Arnold White.

The destitute alien in Great Britain; a series of papers dealing with the subject of foreign pauper immigration online

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g. Scvics of |)apcrs gcaling imih iln Subject of
JforetcfiT pauper Immiciration





BrTi.Kii ,i Taxner,


Fkome, axd Loxdox.

URL ^^ ,


5 A FUTURE volume will deal with the economical bear-

-^ ing, American example, and medical and sanitary
aspect of Free Immigration ; also with the Jewish
question and recent events in Russia.
^ Illness and compulsory absence from England have
^ rendered it impossible for me to complete the ar-
cj rangements for bringing out the work as a whole
within the limits of time prescribed by expediency.
I have to thank my friend Mr. C. 13. Shaw for
^ his good offices in seeing this volnme through the
2 press.

A. W.




I. LxTRODucTOKY. By Amold White ... 1

II. The Huguenot and Flemish Lwasiox. Bj

C. B, Shaw 5

III. Should Goverxjiext Ixtegeere ? By Monta-
gue Crackanthorpe, G.C 39

I\^ The Moral Aspect. By the Rev. G. S. Eeaney 71

V. Statutoky axd Oeeictal Piiovisioxs. By C. J.

Follett, C.B 100

VI. Tjie liiPEKiAL Aspect. By W. A. McArthur,

M-P m

VII. The Italiax Aspect. By W. H. Wilkins . . 146

VIIT Foreign- Pauper Ijiiiigratiox. By S. H. Jeyes 1(58





The grow til of population and the pressure of existence
within these islands have occasioned, for some con-
siderable time past, anxiety on the part of those in
search of remedies for the evil conditions under which
so many of our fellow-subjects are compelled to toil.
Among the causes that have not yet received adequate
and dispassionate examination, is the flow of foreign
labour to our great towns, with its moral, physical,
and economical effects on the native population.
Throughout the civilized, and in parts of the un-
civilized world, a strange movement is taking place
towards the crystallization of national life from native
elements only, and the rejection of those alien con-
stituents which, since the fall of Rome, have generally
been considered desirable for the creation of perfect
national existence. This movement is no less marked
in the United States of America than in Russia,
or even in Arabia itself. The increased and increasing
stringency of the conditions under which Castle



Garden permits the entry of the Irish^ Hungarian
or Italian proletariat, finds a parallel in the renais-
sance of orthodoxy in Russia. The disfav'our into
which heterodox faiths have there fallen, under the
iron hand and strong convictions of the Attorney-
General of the Holy Synod, and the consequent
alliance of those forces of ignorance and of strength
that have hitherto occupied a dominant position in the
history of modern Russia, are proiluci ng much the
same effects as the anti-alienism of the United States.
In Mahommedan countries too, this note of national
revival is no less dominant than in lands where faith
is less effectual to stir the harmonies of nationalism
than self-interest, as in the case of the United States;
ambition, as in France; or the memory of a glorious
but vanished past, as in Portugal. Arabia, and a large
part of Central Africa, have recently become the scene
of a violent insurrection against the foreign element,
and a consequent drawing nigh of those who hold
undimmed the original doctrine of I^Eohammed.

England, thanks to the Huguenots, Mr. Cobden,
the Slave Trade, the Jews, and an inherent capacity
for taking lai'ge views of grave national questions, has
been the last country in all the world to question,
or even to examine, the doctrine that uninteri'upted
ingress for men, v/omon, and merchandise o£ other
nations, is essential to and advantageous to her
national life. There are, however, no longer wanting


signs that tlie reign of this dogma is not to continue
without challenge. Two phenomena combine to render
a critical examination of the effects of the doctrine
of free entry of all human beings not only inevitable
but indispensable. The first of these phenomena
is the attitude of the citizens of the United States
towards the whole subject of immigration^ and the
other is, the revival in Russia of the Middle-Age
methods of dealing with the Jewish question. The
first of these phenomena has set men thinking how
far a policy of free immigration that is bad for the
United States, with its vast and but partially occupied
territory, can be good for the United Kingdom with
its daily increasing population and diminishing capa-
city for the production of its own food. The second is
the recent Russian practice of harrying the poor Jews
until they fly their country in sheer despair, thus
creating a centrifugal force for the distribution of
needy and unskilled workers, which has already
affected Great Britain, and cannot fail to affect her
in the future to a still greater extent.

So far as Great Britain is concerned, the question
is unlikely to be settled without a more thorough
examination into the facts than has yet been made.
The House of Commons Committee on Immigration
touched but the fringe of the subject, and seemed
more interested in demonstrating that those who
wished to restrict and regulate immigration desired


to attack the civil and religious liberty now happily
accorded to the Jews, than in bringing out the true
physical, moral and economical results of the system
as now followed in England.

The Sweating Committee of the Ilonse of Lords
refused to accept direct evidence bearing on the sub-
ject, for fear of trenching on the rights and privileges
of tlie Commons Committee, which was concurrently
occupied in tlie ostensible examination of the immi-
gration question. The consequence is lliat while the
country thinks the subject has been fairly considered,
nothing has taken place but a fruitless wrangle on
the Jewish question, which has nothing whatever to
do with the matter.

Accordingly, it is my intention to endeavour to
place before the public practical information provided
by experts on the various points from which the whole
subject may be regarded. The present volume is but
an instalment of the whole work.


By C. B. Shaw.

TtiB discovery of printing", with the impulse thereby
given to religious and politica,! thought^ although in
the end of incalculable advantage to mankind, was,
by strange contrast with the blessings it conferred, a
principal factor in the persecutions inflicted on the
Protestants throughout Europe in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries.

During the long night of the middle ages science
and letters had fallen into decay, and the Church,
far from struggling against the mental darkness pre-
vailing, had done its best to maintain it. The austere
and penitential devotions of the early Christians had
been gradually succeeded by perverted doctrines,
sacerdotal tyranny, and ceremonials strangely allied
to pagan rites; and while the mass of the people
were the slaves of the Church in mind and body,
the clergy themselves were so degraded that purity
of manners and ecclesiastical rules were alike dis-
regarded. A large proportion of the laud was in
the hands of the Church, exempt from any corre-
sponding duty or obligation to the State; yet so


insatiable was tlie greed of tliat Sacred Institution
that it would soon have absorbed the whole wealth of
Europe had not the secular governments interposed.
In the pulpit preachers confined their exhortations
to alms-giving, pilgrimages^ and the obtaining of
religious indulgences, the traffic in the latter being
carried to such a pitch that papal pardons were sold
in parts of Christendom openly in the streets and to
the sound of the drum. Seminaries of learning, widely
scattered, and manuscripts, costly and difficult to
obtain, were the only resources of literary culture ;
the voices of the few pious and enlightened souls
who laboured for letters in the retirement of cloister
or study being inaudible to the masses for want of
proper channels of communication. False traditions
in history, amazing superstitions in religion, universal
belief in astrology, and barbarous punishment for
heresy — even for offences against the Church un-
intentionally committed — marked the degradation of
the age.

Such, then, was the condition of France — which, like
the rest of Europe, had lain for centuries mute and
despairing before the impassable barrier of bigotry
and ignorance — when the wooden blocks of Laurence
Coster, and the metal types of Gutenberg and his
fellow workmen, proclaimed to the world, at first in
the reserved and doubtful language of experiment,
but finally in the bold and confident voice of assured


EuccesSj the dawn of laodera liberty and the emanci-
pation of the human mind.

The efforts of the printers were at first slow and
laborious^ the Mazarin Bible taking some seven or
eight years to finish; but copies of the Scriptures
and ancient authors were in course of time widely
distributed and eagerly read. Luther, Zwingle, and
other ardent spirits began to preach the doctrines of
the Eeformation, including the Supremacy of the
Written Word — now brought within the reach of all,
and the Church of Rome, jealous of the new crusade,
commenced its onslaught against preachers, printers,
and books alike.

In spite, however, of persecutions and prohibitions,
books multiplied, and the reformers gained numberless
converts. The ranks of the Lutherans were swelled
not merely by the poor and lowly, but members
of princely houses, nobles, priests, and earnest sup-
poi'ters of the Catholic hierarchy rallied to their

So electrical were the effects of the religions reform,
that at length the very foundations of the Papacy be-
gan to totter. The more politic men of the day,
alive to the signs of the approaching storm, tried to
allay it by recalling the Church to a sense of its own
position, and by urging the introduction of timely re-
formsj but without avail. The Holy See, either from
stupidity or incorrigible pride, turned a deaf ear to


the counsel of its friends^ aud betook itself to those
measures whicli were soon to make its name a terror
and a reproach to humanity.

Meaux^ from its proximity to tlie then Flemish
frontier^ and other circumstances that favoured the
transmission of influences from the north^ was the
first town in France to respond to the new movement.
Guillaume Brigonnet, the Bishop of the Meaux, joined
heartily in it_, and by offering the pulpits of his
absentee clergy to Lefevre, Farcl^ and other discij^les
of Luther, and distributing copies of the Bible among
the workshops, soon made his diocese a centre of
dissent. Other places followed the lead of Meaux,
and as the conversions spread, attendances at mass
naturally fell off and Church revenues declined.
The Sorbonue — -the Faculty of Theology at Paris, and
the inspiring author of many a cruel edict — there-
upon petitioned Parliament to interpose its authority,
with the result that partisans of the pernicious
doctrines were persecuted wherever found, those who
were unable to save themselves by flight being burnt
alive. The execution of the Placardists and the
butchery of the A'audois were farther instances of
the Church's '^ discipline ; ^^ but towards the end
of the reign of Francis I., says Do Felice, '"the
movement had made such extended strides that it
was impossible to follow its course in all its wind-
ings . . . there was in the minds aud hearts of


\Yni\\y even in the air tliey breathed^ au overwhelming
desire for religious reform.''

The term '^llugueuot/' wliatevcv its origin^ soon
became the distinctive appellation of the advocates of
the new propaganda^ who, for the next hundred years
at least, were destined to play so important a part
in French history. The elements of order were intro-
duced into their hitherto defective organization, and
Calvin took the place of Luther as the apostle of
French Protestantism.

AVithin the limits prescribed me it is only possible
briefly to sketch the chain of circumstances that
eventually led to the exodus of the French Protes-
tants. No impartial writer, however, can touch upon
the history of that period without observing that in
the course of their bitter struggle, they were moved
by political as well as by religious considerations.
Many men of great influence, who were disaff'ected
towards the Government, or jealous of the court fac-
tion, joined the Huguenots in the hope of furthering
political aims ; indeed, so iiumerous and important were
the accessions to their ranks, from one cause and
another, that for a time it looked as if the supremo
authority wero likely to fall into their hands — a fact
which goes I'ar to explaiu, although it does not excuse,
the part played both by Church and State in the
measures adopted to destroy them.

The royal decree of 1 5G2, guaranteeing liberty of


worship to IVotestants^ having been openly set at de-
fiance by the Catholics, and the massacre of Vassy,
followed by the destruction of Protestant Churches,
having provoked reprisals, France became for a time
the theatre of civil war.

Sheer exhaustion on both sides at len!2:th brouofht
the conflict to an end, and the treaty of St. Germains
was signed; but the peace proved of short duration.
The Queen Mother, Catherine do ]\Iedecis, laying
aside her terapoi'izing policy, now went entirely over
to the Guise party, and, with the assistance of foreign
counsellors, fresh schemes were devised for the ex-
tirpation of heretics. The marriage of Henry of
Navarre became the occasion of the treacherous
assassination of Admiral Coligny and the oft-recounted
Massacre of Saint Bartholomew. For four days the
streets of Paris ran with the blood of those who were
bidden to Catherine's hideous /e^^/o. But this was not
enough : the provinces also were made to contribute
their share to the blood-offering ; for six weeks simi-
lar scenes were enacted throughout the length and
breadth of France, and a hundi'ed thousand Huguenots
paid the penalty of heresy. To commemorate the
event a medal was struck, wliich bore the strange
device, "Piety has awakened justice."

The wars of the League which followed these bar-
barous acts were only terminated on the accession of
Henry of Navarre to the throne, and in lOOH the pro-


mulgatiou of the Edict of Nautes onco more accorded
to Protestants liberty of conscience and of worship.
The freedom they enjoyed was^ however, but short-
Hved; for, on the assassination of the king, religious
discord again broke loose, and for years the Huguenots
were the victims of ever varying acts of persecution.

After the siege of Rochclle, Avhere the English
twice iguominiously failed to relievo their Protestant
allies, the Huguenots ceased to exist as an armed
force or a political party. Being treated in a more
tolerant spirit by Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin,
they showed a wise discretion, stood resolutely
aloof from civil broils, and if they took up arms at
all, it was, as has been acknowledged, almost in-
variably on the side of loyalty. Colbert, the enlight-
ened minister of Louis XIV., also protected them as
far as he dared ; and, although daring his lifetime
they were subject to disabilities and indignities against
which he frequently protested, it was not till after his
death, and mainly under the evil influences of the
triumvirate consisting of Pero la Chaise, Prime
Minister Louvois, and Madame de Maintenon, that
those persecutions were renewed which crushed them
in countless numbers, and denuded France of the
flower of her population.

Had the Huguenots been treated with leniency
they would have remained loyal and industrious
subjects of the crown, and France would not have


had occasion to bewail the loss to her commerce,
industries, and wealth, to which their dispersion con-
demned her. Bat the persecutions directed against
them after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in
1G85, passed the bounds of human endurance. Pro-
hibition of all forms of Protestant worship, destruction
of churches, abduction of children, wholesale con-
versions at the point of the sword, dragonnades
which spared neither sex nor ago, dungeons for the
men, convent prisons for the women, every means
that subtlety could devise or tyranny caiTy out, were
adopted by the " Great Monarch " and his Christian
agents to stamp out heresy and make Franco the
untainted rival of Catholic Spain.

Before the Pevocatiou, Colbert cautioned Louis
against the effects of his insane policy. '^ I am sorry
to say it," he observed, ^'but too many of your
Majesty's subjects are already among your neighbours
as footmen and valets for their daily bread ; many of
the artisans, too, are lied from the severity of your
collectors, and arc at this time improving the manu-
factures of your enemies " — ^tho J'juglish to wit.

Penalties were now enacted, against which " con-
version " was the only door of escape to those who
wished to remain in Prance ; but the spirit of the
Huguenot rebelled against so mean an evasion. He
would suffer death, or serve in the galleys, he would
leave his kindred, his wealth, even the country of his


birth — wliich to a Frenclimixn has ever been the
symbol of his adoration, his devout conception of
God's choicest work — all these he would renounce
with manly resignation, but betray his conscience he
would not.

It was the same in Flanders. Causes similar to
those that brought about the flight of the Huguenots,
and which are fully described in the brilliant pages
of Motley, induced the Flemings who professed the
l^rotestant faith to leave their country and seek in
Holland, Germany and England that liberty of wor-
ship and personal freedom which were denied them
at home. The Church of liome, acting in concert
with the civil rulers, had adopted the same infamous
processes against the Protestants in the Flemish
tlominions of Philip IT. (with the added terrors of
the Holy Inquisition) as characterized the persecution
of the Reformed Church in France ; and the results
were in the two countries almost identical. Antwerp,
which is said to have done more business in one
month than Venice in two years when at the very
height of her grandeur, became deserted ; Bruges
and Ghent, abandoned by their respectable citizens.
Catholic as well as Protestant, became crowded with
thieves and paupers, and the whole trade of Flanders
was ruined. As in the case of the Huguenots the
Flemish Protestants carried to the countries which
gave them asylum, England among the number, the


skill, tlie intelligence and the industry that liad made
their own country rich and prosperous.

Whilst the capitulation of Hochelle sealed the fate
of the Iluguenots as a political party, the Revocation
of the Edict of Nantes put an end to such vestiges
of religious freedom as the dragoons of Louis XIV.,
and the tender regard of the Jesuits for their spiritual
welfare, liad failed to confiscate. Many men of dis-
tinction fled to Holland, among others Jurieu, the
professor of Hebrew and Theology at the Protestant
University of Sedan, and Iluyghens, the Astronomer
and Mathematician. Some few, for the sake of ser-
vices rendered to tlieir country, were exceptionally
favoured by being freely permitted to leave it and
settle elsewhere. Among these were Marshal Schora-
berg, a man of distinguished family and high military
capacity, who subsequently served under William,
Prince of Orange, and was killed at the ])attle of
the Boyne, also the Marquis de Puvigny, whose son
entered the English service and became Earl of
Galway. Admiral Duquesnc, '^ the first sailor in
Erance," was, in consequence of his groat age,
allowed to end his days in his native country. His
two sons went to Holland.

Bnt means of escape became daily more difficult.
The sea-coast and inland frontiers were jealously
guarded, and those who were captured by the king's
scouts were treated with the- ntmost barbarity. The


men, old and young, were condemned to instant
death, or to the galleys for life. Servants who aided
and abetted the escape of their masters were flogged
and branded Avith the fleur-de-lis, the emblem of
French Sovereignty ; magistrates, merchants, pastors,
peasants, all alike were forced to make long marches,
sometimes in chains, and in the company of thieves
and cut-throats, and were urged along, did they but
falter by the way, with blows and imprecations ; women
were torn from their husbands, and children from
their mothers' breasts. It is a relief to read that
in many instances the priests themselves revolted
against the unnecessary cruelties the Protestants
were made to suffer, and endeavoured to assuage their
lot. The women, even those who had been bred in
luxury and refinement, faced hardship, and resorted
to every conceivable disguise in attempting to escape.
They cut off their hair, disfigured their faces with
juices and d^'es that coloured and blistered their
skins, dressed themselves like men, assumed the
character of lackeys or peasants, drew wheel-
barrovrs, carried manure, walked hundreds of miles
through snow and mud, enduring with unmurmuring
fortitude hunger and thirst, every imaginable priva-
tion, rather than abjure their faith or submit to the
tyranny of their oppressors. Those who were dis-
covered and arrested were thrown into prison or
immured in convents. Persons of gentle birth,


pregnant women, old men, cliildren and invalids,
many ^Yho liad "never seen the sea before, braved its
perils, and entrusted themselves in open boats in
their eagerness to escape. They fled in French,
English and Dutch merchant vessels, hidden under
bales of goods, heaps of coals, and in empty casks.
Other instances might bo mentioned of courage and
fortitude, of dangers faced and hardships undergone
by Protestants of both sexes and all ages in their
efforts to escape rather than endure tlie ignominy of
conversion, or the debasing terms on wliicli im-
munity from persecution was to be purchased; but
enough has been said to show the spirit of our foreign

That the Huguenots were loyal when treated with
clemency is shown by their conduct^ during the wars
of the Fronde, by their refusal to assist the Duke of
Montmorency in his endeavour to excite rebellion in
Languedoc, and by their action at Kochellc when they
supported the licgent against their own governor.
Louis XIV., too, had actually thanked them at the
beginning of his reign "for the consistent manner
in which they had supported the royal authority."
'^riiat they were laborious, honest and enterprising is
shown by the condition of Franco before and after
their flight. ]jouis Blanc says of them that " they
made France an industrial power," and that the term
Protestant was ^^ synonymous with wealth." To be


'^lonest as a Huguenot/' moreover, became a pro-
verb. Being excluded from civil and political offices
on account of their religion, the Huguenots had
devoted themselves to industrial pursuits, and were
the best farmers, wine-growers, merchants and man-
ufacturers in France. The heaviest crops were to be
found on Huguenot farms, the finest woollen cloth
was of their manufacture, and so, also, were many
other articles largely exported to England and
Holland. Their paper mills were the best in Europe,
and the steel and iron industries of Sedan were known
far and wide. "If the Nimes merchants are bad
Catholics, at any rate they have not ceased to bo good
traders,^' once wrote one of their bitterest persecutors.
Smiles attributes much of their success in business
to the fact that their time"_ was less broken into by
feast and fast days than in the case of the Catholics,
and that they were therefore able to work more con-

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Online LibraryArnold WhiteThe destitute alien in Great Britain; a series of papers dealing with the subject of foreign pauper immigration → online text (page 1 of 12)