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It is certainly of the utmost importance to every country, that, if possible, it should raise the corn for its own consumption: and in proportion to the number of children employed in manufactures, it will be more and more our concern to provide for the cultivation of the ground; especially at a time when in many counties, a very great number of the children are employed in manufactures ; and their health impaired, their lives shortened, their morals injured, and the agricultural interests of the country materially prejudiced.
Employment however, even under disadvantages, is better than idleness; and therefore, while we notice the objections to crowded and unregulated manufactories, we should not forget that children remaining idle and unemployed in the houses of parents, are not likely to be improved, or to become useful and virtuous members of society. The placing them out in the world, will therefore continue to be an essential act of policy, until those domestic
advantages shall be given the cottager, which the examples of the Earl of Winchilsea, the Bishop of Durham, and others have contributed so much to recommend, as a general system for the country: I mean the advantages of small portions of ground, with encouragement to keep cows, pigs, bees, and other objects of domestic attention and employment; so as to supply the cottager's family with profitable occupation to afford him easy and pleasant employment for his leisure hours, and to train up and habituate his children to agriculture.
If cottagers families could be employed in GARDENHUSBANDRY, without interruption of the cottager's daily labour, the benefit to them and to the country, and the advantage of breeding up children so as to be industrious and useful, would exceed all calculation. At the Bishop of Durham's, at Mongewell, he has allotted a little plot of ground, for the adjoining cottagers to cultivate, according to their means and industry. The produce of the preceding summer upon half a rood of this ground (the rent being two shillings and sixpence) is as follows: Five gallons and a half of turnip seed, at 5s.
I 7 6
Six sacks of potatoes
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And also pease and cabbages for the use of the cottager and his family. 7th Nov. 1805.
This would do much.-What more is wanted for this object, must be derived from the establishment of MARITIME SCHOOLS, to which those parishes, who have not otherwise a proper provision for the education of their poor children, shall be obliged to send them, at an allowance nearly adequate to their cost in the workhouse. This is a measure which has been suggested by Mr. Rose, and which would be of infinite benefit to this country, if properly arranged and executed, as affording the means of rescuing our parish children from vicious and idle habits, and training them up to agriculture, or to the navy ;-so as to produce an annual supply of hardy and disciplined youth for the cultivation of our soil, the extension of our commerce, and the defence of our country.
18th February, 1806.