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ed that he could not find even a clergyman who could read the New
If we descend to a subsequent period of history, we meet with
At present we shall not pursue any further the historical part of
topic of discussion. On a subsequent occasion, if not occupied
After this undisguised disclosure of our sentiments and views
Our intentions are to assist, as far as our abilities are competent,
London: Printed and published by R. Carlile, 188, Fleet-
Another Den of Sinecurists.-Loyal trash-writing Parsons and swindling Corporations.-Scandalous abuse of Public Charities. Modern, feudal Villains.-Poor Education Bill, a vile job.Lawyers and titled sharpers.-Tricks of Whiggism, the remedy for these things.
THE lower we dig into our corrupt system of Government, the more striking are the symptoms of decay and old age. It is impossible but the fears of the most timid, and the prejudices of the most obstinate, must at length be surmounted, and all parties concur in taking the whole fabric to pieces, even to its foundation. In the recent exposure of the abuses that prevail in public charities, we have got hold of another limb of Corruption. The discoveries that have been made on this subject, display the same injustice, the same waste and abuse of public property, and the same frauds on the poor, that disgrace our other establishments. Although we knew, from what had fallen under our observation, that great injustice prevailed in this quarter, and that the whole thing was rotten to the very bone, we had really no conception of the extent of the evil. Accustomed to hear the most deplorable stories of poor curates in Wales, we did not imagine that our clerical sinecures, equalled in number, and far more valuable in amount, than our political ones. That class of mdividuals, whom we thought rather unfortunate in their lot, only hold the same relation to their elder brethren, as midshipmen, half-pay officers, clerks, and the underlings of office do to their superiors;-they are kept in the appearance of poverty and distress, from the same politic motives that beggars brats appear in rags and nakedness-the better to carry on the trade of delusion, and conceal their profits from public view and suspicion.
Well might our loyal parsons, we exclaimed, on reading the account, have such an abhorrence of public meetings to enquire into abuses; well might they dread the idea of change or reform, how they strained their throats against the Reformers, reviling and prosecuting them to the utmost-they even descended to write trush, to tell the journeymen and labourers of England they were not that deluded and oppressed people-they even calumniated
providence, and blamed the seasons for the misery and distress that had been entailed upon the country by their artifices and wickedness. But the heart sickens at such conduct. Men who ought to have been the protectors and guardians to the poor, have prostituted their sacred office, and combined with their greatest enemies to plunder and deceive them. We will now let our readers have a look into this den of clerical and corporation sinecurists, persuaded that they will here have as much to excite their indignation, as from any piece of political iniquity that has yet been disclosed. It is a subject of the greatest importance, and before long must have the undivided attention of the public. The whole strength of corruption is, in the " loaves and fishes" that are attached to it, and whoever deprives it of these, takes away the only fuel that maintains it. It is to Mr. Brougham we are indebted for bringing forward the subject on the present occasion; and that gentleman might have had our entire approbation, both for the fact and intention, did we not know, that he seeks no more in the reform of abuses, than to raise as much of the popular breeze in his favour as may suit his political ambition. But to begin with the abuses of Public Charities.
In no country in Europe, as in England, are there such ample provisions for the benefit and comfort of the labouring classes, and in no country are they so wretched. These provisions have been made chiefly from the benevolence of private individuals, altogether independent of government. The creatures of the latter, however, have so insinuated themselves into their management, that they have not only prevented the poor, for whom they were intended, deriving any advantage from them, but they have become the means of the most extensive bribery and corruption. In every part of the kingdom there are some bequests of this sort, chiefly in land, sometimes in money. Their objects are various; but principally to provide education for poor children, clothing and habitations for the aged and infirm, and pecuniary assistance to decayed and unfortunate tradesmen. The grants for these purposes, are many of them of very ancient date, several centuries at least. From the rise in the value of land and other changes in society, they are now of immense value and importance to the community. It is certain from the returns under the Gilbert Act in 1782, that the present yearly value of the land alone is equal to £2,000,000 sterling. This is all the property of the poor, left by the piety and and humanity of their forefathers, for their sole use and advantage. Could they lay hold of it, as they have a right, it would be like the discovery of a golden mine. But we shall see to what base purposes it has been applied, and in what manner they have been smuggled out of t. We will now tell them into what damned hands it has fallen, and the manner in which it is managed, and they will cease to wonder at not deriving more benefit from their possessions.
Nearly the whole of this property has been left to the controul and management of municipal corporations; that is, the mayor, alderen, boroughreeves, and other local magistrates, which prevail in the different towns, cities, and boroughs of the kingdom.
There might be some wisdom in selecting this class of men, as stewards to the poor at that time, but since then their chracter has undergone an entire change. Of all the enemies of Reformers, there are none who have so effectually opposed them as these scoundrels. From being dispersed throughout the country, despotism has had its tools and instruments every where. Those, and only those, who have had the misfortune to reside in a corporate town, can be acquainted with the malice, pride, servility, and meanness of the rascals. We speak from experience. And we affirm, that, however hurtful to industry, and however oppressive to the labouring classes the tyranny of the ancient barons might be, it was not more tormenting, more mischievous, than that of these modern feudal villains. Our readers will recollect the obstacles that were thrown in the way of public meetings in 1816;they all arose from these petty tyrants. There is not an individual, who made himself any way conspicuous at that time, who has not in some shape or other, felt the envenomed sting of these wasps. They are unceasing in persecuting the objects of their vengeance. Whatever business or undertaking their victim may enter upon, he is sure to be thwarted and disappointed by the artifices of these miscreants; their malice never sleeps, till they have broke either his heart, or driven him to spend the remainder of his days in a jail. But to go on with our subject.
In their precious keeping is the property of the poor. How it is employed may be easily imagined. Much is consumed in sheer gluttony and gormandizing. What ought to nourish want and old age is wasted in beastly excess, in producing" gout and apoplexy." Laud, instead of being let out to any individual who will give the highest rent, is retained in the hands of a member of the corporation, or his friend, at one-fifth, perhaps, of its real value; or let out at a long and disadvantageous lease. In some towns the -mayor has the yearly distribution of a number of suits of clothes. In this case he employs a draper who is his friend, to make them of the coarsest materials, at the lowest possible charge. The funds provided for payment, being far greater than are expended, he puts the surplus in his pocket, and gives the clothes to whom he thinks proper. There are instances of mayors, who having the annual disposal of a sum of money to those female servants who conduct themselves with propriety, in their situations, have inyariably employed it in paying their own servants' wages.
It would be endless to enumerate all the swindling practices that are resorted to. One principle universally prevails in the management of these funds :-They know well that it is only under the present corrupt system of Government, that such base practices would be tolerated; therefore, in all their selections and distribntions, they have a view to its support. What they do not consume themselves, they bestow on the creatures of the system; in making "backbone, thick and thin" politicians, as the knaves are termed. Much is expended on Oliverism, in the support of spies, plotmongers, &c.; but not one of these favours, which are showered with such abundance on cowards and traitors, reaches the honest