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children they could not bring under instruc- manufactures previously carried on without tion, for the provision of food and clothes came government inspection under regulations anfirst, and there were no elementary breakfast alogous to those under those acts. The sixth and dinner tables. To voluntary efforts, which and final report of the commission, howhad chiefly grown out of the ragged-school ever, related to women, children, and young movement, the most necessitous of the children persons engaged in agriculture, and its reof the large towns were left, and are left still. velations respecting the system of employIndustrial schools, however, now include re- ing agricultural gangs, or companies of young fuges as well as reformatories. Crime is still persons and children of both sexes, in Linregarded as a primary claim to participation colnshire, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, in the advantages of schools where the re- Norfolk, Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, and to formatory system is adopted, and such schools some extent in Bedford, Rutland, and Northare entirely apart from the provisions of the ampton, were appalling. Elementary Education Act, but the school- Gang - masters, - mostly depraved and boards, through their officers, make use of drunken ruffians,-were employed to provide industrial schools for the purpose of rescu- field labour, and they did so by collecting ing children who are so friendless that they from the surrounding villages, companies of are not eligible for the board-schools. Like boys, girls, and women-some of the children many of the institutions of this country, being mere infants, whom the parents, miserthe two systems have come to work affini- ably poor, sent out with the rest for the sake tively, though they differ so greatly that at of the few pence they could earn. The gangfirst they appeared to be opposed in principle. masters had almost entire control of the The authorities of the board-schools, supported children, for they alone could find them regupartly by rates, partly by government grants, lar employment, and that employment could and partly by fees paid by parents, soon dis- scarcely have found a parallel in negro slavery, covered the value of schools originally founded for the gangs were driven to labour under by benevolent contributions, as refuges for conditions in some respects worse than those the reception of the homeless and the desti- to which slaves on plantations were subject. tute, and many of these institutions were Of children of eight years old, or even younger, made certificated industrial schools, supported and lads and girls of 14 or 15, or older, these partly by benevolent support, partly by the gangs were composed, and the report on the government grant—which is now in some in

evidence saysstances their chief dependence.

“When the gangs are working at a con

siderable distance from home the children While philanthropists were almost dis- leave as early as five in the morning and do heartened by the aspect of large towns, and not return before eight at night, and the few especially of the metropolis, with regard to who attend the Sunday-schools after the lathe condition of destitute children, there were bours of the week are described as in a state agricultural districts in which no less strin- of exhaustion which it is distressing to witness. gent measures were needed to protect children A little boy only six years of age is stated to employed in farm or field labour.

have regularly walked more than six miles out A commission of inquiry into the employ- | to work, and often to come home so tired that ments of women and children in 1865-66 had he could scarcely stand. Walking, the gangdisclosed a large amount of suffering among masters themselves admit, is more trying to a million and a half of young persons and the children than working. When the gang children, occupied in various manufactures has a long distance to go the children become and employments not coming under the regu- so exhausted, that the elder ones are seen lations of the Factories Act. The details of dragging the younger ones home, sometimes the evidence elicited on the subject were so carrying them on their backs. In winter the painful that bills were brought in to place all children often return from the fields crying AGRICULTURAL GANGS_“ BOARD-SCHOOLS.”

283

from the cold. 'Last night,' said the mother and shamelessness; and that the obscenity of of a little boy seven years of age, 'when my their conversation and of their songs was such Henry came home he lay up quite stiff and as needed to be heard to be believed. And cold; he is often very tired, and will fall down this was little more than seventeen years ago. and drop asleep with the food in his mouth.' It was not till July, 1867, that a bill, brought In some parts of the fen districts the children in by the Earl of Shaftesbury, forbade the are compelled to jump the dykes, an exertion employment of girls of less than 13 years old causing frequent accidents, and one poor girl in agricultural labour for hire, or the employdied from the effects of an effort beyond her ment of women under 18 in public gangs. Yet strength."

there existed schools supported by voluntary “It is a common practice for the gang-master subscriptions, and having no connection with to carry a stick or a whip, but rather, it is said, the government, and schools aided by the to frighten the children with than for use; but state and under the control of the committee the treatment depends entirely upon his dis- of the privy-council of education. There were position. There is no control or possibility of Dissenting schools, Church schools, national control, for the children know that remon- schools, infant schools; there was an educastrance would be immediately followed by tion department, administering a sum of expulsion from the gang, and the parents, money annually granted by parliament “to having a pecuniary interest in their labour, promote the education of children belonging would but too certainly shut their ears to any to the classes who support themselves by complaints. Instances are not uncommon of manual labour.” The means employed were severe and lasting injuries having been in- to aid voluntary local exertion, to establish or flicted by brutal gang-masters, and gross out- maintain schools for the elementary instrucrages, such as kicking, knocking down, beating tion of children, or for training teachers in with hoes, spuds, or a leather strap, 'dyking,' normal schools. The schools were to be in or pushing into the water, and 'gibbeting,' i.e. connection with some recognized religious lifting a child off the ground and holding it denomination, or to include besides secular there by the chin and the back of the neck, instruction the daily reading of the Scripare said to be frequent.”

tures from the Authorized Version. Aid was The labour in the wet fields was dreadful, the given to establish schools, and to support such worst being stone picking, at which exhaust- as were open to inspection by appointed ing toil children worked eight or nine hours inspectors, upon whose reports the grants a day; but turnip pulling was nearly as bad, were made. There were thus building grants and, indeed, the manner in which the work was and annual grants. often urged on by a brutal taskmaster had Whatever may have been the endeavour to effects, which need not be repeated here, but make these provisions into a system of national were quite as serious as many of those re- education, it had signally failed, or rather it corded in the worst accounts of West India had never approached success. On all hands it slavery.

was felt that a wide and inclusive measure must The physical consequences were horrible be brought in, and the act introduced by Mr. enough, the moral consequences worse.

In Forster was received with serious interest. It those mixed gangs of women, boys, and girls was, he explained, intended to secure by enactthe depravity was beyond description. All pu- ment efficient school provision in every district rity, even the semblanceof it, often disappeared. in England where it was wanted. The disA policeman, speaking of the gangs in his tricts were to be the civil parishes. Any district, and especially of the gross inimorality district supplying a sufficient amount of priof the girls at an early age, said that although mary secular instruction would be let alone so he had been employed for many years in long as it continued to do so. Schools entitled detective duty in some of the worst parts of to government aid were to be efficient accorLondon, he never witnessed equal boldness ding to a fixed standard, and compulsory

of age.

inspection would be applied to every school gated the wrath of those Nonconformists who
without any denominational conditions, while demanded exclusively secular education.
the adoption of a conscience clause would be Some particulars of the work which had
the condition of any grant, whether for build- been accomplished when the Elementary Edu-
ing or any

other
purpose.

The bill was cation Act had been for ten years in operacalculated to establish a system of schools tion, may do more to illustrate the working under the direction of school-boards through- of the scheme than any general remarks upon out England and Wales, each board to have the predictions which attended its introducpowers to frame bye-laws, and to compel tion. We find by statistical returns in the the attendance of children in the district report of the committee of council on educawho were between five and twelve years tion for 1881 that in the year ended August

31, 1881, the inspectors visited 18,062 dayThe reference of the compulsory clause schools in England and Wales, to which to the boards offended the extreme stick- annual grants were made, these furnishing lers for absolute compulsion; the compro- accommodation for 4,389,633 scholars, or mise of a conscience clause for some time rather more than one-sixth of the population. alienated hard-and-fast advocates of secular There were on the registers the names of education only; while a third party objected 4,045,362 children, of whom 1,268,250 were to the provision of funds by the mixed method under seven years of age, 2,573,081 between of school fees, rates, and government grants seven and thirteen, 157,584 between thirteen for efficiency. Though free schools were to and fourteen, and 45,727 above fourteen. be provided in districts where the poverty These figures show some improvement upon of the inhabitants made gratuitous instruction the returns quoted in the previous report, the necessary, there were some who advocated the

accommodation having increased by 148,880 provision of free education all round. We

school places (or 3:51 per cent), and the scholars need not further discuss the questions which on the registers by 149,538 (3-84 per cent). arose, many of which continued for some time

The average attendance also had increased by after the vigorous exertions of the boards had 112,619 (4:09 per cent), and the number of multiplied schools with amazing rapidity. children individually examined by 91,165 The first chairman of the London School (4-8 per cent). The annual government grant Board was Lord Lawrence, whose powers of to elementary dayschools rose in the year organization were well applied to this impor- from £2,130,009 to £2,247,507, or from 158. tant work, and he was ably assisted by Sir 5{d. to 158. 8d. per scholar in average Charles Reed, who, after the death of the

attendance; while the grant for the current famous Indian administrator, became chair- financial year was estimated at 16s. per head. man, and carried on the work with a vigour The number of voluntary schools was 14,370, against which there were some remonstrances, with accommodation for 3,195,365, and an though the answer was to be found in the average attendance of 2,007,184; while the statistics, published by the board, of the num- number of board-schools was 3692, with accomber of children still waiting to be received. modation for 1,194,268, and an average attend

The government could not satisfy all the ance of 856,351. The expenditure per scholar objections that were urged against the bill, in average attendance was for the whole of and the Nonconformists afterwards showed | England and Wales £1,14s.11}d. in voluntary, their disaffection in a manner which contri- and £2, 18. 6d. in board schools. Of the latter buted to the defeat of the government. Mr. the highest was London (£2, 158. 104d.), and Bright was absent from the house, suffer- the lowest Hull (£1, 98. 11d.—18. 9 d. lower ing from a severe illness which for a time than the Roman Catholic, which are the made it doubtful whether he would ever lowest of the voluntary schools); whilst Bradagain be able to resume either ministerial or ford was £2, 6s. 6d., Liverpool £2, 38. 3}d., parliamentary duties, or he might have miti- | Manchester £1, 198. 0fd., Birmingham £1,

THE FRANCO-GERMAN WAR.

285

185. 17d., and Leeds and Sheffield both or return to the United Kingdom, was also £1, 178. 5 d.

an event which was regarded with considerAt the same time it was averred by those able interest. who were likely to be well informed that the system of estimating the true value of the The Franco-German war that terrible teaching did not in all instances work satis- conflict which made Napoleon III. a prisoner factorily. The National Union of Elemen- and an exile, and gave occasion for the King tary Teachers was protesting against the over- of Prussia to accomplish North German unity pressure on scholars and teachers under the under his own empire-has its own history. education code. It was stated that inspectors, It need bear no prominent part here, for it school managers, and school-boards attached so has little directly to do with the social and much importance to the mere percentage of political progress of England, except, indeed, passes in the annual examinations, and made that our having remained strictly neutral was so little of the higher results of moral and some evidence of our advance in wisdom and intellectual training, or the quality of the in judgment. The greatest anxiety of the passes, that teachers were compelled against government was for Belgium, and it was their wish to adopt a cramming system, and much increased, while public suspicion was to bring undue pressure upon dull and weak excited, by the publication in the Times of an children in order to keep up the reputation alleged draft treaty between Count Bismarck of the schools and to maintain their profes- and M. Benedetti, when the latter was French sional position. The teachers implied that minister at Berlin. This treaty was obviously practically the code was based on the prin intended to secure Belgium to France. The ciple that all children can progress at the same matter was serious, but Mr. Gladstone prerate, and that its provisions endangered the served a calm and moderate attitude, while so-called “results” if such children were edu- waiting for explanations from the French cated naturally. Special difficulties existed in and Prussian governments. Count Bismarck, girls' and infants' schools, where an inordinate it appeared, had published the document to amount of needlework was demanded from show what kind of proposal had been made, children of tender years in addition to the and by that means to secure the alliance of ordinary subjects of instruction. It was stated England and Belgium. All that Mr. Gladthat the extra worry and labour caused by stone did when France first denied and then regulations in the code, might be greatly admitted that the document was authentic, reduced by allowing the managers to with- was to ask for two millions of money and an hold from examination, or to present again in increase in the army by 20,000 men.

His the same standard, children not able by reason desire was to remain on friendly terms with of dulness or bad attendance to advance at the antagonists, that England might take the average rate, such power not to extend the earliest occasion (should it arise), either beyond 10 per cent of those on the books for alone or with others, to bear a message of the last 22 weeks of the school year.

peace.

This was in accordance with the

general feeling of the country, and a new The final passing of the education bill con- treaty was signed between Russia, France, cluded the session of 1870 so far as important and England, engaging to maintain the indeineasures were concerned. It may also be noted pendence of Belgium as provided in the that an order in council directed that from treaty of 1839. the 31st of August appointments to the civil As the war between France and Prussia service of the state would be by competitive went on there appeared to be a peculiar examination. The announcement of the in- change in public feeling here, and though tended release of the Fenian prisoners under- after the siege of Paris, where the inhabitants going sentences for treason or treason-felony, had suffered dreadful privations, we were on condition that they should not remain in ) prompt in sending relief to the famislied people, something like adulation was heard to the effect that the Lords could not consider in reference to German prowess. For a time the proposal till a more comprehensive scheme German tactics, German promptitude, German was brought before them. This plan of burkorganization were the foremost topics of con- ing the bill was ingenious, but the intention versation, and perhaps deservedly so, and then was obvious, and Mr. Gladstone frustrated in relation to our own board-school teaching, it by a plan which aroused much remonthe German method of education was every- strance among some of his own supporters, where lauded as something very near perfec- including Mr. Fawcett, a very thorough tion, only a few people venturing to doubt Liberal of the school of Mill, who was whether it was as effectual as its admirers returned for Brighton in 1863, and was a represented it to be.

noted man in the house, not only because of The position of affairs in Europe, and some his great ability, but because several years movement in public opinion on the subject of previously an accident had deprived hiin of a comparison between England and other na- his sight, a calamity which made little diftions in the matter of military government, ference in his pursuits, in his intellectual made the time seem favourable for bringing achievements, or even in his robust recreations. forward the proposed system of army reform, Mr. Gladstone checkmated the Lords by which had been prepared by Mr. Cardwell, the an expedient which, for a moment, at all minister of war. To purchase a commission, events, looked unconstitutional, and for which and to follow that up by purchasing successive nobody seemed able to find a precedent. The steps in the service, had been the rule, so that a purchase system was originated by a royal commission represented actual property, just as warrant, making it a privilege, and therefore a horse, a house, or the good-will of a business he had advised the queen to aid the reformamight. It was, in fact, a matter of bargain and tion of the army by cancelling the warrant. sale, and the regulation price of a commission at Perhaps her majesty may not have been unthe Horse Guards was often far exceeded by its willing to do so, when she remembered some actual selling value. It is scarcely surprising, opinions of the Prince Consort on the subtherefore, that whenever abolition of purchase ject. At all events it was done, and purhad been proposed, as it had been by Sir de chase was made illegal. The only effect of the Lacy Evans, and more recently by Mr. Tre- Lords rejecting the bill now would be that velyan, a whole contingent of officers frantic- they would vote against compensation to the ally declared that the service was going to the holders of purchased commissions, for that was bad; and another contingent, believing pur- all of the bill that was left. They therechasing a commission was the only way to fore passed a vote of censure on the ministry keep the commodity in the hands best fitted by a majority of eighty, and then passed the to adorn it, determined to fight the bill to the measure without more delay. last. It soon became evident that they were The University Tests Bill was also carried strong enough, aided by the opposition, to without any serious alteration, and the Ecclearrest the progress of the bill so that it might siastical Titles Bill put an end to another go over the session, and therefore the part of intolerant demand which had remained ever it relating to reorganization of the army was since the "papal aggression." The Trades abandoned, and only the abolition of purchase Union Act, while forbidding the violence clauses retained; with a strong hiut to the exercised by workmen in the case of strikes, clamorous opponents that as all premiums on yet defined what was and what was not illegal the original price of commissions were illegal, interference, and did something to bring about the law might be put in force. The bill passed a better understanding between employers and the Commons, but in the House of Lords a their “hands." The Local Government Acts clever expedient was tried for the purpose of extended to small towns and villages the addelaying and then shelving the whole natter. vantages of managing their corporate business, The Duke of Richmond moved an amenilment which had previously been confined to cities

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