23 OCTOBER 1841, Page 3

Zbe Vrobintes.

About seven hundred operatives assembled in the Music Hall at Leeds, on Saturday, to receive the report of the Operatives Enumeration Com- mittee. Mr. John Speed, a working-man, was called to the chair. In the orchestra were Mr. Aldam, the Member for the borough, Mr. J. G. Marshall, Alderman Bateson, Dr. Smiles, and some other gentlemen. The Committee explained in what manner their report was compiled- " They provided a suitable enumeration-book for each of the wards, containing a series of columns, with printed designations, signifying the order in which the particulars were to be noted. They then selected twenty intelligent persons, good penmen, from among the unemployed operatives two of whom were assigned to each of the wards. They likewise employed Henry Hare, a com- petent person, otherwise unemployed to work out a correct analysis from all the books ; and the Sub-Committee met every evening (Sabbath excepted) during the taking of the enumeration, to investigate the progress and accuracy of the work."

The report showed in detail that there were in the borough 4,752 families, comprising 19,936 individuals, (3,780 employed, and 13,156 unemployed,) whose gross income amounted to 937/. 198. ld. ; giving an average weekly income per head of 1144 The Committee ab- stained from swelling the report by "reciting numerous cases of soul- harrowing privation "— "The' will only state generally, that in scores of instances the enumerators were obliged to write with the books placed on their knees, in consequence of the absence of every article of furniture that might be made available for rest- ing the book upon ; and in many, very many instances, such was the manifest destitution, that little else than the damp walls which enclose them constitute the only title to ' home ' which the miserable inmates could claim. In con- clusion, your Committee beg leave to state, that they have not caused the pur- lieu of the town to be explored for the purpose of swelling the amount of destitution in the report, as several confined places, notorious for their perma- nent misery, are not included in the enumeration." Dr. Smiles who had accompanied one of the enumerators, stated one or two special cases ; of which we select one- " At the end of Brooke Street, there was a small cellar-dwelling, nine feet by twelve, into which they were introduced by the enumerator. The dwelling was so considerably beneath the street, that only half of the window was above it. It was a damp, disagreeable, ill-lighted, ill-aired den. In that apartment they found three families, consisting of sixteen individuals, who slept in it every night. There were four adults and twelve children. Six individuals, constituting one family, slept upon a litter of straw, huddled together, not like human beings, not even like animals ; for their situation was not to be com- pared with the comfort of our dogs and horses in our stables. Other four or five slept on a bed of shavings, and the remaining five slept on another mi- serable bed in the apartment. When they entered, the poor mother was weeping ; her infant was on her knee, in the last stage of a fatal disease, dying without any medical assistance. The family was entirely destitute; no means of subsistence, no weekly earnings, no parish relief. That was one instance. He believed it was an extreme case ; but he challenged investigation into the correctness of the statement."

Dr. Smiles generalized upon what he had witnessed— He could scarcely describe to them how much misery he had seen in the course of that morning. And if there was so much misery in one or two streets, what misery must there be in that town, and how much more in the kingdom. What must there be in Ireland! Many Irish families said, in ex- cuse for not signing a pass to Ireland, that there was greater misery there. All classes, he considered, had an interest in this question : not only the poorer classes, not only the working-classes, but the middle classes also, had a deep interest in the question. He would refer to the grocers, who were just now supplying an immense number of the poor. These small grocers were failing, and becoming bankrupts in large numbers ; many were not able to pay them debts: these again, acted on middle-class men in a higher condition of life; and he could state, what most of them perhaps knew, that a large number of the first-class tradesmen had recently become bankrupts. Many of the trades- men in Leeds were in a most distressing condition. They had hope, and that was all. (A voice in the meeting, " And very little of that.") Among the resolutions was one to appoint a deputation to represent the state of the borough to the local authorities. The following was another- " That Great Britain is possessed of elements calculated to secure the nation's greatness and its people's happiness. That, notwithstanding. these ad- vantages, a vast amount of destitution exists. That this destitution Is not con- fined to any particular class or locality, painfully proving that disease pervades the whole body politic. That while its ravages are appalling the stoutest hearts, and fearful forebodings and alarm prevail, confusion, wretchedness, and poverty. begotten crime, are left to riot in society, without an effort being made by the Government to check their progress; this meeting unanimously resolve that a humble address be presented to the Queen, praying her Majesty to convene the two Houses of Parliament without delay, in order that measures for the alle- viation of the prevailing distress may be speedily adopted."

The Leeds Parliamentary Reform Association have issued an address, signed by their Chairman, Mr. J. G. Marshall, "to the merchants, ma- nufacturers and operatives of the West Riding of Yorkshire." They look forward to a gloomy prospect for the future, and warn their readers of a formidable attack which is to be made upon them-

" It plainly appears from various symptoe s, that a large and influential por- tion of the dominant class are deliberately bent on reducing your numbers and influence by increasing your distress. A scheme or policy more atrocious and insane never disgraced an educated and civilized community. The charge is too serious and awful to be lightly made. We shall state the indications that, joined to the acts of our rulers, appear to us conclusive evidence that such in- tentions are really entertained. We adduce as proofs-

" First, The admission of our friends among the aristocracy,—and, thank Heaven I we still have many—that their Conservative brethren in private con- versation fearlessly assert, what they dare not in public, that the manufacturing interest is already too powerful, and must be diminished—the population too great, and must be reduced.

"Secondly, That the words which fell from Sir James Graham, the present Home Secretary, in the interview which the Anti-Corn-law deputation had with him some time ago, left the same impression on their minds. "Thirdly, The following sentiments as expressed in the Quarterly Review, the Conservative journal—. Before emigration is tried, let us endeavour to oc- cupy our waste lands. Millions of acres are still unreclaimed, both in Great Britain and Ireland. Stop the gambling speculations of the manufacturers, and drain off the surplus population from the towns into the country. Let landlords plant colonies on their commons, and bogs, and mountains—plant them under their own eye, upon right principles of colonization, in organic bodies with powers of self-government, with social privileges, with the germs of village institutions, especially with that first principle of life and organiza- tion an efficient ecclesiastical establishment in the centre. Restore something of the feudal spirit into our tenure of land,. Raze, if you like, to the ground, half our overgrown metropolis.'" Another proof is given on the authority of the Reverend Baptist Noel- " One other remedy has been proposed: a distinguished o nent of the re- peal of the present Corn-laws, after describing the present au erings of the ma- nufacturers, their lowered wages, and their increasing numbers, ends, I con- fess it is frightful to contemplate such a state of things and of society, but it can no longer be concealed ; and yet the only remedy seems to be, to diminish the sources of employment, in order to produce future or permanent good.'"

A fifth-

" But the conclusive sentence is yet to come. What says their daily organ of the press, the Standard?—. England would be as great and powerful, and all useful Englishmen would be as rich as they are, though one ram should en- gulf all the manufacturing towns and districts of Great Britain."

The Reformers are also to blame for having been disunited ; the working-classes, for having been "too ready to listen to the false and irritating suggestions of our common enemies." From a knowledge of these faults a remedy is learned-

" We must learn to place our strength in union founded upon the mutual concession of minor differences; we must organize ourselves ; we must meet in friendly conference and discussion in the sincere search after the true causes and remedies of the evils of our social state. Our main practical object should be to ascertain the best means of reforming our present degrading and corrupt representative system, so as to secure the full, fair, and free representation of the people in Parliament. • * • To promote these objects the Leeds Par- liamentary Reform Association was founded, and it is to exhort you to form similar associations that we now earnestly appeal to you."

A meeting of the Young Men's Anti-Monopoly Association took place at the Manchester Corn Exchange on Friday night ; at which Colonel Thompson attended. About two thousand persons were pre- sent. Colonel Thompson repeated arguments which he had used at previous meetings in Manchester, for obtaining the repeal of the Corn- laws as a step towards obtaining the Charter. He reminded the Chartists, that while they had only thirty-nine supporters in the House of Com- mons, the Corn-law Repealers mustered two hundred strong, or more than five times as many; • and he maintained that it was the best gene- ralship to attack the weakest point first. A resolution was moved and seconded- " That this meeting views with disgust the conduct of Sir Robert Peel and his associate monopolists, in advising her Majesty to prorogue Parliament without considering the destitute condition of the labouring-classes; but that, fully convinced of the necessity for the total, immediate, and unconditional re- peal of the Corn and Provision monopolies, we pledge ourselves never to cease our efforts till we have attained that object and the obnoxious laws are swept from the Statute-book."

Mr. Doyle, a Chartist, moved an amendment in favour of the Charter; but the meeting would scarcely hear him. Mr. Vincent and other Chartists supported the amendment; which was opposed by Mr. Acland, Mr. Finnigan, and Mr. E. Watkin. The original motion was carried by a large majority.

In the debate on the Address in the House of Commons, Dr. Bow- ring stated that a poor man had died at his loom, in Bolton. Mr. Mott, the Assistant Poor-law Commissioner, was directed by Government to investigate the case, and his report was quoted in Parliament as com- pletely upsetting Dr. Bowring's statement. With the exception, how- ever, of inaccuracy in one particular, as to the suddenness of the man's death, the Doctor's account of the matter was generally correct ; and a little pamphlet has been issued at Bolton to prove that it was so. It is prefaced by a letter from Mr. Naisby, Dr. Bowring's authority, who sticks to his first story that Pearce, the man in question, died of want. Pearce's wife deposed before Mr. Mott that be was in comparatively comfortable circumstances. Mr. Naisby, however, republishes the evi- dence of several witnesses taken by Mr. Mott ; which tends to show that Mrs. Pearce was a woman of weak intellects, as:well as both their children, and that at the time of Pearce's death they were in a state of the most squalid misery. Mr. Naisby confirms that representation of his own knowledge ; and says that many of the Jury who sat in the in- quest on Pearce's body understood that a verdict was agreed to of " Diedfrom want of food"; but, from some misapprehension, that verdict was not recorded by the Coroner. Mr. Naisby adds, that the Reliev- ing-officer replied to his question in Mr. Mott's presence, that it was hie opinion that Pearce died from want of food; but that answer did not appear in Mr. Molt's report. The Commission inferred that the evidence had been got up to serve an Anti-Corn-law purpose at the election : Mr. Naisby avers that the evidence was collected by him some time before any meeting was held in Bolton under the sanction of the League ; and that when he alluded to the distress in Bolton at a political meeting, about the time of the election, he made no mention of this particular case.

The church-rate of 6d., moved by the Churchwardens of Birming- ham, after six day's poll has been rejected, by 7,281 votes to 626—ma- jority 6,655. There has been no church-rate granted in Birmingham since the year 1831; and no attempt to obtain one since the year 1834, when the numbers polled were—against the rate 6,699, for the rate 1723.

St. Mary is added to those parishes in Bury which refuse a church- rate ; and T. 0. Springfield and Peter Finch, Esqrs., the Churchwardens, have been declared in contempt by the Archdeacon. The Church- wardens have on this occasion done all they could to obtain a rate of the parishioners ; and though it seems that the notice was put on the doors on Sunday, it was down on the following day, and no opponent knew of the Vestry-meeting an hour before the time. However, as soon as the Anti-Church-rate party knew of it, they immediately mustered their forces ; and when Mr. Springfield moved that a church-rate of 6d. be allowed, an adjournment of six months was moved as an amendment, and on a show of hands being taken, was declared to be carried by a majority of two. The Church people demanded a poll of the parish and when the books were closed, at four o'clock, there were for the rate 28, against it 33.—Bury Post.

The late boisterous gales have caused considerable damage at Dover. Some of the beach has been carried away, and a great many boat-houses and small buildings have been washed down. For several days past, so much of the shingle has been carried away by the waves, that the sea now washes ten or fifteen feet nearer to the Marine Parade and Waterloo Crescent, than formerly. The late storms have made a stap in the work of encroachment which has been going on at Dover for years. Scarcely any beach remains to the Westward of the Stonehead. An enormous fall of chalk took place at the Round Down Cliff a twelve- month ago, which has stopped the progress of the shingle to the East- ward. The base of the Bullock Rock has been undermined to a con- siderable extent, and there are many large clefts in various parts of it. The platform leading to the entrance of the tunnel under Shakspere's Otiff has disappeared ; and a large portion of the cliff itself, of several thousand tons weight, fell last Sunday. In order that means may be taken to prevent the sea from encroaching further on the town, a depu- tation of the inhabitants of Dover waited upon Mr. Jenkihson, the Deputy Lieutenant-Governor of Dover Castle, on Monday, to ascertain if the Harbour Commissioners could render them any assistance. Mr. Jenkinson informed the deputation that he would do every thing in his power to aid them ; and he immediately communicated with the Duke of Wellington on the subject. The Duke rode over the same afternoon to Dover to make inquii ies into the circumstances.

The high tide flowed up the liver Medway on Monday afternoon. Seme thousands of acres along the coast were laid under water. At Gillingham, the tide rose into the street. Great damage was done at Chatham, by the carrying away of warehouses and timber from the wharfs. The gardens adjoining Rochester were covered with water se- veral feet deep ; and the gas-works, situated near the embankment of -the river, were completely embedded in the flood, so that the towns were left in total darkness.

On Wednesday, two labourers madly attempted to cross the line of the Great Western Railway before an approaching engine : both were knocked down, and one was killed on the spot.

An extensive fire took place on Sunday night, at South Molton, in Devonshire. It broke out in a lodging-house situated in South Street. Owing to the high wind, it was impossible to stop the progress of the flames for many hours, and thirty-three houses were burnt in South -Street. The night before, an inundation swept away a great portion -of the bridge ; and a boy, who was crossing the bridge at the time, is said to have been carried away with it, and drowned.

At about two o'clock on Thursday moaning, the inhabitants of Derby were awakened by the cry of fire, and the Town-hall was discovered to be in flames. There was some delay in procuring engines, and then the supply of water was short ; so that the vigorous efforts of the collected crowd in aid of the enginemen to subdue the flames were unavailing. By four o'clock the roof began to give way, and the flames burst forth in a lurid glare, illuminating the country for miles around. Between four and five, a snow-storm added to the strangeness of the scene. At six, the fire had burned out, and the hall was a mass of ruin. Many re- cords have perished in the flames. It is supposed that the flames ori- ginated in some lighted coals which fell on the boards from a grate in the committee-room, where a fire had been left burning over night. The building was erected in 1828, at a cost of 12,0001.: it was insured for 5,000/.