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The Rev. Herbert Smith having almost despaired of meeting with any one to sympathize with his views respecting the aged poor, who, at the same time, had sufficient means, influence, or energy to aid him in the effective execution of his plans for their benefit, had made known his intention (by advertisement in the Post Office Directory) of devoting the Asylum erected for aged poor, to the service of the Church, as a College for Deacons. Since the insertion of that advertisement, a clerical friend has requested that another energetic attempt should be made to restore it to its original design, so satisfactorily conducted for two years. This has been assented to, and the building is to be reserved for that purpose during the whole of the year 1847. The friends of the aged poor are, therefore, requested to exert themselves to the utmost during the year just begun, to raise a sufficient som for the purchase of the property at a fair valuation. The expenses attending the execution of such a design have been considerable ; but when the expenses are compared with the extent of the design, or with other establishments on a similar scale, they will be allowed (the advocate of the object hopes) to be moderate.
In addition to all the exertions of body and mind which have been most cheerfully given to the object during a period of nearly seven years, the Rev. Herbert Smith now offers to contribute towards the purchase of the building £50; towards the endowment £50. Miss Cotton, of Shirley, has given towards the purchase of the building £3; towards the endowment £3.
COTTAGES FOR AGED AND INFIRM POOR.
Five Freehold Cottages, near the Almshouses, Shirley, are now rented for the purpose of promoting the principles and plans for improving the character and condition of the labouring classes. Two of these cottages are for the aged and infirm poor, which will be let on the following terms and conditions : The two rooms on the ground floor will be let together at ls. 3d. per week; the front room on the first floor at 9d. per week, and the back room at 6d. per week. A deposit of four times the weekly rent must be paid on entering, as security for the regular payment of the rent. The rent must be paid at the end of every week. When there is a fortnight's arrears in the rent, the tenant will have notice to quit at the end of a fortnight, unless the arrears of rent are paid up previously. None but the respectable aged and infirm poor will be received as tenants.
From the OXFORD UNIVERSITY HERALD, February 26th, 1842.
“The Poor.-Our attention has been called to an institution established at Shirley, near Southampton, for the virtuous aged and infirm poor, the object of which is to provide an asylum, distinct from the Union Workhouses, for those persons who, known to be respectable and of good character and conduct, may require assistance, and who may in this institution retire to a quiet and comfortable abode, where living rent free, and under the superintendance of the clergyman and committee, they may receive the attention and aid of the benevolent. We cannot but regard this as a most desirable plan, one which, if carried out extensively through the country, would materially increase the comforts of the deserving, whilst it would do away with much that is harsh and reprehensible in the Union Workhouses, and tend generally to abate the hostility shewn to a system which, if more judiciously and humanely carried out, has still much in it that is good. The public are indebted to the Rev. Herbert Smith, the Curate of Stratton, for the idea of the Shirley Asylum. That gentleman has printed several cheap pamphlets developing his plan, and urging the propriety and necessity of adopting some measure of this description; and we are bound to own that his suggestions appear to us not only to be of great national importance, but generally, practicable, and highly deserving the attention of the public. It appears that the Asylum at Shirley has worked well, and fully answered the purpose for which it was designed. During the last year sixteen persons, whose ages vary from 55 to 77, have been domesticated in this peaceful retreat, and eight others are about to take up their residence there ; and it is most satisfactory to find, from the testimony of Mr. Smith, that a general kind feeling has existed amongst the inmates towards each other, whilst a spirit of contentment, gratitude and cheer. fulness has generally prevailed, which, as he says, may be regarded as the best indication of the real comfort and benefit enjoyed in the Asylum. Give us, in the agricultural districts, a liberal supply of poor allotments, and such institutions as the Shirley Asylum, and the labouring populations of Old England will once again become a happy and contented people. Only prove to the poor that if they are deserving, they shall be taken care of ; not, as at present, thrust into a prison with the profligate and idle ; prove that you have a regard to their conduct, and you will not find them ungrateful, nor your own benevolent exertions thrown away.”
TUCKER, PRINTER, SOUTHAMPTON.