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HULL RAGGED AND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS.
9 are learning to write, and 19 are learning to read. In the industrial department 9 can make shirts ; 26 can make frocks, pinafores, etc. ; 22 can knit, and 13 can sew a little. Several of the more advanced girls are employed in the kitchen, scullery, etc., and in ordinary domestic duties.
“As evincing the industry of the children the subjoined statement of work performed will not be without interest.
“Of articles of boys' wearing apparel the following have been partly made, altered, or repaired by the boys themselves for their own use, and paid for out of their nominal earnings :—23 blouses, 23 jackets, 45 pairs of trousers, 12 waistcoats, and 5 cloth caps. They have also made 27 door mats for sale, and 5 large ones to order.
“ In like manner the girls have wholly made and earned for their own use -38 frocks, 26 pinafores, and upwards of 40 other articles of wearing apparel. They have also made 38 striped shirts for the boys, several linen shirts to order, and 24 dozens of small articles of household use for sale.
“Besides these, the boys have had 27 and the girls 24 pairs of shoes during the year.
“ The statistics just given show accurately the industrial progress of the children, and how far they have acquired the means of gaining knowledge. But this is not all
. The Committee would have thought it much to teach the poor children under their care how to read and write, and practise the first rules of arithmetic, and still more to train them up in habits of obedience, order, and industry; but they were by no means satisfied to rest there. Their object was, if possible, to reform the class of children they had singled out; and they have always felt convinced that if the reformation were to be real, religion was its only sure basis. They were convinced that it was in vain to expect the offspring of the idle and the dissolute—children nurtured in vice and familiarised even in infancy with scenes of riot and debauchery-nay possibly with acts of positive crime-to become upright and virtuous members of society if from their education the religious element was entirely excluded. They believe they would have failed in their duty if they had permitted a single child to leave the schoolshowever brief might have been its stay there—without some knowledge of God in the world. It has, therefore, been the invariable practice since the opening of the schools to commence and conclude each day's duties with prayer and the reading of God's Holy Word; and the paid teachers, assisted by many kind-hearted volunteers of all religious denominations, have laboured—it is hoped and believed not unsuccessfullyto impart knowledge and implant principles which will serve not alone to make the children useful and honoured members of society here, but aspirants after a happy immortality;
“Such, then, being the gratifying results of a three years' trial of Ragged and Industrial Schools in Hull, the Committee feel justified in urging upon those who have hitherto held aloof from the experiment, the duty of promoting and increasing its success by their pecuniary contributions, and when possible, by their personal exertions. The Committee believe that both on social, political, and religious grounds, the industrial training and scriptural education of the children of the destitute-or, as they are often truly called, of the “dangerous” classes, is an object of first-class importance. And it is on the last-named ground especially, that they would most respectfully, but most earnestly, urge upon the clergy and ministers of the gospel of all persuasions in this town, the propriety of a direct appeal to their congregations for pecuniary support to the schools." The Committee would beg of them to remember that the vast majority of the children admitted to the Ragged Schools have never attended school before could not even attend a free school where no food was offered them; that many
of them had never entered the doors of church or chapel; that they are for the most part vagrants and mendicants—some of them, it may be, worse ; and but for this institution they would, in all probability, live without ever being taught their duty to their neighbour, and die without ever having heard--save in blasphemous phrase—the name of that great Creator of whose laws their whole career has been a systematic violation.
“One or two other circumstances in connection with the schools remain to be noticed.
“To increase the efficiency of supervision, and to ensure the admission of destitute children only, the Committee have engaged the services of a visiting agent. He has the superintendence of the children when following out-door occupation (to afford them which the Committee have rented a small piece of land); he also visits their respective abodes, and while detecting imposture, and guarding the institution from abuse, acts as a town missionary among the very classes most in need of such visitation.
“One other subject must be adverted to—that of juvenile mendicancy. The Committee desire distinctly to state that one of the greatest impediments in the way of complete success—if not the greatest—is the readiness with which kindly disposed, but ill-judging persons bestow alms upon the street beggars. So long as street begging is profitable, so long will it be extensively practised, and so long will complete success on the part of the Ragged and Industrial Schools be rendered impossible. During the past year, several children who were admitted to the Schools have left them to resume their occupation as street beggars, because in the latter capacity they could not only obtain food for themselves, but carry home money at night, which would minister to the depraved tastes of their idle and dissolute parents. The Committee therefore feel it their duty to state that the money thus indiscriminately given to the children in the streets is worse than wasted, inasmuch as it is, for the most part, squandered in dissipation, and because no really destitute children need apply for admission to the Ragged Schools in vain.
There was at the close of the preceding year a balance of £50. 198. 3d. owing to the treasurer, the cost of keeping the children and their education, including school requisites, salaries, food, materials for clothing, etc., had been £316. 58. 2d. The cleaning, etc. of the premises had cost £15. 195. 6d., making a total expenditure of £383. 3s. 11d. The receipts including collection at annual meeting, Jan. 23, 1851, £17. 168.; subscriptions, £225. 38. 4d. ; donations, £64. 2s. ; produce of sale of mats, etc., £8. 178. 2d., leaving a balance due to the treasurer of £67. 58. 5d.”
Ragged Schools, 5, Dorchester Place, London.
Ragged Schools, 5, Dorchester Place, London.
Ragged School, London.
School, London. Harriett Dunne, aged 10, Refuge for
Girls from Ragged School, 5, Dorchester Place, London. Our little country friends appear to have relaxed their efforts. We have po answers from Scotland, nor from the Lambeth, or King Edward's Schools, in London, and scarcely any from Field Lane, and many other large schools well able to send them.
Most praiseworthy exertions have been used in answering Question 6, but the girls have been far more persevering than the boys throughout the whole of the schools.
We intend in future to give the names of one or two of the children whose labours merit approval, though they have been unsuccessful in obtaining the prizes. Many answers are still thrown away from want of compliance with the rules laid down for direction. It is highly satisfactory to find that all the prizes hitherto awarded have been given to very deserving children, but in several instances among those who have been unsuccessful there is evidence of assistance having been given to the writers, and of their using each other's help.
QUESTIONS FOR APRIL. 10. Give three verses describing the sin of idolatry. 11. Mention three remarkable answers to prayer recorded in the Epistles. 12. What two verses distinguish between "justification" and " sanctificaSTEPPERS. The question, "Who will start her?” which I asked under this head in last month's Magazine, is now answered. The Committee of the Refuge for Girls from Ragged Schools, No. 5, Dorchester Place, have circulated a printed notice, announcing the formation of a little band of “ Steppers.” I am glad to find that three girls from this school have obtained Bible Prizes this month. An active set of children generally betokens an active Committee-Who will assist them P Temple.
To the Editor of the Ragged School Union Magazine.
Edinburgh, 4, Athall Place,
20th March, 1852. DEAR SIR, I intended to have written to you some time ago on the subject referred to by “ A Ragged School Teacher," in the January number of your Magazine.
It would be a real misfortune if any reason were to induce the proprietors of this periodical to stop its publication, and most certainly the reason alluded to by your correspondent ought not to be allowed to do so.
Such a reason should not be permitted to have even the shadow of an existence, and rigorous means should immediately be taken to render the deprecated event impossible.
I value the Magazine because it is the only Ragged School record of current events, details, etc. ; because it is the only special vehicle for the conveyance of individual experience; because it is the only literary agent for the advancement of a cause second in importance to none which the moral necessities of our country have called into existence. Every Ragged School Director in the kingdom ought to possess the Magazine ; and I believe that this has only to be suggested to them in order to its being forthwith adopted. The Secretaries of the different schools should charge themselves with the duty of thus recruiting your subscription list. Such a proceeding would materially assist you in the more arduous, but not more important work of causing the mass of Ragged School supporters to avail themselves of your labour.
I rejoice to think that the Magazine is to be continued for another year at least, and you may, perhaps, be of opinion that, under these circumstances, I might have remained silent. I might have done so. My apology for intruding upon you is that I cannot contemplate the possibility of a step in retreat without alarm. The success of our great enterprise depends on steady advance.
The interests involved in this enterprise are very much greater than the majority of men imagine. Regarded as a thing per se, it is big enough ; but when we consider that it is a part only of a great process that has commenced for the moral reformation and social improvement of the people, the reason will become patent to all who have the good of their country at heart, why anything akin to supineness should cease to be indulged in by any of them, and most of all by those who have undertaken (God helping them) to renovate the foundation of the social fabric.
If Ragged Schools are allowed to wither, what will happen ? I don't know; but I doubt if the great emigration which your illustrious President projected will take place ; and if not, then England must continue to be glutted with an evil surplussage, which otherwise she would send to her colonies in the form of educated and industrial trained youth.
We may, with much reason, ask cui bono the education of what are called the masses, if masses at large which underlie them are neglected ? On the whole, it will be time enough for the friends of the outcast to allow your Magazine to die when it has fulfilled its function; when Ragged Schools, their meaning, power, management, etc., are thoroughly understood; when they have ceased to constitute a sort of appendage to the educational apparatus of the country; when they are no longer dependent for existence on the precarious charity of many, supplemented by the liberality of the enlightened few; but when they will be practically recognised by the country as institutes which it is her interest, as well as her duty, to foster and keep in efficient working order. Believe me to be, yours truly,
G. BELL, Secretary to the Edinburgh Original Ragged Schools. P.S.- I get two copies of your Magazine, one of which you kindly send me gratis, and which, being a stamped copy, I make to circulate. Ioam much obliged to your correspondent for his suggestion, and I herewith enclose the price of the Magazine for the current year.-G.B.
Waterford, March 14th, 1852. DEAR SIR,—The pressure of parochial engagements prevented me sooner acknowledging the receipt of your favour of the 24th ult. I now gladly avail myself of your kind offer, for which we are much obliged, to give insertion in your Magazine to a paper setting forth the circumstances of our Ragged School
, together with a few particulars of interest connected with it; trusting that when the Christian public of the sister country hear our short and simple story, they will feel disposed to extend to the poor ragged ones of Waterford a measure of that sympathy and succour which our English brethren have þeen ever ready to accord to us in the hour of need.
Having heard of the wonderful success attending the “ Ragged School system” in England, and other places where it has been brought into operation, it occurred to a few benevolent individuals in Waterford, who had long witnessed, with painful concern, the sadly neglected and degraded condition of a large portion of the Roman Catholic poor, to make trial of that system here. Accordingly a school of the kind was opened in the month of April last, at which some fifteen or twenty children attended. Each successive Sunday showed an encouraging increase in the numbers, as well as in the interest manifested by the children, until we now can count our hundreds ; and this, be it remembered, in the face of priestly threat and denunciation, in one of the most bigoted popish parts of Ireland ? I should also mention, that on Sunday evenings a class been formed consisting of adult females, now amounting to upwards of eighty, many of whom come with their infants in their arms, and listen to a portion of the Bible read and explained.
Our numbers having thus increased beyond our most sanguine expectations, we have been encouraged to open a daily school, which already gives promise of being as numerously attended as the Sabbath School.
But here is our difficulty. The very efficient agency we can command on Sundays is not available, at least to the extent required, during the other days of the week. In order to the proper working of the school we require at least TWO PAID TEACHERS, of experience, who would give their undivided time and attention to the school, the voluntary teachers helping them by turns. Two such teachers might be procured for about £40 a year. To enable us to meet this sum, and secure this service, we are obliged to look to the generous sympathy of British Christians, our local resources being equal only to the maintenance of the Sunday School. Nor shall we, I am persuaded, look in vain. “Hitherto the Lord has helped us.”. Each week affords some fresh evidence of his favour and blessing. The following extracts from the Journal
of one of our teachers, as affording a specimen of the good that is being done, as well as an earnest of the greater good yet, we hope, to be effected, cannot fail, I think, to prove interesting to your readers, as it is encouraging to ourselves :
“Feb. 29. A poor woman in Miss M. T.'s class, whose subject that evening was John iv., said, with much earnestness of manner and deep feeling, “I never heard such words before, old as am-such beautiful words!' Miss T. remarked that she did not look as old as she represented herself; to which the poor woman replied, “Yes, yes, and it's I have had my share of sorrow. I have buried my husband and six children, but if they were now alive I know where I could send them—it's here I would.' This woman appeared in intelligence superior to the other women. She spoke fearlessly, and before at least thirty women; but her mind seemed absorbed with the subject to which she had been attentively listening; and when she raised her head, (which was bent while Miss T. was reading and speaking,) the tears ran down her face as she said what has been mentioned. “A girl named Anne Cahil, about eighteen years of age, who reads well
, and has been attending the school about six weeks, hearing the teacher advise a little boy (who could also read, but was unwilling to read the Bible, through fear of a boy in the room, who threatened to tell the monks if he did so) not to be afraid to read the Bible; and being asked her opinion of it, replied with much emphasis, clasping the book in her hands, I never saw a Bible till I came here, and a holier book I never read.' And yet,' said the teacher, some call it the devil's book!' She answered, “No, but it makes us up to his ways; it tells us all about our souls, and sin, and Christ, and heaven. And Christ is everything in it.”
“ March 7. Two women, who have been regular attendants at the Adult Class, were absent last Sunday. On the following morning their teacher ascertained the cause of their absence. She found that some of their neighbours had come near to the school-house to watch them, and warned them not to go in, else they would make a real noise;' so they, for peace sake, passed the door. Well,' asked the teacher, do you hear anything you think wrong? One of them made answer, No Miss, I often says to Mrs.
it lightens my heart to go there. Yes,' said the other, there is a comfort in listening ; no matter how heavy my heart is, I come away lighter.' The same evening two women appeared standing at the school-house door, looking very inquisitive. The man in charge of the place invited them in. They at first refused; but at length one of them said she should like to look in and see the picture of the Virgin that was behind the door. He said that there was not any picture in the house. They then became more unreserved, and told him that it was generally believed a picture of the Virgin was there, and that each person that went in had to spit on it before they sat down! He then took them in to see for themselves, and hear what was going on, at the same time telling them it was God's word that was read there. On going away, they said they were now convinced that what had been told them was untrue, and civilly blessed the lady they had been listening to.” Looking, then, to the encouragements our efforts have already met with, in the increase of our numbers, and the lively interest the majority of them evince in the reception of Scriptural instruction-taking in the blessed truths of the Gospel with an avidity really only equalled by that with which they take in their morsel of bread-we are forbid to doubt that the Lord is with us, and in the confidence that the cause is His, we make this appeal. I remain, dear Sir, faithfully yours,
Curate of St. Patrick's. (Contributions on behalf of this interesting school will be most thankfully received by the Secretary of the Ragged School Union, at the Office, i, Exeter Hall, Strand.—ED.]