James Cleland.

Statistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected online

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poor on the Session and Hospital funds, amounted to
2600, and the sum expended on them, to ^11,583, l6s.
6d. viz. from the Sessions a€'2S70, 12s. and assessment
s€9213, 4s. 6d. being in the proportion of ^^4, 9s. \\d. to
each pauper within the Royalty. From the number of poor
taken in connexion with the population, it appears, that in
1822, there was rather more than one pauper for every 6
families, or one pauper for every 28 persons within the

By reference to the Table of general assessment for the
maintenance of the poor,t appended to this article, it will
be seen that in 1820, the first year after the independence
of St. John's parish, the assessment amounted to ^13,136,
2s. Sd. which has been gradually diminishing, till it has
come down in 1823, to j^8464, 10s.

Having now given an outline of the constitution of the
General-Session and Town Hospital, and a brief, yet faith-
ful account of the procedure of these institutions, respect-
ing the management of the poor, the conclusions are left
to those who have an interest in the pecuniary concerns;
it is proper, however, to say, and it is no more than an act

+ " Every human being has something in his power. If he has not money to expend in
alms he has at least a heart to condole with, and to sooth an afflicted friend ; and he hag
a tear to shed in the habitation of sorrow. If he cannot afford substantial relief out of his
own store, he can interest a more wealthy neighbour in behalf of a suiuble object, and he
can thus become the useful almoner of another's bounty. If he may not attract notice by
the splendour of his gifts at tlie altar of beneficence, he may, nevertheless, do good in the
private walks of life, and benefit society by the less obtrusive, but not less acceptable offices
of tenderness and compassion." Burns vn the Poor of Scotland, 2d edition, page 190.


of justice to Doctor Chalmers, that his plan of a separate
and independent management of the poor, conducted on
the principle of friendly agency, has not only had a moral
and happy effect on the poor themselves, but also on the
parish, and the numerous administrations of its religious,
moral and pecuniary concerns.

Although the Doctor's plan in the management of the
poor is to render assessment ultimately unnecessary ; the
great bent of his cultivated and expanded mind is not
so much to save the pockets of the rich, as to improve the
morals and condition of the poor, by removing from their
view, every thing like permanent charity * or even par-
tial relief, without the co-operation of personal exertion,
when that is practicable.

Many of the beneficial results arising from the paro-.
chial system in St. John's parish, may be traced to the
extensive and kindly co-operation of the Elders, Deacons,
and Sabbath school Teachers. The Elders in conjunction
with the Minister, take a charge of the ecclesiastical
affairs of the parish, while the Deacons look after the
pecuniary concerns of the poor. The Sabbath school
Teachers are generally young men of religious character
and education, chiefly in the middle and upper ranks of
life, who also give their time cheerfully and gratuitously,
and communicate religious instruction on the Sabbath, to
such children in the parish as choose to attend. In St.
John's parish, on SOth June, 1819, there were 35 Sab-
bath schools, 35 Teachers and 1039 scholars, viz. boys,
480, girls, 559. To each school a library is attached.
The instruction in these schools is principally moral and

• " It has invariably been found that the number of the poor increases with the establish-
ed means for their support, and that the measuresof charity ought, as much as possible, to re-
main invisible till the moment of the distribution. If the fear of want be removed, if a pros-
pect of maintenance be held out independent of exertion, and if a bberal refuge be provided
for all who are in poverty; indifference, slotli, and pauperism, with all their concomitant
evils and vices must inevitably ensue." Ewings Report on the Poor in Glasgow, page 14.


religious, the mechanical part being obtained in schools
tlu'ough the week. Such is the interest taken in these
schools, that when any of the children are absent, the
Teacher feels it his duty, through the week, to inquire the
reason of absence at the parents or guardians.

In a great manufacturing town with a mixed population
like Glasgow, where there are many parents and guardians
who are either not able or not willing to communicate re-
ligious instruction to the children under their charge; the
question as to the utility or necessity of Sabbath schools,
is simply this. Whether shall religious instruction be com-
municated in Sabbath schools in this great City, to chil-
dren of such parents, or not at all ? It is unnecessary to
say, that this system of religious education has been pro-
ductive of the happiest effects in society.

Since Doctor Chalmers' appointment to St. John's
church and parish, the following things have taken place :

The poor of the parish have not only been liberally sup-
plied without the aid of assessment, but there has been a
considerable reversion from the ordinary collections. One
public building has been erected in M*Farlane-street, and
another in the Gallowgate for parochial schools, each
containing halls for two schools, and dwelling-houses for
two Teachers. These buildings have been erected, and
a sum of money set apart for endowment by voluntary
contributions. A chapel of ease has also been erected
in the Gallowgate-street for the parish of St. John, on
a similar principle.

Although there ever has, and probably ever will be, a
diversity of opinion, as to the best mode of raising and
administering the poor's funds in this City, the following
very gratifying account of the Glasgow Provident Bank,
taken in connexion with the labouring classes, will be
highly approven of by all those who have the comfort,
happiness and independence of that valuable class of so-
ciety at heart.


Glasgow Provident IBank,

James Ewing, Esquire, Governor.

Adam Crooks, Esquire, Deputy-Governor.

This valuable and prosperous institution commenced on
3d July, 1815. Regular bank interest is allowed to the
depositors; the accounts are made up annually, and the
interest placed to the credit of each account. Sums of
One Shilling and upwards are taken from depositors,
who receive interest when the deposits amount to Sixteen
Shillings and Eight Pence, and have remained in tlie bank
one month. The deposits are lodged in the Royal Bank
of Scotland, whose directors, very much to their honour,
allow the Provident Bank such a sum over and above the
usual interest, as enables them to transact the business of
the depositors without any charge whatever.

The following is a statement of the concerns of the
Bank, which is open every Monday and Wednesday, from
10 to 12 o'clock, at 17 Queen-street, for the purpose of
receiving deposits, and between the same hours on Wed-
nesday, for paying out money.

Years end-
ing 1st July


Received from
Depositors, ex-
clusive of Inter-
est allowed.

Repaid to De-
positors includ-
ing Interest.

Interest allow-
ed to Deposi-


In 7 years


=£7,862 19

5,257 8 \\

8,281 6 2

12,271 19 7

9,365 3 7

11,119 2 9

11,419 12 5

4,695 9 2\
4,385 4 Hi
8,055 13 1

10,725 19 1
8,065 15 4i

10,292 11 Q\

£6\ 11 9

89 7 5\
154 14 11
333 17 2
; 386 3 11
448 12 10
541 19 5\


65,577 11 1\

51,695 12 9

2016 7 6

At the balance in 1822, the sum owing to depositors,
was e€l5,890, 3s. 3d, and the open accounts 3929, so


that only 1252 depositors had entirely withdrawn their
money during the first seven years operations.

From 1st July, 1822, to 27th February, 1823, the
state of the Bank is as under: 551 new accounts opened;
^7,823, Ss. 5 id. received from depositors; af 6,268, 9s.
repaid to depositors; and the sum in the Royal Bank
at the last date, owing to depositors, about ^17,450.
This is truly gratifying, but not more so, than the know-
ledge of the fact, that during seven years, the working
classes in Glasgow have so managed their savings as to en-
title them to more than Two Thousand Pounds interest
on their deposits, which, but for such an institution,
might have been laid out for purposes quite unavailing in
the hour of need.

The public are indebted to Mr. James Buchan, joint
cashier of the Provident Bank, for the information con-
tained in the foregoing Table.


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Online LibraryJames ClelandStatistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected → online text (page 11 of 23)