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to promote their humane object if the example of such an overseer of the poor were so noticed and recorded by the Society,* that it might be generally held out to the imitation of other overseers, where any excitement may be wanting to put the condition of a workhouse into better order, especially in some of the country parishes.
* I have great pleasure in being able to add to Mr. Brooks's, my own testimony of Mrs. Sedding's merit as an exemplary overseer. In attending as a magistrate at Salthill, I have been a witness of Mrs. Sedding's conduct in the execution of her office, and of the success which has attended it; and I have taken an opportunity of recommending her knowledge of her duty, her care of the poor, and her attention to the true interests of her parish, as objects of imitation to the other overseers of that district. In consequence of Mr. Brooks's account, and of the corroborative testimony of Mr. Watts and myself, the Committee of the Society for bettering the Condition of the Poor, at their monthly meeting last week, came to a resolution: "That George "Brooks, Esq. be requested to convey to Mrs. Sedding, "the Overseer of the Poor for the parish of Stoke
Pogies, the Thanks of the Committee, for her great "Exertions for the benefit and improvement of the "Poor of that Parish; and that a Copy of the Reports "of the Society be presented to Mrs. Sedding as a Tes"timonal of the sense which the Members of the Com"mittee entertain of her conduct." B. 15 Feb. 1806.
Such an instance as the above being recorded in the Society's publications, may, it is hoped, be of service; both as an inducement to others to adopt a similar plan, or to improve upon their present systems, and as offering a merited compliment to her voluntary and laborious undertaking.
The late Earl of Rosslyn, who lived in the parish, and took an active part in the interest of the poor, was so much satisfied with Mrs. Sedding's conduct in her office, as to request her to continue it another year, and she accordingly has served a third year. Many of the circumstances above stated are well known to others as well as to myself. At my request David Pike Watts, Esq. personally visited the workhouse at Stoke, and viewed the state of things there, since the salutary regulations introduced under the direction and through the indefatigable exertion of Mrs. Sedding.
The Reverend Arthur Bold, the Vicar of Stock Pogies, is a frequent observer of these proceedings at the parochial workhouse, warmly commends the zeal and perseverance with which they have been carried into effect, and would, I make no doubt, be ready to allow any references to be made to him respecting them.
3d February, 1806.
Extract from an Account of the means which have been used in the Hundreds of Ongar, &c. respecting the apprenticing of the Children of the Poor. By the Reverend William Herringham, A. M.
THE H E magistrates having observed with concern the great increase of the poor rates, in the respective parishes within this division, were anxious to adopt some measure which might tend to the reduction of this public burden. Considering the increase of the poor rates as having arisen in part from the expense of maintaining a very large number of boys and girls, who tho of an age to go into service, had been kept in idleness; they conceived that to carry into effect that part of the statute of 43 Eliz. chap. ii. which relates to the apprenticing of poor children, would greatly conduce to alleviate
the evil so much complained of; and also to improve the morals of the lower orders of the community.
With this view they began, in the year 1801, to require from the overseer of the poor, returns of the number of children from the age of twelve years and upwards (then receiving alms from the respective parishes) who tho fit to go out to service were unemployed. From he first returns which they received, it appears that the number of children of the above description, at that time unemployed in the fifty parishes of this division, was 581. These, the overseers were directed, to put out to apprenticeship or service. This method of providing for the children of the poor, tho sanctioned by an act of parliament, which, for more than two hundred years had been the principal guide to overseers in the management of the poor, had been so long neglected, that it now appeared like a new measure, and required some time to adjust it properly. Previous, however, to the month of April 1802, when