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that interested her. In this way she had succeeded in learning a great deal which she might not even have learned as a guardian on the Board. She had also had experience in dealing with poorer classes in London while working for three years under Octavia Hill, and had become intimately acquainted with their habits and
Miss LORD was greeted with applause. She said that she was quite a stranger amongst them and her only connection with the public work of the district at present, was that entrusted to her by Miss Müller, as manager of three Board Schools, where she had an opportunity of seeing what education did for little children who had the advantage of good teaching and careful training, at home as well as at school. They could not have that with pauper children, but the nearest approach to it was the cottage system, which she would be glad to see adopted in Lambeth, but they must do it in an extremely careful manner because the administration in Lambeth was good, and with all new plans it was necessary to use some caution. In becoming a guardian of the
poor she wished it to be distinctly understood that she would be the guardian of the poor ratepayer. The careful poor had always some little margin for additional comforts, and it was extremely hard that they should be called upon to part with it to provide for the reckless or careless, and in granting relief care should be taken that the poor ratepayer did not suffer; the paupers must be taken care of, but in doing so they should remember whether they had taken due care for themselves, and those who had not taken due care should be treated as they deserved. Such a course could not and ought not to be pursued with respect to pauper children. Referring to workhouse girls, she said they were entirely inefficient as servants, and that defeci should be remedied at once and the system improved. She quite agreed with one of the speakers that women had not, as a rule, a knowledge of the forms of business; and she had therefore taken great interest in the forms of the school management committees. Her reason for wishing to come forward for Lambeth was, that she was associated with interests in that parish more than in any other, and she had every desire to advance the permanent interests of the parish, and maintain the principles of local self government as against centralization.
Miss WHITEHEAD then addressed the meeting. There was a great deal to interest women in outdoor relief, and in fact relief in all its branches, and women had proved themselves successful in the careful distribution of the funds of the ratepayers. Personally, she had lived amongst the poor all her life, and as the daughter of a country clergyman, she was imbued with the principle that the best help that could be given to the poor was that which enabled them, or pointed out to them, the way to quit a position of dependence and help themselves. She was not very well known amongst them herself, but her uncle the Rev. Whitehead, who had resided on the borders of Clapham, would probably be known to them, and it was from him that she had obtained the principles which would guide her, should she be elected as a member of the Board of Guardians.
A resolution was passed pledging the meeting to promote the return of these ladies, and a vote of thanks to Dr. and Mrs. Chaning Pearce concluded the proceedings.
The three lady candidates for the office of poor-law guardians in Lambeth were nominated. Miss Eva Müller for the South Marsh Ward by Mr. George Hill, member of the Metropolitan Board of Works; Miss Whitehead, for the Princes Ward, by Mr. Axtens, of Kennington; and Miss Lord, for the Vauxhall Ward, by the Postmaster General. We understand that His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury would have voted for the ladies had he been in town.
Owing to the defective qualifications of two opposing candidates, Miss Eva MÜLLER and Miss LORD became guardians without a contest. Miss WHITEHEAD was subsequently elected.
WOOLWICH.—A meeting of ratepayers was held at the Royal Assembly Rooms, Woolwich, on March 17th, with a two-fold object—to promote the return of lady guardians of the poor, and to establish a local society of ladies to visit the women and children in the Infirmary and Union, to assist in investigating relief cases, and to advise and assist women and children out of pauperism. Lieut.-Col. Hughes, of the Kent Artillery Volunteers, presided, and Miss Andrews, Mrs. Charles, Miss Müller, Dr. Rentoul, and Miss C. A. Biggs were among the speakers. The usual resolutions were heartily carried.
Subsequently, Miss Annie Pearson Evins, 2, Park Villas, Plumstead, was nominated as candidate by Mr. Hughes. She was elected third on the poll, receiving 1879 votes, the highest being 2171. There was a sharp contest.
PADDINGTON.—Mrs. Charles, 16, Aldridge Road Villas, W., again offered her services to the ratepayers of Paddington. She was re-elected, for which we heartily congratulate her constituents.
ST. PANCRAS.—The result is equally gratifying in St. Pancras. Lady Lothian was unable from severe illness to offer herself again for election, but Miss LIDGETT and Miss FLORENCE DAVENPORT-HILL were re-elected with
out a contest, and Miss S. WARD ANDREWS by a majority of fourteen votes.
KENSINGTON.-Miss DONKIN has been re-elected, her name being very high on the polling list.
HAMPSTEAD. -For many years great apathy on the part of the ratepayers has prevailed with regard to this election, and the method usually adopted has been the merely formal one of putting up the names of those persons who were willing to serve on church notice boards, and pay no further attention to the matter. There has been an awakening, however, this year and a real election, and among the new candidates was Miss Rees, a lady whose ability, intelligence and enthusiasm well qualified her for this good and womanly office. We have not yet heard the result.
In HOLBORN and St. Giles, Bloomsbury, Mrs. Lucas, Misses Rhoda and Agnes Garrett, and Miss Baker were nominated, and Miss Varley in Islington. Mrs. Shearer for the reason subsequently stated was not re-elected in Islington.
WHILE going to press we have received the welcome intelligence that Miss BAKER has been elected for Holborn, and Mrs. HAMMILL and Miss SPILLER for Bridgwater.
AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM.-An oracle at King's Norton has spoken and has expressed its disapproval of the course pursued in the rest of Birmingham, and in London, Bristol, Nottingham, Brighton, Leeds, and a few similarly unimportant towns. The remarks of a member of the King's Norton Board will receive due weight. He said
He had always taken the Birmingham Guardians to be shrewd business men, but from the resolution they passed he thought that the old women were pretty strongly represented there already. At any rate, the gentlemen who voted for the resolution seemed to have gone through a pretty strict course of domestic discipline before they left home. He should like the King's Norton Guardians to pass a resolution expressing the wish of the Board not to have any female assistance. That Board-room should be an Eden into which no Eve should enter. It was absurd to say that ladies would assist in the conduct of the Board. Supposing they got some of the innocent and virtuous females, sometimes called strong-minded, and sometimes designated “prancers," on the Board, if they could not have their own way, they would be contradicting the Board; and if they were young and pretty, no member of the Board would contradict them.
A speech like this forms a tolerably strong argument, even if others were lacking, for the necessity of having refined and educated women to civilise them.
BELFAST.-A very influential drawing room meeting was held, by invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hamilton, Windsor Avenue, Belfast, on March 8th, to discuss the desirability of electing women as poor law guardians. It is well known that under the Irish Poor Law women are not yet eligible, but an effort will in all probability be made this session to remedy this absurd and injurious disability. Speeches were made by Miss Isabella Tod, Miss C. A. Biggs, Sir John Preston, J.P., the Rev. Dr. Knox, the Rev. Mr. Spence, Chaplain of the Gaol, Mr. Thomas Gaffiken, Chairman of the Board of Guardians, Dr. Bryce, and many others, and the following resolutions were unanimously passed: “That this meeting fully recognises the propriety of having a number of women as Poor Law Guardians, and will view with great satisfaction their election in Belfast as soon as the Irish Poor Law permits it;” and “That this meeting recommends that petitions should be sent forward from Belfast in favour of the removal of the restrictions which prevent ladies from being Poor Law Guardians in Ireland."
IMPORTANT QUESTION OF THE QUALIFICATION OF
MARRIED WOMEN AS GUARDIANS, Mr. J. R. Shearer, of 126, Hemingford Road, Barnsbury, was, on the Sth ult., summoned at the instance of the Vestry Clerk, before Mr. Hughes-Hughes, one of the Justices for the county of Middlesex, for non-payment of the rates levied upon the above premises, and due in January last. An application was made by Mr. W. Cluer, barrister, on behalf of Mr. Shearer, for an adjournment of the summons, on the ground that he was not legally the occupier of the premises, nor possessed of any rateable property in the parish, and that the question of his liability to pay these rates was already virtually before the Local Government Board, whose decision had not yet been received. It appears
that Mrs. Shearer (Miss Downing)—who is a member of the Board of Guardians—before her marriage with Mr. Shearer took a lease of the above premises for three years from June last, this with other property was, by a marriage settlement, settled upon her as her own absolute property, under the Married Women's Property Act, 1870. After her marriage to Mr. Shearer in November last, the Vestry Clerk struck out Miss Downing's name from the list of ratepayers, and inserted that of Mr. Shearer in its place. Since then a question had arisen as to Mrs. Shearer’s right to sit on the Board of Guardians, and her capacity so to do has been considered by the Local Government Board under 5 & 6 Vic., c. 27, sec. 8. When payment of the rates was demanded of Mr. Shearer, Mrs. Shearer tendered the money on condition of receiving a receipt in her own name. refused, and after formal demand, the present summons was taken out. It was urged on behalf of Mrs. Shearer that the matter should stand over until the decision of the Local Board had been received. The representative of the Vestry declined to accede to this application, and pointed out that this decision would be ignored by him, and would have no effect upon the question of rating. The proper course, he contended, was for the magistrate to issue a distress warrant against Mr. Shearer. Then either he would appeal to the Quarter Sessions, or, on distress being levied, the marriage settlement could be produced to avoid it, and if the Vestry Clerk thought this valid, and that it included the furniture (upon which alone distress could be levied, and which is the property of Mrs. Shearer, and reserved to her under the settlement), the distress would be withdrawn. Then, as he pointed out, proceedings would be taken before a magistrate, under the local Act for Islington, to commit Mr. Shearer to prison if he still refused to pay the rates. Mr. Hughes-Hughes, being of opinion that he was bound to grant the distress order, and that he could not inquire into the validity of the rate, made the order accordingly, giving fourteen days for payment, Mr. Shearer undertaking to inform the collector whether he would pay under protest or leave him to distrain formally upon the premises. The matter now stands