Propisitions for the better Eexecution of the Lawes touching the Releife of the poore and punishment of vagabonds within London and the Line Communication and also throughout the wholl Kingdom
It is the observation of wise Statists, That those offences are offten committed which are offten punished and therefore to the well ordereing of a com-common wealth they rather call for preventing then punishing Iustice in the [former?] our lawes as defective In the latter they doe more abound Towardes the supply whereof in the first parte of Preventing justice (vizt): the educatting of youth and prevention of beggars by good instructions and honest trades these propositions ensuing are made which may bee reduced to 3 heades namely, 1 Goverment 2 Stock, 3 Accompt.
I First for goverment In regard of the great encrease of poore & idle Persons the neglect and change of Officers appointed for this service being appointed for particular Parishes only It seems necessarily that one standing comitee or Corrporation bee established by Parlliament wholly to attend this service with in London and the Line of Communication which committee or corporation may bee enabled.
1 To bee perpetuall or succesive by Parlliaments or common councells mameing still others to supply the vacancy when foure or more shall dye or bee removed.
2 To have times and places of meetings for themselves and such work houses of Correction and other places necessary as shall be thought meet. Play houses & Sequestered Houses which yeild mot much proffit to the State may bee considered off as fitt for such purposses.
3 To bee capable of receiving Legacies and Donations in goods or lands and all such giffts to bee as effectuall as if they were given within the Statute 18 Eliza: 3 or 35. Eliza: 7 & 39 Eliza 4 & theie to purchase landes & if occasion require to advance the worke which landes soe to bee purchassed to bee free from all publique Impositions.
4. By themselves or any 4 of them to doe any thing for the execution, of any Lawes Statute or Ordinance touching the releif of the poore Instructing the younger sort in learning and Trades setting the other poore on worke and punish- [catchword: ing]
punishing vagrantes persons and any one or more Iustice or Iustices of Peace or any Alderman within his ward might doe and all such other thinges tending to the promotion of this work as shall be ordaind by Parlliament
5. Their officers and all that have beene constables to have the power of constables in the execution of their offices tending to put the said lawes in execution and to commit all such as theie shall find begging or that have beene entertained and having the badge or marke of their house on them shall bee found wandring without licencese. In which case the person offending [neither?] to bee released nor bailed without a fine impossed by working as the comitee or 4 of them shall thinke fit.
6 To make orders and by-Lawes for the ordering of themselves the worke Houses & Houses of Correction as also for raising leving of Stocke & employing of moneyes raised and collected for this service which after the approbation of the comon councell may bee observed as a Law:
7. To keep an Exact Registry of the poore with their Iurisdiction as also of the stock to maintaine them as to judge first what poore are fit for releife that cannot worke to the end those may if possible be provided for in Hospitalls and the Parishes where they live or by extraordinary allowances from the State as in the case of maimed Souldiers. 2 what poore are fit for worke and what ages they are[altered] [offe?] whether malles or Femalles and in what worke for the Public commoditie it is fitest from time to time to employ them 3 what poore are able and yet will not worke in which cass the offender being obstinate rather then to bee sent to forrain Plantations there to work for a time by a contract [word deleted] a contract with the persons willing to receive them then to bee adjudged to banishment or the Gallies of this Kingdom as the statut formerly made have provided.
8. That the Citty be equally devided in to 4 partes that soe the poore & the stock bee equally devided & one quarter shall not need helpe from another & if it bee thought meet every quarter or devision may subdivd as shall be necessary.
9. That one part shall noe wayes be chargable with any other poore of the other Partes.
10. That seeing a good order when it is once setled will much depend [catchword: upon]
upon the other overseers that theie be faithfull in their trust and therefore it the menisters and Elders of every ward bee desired to take the paines to doe if it may bee soe ordered that every Ward may take their in [Cours?] and every parish the like soe it will not come to a Parish past once <or> twice a yeare
11. It is desired that there may be free liberty by ordinance to certain persons mamed therin who will, ingage[altered] themselves to search having free and charglesse
to accesse to all offices and places both for wills and all recordes in the Tower any the Courts at Westminster or any offices or places in London for all concealed guiffts to the Poore & maimed Souldiers.
12. Thus not to extend abridge the poower of the Lord Major Aldermen or other Iustices within the Citty or places afforesaid nor to the prejudice of Christs Hospitalls, Bridwell, Bethalem, St Thomas or St Bartholmews Hospitall
2 Secondly for stocke to bee raised and continued for support of this Worke may bee by these particulars & such others as the wisdom of the Stat shall allow off.
1 All persons not receiving pention to bee moved what theie will willingly contributte to such a worke to which rather then many will not give they will probably abstaine at least a meall in a weeke.
2 Each one that now contributeth weekly or quarterly to the poore to pay in a yeare or 2 yeares pay beforre hand which none will oppose in [regard? altered] that if this work takae effect thay will not only bee freed from Almes at their doores.
3 The surplusage of the guiffts in Parishes Companies and [laquest?] meetings and off collections in Churches affter the impotent poore of their particular charges and congregations are provided and each one that is married would bee moved then to leave his contributions to the poore and when Sermons shall bee at the severall worke houses weekly such as repaire thither to distributt something.
4 All fines forfeitures and penalties arrising upon any law or penall Statute within the places afforesaid and given to the Poore to bee inployed in this service for which purpose those lawes to bee strictly put in execution especially the Law[altered] and Ordinance against Swearing cursing or [catchword: drunk]
drunkenes play at unlawfull gaimes and prophanation of the Sabathday
5 That wheras there are great forfeitures in arreare of diverse Regognizances which for many yeares have layen dormant that they may be dissposed for this service if there bee a surplusage to bee this [previous 8 words wrongly placed here: scribal misunderstanding of Hartlib insertion in copy at 15/2/47]
6 That All guiffts to superstitious uses as they shall bee discovered as all charitable and pious guiffts either not all employed if there bee a surplusage to bee thus inploied and all such Donations as cannot possibly bee employed acording to the intent of the Donators
7 All wast and common groundes fitt for arable or pasture to be by the Lordes and Tennants of the Manner situated within 10 milles of London manured for pasture or Tillage in such manner and affter such proportion and shall bee by them agreed upon and that each one who posseseth 40 acres of arable or pastures sowe on orodd[= one rodd?] at least with hemp or flax seed according to the 24 H 8 ch: 4 or affter a greater proportion.
8. The laborers first of all Rogues vagabounds and idle 2 of fondlings and bastard children whose parents and freinds are ieither unknowne or not able to keepe them 3 of such Parrents of Bastardes when discovered untell they shall take <care of> children for the future and reinburse the parish or those or those that have disbursed for their education, 4 of Prisoners for civil causes capitall or not capitall before or affter conviction unlesse their age or education excempt them for which purposes a part of each prison, to be a Bridwell or worke house, 6 of Almes men and women and Hospitalls that are able of body and mind 7 of all such lame souldiers their widdowes and children of such as are dead in the Publique service as are able to worke by employment of these some upon the Land in knitting, spinning, Linnen and woollen yarne for Clath fustions serges and such like commo- [catchword: dities]
Commodities in making of pins and raspin of Brassill, Logwood and other wood, the mill being put downe for such thinges and others at Sea in fishing upon the coast of England for Herrings A stock will suddenly bee raised whereby the poore may bee maintained the severall trades and commodities touching the aforsaid particulars bettered and encreased and more goods exported and imported into the Kingdom which will encrease excise and custome and allso render the commodities att an easier vallew.
9. A box in each trades mans house the Key thereof to bee kept with the said comittee or corporation that in every house at every Bargain somewhat may bee given to the poore which as in Holland doth yeild considerable sums by reason off the difference offt times about odd money.
10. The name of each Femall from 10 to 60 to be registred and to bee accomptable for the making of a quantitie of Cloath of any sort soe it bee to the vallew of 10s yearly the Master of the family to answer for the doing hereof This will occasion abundance of worke for the poore and may intim inrich our Nation
11. The setting up and incouragment of fishing trade upon our owne coasts by which strangers are for present maintained and our Fishing places and the trade thereof decayed This will abundantly imploy the poore by making Nets, sailes cables and cordadge all things tending to the Fishing Trad it will allso cause
Trade hemp and flax to bee more plentifully sowen and also trees to bee planted and the Statutes for the preservation of wood to bee more carefully oberved.
3 For Accompt an exact Accompt to bee taken once every yeare at least by the comittee for the accompts of the Kingdom for the riches and disbursments of the Persons to bee imployed for the mannaging of this service, who may allso yearly present to the common councell an Abstract of the Persons releiived [catchword: and]
and imployed by them affter the manner of the present Hospitall for the incouragement of Benefactors.
And it is desired that every man who hath studied proposalls touching this Buisnes may bee fully heard some of which is here undernamed vizt/
Sam: Harmer | Mr Reeve | Edw: Adelling | Mr Halsun |
Edw: Edmond | Ino Fisher | Mr Hancok | |
Mr - Hartlib | Tho: Dawson | Mr Hubbard | Mr Whit |
Mr Haukins | Mr Gener | Mr Foxly | |
According t an order of the Court of Common councell held at yeild hald in the Citty of London on the 7th of Octob: 1645 grounded upon a petition from diverse Ministers & Citizens of London intimating the miseries of the poore of the City and partes adjacent by reason of their encrease idlenes and prophanesse, whereby God is dishonoured, Religion aspersed and the Citty with partes adjayent and the wholle Kingdome opressed, Whereupon the said Court thought fit and did order for the undertaking soe pious a worke that the Right Honourable Lord Major of this Citty with some Aldermen and others of the most eminent ranke and qualitie of this Citty should seriously consider the Petition and such propositions as the Petitioners should present to them togeather with a draught of a bill formerly intended to bee presented to the Parlliament to bee passed as an Act: entituled an act for the better execution of the Lawes and Statuts touching the releife and imployment of the poore that
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.
Now wheras this most worthy and charitable Committee authorized as aforesaid have and doe manifest by their utmost endeavour a desire of a compleat perfect and lasting accomplishment of this excellent enterprise which is honourable to God glorius to Religion and good for all the Citty and natur in Gennerall; and have not only received the petitionors propositions and with much patience heard them severall times but have favourably vouchafed to the petitioners the perusall and consideration of and upon the sad draught of the said bill togeather with their propositions, and have intimated a willingnes to accept of the petitioners apprehentions and conceptions thereof. Therefore they doe humbly present the same as followeth.
First by the breamble 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 certain lawes and statutes for the releif and employment of the poore and punishment of the [prophan? altered] 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 wardes. Fourthly it doth not give authoritie sufficient to enable them to improve out of the corporall abilities of the poores advantage by manufacture towardes their supportation Fiftly it doth not impose the undertaking by the most able without reward. Sixtly it doth not [catchword: tye to]
to the place nor punishment for neglect and abuse in the place but shame by expulsion. Sevently there is noe certaine provission set downe for the provision[altered] of the visitted by appoynting certain Physitians and chirguons for that employment. Eightly it is not in the petitioners Iudgments propbably speedily and chearfully to succeed, unlesse a more sattisfactory and contentfull method bee proposed in reference to the publique: the particulars whereof your petitioners make bold to present and leave to your more grave Iudgments to bee considered, And for the first part of their propositions which is [Govermement? altered] they say as followeth.
That in their eight Propositions they hold it conduceable to the worke, that the Citty might bee devided into four partes and that there may bee one or 2 in every ward freely ellected yearly by the inhabitates of the said wardes to bee off the Grand comittee may subdivide into foure divisions and those elected and placed afforesaid may bee upon all occasions bee removed by the comon councell.
First bee they conceave it will much facilitate the 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 urging and pressing necesitie.
Thirdly hereby great sattisfaction will bee given to the genneralitie of the comunalitie of the [catchword: Citty]
Comonalitie of the Citty (by whom the burden of the stocke mus bee borne from whom it must be received and upon whom in [cace? altered] of necessitie it must bee leavied when as there shall bee in every ward one if not more of the gennerall standing Comittee or Corporation which upon this division of the Citty propounded will allso become quaderuple, And it will bee noe disadvantageous policy to admitt the genneralitie of every ward to have the nomination and preservation of every such man or men as are to bee members of the said gennerall committee for that ward.
Reasons for the Ninth Proposition
First that the Divisions and distributions being equally made confussion may bee avoided which would happen by a disorderly intermixture of one part with another.
Secondly that the
divisions and distributions b accompts that are to bee given may bee more easily kept by the severall officers of the severall sub-commodities, and upon their gennerall accompt once every yeare it may with more [falcity? altered] 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 other where into any other severall divisions to which they doe not belong.
Fourthly that the severall sub comittees may bee acquainted aswell with their certaine number that they shall continually have in their charge as also with their proportionable stook to be adequate to the work which shall bee upon their hand.
Reasons to confirme the 10th Proposition
First that the Generalitie of the comunality of the Citty will
will bee still more gained upon in their affections to the worke being soe publique, the more publiquly it shall be transacted.
Secondly that it will unspeakly promott the weekely monthly or quarterly collections that according to necessitie may bee made in Churches when as the ministers shall have opportunitie to bee eye wittnesses of the concsionable discharg of the trust reposed in the severall respective Subcomittees made of the quadruple division of the Generall committee as had beene before mentioned by their faithfull disposeing and transacting of the said worke according to the nature
of therof and shall use it in their exhortations an argument to stirr 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 beene given aswell for maimed Souldiers that are to bee set in the forfront and first Ranke of the poore that are to bee provided for, as allso much that hath beene alloted for the maintainance of other poore of allsorts (which by the Death of men slayne in the service of the State doe multiply daily the said 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 possesed by them that have noe right to the same and they to whom the said Revenues are truly belonging are [catchword: deprived]
deprived of them.
Secondly that the sad Revenues when discovered ad recovered will bee sufficient for the livly hood of many hundreds if not thousands of such maimed Souldiers to the ease of the State which is now burthened with them for their maintainance and likwise for the widdowes and children of such as are slayne in the service of common wealths.
Thirdly that certain considerations annexed to a petition signed by some hundreds of maimed Souliers tending to the further urging and pressing of the necessitie of this Proposition may bee thereby answered the 12th Proposition is contained in the Act