James Cleland.

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

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Note, The females in the Hospital are to the males as 342 to 174 :
as the allowance to out-door-pensioners is frequently given to families,
it would be very difficult to distinguish the males from the females.

Q. 12. What is the highest and lowest rate of regular relief allowed
(where there is no charity work-house) to the Ordinary poor, described
as above ?


In 1813, ...



1814, ...



1815, ...



1816, ...



1817, ...



A. The average annual expense of the whole inmates — children
and adults — in the Hospital is £9 3s. 3^d.* The sums given to out-
door pensioners fluctuating with every change of circumstance, an
average cannot be given with the same degree of accuracy. The sums
however given to individual paupers, or their families, (or an equal value
in meal) may be taken as near the truth, at from £2 10s. to €7 10s.
per annum: the greater part receiving about £4 10s. per annum.

Q. 13. What is the number of Industrious poor, who, during the last
ten years, have received regularly /jarifa/ relief from the Kirk-Session,
though, in general, able to earn a proportion of maintenance for them-
selves or families ?

A. The number for each year is as follows :

In 1808,





Q. 14. What is the highest and lowest rate of regular relief allowed
to the Industrious poor, described as above ?

A. From Is. 6d. to 4s. 6d. The average per month is Ss. l^d.
and one-eighth of a farthing.

Q. 15. Is relief given occasionally to individuals or families of the /«-
dustrious poor, from the common poor's funds, in order to prevent them
coming permanently on the poor's roll ? and if so, to what average
amount, in each case, or of the whole, annually, during the last ten
years ?

A. Occasional relief is very often given ; it varies from 2s. 6d. to IDs.
For this purpose the Kirk-Sessions receive part of the Assessment, vary-
ing of late years from Five to Thirteen Hundred Pounds, per annum;

Q. 16. What is the sum total of allowances distributed by the Kirk-
Session in each year, for the last ten years, to the Ordinary and In-
dustrious Poor, who have been regularly on the Poor's roll ?

A. The sum distributed by individual Kirk-Sessions to the Poor
on their respective rolls varies according to existing circumstances ; the
aggregate sum, however, allocated to the poor of the eight Sessions,
has not varied for the last ten years ; it amounts to £2437 10s. When
the sums allowed by the Session have been found insufficient for a
pauper's sustenance, it is usual to recommend him for the Hospital

Q. 17. In admitting a pauper on the Poor's Roll and fixing tlie

* The House was opened on 15th November 1733; and, on 15th November 1734, it
contained one hundred and forty inmates, who were maintained at the daily expense of
one penny and seven twelfths of a penny sterling each, or iunet«en pennies Scots, or
£2 8s. l|d. Bterling per annuni.



amount of his allowance, is the moral character, as good or bad, con-
sidered ?

A. Character is certainly considered ; the worthless, however, have
occasionally contrived to get on the Poor's Roll.

Q. 18. Has any pauper, (and if so, how many?) who had no right
from residence, to your parish Charity, been removed from your parish
by the Kirk-Session to another parish, where he or they had such a
right ; or, has any, on similar grounds, been removed from another
parish to yours ?

A. Some few instances of both kinds have occurred.
Q. 19. If such removal has taken place, how was the expense of it
paid ? and what has been the sum total of such expense during the last
ten years ?

A. The expense of removal is paid from the general Assessment,
and has not exceeded £lO for the whole of the last ten years.

Q. 20. Has any litigation taken place between your parish and any
other, as to a pauper's residence and right to the parish charity ? and
what has been the expense of such litigation during the last ten years ?
A. No litigation has taken place relative to this matter.
Q. 21. Has your Kirk-Session paid or received allowances for such
paupers as were permitted to remain in the parish where they happened
to reside when they became chargeable ? and to what amount during
the last ten years ?

A. A few such cases have occurred ; the sums were paid according to
the rates of the different parishes in which the paupers were resident.

Q. 22. Was any stipulation made between the Kirk-Sessions con-
cerned, as to the rate of allowance to be given to such paupers ? and
has the Session paying the allowances ever objected, and with what
result, to the rate given by the Session where the pauper happened to
reside ?

A. No stipulation has been considered necessary, nor has any objection
been made. ;

Q. 23. Does the Kirk- Session claim a right to the effects of paupers
who are on the poor's roll at their death ? and does this claim seem to
have any effect in disinclining the people to come on the poor's roll ?

A. The Committee on the Town's Hospital have been in the habit of
claiming the effects of paupers, when they went into the House ; and
this has had some effect in deterring a particular class of paupers from
becoming Inmates. It is not usual however for the Kirk-Session to claim
the effects of those who may be on the poor's roll.

Q. 24'. Has there been any instance of a pauper, or of others for his
behoof, attempting to enforce by law a higher allowance than the Kirk-
Session were willing to give ? and what was the result ?

A. There is no instance of this kind recollected. On the 16th
February 1815, a Superintendent for the Poor was appointed, with a


salary of £100 per annum ; among other duties, he visits the applicants
and pensioners, makes out a statement of their respective cases, assists
in the distribution, and takes care that none be admitted on the Funds
without having a legal domicile of three years.

Q. 25. What are the names (and the numbers, as nearly as you can
compute) of the religious Sects in your parish ? are there any (and if
so, how many) of their poor on the poor's roll of the parish ? and what
is the annual sum total of relief given to them ?

A. In Glasgow there are a number of religious Societies, uncon-
nected with the establishment. It is difficult, however, to give a
correct idea of their number : 210 persons of this description were par-
tially supported from the funds of the Town's Hospital in 1816.* The
number receiving relief from the Sessions has not been ascertained.

Q. 26. What, as nearly as you know or can compute, is the number
of paupers belonging to these Sects, who are not on the poor's roll of
the parish, but are supported by these sects themselves respectively ?

A. For obvious reasons, the first part of this Query cannot be
answered accurately. With regard to the second, it will be near the
truth to say that the above Societies in 1816 distributed £1200 to their
own poor.

Q. 27. Are stranger poor allowed to beg in the parish ? do the parish
poor beg ? and if so, do they wear badges ?

A. Although there is no permission given to the parish or stranger
poor to beg, there are a few of both classes who beg, particularly on
Saturdays. Arrangements are now making, which, it is hoped, will
greatly lessen public begging.

Q. 28. Are there occasionally Extraordinary collections or contribu-
tions for individual instances of misfortune or distress among the Indus-
trious poor ? what may be the amount of these ? and do they ever keep
a particular person or family from coming permanently on the Poor's
Roll ?

A. No collections for individual instances of misfortune have, it is
believed, been made under the authority of the Kirk Session ; but no-
where are voluntary contributions for such purposes more frequent, or

* Oil the 20th August 1817, there were 1 501 paupers receiving aliment from the
Hospital, as out-door pensioners, who described themselves to the Superintendent of the
Poor, as belonging to the following religious denominations, viz. — The Eight
Established Churches, 943 — Gaelic Chapel, Queen-Street, 150 — Do. Duke-Street, S8
,— Do. Gorbals, .TO — Total connected with the Establishment, 1211 — Relief, 63 —
Episcopalians, 50 — Methodists, 50 — Roman Catholics, 46 — Old Light Burghers, 34 —
Burghers, 21 — Tabernacle, 6 — Baptists, 6 — Antiburghers, 5 — Glassites, 5 — Reformed

Presbyterians, 4.— Total, 1501 In January 1820, Mr. Scott, the Roman CathoUo

clergyman in this city, estimated, and reported to me, that, connected with his chapel,
there are in aU Lanarksliirc, anrl parts of ReufvcAvshiie, Duuibartoushire, Stivliugshire,
and Linlithgowshire, about 20,000 souls.


more liberal, although from their nature, it is not easy to specify the
Q. 29. What is the number in the parish,

1. Of persons Blind?

2. Of persons Deaf and Dumb ?

3. Of persons Deaf and Dumb, and Blind ?

If any of these three classes are poor, how are they employed and
supported ?

A. In a City such as Glasgow it would require much longer time
than is given, to answer this Query with any degree of precision. When
the parties are poor their wants are supplied as other paupers in a si-
milar situation in life.

Q. 30. Can you state the sums raised in 1816 — 17 for the occasional
relief of the industrious poor, the way in which the relief was given,
and the number of those relieved ?

A. A very large sum was voluntarily subscribed, and £9653 6fe. 2d.
actually distributed to 23,130 persons, by a Committee of the Sub-
scribers, acting gratuitously.

Q. 31. Is there a Savings Bank in your parish ? when was it estab-
lished? and what is the number of depositors ?

A. A Savings Bank was established on 3d July, 1815. On the
26th of that month 157 Accounts were opened, and 773 deposites
made, amounting to £1608 16s. From 3d July, 1815, till 26th June,
1816, the Deposites amounted to £7862 19s. and on 2Ist November,
1816, there were 1410 Accounts opened in the Bank.

Q. 32. If there is no Savings Bank, have the poor other opportunities
afforded them of accumulating their savings safely ? and have they been
in the practice of so accumulating them as to prevent their coming on
the Poor's Roll ?

A. See the preceding answer, also the foregoing article Provident

Q. 33. Are there difficulties in the way of establishing a Savings
Bank, from local circumstances or otherwise ? and how could these be
obviated ?

A. See the answer to Query 31.

Q. 34. Are there any Friendly Societies in the parish ? and if so,
how many are there ? and what is the number of persons belonging to
them ?

A. There are 129 Friendly Societies established in the City and
Suburbs, but, as the number of Members varies every day, it is diffi-
cult to ascertain the aggregate. At a moderate calculation they may be
taken as averaging 120 Members to each Society, thereby making
15,480 Members in whole. As the Suburbs are completely commixed
with particular districts of the Royalty, it is no easy matter to ascertain
the number strictly belonging to the City. The amount of population


in the City and Suburbs being nearly the «ame, it may be near the
truth to take the members of Friendly Societies living in the City at 8000.
Q. 35. Is there from local circumstances or otherwise, any comparative
want of opportunity or means of common or of religious Education
among the poor ?

A. There is no want of the means of education.
Q. 36. Are there any, and if so, what, in your opinion, may be the
number who have not been taught to Read ?

A. There are very few indeed who have not been taught to read.
Q. 37. What are the Fees payable by the Poor for the different
Branches taught in the Parish School? and does the Kirk-Session pay
from the Parish funds the school fees of any Poor Scholars ? and if so,
of how many ?

A. The Poor receive their education gratis: the Kirk- Session sup-
ports six Charity Schools, which contain 450 Children, educated at
an annual expense of £320, £288 of which go as salary to the Teachers.
Besides being taught to read and write, the children receive shoes,
stockings, books, &c. In addition to these Schools, which are exclu-
sively supported from the Session Funds, there are several others in
which education is either given gratis, or at a rate within the reach of
the industrious Poor.

Q. 38. Is there a Sunday School in the Parish ? how many Scholars
at an average attend it ? and how is the expense of it defrayed ?

A. Sunday Schools were first established in Glasgow in 1787.
There are now 34; Schools within the Royalty, in which 3300 children
are taught to read, and instructed in the principles of religion. * Of
these Schools 12 are superintended by the Session and supported from
its funds, at an expense of £30 to the Teachers, exclusive of books and
small premiums. The other Schools are supported by voluntary contri-
bution, at an expense of £365 for room rents, books, coals, candles,
&c. the Teachers and Monitors doing the whole duty free of expense,
under the superintendence of Committees from the Subscribers.

Q. 39. Are there in the parish any families, who, to your knowledge
or belief, do not possess, from their poverty, a copy of the Bible ? and,
speaking generally, is there, from poverty, a want of copies of the
Bible among any individuals or families in the parish ?

A. There are few or no families except, perhaps, the most worthless,
who do not possess a copy of the Bible.

Q. 40. Are there any Mortifications, or other Charitable Institutions
or Funds, which are not under the management of the Kirk-Session or
Hospital ?

* On 30tb June, 1819, there were within the Royalty 109 Siuulay Schools, 161
Teachers, and 4747 Scholars, viz. boys 2260, girls 2487. The greater part of these
Schools have Libraries attached to them.


A. There are a number of such Mortifications and Charitable

a. What is their object?

a. Their objects are the relief of the old and indigent, and the
clothing and education of 3'outh.

b. What is the amount of their funds, as nearly as you know, or can
compute ?

b. The amount distributed in 1816, was £21,334 13s. 9d.

* There were within the Royalty, in 1819, 12 Mortmains, and 57 benevolent insti-
tutions, whose managers gave relief to persons fallen into narrow circumstances, for
curing their diseases, or educating or clothing children, amounting in whole to £2l,lC>ti
\2s. 4d. The Benefit Societies for Operatives, during the same year expended
9^1800 in Aliments.


A71 Account of the Nature and proceedings of the Society in Editi-
burgh for Relief of Destitute Imprisoned Debtors.


James Nairne, Esquire, of Claremont.


The amount of good accomplished by this Association in the few
vears which have elapsed since its institution, has induced those who
are friendly to it, to lay some account of its nature and objects before
the public, in the hope that similar institutions may be formed in other

The Edinburgh Association took its rise in a very simple manner.
A few friends, in the middle ranks of life, chiefly connected with the
Destitute Sick Society, had observed with pain the great misery brought
upon individuals and families, by the imprisonment of poor mechanics
and labourers for small debts. It occurred to these friends, that many
evils might be remedied, at a very small expense, by judiciously assist-
ing objects of this description. As soon as the idea was started, they
agreed to contribute annually at least fve shillings each ; money they
did not think would be wanting. The only difficulty anticipated — not
at the outset, but ultimately — was, what is indeed the main difficulty
in all charitable institutions, that of procuring a sufficient number of per-
sons who could and would give the necessary time, and take the necessary,


The first Committee was appointed on tlie 15th of November 1813 ;
and the whole business of the Society has since that period been con-
ducted by a Committee named at the Annual General Meetings, con-
sisting of from twelve to twenty members. The Committee has hitherto
been divided into classes of two or three members, whose residence ena-
bles them to communicate most readily with each other ; each class
acting in rotation for two months, by attending the jails, investigating
cases, and relieving individuals and families according to circumstances:
and what is thus done is reported at the end of every two months to the
General Committee. Within seven years, about five hundred cases
have been investigated ; slwA. four hundred and fij'leen persons have been
liberated from the jails of Edinburgh and Canongate, most of whom
were heads of families, varying from two to eleven in number. In a
great proportion of those cases, also, some pecuniary assistance has been
given to the debtors' families; yet the whole expenditure for these seven
years, including the expense of printing, rooms for meetings, &c. has
amounted only to the sum of £214 : 10 : 2, or £30 : 12 : 10|, per annum !
Not a few of the debtors thus liberated were old, infirm, or in bad health;
and all of them, it may be said, were completely destitute.

But, in order to prevent misconception, it is necessary to explain
more fully the principles on which the Society have proceeded. In the
first place, then, it is not the object of the Society to fay debts, and
therefore it can have no tendency to encourage indolence or extrava-
gance. The main purpose of the Association is to relieve the honest and
destitute debtor, without benefiting the rigorous, or injuring the fair and
well intentioned Creditor. Upon these principles, assistance is given
exclusively to those who are unable to support themselves in Jail ; and in
no case is it afforded until an investigation has taken place. It is true,
that if the debtor allege that he is on the point of starving for want, and
if his story be confirmed by appearances, and the report of the Jailor, a
trifle is given to procure the necessaries of life, until he receives aliment.
If he should have a young or distressed family, suffering from want of
the necessaries of life, in consequence of his incarceration, some tem-
porary assistance is also given to the family, especially if they appear
industrious and well behaved.

The next object, if the debtor should not have acted fraudulently or
culpably, is to get him liberated from Jail ; and this is generally accom-
plished by applying to, and reasoning with the Creditor. If the debtor
be obviously poor and destitute, it is not often difficult to satisfy the
Creditor, that his only chance of obtaining payment is, by giving liberty
to his debtor; and, in most cases, this is done upon an arrangement, by
which the latter agrees to pay the debt by such instalments as his wages,
or other means, can reasonably afford. Nothing is ever done for a debtor
who does not shew the utmost readiness to discharge his debt to the best of
his abilities ; but the instances in which any backwardness has been shewn


bv these unfortunate persons, to do all that could be desired of them, have
been rare indeed, not amounting to tivelve out of more than /our hundred^
and, generally speaking, there has been most reason and fairness on the
part of the debtors, the greater part of whom have honourably fulfilled
the engagements come under by them while in Jail ; that is to say, they
have in most instances paid their debts in the manner agreed upon.
The visitors of the Society do every thing in their power to bring about
an understanding or reconciliation between the debtor and Creditor; and
in many instances they have been successful, to the manifest advantage
of both parties. But when the debtor appears to be dishonestly inclin-
ed, or unwilling to do what is in his power to discharge a just debt, he
is left to himself; and, on the other hand, if the Creditor appear un-
reasonable or inexorable, /rojw irritation or heart-heartedness, or from a
hope that the Society will pay the debt or a part of it, and refuse to
listen to a reasonable arrangement, the debtor and his family, (if he have
one) are supplied with necessaries, and application is made, at the So-
ciety's expense, for the benefit of the Act of Grace. It has been found
necessary to have recourse to that process in about one hundred and
twelve instances out o? Jour hundred and fifteen. As the debt is not ex-
tincruished by an Act of Grace liberation, the debtor continuing bound
in law to pa)' as soon as his circumstances are changed for the better,
there does not seem to be a possibility that mischief can arise from such
interference. On the contrary, the obvious tendency of this charity is
to bind man to man ; and to lead the unfortunate debtors themselves to
attach more consequence than ever to character and industry.

To the Creditors, on the other hand, the consequences are still more
salutary. Those who set a value on reputation are made thus to reflect
before they throw a poor labouring man into prison. They consider
how their conduct will appear in the eyes of those neighbours who are
sure to investigate the case of their debtors. This leads them to inquire
into their debtors' circumstances ; it ensures something like candour in
the course of the inquiry ; and it cannot be doubted, that the mere
existence of such an association will prevent more imprisonments, than
it will procure liberations. This was strikingly exemplified in the case
of Stirling. A similar Association was instituted in that Burgh; and
at the time when it was formed, there were a considerable number of
poor debtors in the Burgh Jail ; but it was found in the course of a few
months, that the mere institution of the Society had entirely removed
the necessity for its continued existence. In so great a city as Edinburgh,
where persons in business are less known to each other, and where there
are necessarilj' a greater number of persons less alive to the value of a
good name than in smaller communities, the same complete success is
not to be looked for; but there can be no doubt that the same principle
does operate in this city to a considerable extent, and will operate less
or more wherever such an Association is instituted.


After the statement and explanations now made and given, it appears
to be quite unnecessary to dilate on the evils prevented, or the good
accomplished by Societies for the relief of Destitute Imprisoned Debtors.
— They hold out, indeed, the gratifying prospects of doing away, at no
distant period, perhaps, the practice of imprisonment for small debts
altogether. At all events it is manifest, that if debtors generally were
made sensible that they could not by allowing themselves to be thrown
into Jail, get rid of a debt, which they certainly cannot do under the
Act of Grace ; and, if Creditors were convinced generally, that incar-
ceration, instead of forwarding their views, is sure to defeat them in all
cases where their debtors are honest men;^-there would be no occasion
for imprisoning any one willing to give a fair account of his circumstan-
ces, and to pay whatever his means could afford. An arrangement
between the parties would thus become a substitute for imprisonment;
one of the great objects of societies of this nature being to facilitate and
bring about such arrangements.

Such is the plan, and such is the object of the Association for
Relief of Destitute Imprisoned Debtors ; the plain and simple
exposition which has just been given, will, it is hoped, not only satisfy
the public in regard to its nature and tendency, but also, from its produc-
ing a conviction of its being calculated to prevent and alleviate much
misery, without encouraging improvidence, induce otker towns to follow
the example of Edinburgh.


In the course of this year, the Committee have investigated one hun-
dred and seventy-eight cases. During the same period one hundred
and sixty-six individuals have been liberated from Jail ; ninety, on pro-
mises to pay ',^ti/-six, by means of proceedings under the Act of Grace;
thirteen, in consequence of the debts having been paid by friends,
masters, magistrates, or others, who became interested through the
inquiries set on foot, or information given by the members of Commit-
tee ; three, upon security being found for the debts by the friends or

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Online LibraryJames ClelandStatistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected → online text (page 14 of 23)