of what progress many worthy Citizens
of London have made in that Godly
Work of providing for the
An Ordinance of PARLIAMENT
for the better carrying on of the Work.
Published for the information and encouragement
of those, both in City and Countrey, that wish
well to so Pious a Work.
MATTH. 5. 7.
Blessed are the Mercifull, for they shall obtain mercy.
Printed by A.M.for Tho. Underhill at the Bible in
Alderman Andrewes, Alderman Witham,
Lieut Coll. Lee, Mr Rich. Floyd, Capt. Coish, Dr
Odeling, Mr Loaues, Mr Hartlipp, Mr Fisher, Mr Jenner,
Mr Edmonds, and the rest of the active Gentle-
men, whose endeavours in behalf of the Poor,
have been sufficiently manifested for these
five years last past.
YOur labour of love to the poor is had in remembrance before God, and ought not to be forgotten with men. I make bold to mention Your Names, minding You of what You have well begun, beseeching You to go on till You have perfected the work; else this will stand as a blot upon Your Names. Not having time and opportunity to prosecute the businesse as formerly, I held it convenient to publish what is done, that some of those now acting may reap the benefit thereof.
A 2 R B.
Henry Hurle, William Legg and Rich.
A Short Epistle best sutes a short discourse, you may remember I gave you a hint formerly, that some Citizens were endeavouring a reformation of and provision for the necessitous poor in our City, which would be an example and inducement to all the Kingdom to do the like. It is now in some probability of effecting: An Ordinance is past both Houses, creating a Corporation for that purpose, which Ordinance being (as is conceived) not full enough, some additions thereto are by the Corporation desired, which is the present obstruction, and will doubtlesse be removed as soon as the emergent businesse of State will admit. In the meantime I thought good to give you this account, it being one of the most probable waies to promote it with You in my native County, and after through the whole Kingdom: and being effectually and conscionably performed, will, doubtlesse, remove from us many evils, disorders, clamours and tumults, and procure upon us the blessings promised to them that consider the poor, The Lord will deliver them in the day of trouble. Despair not because it hath been long preparing: great bodies move slowly, and good designes take not effect as could be desired. I had thought to have given you the summe of the discourse, but on second [catchword: thoughts]
thoughts, I conceived it better to refer you to the relation at large, the which, if you shall approve, doe your endeavour to doe your County that service to promote so good a work, which will be a blessing to the poor, and a comfort to the rich. The Lord direct and assist You. So praieth,
London, Your loving Brother
March 16, 1649.
To the READER.
This Account was intended long since to be published, but for some reasons that then offered themselves to consideration, it was forborn then to be printed, but is now thought convenient and usefull to be communicated to others, not only for the ends herein mentioned, and much lesse for any worth or excellency that is in it self, save only that it may fitly serve to revive and stir up the Corporation already appointed, who might long since have set this work on foot in this County, yea (I am confident) have setled it to the relief of the poor in generall, house-keeper or other, had not some few men judged a lion to be in their way, who I hope will be convinced, either by this plain method chalked out to them, or by the multitude of petitioners their way, and propositions pressing the necessity to undertake it, with the facility of the work if once begun, and of what consequence it will be to poor and rich, tending to peace and prosperity in this nation, particularly and especially the [catchword: Proposals]
To the Reader.
Proposals drawn up by that ingenuous lover of his Country Dr Chamberlain, both excellent and methodicall, with sound reason to convince the doubtfull and satisfie the ingenuous lovers of their Country: so also it may fitly serve to unite the severall streams that run this way, bringing them all into one channell, for the more effectuall carrying on this Pious, Just and Honourable design: all which, with such other helps as are hinted in this discourse, with their Authors here mentioned, conjoined and committed to honest, active men, who affect this businesse, it may through Gods blessing make this flourish with outward prosperity, and may be a means to draw down a blessing upon all our affairs, considering that promise, If our waies please God, he will make our enemies to be at peace with us. For which blessing praieth,
POOR MANS FRIEND,
A Narrative of what progresse many
worthy Citizens of London have made in that
Godly Work of providing for the
THE great God that in his wisdom made all things very good, did so order all things by his all-seeing providence, that every creature hath some quality and property to defend it self from injury, and preserve its well being, and likewise did provide in a most excellent manner all things fit and necessary for the well being of those creatures he hath created: But to man in particular God had more respect then to any other of his creatures, for he made him after his own Image, and next to himself, indued him with reason and understanding, and made him Lord over the rest of his creatures that he might be more servisable to his Creator, and provided all things for the being and well being of man (before he was made) viz. a Paradise to dwell in, fruit for food, and all other things that might conduce to mans happinesse; and put him in possession of that which he had thus prepared for him, and gave him laws to try whether he should obey, serve and honour his Creator. But man being in honour continued not, but was like the beast that perisheth, for man transgressed the command of his Maker, and by his sin cast himself at once out of God's favour, and of the Paradise wherein he was placed, and brought himself and his posterity under that curse, viz. Gen.3. 17. Cursed is the earth for thy sake, and cursed art thou, in the sweat of thy brows shalt thou eat thy bread: so that man is appointed to labour, and he that will not work, neither shall he eat (saith the Apostle) but God in judgement remembring mercy, pro- [catchword: vided]
2 The poor mans Friend.
vided for man a Saviour, with laws and rules by which the well being of man might be preserved and maintained: and injoins us to shew mercy and do good to all men, and not to hide our selves from our own flesh, and condemns Cain for killing his brother, not accepting of his excuse (Am I my brothers keeper?) To shew to us that God requires us to take care of others as well as of our selves: And to this end the Lord gives us command, that we become eies to the blinde, ears to the deaf, and that we cloath the naked, feed the hungry, and bring the stranger to our house, and threatens judgements to such as doe or shall neglect the same. Upon consideration whereof, and the great neglect of this so weighty a duty, that is both commanded and commended by God (as a great work of charity) to whom an account must one day be given whether we have fed the hungry, cloathed the naked, visited the sick and imprisoned, &c. And according to our doings herein shall we be rewarded or condemned at that day, when that sentence of Christ shall be pronounced, Matth. 25,41. Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. And also observing those many good laws formerly made in this Kingdom, and of how little use they have been to this day, hath moved me, with others, to search out the cause thereof, and to endeavour to put life into those laws (which I had almost said were dying.) An account whereof I shall briefly give unto you.
Brother, It is not my purpose here to look so far back as to make mention of what others have long since done, nor to insist at all upon that book set forth by King Charles, wherein are many excellent orders and directions, the which might seem to be sufficient to doe the work in hand, viz. the regulating and relieving the poor, but is found by experience to miss of its desired end, namely, the putting life into Laws formerly made concerning the poor, as aforesaid: But my purpose is here to set forth the late endeavours of divers well affected men within this City and the suburbs, and that in brief thus.
[left margin: 1644]
About five years since a gentleman having observed the good government of the poor in other Kingdoms, and the ill government of them in this, being grieved in minde to observe the aged, blinde, lame, and sick, neglected, with many poor families almost starved, little children lie in the streets under stals and such like places, uneducated; being stirred with zeale, addresses himself to many Knights and Burgesses of the house, as also to the L. Major of London and many of his brethren the Aldermen, with divers other well affected Citizens, as also many Justices of the peace, and others of the out parts of the said [catchword: City,]
The Poor mans Friend. 3
City, did endeavour to possesse them with goodnesse, necessity, and consequence of relieving and setting the poor to work,and likewise did procure divers meetings within the City, of Men affecting this pious design, where the undertaking was generally liked and commended by all, and many sad reports and complaints were then and there made of the miseries that many poor families did endure (which the present experience of these times proves to be true) and of the wickednesse and vile abuses committed by vagrants and counterfeits, and of the great neglect of our Laws in that particular, and also the grear wast and losse of food made within the City, sufficient to maintain one half of the indigent poor therein (as is probably conceived) together with the not improvement of our native commodities, abuses in Trade, increase of Ale houses, with many other things not yet sufficiently provided for, by any Law or statute within the Kingdome, or these laws or statutes not now put in execution, and therefore fit to be considered of, and remedied at this time of reformation, for the generall good of the poor: Many moneths were spent in meetings in this way of complaining, and the Gentlemens good resolutions commonly ended with the meeting, till at last it was moved that there might be a time and place appointed for a constant meeting, and that some way might be thought on effectually to prosecute those good thoughts and endeavours, and to procure the removall of all those evils. At our meeting we took into consideration, that beyond the sea. viz. the Lowcountries, by setting the poor on work, most of those evils are removed and remedied, and those places blessed of God and inriched: And likewise that in some Towns in this our Kingdom, is not a begger or idle person to be seen, as Norwich, Ipswich, Dorchester and other places, to their great honour, and that in this City is nothing wanting which those other parts and places doe enjoy that might conduce to the regulating and effectuall relieving of the poor: yet that we might the better herewith possesse our selves, and be the better able to possesse and perswade others, we did desire every man to deliver in writing, his thoughts, which way it were best, and might be done with most advantage; the which was performed, and those propositions brought in, were by Mr Steel, Counsellour at Law, abbreviated, and the substance of the whole was by him drawn into three heads, viz.
First, Of Government
B [catchword: And]
4 The Poor mans Friend
And upon each Head divers particulars, such as were conceived most necessary to carry on the work, when a Committee of Aldermen and Common Counsell should be procured and appointed for that end and purpose. Which to procure, Octob. 7. 1645 we with many others, both Ministers and Citizens, petitioned the then L. Major and Common Counsell, desiring them to take into their consideration, the multitude of poor, in and about the City, their misery, necessity, disorder, and increase, and what remedies were fit to be applied thereto, with such propositions as we should tender to them, tending to the relief of the said poor. The Common Counsell granted what we desired, and withall ordered that Committee to consider of an Act made six or eight years before, with an intent to create a Corporation that should take care to see the Laws and Statutes concerning the poor, put in execution: The said Committee after many meetings and much debate, did agree that it was necessary that there should be a Corporation made consisting of eight Aldermen, and thirty two Commoners, Freemen of the City, chosen out of each ward respectively, and to that end drew up a draught, which being agreed upon, after many alterations by councell, is by M. Maynard and M. Hayle, Counsellors at Law, in a short draught perfected and approved as fit to passe the House, and to establish a Corporation, who might afterwards gain enlargement of power, as occasion should require. But after much attendance and many obstructions, and other new alterations, a long draught for the Ordinance was agreed upon and committed to Coll. Venn a Member of Parliament, to obtain the power of the Parliament to confirm it. But through the multitude of their affairs, and length of the Ordinance, we could not in six moneths procure it to be read and committed, whereupon by advise we drew up a short petition and representation of our complaints and desires to the House of Lords.
The Lords readily embrace this pious and charitable work, and to their great honours within fourteen daies caused an Ordinance to be drawn up, and the same soon after concluded, and sent down unto the Commons, which was likewise by them committed and perfected: and sent down to the right Honourable John Warner, then Lord Major of London, and the Corporation appointed for that purpose, to put in execution the afore mentioned Ordinance, which Ordinance I have here inserted. [catchword: Die]
Die Veneris 17. Decemb. 1647.
An Ordinance for the Relief and Imployment of the Poor, and the Punishment of Vagrants and other disorderly Persons.
Whereas the Necessity, Number and Increase of the Poor is very great within the City of London and Liberties thereof for want of the due execution of such wholesome Laws and Statutes as have been formerly made. For remedy thereof, and for other the purposes herein after specified: Be it, and it is Ordained by the Lords and Commons in this Present Parliament Assembled, That from henceforth there be, and shall be a Corporation within the said City of London and Liberties thereof, consisting of a President, Deputy to the President, a Treasurer, and forty Assistants, whereof the Lord Major of the said City for the time being to be the President, eight of the said Assistants to be of the Aldermen of the said City for the time being; and the other thirty and two to be Free men of, and Inhabitants in the said City, chosen out of the severall Wards of the said City equally, and that John Warner, Sir George Clarke, John Foulke, William Gibbs, Samuel Avery, John Bide, George Witham, Thomas Viner, Aldermen of the said City, shall be the first eight Aldermen of the present Assistants; and that Frances Waterhouse shall be the present Deputy to the said President: And that Maurice Gething shall be the present Treasurer; and that John Offeild, Richard Morrall, James Russell, Walter Pell, Ralph Hough, Robert Mainwaring, Anthony Webster, William Adams, Richard Glide, William Jesson, Tempest Milner, Thomas Arnold, William Kendall, Toby Liste, Nathaniel Hall, Humphrey Hawley, William Antrobus, John Green, Edmund Whitwell, John Cooke, Robert Meade, Robert Dallison, William Bromewich, John Everet, Thomas Clowes, John Jones, John Bellamy, Abraham Chamberlaine, John Babbington, Richard Garforth, John Perryn, and Stafford Clare shall be the other thirty two Assistants: And that the Deputy and Treasurer from henceforth shall be Eligible by the Common Councell of the said City yearly on the 25th of June, or at the next Common Councell following, or within twenty eight daies next after the said 25th of June; and that such two of the eight Aldermen, being Assistants as the said Common Councell shall think fit, shall fall off, or be amoved yearly at the said day and time of election; and that two other Aldermen and eight other Commoners, Citizens of and Inhabi- [catchword: tants]
6 An Ordinance of Parliament.
tants in the said City, shall be yearly elected by the said Common Councell on the day and time aforesaid to be Assistant in the place of such as shall so fall off, or be amoved.
And it is further Ordained, that the said President, Deputy, Treasurer and Assistants for the time being, shall for ever hereafter in name and fact be one Body Politique and Corporate in Law to all intents and purposes, and shall have a perpetuall Succession, and shall be called by the name of, The President and Governours for the Poor of the City of London and Liberties thereof: And by that name shall and may without Licence in Mortmeine purchase, or receive any Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments, not exceeding the yearly value of two thousand pounds, of the Gift, Alienation or Devise of any Person or Persons, who are hereby without further Licence enabled to give the same, and any Goods, Chattels or Summes of Money whatsoever, to the use, intent and purpose hereafter limited and appointed: And sue or plead, and be sued or impleaded by the name aforesaid in all Courts and places of Judicature within this Realm.
And the said Corporation, or any nine of them, whereof the said President, or any of the said Aldermen, or the Deputy to the President, or the said Treasurer to be one, shall have hereby power and authority from time to time, to meet and keep Court for the ends and purposes herein expressed, at such time and place as the said President or his Deputy shall appoint: And shall have hereby authority from time to time to make and appoint a common Seal, for the use of the said Corporation, and to chuse such Officers, and them, or any of them from time to time to remove, as they shall see cause; and upon the removall or death of them, or any of them, to chuse others in their places for the carrying on of this work; and to make and give such reasonable allowance to them, or any of them, out of the Stock and Revenue belonging to the said Corporation, as they shall think fit, and shall have hereby full power and authority to doe and execute all such other Acts and things as are hereby ordained and appointed for the effecting the work hereby intended to be done and executed.
And be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, for the further relief and employing of the said poor within the said City and liberties thereof, that the said Corporation or any nine of them, whereof the said President, or any of the said Aldermen, or the Deputy to the President, or the said Treasurer to be one, shall have power to Erect one or more Work-houses for receiving, relieving, and setting the poor on work, and one or more houses of Correction for punishing of [catchword: Rogues,]
An Ordinance of Parliament 7
Rogues, Vagabonds, and Beggers, as they shall think fit.
And be it further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, that in regard of the great inequality in the ordering and relieving of the poor through the different abilities of the severall and respective Wards in the City of London and liberties thereof, the said Corporation, or any Nine of them, shall hereby be authorised with consent of the Common Councell of the said City to divide the severall Wards with the poor and stock to them belonging, into four equall parts or proportions for the more effectuall and indifferent relief of the poor, and the avoiding future differences and dissentions between the rich and the poor Parishes; provided this division of the said City and Liberties thereof, shall not be any prejudice to the relief of those parts of Parishes which lie without the Liberties of the City, which Parishes lie part within the Liberties and part without: but that those parts which lie without the Liberties of the City shall and may have such relief from parishes within the City, as formerly they have had.
And be it ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That for the further relief and imploying of the said poor within the said City and Liberties, if the said Corporation shall find that the Annuall Rates and Levies, or other Stock, come to their hands, shall not be sufficient for the effecting the purposes aforesaid; that then and from time to time, it shall and may be lawfull for the said President and Governours to certifie such want of Stock, and what summe or summes of Money they think fit will supply the same, under their Common Seal, to the Common Council of the said City, and the same to be Levied by them equally and indifferently upon the severall Wards respectively; and that the said President and Governours, or any nine of them, whereof the said President, or any of the said Aldermen, or the Deputy to the President, or any of the said Aldermen, or the Deputy to the President, or the said Treasurer to be one, shall have power from time to time to make and constitute Orders and By-Laws for the better relieving, regulating and setting the poor on work, and the apprehending and punishing of Rogues, Vagabonds and Beggers within the said City and Liberties, that have not wherewith honestly to maintain themselves; and for other the matters aforesaid, which said Orders and By-Laws shall be presented to the Lords and Commons for confirmation before the end of this Session of Parliament, and shall have hereby power to put forth, and binde such children Apprentices as shall be under their charge.
And it is further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That [catchword: the]
8 An Ordinance of Parliament
the said Treasurer to the said Corporation for the time being, shall once in every year between the 24. of June and the 29. of September, or oftner if need require, give a true and perfect account in writing of all the receits, charges and disbursments in and about the premises, unto the Auditors for the time being, appointed for taking the accounts of the Chamberlain and Bridgmaster of the said City, and the said account to remain in the custody of the Chamberlain of the said City.
And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, for the better effecting the premises: That the President, the eight Aldermen, the Deputy President, and Treasurer for the time being, shall be Justices of the Peace, and the four eldest Aldermen shall be of the Quorum.
And it is further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Action, Suite or Plaint shall be commenced or prosecuted by any Person or Persons in any Court whatsoever against the said President and Governours or any of them, or against any Person or Persons for doing or executing any thing by their or any of their Order, Command or Direction, or coming into their or any of their aid and assistance, in, about, or concerning the premises; It shall and may be lawfull to and for the said President and Governours, and Officers, or any of them, and every person against whom any such Action, Suit or Plaint shall be commenced or prosecuted, to plead thereunto the general issue, that he or they be not guilty, and to give such speciall matter in evidence to the Jury that shall try the same, which matter being pleaded had been sufficient matter in Law to have discharged every such Person so prosecuted as aforesaid.
And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawfull to and for any County, Corporation, or Boroughs in any County of this Kingdom, or Dominion of Wales to make choise of a fit number of able and sufficient persons for the like effectuall relieving and regulating of the poor in their respective places; and in like manner to draw up and present Orders and By-laws best suiting to those Counties and places for confirmation as aforesaid, and for the ends and purposes herein above expressed. [catchword: And]
The Poor mans Friend. 9
ANd now having done our parts, we must leave the same unto those of whom an account will be required, if they shall not effectually prosecute the same (a high price being in their hands, and they having no heart to use the same) which tends so much to the glory of God, the honour of the Parliament, and the joy of the City and Kingdom. And truly we now thought our ends were answered, and that we might sit down assured that what we had so long laboured for, was now effected, but still we meet with more obstructions in our way, like to the Israelites in their journey to Canaan, even enough to make us turn back, repent our former pains, and desert all further prosecution: but being yet desirous to see this so pious a work effected and vigorously prosecuted, not only in the City, but also through the Kingdom, I thought good to give this brief account of our endeavours.
First, To you as one who may in your and my native Countrey promote the like work.
Secondly, to others who shall desire to doe the like, and that they may hereby save the pains and labour that we have bestowed, and take the benefit of the same, and not to trouble you and them to tred over our steps again, doing what is already done to your hands; and here I shall impart to you the scope of our desires, and the reasons moving us thus zealously to prosecute this charitable and pious undertaking of regulating and relieving the poor.
First, For the things desired by us in generall, they are all summ'd up in a Committee or Corporation, enabled to remedy all the grievances of the poor that are hinted in this discourse, or at least to be appointed to take all such things into their consideration, with such remedies as to their wisdoms shall seem meet, and the same to report to a Common Councell of the aforesaid City, that so further power may be procured from the Honourable Houses of Parliament, and given to them, or some others for that purpose, for the better incouragement, ease and indemnity of the said Corporation. But more particularly we desire that there may be a view had of all the poor of the City, and a Register made of what poor are in each Ward, with this distinction following.
First, The aged and all children under six years of age, with all such lame, sick and diseased poor.
Secondly, Of all males and females who are of six years age and upwards, fit for work, and this to be done by some who are able to judge at their severall abilities and imployments, to be appointed to that [catchword: purpose]
10 The Poor mans Friend.
purpose (and not by the Wards themselves) that so an equall hand may be carried throughout all the Wards in the said City.
3. Thirdly, That some wast room or house be appointed in each Ward for receiving work and food for the poor, and delivering the same to them as occasion shall require, and to give an account thereof to the Governours of the said Corporation.
4. Fourthly, That all such as will not work (though able) may be sent to Bridewell, and there to remain for one moneth at the least, and such as are deprived of their senses or limbs, to those other Hospitals that are proper to them, untill they have as many as they can conveniently dispose of, and if the said Hospitals shall not suffice, that some other places may be provided for present, untill the poor be all disposed and their number be again decreased: And that the sick and visited be sent to the Pest-house, the great charge therof being mitigated for that purpose; as also for the great ease and benefit of the said City, it now not being of that use it might be, especially to the poor, by reason whereof few poor are there, and in infectious times may go with sores on them up and down the City, and beg at our dores, and in our Churches to the great danger and unknown detriment of the City and liberties.
5. That some constant course be setled for the relief of the poor by way of physick and chirurgery: for its better to cure the sick and lame then constantly keep them so, as also to discover counterfeiting of sicknesse, lamenesse, and other pretended griefs, which is a thing too frequently used by those idle kinde of persons. I'le give you an instance, of which a worthy Divine of this City, was not only a spectator but an actor in the work: [left margin: A notorious counterfeit cripple] the manner thus: A counterfeit pretending that his heels grew to his buttocks, lay begging in Moorfields; M. Jackson Minister, seeing some milk-maids whipping the supposed cripple with nettles, to try if he would finde his legs (for that some of the maids affirmed that they had seen him go) yet would he not for all his smart make away from them: the maids being wearied out, and not obtaining their desires, left him: a Carre-man coming by and hearing what had been affirmed, lashes him with his whip severall times over the shoulders, in so much that some tender-hearted spectators were much displeased with the Carre-man for so abusing the supposed cripple; whereupon the Carre-man willing to work a cure of him, took him up under the armes, and offered to put him into a ditch near [catchword: at]
The Poor mans Friend. 11
at hand which he did accordingly, and somewhat wet his breech, but all this nothing prevailed; untill the aforesaid Divine having observed the former passages, and what was the relation of the maids, tried his experiment upon him, which was thus, caused him to be laid upon his back, and kneeled upon his brest, with one of his knees, causing one of his legs to be drawne forth (if possible) which was accordingly done, and so the other; having both his legs thus suddenly straitned (without any miracle) he was lifted up upon his feet, to try if he could or would go, which presently he did in the sight of them all (though seemingly very feeble) The Divine having so discovered him send hastily for a Constable to send him to the house of correction, and in the mean while the fellow desired the people to stand further off him, and he would try his utmost to mend his pace, which the people having done, he as hastily runs away, leapt over a gate and escaped them all.
That some way be setled, that the food of the City of London that would be given in the Wards of the same, may be convenienlty gathered, improved and disposed to the most necessitous poor of the City, and not to idle counterfeits or such who are other waies provided for.
That consideration be had of grievances in the common Trade of this City and Kingdom, especially such as tends to the destruction of Commerce and Trade, both here and beyond the Seas, the which is, if not the sole (yet a most considerable cause of poverty in this City) and being removed by the prudent care of the Corporation, will doubtlesse cure many of our other evils.
That the Acts and Statutes for sowing of Hemp and Flax be put in execution, and enlarged if need shall require, which will much conduce to the good of the poor, and the raising of stock for the ease of the Kingdome.
That granting of Licenses to Ale-houses thought good to be Licensed, be conferred upon the Corporation to dispose thereof to the aged and decaied for their better livliehood, according to the Statute, and that part of the profit thereof may come to the other poor in the said Ward, according to the discretion of the Corporation.
That some definitions or positive signes be set downe to discover a drunkard by, that any man may have power to atach him for it, and charge a Constable or the like Officer with him, and the said Officers [catchword: be]
12 The Poor mans Friend.
be required to Execute the Law unto him, unlesse he shall lay downe his fine in the hands of the said Officers or others to be appointed for that purpose, and some rules likewise set down to evince an equivocating swearer; for by this means such sin will be prevented, and revenue brought to the poor, as a present raising of stock, till further course be had, and besides much trouble, suits and disputes avoided, that may or shall happen to the officers or others appointed as aforesaid.
11. That the Constable or other Officers for the said purpose, be enjoined every moneth, to cause to be entred the fines received of such offenders, in a book kept by the Corporation, and in case he fail, that the said Officer be liable to pay the like summe to the Corporation, which he received for the poor, that so the poor may not be wronged, and also to restore the fine he received and detained unto the party that paid him the same, or to him that shall inform against him.
12. That in such cases the Corporation may have power to give an oath and to impannell a Jury for the tryall of causes belonging to them, that the Corporation may be saved harmless thereby.
13. That the Corporation may have power to appoint Officers that may have free accesse without trouble or charge to search for donations, which as yet lie undiscovered, or are misimployed or not improved to the best advantage.
14. That all poor people not esteemed worth 10lb be not suffered to go to Law for words and trifles untill the Elders or such like in authority appointed by Parliament in each Parish or Parishes have heard the same, and if not ended by them, it may be heard by the Corporation, and if not determined by them, to be left unto the Law.
15. That provision be made for the education of poor children in religion, arts and mysteries, to fit them the better for severall imployments, by which means they may be placed and disposed of severall waies, with far lesse charge then now they are.
16. That some way of relief be settled for poor house-keepers, who suffer great necessities (not known to all) some for want of work, others for want of stock, some having no utterance for their work, all of them complaining they want food in their severall families. [catchword: The]
The Poor mans Friend. 13
The motives, grounds and considerations that moved us hereto are these,
[right margin: 1.]
First, The glory of God in the suppressing of sin and wickednesse the which may hereby be in part effected.
[right margin: 2.]
Secondly, the honour of this City, which for neglect of this so pious and necessary a duty, is evil spoken of, both abroad and at home, many jeering and deriding, some pitying and petitioning, as was long since represented to the Magistrates of this City by a godly Minister, as is found in his book intituled, Great cries turned into great joies: [right margin: Mr Harris his printed sermon] but now these great joies are turned into great cries, and as bad or worse then ever they were, as was delivered by Mr Harris in a Sermon at the Spittle of late years.
[right margin: 3.]
The great good and benefit of the City, which by the labours of the poor might be inriched and blest of God for having compassion on the needy, according to the many promises made in that behalf.
[right margin: 4.]
The miseries of the poor which appear by multitude of daily complaints from divers sorts of indigent people, as
[right margin: 1.]
First, Children destitute of nourishment and education, being constrained to spend their golden age in idlenesse, misery, shame and beggery, with all evil effects thereof, to the great dishonour of God, the shame of so honourable a City, they being altogether unfit for any art or imployment whatsoever, or to live in any well governd family, in City or Countrey.
[right margin: 2]
Secondly, The complaints of widdows, whose husbands lost their lives in the States service, and have left them destitute of maintenance.
[right margin: 3.]
The complaints of wounded souldiers, having lost their limbs in the service of the Kingdome, and are disinabled to get their living, not having a competent maintenance, doe beg in the streets and at Church doors (who) had they imploiment according to their severall abilities, might comfortably live with the allowance of the State.
[right margin: 4.]
The cries of the poor creatures for bread in our gates as we passe in or out, with the secret mournings of poor families, to the heart-breaking of the truly pitifull and compassionate Christians.
[Right margin: 5.]
The complaints of wives, of many spendthrifts dissolute husbands, who not only neglect all endeavours to maintain their own families, [catchword: but]
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but prodigally pawn and spend what the industrious wife hath earned and provided, and so unnecessarily and inevitably bring misery upon themselves and a charge unto the Parish in which they inhabit, besides the many sad accidents that fall out by means of distracting cares and extream necessities, as people making away themselves and their children, because they have not to answer their cries, [left margin: A sad relation] as by a sad experience is two well known of a woman that dwelt in Houndsditch about three years since being in childbed, she ripped her belly while she lay in, and it was credibly reported, poverty occasioned her to doe it: A chirurgion was sent for to put in her guts, and sow up her belly, but requiring a summe of money to doe it, which she was not able to procure through her poverty, he would doe nothing for her, yet he would be paid for his coming, which the poor wounded woman was not able to doe, but her neighbours and friends were forced to gather five shillings, to satisfie that mercilesse and uncharitable chirurgion, before he would depart the house, and so left this miserable woman in her extremity.
6. The unexpressible and irreparable prejudice to this City and Kingdome, in respect of honour and estate: First, In honour, as is already set forth: Secondly, For estate, by maintaining a very great number of persons in idlenesse, as appears by the calculation of M. Stanley and other judicious men, that there is at the least four-score thousand poor within this Kingdom, the which at a small rate (viz three pence per diem to every person) amounts to a thousand pounds a day, which in a year comes to three hundred sixty five thousand pounds, all which monies, besides the great gain which might be made by working, our own manifactures (which is utterly lost, viz, by some commodities; nineteen pound in twenty, in the not making thereof) which by the hands of our own idle poor might be saved with notable advantage to the whole Kingdom.
7. The great abuse of the good creatures of God through the excesse of all sorts, especially by drinking, partly occasioned by the neglect of the execution of the Statutes in force, as also the great increase of Ale-houses, victualing houses, and Taverns, with many evil effects, vix. poverty, theft, languishing, imprisonment of hundreds of able bodies, whose labours might maintain themselves and others, their triall and sentence, some to be burnt in the hand, and so marked out [catchword: for]
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for theeves, and others executed, and so gradually such drinking brings destruction. [right margin: Cooks poormans case] For this see more in M. Cook's Poor mans case: Besides the releasing out of prison such as have no place to go to, but the streets and fields, no imployment to take to, but beg, steal, whore, cheat, playing the counterfeits, and abusing good peoples charity.
[right margin: 8. The Broker taking 120 lb interest a year for a 100lb stock]
The misery that attends the truly poor, that is, the lame, sick and distressed house-keeper, who is enforced at unconscionable interest, to pawn his clothes, to pay the Doctor, Chirugion, Apothecary and Nurse, and when that fails, through want of these, they pine, languish, and almost, if not altogether starve themselves and theirs.
[right margin: Mr Hodges his report of two sad miseries that befell by reason of poverty.]
Give me leave here to give you a sad instance (omitting many other that might be mentioned) Not long since there was a poor woman carried home her work to her work-master, who when he had received it, tould her, he could give her no more, by reason the times were so bad he could not sell off his commodities, the poor woman departed full of grief and distraction, and meeting with her brother, he asked her how she did and her children, she answered never worse, why? said he, she answered, my Master refuseth to give me more work, and I have no bread at home, nor know I what to do, her brother bid her go to his wife, and take three pecks of wheat, and tell her that he was paid; the which the woman did, but her sister in law would not believe her relation nor answer her expectation. The poor womans misery hereby augmented, and Satan setting strongly upon her, caused her to go home to her children, and there first kild her two babes, and after her self. Her brother returning home, asked his wife if his sister had been for the corn, she said, yea, he demanded if she had any, his wife said, no, her husband in anger hasted to his sister, where he found her and her children dead on the ground, he returned home and kild his wife by a box given her on the ear, and was himself committed to custody, as saith the relator.
Another sad instance thus, An aged man used to fetch grains from a Gentlemans house, who being by the Gentleman taken notice of, he sent his man to finde out what he did with them, who found that he used to get bloud at another place, and of the bloud and grains mixt, made he food to eat, the Gentleman hearing his mans relation [catchword: allowed]
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allowed the poor man a pension ever after. Oh that this were seriously considered in this City, where we throw away better food then bloud and grains, whilst the poor swoon in our streets for want thereof, but of this no more, having occasion to hint it elsewhere in this discourse, and hoping its now upon remedying.
[lef margin: Fifth particular, how to effect the relief of the poor.]
As to the fifth head propounded, namely the waies and means to effect the removal of the aforesaid grievances.
1. The first is, in generall, To finde out the causes of the poverty of these parts: (the disease discovered is half cured, saith the Physician) to which answereth most fitly our generall corporation: but more particularly, the causes of our poverty I shall lay down negatively and affirmatively; First Negatively, What is not the cause; as First, Not want of Laws: Secondly, Not want of Officers to put those Laws in execution: Thirdly, Not want of time to take it into consideration: Fourthly, Not want of advice or incitation thereunto: Fiftly, Of materials to work on: Sixtly, Of work and work-houses (if well considered:) Seventhly, Nor yet of stock to perform it. But affirmitively: in generall for want of an improvement and well ordering Law, officers, time, materials poor &c.
The grievances thus stated, I come to the remedies; and do conceive (and it agrees with the sence of those active Gentlemen that did use to meet to prosecute this work) that as the opposite vertues is the best cure for any sin, so is the opposites of all these evils a proper cure for all such maladies; and for your more ease and satisfaction herein, I will give an instance or two by which you may judge of the rest.
[left margin: 18. Eliz. Regis, an Act for setting the poor on work, & avoiding of idlenesse.]
The Law saith, Provide houses and work, apprehend the vagrant, set to work the destitute, and then fine the giver and the Constable that admit any to beg: But instead of execution and practice, we say, the cost of building houses will be great, there will be losse by work, let the poor beg, they will get more by their complaint than we can do by cessing; and infer, why should the giver be fined when the poor is almost starved? why the Constable fine for not apprehending, when there is no work to set the poor unto? thus inverting the right way of our fathers, we are altogether out of order, and the consequence is to all men evident, that Foolish pity spoils a well governed City and Kingdom. [catchword: A]
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[right margin: 2.]
A second instance; The poor of this City are all Tradesmen, and are poor, because trade fails, and trade fails for want of stock, of utterance, change of fashions, &c. provide stock, utterance &c and your poor cease.
[right margin: 3.]
Thirdly, Some are poor, not for want of stock or vent, but by reason of ill husbandry; cure them of that, prevent their lavish expence, and you prevent their poverty.
[right margin: 4.]
Fourthly, Some can work but will not; make them work and their labour will maintaine them.
[right margin: 5.]
Fiftly, Pride is one chief cause of poverty and theft too; many servants now adaies exceeds their master and mistresses, and to maintain the same steal it from them they serve; and especially maid-servants usually spend all they get on fine apparel, and then marry, and having nothing whereby to follow any calling, soon after fall into poverty, whereas were they prevented from such extravagant expence, they might (as heretofore was usuall) in their service save and lay up something to help them afterwards.
[right margin: 6.]
Sixtly, many are poor by reason of sicknesse, lamenesse, plague or the like, and having by means thereof lost their stock or credit, are never able to recover themselves; which might be much abated, if not removed, by some setled course for physick, chirurgery, Pesthouses &c. as in other parts it is.
[right margin: Object.]
But against me I know ill be al But against me I know will be alledged, that I have all this time but brought you into a wood, and there left you; prescribe a ready way to help all this, and then you do something.
[right margin: Answ.]
For satisfaction hereto, consider the remedies hinted already in this discourse with such as you shall finde in Stanley, Robinson, Lee and others, who in their writings have hinted something this way; and for your better encouragement I will methodize to you their sense.
First, Number your poor, by which you shall know two things; 1. What poor you have: 2. Whether the poor that oppresse you be your poor.
Secondly, View your poor, and hereby you shall know how many with work will maintain themselves, and what charge would be to releeve the rest.
Thirdly, Fill your Hospitals that are already furnished with stock and all necessary provisions, and see that the most necessitous be first there provided for. [catchword: Fourthly,]
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Fourthly, keep such as you commit to Bridewell in custody, untill it appears they have some place and imployment to go unto, so should not Bridewell want company to grinde brasell, or to turne the mill.
Fiftly, Divide your ground so, that the poor be not in one division and their stock in another division, but as equall as may be, that so each division may have encouragement to set their poor on work.
Sixtly, For this City, 'tis needfull to provide four workhouses, and them to be distinguished, the east, west, north and south workhouses, and to divide the City into four parts accordingly, for one or two Parishes are not sufficient for a work-house, to build it, to furnish it, to maintaine manufactures in it.
Seventhly, As also to distinguish your poor belonging to each quarter by badges, to prevent straglers.
Eighthly, It is necessary likewise to appoint a place in each Ward, to receive stuffe from their Generall store-house, for such as work at home, and to receive in the work so wrought back again, paying for the same according to the worth thereof, for the better ease and accommodation of the said indigent poor and of the Corporation; as also to receive such food as might be frugally saved, and prudently ordered, multiplied and disposed in such sort, as that it may be sufficient to stop the mouths of such as complain, We are almost starved; and prevent the mention of that sad disease in the weekly bills of mortality.
Ninethly, For the better effecting of the former rules, its necessary that a Register book be kept for the poor in each Ward, and each Parishes poor be distinctly set down with their charge and abilities and that they be truly represented by some appointed and sworn for that purpose, and those severely punished if they fail, for their neglect and perjury in a matter of that consequence.
Tenthly, that certain known rules for relief be set down, the family of four children to be provided for before that of three, so that some receive not all, others none at all, as now it is; but following the wise counsel of our fore-fathers, discovered by their good Laws, donations and foundations, or the laudable practice of other parts of this Kingdom and elsewhere.
Eleventhly, That care be taken, that by releeving one poor we make not another, as is 1. The very forme of governement in Bridewell, by [catchword: multiplying]
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multiplying apprentices to the destruction of a trade; as also through pity to strangers to undoe our own poor, as may and doth appear in the Weavers case stated to the Committee of Parliament. 2. By allowing multiplicity of Ale-houses, to the relief of a few, and the utter undoing of many. 3. By allowing Hucsters, by means whereof our poor housekeepers (especially) buy their food at the third or fourth hand; with Costermongers and such like callings, that tend only to the spoil of young fruit, and enhancing the price of old; the excesse of Bruers, and abuse of bakers which produce the like inconveniences.
Twelfthly, A consultation with the severall Trades of London, what their grievances are, and how they may be remedied; our fathers have left us foot-steps of their care herein, as appears in the grant to Weavers, to regulate disorders in their trade for seven miles round about London, and divers Laws and orders tending to uphold the well-being of Joyners, Carpenters, Painters and other trades in and belonging to this City.
Thirteenthly, A course be taken for removing that sleight or trick in Law (called Mistaking the Case) and the trying causes according to the truth of the matter, all circumstances impartially considered.
Fourteenthly, A course for preventing of cheating by morgages, Judgements, &c, by which multitudes of families are undone; and buying lands in other names, and compounding their own debts, making that land not liable to satisfie their creditors; which things considered and removed, would doubtlesse produce much good to this City and the whole Kingdom.
[right margin: Object.]
But yet Sir you say nothing for matter of stock: To which I answer, [right margin: Answ.] if you lessen your poor any way it is equivalent to stock; but in our Propositions delivered in to the Committee of Common Counsel we propounded ten waies to raise a stock, as after followeth.
The raising of a Stock is done,
First, by the Parish Stocks of Monies and Lands.
Secondly, By voluntary Contributions in the severall Parish Churches on the Lords day, Fast daies, Thanksgiving daies, and on extraordinary occasions upon the Ministers motion.
Thirdly, By gift of Victuals gathered at every house thrice in the week, by some honest persons appointed for that purpose.
Fourthly, by loan of Monies from some well affected persons, and to be repaid them at the years end, either in money or such commodities as they shall like of. [catchword: Fiftly,]
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Fiftly, by taking the benefit of some penall Statutes.
Sixthly, By concealed Legacies given to charitable uses.
Seventhly, the goods and money of Pensioners that die, at least such as have no children, to go to the common stock (as it is in Holland.)
Eighthly, By gifts of old clothes, shooes, boots, hats and the like, gathered quarterly at every house, by some honest person appointed to that purpose.
Ninethly, By Contributions of well-affected persons at the time of their death, being pressed thereto by the Ministers that visit them in their sicknesse.
Tenthly, The Assistance of such persons as will take off some considerable number of poor, by imploying them in their severall Trades, which will be as effectuall as so much stock.
And if all that will not do, it were better sell all the bells in our steeples, then that so good and so great a work should fail (it were but a little music lost, and happily many lives saved) the value of the bells in London, accounting four in a steeple one with another, and those at twenty Pound apeece, would in one hundred twenty two Parishes, amount unto nine thousand six hundred and sixty Pound: or could we but perswade the Citizens of London, but one year to forbear altering their apparell into other fantastick fashions, and lay by as much for the poor as they used to spend that way, it is clearly beleeved the same would mount to four times as much as the rates of the poor come to. But what need these shifts, how or wherewith are the poor now maintained? few working, most playing, begging, stealing, whoring, cheating and the like, can these by their shifts now live? and could they not much better live by honest labour? especially if work, if stock and other helps were added to them, easie to be procured, if not already in our power to give and grant. I beseech you let this City no longer plead excuse, and live under this sin and shame: leave off preferring your friends to places and priviledges, to gifts and other helps, and let the destitute of friends perish before your eyes, and go effectually about the work, else when I cease further to pleade the cause of the poor, God take the cause into his own hand, and it prove bitternesse in the end.
And now to conclude all, as I never intended to satisfie every man that shall reade or hear what is here set forth, so shall I not regard [catchword: the]
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the censures of such who regard their own private interest more then the Publicke good, and are seldom pleased, save in their own invention. But conceiving this work to be in it self good, and a work of charity, and that many godly people throughout the Kingdome do daily expect the promotion of it by the power of Parliament, I thought this to be one of the likeliest means to satisfie them, promote and make publike the designe in these hard and miserable times, with such as desire the peace and tranquility of the Kingdom, and good of their poor brethren; and in regard the work is of great consequence, and the delay at this time extreamly prejudiciall, I therefore resolved upon this boldnesse, to put in print this short Account of our endeavours to effect the same, intending hereby good to all, hurt to none, nor any just offence to any man, whether concerned or not concerned in any thing exprest or hinted herein, but as an incitation and encouragement to all active and able men, to improve their interest for the publike good, that so the example of London may cause the like course to be taken throughout the Kingdom; and we hope the Corporation now authorized by Parliament, will according to the great trust committed to them, and power put into their hands, without any delay, vigorously and effectually prosecute the premises; and I doubt not but all such as have been active for promoting the designe, will still to the utmost of their power help forward and promote the same; and God that enjoynes and commands this as a duty, will doubtlesse reward the faithfull and zealous prosecution hereof, and a blessing shall rest upon their heads, which is the prayer and desire of
Your [Lordships deleted] friend and servant
in behalf of the Poor,
F I N I S.
READER, If thou meetest with any omission or mistake, be pleased with thy pen to amend the same.