[Charity Schools.] The SPIRITUAL GOVERNMENT.43

[Charity Schools.] The SPIRITUAL GOVERNMENT.

Dearth:] To maintain those that are not able to get their Livelihoods: To set other Poor to work: viz. In employing them to sweep and clean the Streets and other Places within the said Parishes, in clearing them from Beggars, in making convenient Walks, in repairing the Highways in the Avenues of the said City, &c. after the manner of the Corporation of Guardians in the City of Bristol.

The kind Entertainment of poor Strangers fled hither for Religion, deserves to be mentioned here. Anno 1708, many Protestants of the Palatinate on the Rhine, by reason of Persecution, conveyed themselves over hither, whom Queen Anne graciously provided with all Necessaries, and sent them over to our Plantations in the West-Indies. And by this Encouragement, between two or three Thousand more of the same Country, Men, Women, and Children, Anno 1709, came over, and appeared miserable Objects in and about London, imploring her Majesty's Protection. And Orders were given for defraying their Charges: And the Rope-houses at Deptford, and other convenient Places, were prepared to receive some Hundreds of them that landed thereabouts. The rest were disposed of by the Care of some Charitable Persons in and about St. Katharine's and Aldgate, and in Camberwel and Lambeth, several large Barns were hired for them. And the late Prince's Chaplains, the Minister of the German Congregation in the Savoy, and others, voluntarily preached and read Prayers to them two or three times a Week, according to the Forms of the Church of England, at the Churches of Aldgate and St. Katharine's. And they were much relieved by private Charities, besides the Queen's.

Poor German Protestants fly hither, Anno 1708.

Ann. 1709.

There is yet another sort of Charity in this City (maintained by the Society before mentioned, viz. for promoting Christian Knowledge) very singular and extraordinary; the like whereof is hardly practised in any City of Christendom besides, and for which the Citizens concerned therein deserve to stand upon lasting Record: And that is, the erecting of Schools in many Parishes of London and Westminster, (especially the great Parishes in the Suburbs) called Charity Schools, for the free Education of poor Boys and Girls, and also for their Maintenance in Apparel; and afterwards disposing of them abroad in honest Callings.

Charity Schools.

This Favour of the Londoners toward poor Children began divers Years ago in North and South Wales. When about the Year 1670 the Poverty and Ignorance of those Parts raised a Compassion in the Hearts of many good Citizens (which must be recorded to their Honour:) So that they and their Interest contributed such Sums of Money, as maintained a great number of poor Welch Children at School, to Read English, Write, and cast Accompts. And Schools for that purpose were erected and settled in many Places in those Countries. And this pious Practice so flourished, that in the Year 1674, or 1675, Certificate was made, that in 86 of the Chief Towns and Parishes in Wales, 1162 poor Children were put to School, over and above 200 put to School the last Year by the Charity of others. And this Charity had already provoked divers Landlords, and Inhabitants of several Towns and Parishes in Wales, to put 863 of the poorest Welch Children to School upon their own Accounts. So that 2225 in all were already put to School to learn, as before.

Charity Schools in Wales founded by Citizens.

And this Charity extended not only to the poor Children, but to the rest of the poor Welch Inhabitants, to furnish them with Christian Knowledge. For by this Charity they had distributed freely among them a great number of pious Books translated and printed in the Welch Language. So that in the Year 1674, there had been bought and distributed in several Families 32 Welch Bibles, and 479 Welch New Testaments: Which were all that could be bought up in London or Wales: Besides 500 Whole Duties of Man, bought and disposed in like manner. And 2500 Practices of Piety, with some Hundreds of other Licensed Treatises, translated into Welch, were then printing, and almost finished; which were to be freely given also to the Poor People in those Parts. This became a Trust, and was committed to several eminent Ministers of London; viz. Dr. Tillotson, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Whichcote, Dr. Simon Ford, Dr. Bates, Dr. Outram, Dr. Patrick, afterwards Bishop of Ely, Dr. Stillingfleet, afterwards Bishop of Worcester, Dr. Fowler, afterwards Bishop of Gloucester, Mr. Durham, Dr. Meriton, Dr. Hezekiah Burton, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Matthew Poole, and Mr. Thomas Gouge, sometime Vicar of St. Sepulchres, London. Which last also devoted himself and his Estate to this Service and Labour of Love: Going himself divers Years successively into Wales from Place to Place, enduring in his old Age all the Fatigues of Travelling in that Mountainous Country, to over-see and manage this great Publick Work. There were also in the same Trust some eminent Citizens of the Laity, as Thomas Firmin, Henry Norton, John Du Bois, and some few others. But this Charity, however it lessened in Wales, afterwards began nearer Home: As I proceed now to shew.

Pious Books in Welch distributed there.


Mr. Gouge.

It was a wondrous surprising, as well as pleasing Sight, that happened June the 8th, 1704, when all the Boys and Girls maintained at these Schools, in their Habits, walked two and two with their Masters and Mistresses, some from Westminster, and some through London, with many of the Parish Ministers going before them, and all meeting at St. Andrew's Holborn Church. Where a seasonable Sermon was preached by the Reverend Dr. Richard Willis, upon Gen. xviij. 19. I know him, that he will command his Children, &c. the Children being placed in the Galleries: They were about Two Thousand, and each had a small Piece of Paper fastened to their Breasts or Sleeves, shewing to what Parish they belonged; and a printed Paper in their Hands, giving an Account of these Schools. The Sum whereof was, That these poor Children were all taught; the Boys, Reading and Writing, and Casting Accompts; the Girls, Sewing and Working: And also all diligently instructed in the Catechism, in which they are publickly examined in the Churches on the Lord's Day after the Evening Sermon. There were then fifty four of these Schools set up, and maintained, partly by voluntary Subscription of annual Sums, partly by Collections made at the Church Doors after the Sermon, and partly by other Gifts. The Subscriptions amounted to about 2164l. Collections at the Sermons to about 1042l. Gifts to each School from the beginning, 3199l. 10s. Boys and Girls put out Apprentices from these Schools, from the Beginning to the Year 1704, 306 Boys, 75 Girls. All these Schools were set up within the Space of eight or nine Years last past, except one or two, which were set up three or four Years before: Whereof one was that in Norton Folgate, and another that in St. Margaret's Westminster.

Ann. 1704, these Boys and Girls met at Holborn Church.

The Beginning of this sort of Charity was thus. Divers Ministers, or other sober Parishioners, observed abundance of Children in their Parishes destitute, and neglected in their Education, either by reason of the Poverty of some Parents, or the Carelesness as well as Poverty of others. This made them bethink themselves of setting up Parish Schools for the Use of these Children, to bring them up in the Knowledge and Practice of the Christian Religion, as professed and taught in

The Beginning of these Schools.