be a great ease to the Parish & a great helpe to wards the Mainetenance of poore Childeren whose worke as yet is not able to gett their liueing./
If all prishoners receaueing Pentions from the Parliament or their Parishes may be enjoyned to come euery morning to prayers & to doe some worke & receiue their pentions at the workehouses, it will preuent much Idlenes drunknes & other wickednes which is Committed amongst some Pensioner Beggers./
It is a braue thing when a Parish is keept vnder a good gouerment, & the <poore> people keept in a posture of imployment it will bring honor to God aduance the Kingdome with riches. But it may [catchword: be]

be some will say where shall the poore haue vent for there worke to which is answered, let the Marchants & Shopkeepers take care for vent, they are able to keepe their wares by them halfe a yeare to gether and by that tyme a thousand to one but they shall haue vent;
They shall haue vent The Marchants that Trafficke beyond the Seas to the Westerne parts haue desired this good worke to Goe forward for the honour of England Alsoe they say if the workehouses did imploy 10 Thousand people to make Serge, Lynnen, & other things needfull for apparrell they will take it off yearely, Besides if God Cause the Multitude of Childeren to encrease & abound soe much; that the Land is not able to find imployment for them, the Marchants will take off some yearely espetially such as are Fatherles & Freindles nor house to Lodge in but are constrained to ly vnder Shopbulks Sheepe Coates, [Trees?] & Hedges: & like as their Lodging is meane soe is their faire, Therefore it is conceiued for many that the takeing away the refractory from anoying the land & the carrying ouer the poore & helples will be a very great deed of Charity & wilbe an occasion by Goods helpe to keepe many a poore soule from perishing that haue noe freind to help him or her./ The Profitt Dauid that valiant King sayeth thee heauens are the Lords & the earth he hath giuen to the Childeren of Men by which we may vnderstand that God hath a prouidence ouer earthly things he doth appoint [catchword: Countries]

Countries for people & people for Countries to inhabit and dwell in therefore in his prouidence he doth encrease one land with people to store & helpe fill another, And if all poore forlorne Childeren might be trained vp in Godlines & in Trades they will be the more fit to make good Instruments for the ioy of Church & state & to praise God in this land & to Spread his honour in another land if God call them vnto it. The holy Gost sayeth that the Lord doth ordaine praises out of the Mouth of Babes & Simple ones for the honour of his holy name./
All this being considered they are strong Motiues as I sayd before to induce all Ministers to stirr vp their Congregations to be ready & willing to aduance this worke, but espetially to stirr vp rich Marchants and Haberdashers of small wares Hosiers and such like, which deale vpon things to imploy thousands that the companies of these Trades Men may Ioyne together to find Materialls to imploy the poore in workehouses that none may haue cause to Begg & to doe as the Clothier doe not only to find them worke but to take it off from them, they will doe an honorable worke, And alsoe if such Marchants and the rest will be carefull to place honest Schoolemasters in the workehouses that none may haue cause to begg to teach & instruct Childeren to write & read & to know God & Christ, God & Christ will giue the early & latter raine & fruite full seazons which is the great inriching of a Kingdome such showers of raine God hath giuen vs this Spring Wee blesse his Majestie for it, I say againe [word deleted] <when> the rich Marchants & the rest are [catchword: carefull]

carefull to aduance the honor of God & Christ, God & Christ will not only blesse them in this life with health & wealth & such like temporall fadeing marcies but alsoe with spirituall and euerlasting marcies, when God that made the Sun in the firmament glorious will make their soules & bodies to shine like the Sun in Gods glorious Kingdome and when their soules are departing from their bodies at the houre of death when they are bidding there freinds & earthly riches farewell then will Christ send an Angell to bring there soules to heauen (as an Angell fetcht the soule of poore Lazarious) & Christ which is alwaies with his saruants to the end of the world he will meete them in the narrow way that Leadeth to heauen Gate & the same Christ that tooke little Childeren in his Armes & blessed them will alsoe embrace his saruants in the Armes of Loue & will say vnto them come you blessed Childeren of my Father inherit the Kingdome of joy & glory prepared for you, for I was hungry & you feed me I was naked & you clothed me; Now to conclude till great stocks of mony can be raysed to sett the poore to worke, let euery rich Man if he haue not mony let him engage his Credit to buye Materialls to imploy the poore & alsoe to prouide good Schoolemasters that tho they haue noe more learneing but to teach Childeren to write & read to make them fitt for prentizes yet if the Catachise their soules the worke is great & very good let none dispise it least God & Christ dispise them./