The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Memorandum On Relief Of The Poor
Ref:15/2/51A-54B: 54B BLANK
Notes:Another copy at 15/2/55.

According to an order of the Court of Common Councell held at Guildhall in the Citty of London on the 7th of October 1645 grounded upon a petition from divers Ministers and Citizens of London intimateing the miseries of poore the poore of the Citty and parts adjacent by reason of their increase idlenes and prophanenes, whereby God is dishonoured, Religion aspersed and the Citty with parts adjacent and the whole Kingdome opprest: Whereupon the said Court thought fit and did order for the undertaking soe pious a Worcke, that the Right Honourable Tho: Atkin then Lord Major of this Citty with some Aldermen and others of the most eminent ranke and quality of this Citty should seriously the consider the petition & and such propositions as the petitioners should present to them together with a draught of a bill formerly intended to be presented to the parliament to bee passed as an act, entitled An Act for the better execution of the lawes and Statutes touching the releife, and imployment of the poore, that the proceedings thereof might bee certified unto the said Court of Common Councell that speedy prevention of present and future pressing necessities may bee avoided[altered].
Now whereas this most worthy and charitable Committee authorized as aforesaid have <H: and> doe manifest by their utmost endeavour a desire of a compleat perfect and lasting accomplishment of this Excellent enterprize which is honourable to God, glorious to Religion, and good for all the Citty and [H: Nation] [acord] in generall, and have not onely received the petitionors[H alters] propositions and

with much patience heard them severall times, but have favourably vouchsafed to the petitioners the perusall <H: and> consideration of and upon the said draught of the said bill together with their propositions, and have intimated a willingnes to accept of the petitioners apprehensions and conceptions thereof. Therefore they doe humble præsent the same as followeth.
    First by the preamble of the said bill it appeareth (as the petitioners conceive) more to ayme at the execution of Iustice, then at the removall or prevention of the occasions of the acting of Iustice.
    Secondly it premiseth that power may bee given to a Corporation or Committee to act the redresses of certaine Lawes and Statutes for the releife and imployment of the poore and punishment of the prophane and disorderly. Thirdly it is to bee acted by a particular Society, which (as the petitioners conceive) are not by the said bill to bee elected by the inhabitants within their[H alters]/ wards. Fourthly it doth not give authority sufficient to enable them to improve out of the corporall abilities of the poores[H alters from poore] advantage by manufacture towards their supportation. Fiftly it doth not impose the undertakeing by the most able without reward. Sixtly it doth not tye to the place nor punishment for neglect and abuse in the place, but shame by expulsion. Seventhly there is noe certaine

provision sett downe for the provision of the visitted by appoynting certaine vi phisitians and chirurgions for that imployment. Eightly it is not in the petitioners Iudgements probable speedily and chearefully to Succeed, unlesse a more satisfactory and contentfull method bee proposed in referrence to the publique: the particulars whereof your petitioners make bold to present and leave to your more grave[H alters from gravie] Iudgements to bee considered, And for the first part of their propositions which is Governement they say as followeth.
    That in their eight propositions they hold it conducible to the Worke, that the Citty might bee divided into four parts, and that there may bee/ <H: one or 2 in every ward freely elected yearly by the Inhabitants of the said Wards to bee of> of the Grand Committee, and those to bee chosen by and of the severall wards which Grand Committee may subdivide into four divisions and those elected and placed aforesaid may upon all occasions by[H deletes] <H: bee> removed by the Common Councell.
    First because they conceive it will much facilitate the who worke which of it selfe being soe vast will probably by that meanes become feasible.
    Secondly the worke by this meanes will with the more Speed bee reduced into a Methodicall Regularity correspondent to the urgeing and pressing necessity.

    Thirdly hereby great satisfaction will bee given to the generality of the Communalty of the Citty (by whom the burden of the stoke must bee borne from whom it must bee received, and upon whom in case of necessity it must bee leavied) when as there shall bee in every ward one if not more of the generall standing Committee or Corporation, which upon this division of the Citty propounded will also become quadruple: And if it will bee noe disadventagious polity to permitt the generality of every ward to have the nomination and presentation of every such man or men as are to bee members of the said generall Committe for that ward.
          Reasons for the Nineth Proposition.
First that the divisions and distributions being equally made Confusion may bee avoided, which would happen by an a disorderly intermixture of one parth with another.
Secondly that the accompts that are to bee given may bee more easily kept by the severall officers of the Severall Sub-Committees, and upon their generall accompt once every yeare it may with more facility bee rendered, and in like manner bee taken by them that shall bee appointed for that service.
Thirdly that the severall poore of the severall divisions may bee imployed and supplyed within their owne proper divisions, and have noe pretence to

wander abroad otherwhere into any other of the severall divisions to which they doe not belong.
Fourthly that the severall Sub-committees may bee acquainted as well with their certain number that they shall continually have in their charge as also with their proportionable stocke to bee adequate to the worke which shall bee upon their hande.
          Reasons to confirme the 10th Proposition.
First that the Generality of the Communalty of the Citty will bee still more gaine ga more gained upon in their affections to the worke being soe publique, the more publiquely it shall bee translated.
Secondly that it will unspeakeably promote the weekely monethly or quarterly collections that according to necessity may bee made in Churches when as the Ministers shall have oportunity to bee Eye witnesses of the conscionable discharge of the trust reposed in the severall respective Sub-committees made of the quadruple division of the generall Committee, as had beene before mencioned by their faithfull disposeing and transacting of the said worke according to the nature thereof, & shal use it in their exhortations as an argument to stirre them up to liberall Contributions to the said pious and charitable worke.

       Reasons to convince that the 11th Proposition
            being an humble Request is not
                   to bee rejected
First that since there are great revenues which have been given as well for maimed souldiers that are to bee sett in the forefront and first Ranke of the poore that are to bee provided for, as also much that hath beene allotted for the maintenance of other poore of all sorts (which by the death of men slayne in the service of the State doe multiply dayly) the sais Revenues (the mercifull providence of God formerly diverting warre soe long from us soe that wee have had noe souldiers to enjoy them) are now possessed by them that have no right to the same and they to whom the said Revenues are truly belonging are deprived of them.
Secondly that the said Revenues when discovered and recovered will bee sufficient for the livelihood of many hundreds if not thousands of such maymed souldiers to the ease of the State which is now burthened with them for their maintenance, and likewise for the widdowes and childeren of such as are slayne in ther the service of Common Wealth.
Thirdly that certaine considerations annexed to a petition signed by some hundreds of maymed Souldiers tending to the further urgeing and pressing of the necessity of this Proposition

may bee thereby answeared [etc?]
The twelf twelvete proposition is conteyned in the Act [etc?].