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jirmity. Whoever avails himself of this provision, without exerting himself to the utmost, commits a fraud upon the public.
With this view of the subject, and most sincerely interested in the happiness and comfort of every individual employed in a pursuit which engrosses so much of my attention, I earnestly intreat you to make provision for yourselves, by an Agricultural CJ'.ib: and to evince the sincerity of my zeal for its success, I shall cheerfully contribute three-tenths to whatever gum may be collected, subject, however, to the following regulations:
RULES Op Thb AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
Art. I. Every member shall pay three pence per week to the fund; and must have contributed six months, to be entitled to relief.
II. No relief to be allowed till after the expiration of One week's confinement from sickness: a certificate from the medical attendant will be required.—Sickness or accidents, arising from drunkenness or irregularity, will be excluded from any benefit or relief from the society.
III. Ten shillings per week to be allowed in cases of sickness, for twelve weeks; and seven shilljngs per week afterwards, till the member be able to resume his employr ment. Provided always, no person shall be entitled to rer ceive at any one period above ten times the amount of what he may have contributed to the fund, together with Mr. Curwen's proportionate allowance on the same, for any sickness or incapacity, without the consent and approbation of
of the wfeple society.-—Whenever the funds of
the the society will permit, an extension of relief will be granted.
IV. Any person quitting Mr. Curwen's employment may continue a member, provided they have not been dismissed for improper behayiour,
V. Any person under forty years of age may become a member. A committee of six persons to be chosen annually to inspect the accounts, and to determine upon all occurrences that may arise; one of whom shall in his turn visit and report upon the state and situation of all sick members.
VI. Any person neglecting to pay his contributions for three months, to be excluded. Mr. Curwen's principal agent, in his absence, to act as president. The contributions to be paid at the office.—Accounts to be published annually.
VII. Mr. Curwen agrees to pay three-tenths of the whole sum contributed. In case of the death of any member, the society to allow his .widow and children five pounds for defraying the funeral expenses, provided the funds amount to thirty pounds; if under thirty pounds, two guineas and a half.
In addition to the said society's rules; no person to be hereafter employed in labouring work, who will not consent lo pay three pence per week into a fund for afford ing casual relief. The relief from this fund to be regulated by the necessity of each case, and the state of the funds; Mr. Curwen's head agent, in his absence, to regulate the same; and to have the same allowance from Mr. Curwen.
Out of the number of labourers employed, a very great number are strangers, destitute of any resource in cases of accident or sickness; in order to provide against the hardships incidental to such persons, this regulation is instituted.
Labourers' Labourers' Society at the Schoose Farm.
£. s. d. £. s. d.
Year 1807 - - 17 7 I 2 0 0
Balancein the hands of J. C.Curwen, Esq. ... 13 7 I
£. s. d.
Contributions by the Society 13 7 0
J. C. Curwen, Esq's 3-lOths proportion 4 0 1
£.17 7 1
So much has been said and written by the statesman, the philosopher, and the theorist, on the important subject of the poor laws, and such a variety of schemes have been submitted to the public, without their having hitherto produced any practical benefit, that it would be the height of temerity to hope any thing I could offer would be more fortunate. I am anxious, however, to detail the result of some years experience. The inferences I wish to draw will meet with more or less attention, according as they shall appear to be just conclusions from established facts.
It is a melancholy avowal how little has been done in the way of improving the condition of the indigent poor, notwithstanding the numerous projects which at different periods have been submitted to parliament. Thus we suffer the evil to increase with rapid strides, until at length it may be past all means of redress.
To introduce my observations with proper effect, I have given in the preceding pages a correct statement of the rates levied for the support of the town of Workington, as well as an account of the different Benefit Societies, the state of their funds, and the whole amount of their respective contributions; and the following tabk will exhibit the results in a striking point of view: .. .