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1888

fulness of the Society, that some lady after receiving thorough training in Dairy Management, might travel in the country, and attending market towns, on and after the market and fair days, give lectures on the best methods of making and packing butter to the farmers' wives and daughters who would be in the town attending to their business. The fee must necessarily be fixed at a low sum to meet their requirements, but by skilful management the lectures might be made popular and exceedingly useful.

ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.—The Prince of Wales was present at a meeting of the Council of the Royal Agrictural Society of England, held at its rooms in Hanover Square. On the recommendation of the Seeds and Plant Diseases Committee, it was unanimously decided to appoint Miss E. A. Ormerod, of Dunster Lodge, Isleworth, Honorary Consulting Entomologist to the Society. Mr. Charles Whitehead, Chairman of the Committee, said it was highly important to have an officer of that kind. During the last few years insect disease had increased to a very large extent. This was partly caused by abnormally wet seasons, and partly, perhaps, by a more artificial method of agriculture. În some cases fresh insects had appeared, which were not dreamt of in the philosophy of our forefathers. In such circumstances it was extremely desirable that the society should have an officer who would be able, not only to tell its members exactly what the insect was, and to give information as to its various states, but also to give useful and practical advice as to methods of prevention and extermination. Miss Ormerod was eminently qualified for the post of Consulting Entomologist.— Times, May 4th.

OBITUARY. Mrs. DANIEL HARRISON.—This lady, who died at Boscombe, Bournemouth, 11th April, aged 84, was sister to Mary Howitt. She was an early supporter of the Women's Suffrage Movement. By her death a great loss is sustained by the Bromley, Beckenham, and Shortlands Women's Suffrage Branch Committee, of which she was a member. She was very cultivated.

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May 15th, 1882. Botany was one of her chief pursuits. She was anxious to further schemes of benevolence; and was younghearted even at her advanced age. She was keenly alive to passing events, and was gifted with extraordinary personal influence. She died sincerely mourned by a very large circle of friends.

BATTERSEA LADIES' ASSOCIATION FOR THE CARE OF FRIENDLESS GIRLS.—This Society, which has just completed its first year of successful work, is one that commends itself to all who seek "the bliss of doing good.” Varied and numerous as are the agencies, initiated and carried out by ladies, for improving the condition, and raising the moral tone of the women of the lower ranks, too many of these schemes have failed to do the good they might by their promoters staying their hands before they reached the root of the evil. But the avowed aim of this Association is to seek out those women, and especially the younger girls, “who have so often sunk into a life of degradation and sin through mere thoughtlessness and folly, and who having once fallen, must sink down into the most utter wretchedness and misery unless a helping hand is given.” The “ helping hand,” in this instance, is a truly generous one, a refuge having been established, with accommodation for six girls, and a laundry attached. The little establishment is presided over by a Lady-superintendent, who gives religious instruction, and by a working matron. It is gratifying to note that there is seldom more than a bed or two vacant, and that the conduct of the girls is very satisfactory: The Hon. Treasurer is Mrs. Faunthorpe, Bolingbroke Grove, Wandsworth Common.Westminster Gazette.

LAMBETH DAY NURSERY. The Lambeth and Westminster Gazette says of the above :-“ About a year ago

benevolent effort was made by some ladies in Lambeth to open a Creche, or day nursery, where the very young children of working women might be cared for at a very small charge during the day. A sum of money having been obtained from the proceeds of a concert, the first thing was to procure a room. This was not an easy matter, and

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1882. temporary accommodation was for a few months provided through the kindness of the Ragged School Committee, but at Midsummer, 1881, the Creche was duly established at 124, East Street, Kennington Road, where it is still being carried on. The rent of the house through sub-letting has been reduced to a little over £18 per annum, and by careful management no debt has been incurred; but the capital with which the work was started is now nearly exhausted, and its further continuance must therefore depend on annual subscriptions.

“The children are admitted to the nursery every day except Sunday, the hours being from eight to eight; Saturdays being a short working day it is closed at six. The charge is 4d. a day, and a fine of 1d. is imposed for any child who is not taken home punctually at the hour. A proportionate charge is made for a child left for a night, and if not taken the next evening, it is conveyed to the workhouse, and the address of the mother given to the police. These are very salutary provisions, which will tend to check any attempts on the parents' part at a misuse of the nursery or desertion of their children.”

MEETINGS SHORTLY TO TAKE PLACE. BRITISH WOMEN'S TEMPERANCE ASSOCIATION.- Annual Meeting in the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, at 7 o'clock, on Thursday, May 25th. The following and other ladies will address the meeting:-Mrs. Durrant, Mrs. Palian, Mrs. Reaney, Mrs. Wright.

Invitations for a drawing-room meeting have been sent out by the Moral Reform Union, at Mrs. Woolcott Browne's house, 58, Porchester Terrace, on the 24th of May, at 3 p.m., when an address will be delivered by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell on “Wrong anil Right Methods of dealing with Social Evil.”

This little leaflet, lately issued by the Dublin Prison Gate Mission for Women, is full of interest to fellowworkers in London and elsewhere:

The crisis through which Ireland is now passing has not affected our Mission Work: if any change can be noted it is an increasing readiness to hear; kind trustfulness of demeanour; large numbers at the Mission; and much fewer women be met at the Prison Gate;

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while the police bear testimony to the changed character of the district, and more orderly conduct even of those they have to deal with of the short-sentence criminal class.

We have an average attendance of about 120 women, none of whom belong to the convict class, but are all from the short-sentence prisons—their term of imprisonment varying from three days to three months. They are not, therefore, like our Irish convicts, or like their countrywomen at Nine Elms, long habituated to the cleanliness and order prison discipline enforces, but come to us almost direct, many of them from homes in which they have suffered a lifelong struggle with want. Their extreme poverty has produced much squalor and dirt among the poor women we meet at the prison gate; but we should do a grave injustice to our warm-hearted, erring countrywomen, if we allowed it to be supposed that they are of an exceptionally degraded and criminal class. So far from this being the case, the marvel of the Dublin Prison Gate Mission is, the very slight amount of criminality attaching to the major number of its women; for Ireland, still, to those habituated to work among its poor, maintains its character of not having a deeply vicious or criminal population. Party faction has the terrible responsibility upon it of arousing for its own ends to religious frenzy or agrarian outrage an ignorant and superstitious, but passionate, home-loving, and religious people; and, without doubt, it is the small amount of positive criminality among our short-sentence women which lends so great a charm to labour among them. And this is proved by the daily working of the Mission.

Of our 120 women, we are only able to supply sleeping accommodation to twenty-five. The others pay from 2d. to 3d. per night for miserable shelter in the slums of our city: some we have seen who clubbed together for a room, in which they had no bedding, but were huddled together for warmth on the bare boards. These come to us day by day—sober, earnest, patient, hardworking, and even, astonishing as it may seem, depositors in our penny bank to gain for themselves bedding or clothing. Their wages for their day's work range with us only from 2d. to 6d. per day. Of these 120 women, about forty get from us, as food in the day, half a twopound loaf of bread, two mugs of tea, and one bowl of soup; the remaining eighty get half a loaf of bread and two mugs of tea only. Some of their earnings go for a supper after they leave us.

There is little margin, then, for lodging or for savings, for clothes, or for bedding. Yet by degrees they improve in their clothing, and save money. Some lay by with us money towards their own emigration outfit, without which assistance from themselves we refuse to take the names of any desirous to emigrate. Thus habits of earnest, quiet industry are formed and maintained.

Among this large number of women there is never any insubordination, no outbreak, no rough words to the ladies or to each other, although many have been a very short time at the Mission. There is constant plodding industry, lightened by Irish wit and humour, and hallowed by the daily regular worship in which all heartily unite, by the sweet hymns known by heart, and constantly heard sounding over their washing, ironing, button or mat making, knitting or sewing. The singers are, with hardly an exception, all Romanists—the teachers, Protestant ladies, yet no word of religious strife or discussion has ever arisen. Truly may we thank God and take courage, and thankfully exclaim, “What hath God wrought!”

We cannot, then, but feel that these women, though ill-clad and necessarily less cleanly than women who are housed and clothed, as in the Edinburgh or Belfast Prison Missions, or who in small numbers and under different circumstances receive a higher wage at Nine Elms, contrast most favourably, in their strenuous efforts at attaining honest independence, with those who look better and cost much more to their respective missions. As a testimony to the character of our women, we may state that during the greater part of this month, and at present, owing to illness in our laundry-matron's family, our laundry, ironing, and mangling, drying rooms, and patching shed, have been in the hands of our criminal women, without supervision, and that all the various operations have been conducted as satisfactorily as if under the most rigid oversight. There has been no idling, thiering, wasting, or quarrelling. Our Mission ladies have been there only, as usual, for prayer and reading. More than this, as a further testimony to these poor fellow-countrywomen of ours, we may add, it never occurred to any of our lady workers to suppose that during this time of illness and anxiety they would do otherwise than they have done.

We can also point with pleasure to the bright, attractive group of young people who form what we call our “Band of Hope," young girls, about twenty in number, of ages varying from fifteen to eighteen. They are young girls, we believe unfallen, and scarcely criminal, taken up for various small offences—some for onion-selling, soine for endeavouring to release or defend their mothers. One was brought to us by her mother, with the earnest request, “Won't you take her, or she may become what I am?” These bright, hopeful girls may be seen every day, from twelve to one in our Mission school-room, bending over their books while young Christian ladies teach them to read and write.

With deep thankfulness do we also record that during these Christmas holidays we have only had one case of drunkenness, and on St. Stephen's day (Sunday) our usual number of forty-eight women assembled at our prayer-meeting, the attendance at which is entirely voluntary.

Our Mission premises are commodious, useful, well ventilated, and clean, but have no ornamentation, and in many respects lack comforts and some necessaries. Our precious, carefully-used funds have to be applied with strict economy, and with the primary view of bringing the urgently-needed help at once within the reach of the perishing and outcast. At present we necd a substantial cottage for our laundry-matron, in place of the patched and low sheds which form her sleeping and sitting-room; and also our laundry-kitchen, our patching class-room, boiler-house, and donkey's stable.

We keep patiently repairing the old roof, for we cannot go in debt. We want also, when God shall enable us, to add a couple of rooms for dormitories. We know when it is his time He will give us all we need, and we desire that patience may bave its perfect work. Mean

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