A Plea for the Middle Classes
'The children of Thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall he established before Thee."—Ps. cii. 28.
PRINTED BY JOSEPH MASTERS,
ALDERSGATE STREET, & 78, NEW BOND STREET;
FOR ALLEVER BUTLER, HIGH STREET, SHOREHAM.
PRINTED BY JOSEPH MASTERS,
A PLEA FOR THE MIDDLE CLASSES.
You ask me about my school: the object of it, and its plan; both which I will give you in few words. The object of it is, to provide a good and complete education for the middle classes, at such a charge as will make it available to most of them. The need of such an undertaking must have suggested itself to many; but it will be impressed upon them more fully, if they only consider what miserably imperfect schools now abound all over the country; schools as devoid of sound principle as of sound knowledge;—the conductors of which have no other object in view than to secure a scanty subsistence by the credulity of that class of society which is unable to judge of the requirements necessary to make a competent schoolmaster. When the seventy-seventh, seventy-eighth, and seventy-ninth Canons were in force or fashion, the people had some guarantee for the qualifications of those who taught their children; but now, a statistical return would show that a very large number (perhaps a majority) of the present schoolmasters are persons who have failed in other pursuits, and have turned to this as their last resource. If this were not a matter of life and death, security to the state, peace to society, and the moral regeneration of the masses of the people, it might be endured as nothing more than one illustration of the sharpness which poverty gives to very sober wits; but as the political and moral well-being of the country depend upon the middle classes, and that by neglecting them you can neither have sound legislation, peaceable parishes, or the children of the poor successfully instructed, (notwithstanding the millions spent in national education,) why then we are bound to make a grace of necessity, and seek to educate them, if we wish for peace and even national prosperity. Much as there is in this consideration, there is a good deal more behind; and that of a nature to move, it is hoped, the sympathies and affections of those who feel that the love of God is the soul of existence to a rational creature, and that the best employment of a sincere Christian is, next to his love of God, that pure love of our neighbour, which is exhibited in an unceasing effort to rescue souls from error, and to train them up in "the truth." I think a very cold-hearted man might see the evils of leaving the middle classes—the strength of England—to their present uncertain mode of gaining information, secular and religious; and might desire some plan for counteracting those evils; but the same evils pointed out to one imbued with Christian philanthropy could scarcely do less than engage him heart and soul in a diligent and never-tiring effort to remedy the innumerable evils of our present neglect. This is the design of my school: a design, as might have been expected, which has met with the hearty and substantial concurrence of all to whom it has been mentioned.
But before giving you a rough draft of my plan for accomplishing our object, it will be necessary (as copies of this letter will be circulated amongst those likely to promote it,) briefly to review the real state of the middle classes at this moment.
And first, as the condition of gentlemen of small incomes, solicitors and surgeons with limited practice, unbeneficed Clergymen, naval and military officers, &c., &c., is well known, and the difficulties they have to contend with in educating their children in a suitable way, likely to come home to many who read this, I shall leave this large portion of what may be denominated the middle class, to tell their own tale in the thoughts of every educated person who reflects on the object of this letter; and shall turn to that portion which may be designated the "trades-class." This comprises persons of very different grades, from the small huckster, who obtains his livelihood by his dealings with the poor, up, step by step, through third and second rate retail shops, publicans, gin-palace keepers, &c., to the highly influential and respectable tradesman, whose chief dealings are with the higher ranks of society. Yet this great mass is so linked together by common interests that it moves as one body to an extent scarcely credible. Now, from beginning to end, with how many of these is the Church, through either her Clergy or otherwise, brought into a healthy intercourse? Take London as an example. The Clergy scarcely think it either their duty or interest to be on very free terms with even the most influential part of their trading parishioners. For this practice there may be excuses offered, and some undoubtedly reasonable ones, but it does not alter the fact that tradespeople, as a class, although by far the majority of the Church's children, and the most able to do her service in times of difficulty, are yet neglected by the Clergy. Some will say, "familiarity breeds contempt," and that the Clergy would lose their influence by any intimacy with such persons. If it be so, the fault must rest with us, in forgetting the dignity of our calling as Ministers of Christ. However, without dwelling on the amount of blame which attaches to us, this fact remains, with all its solemn reality, staring us in the face wherever we turn, that the great mass of the people, the real life and strength of England, occupy so anomalous a position that they can never enjoy the fatherly and friendly ministrations of their spiritual guides. One of this class, a good and excellent Christian man, who gives donations in large sums to all Church objects, complained to me, that while the Clergy of his parish would visit the poor readily enough, and frequent the tables of the upper classes, no one had ever done him the honour to go further than knock at his door and ask for a subscription. Another, whose occupation is that of a printer and publisher on a large scale, stated that his Clergyman had never at any time been in his house or offered to guide himself or family in any way whatever. The Clergy, however, are not alone to be blamed, and perhaps are to a great extent free from fault; for the evil has now proceeded so far that it is impossible to know how to meet it, or what to do. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, a Clergyman in London would find it impossible to gain an entrance to the family of his trades-people, and where he did succeed, it would put them out of their way, and cause them pain and inconvenience rather than any pleasure. This is the fruit of ages of neglect, which will not be remedied without great exertion and much patience. But the visible consequence is, that an unpleasant feeling exists between the Clergy and the mass of the people. They do not sympathise with each other; and, so when difficulties arise, they cannot feel alike or pull together. They have no thoughts in common, and the people could not possibly understand the genius of the Church, if ever so well inclined. The dreadful consequences which daily result from this coldness between Priest and people are too many to be numbered, and too great to be thought of, without the deepest emotion by those who have the best interests of mankind at heart. These will suggest themselves to your own mind without any observations of mine; for who has not been struck with the secular cast of mind of the great bulk of the population? Even their religion takes that form. They have no idea of the Church as a Divine institution; never once think that they have any share in her fortunes; could not be brought to understand the privileges secured to them when they were admitted into the Church by Baptism; test all the acts of the Church by the same rule by which they try their secular affairs, viz., that of success; think all payment for religion unendurable, and expect a competent return for all subscriptions and donations of charity, in the shape of influence by right of voting or otherwise. And for the injury done them, what can be greater than this? Once baptized, they are left to themselves; they never receive any intelligible dogmatic teaching. They have no arguments whereby to sustain their minds in times of temptation. The religious instruction they received at school may have been of the very worst kind, or, at best, of such an indefinite character, that, in after life, they could make no use of it. Even the Holy Scriptures have not been made familiar to them, and the helps to their interpretation not so much as alluded to. When are they then to learn even the Apostle's "first principles"? They start without knowledge; they enter on the duties of life without any rule except that which is given them by the world around them. They rush heart and soul into the bustle and cravings after this world's goods; they practise the conventional arts of their calling, unconscious of any harm even where it exists. If they have any qualms of conscience, or plan of religion, it is rather an effort of outraged nature to throw off a burden and an inconvenience, than any settled choice of truth. And how can it be otherwise? They began without a guide; they have gone on without one. The world has been against them. The system in which they were born was the most inimical to the practice of the precepts of the Gospel. They have no standing ground so as to be able to resist the form into which the world around moulds them. Their life and death is a sad spectacle, and yet infinitely better than could have been expected; but they go to their graves with the bitter (though silent) complaint, "No man cared for my soul." You will think this, perhaps, an exaggeration, but it is not so. The middle classes may be as virtuous as any other class, and indeed, as being shielded from the dangers of the two extremes, by far the most virtuous, (though this now is very doubtful,) yet the Church must ever feel herself open to reproach, while she leaves untrained and uninstructed the most numerous, influential and best disposed body of the community; and till she provides some remedy whereby they may be retained as her dutiful, and intelligent, and faithful sons
But an argument of another kind, and that of great force and importance, is this. That till the Church do educate and train up the middle classes, she can never effectually educate the poor. All national and parochial schools must to a great extent prove unsuccessful; our money, labour, and anxiety be, in a great measure, thrown away, so long as we seek to form religious principles in the minds of the poor, while we neglect their masters. For with us the boys in the national schools remain not more than three or four years on an average, during which time we must teach them much that is to them unpleasant to learn, and but little that is agreeable, or that will attach them to us; while with their masters they spend a whole life, hear their opinions on every subject, watch their habits and modes of life, and in time come to think as they think, and to make common cause with them in their unfriendly feeling towards the Church, and the more sacred institutions of the State. And what else was to be expected? that which we hear every day asserted as true, we soon believe to be so, in spite of the best of intentions: but the poor man knows no higher authority than his master for facts or faith; he is so deeply affected by what his master does, and how he acts, that it is to him of oracular dignity. Probably, if you could overhear the conversation of a labourer and his wife, or of fellow workmen, more than one half of their talk would be about their employers. I must then think that this is a great and important argument why the Church should use every effort to secure the training of the youth of a class that has such power for good or evil. But at present how are the mass of the masters qualified to influence beneficially those large numbers of work-people who so implicitly depend upon them? let those who think the highest of their virtue go and question them either on the Scriptures or the Articles of Faith, and see if they have, many of them, a knowledge of even the elements of the Christian religion. The painful ignorance of the majority is a standing disgrace to the Church, who cannot escape from the charge of having left her children without information on the most momentous questions of faith and morals. The Church receives at least nine-tenths of the population into her bosom by baptism, but this done, all is done. She has not confidence to believe that they are hers after all. If they find not her out, she shrinks from claiming them. In cases of this sort, the Church resembles an unnatural mother, who gives birth to children, and then exposes them, as if she could not feel for them as her own; for go from house to house, up and down one street, and inquire how many adults, even among trades-people, who have been baptized into the Church, are yet unconfirmed; add house to house, and street to street, and the aggregate of one parish will present such a disclosure of practical weakness on the part of the Church that the chief wonder is, how the people of this country have been kept together so well as they have. Poll again, a parish of 80,000 inhabitants, which I could name, and you shall not find one in two hundred who is a communicant, and yet nearly all have been baptized. Perhaps you will say, "We must look to the exertions of the Clergy." The exertions of the Clergy will increase this number, but in no sensible degree: the evil has gone too far—a distrust has been created, which cannot on a large scale be removed; the people have chosen their courses, some one, and some another; the education they have received has disqualified them for comprehending the necessity of the constitution of the Church—those who lead, corrupt those who follow; and the master, instead of being the guardian of the morals and Faith of his dependants, adds the irresistible weight of his own example to plunge them deeper in licentiousness and error. But another branch of the same argument is, that by neglecting the employers, you are, in the pesent pressure of civilisation, hastening on a very general state of barbarism. A high state of civilisation and barbarism are two extremes which have a constant tendency to meet. The demand for labour lessens the time for education and training, and as the nation becomes more and more refined and perous, the mass of the labourers must be left without sufficient time for even such a secular education as is sufficient to fit them to be intelligent members of their class. And this perhaps will in part account for the fact, that there is so little (difference in the number of those who can write now, and fifty years since. They cannot be kept at the national school now a sufficient time to do them any permanent good, and when they leave they are so absorbed by the pressure which civilisation causes, that they lose in a short time the little they did know. Now perhaps, some may think it no very serious evil that they cannot write; but what do they know of the creeds, of the Parables, the Old and New Testament history, the Psalms, &c? Or again, of the Church, her divinely-appointed institutions, the sacraments, divine services, or ministry? They are distressingly ignorant on all these subjects, and that, too, in spite of the thousands that are spent yearly in national education. And why is this? because the Church has left the employers uneducated, has suffered them to seek instruction where they chose, regardless of the injury that must ensue to society. Whereas, when the seventy-seventh, seventy-eighth, and seventy-ninth Canons, relating to schoolmasters, were in force, you could scarcely have asked a poor person about his faith without obtaining an intelligent reply. There were no national schools then, nor could the people read or write, but their masters had received a Church education, and this, though scanty, found its way effectually to their dependants. While, therefore, we spend all our strength upon educating the poor, our forefathers spent theirs on those of the middle ranks; for besides requiring schoolmasters "to be licensed by the Bishop, to give guarantees for their faith and morality, and to take their scholars to church on Sundays and holidays," the chief schools of the kingdom,—founded, some of them, by the most holy and learned men of their age,—aim expressly at training up the middle classes in the faith and fear of God, and in such sound principles of knowledge as might fit them to serve their country in their several stations with the greatest advantage. The two extremes—the rich and the poor—will both find means in abundance for obtaining the education best suited to each. But the middle classes are above charity on the one hand, and on the other, as a body, cannot give sufficient remuneration to secure competent teachers when the Church withdraws her help.
You are aware, perhaps, that a society has been formed, the object of which is, to grant diplomas to schoolmasters, without any theological test. If they should succeed, they may do much mischief, unless we forestal them. As yet, in England, when the Church does offer help, her children, after all, would sooner have it of Her than elsewhere. If our claims were equal, the majority would listen to us rather than to others; but if we neglect them altogether, they must go where they can. The present news from Paris will suggest the result. Some, I know, look to Governments for everything. For my part, in the present state of parties in this kingdom, I heartily trust that Government will not interfere, it would be unjust. But if it did, and its arrangements and teaching were unexceptionable, it yet could not cure one of the chief evils of which I complain, nor fill up that void which now exists in the disseverance of the Clergy and people. Nothing but the Church can do the Church's work: and if ever there was a time when the call to labour was urgent, it is now. All Europe, seemingly, is about to reap the fruits of its neglect, and we can scarcely hope to be exempted. Duties neglected will ever avenge themselves. "Be sure your sin will find you out" is the Divine monition. Religious commotions are ever the most bitter and fatal. Blessings abused are God's scourges wherewith He chastises the disobedient. Wealth well applied "purchases us a good reward in the day of necessity;" abused, it plunges us deeper in impenitency and ruin. Children, well trained up in the way they should go, are the stay and comfort of declining years; neglected, they bring down the grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. The sons and daughters of the Church, if cherished in her bosom, are her glory and delight,— the fruit of promise, the joy and light of her countenance, "as she speaks with her enemies in the gate:" but the same, cast out and left to wander, are the thorns with which she is crowned, the reed that pierce her hand, the worm that gnaws at her vitals. They will avenge themselves. An injury has been done them which, if they feel not what it is, they feel all those bitter passions of revenge and contempt which add vigour to their natural hostility to the restraints of religion. Almost, therefore, periodically the neglected children of the Church band together against her. At intervals of about a hundred or a hundred and fifty years, the reckoning is made up, and the penalty paid with fearful interest.
But an additional argument, confirmatory of the evil effects of the Church's neglect, is supplied in the debased principles of trading. This is a subject of observation in all quarters. To me it has always appeared an infallible sign of the decay of honesty and high principle amongst us, that scarcely any undertaking of importance can now be safely commenced without binding down those who are employed in it by the most stringent covenants and contracts. This has grown upon us of late in a way never heard of before, and requires a distinct consideration; certain it is that tradesmen generally complain of the principle on which trade is conducted, and confess their desire to be emancipated from it, if it could be accomplished,—our duty is to labour to loose them and let them go. Those, indeed, who slight the use of means, deny that all baptized people are the children of the Church, and trust to the conversion of a straggling individual here and there by a sort of fatality, will give no attention to considerations such as these; but those who know and feel that the Church is responsible for every soul that has passed through the waters of regeneration, will comprehend the importance of speculations, which aim at devising a plan whereby the consciences and affections of the great masses of the population may be secured. It is an object that cannot be deferred any longer, everything depends upon it; our peace and prosperity as a nation, and the salvation of the people intrusted to our care. Every son of the Church who is passed by without a proper Christian training, is furnished with a sword to draw against his own spiritual mother, and draw it he will, sooner or later, and that too effectually. How large an army is there of such at this moment waiting for the first opportunity which shall offer for thrusting their swords into the breast of her who gave them indeed spiritual birth, but who afterwards cast them away and deserted them, because of evils and difficulties real or fancied.
Alas! for the number! when we hear daily of public opinion apart from the Church, and the thoughts and feelings of a Christian man; and that in a country where all have been baptized, and where nearly all would be the dutiful children of the Church but for her long, long neglect. How ominous a word is "public opinion," when we see it take against the solemn institutions of religion, and in some cases even against Christianity itself. Who is to blame for it? Are the people reprobated in such cases, or has the Church been neglectful of her duty? Things have gone far enough already to call for scrutiny and retrospection. Public opinion is setting in strongly against law, order, and religion, and public men dare not oppose it—the best and bravest give way. The only power on earth which has the means of directing it, is the Church; and unless she takes steps to do so by some great effort, it would be the height of presumption to expect to escape the infection which has seized on the whole of Europe. The Church's mission is becoming every day of more and more importance to the interests of mankind. She is not now as she was of old: she does not depend now upon civil rulers for her stability. In her childhood and infancy it was so, that "kings were her nursing fathers, and queens her nursing mothers;" but those times have passed away, and she has now to make her reckoning with her own children. The stability of thrones now depends upon the way in which she fulfils her mission, and that particular class of her children for which I now plead, have more than once changed the destinies of this empire; and when it is matter of history that they have such power as this, can we be good subjects, good citizens, and what is a more serious inquiry, can we be good or even sincere Christians, if we neglect them or even allow them to escape us? I feel satisfied it is the great work of the age, and that we ought not to be deterred from entering upon it by any consideration of difficulties. We ought not to be put down by too great delicacy of feeling in making efforts, nor by the discouraging views of others. If we wish to work for the good of souls, we cannot do better than work in this way, for this is laden with promises of the richest harvest, since hereby we shall get hold of the main strength of the nation—the best disposed people in the kingdom if fairly dealt with; and, if God give His blessing, if we gain them, a way is opened for effectually securing the poor. The national school children may then go home, and I will have no fear of their being corrupted, because they shall not then hear an evening's tale of blasphemy and irreligion, of disloyalty and licentiousness, which is fresh imported from the oracular lips of the employer.
And now having justified, I hope, my object, I will give you some account of the means to be used to accomplish it. You know what I have done, and am doing in the way of schools. My hope is to enlarge them, and to make them suitable to the wants of the middle classes generally. The chief thing to be desired, no doubt, is to remove the children from the noxious influence of home, but this cannot in all cases be accomplished. I purpose, therefore, that we should use three means; first, to offer board, education, and certain undoubted advantages, by way of exhibitions, &c., at such a rate as most tradesmen, in a fair way of business, can afford. Secondly, to receive weekly boarders at a reduced price, and thus partially remove them from home. Thirdly, to have good and efficient grammar schools in populous neighbourhoods, where boys may gain a sound and Christian education at about four or five pounds per annum, and daily boarders fourpence or fivepence per day extra for dinner. This last is the least we can do, and it will lay the foundation of something better for the future. In all cases a Clergyman to be at the head of the school, to accustom boys to the Clergy and to remove distrust. Further, the schools should be divided into two classes at least: the first would be suitable for the sons of the higher kind of tradesmen, professional men, and gentlemen of limited means; the second for the children of quite small tradesmen or even hucksters. These latter are a very important class, perhaps the most important; and with a little diligence and management might be picked up by thousands. In the first class schools the Church should offer education at a lower rate than any other body can, and should conduct her plans on the most imposing scale, to raise the thoughts and feelings of the boys in reference to the Church. Forty, fifty, or even sixty pounds per annum are now paid for even the very poorest education at vulgar, flashy boarding schools; we shall begin at thirty pounds per annum, without any extras, except books. I have ascertained from the large public schools, that the victualling department will cost about twelve pounds ten shillings per annum each boy. With numbers, therefore, sixteen pounds per annum, or a little more, will amply meet every demand, the cost of education excepted. The responsible masters will all be in holy orders, and in the first school, will, several of them, be volunteers, fellows of colleges, &c., willing to labour at a very small rate for the good of the rising generation. In its present infant state such a gentleman has charge of the school—a first class Oxford man. To every twenty-five boys there will be a principal master, and in the whole of the present establishment, which is ultimately designed to contain three hundred boys, twelve masters, in holy orders. The profit from each boy, when the cost of board, servants, &c., &c., is paid, will be £14 per annum. This, in the case of three hundred boys, will give £4200. Salary for twelve masters at an average of £100 per annum each, £1200; boarding, &c., for ditto, £500; total expense of masters, £1700. Further, I purpose to have ten scholars, chosen from those of the elder boys who wish to devote themselves to education: the cost of boarding these at £16 each will be £160 per annum; their stipends, at an average of £20 each, £200. Total expenses of the establishment, £2060; balance, £2140: deduct £140 for rates, taxes, &c., and you have £2000 per annum clear with which to help the less fortunate schools in connection, and to establish exhibitions in the Universities for persons of talent. At the end I will give you vouchers for the statistics.
Now let us turn to the second class schools. The London Orphan Asylum shall be our guide in the financial department: the boys that are there are for the most part the sons of the smaller kind of tradesmen, such as I aim at securing. The average cost of victualling them, &c., taking a period of ten years is, £10 per annum, without holidays. In our case, with two months' holidays, it would not exceed £9; extra expenses, servants, &c., making it up to £10 10s. per annum. These boys I would take at £14 per annum, and in a school of two hundred boys clear £700 for the cost of education. For these two hundred boys I would have four Clergymen, at an average stipend of £100 per annum each, with four lay assistants, sent gratuitously from the school class No. 1, and simply kept out of the funds of class No. 2. Here, again, then, should have sufficient funds to keep my second school going, especially when you take in the sums paid by day scholars in each of the schools. It only requires the absence of selfishness, and an earnest impression of the magnitude and dignity of the work, to make it entirely successful. The whole scheme will in the end, as you see, be self-supporting, but if otherwise it is a greater charity than even national schools. However, in procuring money for the buildings, &c.; I shall propose to gentlemen, that contributors of £50 should send for their life one boy to either school at £5 per annum less; contributors of £100, for £10 per annum less, and so on: one half of this will be funded to form endowments, and to supply means for increasing the number of scholars, who will be found able lay assistants in schools, either grammar or parochial. At first this perhaps will be a small loss, as the interest on the £25 will not compensate for the £5 less per annum in each case; this for a few years must be made up by the zeal of individuals; but as these sums fall in, a large fund will be created.
This is a rough sketch of my schools, to which I will only add, that the boys in any of the schools will be eligible to stand for the scholarships or any other prizes which the whole scheme has at its disposal.
Now for the constitution of my first school, for the building of which I am soliciting contributions. My intention is that it should be as simple as possible, conforming as far as may be to the rule of Winchester as it was at first, and only changing those things which time requires to be changed. In forming the internal rules and regulations of the school, the practical wisdom of those best acquainted with boys' natures will be consulted, and from the names of the promoters (given in the enclosed list of contributors) you will see I have a choice. Further, the building will be in the hands of trustees, but they will have no power to interfere with the Head master, whose appointment will be for life, or until he shall be removed by the visitor in a legal way. Three of the trustees will be appointed by those who contribute to the undertaking a sum of not less than £10. I shall appoint the fourth, and the fifth will be the Vicar of the parish for the time being. The duties of the trustees will be to take charge of the building, promote the prosperity of the school, audit the accounts annually, and supply a copy of them to the Visitor, and to the Bishop, if he be not the Visitor: and in conjunction with the President, Head master and seniority, and the Head masters of each of the dependent schools, make such votes and grants of surplus funds towards the promotion of education, as to them shall seem good: and further, with the aid of the same assistants they shall be able by a majority to veto any appointment of Head master which may be attempted to be forced upon them contrary to the spirit of the whole scheme. For the sake of uniting it with the University and to remove all suspicion of party purposes in this undertaking, it has been considered best to offer the nomination of the head master of this school to the President, Vice-President, and Divinity Dean, and the two Deans of Arts, of Magdalen College, Oxford. That society has, as you will see, already promoted the plan in an unusually friendly way, and there is every reason to believe that it will be a very liberal patron as the scheme matures. The masters of the dependent schools will be in the patronage of the parent society, as will be specially provided in the statutes. It is impossible for me to give you in a letter anything like an adequate account of this part of the arrangements, but everything will be submitted to the chief of the contributors and have the signatures of the trustees and the Bishop of the Diocese, before passing into law. The first cost of all this, and the difficulties to be encountered, may perhaps startle some, who yet wish well to it; and I also should be alarmed at my present boldness in making this appeal, if I stood alone and unassisted; but everybody, apparently, feels alike on the subject, and every private letter I have written to friends has been successful, and brought a contribution, in no case under £10, and in many a much larger amount. Then several difficulties have already vanished. I have a good site offered me at the foot of a range of Downs, with the sea in front, and within a few minutes' walk of the beach; the locality also is most suitable, so near to Brighton that it gives promise of a large supply of boys from that populous town, while no place can be more healthy, and its being by the seaside and close to immense ranges of Downs will make it attractive to many parents in London and other inland places: and lastly, the Vicar throws no obstacle in the way, but is a contributor towards it, and promoter of it. On the whole, therefore, nothing seems wanting but funds, and they, I doubt not, will come in due time. For agents to work the scheme there need be no fear; if hereafter we should require the services of a large body of Clergymen at the smallest stipends, I feel convinced I could secure them. Here then I end for the present, leaving you to reflect on the sum and substance of this letter, which is, first, that the Church's neglect of the middle classes is a fact, awful in itself, and dangerous to the peace of society; secondly, that by neglecting them, we virtually neglect the poor; and thirdly, that by returning to the practice of our forefathers, we may hope to render the present parochial and national school system thoroughly effective for the work it has undertaken.
Relying on your help and counsel,
Believe me, my dear
New Shoreham Vicarage,
March 1st, 1848.
P.S. I have taken a temporary residence and shall begin receiving boarders forthwith at, £30 per annum; this first school being designed, chiefly, for the sons of the upper portion of the middle class, such as professional men, &c.
Sum required for the first establishment, £6000.
Donations and Subscriptions may be paid at the undernamed places.
<poem> Messrs. Coutts and Co., 59, Strand. Messrs. Gosling and Sharpe, 19, Fleet Street. Messrs. Barclay, Bevan, Tritton, and Co., 54, Lombard Street. Mr. Masters, 78, New Bond Street. Oxford:—Robinson, Parsons, and Co., (Old Bank.) Cambridge:—Mortlock and Sons. Brighton:—Hall, West, and Co. Chichester:—Dendy, Comper, and Co.
Treasurer:—Henuy Tritton, Esq.
A LARGE PUBLIC SCHOOL IN LONDON.
The expense of each boy's and servant's diet per day:
|Meat, ¾ lb., at 7d. per lb.||5¼|
|Bread, 1 lb., at 1½d. per lb||1½|
|Potatoes and other vegetables (say) ½ lb., at 1d. per lb.||½|
|Milk, 1 pint, at 1½d||1½|
|Pudding or pie (once a week), at 2d. per week (about)||½|
|Beer, 1 pint||¾|
N.B. If beer instead of milk for suppers, then 2 pints of beer, and only half a pint of milk, which would make no difference in the total.
LONDON ORPHAN ASYLUM.
Average number of children, with cost of Provisions, fuel, and washing at per head, per annum, without holidays:
- Our parish register gives the following statistics. Of the first forty signatures, commencing at 1800, thirteen make their mark; of forty signatures in 1836, only nine make their mark, showing a great increase of those who can write; while of forty signatures in 1846, fourteen make their mark; showing a rapid decline. In 1800, there was only a very indifferent Church school kept in the belfry; in 1836, the present national school had been at work only seven years. We have now the best masters and mistresses that can be obtained; but it is doubtful if we shall succeed in stopping the decline which these particulars disclose. If religious knowledge could be tested in the same way, the same results, it is to be feared, would appear.