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SELF-SUPPORTING INSTITUTION FOR THREE
HUNDRED FAMILIES. SINCE the attention of the Legislature was more particularly called to the condition of the people by the Bishop of London in Parliament, in the
year 1839, the various accounts and reports of · their distresses, especially in the manufacturing districts, have continued to be at least equally afflicting.
The frequent recurrence, and sometimes long continuance, of privation and suffering, and that too in periods of abundance, and when scientific power has contributed to increase rapidly and in superfluity the comforts and conveniences of life, is an evil for which a remedy should be sought, and which demands the persevering inquiry and exertion of Christians until that remedy be found and applied.
As one mode of improving the condition of the people, it is proposed to form, in the centre of an adequate extent of land (not less than one thousand acres), arrangements, in connexion with the Church of England, in which, under efficient direction, three hundred families may be enabled, by the produce of their own labour, not only to
support themselves, but to defray the expenses of the Establishment. In these expenses would be included the interest of Capital advanced.
The chief employment of the congregated body would be agriculture, combined, at the discretion of the Committee of Management, with handicraft and mechanical pursuits.
It is in contemplation to take the land required on a long lease, for 30, 40, or 50 years, the more considerable portion of it uncultivated, reserving the power of purchasing within 20 years, upon the rental agreed on, at a sum not exceeding 25 years' purchase. *
The cost of the Institution may be estimated as follows:
300 Cottages, each containing 4 rooms, at £75 £22,500 Furnishing Apartments for 300 Families
3,000 Houses for Clergyman and Director
3,000 Lecture-room, Dining-hall, and Kitchen . 2,000
Carried forward . . . £34,100
* In a thousand acres of land there is a capability, by excess of labour beyond the average of that generally employed by the farmer, of yielding a gross produce of from £18,000 to £40,000 a-year. The evidence of this may be found in the “ Labourers' Friend Magazine” for November, 1841, p. 165; Colonel Crighton's“ Memoirs,” &c.; indeed, the amount in one instance quoted by him would be £44,888 per annum. See also Burn's “ Letter on Emigration,” p. 188—where it appears that upwards of £42 per acre were produced on down land at Brighton by spade cultivation.
Brought forward . . . £34,100 Schools, Store-houses, Infirmary, with Dwellings for
Schoolmasters and Mistresses, Surgeon, &c. 4,000 Fitting up School-rooms and Lecture-room , 200 Secretary's Residence, Committee-room, and Lodging
for Strangers and Visiting Committee. . 2,000 Fitting up Secretary's and Committee-room
100 Farming Establishment, including Bailiff's House, Stabling, &c. . .
3,000 Workshops, Tools, Apparatus, &c. . .
2,000 Fitting up Infirmary . » Kitchen . . . . . 200
Total . . . . . . £45,800
To the said outlay of £45,800, add for food and clothing for the first year £14,200, thus making the total capital required £60,000, which amount it is proposed to raise in Shares of £20 each, and by Loans and Donations.
It appears from Mr. Rickman’s Population Tables, that in 1,200 persons, co-existing in the county of Surrey, there is an average of 318 individuals, male and female, under 10 years of age.
from 10 to 15 » 680
, 15 to 60 , 75
, 60 and upwards. 1,200
In the following estimate of the value of the labour of 1,200 persons, that of the children under 10 years is not taken into account; the labour of 8 of the second class, 19 of the third, and 5 of the fourth, engaged in domestic purposes, being 32; and also 5 of the second, 20 of the third, and 10
of the fourth, being 35, are supposed to be ineffective, through indisposition and other causes.
114 persons from 10 to 15, at 4s. per week £1,185 12 0 641 , 15 to 60, 10s. ,
16,666 0 0 60 60 & upwards 5s. ,
780 0 0 815
£18,631 12 0 From which must be deductedStipend for Clergyman . . . £300 Salaries.
. 750 Interest on £60,000, at 5 per cent . 3,000 Rent of Land .
• 750 Food and Clothing for 300 families,
or 1,200 persons* Taxes and Contingencies . : : 300 14,460 0 0
Leaving a balance of . . £4,171 120
Each person, besides being engaged more or less in agriculture, the main pursuit, shall also be employed in that kind of work for which he is best qualified.
As these arrangements will afford, by means of classification, the best opportunity of directing each species of talent or labour to its most congenial occupation, a larger amount of productions would be realised than under a system where peculiar talent or skill can rarely find its appropriate sphere of action, and where, in the absence of a
* The economical advantages of a plan of combined production and consumption upon a large scale, it is well known, are most extrordinary, in consequence of the great saving in the various profits and carriages.
wise economy of time and labour, the industry of many is so ill-directed as to produce no real wealth, while thousands are totally unemployed.
It being the object of this plan to raise the moral and religious character of the people, the production of wealth must not only be subordinate, but subservient, to that important end. Hence, in these arrangements, the reasonable comforts of all parties are considered; involving thereby a larger outlay than would be required if the object were merely commercial.
The advantages to be enjoyed by the inmates would be the following : the best of food (in their own cottages, if preferred), comfortable clothing and habitations, good education for their children, with leisure for rational recreation and improvement, either in the Institution or elsewhere. Should it be thought desirable, each family might be allowed, at the end of the year, some additional recompense according to circumstances, and at the discretion of the Committee. Any individual will be at liberty to withdraw upon giving three months' notice.
The surplus might be applied for the first few years to an Endowment for the Church, to a permanent provision for the schools, and subsequently to the promotion of Christian and philanthropic objects, as may be hereafter determined.