The Hartlib Papers

Title:Printed Pamphlet, 'The Parliaments Reformation', Samuel Hartlib
Dating:1646
Ref:[Full text (pp. 1-6)]
Notes:[HDC list of The Publications of Samuel Hartlib, Turnbull: No. 17]

[Long-Title and Bibliographical description:]
Hartlib, Samuel
ST: The Parliaments reformation
Wing Number: H995A   Thomason Tracts: E.349 (13)
THE | Parliaments Reformation | Or a Worke for | Presbyters, Elders, and Deacons, | TO | Engage themselves, for the Education of all sorts | poore Children, and imployment of all sorts | of poore, that no poore body young nor old | may be enforced to beg within their Classes | in City nor Country. | [rule] | Published for the generall good of the Kingdome. | [rule] | By S.H. A friend of the Common-Wealth. | [rule] | This we commanded you, he that will not worke, let him not eate, 2 Thes, | 3. 10. | [rule] | [two ornaments parrallel to each other] | [rule] | London, Printed for Thomas Bates, at the Maidenhead on | Snow-hill, neere Holborne Conduit. 1646.
4o A4; [$3 (-A1; with A3 missigned A5) signed]; 4 leaves
pp. [2] 1-6

[Text begins:]
[sig. A1r]
                         THE
               Parliaments Reformation
                  Or a Worke for
            Presbyters, Elders, and Deacons
                         TO
    Engage themselves, for the Education of all
    poore Children, and imployment of all sorts
    of poore, that no poore body young nor old
    may be enforced to beg within their Classes
               in City nor Country.
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   Published for the generall good of the Kingdome.
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       By S.H. A friend of the Common-Wealth.
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This we commanded you, he that will not worke, let him not eate, 2 Thes. 3. 10.
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               [decorative block]
<MS: Aug: 64>
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London, Printed for Thomas Bates, at the Maidenhead on
     Snow-hill, neere Holborne Conduit. 1646.
[p. 1]
               The Parliaments Reformation.
Many men, both of Quality, and others, doe approve, that the imployment of the poore, the suppressing of idle Counterfeits; and the education of all poore Children, (whereby that none may goe about begging or live idle in the streets,) is a very good work; but saith some shew us which way we may begin it, and what we shall do to bring it to passe.
     To which I answer, it must be a Parliaments power and command, to carry on the worke?   My reason is; because the major part of the people doe never move to any good work willingly before they are commanded; and the command must be upon a penalty too, else they will doe little; now consider, who can impose a command on the Subject for the carrying on of a good worke, and to lay a punishment upon the neglectors of the command, but a Parliaments power.
     When once Authority and Power is gotten from the Parliament, and put into the hands of honest Gentlemen in this City of London, and so throughout the whole Kingdome for the carrying on of the good work generally; or else if the Honourable Parliament please to commit it to the Presbyters of every Classe throughout the Kingdome, and they to assist the Deacons, it will be carryed on with more care, and more ease, to the joy of all godly people.
     Authority being granted; there are 4 things for the Commissioners to consider on, for the easie carrying on of the weighty and godly businesse, of relieving and Reforming the poore of our Kingdome.
  1. The buying or building of houses for that purpose.
  2. The raising of stocke.
  3. Finding out imployment to imploy young and old.
  4. Ordering such a godly and politick government; that the godly and laborious poore may be countenanced and cherished, and the idle, and wicked poore supprest.
     1. For houses, it is needful that two sorts of houses be appointed in every Classe; that is, a workhouse, and a house of Correction, these two [catchword: houses]
[p. 2]
houses will be usefull in every Classe, for the relieving, and reforming all sorts of poore.
     1. A common workhouse for all sorts of poore to resort unto, I mean old and young, the old some of them, will be usefull to teach the young, the young shall have that benefit to be taught to write and read a part every day, besides doe some work to helpe relieve them; here will be the benefit, the Children that lye all day in the streets in playing, cursing and swearing, are now kept under a godly government, which is an excellent step to Reformation.
     2. In case any should be stubborne, and will not take paines nor live orderly and peaceably, that then they be separated and sent to the house of correction, there to remaine in hard work, and hard lodging, till he or she promise amendment, and when he is discharged, he shall not goe whether his lust, as the manner is now, being discharged, but shall return to the workhouse from whence he came, by this meanes wickednesse will be kept in subjection; and this project will either reforme them that are stubborne, or make them run the Country.
     Also if we consider the great necessity of houses or Churches in great Parishes, where there are little lesse then 30. or 40000. people, how shall one Church or house receive them all, in such a case many workhouses about London will be very needfull to keepe people together under government on the Sabboth day, as on the weeke dayes; this deserves a consideration from the Parliament for the good of the peoples soules, and the preventing of Childrens playing in the streets and beggars begging on the Sabboth dayes; So much for houses: Secondly for stocke.
     2. For the raising of stock; To raise a stock to imploy the poor, I conceive the Country may easier doe it then the Cities, in regard the Law provides them materials with little charge of money; I mean Hempe and Flax which the Law enjoynes them to sow; but many parishes either for want of skill, or will, makes them sow none, which is a great wrong to the Common-wealth, and makes our poor to go almost naked.
     And whereas many if they sowe it, know not what to do with it, either for want of skill or will, therefore I conceive if every Classes did keep a magazin or stock of mony or materials; then whatsoever hempe or flax were sowne within the Classe, if any did want skill or time to manage it, they might then bring it to the Magazin and there they should be payd for it, either in mony or cloth, and whatsoever cloth was made, the Mercers and Drapers in the County to buy it, to the end that they might not be wrong'd, by taking away their Markets. [catchword: This]
[p. 3]
     This will raise stock to imploy our poor and save our mony in our Kingdome, 'tis reported above a Million of mony goes out of the Land yearly for Linnen Cloth.
     2. The Clothiers in the Country that make broad cloth and stuffes, do imploy abundance of women and Children, which is a great helpe to the stock in every Classe.
     3. By way of Collection, and by way of charitable gifts, by dying men and women there is some stock more or lesse in every Country parish, to helpe imploy and succour the poor.
     Having shew'd how the Country may have helpes to raise a stock to imploy their poor, I will shew how the City of London may raise a stock with ease.
     1. If the Parliament will be pleased to grant an Ordinance for a collection within the City of London and 1 mile about; and this mony to be imployed for the education and imployment of all Souldiers Children, because many of them, as well Widdowes as maim'd, have a great charge of children, and are very poor, not able to set their Children to Schoole.
     2. One halfe yeares excise hereafter, when things are overpast.
     That which is given to the poor, is lent unto the Lord, &c.
     3. The 10 or 20th part of Bishop Lands, and such like to maintaine English School-masters, for the well governing of all sorts of poore Children.
     4. That all charitable gifts in every Classis, may be enquired after, and brought to a bank, and the Elders to see to the managing of it in every parish within their Class; for some parishes in a Classe, may have many gifts, and so raise a great stock, there it lyes dead, because they have but few poor to imploy it, other parishes within the Class have many poor, and but little stock, and therefore many of them go a begging, but when the parishes joyn together within the Class, they will remedy wandring begging.
     5. A weekly meale for one moneth.
     6. A voluntary collection twice a quarter at the Church dores, the Minister perswading all Journy-men and Maid-servants that care not to spend a shilling or two vainly, (many times) may give something out of their vain expences; let them remember that God gives them health and strength to get riches, therefore spare something to helpe breed up poor Children, and remember, that if they mary, and have children, their [catchword: children]
[p. 4]
children may have the benefit of Teaching in the work-houses, therefore let them be the more liberall to so good a worke.
     7. That all penall monies arising from Drunkards, Sabboth-breakers, Swearers, and Adulterers, which amounts yearly to a great sum in this City and Suburbs, may be brought into this charitable Classicall stock.
     8. A fourth part arising of the forfeitures and stresses from the Tenant to the Landlord; Also the 4th. part of the forfeitures of the Recognizance of Ale-houses, and of all other Recognizance, which part will amount to a great sum by the yeare.
     9. A penalty of mony, upon excessive pride, and excessive health-drinkings, which threatens the judgments of God upon King, Parliament and Kingdome, that the Honourable Parliament will consider of it, and suppresse it, for the honour of God who hath done great things for them.
     10. If this work be religiously and carefully carryed on; many at their departing this life will be very liberall to advance, and hold up so good a work of this nature, which is the only means to reforme wandring beging, so much for raising stocks in City and Country; the next is imployment.
     3. The imployment that is most needfull to imploy the poore of a Kingdome. I conceive the only imployment principally is to make choice of Maries part, which is an earnest endeavouring by faith and obedience to gain a portion in Christ, for the eternall happinesse of our Souls; The next kind of labour that I account next best is that that brings food, and Raiment and such like comforts, as plowing and feeding of Cattle, fishing, fowling, gardening, planting and graffing for fewell, Timber, and fruit, all which (by Gods blessing) brings a plenty to Cities as well as Country, and if God blesse the labours of all these, we are never like to see a famine. Also if men would be but moderate, and not surfeit, and be drunke and abuse the Creature, it would be better for their healths, and better for their families, and save as much, which they drinke wastfully, or spue up, which would helpe reliev hundreds of poor Children in workhouses.
     As the labours of the Country is in the fields and gardens,; so the labour of the City is in their houses, as spinning linnen and woollen, knitting, weaving, sowing with Shoomakers, Taylors, and such like; Shoomakers and Taylors if they are good husbands, they are needfull professons in a Common-wealth, and can get their living by Sea, or Land [catchword: which]
[p. 5]
which many other professions cannot doe, as Silke-Weavers and such, a Trade that brings neither food nor Rayment in City nor Country, and so I have done with the professions and imployment for soule and body in City and Country, I will speake of the last which is like a wall to a City, that keepes all in peace; and that is called GOVERNMENT.
     4. For the order of Government for young and old to walk by, must be by a Law and a Rule printed in a faire Table, to the end that every work-house may know the mind of the PARLIAMENT, how they would have every one to walk by, to the glory of God, the honour of King and Parliament, and the joy of the Nation.
     1. That every one walk, holily towards God and Christ.
     2. That every one walk, curteous, and loving, towards one another.
     3. Carefull and Laborious for the good of the Commonwealth.
     And if any one refuse, to walke after this rule; but will walke profanely, contenciously, and idly, then, in such cases the Ministers and Elders to have power to send such persons to the house of correction, and there to abide till he doth promise amendment; then to be discharged at the Sessions by the Justices, upon promise that he will live orderly and painfully in the work-houses.
     But in case, some will not be reformed, neither in work-houses nor houses of correction, that then the Magistrate may have power to send such persons to Sea that are fit, to the fishing trade, or otherwise, or to the Plantations to rid the Land of such Brambles, and this is better, then to suffer them to live in mischief, and hang them at last; peradventure God may be gracious to them, and we using all wayes and means to reclaime them may prevaile with God.
     And whereas I have set down wayes in some part, for the raising of stock, imployment of the poor in City and Country, and for the government of young and old in a godly, peaceable, and laborious way, or else to be sent out of the Kingdome, all this good can never be brought to passe without the power and assistance of the Parliament by Ordinance: So I conclude with my prayers to God for the prosperity of this worke; and that God will unite King and Parliament, to carry on his holy, godly and charitable work, that the poore children unborn may praise God, for the Parliaments preservation, and the Kingdomes Reformation, for which we owe to God praise, and prayers, and all Spirituall service. [catchword: Post-]
[p. 6]
                    Postscript.
     The way to reform wandring begging, and other wickedness in our Kingdom is, that a care may be taken to breed up 3 sorts of Children.
     1. Children that have no Parents to look to them.
     2. Children of carelesse Parents that suffer their Children to live in much wickedness, and they take no care to breed them up in the feare of God.
     3. Children of honest poore parents, that will be glad to have their Children kept to work, if the Parliament will ordaine by a new Statute Law, that all Classes throughout the Kingdome shall be injoyned upon penalty, to provide a certain number of work-houses and Bride-wels to reforme rude ungodly Children and idle people, Commissioners to see it done according to the mind of the parliament.
     It is conceived that these 3. sorts of Children are the greatest part of Children in the Kingdome, and most of them are like to become wicked members to the Commonwealth without this Government.
     Last of all concerning Government, that there may be certain observations, as Lawes for every work-house to observe, for the keeping of them by Gods assistance in holynesse and peace one to another.
     1. A Law against Swearing.
     2. Against all filthy talking.
     3. Against cursed speeches and ill behaviours against any.
     4. Against dispising their fare in the work-house.
     5. Against any that filch and steale.
     6. Against any that goe filthily and slovenly in their face and hands, and Clothes.
                         FINIS