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Vol. II. 







"■ 8. 54 




Hatred of Oppression — Distressed Needlewomen — The Ameers of Scinde 
— Motion for their Release from Imprisonment — Result of the Motion — 
Tahiti— Queen Pomare— Pritchard the Missionary— War with France 
imminent — Sir James Graham's Bill for Regulation of Labour in 
Factories— Agitation— " The Ten Hours and No Surrender ! "—Dis- 
tance Traversed by Children in Daily Work— An Amusing Experiment 
by Lord Palmerston— A Masterly Speech— Attack by Mr. John Bright 
— A Scene in the House — Peel in a Dilemma — Government Stratagems 
to Rescind Votes — "Jack Cade" Legislation — Unpopularity of Sir 
James Graham— A Distance Table— New Factory Bill brought in— 
Motion for Introduction of New Clause— The Ten Hours Bill Argued 
on Commercial Grounds — Sir James Graham Threatens Resignation — 
Sir Robert Peel Follows Suit— A Signal Defeat— Mr. C. Greville's 
A^iew of the Situation— Second Threatened Resignation of the Ministry 
— Correspondence with Sir Robert Peel — Dissenters' Chapels Bill — 
Report of Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy — Motion Thereon — 
Public and Private Asylums — Lunacy in its Early Stages — Middle- 
class Patients— Motion Withdrawn— Mr. Shell's Eulogy— Placing a 
Son at School — Mrs. Fry — Visit of Emperor of Russia — Tour Through 
Factory Districts — Receives Addresses — Fresh Schemes — Beset by 
Bulls of Bashan 



Retrospect and Forecast — The Irish Secretaryship — State of Calico Print- 
Works Bill to Regulate Labour of Children therein— At St. Giles's — 
Defenceless State of Dockyards and Coast — Tractarian Movement — 
Mr. Ward Censured and Deprived of his Degree — Converts to Rome — 
Maynooth — Sir Robert Peel's Bill for Increased Grant — Excitement in 
the Country — The Bill Carried — Sympathy with Ireland — Speech on 



Maynooth— The Evangelical Fathers— Jews' Society — Death of Bishop 
Alexander — The Railway Mania — Two Bills on the Lunacy Question 
— The Regulation of Lunatic Asylums — The Better Treatment of 
Lunatics— Both Bills Carried — Appointment of Permanent Lunacy 
Commission — Insanity of the Poet Cowper — The Society of Friends — 
Tour in Manufacturing Districts — A Coming Storm — The Potato 
Disease — Commission of Inquiry Appointed — A Letter to the Times — 
Its Reception — Changes of View on Corn Laws — Letter from Lord 
John Russell — Resignation and Re-appointment of Sir Robert Peel — A 
Painful Alternative . . . . . . . . . .81 



Repeal of the Corn Laws — The Ten Hours Bill — Mr. John Bright — Seat 
for Dorset Resigned — Hard Work in Factory Districts — Care of Ten 
Hours Bill devolves on Mr. Fielden — Out of Parliament — In the Lobby 
— Fall of the Peel Ministry — Lord John Russell, Prime Minister — The 
Colonies — Indian Successes — Letter from Sir Henry Hardinge — 
Gloomy Views — The Ragged School Union — Curious Coincidence of 
Names — Labour for the Poor — The London City Mission — The 
Labourers' Friend Society — Housing of the Poor — Perambulations in 
Low Haunts of London — Speaking to the Outcasts — With Little 
Children — The Model Lodging-House System Inaugurated — Article 
in Quarterly Review — A Striking Narrative — Poverty and Riches — 
Dreams of Future Work — Activity in Religious Circles — Young Men's 
Christian Association — Early Closing Movement — Bishop Gobat — A 
Foreign Tour — Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Holland — "The Cells 
where Memory Slept "— Invited to Stand for Bath — Famine in Ireland 
— Pope Pius IX. — A Talk with Lord John Russell — Church Appoint- 
ments—Unsuitable Education— Poverty . . . . . .125 


1847 — 1850. THE TEN HOURS BILL. 

In Lancashire— Mr. Fielden's Ten Hours Bill — Debate thereon in the 
Lords — Lord Brougham — The Bishop of Oxford — The Bill Carried — 
Rejoicings — Letter to the Short Time Committees — A Check to the 
Rejoicings— The System of " Relays " and " Shifts "—A Test Case— 
The Bill in Jeopardy— Mr. Baron Parkes' Adverse Decision in the Test 
Case — An Appeal to the House — The Work of Agitation Renewed — 
Sir George Grey's Proposal— Acceded to by Lord Ashley — A Split in 
the Camp — The Government Bill becomes Law — The Principle Estab- 
lished by the Ten Hours Bill— Recantation of Mr. Roebuck and Sir 
James Graham — Letter from Mr. Roebuck — Mr. Gladstone on Factory 
Legislation— Tributes— Summary of whole Subject . . . .188 





Famine in Ireland— Day of Humiliation — National Education and Wes- 
leyan Support — Letter from Lord John Russell — Election Speech at 
Bath— Incidents of the Election— Returned Head of the roll— Ragged 
School Business — Broadwall Ragged School — Roger Miller, City 
Missionary — His Death — Article on Mrs. Elizabeth Fry— Quakers and 
Quakerism — Article on Lodging Houses — A Hapless Wanderer— A 
Round of Visits— Leader of the Conservative Party — Missionaries — 
Miss Strickland— Highland Scenery— A Presentation at Bradford- 
Party Spirit — Labours in Lunacy Cases — Baron Lionel Rothschild and 
Jewish Disabilities— At Windsor— Dr. Hampden— Faith . . .212 



Coming Storm — Revolution in France — Flight of Louis Philippe — A 
Revolutionary Epidemic — State of England— Louis Philippe Lands in 
Sussex — Panic among English Residents in France— Efforts for their 
Relief — Metternich Deposed—" Revolutions go off like Pop-guns ! " — 
The Chartist Demonstration — Ends in a Fiasco — The Prince Consort— 
A Conversation at Osborne — Letter from the Prince Consort — Letter 
from Lord John Russell — The Prince Visits Homes of the Poor — 
Presides at Labourers' Friend Society— May Meetings —Philanthropy 
a Mania — State of Sanitary Science — Chairmanship of Board of Health 
— Ragged Schools and Emigration -Condition of the Poor— Emigration 
Scheme Expounded — Farewell Address to Emigrants—" Lord Ashley's 
Boys'' — A Curious Letter— Anecdotes of Thieves— A Strange Expe- 
rience— A Thieves' Conference — Lord Hardinge — Letter from Mr. 
Gladstone— In Scotland again — Special Providences — With the Queen 
Dowager— With the Queen at Harrow — Death of Lord Melbourne . 234 



Habeas Corpus Act Suspended — Distress in Ireland — Plans and Projects — 
Illness — Scheme for Subdivision of Parishes — Good Friday — Idle 
Ecclesiastics — Attendance at Court — Capital Punishment — A Sorrow- 
ful Narrative— Death of Son at Harrow — Effect on Lord Ashley — 
Ragged School Emigration Scheme — A Very Precious Letter — Approach 
of Cholera — Labours on the Board of Health — The City of the Plague 
— Public Prayers — Correspondence with Lord John Russell and Sir 
George Grey — Cholera Statistics — Lord Hardinge — Sanday Labour at 



the Post-Office— Colle ':tion and Delivery of Sunday Letters Suspended 
— The most Unpopular Man in the Kiogdom — The Order Prohibiting 
Sunday Labour at Post- Office Rescinded 276 



Trusteeship of Money — Miss Portal — Death of Rev. E. Bickersteth — 
Mediation — Ash Wednesday — In Paris— Adolph Monod — Low Haunts 
of Paris — At Madame Pozzo's — The President's Reception at the 
Elysee— Lamartine — Theatres— Board of Health— Extra-mural Inter- 
ment Bill— Death of Sir Robert Peel— Memories— In Scotland— The 
Papal Aggression — Dr. "Wiseman — The " Durham Letter " — Great 
Meeting at Freemasons' Hall — Letter from the Bishop of Oxford — 
Speech on Progress of Popery — Action of English Catholics — The 
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill — Archdeacon Manning Joins the Church of 
Rome — Roman Catholics and Roman Catholicism — Christian Fellowship 
— The Great Exhibition — The Shoeblack Brigade — Bible Stand in 
Exhibition — President of British and Foreign Bible Society — Speech 
at Anniversary Meeting — Model Lodging-House Bill — Common Lodg- 
ing-House Bill — Death of Lord Shaftesbury — Lord Ashley Reviews his 
Career ............. 308 


1851 (june)— 1852. 

Farewell to House of Commons — In the House of Lords — Speech on 
Common Lodging-House Bill — Model Lodging-House Bill — Early Im- 
pressions of House of Lords — First Acts of Power — St. Giles's — Sweep- 
ing Reforms — The Truck System — Cottage Accommodation — Kossuth — 
Socialism — Letter to Lord John Russell — Thomas Wright, the Prison 
Philanthropist — A Coup d'etat — The Militia Bill — Brook Street, 
Grosvenor Square — A Lunacy Case — May Meetings — At Ems — America 
and France — Death of the Duke of Wellington— Chancellorship of 
Oxford — Lying in State — The Story of the Madiai — An Amusing 
Letter — "Uncle Tom's Cabin" — Slavery — Address from Women of 
England — The Fugitive Slave Law — Friendships — The Rev. E. 
Bickersteth — Mr. Alexander Haldane ■ — Revival of Convocation — 
Letter from Mr. Gladstone — Auricular Confession — Resignation of 
Lord Derby — Lord Aberdeen, Premier ....... 360 



The Poor of London — Progress of Ragged School Work — Advice to 
Teachers — Inspiring Zeal — Refuges and Industrial Classes — Emigra- 
tion—Address to Children — The Poor Displaced by Building Improve- 



ments — A further Common Lodging-Houses Bill — Juvenile Mendicancy 
— Juvenile Delinquency — A Carious Episode — Challenged to Fight a 
Duel — Correspondence with Lord Mornington — Youthful Offenders 
Bill — The Waldensian Christians — Pasteur Meille — Peripatetic School- 
masters — Foreign Taste — Protestantism Abroad — Anti-Slavery Agita- 
tion — Stafford House — Reply from the Women of America — An 
Editor's Mistake — China — London Missionary Society — Sanitary 
Reform— " Unpardonable Activity " — The Board of Health Abolished 
— Democracy — English Eadicals — Cobden on Education of the Masses 
— Reply thereto — The Career of a Philanthropist — Financial Diffi- 
culties — Lawyers — ■ Family Affairs — Rewards to Agricultural 
Labourers — Palmerston's Reply to Scotch Memorialists . . . 409 


Cloud in the East — State of England — Rumours of War with Russia — 
War Declared-— Christians in Turkey — Russian Intolerance — Letter 
from Lord Stanley — Letter to Lord Aberdeen — Letter from Lord 
Clarendon — Religious Liberty in France — Correspondence with 
Emperor of the French — M. Drouyn de Lhuys to Lord Palmerston — 
Offer of Order of the Garter — Reasons for Declining the Honour- 
Colonisation of Syria — Chimney Sweepers Bill Thrown Out — A 
Mothers' Meeting — Harrow — Death of Lord Jocclyn — Death of Duchess 
of Beaufort- — Wild Court — War in a Christian Spirit — Lord Raglan's 
Despatches — Letter to Mr. Haldane — Mismanagement in the Crimea — 
Change of Ministry — Palmerston, Premier — Offer of Duchy of Lan- 
caster — Correspondence thereon with Lord Palmerston — Letter from 
Lady Palmerston — Organisation of Sanitary Commission for Crimea — 
Letter to Lord Panmure — Instructions to the Sanitary Commissioners 
— Letter from Miss Florence Nightingale — Death of the Czar — Visit 
of Emperor of the French — Letter to Mr. Evelyn Ashley — Offer of 
Duchy of Lancaster Renewed — Letters from Lady Palmerston — In 
Perplexity — Interposition of Providence — Religious Worship Bill — 
Opposition of Lord Derby and the Bishop of Oxford — Success of the 
Bill — Sardinia — National Education — Death of Sir Robert Inglis — 
Milliners and Dressmakers — Death of his Son Maurice — Letter to Mr. 
Evelyn Ashley — Woburn Abbey — Life Peerages ..... 458 







Hatred of Oppression — Distressed Needlewomen — The Ameers of Scinde — 
Motion for their Release from Imprisonment — Result of the Motion — Tahiti 
— Queen Pomare — Pritchard the Missionary — War with France imminent 
— Sir James Graham's Bill for Regulation of Labour in Factories — 
Agitation — "The Ten Hours and No Surrender ! " — Distances Traversed by 
Children in Daily Work — An Amusing Experiment by Lord Palmerston — 
A Masterly Speech — Attack by Mr. John Bright — A Scene in the House — 
Peel in a Dilemma — Government Stratagems to Rescind Votes — "Jack Cade" 
Legislation — Unpopularity of Sir James Graham — A Distance Table — New 
Factory Bill brought in — Motion for Introduction of New Clause — The Ten 
Hours Bill Argued on Commercial Grounds — Sir James Graham Threatens 
Resignation — Sir Robert Peel Follows Suit — A Signal Defeat — Mr. C. Gre- 
ville's View of the Situation — Second Threatened Resignation of the Ministry 
— Correspondence with Sir Robert Peel — Dissenters' Chapels Bill— Report 
of Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy — Motion Thereon — Public and 
Private Asylums — Lunacy in its Early Stages — Middle-class Patients — 
Motion Withdrawn — Mr. Shell's Eulogy — Placing a Son at School — Mrs. 
Fry — Visit of Emperor of Russia — Tour Through Factory Districts — 
Receives Addresses — Fresh Schemes — Beset by Bulls of Bashan. 

Lord Ashley was the sworn foe of oppression in 
whatever form it might be exercised. It mattered 
not to him whether the oppressed were nations or in- 
dividuals, his whole nature rose against tyranny and 


injustice, and he could not forbear to throw himself 
into the breach and assist the weak against the strong. 
The year 1S44 opened with heavy demands upon his 
S} r mpathies. At home his aid was claimed by oppressed 
needlewomen — a class for whom he was always a willing 
advocate ; and abroad by the ill-used Ameers of Scinde. 
As usual, he found himself either left almost alone to 
fight these battles, or else supported only by those from 
whom he had the least reason to expect help ; and he 
writes in his Journal : — 

Jan. 5th. — Prepared as I am, I am oftentimes distressed and 
puzzled by the s "range contrasts I find : support from infidels or 
non-professors : opposition or coldness from religionists or declaimers ! 
I sometimes pause to reflect whether I can be right, whether I have 
followed the true course, whether — when so many ' pious ' people 
either thwart or discourage me — I must not be altogether in error. 
They read and study the Bible ; they pray for guidance and light ; 
they ask, and surely obtain, God's grace to judge aright; they 
surely, too, must make (is it so in fact 1) their conduct the subject 
and consequence of fervent supplication before and after they have 
resolved to weaken my efforts 1 What can / do which they do not 
do ] If I say with fervour before I act, ' Prevent us, O Lord, in all 
our doings,' &c, so do they, doubtless, when they prepare a resist- 
ance to me. They implore Almighty God that all their ' works 
may be begun, continued, and ended in Him ! ' Is it so 1 If it be, 
I am indeed gravelled. 

The efforts of Lord Ashley on behalf of the needle- 
women arose out of the following circumstances : — 

Jan. 13th. — Mr. Paget is to be indicted for defamation because 
he has published a book called ' The Pageant,' in which he sets forth 
some of the Parliamentary evidence about the wretched milliners. 
An admirable work, full of talent, zeal, and truth. Is it come to 
this, that wicked abominations may not be proclaimed, and redress 


sought for helpless and oppressed women, but at the hazard of a 
prosecution at law 1 How can I assist him 1 He has applied through 
his solicitors to the Society for the Protection of Milliners and 
Dressmakers to give him aid by promising support to those young 
persons who shall offer their evidence 

Jan. 17th. — Wrote to Mr. Paget on Monday ; said that cause 
was common, defence ought to be so too ; requested leave to sub- 
scribe £25 towards his expenses Told that he is pre- 
pared to make a pitiful defence ; deny that the plaintiff was the 
person intended, and then plead in mitigation of damages ! 

Jan. 20th. — Heard from Mr. Paget, civil and grateful, but he 
declines pecuniary assistance. He is wrong in his opinion. His 
course is difficult, no doubt ; would take a bold line could he secure 
his witnesses from ruin. Seeley has offered to raise £100, and I the 
same, to indemnify any wretched girls who may, for that reason, be 
driven from their situations. His letter shows him in a fairer 
light ; think he will assent. Hope so for the cause ; and his friends 
should do so for his character. 

Although, as far as Mr. Paget was concerned, the 
matter rested here, the cause of the needlewomen was 
not allowed to drop until its painful features had been 
dragged into the full light, and the wrongs thus ex- 
posed redressed. 

Meanwhile, the time was rapidly approaching for 
the reassembling of Parliament, aud Lord Ashley had 
determined to bring forward at an early date a motion 
for an address to the Crown, with regard to the treat- 
ment of the Ameers of Scinde, who were suffering 
imprisonment and deprivation of their rights from no 
fault, as he conceived, of their own. 

During the Parliamentary Session of 1843, the 
affairs of India had, on several occasions, been brought 
under discussion, more especially in connection with 
b 2 


the recent conquest of Scinde. This district, compris- 
ing about 50,000 square miles, had been formerly an 
independent territory. It lay along the north-western 
frontier of our Indian Empire, and was ruled conjointly 
by a family of princes known as the Ameers of Scinde. 
Eelations, for the most part friendly, had loug subsisted 
between the Anglo-Indian Government and the Ameers. 
But disputes arose in connection with the Afghan War 
and the free passage of the Indus ; and the Ameers and 
their subjects became still more dissatisfied when the 
English deemed it necessary to occupy the fort of Kur- 
rachee, and, in defiance of a previous Treaty, to force a 
passage up the river for the conveyance of military stores. 
In 184.2 other demands were made in vol vino; the sur- 
render of national independence, and Sir Charles Napier 
(who expressed his disapproval of the policy) was sent 
to carry out the orders of the Government. War broke 
out ; the British Resident was expelled from Hydera- 
bad ; but at Meeanee, Napier, with 2,800 men, routed 
an army ten times as numerous ; a million sterling in 
treasure was seized, the six Ameers were thrown into 
prison, and Scinde was permanently annexed to the 
British Indian Empire. 

These high-handed proceedings did not meet with 
universal approval at home, and before the Session of 
1843 closed, Lord Ashley gave notice of his motion on 
the subject. As the time drew near for making it, he 
wrote as follows : — 

Feb. 3rd. — In bad heart altogether — shrink from the prospect. 
Man is not formed to act in public life, and on grand questions, but 


in his gregarious character. There must be the taking of sweet 
counsel together, both to cheer and to assist his efforts. But I am 
absolutely alone ; no one says to me ' God speed.' I cannot calculate 
on a vote, and most certainly not on a speech from any member. 

On the 8th of February, 1S44, he brought forward 
his motion for an address to the Crown praying- that 
her Majesty will be " graciously pleased to take into her 
consideration the situation and treatment of the Ameers 
of Scinde ; and that she will direct their immediate 
restoration to liberty, and the enjoyment of their estates, 
or make such provision for their future maintenance as 
may be considered a just equivalent." He had waited 
until the close of the previous Session before he gave 
notice, in the hope that appeals might arrive from the 
imprisoned Ameers ; and these not having come, he had 
intended to abandon his motion, lest from incapacity 
he might compromise their interests. But a letter from 
Sir Henry Pottinger in the Morning Chronicle of January 
8th now compelled him to bring the matter before the 
House. Sir Henry denounced the treatment of the 
Ameers as " the most unprincipled and disgraceful that 
had ever stamped the annals of our Empire in India." 
That, Lord Ashley maintained, was true, to the very 
letter. These princes were a fraternity of crowned heads, 
each having a separate and independent principality, but 
ruling conjointly and federally under the style and title 
of the Ameers of Scinde. They inhabited a country 
which their ancestors had acquired by conquest, and 
ruled over a people of different language and religion 
from themselves ; but, if that were to be used as an 


argument against them, it would recoil with tenfold 
force upon ourselves. The East India Company had 
recognised the Ameers as governors of Scinde, had 
entered into friendly relations with them, and had tried 
to prove to them that nothing but benefit could accrue 
from an extended intercourse with the British Empire. 
From 1758 to 1S09 there was a period of varying 1 
favour and disfavour, suspicion and fear, confidence and 
jealousy. A Treaty was then made, declaring : " There 
shall be eternal friendship between the British Govern- 
ment and that of Scinde ; " and again : " Enmity shall 
never more appear between the two States." Another 
Treaty in 18.20 declared: "The two contracting Powers 
mutually bind themselves, from generation to genera- 
tion, never to look with the eye of covetousness on the 
possessions of each other." The Ameers asserted that 
they had faithfully observed the conditions and spirit of 
the Treaty. In 1832, 1S34, and 1S3S, partial concessions 
were obtained in our favour as to the navigation of the 
Indus, and the placing of a British Resident at Hyder- 
abad. Thenceforward there were suspicion and fear, and 
a tendency to mutual distrust. In 1840, however, when 
the insurrection at Gwalior broke out, the Ameers per- 
mitted the transit of British troops, when hostility on 
their part would have seriously injured us. Up to 1S42, 
though strongly tempted by the disaffected, the same 
peaceable demeanour was manifested by them, with the 
exception of some petty intrigues, inevitable to Eastern 
courts. In November, 1840, Lord Auckland declared 
their conduct to be " most friendly ; " and in January, 


1842, Lord Ellenborough expressed satisfaction at their 
friendly disposition. But on the Gth of May, 1842, 
Lord Ellenborough wrote to the Resident, Major 
Outram : " The Governor-General is led to think that 
you may have seen reason to doubt the fidelity of some 
one or more of the Ameers of Scinde." Final conditions, 
harsh and dishonourable to the Ameers, were then im- 
posed. Lord Ashley thus explained the position : — 

Little time was allowed for deliberation. The negotiations, 
if such they could be called, were to be expedited by the presence of 
an invading army. Violence naturally begat violence, and distrust 
and dismay everywhere prevailed. The Beloochees were aroused to 
arms, and the Ameers were unable to control them. The first attack 
was on the Resident ; and no doubt this was a base and a vile act. 
But what room for surprise was there at this event 1 The Battle of 
Meeanee followed, and the Ameers were defeated and imprisoned. 
Thus these famous Treaties, which commenced by declaring that en- 
mity should never ensue, and friendship never be at an end, between 
the two Powers, were wound up by the imprisonment of the Ameers ; 
and the solemn promise never to look with the eyes of covetous- 
ness on their dominions, issued in the conquest and annexation of 
their territory. . . . But then they were charged with treachery. 
No doubt they were. But where was the proof of this treachery 1 
Over and over again he had called for proofs of this alleged treachery, 
which was to justify what had been done. No doubt there was 
abundant intrigue. No doubt the greatest distrust and alarm pre- 
vailed, and the greatest desire to get rid of the British from their 
territory. But was there no cause for this ? Was there not ample 
cause for all this distrust and alarm, and also for the policy which 
the Ameers had been compelled to pursue ] He would pass over all 
the irritating acts — all the violence of language which had occurred 
on both sides, and would come to the simple fact. What could be 
alleged against the Ameers 1 What act of treachery or dishonour 
on their parts, as an argument for their destruction and imprison- 
ment \ 


Lord Ashley then traced the process of encroach- 
ment by the British Government in 183S. In that year 
the Ameers were informed "that the article of the Treaty 
with them prohibitory of using the Indus for the con- 
ve}^ance of military stores must necessarily be sus- 
pended." In December the fortress and ferry of Buk- 
kur, the highway between India and Khorassan, was 
demanded from, the aged Ameer Roostem Khan, and 
ceded by him. This was the heart of his country, to 
which Lord Auckland admitted we had no right. In 
1842 Lord Ellenborough announced "the continued 
occupation of Kurrachee,'' declared Ameer Roostem 
Khan unfaithful, and called upon him to cede a 
portion of territory to the Khan of Bhawulpore. 
Troops were then advanced into the country with- 
out waiting for auy hostile attitude on the part of 
the Ameers : some of whom fled, while others pre- 
pared for resistance. Sir Charles Napier proceeded to 
confiscate the estates of those who resisted, not wait- 
ing the result of the negotiations which Major Outram 
was carrying on with the Ameers. He disregarded the 
entreaties of the princes not to advance his troops, as 
they could not restrain their Beloochees ; but pushed 
forward, in spite of warnings from Major Outram, and 
thus provoked the attack on the Residency, which led to 
the Battle of Meeanee. The Ameers had been accused 
of writing treacherous letters, but when they demanded 
a sight of these letters, they were not produced. It was 
said that they had been given to Ameer Ali Moorad, the 
very person suspected of having forged them. It was 


utterly improbable that they should have entertained 
hostile intentions : they made no preparations to remove 
their women or their treasures from Hyderabad. "When 
they might have crushed us, they were prodigal in 
assistance, contributing, by every facility they could 
afford, to the recovery of our position and honour. Yet 
they attempted our destruction (it was alleged) when our 
troops, returning in victory, had rendered success in such 
an effort impossible. Even if guilty, a sufficient penalty 
had been exacted from them. " You have torn them 
from their thrones," said Lord Ashley, "reduced 
them to the level of your meanest dependants, seized 
their dominions, incarcerated their persons, plundered 
their houses, and exposed them to various forms of 
privation and insult." To their ladies, whom they left 
at Hyderabad, were allowed insufficient means of living, 
while the Ameers, in their prisons, suffered deep dejec- 
tion at the prospect of life-long confinement after the 
important services some of them had rendered to the 
English. Two sons of the late Ameer Noor Mahommed, 
specially bequeathed by him to " the honour and kind- 
ness of the British Empire," were taken from their 
mother and placed in separate prisons. Two Ameers, 
who had lived in retirement at Hyderabad, and had 
taken no part in the war, were captured and separated 
from their families, and to them, in reply to their re- 
monstrances, Sir Charles Napier wrote that if they 
troubled him any more with their falsehoods, he would 
cast them also into prison ; adding : " You are prisoners, 
and though I will not kill you, as you ordered your 


people to do to the English" (a charge which had never 
been proved), " I will put you in irons on board a ship. 
Shere Mahommed is a very weak man, and will soon 
cause himself to be destroyed, and so will you unless 
you submit more quietly to the fate which your own 
rash folly has brought upon you. I will answer no 
more of your letters, which are only repetitions of gross 
falsehoods, which I will not submit to." This was 
not the tone or the language which ought to have 
been used to defeated men and fallen princes. How 
did such conduct contrast with that pursued by Lord 
Cornwallis and the Duke of Wellington towards the 
family of Tippoo Sahib ? In the one case were conceded 
every abatement of the rights of war, every mitigation 
of its sorrows ; in the other, the pound of flesh was 
exacted to the uttermost — loss of territory, loss of free- 
dom, loss of domestic associations, loss of independent 
means of sustenance for themselves and their children, 
loss of everything but life. In conclusion, Lord Ashley 
said : — 

And yet, Sir, consider the difference of their claims. They 
were the sons of our hereditary foe ; their father and grandfather, 
steeped in everlasting hatred to the British name, had warred against 
us for years with implacable fury ; had wroiight us enormous mis- 
chief, and sworn to extirpate us from the soil of India. Here are 
the sons and successors of ancient allies, men who have once been 
hostile and oftentimes friendly, to whom we owe much, but who owe 
to us little. Both, it is true, were taken in arms, but the one fight 
was the conclusion of a long, premeditated, and ferocious hatred ; the 
other, the beginning and the ending too, of a short and unwilling 
hostility. Sir, we are often admonished, with oracular solemnity, 
that our empire in Hindostan is founded on opinion. Is it the opinion 


of our justice, our humanity, or our power 1 A wise and patriotic 
Government would ardently pursue such a noble combination ; and 
this House, by the fulness and promptitude of its reply to an injured 
sufferer, would compensate for the enormous, though inevitable, con- 
cession of despotic authority to the rulers of those distant regions. 
Sir, the generosity of absolute power is cheap and safe and honour- 
able ; true principle alone is of so attractive a nature as to lead many 
to believe that a really Christian empire would soon acquire the 
sovereignty of the world by the voluntary and eager resort of all 
nations under the shadow of its wings. Whether, by such means as 
these, Great Britain shall accomplish the dominion of the East, re- 
mains to be seen. We have not, I fear, made an auspicious begin- 
ning ; but if we are to gain no more by virtue, let us not lose what 
we have by injustice. Let us hasten to wipe out the awful rebuke 
passed by them on their Christian conquerors 

' Hen pietas, lieu pri sea fides !' 

saying, as they were led away into captivity, ' Now we perceive that 
there is no hope for us of judgment or justice, until God Almighty 
shall sit in the last great adawlut.' * 

Of the long and forcible indictment thus brought 
by Lord Ashley against the Indian Government, only 
a very brief summary has been given here. A journal 
that did not share in his views said of it : " The 
splendid speech of the noble mover was worthy of his 
humane and generous motive, and both were worthy of 
his high character."! Mr. Roebuck followed with a 
spiteful harangue, as usual abusing everybody all round; 
and, after the debate had run its length, Sir Robert 
Peel (the Prime Minister) defended the Indian Govern- 
ment, apparently basing his defence on the general 

* Hansard, Debates, 3 s., lxxii. 364. 
t St. James's Chronicle, March 8, 1844 


principle that uncivilised nations were made to be con- 
quered. He certainly did say, " I am afraid there is 
some great principle at work wherever civilisation and 
refinement come in contact with barbarism, which makes 
it impossible to apply the rules observed amongst more 
advanced nations." He stated that the liberation of 
the Ameers was incompatible with the peace of India, 
but that they would be removed to a greater distance, 
where less restraint would be necessary, and £24,000 
a year would be devoted to their maintenance and 

The result of the motion is thus told by Lord 
Ashley in his Diary : — 

Feb. 9th. — Wonderful success last night — personal success, I 
mean, alas ! — in my motion respecting the Ameers of Scinde. But 
what is the use of making speeches which are admired and extolled 1 
I obtained but sixty-eight votes against two hundred and two for the 
Government. Never did I see a more convincing proof of the per- 
nicious effect of party on the moral sense : most were satisfied, in- 
deed, some said so, and yet voted, because Peel did, point-blank 
against me ! Peel, as usual, was narrow, and in a tone of morality 
lower, by far, than the ordinary run of Ministers ; even John Russell 
rebuked him ! 

Roebuck's amendment ingeniously contrived to divert argument 
from my motion. It succeeded, and though my arguments were un- 
noticed, thev had the advantage of beincr unanswered. A few Whi^s 
with me ; many against me. To be sure, I had been exposed to 
unusual solicitations to put off my motion ; all sorts of men, both 
parties, friends, foes, but I was obstinate, and thank God for it ! 

Feb. 10th. — I am certain that Palmerston and John Russell, in- 
fluenced a little by Peel's specious, though legitimate, policy, in 
declaring that he objected to Roebuck's motion, voted against me, 
because, as they had not read the papers, it was safer to vote with 
Government than in opposition to it ; Palmerston I found really 

1844.] TAHITI. 13 

ignorant of everything. But how wisely and mercifully God over- 
rules all things ! It had been suspected, and stated, that I had 
concocted this movement with the Whigs ! Many Conservatives said 
to Jocelyn, 'We never gave such an immoral vote before.' Public 
opinion strongly with me. . . . Campbell, ex-Attorney-General, said 
to me, very kindly, ' Any jury in England would have given you a 
verdict.' Charles Wood said ' it was one of the best speeches I ever 
heard in Parliament, and so was the reply.' . . A Christian kingdom 
may refuse all intercourse with its neighbours, but if it open an 
intercoui-se and derive advantages, it cannot turn round when well 
satiated and exclaim, ' By-the-by, a thought strikes me, you are so 
abominably wicked that really I must exterminate you ! ' 

The affairs of Scinde were not the only " foreign 
affairs " engaging the attention of Lord Ashley. A 
dispute between England and France, with reference to 
Tahiti (Otaheite), threatened, at one time, to be attended 
with disastrous consequences. Queen Pomare, the sove- 
reign of the Island of Tahiti, a convert of English 
missionaries, had placed herself — by compulsion, it was 
alleged — under the protection of France, while her 
sympathies, and those of her people, were with England. 
There arose, in consequence, a coldness between the 
French residents and the islanders. 

The French Admiral, who had beguiled or compelled 
the Queen into placing herself under the protection of 
the French, arrived off the coast, and demanded that the 
French flag should be hoisted above her own. Upon 
her refusing to do this, he pulled down her flag, hoisted 
that of France in its place, and proclaimed that Tahiti 
was henceforth French territory. 

Pomare at once appealed to England ; but France, 
while disavowing the act of the French Admiral, 


considered that there was some intrigue on the part 
of England to obtain possession of Tahiti, and would 
not remove the French flag or cancel the proclamation 
claiming the island as French territory. 

For some time affairs remained in this critical state, 
and then a further complication arose. An English 
missionary, named. Pritchard, had exercised a very 
powerful influence in Tahiti, and had been successful in 
gaining many converts to Christianity, among whom 
was the Queen herself. For some time prior to her de- 
position he had been acting as English consul in the 

One day a French sentinel was attacked. In re- 
prisal Pritchard was seized as the mover and instigator 
of the disturbances by the natives, and D'Aubigny, the 
commander of the French establishment, declared : " Hi* 
property shall be answerable for all damage occasioned 
to us by the insurgents ; and if French blood is spilt 
every drop shall recoil on his head." Pritchard was 
thrown into prison, and upon his release was expelled 
the island. On his arrival in England, the story of his 
wrongs produced a profound sensation, and stirred public 
feeling into great excitement. Sir Robert Peel and Lord 
Aberdeen both characterised his treatment as " a gross 
and intolerable outrage." 

Satisfaction was demanded of the French Govern- 
ment, and M. Guizot, who, in the first instance, was 
loud in his condemnation of the French Government, 
was now equally loud in the profession of his anxiety 
and that of the King, that justice should be done 



in Tahiti and a good understanding restored with 

For some months there was great excitement ; 
popular passion was hot on both sides, and war between 
France and England at one time seemed inevitable. 
However, on September the 5th — the last day of the 
Session — Sir Eobert Peel announced that " the out- 
rage on Mr. Pritchard, of Tahiti, had been arranged 
amicably." Substantial compensation was made to 
Pritchard, and Queen Pomare was ostensibly restored 
to power. France would not withdraw her " protection," 
however, and to all intents and purposes Tahiti became, 
in time, completely subject to French rule. 

The course of these events was followed very closely 
by Lord Ashley, and a few collected passages from his 
Diary relating to them may be quoted here. 

Feb. 21st. — Pead last night, with indescribable pain, and yet 
every one might have foreseen it, that the French had taken full 
possession of Tahiti, deposed Queen Pomare, and seized the sove- 
reignty. Thus has fallen the only kingdom which, from its head to 
its feet, in all its private and public relations, in all that it said, 
permitted, or did, was a Christian State, founded on the truths of the 
Gospel, and governed by the simplicity of God's word. Popery will 
henceforward reign without control, with all its train of spiritual, 
moral, and physical evils. What an inscrutable Providence ! But 
England is without excuse. We might, humanly speaking, have 
averted this mischief. It lay most easily and most securely, two 
years ago, in Aberdeen's power. The sin is personal to the Ministry; 
national to our Church and people. But what can we say or 
protest as a nation 1 Will not they throw Scinde in our teeth 1 

Feb. 24th. — Wrote to Aberdeen a short note about Tahiti to 
assure him that it was far more than a question of the sympathy 
of a few Dissenters. 


An". 3rd. — French agressions and insults renewed in Tahiti ; 
it is a barbarous people, or they would not so insult a helpless 
woman. Our Ministers are timid towards France and indifferent 
towards the welfare of Protestant Pomare. Had they been as 
their duty required, this could not have happened. Wrote to Peel 
on the 31st to say that I should put a question to him. "Was 
anticipated by Sir Charles Napier, the Commodore. Peel, how- 
ever, gave a vigorous answer, and talked of the ' outrage.' . . . 

Sept. 12th.— The question of Tahiti, they say, is settled. Aberdeen 
has, of course, surrendered all that can be interesting to Protest- 

Oct. 4th. — Grief and indignation cannot go beyond what I feel 
against the French aggressions in Tahiti. A peaceable and helpless 
people, a State presenting, as such, the only Christian model in the 
world, are subjugated by savages and powerful Europeans, and inun- 
dated with bloodshed, devastation, profligacy, and crime. God gave 
the regeneration of this island to our people as a triumph of the 
Cross ; and so it was a thing without pai-allel in the history of the 
Gospel. The missionaries made it Christian ; they made it English 
in laws and Constitution. It had, by God's blessing, under their 
administration, everything but power and commerce. But, failing 
these, it has obtained no sympathies, and in the hour of danger, 
perhaps of extinction, finds not a single friend. The infidel and 
lukewarm are indifferent ; the Tractarians are hostile ; the Evan- 
gelicals wary. Public men estimate its value by political measure- 
ments and the probable effects on their own ease and tenure of 
office. What a disgusting and cowardly attitude for England, thus 
to stand by and raise not a hand in defence of this merciful gift of 
Providence ! God grant that the Tahitian people may endure and 
triumph over this fraud and violence. 

Interest in affairs abroad did not distract Lord 
Ashley's attention from the more pressing affairs at 

The demand for further limitation in the hours of 
labour had been urged by the working classes with 
increased vehemence, especially in Lancashire and 


Yorkshire, between the Session of 1S43 and the opening 
of Parliament in 1844. The reports of the Inspectors 
of Factories, issued from time to time, had been eagerly 
read by those who were interested in the welfare of the 
working classes ; and the agitation, headed by Lord 
Ashley, was daily gaining fresh sympathisers, and, in 
the same proportion, was concentrating the enmity of 
those who were opposed to it. The time was ripen- 
ing rapidly for the great struggle which was to end 
in victory. 

On the 5th of February, Sir James Graham in- 
troduced into the House of Commons his promised 
Bill for the Eegulation of Labour in Factories. It 
contained no education clauses, but provided that 
children should be allowed time in which to receive 
education. The further objects of the Bill were to 
ensure that the working-time for children should be 
reduced to eight hours, and for persons above the 
age of thirteen, to twelve hours a day. The definition 
of a " child " was extended to mean children between 
nine and thirteen ; that of " young persons " remained 
as heretofore, namely, from thirteen to eighteen. 

"I propose," he said, "that such young persons 
shall not be employed in any silk, cotton, wool, or 
flax manufactory, for an} T portion of the twenty-four 
hours longer than from half-past five o'clock in the 
morning till seven o'clock in the evening in summer, 
and from half-past six o'clock in the morning, till 
eight in the evening in winter, thus making thirteen 
and a half hours each day, of which one hour and a 


half is to be set apart for meals and rest, so that 
their actual labour will be limited to twelve hours." 

This was exactly what Lord Ashley did not want. 
His contention was that the hours should be limited 
to ten, and on that issue he would fight the battle 
to the end. 

On the 1 2th of February the Bill was read a second 
time, and ordered to be committed. 

Then went forth the rallying cry of " Ten Hours 
and No Surrender ! " and it echoed through the length 
and breadth of the land. The greatest enthusiasm 
prevailed. Meetings were held, pamphlets were scat- 
tered broadcast, and all the paraphernalia of agitation 
was set in motion with a vigour that had never been 
known before. Twelve delegates were despatched to 
London to assist Lord Ashley in his labours, and 
nobly they worked. London and Westminster were 
divided into districts, and every Member of Parliament 
in these districts was canvassed, the working of the 
factory system explained, and its evils exposed. 

One of the points which had often been called in 
question was the actual distances traversed by children 
in the course of their daily work. Lord Ashley had 
stated that it sometimes — nay, often — happened that 
they had to walk, or trot, from twenty-five to thirty 
miles a day, a statement that had been characterised as 
a " gross exaggeration," and altogether incredible. 

An amusing incident in connection with this con- 
troversy is recorded by Mr. Philip Grant.* Two of the 

* Grant's " History of Factory Legislation." 


delegates — Mr. Havvorth and Mr. Philip Grant — made 
a call in Carlton Gardens, where Lord Palmerston was 
then living, and were denied an interview by the foot- 
man. The carriage was standing at the door, and 
Lady Palmerston was promenading on the balcony. 
It was evident, therefore, that their visit was most 
inopportune ; but, as they might have no other oppor- 
tunity of an interview before the division, they con- 
tinued to urge the importance of their mission. 
"Whilst the altercation was going on, Lord Palmers- 
ton happened to be passing from his dressing-room 
to the dining-room, and seeing the tw T o at the door, 
inquired who and what they were. The servant at 
once handed him their cards, and returned smiling, 
bringing with him the glad news : ' His Lordship will 
see you.' They were at once ushered into the large 
dining-room, at that time so much famed for the even- 
ing parties of Lady Palmerston and the munificent 
dinners given by his Lordship. They found the Member 
for Tiverton in excellent temper, dressed like a youth of 
eighteen, and as lively as a cricket. Without ceremony 
the subject was entered into, detailing some of the 
hardships to which the factory children were subject. 
The statements at first appeared to puzzle the noble 
Viscount, and after a short pause he said, ' Oh, the 
work of the children cannot be so hard as you represent 
it, as I am led to understand the machinery does all the 
work without the aid of the children, attention to the 
spindles only being required.' To carry conviction to 
a mind so strongly impressed with the ease and comfort 
c 2 


of factory labour, for a moment staggered the deputa- 
tion, when a lucky expedient occurred to the writer, 
who, seeing a couple of large lounging chairs upon 
castors, brought them to the rescue. Placing them in 
the centre of the large room, they were made to perform 
the operation of the 'spinning-mule,' Mr. Haworth 
being placed, as it were, at the ' wheel handle,' and 
with arm and knee pushing them back to their destina- 
tion, or to what is technically called ' the roller beam/ 
whilst the writer performed the duties of the piecer, 
trotting from one side of the room to the other, follow- 
ing up the carriage, leaning over the imaginary advancing 
' faller,' and picking up the supposed broken ends. To 
complete the explanation of the mule, and to show the 
part the engine performed, they were about to explain 
by what power the carriage was caused to advance 
slowly, whilst the ' stretch ' was being made and the 
yarn twisted. The noble Lord at once caught the idea, 
and, ringing the bell, the footman was ordered into the 
room, and directed to run up one of the chairs slowly 
to its appointed place (or what is called the end of 
the stretch), whilst the noble Lord, catching hold of 
the other chair, performed a similar office. Thus the 
imaginary spinning and piecing were carried on for 
several minutes. Lady Palmerston, who by this time 
had become impatient for her drive before dinner, 
entered the room, and appeared no little surprised to 
see her banqueting room turned into a spinning factory. 
Her ladyship, however, seemed to enjoy the illustration, 
and remarked, good-humouredly, ' I am glad to see your 


Lordship has betaken yourself to work at last.' The 
veteran statesman, who appeared a little fatigued by 
performing the duties of ' Old Ned ' (the engine), with 
significant look and shrug of the shoulders, said, ' Surely 
this must be an exaggeration of the labour of factory 
workers.' Mr. Haworth, who had come fresh from the 
wheel handle in Bolton, and bearing indelible marks 
of the severity of his daily toil, exhibited the large 
' segs ' upon his hands, at the same time, pulling up 
his trousers, he said : ' Look at my knee, my Lord,' and 
pointed to the hard substance produced by ' pulling up 
the carriage.' The victory over the mind of the great 
statesman appeared to be complete ; the illustration 
given had deeply impressed his mind ; and he exclaimed, 
heartily, ' If what you have shown me, and what you 
have stated, be a fair illustration of the labour of factory 
people, and the statements you have made be a fair 
detail of the hardships to which they are subject, I can 
no longer withhold my support from your cause, nor 
can I resist the belief that the children, as stated 
by Lord Ashley, have to walk or trot twenty-five 
to thirty miles a day. I will, however, speak with 
Lord Ashley on these points, and if your story be 
even half corroborated by him, you may rely on my 
support.' " 

The statements were fully corroborated, and the 
support of Lord Palmerston was henceforth never 
wanting on behalf of factory children. 

The course of events is thus noted in Lord Ashley's 
Diary : — 


Feb. 27th. — Factory Bill postponed. Shall I ever prosper in 
this 1 Will God smile upon the endeavour 1 ? Heard that Mr. Bright 
was waiting for his opportunity to make a most violent attack on 
me. I dare say. . . 

March 2nd. — Unpleasant rumours that Government (is it pos- 
sible ?) will exert their Parliamentary influence to defeat the Ten 
Hours ! 

March 4th. — Graham informed me this evening that ' if I would 
not make an adverse statement,' so as to provoke debate and a reply 
from him, he would grant the Committee. He clearly fears a full 
expose. I answered that, as my statement was intended simply to 
prove the necessity of investigation, if the necessity were admitted, 
I should do wrong to detain the House by a long oration. Now, 
if he had told me this a week or two ago, as he well might, I should 
have been spared some very heavy reading and writing. 

March 6th. — Moved for Committee last night in half a dozen 
words. Graham thanked me for my silence. 

March 8th. — Strange accusation that in the Times. Surely a man 
wholly unconnected with the manufacturing districts was less likely 
to be influenced by hopes and fears, either commercial or personal, 
than one whose interests lay in the thick of them. I thought so 
myself when I undertook the charge. ' It would have been more 
graceful,' it adds, ' had I devoted my attention to agricultural 
grievances.' Why, that question was not uppermost, was barely 
thought of, when I laid hold of the factory wrongs in 1833 — at 
that time the prominent topic of conversation. As for sacrifices : I 
have lost office and every hope of political aggrandisement by my 
adoption of this career ; I have had years of trouble, anxiety, ex- 
pense ; I have foregone official income, though I much needed it, 
broken every party connection, and stand alone, like an owl in the 
desert, without knowing, day by day, whether I shall think or act 
with any one man or any one man with me. And what of all this? 
Why, I am, God be praised ! more happy in my losses than I could 
possibly have been in any personal gain. 'Cast thy bread upon the 
waters,' says the Book of Books, ' and thou shalt find it after many 
days' . . 

March 9th. — The Times bepraises Sidney Osborne's letter to me, 
and adds : ' These factory ten-hours men never dreamed of agricul- 
tural wrongs until forced to it by their fears.' Eight years' exclusion 

1844.] A NOTABLE SPEECH. 23 

from the paternal house, and three of utter impossibility to interfere 
while there, will answer any imputations. 

March 12th. — Had intended to take the chair at public dinner of 
Journeyman Tailors' Society (euphonious and dignified name !), but 
told by Cobden, as I entered the House, that he proposed to assail 
the county of Dorset. Obliged, of course, to send excuse, and sit 
out his speech — temperate and often true. Could not reply, taken by 
surprise, had no paper with me. This was unfair on his part ; un- 
willing, too, to come into collision with Bankes ; an unseemly sight, 
two county members sparring with each other ; unwilling besides, by 
a vote, to come into collision with Lord S., who would assert that 
it was directed at him. No disguise on Cobden's part that he 
wished to pay me off for exposing the factory districts. Felt humbled, 
dejected, and incompetent. Had no heart within me. God, let 
not mine enemies triumph over me ! . . . 

On March the 1 5th the Bill went into Committee, 
and, in the discussion of the clauses fixing the limita- 
tion of the hours of labour, Lord Ashley endeavoured to 
obtain his purpose by moving that the word " night ' 
should be taken to mean from six o'clock in the evening 
to six o'clock in the morning, thus practically limiting 
the factory day to ten hours. 

In support of his proposition, he made one of his 
most forcible, comprehensive, and interesting speeches — 
a speech which took two hours and a quarter in delivery, 
and occupies twenty-eight pages of Hansard.* 

In his opening sentence, Lord Ashley gave utter- 
ance to that intense anxiety which, as the Diaries 
clearly reveal, weighed down his spirit as he approached 
the struggle. " Nearly eleven years have elapsed," he 
said, " since I first made the proposition to the House 

* Hansard, 3 s., lxx. 483. 


which I shall renew this night. Never at any time 
have I felt greater apprehension or even anxiety ; not 
through any fear of personal defeat, for disappoint- 
ment is ' the badge of all our tribe,' but because I 
know well the hostility I have aroused, and the certain 
issues of indiscretion on my part, affecting the welfare of 
those who have so long confided their hopes and in- 
terests to my charge." Disclaiming the accusation that 
he was actuated by any peculiar hostility against factory 
masters, he met them with the challenge, " Strike, but 
hear me." Taking for his standpoint the proposition 
that the State has a right to watch over, and an in- 
terest in providing for, the moral and physical well- 
being of her people, he proceeded to show what foreign 
powers were doing to recognise and enforce this prin- 
ciple. Then, expatiating upon the immediate ap- 
plication of this theme, he described minutely the 
amount of toil and exertion required in the various 
departments of factory labour, and the ph} r sical evils 
proved to have resulted from it, when too long con- 
tinued. He entered fully into the question of the 
distances traversed daily by women and children, and 
gave evidence, founded upon measurements and cal- 
culations made, at his request, by one of the most dis- 
tinguished mathematicians of the day, conclusively 
proving that those distances varied from seventeen to 
thirty miles, and that the exertion was materially in- 
creased by the strain of having continually to lean over 
the machine and then return to an erect position — a per- 
formance that had to be undergone not less than from 

1844.] UNNATURAL TOIL. 25 

four to five thousand times a day. The physical effects of 
this toil upon women was disastrous in the extreme, and 
he adduced ample medical testimony in proof of his 
assertion, besides pointing to the results shown in the 
bills of mortality and the statistics of pauperism and 
disease. Nor were the moral effects less disastrous. He 
showed how impossible it was that the obligations of 
domestic life could be performed by females employed 
for long periods in factories. " Where, Sir," he asked, 
"under this condition, are the possibilities of domestic 
life ? How can its obligations be fulfilled ? Regard 
the woman as wife or mother, how can she accomplish 
any portion of her calling ? And if she cannot do that 
which Providence has assigned her, what must be the 
effect on the whole surface of society ? ' : He demon- 
strated, by incontrovertible facts and arguments, that 
this unnatural toil engendered every possible form of 
moral evil ; intemperance, impurity, demoralisation were 
the inevitable consequences ; all the arrangements and 
provisions of domestic economy were annihilated ; dirt, 
discomfort, ignorance and recklessness were the por- 
tion of almost every household, when the time of the 
wife and mother was wholly monopolised by factory 

Such a system, affecting the internal tranquillity of 
the land and all relations between employer and em- 
ployed, was a perpetual grievance, and must ever come 
uppermost in times of difficulty and discontent. It 
disturbed the order of nature, and the rights of the 
labouring men, by ejecting males from the workshop 


and filling their places by women ; it was destructive of 
the health of females, the care of their families, their 
conjugal and parental duties, the comfort of their 
homes, the decency of their lives, the peace of society, 
and the laws of God. 

In conclusion, he repudiated, in tones of righteous 
indignation, the charge so often flung at him, that this 
contest was but a struggle between the country gentle- 
man and the manufacturers, and that he was actuated 
by a wish to exalt the landed, and humiliate the com- 
mercial, aristocracy. He said : — * 

It is very sad, though perhaps inevitable, that such weighty 
charges and suspicions should lie on the objects of those who call 
for, and who propose, this remedial measure. I am most unwilling 
to speak of myself ; my personal character is, doubtless, of no con- 
sequence to the world at lai*ge ; but it may be of consequence to those 
whose interests I represent, because distrust begets delays, and zeal 
grows cold when held back in its cai-eer by the apprehension that 
those whom it would support are actuated by unworthy motives. 
Disclaimers, I know, are poor things when uttei*ed by parties whom 
you listen to with suspicion or dislike ; but consider it calmly ; 
are you reasonable to impute to me a settled desire, a single pur- 
pose, to exalt the landed and humiliate the commercial aristocracy 1 
Most solemnly do I deny the accusation. If you think me wicked 
enough, do you think me fool enough for such a hateful policy 1 
Can any man in his senses now hesitate to believe that the per- 
manent prosperity of the manufacturing body in all its several 
aspects, physical, moral, and commercial, is essential, not only to 
the welfare, but absolutely to the existence, of the British Empire 1 
No, we fear not the increase of your political power, nor envy your 
stupendous riches ; f Peace be within your walls, and plenteousness 
within your palaces ! ' We ask but a slight relaxation of toil, a 
time to live, and a time to die ; a time for those comforts that 
sweeten life, and a time for those duties that adorn it ; and, therefore, 


with a fervent prayer to Almighty God that it may please Him to 
turn the hearts. of all who hear me, to thoughts of justice and of 
mercy, I now finally commit the issue to the judgment and humanity 
cf Parliament.* 

At the close of this appeal, Sir James Graham rose, 
and in a tone which he knew only too well how to use, 
declared emphatically that her Majesty's Government 
had determined to give the proposition of the noble 
Lord their most decided opposition. The mill-owners 
found an advocate in Mr. John Bright, who addressed 
the House at considerable length, and in a style " per- 
haps the most vindictive towards the working classes 
ever used in the British Parliament, "f He ridiculed 
the notion that there was any need for a new Factory 
Act ; he contradicted Lord Ashlev's statements as to 
the unhealthiness and other miseries of the manufac- 
turing districts ; he violently attacked the whole body 
of operatives who supported the Ten Hours Bill ; and 
he declared that high wages and general prosperity 
prevailed among the manufacturing population. Then, 
taking up the old libel as to the condition of the 
Dorsetshire labourers, he said Lord Ashley looked at 
Lancashire through a telescope, but when he looked 
at his suffering neighbours he reversed the glass. He 
reiterated the groundless charge that Lord Ashley's 
information had been obtained in an improper way, 
and from a notorious character, whose story was 
full of false statements and gross and malignant 

• Speeches, p. 115. 

f Delegates' report quoted in " History of Factory Legislation," p. 75. 


This was more than Lord Ashley could bear, or 
would have been justified in bearing. He rose to his 
feet, and, aflame with impassioned earnestness, vehe- 
mently demanded a full explanation of the insinua- 
tions of Mr. Bright. The scene which ensued is still 
memorable in the annals of Parliament. 

" I think," said Lord Ashley, " the House will feel 
that in some measure I have a right to make one 
or two observations on the remarkable speech of the 
honourable gentleman. I will thank the honourable 
gentleman to explain that charge against me which 
he has insinuated, and which he said he would not 
pursue. I will not allow it to pass. I therefore throw 
myself on the indulgence and on the protection of this 
House, and I do request all honourable gentlemen 
present to exert their influence, as members of this 
House, and as gentlemen, to make the honourable 
member for Durham pursue his charge, and state his 


Loud cheers followed this challenge. Then, in 
evident confusion, and amidst loud expressions of dis- 
approbation from both sides of the House, Mr. Bright 
at first attempted to deny that he had made any charge, 
and eventually concluded with an apology in these 
words : " I regret if in stating these things I have 
said a word that could be considered derogatory to 
the character of the noble Lord. I know I have a warm 
temper, but I meant no personal insult. I desired 
merely to state facts, and I readily withdraw any 
offensive expression." 


It was then two o'clock, and, on the motion of Mr. 
Warburton, the debate was adjourned. 

March 16th. — Factory Bill last night in Committee; moved, by- 
arrangement with Sir J. Graham, amendment on word 'Eight' in 
second clause. Spoke for two and a quarter hours. Never had a 
greater weight on my spirits, and yet — God's everlasting goodness 
be praised — obtained astounding personal success. Francis Egerton 
made an excellent speech ; and Sandon, for a wonder, came out man- 
fully. Bright made a violent assault upon me, with insinuations, 
because he could not make charges ; brought him to account and to 
apologies. What will be the issue 1 Had we divided last night, we 
should, I am told, have beaten the Government ! The interval will 
be favourable to them ; official whips will produce official votes. 

March 17th. — Sunday. The anxiety and fatigue of the pre- 
ceding week left me nervous and inattentive. Struck by the many 
texts I hear and read, of consolation and encouragement. Almost 
every book I have opened, and every passage of the Bible I have 
glanced on, have conveyed more or less of invigorating sentiment. 
Are there such things as Christian omens? If there be, surely 
they were here. 

March 18th. — Jocelyn came to me yesterday, after morning 
service, and said that ' he had something important to communicate.' 
Stanley had taken him aside on Saturday evening, and had urged 
upon him the mischiefs arising from the amendment for ' ten hours ' 
that I had proposed. 'Ashley,' he added, 'does not know the con- 
dition in which he places the Government. If he carries his point, 
as it seems probable he will, two courses remain : we must either 
throw up the Bill, for Graham is pledged to cany it as it is, or throw 
it into his hands.' He then said a great deal more about the effect 
such success would have in aiding the repeal of the Corn Laws, and 
remarked : ' If Ashley is strong enough to beat the Government, he 
must take all responsibility ; if he thinks himself strong enough to 
defeat them here, perhaps he thinks himself strong enough to take 
the Government.' Jocelyn said : ' What would you have Ashley do 1 
He has given his life, you may say, to the question ; what would 
you have him do? He could not surrender it.' Stanley replied in a 
drawling, uncertain tone : ' I don't know ; I don't say what he could 
do.' The upshot was that Jocelyn, without delivering a direct 


message, was to inform me of the Ministerial mind. He did so. I 
replied that ' if my perseverance involved the repeal of ten thousand 
Corn Laws, and the dissolution of as many Governments, I would go 
on with all the vigour I could command ; that, were I disposed to 
hold back, I could not do so in the smallest degree ; that even in a 
mere question of politics, a man would be regarded as a sad specimen 
of faithlessness who retired simply to gratify the convenience of his 
Parliamentary friends, but that in this case, when I had toiled for 
so many years, and placed the whole matter on the basis of duty and 
religion, I should be considered, and most justly, too, a hypocrite 
almost without parallel.' We rang the changes on all this, and 
Jocelyn went away. I saw him again in the street, just before I 
entered the Chapel Royal. ' I have seen Stanley again,' he said ; 
'he never thought you could resign the question ; you were too deeply 
pledged.' 'It would be a sad thing,' continued Stanley, 'for the 
Government to appear as alone resisting the wishes and feelings of 
the people ; it would look very ill to the country if the question 
had a majority in the House, but was rejected solely by the Govern- 
ment.' Then Lord Stanley added (0 tempora, mores /), ' What 
I meant was that you (Jocelyn) and your friends should not bestir 
yourselves so much to obtain votes, and Ashley might save his 
character by maintaining his point, and yet allow himself to be beaten ! ' 
If ever insult was put on an individual, here it was with a vengeance! 
I told Jocelyn that ' the only difference was whether I should be an 
open or a secret scoundrel.' I added that ' I would exhaust all 
legitimate means to obtain my end, and that if defeated, I would 
never cease to work on the sympathies of the country.' 

On March the 15th the debate on the Ten Hours 
Bill was resumed, and the proposal of Lord Ashley was 
supported by Lord Howick, Mr. Becket (Leeds), Sir 
George Grey, Mr. John Fielden (Oldham), Lord John 
Eussell, Mr. Hindley (Ashton), Mr. Hardy (Bradford), 
and Mr. Muntz (Birmingham). 

The discussion was animated almost beyond prece- 
dent, and the excitement grew to a point of intensity, 


when Sir Robert Peel, in a long and laboured speech, 
pointed out that other branches of manufactures required 
restriction more than the cotton, woollen, and silk 
factories, namely, the Sheffield and Birmingham wares, 
glass, porcelain, earthenware, calico printing, and, above 
all, dressmaking and needlework, and he maintained 
that by restricting labour in cotton factories, a pre- 
mium was being placed on the laborious and cruel 
employment of women and children in these other 
manufactures. " Is the House prepared to legislate for 
all these people ? " asked the Premier. 

A tremendous cheer, and a cry of " Yes," answered 
the demand of the head of the Government. 

Sir Robert Peel, evidently much astounded by this 
powerful and decisive response, continued: "Then I 
see not why we should not extend the restriction to 
agriculture." Another ringing cheer, from the agri- 
cultural members, again threw the Premier from his 
equilibrium, and Sir Robert Peel abruptly concluded his 
speech by declaring that he could not undertake a task 
which would involve so difficult and perilous an enter- 
prise, above all human strength, and full of individual 
injustice. " I cannot, and I will not, acquiesce in the 
proposal of the noble Lord ! " was the emphatic ex- 
clamation with which he sat down.* 

Far-seeing as Sir Robert was in many things, he 
little dreamt that he had called forth a foreshadowing of 
Lord Ashley's future labours on behalf of the working 

* Morning Post, March 18, 1844. 


Lord John Russell -followed, and did good service to 
the cause by drawing attention to the fact that Lord 
Ashley's amendment introduced no new principle into 
the Bill, and that he (Lord John Russell) could not see 
what tremendous consequences would follow the limi- 
tation of labour in factories to ten hours when the 
Government themselves proposed a limitation, though 
to a somewhat longer period. 

The division resulted in 179 votes for Lord Ashley's 
amendment and 170 against it, thus giving a majority 
of 9 for the amendment ; but this vote the Government 
endeavoured, by a stratagem, to rescind by going at once 
to a division on the original question ; calculating, in 
all probability, that, by taking a second division im- 
mediately upon the other, the result would be confusion, 
out of which they might make capital. The stratagem 
failed, the result being : For Lord Ashley's proposition, 
161 ; against it, 153. Majority for Lord Ashley's 
proposition, 8. 

In face of these two divisions, Sir James Graham 
determined to make another effort to rescind the votes. 
" Sir," he said, rising amid profound silence, " the 
decision of the Committee is a virtual adoption of a Ten 
Hours Bill without modification. To that decision, 
with the utmost respect for the opinion of the Commit- 
tee, I have an insuperable objection." Whereupon he 
announced that he would not drop the Bill, but would 
proceed with it up to the eighth clause, when Lord 
Ashley would move that the word " ten ' should be 
substituted for " twelve ' : hours. He therefore moved 


that " You now report progress, and ask leave to sit 
again on Friday next." 

March 19th. — Last night 'adjourned debate' on Factory Bill and 
division. Can I believe the result 1 ' It is a night much to be observed 
of the Lord.' - Oh, gracious God, keep me from unseemly exultation, 
that I may yet creep alow by the ground to Thine honour, and to the 
recovery of the people from Egyptian bondage ! The Red Sea is yet 
before me, the enemy are in pursuit, and the wilderness has shut us 
in ; but we will, by His grace, 'stand still and see the salvation of the 
Lord.' He will cleave a path for us through the mighty waters, and 
ordain in our mouths a song of praise in the land of promise and of 
hope. My supporters wonderfully firm ; had no whipper-in, yet they 
stuck to me admirably. The Government — that is, Peel and Graham 

evidently out of temper. This seems as much the cause of their 

opposition as anything else. Their speeches, ingenious in argument, 
but wretched in principle and feeling, purely commercial : Peel 
urging a decay of trade ; Graham, an abatement of wages. Neither 
touched my facts or ai'guments ; but most unfairly Graham spoke a 
second time, and at great length, before others had spoken once. 
Peel argued, in fact, against all interference, and then appealed to 
the House on the merits of his Bill ! denounced our legislation with 
factories as unjust, quoted the condition of thousands of children 
who are as yet unprotected (passing, in truth, on me the old sneer 
of the Millowners & Co., that I was one-sided), and speaking as 
Prime Minister, in detail, of all these horrors, declared that he had 
no thought of assuaging them. In the sight of God and man he 
abdicated the functions of Government. A curious division. My 
members included very many who represented the mightiest trading 
constituencies, and this on a commercial question ! 

The Ministers have signified their intention to try over again the 
whole question by a division on Friday next. The interval will be 
employed in every Government method of influence and coercion. 
What engine can I employ to counteract and extinguish their fire 1 
They are unjust, bitter, headstrong, but powerful. I am alone, but 
I commit all to God, who will maintain His own work. 

It is a wonderful event, an especial Providence ; is there a pre- 
cedent like it] A single individual, unaided by a party, with scarcely 



a man whom he could trust to second him, has been enabled to de- 
feat the most powerful array of capitalists, overcome the strongest 
domestic apprehensions, and the most powerful Ministry of the last 
fifteen years 1 Struggle as they will, the question is passed ; it may 
be delayed in its final accomplishment, but surely it cannot be re- 
versed. God give us faith, faith, faith ! . . . 

March 21st. — An oppressive weight appears to have been removed 
from my shoulders, and yet I cannot recover my elasticity. I feel 
like a man that has been stunned or bled. I am conscious of a 
change, but hardly of relief : partly the effect of long habit, partly 
the effect of the foreseen Government hostility (and their power is 
great !). I find no real comfort but in beholding God as the author, 
and, I pray, as the finisher, of this work in His blessed Son Jesus 
Christ. Ministers quite mad, using every exertion, no reasoning, 
no misstatement, no falsehood almost, spared ! Expresses sent off 
the whole of Sunday. I offered to delay ' Ten Hours ' for two years 
and a half. Every one satisiied except Peel and Graham, who are 
furious in temper. 

On March the 22nd the debate on the Ten Hours 
Bill was resumed, and Lord Ashley, in a brief speech, 
in which he summarised, from the Ileports of Factory 
Inspectors and other authorities, the vast moral and 
social benefits that would accrue from the curtailment 
of the existing sj^stem of excessive labour, concluded 
by moving that the blank in the eighth clause be filled 
with the word "ten." 

A long discussion followed, in which Mr. Cardvvell, 
Mr. Brotherton, Lord John Manners, Mr. Ward, Sir 
Eobert Inglis, and Mr. Charles Buller took part, and 
at its close there was a majority of three (186 to 183) 
against adopting the word " twelve " as proposed by the 
Government. Lord Ashley's amendment that the word 
" ten " should be inserted in the eighth clause w T as then 


put, when all who had voted for "twelve " now voted 
"No; " but, inasmuch as five who had previously voted 
" No " again did the same, confusion once more pre- 
vailed, and the result was that 188 voted against the 
amendment, and 181 for it, and it was lost by a 
majority of 7 ! 

The stratagem of the Government had succeeded. 
The question was reduced to chaos. The Government 
proposal for a Twelve Hours Bill, and Lord Ashley's 
proposal for a Ten Hours Bill, had both been negatived, 
and the Bill was in extreme jeopardy. 

In these circumstances, Sir James Graham postponed 
statins: what the Government would do, and moved that 
the Chairman should report progress. 

Lord Ashley bowed to the decision of the House, 
acknowledged that for the present he was defeated, but 
declared that he " would persevere to the last hour of 
his existence, and he had not the slightest doubt that, 
at no very distant time, he should, by God's blessing, 
have a complete victory." 

March 23rd. — Last night victorious in rejecting Twelve Hours by 
186 to 183 ; defeated in attempting Ten Hours, by 181 to 188 ! Yet 
the cause is mightily advanced. God, in His wisdom and goodness, 
demands a little longer trial of faith and patience. The consum- 
mation will then arrive, and it will be the more evidently seen to 
be His own work. House very kind. Charles Duller made an 
admirable speech. What ignorance of the House, of the country, 
and of mankind, have the Ministry shown. Feeling is very often 
far better than logic for a guide to conduct. What a patrimony 
had Peel : the especial protection of the working classes, and he Las 
cast it away ! The majority, in fact, included the larger propor- 
tion of manufacturing constituencies, and certainly the best of tha 

d 2 


Government supporters. The House of Commons never saw, before 
these events, such an utter resignation of party-feeling on all sides 
to the assertion of a great act of humanity. The influence of 
Ministers, used unscrupulously and unsparingly, obtained at last 
but a majority of seven, and that not in support of their original 
proposition. . . . 

March 25th. — Globe of this afternoon contains a most direct 
attack on me — 'ambition, love of office,' &c, &c. — 'the Prince 
of Cantei-s.' What a scene in the House last night ! The tiptoe of 
expectation, every one anticipating an Eleven Hours Bill. I was 
prepared to accept it, reserving to myself the power of moving 
whenever I pleased. It would have settled the question for at least 
two years. Graham, I am told, very hostile in Cabinet. Peel for 
it ; determined, however, to resist. Graham notified his opposition, 
and signified that all who supported me were entering on a course 
of 'Jack Cade* legislation.' Indecent, foolish, and stupid; but he 
did himself thereby irreparable mischief. Consideration of Bill, or 
rather of withdrawal of it, deferred till Friday next. 

March 26th. — Consultations without end ; annoyances of all 
kinds ; unabated anxiety. Prayed heartily for counsel, wisdom, and 

March 27th. — Resolved to act in conformity with my first im- 
pression, and allow withdrawal of Bill. . . . Did so, and Graham 
pledged himself to bring in a new Bill. I can, therefore, do on this 
what I could not have clone on the old Bill — take a debate and 
division on the simple question of ten hours ! 

It was generally anticipated that the Government 
would endeavour to effect a compromise by proposing 
an Eleven Hours Bill. When, however, it became 
known that Sir James Graham proposed to bring in a 
new Bill, and to stand doggedly to the Twelve Hours 

* " H. B." published a lively caricature on this. Lord Ashley as 
Jack Cade, followed by Lord John Manners, Sir R. Inglis, and Lord John 
Russell, advancing against Sir Robert Peel and Sir J. Graham on the 


principle, and when, moreover, he expressed this in 
words and actions which were intolerable, the excite- 
ment, especially among the operatives, became intense. 
The Committees united in memorialising the Queen 
against " the ill-advised perseverance in a course of 
cruelty and injustice, of your Majesty's principal Secre- 
tary of State for the Home Department, who has 
avowed his intention of withholding all relief from 
oppressed women and children, and has sought to effect 
his object, by means most insulting to the faithful 
representatives of your Majesty's loyal subjects in 
Parliament, and tending to degrade the high office 
bestowed on him by your Majesty." 

At this period of his career, Sir James Graham was 
one of the most unpopular men in the country. Except 
by a few personal friends, he was almost universally 
disliked; and it is not surprising to find in Lord 
Ashley's Journals some strong comments upon his 
character and conduct. The " novel and somewhat 
questionable course " he had pursued in endeavouring, by 
stratagem, to rescind the votes in favour of the Ten 
Hours Bill, had increased his unpopularity generally, 
and in a marked degree among the friends of factory 
legislation. But Sir James Graham had not yet shown 
the whole length to which he could go, when his will 
was thwarted ; and in the near future he was to 
make a display of some of those qualities which kept 
alive his unpopularity. He had an overbearing manner, 
which in itself raised opposition ; and, once having 
become convinced on any subject, his mind seemed to 


shut its eyes, and he plunged deeper and deeper into 
partisanship. " He exulted, as a strong man, in the 
power he possessed, and sometimes," says his biographer, 
" it must be owned, its exercise savoured of tyranny."* 
It did so during this year, when the Factory Bill was 
the burning question in and out of Parliament ; and the 
friends and foes of the movement were agreed in this 
perhaps more than in anything else — a common dislike 
to Sir James Graham. 

" While no man more diligently or conscientiously 
devoted himself to his public duties," says his 
biographer, writing of this time, " or displayed more 
aptitude and ability in their performance, it cannot 
be denied that his personal unpopularity at this 
period was extreme. Why was it so, and what was 
the cause? The question was continually asked, and 
every one had a different explanation to give. ' How 
do you account for it?' said a mutual friend, standing 
one day below the bar, to a noble Lord whom Sir James 
had lately complimented highly in debate, and towards 
whom he had certainly never shown anything like dis- 
respect. ' How ? Why just look at him, as he sits 
there, with his head thrown back, and his eyes fixed 
on the windows over the gallery, as if there was no- 
thing going on in the House worth his listening to.' " 
Another distinguished supporter, when asked why so 
many people hated him, replied, " He has cocked 
his hat on the wrong side of his head, and depend 
upon it that's a mistake not easily got over." There 

* " Life of Sir James Graham," by T. M. Torrens, ii. 199. 


was something more than this, however, to account for 
it. His manner, always uncertain, was frequently com- 
plained of by those who had occasion to see him on 
business at the Home Office. An old and attached 
friend, speaking of this period, says, " Though I never 
found him anything but courteous, considerate, and kind, 
others were certainly not so lucky. Whether it was 
impatience at having his time wasted, when there were 
a hundred calls upon it daily he could not satisfy, or 
whether it arose from unconscious faults of manner, it 
is certain that he had become the most unpopular man 
in the Government. You could not go into the Carlton 
without finding some self-important country gentleman 
half inarticulate with rage at the way in which he had 
been treated ' by that intolerable coxcomb, whom Peel 
had been fool enough to put at the Home Office, and 
whom he was resolved never, so long as he lived, to 
speak to again!' ... To the arts of conciliation he seemed 
to think it unworthy of a Minister to stoop. To policy 
or reason he was ready to concede, but amid clamour he 
grew sulky, and his answer to threats was generally 
conveyed in a tone that savoured so much of arrogance 
and scorn as to render their reiteration certain. He 
would initiate change, if the initiation were left to him 
and those he acted with. It was not his way to do 
anything by halves ; but having once made up his mind 
to a particular line of conduct, his disposition led him 
to pursue it, unmindful of importunity or deprecation. 
There was in him, it must be owned, sometimes too 
much of a haughty and imperious mood, which especially 


betrayed itself in his demeanour as a Minister. He 
seemed as though he were haunted by a morbid fear 
of appearing (as he phrased it) ' to be hustled into 
doing anything by the mere pressure from without,' 
so long as he believed that pressure could be resisted. 
. He spoke and acted in public like one who 
fancied it a duty to flout demagogism, and to overawe 
the voice of querulous or menacing remonstrance." * 

It is true that this was not the whole man. In the 
home circle he was another being, but, as his biographer 
adds, " The man who was idolised by his family and 
beloved by his friends, from the moment he crossed his 
own threshold appeared to assume a repellent air and 
mien, as though he were haunted by the fear of being 
intruded on." f 

In the interval afforded by the Easter holidays, 
between the withdrawal of Sir James Graham's Bill 
and the introduction of a new one, Lord Ashley, long- 
ing for a few days' repose, went on a short visit to 
Dover ; but the Diaries reveal how little real rest there 
was for him while the great question on which his 
heart was set was pending. 

April 3rd. — Dover. . . . Read the Bible with the boys; a 
■useful and agreeable morning ; beautiful day ; walked to the top of 
Shakespeare's Cliff; enjoyed the scene, the refreshing air, the hope 
of renewed strength, and fuller service. . . . Home at seven, very 
tired. I often think, when fatigued, how much less my weariness 
must be than that of the wretched factory women. It has, at any 
rate, this good result — that I feel and make additional resolutions to 
persevere in their behalf. 

* " Life of Sir James Graham," ii. 227. 
t Ibid., pp. 272-3. 


April 4th. — I know not what feeling predominates when one 
paces these shores and surveys the fortresses. All now seem quiet 
— nay, almost lifeless ; yet, a generation ago, superhuman activity 
and unprecedented alarm made man and nature rivals in destruction. 
With what sentiments of thankfulness, what confessions of sin, what 
remorse for oblivion of mercies, ought we to stand on this protected 
beach and contemplate the opposite shores ; not a hostile foot — though 
millions panted for our ruin — trod upon our soil ; every hour of 
existence as a nation was a fresh mere}'. . . . 

April 5th (Good Friday). — Do what you will you cannot so 
entirely banish the past and disregard the future as to make the 
mind rest solely, simply, exclusively on the present hour. ' This is 
the day that the Lord hath made ; let us rejoice and be glad in it.' 
Much do I desii'e it, but I am haunted, and I know I shall be 
haunted, by debates, divisions, spectres of attacks, defences, failure, 
success. I am of a very nervous and excitable temperameut ; an 
impression once made is not easily effaced ; it hangs to me like a con- 
science. . . . As I taught the little children to-day, it seemed to 
me wonderful in how small a compass is contained the whole sum 
and substance of Christian religion. Volumes without end, years of 
study, years of controversy, immense thought, immense eloquence 
all expended, and mostly wasted, to dilate or torture that which 
may be comprehended by the understanding, and relished by the 
soul, of a simple child. What will all the learning in the world, 
all the meditation of the profoundest spirits, add to the plain 
facts of the fall of man and his salvation by Christ 1 Little but 
perplexity and the embarrassment of that which is intrinsically 
simple ! 

April 6th. — Mill-owners have got out a manifesto contradicting 
me on every point, and specially on ' the distances.' I hold to my 
statements. If I be refuted, my career as a public man is over ; I 
could never again make a speech in the House of Commons or else- 
where. I should be proved to be as near to a liar as a man can well 
be, short of the actual dealing in falsehoods. . . 

April 12th. — Panshanger. Rode with William Cowper to 
Watton. Saw Bickersteth.* Rejoiced to have some conversation 
with him ; he is full of faith, and truly and dearly loves our Lord 

* Rev. E. Bickersteth, Rector of Watton, Herts. 



[Vnxv. XII. 

and Master. But there are few, like him, proof against temptation 
and expediency in the hour of trial. . . 

April 15th. — Wrote a few clays ago a challenge to Greg and 
Ashworth to meet Fielden and Kenworthy and superintend the re- 
measurement of the distances. Will they accept it or no % I think 
not. However, I shall, thank God, have a triumph in either case. If 
they attend, I must prove my accuracy ; if they refuse, I shall prove 
their dishonesty. . . 

There was a long paper warfare on this subject. The 
letters are still in existence, but it would be needless to 
quote them here. Suffice it to say that the challenge 
was evaded, and the accuracy of Lord Ashley's state- 
ment was proved by incontestable evidence. 

The subject was one upon which he had evidently 
taken immense pains to be strictly precise ; there are 
many notes among his papers to show this. Here is 
one, apparently of a date earlier than the present 
controversy : — 

A Table showing the distance over which a Piecer must walk daily 
in attending a pair of Mules, spinning Cotton-yarn of 40 hanks 
in the pound, at Bolton-le- Moors, the Piecers being usually of the 
ages of 14 to 21. 

The Spinner 

"puts up" 2,000 
stretches daily on 
each of two Mules, 
each Mule being 
eighteen yards 
long, and there 
being three per- 
sons to attend to 



-z o 



d ■ 

._ ^ 

o . 




The distance 
from Mule to 
Mule will vary 
a little in some 
Mills, owing 
to a scarcity 
or abundance 
of room. 


Sir Robert Peel saw, or thought he saw, a way out 
of the difficulty connected with Lord Ashley's Factory 
measures. It is referred to in the following entry : — 

April 17th. — London. Well, what nextl Can I believe my eai's? 
Old Bonham* informed me (stating, while he did so, that it was almost 
a breach of confidence, inasmuch as no hint of any sort or kind was 
to be given) that Peel had determined to offer me the Lord Lieu- 
tenancy of Ireland, with almost unlimited powers, in respect especially 
of the Church. It came out very naturally, arising from a conver- 
sation in which we were engaged ; he lamenting that my position 
rendered office impossible, and that such a state of tilings was a loss 
to Government in general. Peel, he said, had told him, and Graham 
confirmed it, that no one in the kingdom could effect such good in 
Ireland ; no one but myself could grapple with the landlords and the 
prelates and maintain, against influence, the rights of the working 
clergy. He had, he added, done wrong in mentioning it ; it might 
have the appearance of wishing to abate opposition by such an oiler. 
He trusted to my saying nothing. No one but himself, Peel, and 
Graham had any idea of the scheme. I listened in silence and 
astonishment ; a little gratified, but not at all in doubt. I quite 
admitted that I could, probably, do more with the Irish clergy 
than most men at present. I said no more. He argued, and some- 
what urged. Silent, not offended, not puffed- up, not beguiled, fully 
resolved never to do or accept anything, however pressed by the strong 
claims of public necessity and public usefulness, which should, in 
the least degree, limit my opportunity or control my free action in 
respect of the Ten Hours Bill. Peel had told him that he would 
not even breathe the sidject until after the Factory Bill had been dis- 
posed of. God give me a right judgment in all things ! O God, 
grant that I may never be seduced by any worldly motive to abandon 
truth and mercy and justice ! Keep me from all specious patriotism, 
and alike from all fear of man's reproach ! . . . 

April 22nd. — One thing now perplexes and annoys me. I per- 
ceive, or fancy that I perceive, within the last few months, a great 
diminution of intellectual power. I have no energy, no command. 

* Bonham was " whip." 


If I attempt to speak, my utterance is unsteady. I have no flow of 
ideas, and not much more of language. I feel no confidence, no hope, 
no satisfaction. I positively dread the necessity of presenting even a 
petition. I never open my lips without a prayer to God, and yet I 
tremble at the duty. All this adds greatly to my sorrow. 

April 23rd. — Which is the more wicked, a covert or a bare- 
faced rogue '? Peter Borthwick went this evening to Henry Baring 
(who told me of it the instant after the transaction) and made a 
proposal. 'Would you like to hear,' said Baring to me, 'a specimen 
of public virtue] Peter Borthwick has just said to me, "I have a 
motion to-night ; pray keep me a House. You remember how I 
voted on the Factory Bill. I voted against the Government. Now, 
if you will keep a House until I shall have made my speech I will 
vote for the Government." Do not show me up,' said Baring. How 
can I march through Coventry with such a tale as this] 

On the 3rd of May leave was obtained to bring in 
a new Bill, and the occasion was utilised by Mr. Ward 
(Sheffield), Mr. Roebuck, and Captain Rous, to make a 
series of attacks upon Lord Ashley. The Bill was so 
worded that it would not admit of any amendment being 
proposed on any of its clauses, and it was therefore 
necessary for Lord Ashley to give notice that he would 
move the introduction of a new clause to the effect that 
no young person should be employed more than eleven 
hours a day, or sixty-four hours a week, and that from 
October 1st, 1847, these numbers should be reduced to 
ten hours and fifty-eight hours respectively. 

It was -a night, as he says, " of trouble and rebuke." 

May 4th. ... I was the direct and indirect target. They fired 
at me without mercy, and left me, like a portrait of St. Sebastian, shot 
through and through by their arrows. Had not intended to make 
any reply ; perhaps I felt incompetent, as I always do now. Strong 


in my cause and conduct, weak in my capacity. Ward's accusation 
against my knowledge, my statements, my veracity, rendered an 
answer inevitable. What kind of answer 1 Not one of declamation, 
but one of facts, that involved much reading of documents, and at 
half-past ten at night ! Why did not Ward make his attack before ] 
But as a man, wishing to be thought a man of honour, I could not 
decline the challenge. Alas for my necessity ! I began and ended 
amid cries of ' Question ' and ' Divide.' Appeal was in vain. The 
House had heard Ward and Roebuck, but it would not hear me, and 
I spouted my papers with a heavy heart, a parched mouth, a feeble 
voice, a faltering tongue, and a hopeless pertinacity — a spectacle 
of present and future exultation to those who hate me and seek my 
confusion. I am certainly conscious of a decline in physical and 
mental energy during the last three months ; the fact I perceive, 
I cannot arrive at the cause. I have had no sense of comfort from 
above ; I have seen no pillar of a cloud by day or of fire by night ; 
my spirits do not rally ; fears seem to have obtained undisputed 
possession of my whole system ; I labour under a notion of solitude 
without external aid or internal assurance ; what or whence is 
it 1 ... I have yet before me another conflict. I am languid, weary, 
diffident ; many assail, and no one defends me ; I am utterly with- 
out resource ; I neither possess nor seek the 'arm of flesh.' I tremble 
at the prospect. I never felt so forlorn as I do now. What is it 1 I 
had an inward conviction of support in every other case ; in Collieries, 
in Education, in Opium ; here alone I have never experienced a 
cheering thought, an invigorating grace. Am I right in my purpose 1 
Is it according to God's will 1 . . . 

In moving the introduction of the new clause on the 
10th of May, Lord Ashley set himself to the task of 
meeting the objections that had been urged against the 
Ten Hours Bill on commercial grounds — namely, that 
it would cause a diminution of produce ; that there 
would take place a reduction, in the same proportion, of 
the value or the fixed capital employed in the trade; 
that a diminution of wages would ensue to the great 


injury of the workmen ; and, lastly, that there would be 
a rise of price, and consequent peril of foreign compe- 
tition. Having examined and refuted these arguments, 
he continued : — ■ 

Sir, this House is now placed in a novel position ; it is sum- 
moned to rescind its resolution, not because new facts or new con- 
ditions have appeared, but because the Minister has declared his 
hostility. Nothing has been stated that was not stated before — no 
fresh knowledge communicated, no unseen dangers discovered. The 
House is summoned to cancel its vote, not upon conviction, but to 
save a Government. . . . Sir, the whole question of representative 
Governments is at stake ; votes have been rescinded before, but 
never such as this. You are almost declaring, to those who are your 
m-dinary friends, they shall never exercise a vote but at the will of 
the Minister. This is a despotism under the forms of the Constitu- 
tion ; and all to no purpose ; for your resistance will be eventually 
and speedily overcome, but your precedent will remain. 

In concluding his vigorous denunciation, he uttered 
prophecies which, singularly enough, were soon to be 
fulfilled to the very letter, although the causes leading 
to those results were then entirely unknown. He 
said : — 

The feeling of the country is roused ; and so long as there shall 
be voices to complain and hearts to sympathise, you will have 
neither honour abroad nor peace at home, neither comfort for the 
present nor security for the future. But I dare to hope for far 
better things — for restored affections, for renewed understanding 
between master and man, for combined and general efforts, for large 
and mutual concessions of all classes of the wealthy for the benefit 
of the common welfare, and especially of the labouring people. Sir, 
it may not be given to me to pass over this Jordan ; other and 
better men have preceded me, and I entered into their labours ; 
other and better men will follow me, and enter into mine ; but this 

1844.] A CRISIS. 47 

consolation I shall ever continue to enjoy — that, amidst much in- 
justice, and somewhat of calumny, we have at last lighted such a 
candle in England as, by God's blessing, shall never be put out. 

As soon as the loud and continued cheering ceased, Sir 
James Graham rose, and for once appeared to be unequal 
to the task of answering the arguments arrayed against 
him, endorsed as they were by so many of his own 
party and supporters. And it may be noted, in passing, 
that, although the debate lasted for two nights, there 
was no one in the House who even attempted to over- 
throw the arguments adduced by Lord Ashley. It was 
evident to the Ministry that a crisis in its history 
had come, and Sir James Graham declared it in these 
words : — " Sir, I shall not be unjust towards the noble 
Lord, whatever others may be ; and I am quite satisfied 
that the cause which he has advocated this evening can 
never fall into the hands of a better advocate. I am 
quite satisfied that his motives are of the highest and 
purest nature, and he is no less an able and powerful 
advocate than I believe him to be a sincere one. He 
has, however, said, that her Majesty's Government seek 
to exercise a tyranny upon this occasion. Now, Sir, 
with humble submission, I say that I am quite prepared 
to bow to whatever decision this House may come 
to upon this question, but I can conceive no tyranny 
greater; — none greater upon the part of the Crown, and 
I should certainly say that it would be the extreme 
of tyranny on the part of a popular assembly, to ex- 
pect that any Minister should remain responsible for 
the conduct of public affairs when the representative 


assembly of the nation, bearing so large a portion of the 
whole power of the Government of the country, demands 
a course to be taken which that Minister, in his judg- 
ment and in his conscience, believes to be fatal to the 
best interests of the country. I must say, with perfect 
submission and perfect frankness, that I leave this case 
to the decision of the House ; but with equal firmness, 
and with equal frankness, I am bound to state that, if 
the decision of the House should be that the proposition 
of the noble Lord should prevail, it will be my duty to 
seek a private station, hoping that the decision of the 
House may be conducive to the welfare of the country." 

The debate was continued with great animation, 
Lord Howick, Mr. Bernal, Mr. C. Buller, Mr. Ferrand, 
Mr. Muntz, and others, supporting Lord Ashley ; and 
Mr. Liddel, Mr. G. Knight, Mr. Mark Philips, and Mr. 
Hoebuck, opposing him. Mr. Roebuck, who was always 
a strong enemy to Factory Legislation, distinguished 
himself by giving utterance to one of the most violent 
speeches ever heard in that House, even from him. 

At one o'clock the debate was adjourned. 

May 12th. — Sunday. At last a day of repose ! Have been in a 
whirl by night and by day — occupied and anxious all day ; sleepless, 
or if sleeping, like a drunken man, all night ; my head quite giddy, 
and my heart absolutely fainting ; too much to do, in quantity, in 
variety, and importance. Delivered at last, by God's especial mercy, 
on Friday night, of my burden, not only tvithout failure, as I felt at 
the time, but also with honour, as I learned afterwards. Oh, what 
trouble, time, and perplexity removed ! 

The adjourned debate was resumed on Monday, May 
13th. It was evident that the great Parliamentary 


struggle upon the subject was approaching its end; the 
fate of the Ministry was trembling in the balance. 

Among the speakers was Mr. John Bright, who 
again gave the hottest opposition, while Mr. Macaulay, 
who had hitherto voted against all legislation on the 
subject, now declared himself in favour of the Ten 
Hours Bill, and supported it in one of his brilliant 
orations. But the case was doomed when Sir Robert 
Peel, having addressed the House for upwards of two 
hours, concluded by saying, " I know not what the 
result may be this night, but this I do know — that I 
shall, with a safe conscience, if the result be unfavour- 
able to my views, retire with perfect satisfaction iuto 
a private station, wishing well to the result of your 

This was decisive. In the face of such a contin- 
gency there were many who felt they could not do 
otherwise than vote against the measure they approved, 
in support of a Ministry whose malevolent action in 
threatening to break up the Administration unless the 
House of Commons rescinded the vote it had oiven in 
favour of the Ten Hours Bill, they disapproved. On 
the question being put, the House divided. Ayes, 159; 
Noes, 297. Majority against Lord Ashley's amend- 
ment, 138. 

It was a crushing defeat, but it was evident to all 
the friends of the movement that the future triumph 
could not much longer be delayed ; and Lord Ashley 
left the House reiterating his determination to renew 
the subject at an early date. 


May 14th. — Last night defeated — utterly, singularly, prodigiously 
defeated by a majority of 138!! The House seemed aghast, per- 
plexed, astounded. No one could say how, why, and almost when. 
It seemed that 35 or 40 was the highest majority expected. Such 
is the power and such the exercise of Ministerial influence ! ! . . . 

May 15th. — The majority was one to save the Government (even 
Whigs being reluctant to turn them out just now), not against the 
question of Ten Hours. . . . Freernantle went from one member to 
another assuring them of Ministerial danger, and thus each man be- 
lieved that his own vote was the salvation of the Government. 

May 16th. — Dined last night at the Lord Mayor's feast. Found 
much sympathy, as I do everywhere. This great majority far better 
for the question than one of, say, 25. It proves that there was no 
division against the principle, but one to save the Ministry; it 
begets, too, a high reaction. Called on to return thanks for the 
House of Commons. Did so, but expressed slight surprise that I 
should have been summoned to that duty at that particular moment, 
adding, however, that the House ' consisted of a body of gentlemen 
who would, on all occasions, do what they (here was charity !) con- 
sidered to be their duty.' Well received. Peel and Graham tried to 
make fair weather with me afterwards. Did not rebuff them, though 
I could not feel either friendship or esteem. . . Amply satisfied now 
that I permitted the withdrawal of the Bill. Should have been de- 
feated by an equal majority, and the question would have been 
ended for the Session. But what should I have lost 1 The interval 
has produced all these public meetings, all the witnesses they ex- 
hibited, all the feeling they roused, not only throughout those 
provinces, but the whole country, and, finally, I have obtained a 
debate and division on the true issue of the Ten Hours, not on a mere 
technicality. Have I not, moreover, saved the Bill with all its 
valuable clauses about machinery and female labour ] A withdrawal 
or a vigorous resistance to it would have prompted the Ministers 
to proceed no further ; an amendment, stoutly maintained in com- 
mittee on the second Bill, would have deterred them from the third 
reading It is now gone to the House of Lords. O God, prosper it ! 

' Cast down, but not destroyed.' I feel no abatement of faith, 
no sinking of hope, no relaxation of perseverance. The stillest and 
darkest hour of the night just precedes the dawn. 'Though it tarry, 
wait for it,' believing that God sends you a trial, and yet bears you 


up with a corresponding courage; and, although you may pass not the 
stream of Jordan, it is something that God has permitted you to 
wash your feet in the waters of the promised land. 

It is interesting to learn from contemporary sources 
what was the impression left on various minds by these 
stirring incidents, especially when these impressions 
were made on minds holding opposite views. 

One specimen only can be given here. Mr. Charles 
Greville says : — * 

" I never remember so much excitement as has been 
caused by Ashley's Ten Hours Bill, nor a more curious 
political state of things, such intermingling of parties, 
such a confusion of opposition ; a question so much 
more open than any question ever was before, and 
yet not made so or acknowledged to be so with the 
Government ; so much zeal, asperity, and animosity ; 
so many reproaches hurled backwards and forwards. 
The Government have brought forward their measure 
in a very positive way, and have clung to it with great 
tenacity, rejecting all compromise ; they have been 
abandoned by nearly half their supporters, and nothing 
can exceed their chagrin and soreness at being so for- 
saken. Some of them attribute it to Graham's unpopu- 
larity, and aver that if Peel had brought it forward, or 
if a meeting had been previously called, they would not 
have been defeated ; again, some declare that Graham 
had said they were indifferent to the result, and that 
people might vote as they pleased, which he stoutly 

* C. C. Greville's "Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria, 1337-52," 
vol. ii., p. 236. 

e 2 


denies. Then John Russell voting for ' Ten Hours,' 
against all he professed last year, has filled the world 
with amazement, and many of his own friends with 
indignation. It has, I think, not redounded to his 
credit, but, on the contrary, done him considerable harm. 
The Opposition were divided — Palmerston and Lord 
John one way, Baring and Labouchere the other. It 
has b3en a very queer affair. Some voted, not know- 
ing how they ought to vote, and following those they 
are accustomed to follow. Many who voted against 
Government, afterwards said they believed they are 
wrong. Melbourne is all against Ashley ; all the 
political economists, of course ; Lord Spencer strong 
against him. Then Graham gave the greatest offence 
by taking up a word of the Examiner s last Sunday, and 
calling it a ' Jack Cade legislation,' this stirring them to 
fury, and they flew upon him like tigers. Ashley made 
a speech as violent and factious as any of O'Connell's, 
and old Inglis was overflowing with wrath. Nothing 
could be so foolish as Graham's taunt. He ought to 
have known better how much mischief may be done by 
words, and how they stick by men for ever. Lyndhurst 
rubbed his hands with great glee, and said, ' Well, we 
shall hear no more of " aliens " now ; people will only 
talk of " Jack Cade " for the future,' too happy to shift 
the odium, if he could, from his own to his colleague's 
back. The Ministers gave out, if they were beaten last 
Friday, they would resign ; but they knew there was no 
chance of it. Some abused Ashlev for not g-oino- on and 
lighting again, but he knew well enough it would be of 


no use. The House did certainly put itself in an odd 
predicament, with its two votes directly opposed to each 
other. The whole thing is difficult and unpleasant. 
Government will carry their Bill now, and Ashley will 
be able to do nothing, but he will go on agitating 
Session after Session; and a philanthropic agitator is 
more dangerous than a repealer, either of the Union 
or the Corn Laws. We are just now overrun with 
philanthropy, and God knows where it will stop, or 
whither it will lead us." 

The Bill passed to the House of Lords as a Govern- 
ment measure. It was warmly opposed by Lord 
Brougham on the third reading, but it became law on 
the 6th of June, 1844. 

During the time that this great and memorable 
struggle was proceeding in Parliament, the whole coun- 
try was in a state of great agitation. Friends of the 
cause held meetings in all the large towns to support 
the action of Lord Ashley, whose movements the factory 
operatives and their friends watched with intense interest 
and anxiety. Among those who greatly assisted him 
in his labours were Mr. B. Jowett, Mr. W. B. Ferrand, 
Mr. John Wood, and Mr. William Walker, of Bradford, 
while eminent clergymen, dissenting ministers, medical 
men, tradesmen, and operatives, vied with one another 
in placing at the disposal of Lord Ashley evidence to 
assist him in his arguments, and sympathy to aid him 
in his toil. To the press he was greatly indebted ; and 
Mr. Walter, in the columns of the Times, gave very 
material aid to the cause. 


The new law, although not giving all that was 
required, was yet a distinct gain, as it acknowledged 
and established a new principle — namely, that adult 
female labour ought to be restricted. 

Soon after these events, the political world w r as 
thrown into a state of great excitement by the rumoured 
resignation of the Ministry. On the 14th of June 
the Government were defeated in Committee on the 
Sugar Duties Bill, by a majority of twenty ; and at a 
Cabinet Council, held two days later, it was settled that 
Ministers would resign unless the House accepted the 
Bill as originally framed. On the 17th, Sir Bobert Peel 
held out the threat of resignation unless the House of 
Commons rescinded its vote of the 14th, a course which 
Mr. Disraeli described as " dragging his supporters un- 
reasonably through the mire," and denounced as a 
species of slavery, inasmuch as, at eveiy crisis, he 
expected that his gang should appear, and the whip 
should sound. "The Minister," he said, "deserved 
a better position than one that could only be re- 
tained by menacing his friends and cringing to his 

The result of the division was a majority of twenty- 
two (233 to 255) in favour of the Ministry ! 

Twice in one month had Sir Bobert Peel summoned 
independent and responsible men to rescind their votes, 
a course that Lord Ashley described as " neither con- 
stitutional, loyal, politic, nor Christian - like." He 
wrote a private letter to Peel on the subject, as 
follows : — 


Lord Ashley to Sir Robert Peel. 

June 18, 1844. 

My dear Sir Robert, — During ten years of active and anxious 
opposition I, with many others, devoted all my efforts (feeble, it is- 
true, but most sincere) to bring you to the great and responsible 
station you at present occupy. I had no purpose of my own to serve, 
nor have I now ; but I cannot control the feeling which overpowers 
me, nor withhold an expression of sorrow, that the political confidence 
which began so long ago, and has been, I protest, faithfully observed 
on my part, should at last have received so fatal a shock. I wish 
to speak openly, and I prefer this mode of a private letter to a public 
declaration in my place in Parliament. 

When you summoned the House of Commons to reverse its vote 
on the Factory Question, much as I hated the proposition and dreaded 
the precedent, I was disinclined to go further than a few remarks 
which duty required of me ; the case touched me too nearly, and I 
feared the influence of temper. A second instance, however, and in 
a matter where I personally have no concern, has forced me to con- 
sider my future conduct in respect of a Ministry which avows and 
enforces such perilous principles. 

I have no sensitive apprehensions of a gradual, though silent, 
approach to a more open system of trade ; I should be prepared to 
go with you further, in many points, than you have hitherto gone ; 
but I do entertain very deep and painful apprehensions of the issues 
of such a system as you developed last night. I think it unconsti- 
tutional and tending to dictatorship, under the form of free govern- 
ment. I am unwilling to use the several terms my reflection suggests, 
by which I should designate the policy in its aspects towards the 
country, your supporters, and, above all, the Queen. I can think of 
it only with astonishment and grief, convinced that the mischief now 
done is irreparable, and destined to hasten the evil day which, in, 
God's just anger, has long impended over us, and yet might have 
been averted. I do not speak from any personal resentment, because 
I am not one of those to whom your remarks were addressed. 

I gave no vote on Friday — I stayed away from the House — 
being inclined to support Mr. Miles, and yet disinclined to oppose 


I pursued the same course on Monday ; but the speech you then 

made, and the events which followed it, have rendered it impossible 

that I should continue to entertain the hopes and feelings of former 

days ; and duty, perhaps, demands that I should not conceal from 

you my opinions. 

Very faithfully yours, 

The above letter is thus alluded to in the Diary : — 

June 20th. — Wrote a private letter to Peel yesterday. Hesitated 
long whether to do so. Determined at last in the affirmative, because 
it is right to undeceive a leader who believes, or may believe, that 
one is an unqualified admirer and supporter ; and because, if all would 
tell Peel the truth, which he never hears, he might be wiser and 
better. But how placed is that man ! Experience, it seemed, was 
about to do something for him ; the debate in the Commons, the 
cast-down looks of his friends, the misgivings of his own conscience ; 
— truth, in fact, was about to reach him, when, yesterday, a number of 
time-servers and trucklers met together at the Carlton, voted, unani- 
mously, an address of unlimited confidence, and turned aside the 
conviction which might have led Sir Robert to nobler things. He is 
now satisfied, because a hundred unauthorised men have 'repre- 
sented ' the sentiments of thousands who think otherwise ! . . . 

The following was Sir Robert Peel's reply : — 

Sir Robert Peel to Lord Ashley. 

Whitehall, June 20, 1844. 

My dear Lord Ashley, — I hear, with sincere regret, both on 
public and private grounds, that the course taken by the Government 
on the question of the Sugar Duties induces you to withdraw from 
the Government that confidence and support which were given by 
you from pure and disinterested motives, and of which they were 
justly proud. 

I thank you sincerely, at the same time, for having conveyed 
to me your feelings and intentions in a manner least calculated to 


aggravate the pain which the intimation of them must necessarily 


Believe me, my dear Lord Ashley, 

Very faithfully yours, 

Robert Peel. 

Eeferring to the above letter, Lord Ashley noted in 
the Diary : — 

June 22nd. — Peel wrote a kind reply, but assuming that I had 
totally withdrawn all support. I replied that I should still vote for 
most of his measures, but could repose no great confidence. That I 
should never seek a leader among the Whigs. He rejoiced upon 
that, and expressed his great satisfaction. 

But I have done good ; his tone is altered ; he has spoken in 
a conciliatory manner, and, in fact, cried ' peccavi.' I cannot doubt 
that my letter has materially contributed to it. He knows that 
though I have few followers in the House, I have many who think 
with me in the country. But, alas ! the mischief is done, it can 
never be repaired. A wiser policy may retard, but it cannot prevent, 
the consummation. I am deeply, deeply grieved. I tremble for the 
issue to the nation, and I cannot forget ancient friendships, ancient 
hopes, ancient co-efforts with Sir R. Peel. So, as usual, I am 
victimised for the public good. . . 

Among the measures of this Session was the Dis- 
senters' Chapels Bill, relating to the condition of pro- 
perty vested in Unitarian trustees for religious and 
charitable uses. Soon after the Eeformation, the Act of 
Uniformity had rendered illegal any gift for such uses, 
except to the Church of England. This restriction 
was removed by the Toleration Act of William III., as 
far as Trinitarian Nonconformists were concerned ; but 
Roman Catholics and Unitarians were exempted from 
the benefit. They, however, were relieved by statute 


in 1S13. There was one exception to these acts of 
toleration still outstanding. It was that which "left 
endowments under deeds of gift which did not specify 
sectarian tests of application, to be interpreted by courts 
of equity as they might deem fit, on the doubtful 
balance of proof as to the opinions of the donor; although 
the effect of such decision might be to divest a congre- 
gation of the place of worship, the cemetery, and school- 
house they had uninterruptedly held for fifty years." 

The Dissenters' Chapels Bill was designed to set at 
rest the doubts and the ceaseless litigation occasioned 
by the anomalous state of the law ; and although stoutly 
opposed by the Church and by evangelical Dissenters, it 
was carried, and passed into law before the end of the 

In addition to this Bill, a lengthened debate on the 
condition of Ireland, and, later, on the Irish Church, 
occupied much of the attention of Lord Ashley during 
the Session, and frequent reference to these questions is 
made in his Diaries. 

Feb. 24th. — Debate on Ireland closed this morning at a quarter 
past three, after nine nights of discussion ; result favourable to the 
Government, unfavourable to Church. Peel and his colleagues 
amply justified their administration of Ireland, and their conduct 
in respect of the repeal movement and O'Connell. The Protes- 
tant Church was furiously and brilliantly attacked, and most feebly 
defended. Every argument, ingenious and true, urged against it ; 
scarcely one advanced in its behalf. The Ministers declared their 
resolution to uphold it, but assigned no reason which could conciliate 
any one affection or satisfy any one doubt. John Russell said truly 
that 'all their prospective difficulties were but as feathers in the 
scale compared with the magnitude of the existing evil.' The Church, 


in fact, is assailable on twenty points, defensible only on one, and 
that one is, that it testifies and teaches the truth. This ground the 
Peel Ministry will never take, and therefore, say what they will, 
they will warm no hearts, and appeal. to no principles, and will have 
nothing but dry, shop-like details of possible, or probable, incon- 
veniences, to set against the stirring and dazzling facts and senti- 
ments of the complaining party. I, for one, could not support the 
Church in Ireland, on the sole grounds taken by Sir Robert 
Peel. . . . 

Feb. '27th. — Never did I hear such a speech from a Minister! 
never may I hear such another, as that last night from Sir P. Peel 
on the Irish Church ! If the Church is defensible on those grounds 
only, I, for one, will vote against it. Half an hour of surprise that 
Roman Catholics did not act up to the engagement of ' acquiescing 
in the Church arrangements,' and half an hour in ringing the 
changes upon this : ' I assume there must be an Established Church ; 
the Roman Catholic offers me one set of terms, the Protestant 
another ; I prefer the Protestant ; ' and here was his conclusion : 
'I will not surrender the Irish Church except' (with my life 1) 
'under some overwhelming necessity of public policy!' What, 
thou Minister ! does the Church, then, rest on no principle 1 The 
arguments of the whole clique have a strong afiinity in form and 
disposition on every subject. Sir W. Follett said, on the Dissent 
Bill, that though a Trinitarian might have founded a Chapel, Ave 
had no reason to believe that he wished those who came after him 
to preach the same doctrine ! and that inexplicable statesman, Mr. 
Gladstone, intimated that all Dissent tended to Socinianism, and 
that a vast portion of the founders were, in fact, Unitarians ! 

June 28th. — Dissenters' Chapels Bill read a third time and 
passed. Privately objected to a division, but was overruled. 

July 16th. — Lords last night affirmed Dissenters' Chapels Bill by 
a majority of 161 ! ! . . . A public man, holding my position and 
entertaining my views, and bepraised (for I cannot say ' supported ') 
by a certain portion of the religious community, is oftentimes in 
serious embarrassments. Some plan is proposed ; he is required 
to assist it ; he urges against the possibility, or expediency, some 
deductions of his experience ; he is secretly suspected, or openly 
accused, of want of faith, self-seeking, or relying on an arm of flesh; 
he exercises no judgment, and falls into the scheme ; he is baffled, 


and mischief ensues, Loth to the cause and to himself in reputation 
for common-sense. Will these gentlemen define the rules and the 
situations in which human judgment may be safely and lawfully 
exercised 1 

July 17th. — The assertion of principle, even, may be so timed as 
to be injurious. We must consider the many who are weak and 
timid, though well-intentioned. They are effectually discouraged by 
abortive attempts, and not easily rallied. Thus we lose support 
when we need it, and make them ' to offend.' . . . 

The condition of the lunatic population of the 

country, notwithstanding the legislation of 182S, still 

left very much to be desired. In 1842 Lord Granville 

Somerset had asked leave to bring in a Bill to extend 

the Metropolitan system of inspection to the provinces, 

and to appoint barristers as Inspecting Commissioners, 

who should devote themselves exclusively to the service, 

it having been found that the supposed annual visits of 

magistrates frequently never took place at all. Lord 

Ashley supported the Bill, which passed into law in July 

of that year.* The Metropolitan Commissioners, now 

invested with larger powers, thoroughly investigated the 

state of the English and Welsh asylums, and presented 

to Parliament in 1844 a valuable report, fitly called 

" the Doomsday Book of all that, up to that time, 

concerned Institutions for the Insane." It revealed a 

deplorable state of things, however, in many asylums, 

notwithstanding the various Acts of Parliament that 

had been passed; but its publication laid the foundation 

for wiser and more comprehensive enactments, in the 

passing of which Lord Ashley was to take a leading 


* Hausard, 3 s., bd. 806. 


He notes in his Diary : — 

July 2nd. — Finished, at last, Eeport of the Commission in 
Lunacy. Good thing over. Sat for many days in review. God 
prosper it ! It contains much for the alleviation of physical and 
moral suffering. 

' It lias been well said that the services which Lord 
Ashley rendered to this cause alone, would have carried 
his name down to posterity in the front rank of English 
philanthropists. His untiring labours in connection 
with it ceased only with his life. 

On the 23rd July he brought forward a motion for 
an address to the Crown, praying her Majesty to take 
into her consideration the Report of the Metropolitan 
Commissioners of Lunacy, as, in the following Session, 
the statute under which they acted would expire. He 
called upon the House to consider in what form and to 
what extent power should be confided to an adminis- 
trative body for the government of lunatics throughout 
the kingdom, and stated that " it was the duty of the 
House to prescribe the conditions under which a man 
should be deprived of his liberty, and also those under 
which he might be released ; it was their duty to take 
care that for those who required restraint, there should 
be provided kind and competent keepers, and that, while 
the patient received no injury, the public should be 
protected." In commenting upon the immunity from 
visitation of houses for single patients, he said : "A 
power of this kind ought to be confided to some hands 
that would hunt out and expose the many horrible 
abuses that at present prevailed. No doubt there were 


many worthy exceptions, but the House had no notion 
of the abominations which prevailed in those asylums. 
It was the concession of absolute, secret, and irrespon- 
sible power to the relatives of lunatics and the keepers 
of the asylums, and exposing them to temptations 
which he believed human nature was too weak to 
resist." There was the temptation to keep patients 
from recover}^, because the allowance (often as much as 
£500 per annum) would then cease. So strong was his 
opinion of the bad effect of this, that, if Providence 
should afflict any near relative of his with insanity, " he 
would consign him," he said, " to an asylum in which 
there were other patients and which was subjected to 
official visitation." The only control they had over 
single houses was, that if patients resided more than 
twelve months in one of these, the owner of the house 
must communicate the name of the patient to the Clerk 
of the Commission. This rule was either disregarded, or 
evaded by removing the patient every eleven months. 

The second class of houses to which he called 
attention was the county asylums. 

The total number of lunatics and idiots chargeable to unions and 
parishes on the 1st January, 1844, was 16,821 : in England 15,601 ; 
in Wales, 1,220. In county asylums there was provision for no 
more than 14,155 persons, leaving more than 12,000, of whom there 
were in asylums under local acts 89, in Bethlehem and St. Luke's 
121, in other public asylums 343, while others were disposed of 
otherwise, leaving in workhouses and elsewhere 9,339. Although 
a few of the existing county asylums were well adapted to their 
purpose, and a very large proportion of them were extremely well 
conducted, yet some were quite unfit for the reception of insane 


persons. Some were placed in ineligible sites, and others were 
deficient in the necessary means of providing outdoor employment 
for their paupers. Some also were ill-contrived and defective in 
their internal construction and accommodation. Some afforded every 
advantage of constant supervision, and of not giving any profits to 
the superintendents, so that it was not necessary that the keeper 
should stint and spai-e his patients in the articles necessary for the 
curative process, with the view of realising a profit. 

After specifying certain admirably managed county 
asylums, he pointed out that twenty-one counties in 
England and Wales had as yet no asylum whatever. 
The expense of construction was one cause that had 
operated to check the multiplication of these institu- 
tions, some asylums having been erected on too costly a 
scale, and others being much too large. It was far 
better to erect two establishments of a moderate size in 
different parts of a county, than one enormous central 

In speaking of the private asylums, which, on the 
previous 1st of January, contained 4,072 patients, Lord 
Ashley pointed out the evil of a system by which a 
profit had to be made by the superintendents out of 
pauper patients, who were taken in at a rate as low 
as seven or eight shillings a week. It often happened 
that an old mansion, transformed into an asylum, was 
the residence of the superintendent and a few private 
patients, while the paupers were sent into offices and 

After pointing out some of the glaring cases of 
cruel neglect and ignorant and brutal treatment, detailed 
in the Report, he said : — 


To correct these evils there was no remedy but the multiplication 
of county asylums, and if advice and example failed, they ought to 
appeal to the assistance of the law, to compel the construction of an 
adeqiiate number of asylums over the whole country. If constructed, 
however, on the same principles as had been adopted in many of those 
now existing, they would be little better than useless, and mere 
hospitals for incurables. Great beneBt, it was to be observed, as well 
as great saving of expense, resulted from the application of curative 
means at an early stage of insanity. 

The keepers of all the great asylums stated that numbers of 
persons, especially pauper lunatics, were sent there at so late a period 
of the disease as totally to preclude hope of recovery. It was the 
duty of the State to provide receptacles for the incurable patients, 
apart from those devoted to the remedial treatment ; it would be 
necessary also to enact that the patients should be sent without delay 
to the several asylums. 

He then adduced many facts and statistics to show 
the importance of treating lunacy in its early stages, as, 
where the practice had been adopted, the most beneficial 
results had followed, while an opposite policy led to 
confirmed madness, with little or no chance of recovery. 

Turning to the question of restraint, he paid a high 
tribute to "those good and able men, Mr. Tuke, Dr. 
Hitch, Dr. Corsellis, Dr. Conolly, Dr. Vitre, Dr. Charles- 
worth, and many more, who had brought all their high 
moral and intellectual qualities to bear on this topic, and 
had laboured to make the rational and humane treatment 
to be the rule and principle of the government of lunacy." 

Lord Ashley concluded his speech in these words : — 

These unhappy persons are outcasts from all the social and 
domestic affections of private life — nay, more, from all its cares and 
duties — and have no refuge but in the laws. You can prevent, by 
the agency you shall appoint, as you have in many instances prevented, 


the recurrence of frightful cruelties ; you can soothe the clays of the 
incurable, and restore many sufferers to health and usefulness. For 
we must not run away with the notion that even the hopelessly mad 
are dead to all capacity of intellectual or moral exei'tion — quite the 
reverse ; their feelings, too, are painfully alive. I have seen them 
writhe under supposed contempt, while a word of kindness and 
respect would kindle their whole countenance into an expression of 
joy. Their condition appeals to our highest sympathies, 

'Majestic, though in ruin;' 

for though there may be, in the order of a merciful Providence, some 
compensating dispensation which abates within, the horrors manifested 
without, we must judge alone by what we see ; and I trust, therefore, 
that I shall stand excused, though I have consumed so much of your 
valuable time, when you call to mind that the motion is made on 
behalf of the most helpless, if not the most afflicted, portion of the 
human race.* 

On the assurance of Sir James Graham, that the 
matter should receive attention next Session, Lord Ashley, 
after a short debate, which served to draw public atten- 
tion to the subject, withdrew his motion. 

Mr. Sheil spoke in the debate, on the condition of 
criminal and pauper lunatics in Ireland, and concluded 
with a eulogy upon Lord Ashley in these words : "It 
is a saying that it does one's eyes good to see some 
people, and I may observe that it does one's heart good 
to hear others ; one of those is the noble lord. (Cheers.) 
There is something of a sursum corda in all that the 
noble lord says. Whatever opinion we may entertain of 
some of his views, however we may regard certain of his 
crotchets, there is one point in which we all concur — 

* Hausard, 3 s., lxvi. 1257. Shaftesbury's Speeches, p. 141. 


namel}', that his conduct is worthy of the highest praise 
for the motives by which he is actuated, and for the 
sentiments by which he is inspired. (General cheers.) It 
is more than gratifying to see a man of his high rank, 
not descending, but stooping from his exalted position, 
in order to deal with such subjects — not permitting him- 
self to be allured by pleasure or ambition, but impelled 
by the generous motive of doing good, and by the 
virtuous celebrity by which his labours will be rewarded. 
It majr be truly stated that he has added nobility even 
to the name of Ashley, and that he has made Humanity 
one of ' Shaftesbury's Characteristics.' ' * (Much cheer- 
ing from all sides.) f 

July 24. — Last night motion on Lunacy — obtained indulgent hear- 
ing. The speech did its work so far as to obtain a recognition from 
the Secretary of State that legislation was necessary and should be 
taken up in my sense of it. Sheil made a neat allusion, by way of 
compliment, to my great-grandfather's works. He added, too, ' the 
noble lord's speaking is iisursum corda kind of eloquence;' this is the 
most agreeable language of praise I have ever received; it is the very 
style I have aimed at. 

July 25. — My friend, the Times, in character as usual, charges 
me with weakness. How can I be otherwise, not having in the House 
even a bulrush to rest upon 1 ' No politician ! no statesman ! ' I never 
aspired to that character ; if I did, I should not be such a fool as to 
attack every interest and one half of mankind, and only on the behalf 
of classes whose united influences would not obtain for me fifty votes 
in the county of Dorset or the borough of Manchester. ' Rides but one 
hobby at a time ! ' Of course ; a man who cannot afford to keep a 

* It will be remembered that the third Earl of Shaftesbury was fhe 
author of the well-kuown hook called " Ckaiacte.istics of Meu and 

f Times, July 24, 1844. 


groom, if he be rich enough to have two horses, must ride them 
alternately. I have no aid of any kind, no coadjutor, no secretary, 
no one to begin and leave me to finish, or finish what I begin ; every- 
thing must be done by myself, or it will not be done at all. 

Exceptional as were the public demands, in variety 
and extent, upon the time of Lord Ashley, he did not 
allow the claims of private and social life to pass 
unrecognised. How he managed to get through his 
labours, is a mystery only to be understood by those 
who have made a study of the economy of time. It 
was a mystery to himself, and he makes frequent entries 
in his Diary like the following : — 

So grievously hurried that I have not time to record anything. 

Hurried in body and mind ; longing for a few days of repose 

In bed late ; up early. 

There are scattered throughout the Diaries, however, 
very graphic indications of matters that were filling his 
mind with joy or sorrow ; of duties and engagements 
accomplished, and of plans and projects for the future. 
In the early part of this year he placed his eldest son 
at school in the Isle of Wight ; and a glimpse of his 
fatherly solicitude is given in the following entries : — 

January 2nd. — Dear Antony is about to start for school. I can- 
not bear to part with him ; he is a joy to me. 

March 4th. — What a blessed letter Minny received from 
Antony this morning ! So simple, and yet so deep in its feeling and 
its truth. Oh, well can I understand the gracious and precious 
wisdom, the more than manly intelligence, that shone in the hearts of 
Josiah and King Edward ! God, make him, like Samuel, to walk 
before Thee, in youth and in age, with joyful obedience, unwearied 
service, and ever-increasing love. 

J * 


June 28th. — Yesterday to Isle of Wight to fetch Antony, and 
to-day returned with him. Praised be Thy holy name, God, 
for all Thy mercies to us and to him ! I found him well, happy, 
and full of gracious promise. Minny went with me, and also 
Francis, Maurice, and Evelyn. Very expensive ; hut we had in- 
cautiously made the promise. Children hold much to such 
engagements ; and the loss of money is of less account than the loss 
of confidence. Admirable school ; all the care of solicitous parents, 
with the encouragement of every manly thought and exercise. His 
master is watering the seed that, by God's grace, I was permitted to 
plant ; He alone can, and will, give the increase. 

The claims of friendship were not lost sight of in 
the pressure of other engagements. 

March 17th. — Minny and I saw Mrs. Fry yesterday on the -bed 
of sickness. Kissed her hand to show my respect and love. That 
woman has, assuredly, been called to do God's work, and love her 
blessed Lord and Master. May He yet spare her for further service, 
and then take her to Himself. 

It was only when a demand was made upon his time 
that could do no more than gratify his own personal 
pleasure, that he refused to comply with it. 

June 12th.- — The Emperor of Russia is here, and firing away in 

visits Have never in my public life been more hurried than 

during last month ; not an hour to do anything, not a minute to 
reflect. God grant that my engagements be good, for they are all- 
absorbing ! Would have given a great deal, as the phrase is, to talk 
to the Emperor ; did not succeed. Saw him at Chiswick ; fine- 
looking man, though old for his years ; an accomplished and skilful 
performer, shrewd and penetrating, knowing his audience, and supple 
enough to bend to all their habits and requirements. Transmitted 
to Kew on the Saturday evening (he sailed on Sunday), through 
Brunnow, an addi-ess in behalf of the Jews, signed by the Bishops 
of Ripon and Winchester, Lords Luton, Roden, and myself, Sir T. 
Baring, Sir G. Rose, McCaul. and a few others. ' Charlotte 


Elizabeth' * the mover and agent of the proposition. I had disapproved 
of attempts to obtain personal interviews, cfcc, thinking the Czar had 
a right to his incog, if he pleased, and that we ought not to take him 
at an advantage. The memorial, however, being laid before me, I 
could not refuse to attach my name, but on three conditions : — 1st, 
that no reference was made to any past events, so as to imply a 
censure ; 2nd, that no personal interview was to be demanded ; 3rd, 
that it should be presented the last thing before his departure. 
Address admirably drawn. 

It was not until August that Lord Ashley obtained 
the rest he had so long desired ; and even then it was 
but partial repose. On the 3rd of August he reached 
Hyde, in the Isle of Wight ; but the entry following 
this record shows that on the 7th he " hurried up to 
town to be sworn in as Commissioner in Lunacy — heard 
and resolved to expose some shocking Welsh cases." 
Then back again to the Isle of Wight ; but it is clear 
that his mind was otherwhere. 

August 10th. — Visited Parkhurst to-day with Jebb.t What a 
harvest of misery and sin ; actual sin, prospective misery. Vain, 
very vain, these corrective processes ; yet they must be attempted, 
and duty must lord it over hope. One heart may be touched, and 
one soul may be saved ; and it is worth all the trouble and all the 
expense. But how ignorant and how criminal is the nation — quite 
as ignorant, and far more criminal, than these wretched boys — which 
permits, by its neglect, these tai'es to be sown, and then tediously 
labours to uproot them ! . . . . 

August 17th. — Long and solitary walk by sea-shore; much and 
agreeable meditation. Thought over the example and history of 

* " Charlotte Elizabeth" (Mrs. Tonna), a popular writer, especially for 
the young. In her Factory and Jewish stories she gave an account of Lord 
Ashley's aims and exertions, and greatly popularised them. " Judah's 
Lion " was one of her tales that had an exceptionally large circulation. 

t Colonel Jebb was head of the Convict Department. 


Daniel as a model and guide for statesmen. The scantiness of 
his biography much to be l'egretted in this sense — his position and 
conduct as Minister of the Empire of Babylon, a beacon and a pole- 
star for the helmsmen of modern kingdoms. He ruled a nation 
of religious belief diametrically hostile to his own. What was his 
policy 1 What his action 1 A right understanding of this great and 
good man's government would open the eyes and smooth the path of 
a ruler in Ireland ! You would learn how Ministers can deal with 
religionists of a different complexion, leave an established faith un- 
touched by power, and yet l'etain their own integrity. 

A few days later he paid a visit to St. Giles's 

August 23rd. — St. Giles's. 'Dear earth, I do salute thee with 
my hand.' Left all my kids, Antony excepted, at Ryde. My heart 
misgave me as I saw baby straining her darling little face through 
the bars of the pier to get a last sight of us. ' I commit them unto 
God, and to the word of His grace.' . . . Here I am in perfect soli- 
tude, an immense house, a wide garden, hardly the step of a human 
being, and no sound but that of a distant sheep-bell ; it is a moment 
to reflect on God's prodigious and undeserved goodness to me and 
mine. ' What am I, and what is my house, that Thou hast brought 
me hitherto 1 ' 

August 28th. — Heard this morning of the death of W. Fry.* I 
am deeply grieved ; a worthy man, a friend of the poor, and a devout 
believer. It is a most serious loss to those who desire to see many 
and mighty improvements in public and private conduct. I am 
indebted to him for requesting me to undertake the Opium Question, 
and for immense aid in the execution of it. I had hoped for still 
further aid in the next Session. 

Sept. 2nd. — Ryde. To Portsmouth to see the gun-practice of the 
Excellent, commanded by my old friend Sir T. Hastings. ... If 
the Government and nation would show half the zeal to defend 
themselves from the Devil that they do from the French, we should 
speedily become a wise and an impi-egnable people. . . 

* William Storrs Fry, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Fry. 


Towards the end of September came the renewal of 
anxiety and work in a journey through the factory 

Sept. 26. — May God turn the hearts of the mill-owners and give 
me grace in their eyes ! What a blessing were I quit of this under- 
taking, and able to direct my efforts to other and untrodden fields ! 
Glad to be with my ancient and well-beloved friend Lady Francis ; * I 
ever remember her in my prayers. They have built a tine house here; 
they have done well to plant themselves, despite of tlie unpleasant 
neighbourhood, in the midst of their duties and responsibilities. 
Many people of wealth would have fled to brighter spots ; may God 
bless them in their dwelling with years of peace and usefulness ! 

Sept. 27th. — I see by the papers that Dunn, the proprietor of 
the Chinese Collection, is just dead. Thus I have lost in six weeks 
two men (him and Fry) who most ably assisted me in the Opium 
Question. How mysterious are the ways of God ! Well did old 
Hooker say : ' The little we perceive thereof we darkly apprehend and 
admire ; the rest with religious ignorance we devoutly and meekly 
adore ! ' 

The campaign of Lord Ashley in the manufacturing 
districts was very arduous, but it was well worth all the 
toil. He saw, as he had never done before, how many 
of the mill-owners, desperate in adversity and unthink- 
ing in prosperity, were playing with men as with nine- 
pins. He saw, in other cases, a growing readiness to 
accept a limitation of hours to eleven, if not to ten, on 
the ground that it would be physically and morally desir- 
able. He went minutely into the question of " distances " 
travelled during the day by the operatives, and found 
that, despite the contradictions, he had rather understated 

* Lady Francis Egerton, afterwards Couutess of Ellesmere. She was 
a sister of Mr. Charles Greville. Lord Francis Egorton's place was 
Worsley, near Manchester. 


than overstated them. lie perambulated the towns to 
see for himself the actual condition of the people, the 
filth and pallidness of house and person, and he sum- 
marises some of his thoughts and plans thus : — 

Oct. 17th. — Manchester. Returned yesterday morning. Great 
hiatus in notes of life and thoughts ; very busy. What have I done 
or seen 1 Must put in order for easier recollection. Saw at Gaw- 
thorpe the two brothers of Shuttleworth — very pleasing and excellent 
youths ; great zeal in tliat house for the working-people ; may God 
prosper it ! Much work and good wages in all parts : hand-loom 
weavers even in affluence ; wages advanced in many places. Will it 
last? There are many experienced men who shake their heads; I 
have repeatedly asked the cause (on human calculations) of this 
activity ; have never received an approximation to an answer — the 
operatives themselves distrust the period. Horner tells me there 
are 300 new investments (great and small) of capital in the cotton 
trade, which will partly show themselves in nearly fifty new mills. 
When will the time arrive at which prosperity will show itself in 
the erection of fifty new churches 1 Saw Dugdale's magnificent mill 
at Lower-House, also his print-works. Saw, too, the fine works of Mr. 
Thomson, near Clitheroe. An infinite number of small children in 
these works for the luxury of men. This must be my next under- 
taking ; ' Feed my lambs' is the command of our blessed Lord. May 
He give me grace to conceive and execute a plan for the advancement 
of His adorable Name, and for the welfare, temporal and eternal, of 
many thousand souls. God helping me, I will go to it in the very 
next Session. . . Went on 11th to Bradford. Put up with Minny 
and W. Cowper at Walker's house. Peace be to that house — peace 
of body and of soul — and to all that dwell in it. Saw the mill ; can 
one view it, ought one to view it, without tears of thankfulness and 
joy 1 ? Order, cleanliness, decency, comfort, reciprocal affections 
prevail ; there are the spirit and language of Boaz, and the spirit 
and language of his servants — 500 children, under thirteen years 
of age, are receiving daily the benefits and blessings of a bringing 
up in the fear and nurture of the Lord. What a power to possess, 
what a design to execute ! The little things broke into a loud 
cheer ; it went to my very heart. Heard them conclude the studies 


of the clay in united and touching prayer ; the form was beautiful, 
and the singing reached the soul. . . 

Lord Ashley met the Lancashire Central Short-Time 
Committee, and a few of their friends, at the Brunswick 
Hotel, to receive an address. In thanking them for it, 
and for their appreciation of his services, he paid an 
eloquent tribute to all the workers who had aided in the 
agitation, and particularly to Nathaniel Gould, of Man- 
chester ; the late Michael Thomas Sadler ; John Wood, 
of Bradford ; Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Fielden, Mr. Oastler, 
and Mr. Bull, men who, " when the question was sur- 
rounded with greater hazards than it is at present, did 
not fear to come forward and declare, in the face of con- 
tempt, and prejudice, and power, that, by the aid of 
God's blessing, they would strive against every diffi- 
culty, and persevere until they had brought the struggle 
to a successful termination." 

In reviewing the position of the question, and con- 
trasting it with that of sixteen years before, he enumerated 
some of their gains, which were : an enactment limiting 
the labour of children to six hours a day ; protection 
against accident, death, and mutilation, from the un- 
guarded state of machinery ; and the important pro- 
vision that no woman, of whatever age, should be 
employed in any mill or factory more than twelve hours 
a day. He explained to those who were not conversant 
with the forms of the House of Commons, the difficulties 
that had beset the matter in the last Session of Parlia- 
ment, showing how the Bill was in constant jeopardy and 
how a false step would have caused the loss of it, the 


object being to preserve the Bill, in order to get what 
good they could from it, and at the same time to remain 
faithful to the main principle of the Ten Hours. In 
concluding, he denied that he was the enemy of the 
factory masters, or of the factory system. " I am an 
enemy of the abuses," he said, " but not of the system 
itself," and he exhorted them to go forward with strength 
and resolution, promising, on his own part, that he 
would persevere with an unbroken and determined spirit 
until a happy consummation of their united labours 
should be reached. 

During this visit a deputation waited on Lady 
Ashley at the Albion Hotel to present her with an 
address in which her self-sacrifice was recognised, and 
the aid she had given to the cause, in consoling and 
sustaining their leader in his arduous toil, was gratefully 

Oct. 19th. — London. Have called on many master-spinners. 
Hear that they are gratified. Did so before I met operatives. Ad- 
dressed a body last night. Admirable meeting ; urged the most 
conciliatory sentiments towards employers ; urged too the indis- 
pensable necessity of private and public prayer if they desire to attain 
their end. Told what I felt, that unless religion had commanded my 
service I would not have undertaken the task. It was to religion, 
therefore, and not to vie, that they were indebted for benefits re- 
ceived ! What a place is Manchester — silent and solemn ; the rumble 
of carriages and groaning of mills, but few voices, and no merriment. 
Sad in its very activity ; grave and silent in its very agitation. In- 
tensely occupied in the production of material wealth, it regards 
that alone as the grand end of human existence. The operatives, 
poor fellows, to a man, distrust this present prosperity. Have 
visited print works, Mr. Thomson's, Clitheroe ; Mr. Dugdale's, near 
Gawthorpe; Mr. Field's, Manchester. Thirty-five thousand children, 


under 13 years of age, many not exceeding 5 or 6, are worked, at 
times, for 14 or 15 hours a day, and also, i>ut not in these works, 
during the night ! Oh, the abomination ! Now, therefore, God 
helping me, I will arise and overthrow this Philistine. Oh, 
blessed Lord and Saviour of mankind, look down on the lambs 
of Thy fold, and strengthen me to the work in faith and fear, in 
knowledge, opportunity, wisdom, and grace ! 

Soon after his return to London, Lord Ashley began 
to revolve in his mind the programme for the Session, 
and resolved that he would devote his energies, in the 
first place, to the Ten Hours Bill, to a Bill for the 
Protection of Children in Calico Print- Works, to a 
Lunacy Bill, and, after that, to such other matters as 
occasion offered. 

His Diaries at this time are very full, and a few 
extracts will show the current of his thoughts and the 
scope of his aspirations : — 

Oct. 26. — Everything now is rushing %t the 'landed proprietary;' 
its overthrow is aimed at, illuc cuncta vergere. The comparative 
prosperity of other branches of industry brings forward agriculture 
in invidious contrast, and this feeling will continue, and perhaps 
increase, until the day of manufacturing convulsion. Entails, primo- 
geniture, large estates, etc. : all to be got rid of. Many even of 
the Conservatives incline that way ; they perceive difficulties in 
our social state, and catch at any solution. If so, the thing will be 
done, and God prosper the issue ! But strange it is that all improve- 
ment and salvation should be found in the overthrow of the "land- 
ocracy," while the enormous accumulations of banking, trading, mill- 
ing are to be petted and praised as the very fountains of universal 
joy ! . . . Shall be much criticised and hated for the character of 
my speeches to the workpeople ; am, nevertheless, satisfied that I 
am quite right. The ' time ' that I seek in their behalf must be con- 
sidered and treated as the seed of ' eternity ; ' if it be not so it will 
certainly be useless, and probably lead to evil. This has been my 


object from the beginning, to persuade the working man to reverence 
the religion which prompts toil, anxiety, endurance, and self-denial 
on the part of others for his sake. . . 

Oct. 30th. — London. Fogs, smoke, muffin bells. Much need of 
internal light and joy ; very little external, yet promise myself occu- 
pation and amusement even. Must look up Societies, Committees, 
&c, and attend Police Courts. Must define clearly to my own mind 
what I shall aim at just now, and confine myself, if possible, to it. 

Nov. 3rd. — Sunday. Windsor Castle. Arrived yesterday. At- 
tended service in St. George's Chapel ; exquisite chanting ; cold and 
comfortless discourse, and yet better than the one I heard some two 
or three years ago. Queen and Prince Albert at private chapel in 
Castle. . . 

Nov. 9th. — Good deal of business. No repose. Sittings renewed 
in Lunacy. What a scene of horrors ! If such be the condition of 
things under all our inspection, law, public opinion, and the whole 
apparatus of 'philanthropy ' (what a sad word !), what must it have 
been formerly, and what would it be again in a state of pure principle 
of non - interference 1 Long interview with Roper, secretary to 
Society for Protection of Needlewomen. I find, as usual, the clergy 
are, in many cases, frigid ; in some few, hostile. So it has ever been 
with me. At first I could get none ; at last I have obtained a few, 
but how miserable a proportion of the entire class ! The ecclesiastics, 
as a mass, are, perhaps, as good as they can be under any institution 
of things where human nature can have full swing ; but they are 
timid, time-serving, and great worshippers of wealth and power. I 
can scarcely remember an instance in which a clergyman has been 
found to maintain the cause of labourers in the face of pew- 
holders. . . . 

Nov. loth. — All sorts of things. First, I do not quite flourish in 
town at this time of year. Good deal of work. Very little air and 
exercise, and yet no repose. The loss of my periodical exercise on 
horseback is very sensible. I am the worse for it. Met Pottinger 
at dinner yesterday and to-day ; he is an opium man ; denies many 
of the evils, and contends for the legalisation of the trade ! I talked 
to him a good deal, and, strange to say, he seemed to know very 
little about it ; nevertheless, there will be an aptness of men's minds 
to accept and believe him, and I shall pass for a fanatic and an 

1844.] RUGBY AND ETON. 77 

Nov. 18th. — Visited Peckham Asylum on Saturday last. Long 
a ff a i r — s i x hours. What a lesson ! How small the interval — a hair's 
breadth — between reason and madness. A sight, too, to stir appre- 
hension in one's own mind. 1 am visiting in authority to-day. I may 
be visited by authority to-morrow. God be praised that there are any 
visitations at all ; time was when such care was unknown. What an 
awful condition that of a lunatic ! His woi'ds are generally dis- 
believed, and his most innocent peculiarities perverted ; it is natural 
it should be so ; we know him to be insane : at least, we are told that 
he is so ; and we place ourselves on our guard — that is, we give to 
every word, look, gesture a value and meaning which oftentimes it 
cannot bear, and which it never would bear in ordinary life. Thus 
we too readily get him in, and too sluggishly get him out, and yet 
what a destiny ! 

Nov. 21st. — Went yesterday to Rugby to examine the physical 
and moral aspect of the place and see whether it would be a good 
school for Antony. Hope— nay, think it will do ; universal 
testimony, so far as I hear, in its favour from all who have sons 
there. Saw Dr. Tait, and Cotton, the tutor ; both advised the age 
of fourteen as, on the whole, the best ; much, said they, will depend 
on the position he takes when he enters the school ; ' The great 
advantages we offer are found in the higher grades ; every advance 
in rank is regarded by the boys as involving an increase of respon- 
sibility.' I fear Eton ; I dread the proximity of Windsor, with all 
its means and allurements ; dread the tone and atmosphei*e of the 
school ; it makes admirable gentlemen and finished scholars — fits a 
man, beyond all competition, for the drawing-room, the Club, St. 
James's Street, and all the mysteries of social elegance ; but it does 
not make the man required for the coming generation. We must 
have nobler, deeper, and sterner stuff ; less of refinement and more 
of truth ; more of the inwai'd, not so much of the outward, gentle- 
man ; a rigid sense of duty, not a ' delicate sense of honour ; ' a just 
estimate of rank and property, not as matters of personal enjoyment 
and display, but as gifts from God, bringing with them serious 
responsibilities, and involving a fearful account ; a contempt of 
ridicule, not a dread of it ; a desire and a courage to live for the 
service of God and the best interests of mankind, and by His grace to 
accomplish the baptismal promise : ' I do sign him with the sign of 
the Cross, in token that hereafter he shall not be ashamed to confess 


the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under His banner 
against sin, the world, and the Devil, and to continue Christ's faitliful 
soldier and servant unto his life's end.' 

Graham has asked me to undertake the Lunacy Bill, promising 
to treat it as a Government measure. Prodigious work ! but cannot 
refuse to lighten the burden on a Minister's shoulders. Agreed on 
condition of full Government support in every respect. Oh, that I 
might prosper and do something for those desolate and oppressed 
creatures ! 

Nov. 26th. — Many starving people in the streets ; an alms here 
and an alms there very unsatisfactory ; no effectual or permanent 
good clone ; a very small iota of the mischief abated. It makes me 
miserable, never absent from my thoughts, like having a bad taste 
always in one's mouth. "Where is the root of the evil 1 It cannot 
be inevitable to have so many poor. Poverty, of course, we must 
have, but not, surely, deep and extensive destitution. It is wrong, 
awfully wrong, that so many able-bodied and willing labourers should 
want employment and bread. What can be done] 

Nov. 28th. — Heard that Sir C. Napier was carrying 'judicial ' 
murder in Scinde ! Do not doubt it. The country was acquired by 
fraud, insolence, and bloodshed, and, as Sallust says, must be main- 
tained by the same means ! Will it be given to me to prosper in my 
three works— Time Bill, Print-Works Bill, Lunacy Bill 1 Shall I, 
by God's blessing, taste the fruit of these labours'? I fear not. 
Thoughts of a great scheme for relief of people pass through my 
mind. Would it be a measure of relief, or an aggravation of distress 1 
Repeal duty on tea to one-sixth of present amount ; sugar the same; 
repeal the malt tax totally, and the Corn Laws at the end of five 
years ; keep on the income tax, raised to five per cent, for ten years. 
I like the scheme very much. 

Nov. 30th. — A fellow has taken the trouble to sneer against me 
all across the Atlantic. Received this morning a New York paper 
with a prodigiously long account of a game-law case in England. 
On the margin, in manuscript: 'A case for Lord Ashley's philan- 
thropy, from an American slave-holder.' Untrue in respect of me, 
for I hate, and have always hated, these excessive preservations of 
birds and beasts ; illogical in respect of the analogy, for there is no 
similitude between the trade in human flesh and the over-rigid 
custody of cock pheasants ! 


Dec. 1st — Sunday. To St. George's in afternoon. A melancholy 
sight : the parish church, with a handful of 'genteel folks,' and not 
twenty square inches of space for the vulgar fry, choked up by 
monopolising pews, excluding and affronting the working man ! 

Dec. 3rd. — Yesterday took chair of meeting on behalf of wretched 
seamstresses. Good Heavens ! that in such a cause there should 
have been so scanty an assemblage ! Happily, we had foreseen the 
event, and had proportioned our room to our expectations. The 
place of meeting was small, but, being tilled, assumed a dignity it did 
not possess. No ' quality,' no wealth ; people very highly respectable. 
My chief supporters, always zealous and kind, W. Cowper and Red- 
mayne, the wholesale dealer. . . . 

It will be remembered that in 1S39 the long 
estrangement between Lord Ashley and his father 
was followed by a hearty reconciliation. Unhappily, 
that reconciliation was not to remain unclouded. The 
career Lord Ashley had adopted, and the causes he had 
espoused, were not such as met with the sympathy of 
his father, and ever since the speech at Sturminster in 
1843, in which he had spoken plainly of the responsi- 
bilities of landed proprietors, there had been a growing 
coldness, which had resulted as shown in the following 
entry : — 

Dec. 16th. — St. Giles's. The Sturminster speech is not forgotten. 
It is one of the ingredients of his hatred* Curious occurrence : the 
League are reviling me for doing nothing, at the moment I am turned 
out of my father's house for doing too much. 

Dec. 19th. — League busy; letter this morning to say that an 
attack was to be made by Cobden on me, drawn from state of 
dwellings at Martin and Damerham.f Duncombe tells me that a 
spy has been there for three days. God be with me ! I am innocent 

* The allusion is to Lord Shaftesbury. 

f Martin and Damerhaui were outlying spots on his father's estate 


as a child unborn, and yet it seems that they will strip me at last of 
all power to effect anything in the House of Commons. I commit 
it all to God. He will yet deliver me. 

Dec. 24th. — Christmas Eve. Bx-oadlands. ' Hallowed and gracious 
is the time.' To-morrow a great day will be celebrated throughout 
the Christian world ; brave ceremonies, sermons, processions, litanies, 
and prayers, and yet millions will neither feel nor hear the benefit of 
the Heaven-sent gift. A few may be comforted, a few exalted, a few 
inspired by love and strengthened in their course, but the mass of 
mankind will be cold to this most mighty reminiscence, this almost 
incredible mercy of God, our common Father ! What a season for 
united action, for mutual and reconciling prayer, for self-knowledge, 
for self-abasement, for inquiry who we are, what we are, whence we 
are, why we are ! . . . 

Dec. 28th. — Private hints and my own suspicions have led me 
to believe that my 'favour' has been, for some time, on the decline in 
the county of Dorset. I have said but little, excepting my speech 
at Sturminster ; but I am disliked, not only for what I have said, 
but for what I have omitted to say. I cannot do as George Bankes 
does — attend the agricultural meetings and farmers' clubs, and roar 
out about Protection, the superhuman excellence of landlords, the 
positively divine character of tenants, tickle the ears with fulsome 
flattery, and rise in popularity as you rise in declamation. The 
labourei's are generally ill-treated in houses and wages ; the gentry 
and farmers know the fact, and know, too, that I think so ; hence 
their aversion ! The proceedings of the late agricultural meeting at 
Blandford confirm my opinion. I was mentioned but once, and my 
name — amid cheers and three times three to many others — attracted 
there but a cold ' Hear, hear.' It was introduced by Bankes clearly 
not to honour me, but to furnish an attack on the Anti-Corn-Law 
League. Well, let them do as they like ; I know— and God be 
praised for it — that I am right ; and I will not abate one breath of 
my lips to save the seat for the county. Nothing but bulls of 
Bashan ; I am encompassed on every side. 



Retrospectant! Forecast — The Irish Secretaryship— State of Calico Print-Works — 
Bill to Regulate Labour of Children therein — At St. Giles's — Defenceless 
State of Dockyards and Coast — Tractarian Movement — Mr. Ward Censured 
and Deprived of his Degree— Converts to Rome — Maynooth — Sir Robert 
Peel's Bill for Increased Grant — Excitement in the Country — The Bill 
Carried — Sympathy with Ireland — Speech on Maynooth — The Evangelical 
Fathers — Jews' Society — Death of Bishop Alexander — The Railway Mania 
— Two Bills on the Lunacy Question — The Regulation of Lunatic Asylums 
— The Better Treatment of Lunatics — Both Bills Carried — Appointment of 
Permanent Lunacy Commission — Insanity of the Poet Cowper — The Society 
of Friends — Tour in Manufacturing Districts — A Coming Storm — The 
Potato Disease — Commission of Inquiry Appointed— A Letter to the Times — 
Its Reception — Changes of View on Corn Laws — Letter from Lord John 
Russell — Resignation and Re-appointment of Sir Robert Peel — A Painful 

In the Ten Hours movement, there was little to he 
done during this year, except to watch the working of 
the new Bill, and to keep the Committees well together, 
especially now that those who were pledged to Ten 
Hours were reinforced by such powerful allies as Lord 
Palmerston, Lord John Russell, Lord Ho wick, and Mr. 

The subject, however, was never out of Lord Ashley's 
mind, and in an early entry in his Diary for the year we 
find him reviewing his position : — 

Jan. 11th. — It will be a singular thing if this great and much- 
agitated question ends in a mere vapour; if the labours of twelve years, 
and the anxiety and notoriety of forty, commissions and committees, 



disclosures of sinfulness, cruelty, and peril, that make one's head to be 
sick, and one's heart to be faint — terminate as tranquilly and entirely as 
though nothing had been known and nothing attempted ; neverthe- 
less (humanly speaking) such an issue appeal's to be most probable ; 
1 can hardly anticipate a longer period (if so much) for efforts in the 
House of Commons than the duration of the coming Session. Should 
I be removed to the House of Lords. I shall be taken to an assembly 
where it would be vain to propose siich measures, and I should leave 
the other without a successor to my office. Is there any one who 
would undertake the career from which I should have been removed 1 
I know not the man. It is possible that the duty now would not be 
so burdensome and painful • it is possible that, Moses-like, I may 
have been a humble instrument to bring the people to the borders 
of Jordan, while to some Joshua, at present unseen, may be given 
the honour and delight of leading them into Canaan ; but if it be not 
so, and any one be called to pass through what I have already passed 
through, he will not do it willingly. Here are twelve years of 
labour, anxiety, and responsibility, especially the first and the four 
last ; but every year since 1836 has been one of toil and preparation, 
though nothing, by defect of opportunity, may have appeared in 
public. Eight years of open support and of suppressed antipathy 
from the Conservatives tchile in Opposition ; three years of coldness, 
and one of decided resistance from the same when in Government. 
By taking this course of declaring and endeavouring to alleviate the 
wrongs of the working people, I have made many enemies and shaken 
the confidence of many friends. I have roused the manufacturing 
interest and the Anti-Corn-Law League. Their fury knows no 
bounds, and is incapable of repose ; papers of all kinds are levelled 
at my motives and character, and their emissaries hunt me even intff 
private life. The landed gentry, though more cautious, are sadly dis- 
trustful, and begin to believe that, as much may be said on both sides, 
my mouth had better be stopped, and nothing be said at all. I have 
lost every political and many private friends. The thing has entered 
into social life. The Quarterly Revievj even, and Lockhart, are gone 
over to Peel. Except Fielden, Brotherton, and Inglis,* I am certain 
of no one in public. I have borrowed and spent, in reference to my 
income, enormous sums of money, and am shut out from every hope 

* Sir Robert Inglis. 


of emolument and every path of honourable ambition. My own near 
kinsfolk dislike my opinions, and some persecute me. I am now a 
sufferer in domestic relations, and I am excluded from my father's 
house, in no slight decree because I was known to have maintained 
the cause of the agricultural labourer. No one but myself can esti- 
mate the amount of toil by da} r and by night, of fears and disappoint- 
ments, of prayers and tears, of repugnances contended against and 
overcome, of long journeys, and unceasing letters ; and will all this 
have no greater result than the simple and resisted issue of the 
Colliery Bill % ' I will stand on my watch-tower and will see.' 

Not once or twice in his career had Lord Ashley 
been agitated already by the question of accepting- or 
refusing office. Whenever that question came to him, 
it filled his mind with conflict. He was patriotic to the 
core, and the responsibility of declining to accept any 
position that would give him larger means of benefiting 
the country, weighed heavily upon him. On the other 
hand, the temptations to accept office were very great ; 
his name was almost as familiar on the tongues of men 
as that of the Premier ; there were large bodies of 
the people who looked upon him as the one upon whom 
their hopes were fixed, as the leader in all great social 
and religious questions : he was still young, with a 
young man's proper and laudable ambition ; and, more- 
over, his private means were altogether inadequate to 
the demands upon them. 

Jan. 24th.- — Brighton. Colonel Wyndham has lent us his house, 
and here we are ! Saw Bonham yesterday. Asked him who was to 
be successor to Lord Eliot as Secretary for Ireland. ' Why should not 
you take it V said he. ' The Factory Question,' I replied, 'stands in 
the way.' ' Oh, no,' he rejoined, in a strain of droll logic, ' that is 
an English question, and has nothing to do with Ireland. There may 

9 2 


be perhaps some difficulty on your part to accept Peel's measures for 
Ireland, but I can see no other.' He then showed me a letter from 
Sir J. Graham which he had just received. ' Is Ashley quite out of 
the question for the Irish Secretaryship 1 The Factory Question is 
settled, and he would find ample room for all his activity and for the 
exercise of all his warm feelings in that career.' I remarked, ' There 
would be enormous difficulties.' ' Doubtless,' he said, ' but would 
you refuse in limine to talk with Sir Robert on the subject 1 ' ' iSo, 
because I think that it would be a duty on my part to hear what the 
Prime Minister had to say in urging any one to assist him in public 
affairs.' ' It will be offered,' he continued, ' to Sidney Herbert, who 
does not wish to go there ; but other situations will be open to him 
by arrangements now in progress.' He added, among other things, 
that I was desirable as a ' married man.' . . I walked home with 
him, and talked on other matters. As we parted I said, ' I shall 
keep your secret, but I must tell you that I see portentous difficul- 
ties.' He proceeded to sweep away some questions of detail. ' Mine,' 
I rejoined, ' are difficulties of principle.' Strange, strange, strange. 
God give me wisdom and judgment and zeal ! A heart, above all 
things, bent on His service and man's welfare, quite regardless of 
man's opinion. Sir R. Peel may surrender the ' Ten Hours.' It is far 
from likely, but possible, and just so likely as to render it unpardon- 
able to me to break off all hope by pride and haste in the onset. If 
he yield the point, I must, however greatly I detest it, accept office. 
I fear the trouble, the crosses, the snares, the associations, too, of red 
tape ; weak, unprovided, and unprosperous as I am, my career lies 
among the questions and labours of social interests. He closed by 
saying : ' After all, you may never hear of this again.' 

Feb. 1st. — As Bonham said, 'I have heard no more of it;' it 
would have been to no purpose, for nothing should have, or shall, 
induce me to surrender these social and moral questions. Many 
changes ; Gladstone goes out, I know not why ; Knatchbull, because 
Peel is sick of him ; Sir T. Freemantle to Ireland ; S. Herbert and 
Lincoln to seats in the Cabinet. It will be a Cabinet of Peel's dolls. 
Cunning fellow ! How adroitly he has tarnished and then dismissed 
the two ' farmers' friends ; ' thus he would dispose of every one either 
actually or prospectively troublesome to him ; and so he would have 
done with me. 

Feb. 4th. — Bonham told Jocelyn that on Saturday night a special 


messenger was ready to fetch me up from Brighton that Peel might 
offer me the Secretaryship for Ireland ; they learned, however, from 
him, that I was firm on the Factory Question, and they would not, 
therefore, expose themselves to a refusal. 

Yeb. 5. — Peel expressed to Jocelyn his earnest, most earnest, wish 
that I could be induced to take office — very likely. Graham, too, 
said the same ; spoke of the folly of my perseverance ; that the thing 
was hopeless ; and that I kept up bad feelings ! Bad feelings 1 Why, 
I never called any one Jack Cade ! ' But,' added Sir James (it is 
curious to discover their calculations), ' he will soon be removed to 
the House of Lords ; he can do nothing with his Factory Bill there ' 
(most true), ' and then he will be sure to join us.' So here is their 
device, to run their opposition against my father's life in the sure 
and certain hope that an elevation (!) to the House of Lords is a 
death-blow to my exertions ! Lord, I besesch Thee again and 
again, for Christ's blessed sake, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into 
foolishness ! 

Feb. 7th. — Bonham confirmed to me yesterday evening all that 
Jocelyn had said respecting the intended application to me to take 
office, and then desired, in a very kind and friendly spirit, to learn 
from me whether I considered myself as engaged to decline the 
service of the country, until the Factory Question should have been 
carried, adding that he could not regard such a decision as in any 
way justifiable. I replied that ' so long as I had the opportunity 
of asserting this great principle with even a shadow of success, I 
was so bound.' He then spoke of the futility of the endeavour, and 
hinted my prospective and speedy submersion in the House of Lords, 
&c., &c. My unwillingness to take office, I rejoined, arose, not only 
from the resistance made by the Minister to the Factory Bill, but 
from the language and conduct of Peel and Graham on all social 
questions, which I considered, in the sight of God and the welfare of 
man, to be essential to our existence and honour. 

Although, as we have said, there was little to be 
done for the present in regard to the Ten Hours Bill, 
Lord Ashley's attention was much engaged upon a kin- 
dred subject, the Report of the Children's Employment 


Commission, for which he had moved in the year 
1840, and especially on the state of the Calico Print- 
works. The lives of the poor wretched children who 
were engaged in this branch of industry were made 
miserable by reason of their cruel bondage. Employ- 
ment began generally at from seven to nine years of age, 
although there were cases known of children beginning 
to work at three or four years old. The hours were al- 
ways long; lasting, for young girls, as well as for adults, 
from sixteen to eighteen hours a day, amid circum- 
stances and conditions that were fearfully injurious to 
health. The rooms -in which the work was carried on 
were hot and unhealthy, and in the " singeing room " 
the air was always full of small burnt particles, which 
irritated the e}*es intolerably, so that all the children 
were more or less affected with inflammation and other 
diseases of the e}-es. The nature of their work was 
distressing, as it required unremitting attention ; their 
arms they had to keep in a continual rotatory motion, 
and they were upon their feet the whole time they were 
at work. The wages of these poor children were ex- 
tremely low ; their education was totally neglected ; 
and they were being ruined in body and soul by their 
long hours of labour, often protracted far into the night. 
Altogether, the young calico printers seemed to be 
about the most miserable class o'f workers to be found 
in the industrial population. 

On February the 4th, Parliament was opened by the 
Queen in person, and on the 5th, Lord Ashley gave his 
notices, and obtained, by ballot, precedence for his motion 


respecting children occupied in Print-works. The in- 
terval, as usual, was full of suspense, and every day his 
hopes and fears are recorded, and all his thoughts run 
in the direction of his labours. Thus he writes : — 

February 7th. — The progress of crime, both in amount and in- 
tensity, is dreadful ! How mysterious are the ways of Providence ! 
Why is it that children of the tenderest years are subjected to the 
hercest tortures 1 God give us His Holy Spirit to amend our hearts 
and lives, for we are desperately wicked- — they who do such things, 
and we who do not prevent them. Shall I deliver my poor children 
in the Print-works 1 God be with me ! 

February 9th. — Brighton. For days, and almost for weeks, I 
have prayed, in the words of Lot, ' Give me this Zoar : behold, it is 
but a little one.' This day that chapter was read as the first lesson; 
and then came the reply : ' See, I have accepted thee in this thing 
also.' I felt it almost like an answer from Heaven that I should 
rescue my children in the Print-works, and, like the Israelites, ' T 
bowed the head and worshipped.' 

On February the 18th Lord Ashley moved, in the 
House of Commons, " That leave be given to bring in a 
Bill to regulate the Labour of Children in the Calico 
Print- Works of Great Britain and Ireland." Although 
the subject was much akin to others he had brought 
forward, and the nature of the evidence was of necessity 
almost identical, he startled the House, and eventually 
the country, by the revelations he made as to the con- 
dition of these oppressed and almost forgotten children. 
In earnest and eloquent language he pleaded their 
cause, dwelling upon every point that could touch the 
heart of the House and draw forth sympathy to the 
sufferers, yet avoiding any expression reflecting on the 
conduct and character of individual Print-masters. 


He was at a loss to conceive on what grounds an 
opposition would be made to his proposal, the third in 
the series he had brought before that House ; but he 
hinted at the possibility in these words : — 

Sir, in the various discussions on this and kindred subjects there 
has been a perpetual endeavour to drive us, who seek the aid of the 
law, from the point under debate, and taunt us with a narrow and 
one-sided humanity ; I was told that there were far greater evils 
than those I had assailed — that I had left imtouched much worse 
things. It was in vain to reply that no one could grapple with the 
whole at once. My opponents, on the first introduction of the Ten 
Hours Bill, sent me to the collieries ; when I invaded the collieries, 
I was referred to the Print-works ; from the Print-works I know not 
where I shall be sent, for can anything be worse 1 Yet, if I judge by 
what I have heard and read out of doors, I conclude that it will be 
to the Corn Laws ; but let me appeal to the most zealous advocate 
for their abolition, and ask him what their repeal could do more for 
the benefit of the manufacturing classes than perpetuate the present 
state of commercial prosperity 1 We have cheap provisions and 
abundant employment ; but what, nevertheless, is the actual con- 
dition of these children 1 The repeal of the Corn Laws would leave 
these infants as it found them, neither worse nor better, precisely in 
the condition in which they are, in those countries where no Corn 
Laws prevail — in France or Belgium. Whatever it might do for 
others, it would do nothing for these ; but I solemnly declare that, if 
I believed the removal of the impost would place these many thous- 
ands in a position of comfort, and keep them in it, I would, in spite 
of every difficulty, and in the face of every apprehension, vote at 
once for the entire abolition. 

Sir, it has been said to me, more than once, ' Where will you 
stop V I reply, without hesitation, ' Nowhere, so long as any portion 
of this mighty evil remains to be removed.' * 

The Bill, which received some opposition, and was 
also subjected to some mutilation in its passage through 

* Speeches, p. 165. 


the House, became law on June 30th as " The Print- 
Works Act, 8 and 9 Vict. c. 29." Its provisions were 
akin to those of the Factoiy Act of the previous year, 
and contained similar clauses as to inspections and penal- 
ties. The Act was defective, however, in many of its 
provisions, Lord Ashley's proposals having been modi- 
fied on lines suggested by Mr. Cobden. But, although 
it did not remove all the evils, it mitigated many, and 
the condition of the children was greatly ameliorated 

Feb. 21st. — Time so occupied and harassed, no leisure for entry. 
Print-works speech over on 18th. The House is weary of these nar- 
ratives of suffering and shame ; the novelty is past, and the diffi- 
culty, the apparent difficulty, of a remedy remains ; it catches, 
therefore, at any excuse for inattention, and damns the advocate for 
the toiling thousands, by courteous indifference. Civil' and even kind 
to myself personally, though manifestly tired of the subject and 
somewhat of me. Here is another burden added to my shoulders, 
already bruised and peeled, to fight against an averted and reluctant 
audience. Sir James complimentary, cold, hostile, subtle, admitted 
the Bill, and made preparations to throw it out ! Public opinion, 
too, either dead to the woe or preoccupied by trade ; not a newspaper 
will give one syllable to the wrongs of these miserable whelps ; and 
yet, how, without public opinion, can I make the least progress 1 
However, be this as it may, I will against hope believe in hope ; I 
will not throw up the cause ; I will, God helping me, persevere ; I 
may have to mourn over the blighted prospects of these children, but 
I shall find peace for myself. 

March 26th. — Panshanger. Up at 7. Bright and soft morning. 
Birds singing in a variety of notes. It is inspiriting and beautiful — a 
general and cheerful prayer of all nature to God, the Author and 
Preserver of all. ' Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.' 
Aye, children in Print-works no less than birds and beasts and 

* Yon Plener's "Factory Legislation," p. 35. 


creeping things : but a fierce resistance is begun, fierce as though their 
strongholds were assailed by a legion of angels. Alas ! J stand 
alone ; not a ' penny-a-liner' with me : all dark, dismal, silent; but I 
shall yet 'expect' 

March 31.— Beautiful morning — seems to tempt one from duty 
and business and make one idle. I could live in the country with 
joy, but I must, <b)d willing, first accomplish my task in the active 
haunts of men. 

Although there were so many questions pending, and 
under treatment, in which Lord Ashley was personally 
engaged, he was not in any way indifferent to 1he 
general drift of public affairs. On the contrary, his 
Diaries abound in comments upon these, although it is 
beside our purpose to record them here ; but the follow- 
ing passage, relating to the defenceless state of our 
coasts in those days, will be read with interest: — 

March 31st. — This evening Navy Estimates iu House of Commons. 
Who will ably and effectively exhibit the defenceless condition of our" 
dockyards, and the whole line of our shores? Never was a great 
nation, humanly speaking, in such a state of exposure. Steam-boats 
have brought our antagonists to our level, and wind and tide have 
ceased to be both our informants and our allies. Yet we repose on 
former victories, believe in former . skill, and are assured of former 
impunity for our coasts. Vain, presumptuous, and perilous self- 
sufficiency ! A few hours, a surprise, a small squadron, might now 
effect what many years, and a declaration of war, and the Meets of 
Europe, could hitherto have found impossible. A combined move- 
ment from Cherbourg on Portsmouth and Plymouth, open and un- 
defended either by ships or batteries, might lay all our arsenals in 
ruin, plunder the whole of our stores, and burn the entire range of 
our future navies — the vessels in ordinary ! Any twenty-four 
hours would suffice for the whole work ; the thing would be done 
before an answer could be received from the Admiralty to the notifi- 
cation that the French were in Portsmouth Harbour! Now, here is 
the proof of it, and never has God in His mercy, no, not even to 


Hezekiah as against Sennacherib, exhibited a more singular and special 
providence. Sir Thomas Hastings told me that he had received and 
reported officially to the Government the intelligence that during the 
negotiations respecting Tahiti, the French had collected in the 
harbour of Cherbourg eight steam-vessels equal to the Corner, fully 
equipped for wai', with troops on board, and ready to start at a 
minute's notice — the commander would have learned, by telegraphic 
despatch, that the negotiations were at an end, and, without declara- 
tion of war — for such, says the Prince de Joinville, is now unneces- 
sary — would, in sixteen hours, have reached both Portsmouth and 
Plymouth ! What was there to oppose them 1 Absolutely nothing. 
Not a steam-boat within a day's sail, not a gun-boat in the Harbour, 
not a cannon mounted on the batteries to fire even a salute ! Had 
they landed 10,000 men they might have kept possession for an in- 
definite time ; three weeks at the least would be required to adapt 
the mercantile steam navy for war purposes ; and had Woolwich been 
occupied (and access to it is most easy), where would have been our 
only means of defence 1 Where, then, would have gone our naval 
supremacy, our Colonies, our foreign possessions'? in how many years 
could we have replaced our loss 1 ? It is awful to think of. We must, 
in calling our few troops to the defence of the coasts, have left to the 
lawless multitude, Ireland and the manufacturing districts — internal 
and external terrors and peril at the same moment ! All this was 
confirmed on the visit of the King of the French to England the other 
day ; he spoke to John Pussell, who mentioned it to Palmerston, 
from whom I have it. 'A war between England and France,' said 
he, ' is much to be deprecated ; we should gain some advantages at 
first, though we should, on the seas, be worsted in the end. I am glad 
that our negotiations on Tahiti terminated favourably ; I should have 
been grieved to do any injury to your capital, the seat of civilisation 
and humanising commerce, but I was advised to make an attempt on 
London, and I should have been successful.' To be sure he would. 
Palmerston remarked that this was somewhat of a threat. I take a 
very different view. The King knows well that his dynasty depends 
on the position of England ; and he gave this as a hint for our 
advantage, and not as an expression for insult ! AVell, well may wo 
exclaim, ' O God, we have heard with our ears the noble works 
that Thou hast done in our days ! ' 


In the ecclesiastical world, the sky was thick with 
clouds and the air with portents. It was in this year 
that the Tractarian Movement may be said to have 
reached its crisis. Although Lord Ashley had keenly 
watched every fresh development of the controversy, 
he had not, hitherto, owing to the pressure of other 
matters, taken much active public part in it. The stages 
hy which the present position had been reached ma} r 
be briefly told in this place. Early in 1844, Keble had 
written: "We go on working in the dark, and in the 
dark it will be, until the rule of S} r stematic confession is 
revived in our Church." Later on he had complained 
that it was impossible to ascertain the moral and 
religious condition of the people " for want of being 
able to use the arm of confession." Towards the end 
of the year, Dr. Pusey had declared that he neither 
could nor would subscribe the Articles of the Church 
in the sense in which they were propounded by those 
who framed them. Many public meetings were held in 
various places, and it was the burden of their protests 
that the High Church Party was attempting to bring 
back into the National Church usages which were 
associated in the minds of the people with the supersti- 
tions and corruptions of Rome. Throughout the year 
1S45, excitement ran high, notwithstanding the address 
in the early part of that year by the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, in which he recommended to the clergy and 
laity mutual forbearance and concession on the points in 
dispute between the Tractarian and the Anti- Tractarian 


On February the 13th there was a meeting of Con- 
vocation at Oxford, to condemn a book written by the 
Eev. George Ward, M.A., entitled, " The Ideal of a 
Christian Church, Considered in Comparison with Exist- 
ing Practice," and to deprive the writer of his degree, 
on the ground that passages in his book were utterly 
inconsistent with the Articles of Eeligion of the 
Church of England, and with the declaration in respect 
of these Articles, made and subscribed by Mr. Ward 
previously, and in order to his being admitted to the 
degrees of B.A. and M.A. respectively. 

On a division, the condemnation of the book was 
carried by 777 votes against 38G, giving a majority of 
391 against Mr. Ward; and the proposition to deprive 
him of his degree was carried by 569 to 511 votes. 

February 13. — To Oxford to join in proceedings against Mr. 
Ward ; his censure and deprivation of degree most necessary, 
becoming, and just. Theatre full ; attention good. Mr. Ward, by 
permission, defended himself in English : not insolent or impetuous, 
but Jesuitical and shallow. Never did I think that, within those 
walls, I should hear a clergyman of the Church of England use these 
expressions : ' With others who, like myself, go to the full extent of 
the Eoman Catholic doctrines;' and, 'I renounce no one doctrine of 
the Eoman Catholic Church, provided it be a Eoman Catholic doc- 
trine, and not one of corruption ; — provided it be a Eoman Catholic 
doctrine — / mean, sanctified by the Pope.' Why, these two sentences 
cancelled his whole defence, and proved the spirit in which he had 
subscribed the Articles in a 'non-natural sense,' and decried the Ee- 
formation. Majority of 391 for the censure; 58 for the deprivation. 

Among the non-placets were Mr. Gladstone, Dr. 
Hook, and Dr. Pusey. 

Scarcely had the excitement caused by this decision 


died away, than another case, similar in many respects, 
came before the public. The Rev. F. Oakley, incumbent 
of Margaret Street Chapel, and an intimate friend of 
Dr. John Henry Newman, had written to the Bishop of 
London claiming to hold the same principles as Mr. 
Ward, and challenging him to institute proceedings. 
The challenge was accepted, and on June 30th Mr. 
Oakley Avas condemned by the Judges of the Arches 
Court, his licence revoked, and he himself prohibited 
from officiating in the Province of Canterbury until he 
retracted his errors. 

Events, soon after this, hastened to a climax. On 
October Sth, Dr. Newman, in a letter to . a friend, 
announced his intention to seek " admission to the one 
Fold of Christ ; " and on November 1st, he, Mr. Oakley, 
Mr. St. John, and Mr. Walker, all converts to Rome, 
received the sacrament of confirmation in the chapel 
of Oscott College, at the hands of Dr. Wiseman, while, 
within the same month, the Rev. F. W. Faber was also 
received into the Church of Rome. 

It is noteworthy that in the midst of this excite- 
ment Archdeacon Samuel Wilberforce was called to the 
administration of the diocese of Oxford — the centre and 
focus of it all. 

It was at a period such as this, when men's minds were 
greatly perplexed on ecclesiastical questions in general, 
and in particular with regard to any tendency towards 
Romanism, that the Prime Minister saw fit to bring for- 
ward a measure which was to produce anxiety, amount- 
ing almost to terror, in the ranks of Protestantism. 


When Parliament met in February, it became known 
that Mr. Gladstone had resigned his post in the 
Ministry — the Vice-Presidency of the Board of Trade — 
and in the course of the debate on the Address, the 
reasons for this step were fully announced. Sir Eobert 
Peel had intimated that the Government was about to 
take into consideration the existing Acts relating to the 
College at Maynooth, with a view to the improvement 
of that institution by further endowment, and the 
establishment of non-sectarian Colleges. These changes 
were at variance with Mr. Gladstone's written and 
spoken views upon the relations of Church and State, 
and he at once severed himself from the Ministry, in 
which he had rapidly risen to influence and power. 

In a very short time there was a general commotion. 
The spirit of Protestantism was roused, public meetings 
and conferences were held, pamphlets were scattered, 
sermons were preached, the question was the main topic 
of conversation in every circle of societj r , and the most 
strenuous efforts were made to kindle religious feeling 
to a white heat, in order that the threatened extension 
of Eoman Catholic endowment might be resisted to the 

The College of Maynooth, intended for the educa- 
tion of the Eoman Catholic priesthood and the laity, 
was not at that time in a position to supply the wants 
of either. The building was incomplete, and what was 
finished was falling into decay ; the library was wholly <■ 
insufficient; the funds were inadequate to meet the 
salaries of the professors, and the accommodation was 


altogether unequal to the demands. The proposal of 
the Government was to place Maynooth on, at least, 
some approximate level with the other Collegiate 
Institutions of the Empire, without, it was alleged, in 
any way interfering with its teaching or discipline. 

The Ma}mooth Bill comprehended an increase in 
the salaries of the president and professors, provision for 
sixty additional students — making the number 500 — 
and an augmentation of the grant to each. The annual 
grant of £0,000 hitherto contributed towards the ex- 
penses of the College, was to be increased to nearly 
£30,000, not subject to an annual vote, and the repairs 
of the College were to be executed, as in other public 
buildings, by the Board of Works. 

The excitement in the House on the introduction of 
the Bill was prodigious, and the debate on the second 
reading lasted over six nights, in the course of which 
Mr. Disraeli launched philippic after philippic against 
the Premier. " Explain to us," he cried, " why, after 
having goaded Ireland to madness for the purpose of 
ingratiating yourself with the English, you are now 
setting England on fire for the purpose of ingratiating 
yourself with the Irish." 

It was in vain, however, for Mr. Disraeli to utter 
his philippics, or for Colonel Sibthorp to say he would 
" submit to have his head shaved off, rather than 
forget that he was a Protestant ; " the second reading 
was carried in the Commons by 323 against 176 ; 
majority for Ministers, 147. With the exception of 
Lord Ashley, Mr. Fox Maule, and Mr. Gr. Bankes, 


no one who had held political office voted in the 

The excitement in the ecclesiastical world was now 
intense ; never before or since has there been such wild 
commotion. An unceasing torrent of petitions against 
the measure rained in ; angry denunciations were 
hurled against the Government ; and every Evangelical 
pulpit and platform in the land uttered its loudest 

Lord Ashley was a Protestant of the Protestants, 
and he stood forth in the name of the Evangelical bod}?" 
of the Church of England, both in and out of Parliament, 
in the strongest opposition to the measure. He was 
not at this, nor at any time, " an apostle of mere blind, 
unreasoning fanaticism." In 1S29, as we have seen, 
he supported Catholic Emancipation by his vote, and, as 
we shall see, he held sentiments with regard to Poman 
Catholics for which few who knew only one aspect of 
his character would have given him credit ; but he drew 
a strong distinction between the persecution and the 
patronage of Poman Catholics. Of the latter, now and 
always, he was a consistent and determined opponent. 

In the great popular agitation, he took an import- 
ant part, and heavy demands were made upon his 
time, already crowded with manifold labours of other 
kinds. His speeches stand in striking contrast to 
those of some who identified Sir Pobert Peel as the 
veritable Antichrist — of Dr. Croly, for example, who 
said that George IV. came to a premature end, and the 
Houses of Parliament were burnt down, because Catholic 


Emancipation — " that unhappy, harsh, ill-judged, fatal 
measure" — was passed in 18.29. 

Throughout this period, Sir Robert Peel remained 
unmoved. Since he had overcome Mr. O'Connell, the 
bitterest of his enemies, he had become, as he thought, 
master of Ireland ; and the panacea for soothing the 
irritation of the conflict in which he had been victor, 
was to be the extension of education in Ireland, among 
the Roman Catholics as well as the Protestants. 

He affected to regard the opposition to the Bill as 
" mainly the opposition of Dissent in England — partly 
fanatical, and partly religious — mainly unwillingness to 
sanction the germ of a second Establishment, and to 
strengthen and confirm that of the Protestant Church." 
He was of opinion that many of his opponents " merely 
yielded to the wishes of Dissenting constituents. Tariff, 
drought, forty-six shillings a quarter for wheat," he 
wrote to Mr. Croker, " quicken the religious impulses 
of some ; disappointed ambition, and the rejection of 
applications for office, others."* 

He looked upon the storm which the Bill had raised 
with indifference, being resolved to carry the measure, 
and he professed to be careless as to the consequences 
which might follow, so far as they concerned him or his 

The result was as he anticipated : the Maynooth 
Endowment Bill was carried. Despite the repeated 
efforts that were made for its repeal, it continued in 
force until 1868. It was abolished by Mr. Gladstone's 

* " Croker's Correspondence," vol. iii., p. 32. 


Government when the State Church in Ireland was 

As, in the course of these volumes, we shall see Lord 
Ashley standing forth as the champion of Protestantism 
under circumstances in which his own individuality will 
be more conspicuous, we shall only quote from one of 
the many speeches in which he refers to the Maynooth 
question ; and we quote from that one because it ex- 
presses the deep interest he always felt in Ireland, and 
his sympathy for the Irish people • — 

Faith, we know, can remove mountains, and faith, we believe, 
will remove the evils of Ireland ; but it must be no ordinary faith ; 
perse veringly exhibited in no ordinary efforts. I never can speak of 
that country without shame and remorse. Centuries of misgovern- 
ment and neglect have brought that island into the condition it is 
now in, from which all the wisdom, all the zeal, and the hearty desire 
of every Government for the last quarter of a century has not been 
able to extricate it. The evils of that country spring from her social 
system, and spring from her religion, both alike traceable to this 
country, and both demanding the succour and the sympathy of the 
English people. 

After referring to proposals for improving the social 
condition of that country, he continued : — ■ 

Turning to the other suggestions which are made for the improve- 
ment of Ireland, I do not think there are many here who will not 
take very large exceptions to the plan of encouraging the Roman 
Catholic religion, fostering its colleges, and endowing its priesthood; 
fur these things involve great concession of principles, without any 
compensating or proportionate benefit. Those who take the highest 
ground of opposition, declare that they are sinful ; those who assume 
a lower ground, maintain that they are useless in one aspect, and 
perilous in another. That they are useless as means of conciliating, 
you have the experience of the last twenty years, and more especially 

h 2 


in the recent legislation upon the College of Maynooth. The fact is, 

that all our statesmen lie under a grievous mistake ; they endeavour 

to control the people through the priests, whereas they should 

endeavour to control the priests through the people. Depend upon 

this — the difficulty does not lie with the Irish nation; the difficulty 

lies with the sacerdotal and monkish orders, who, reversing the piety 

of Aaron, stand between the living and the dead — the living word of 

God and the dead congregation. Only allow profound security of 

life and limb, with free discussion and an open Bible, and you will 

cease to be perplexed in your determination how Ireland is to be 

governed — Ireland, 

' Great, glorious, and free ; 
Bright flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea.' * 

There are many references in the Diary to the 
Maynooth question, only a very few of which we shall 
extract, as the interest in the matter has now, to a 
great extent, died out. 

March 19th. — The other night a fresh attack on Peel by his old 
antagonist, Disraeli — very clever and biting. Were not Peel the 
most unpopular head of a party that ever existed, these things 
would be put down by rebuke in public, and by frowns in private 
society. . . . 

April 4th. — Last night Maynooth earned (first reading) by 216 
to 114, the whole thing almost a counterpart of 1829; the same 
changes of principle, and by the same men. What a spectacle ! 
Why were the Whigs displaced? These measures go beyond any- 
thing they ever proposed, or even imagined ; and yet Peel was 
brought in to correct their mischiefs. The main cause of Whig 
unpopularity was their confederacy with the Romanism of Ireland, 
union with O'Connell, and supposed desire to act for the advance- 
ment of the Papal Church. Peel w^as their opponent, and led every 
one to believe that he was also their opposite, and therefore to sup- 
port him. His conduct, then, is considered to be treacherous. And 
is it not so 1 As for the measure, it is useless and foolish — foolish 

* Speeches, p. 190. 


because it irritates and insults the opinions and feelings of a large 
body of people in these realms ; and useless, because it will not con- 
ciliate a single heart in England or Ireland. . . . 

April 7th. — Maynooth will prove a stumbling-block ; the House, 
as I foresaw, would readily pass it, but the country is becoming 
furious. The Free Church of Scotland, the ' religious public ' of 
England, Wesleyans, Dissenters, all alike are protesting and petition- 
ing, probably with little chance of success, but with fixed resolution, 
so far as in them lies, to cashier their representatives at another 
election. What a strange ignorance, or haughty contempt of the 
deep, solemn Protestant feeling in the hearts of the British people ! 
Can a statesman, ought a statesman, to force a measure, by dint 
of a legislative majority, utterly hateful to the great mass of the 
nation 1 . , . 

April 8th.— I am resolved to oppose it on this ground : I leave 
on one side the question of the increased grant and its lawfulness ; 
because, upon that head, you are all at variance. I proceed to the 
endowment of the College by Act of Parliament, with a grant of 
large funds from, the national purse — you thus make it one of the 
great institutions of the Empire, place it on a level in rank, and on 
an eminence in favour, as compared with Oxford and Cambridge, and 
confirm it by more powerful securities. This endowment and eleva- 
tion lead necessarily to the endowment and elevation of the whole 
priesthood of Ireland — you must, having raised them to a certain 
level, keep them there, and this can be effected by adequate endow- 
ment only. Thence the establishment by law of the Roman Catholic 
Church, and the concurrent existence of two Established Churches ! 
The thing is another term for ruin ! 

It was not until April the 17th, on the second 
reading of the Bill, that Lord Ashley made his 
speech on the subject in the Honse of Commons, 
although on one or two occasions he had gone there, 
during the long continuance of the debate, with 
the full intention of speaking. He felt considerable 
hesitation as to the line he should adopt. To argue 
it on financial grounds, would only be to give a 


handle to the supporters of the Bill ; to argue it 
on Church of England grounds, would place him in 
the position of only representing the opinions of a 
minority ; the theological objections were worn thread- 
bare, and had become unpalatable ; and the argument 
that there was political danger in the progress of the 
Church of Rome, did not seem likely to be effective. 
When he went down to the House he felt " dismayed 
beyond all former fears," with not a thought in his 
mind, and his memory a blank. It was with pardon- 
able pride, therefore, that he was able to make the 
following entry : — 

April 18th. — I obtained last night nothing but compliments from 
Whig, Tory, Radical, and even Roman Catholics. I can hardly 
conceive why. I can only pray God that all may be turned to His 
future service. . . Did all that I could to avoid harsh or personal 
expressions against Roman Catholics sitting in face of me, and yet to 
assert my Protestant principles. Glory to God, I effected both. 
Redington, a Roman Catholic, said, in reply (no paper has reported 
it), if all Protestants would so speak, and choose me for their leader, 
it would raise a more fearful enemy to Roman Catholicism than any 
other way. . . This is very remarkable, an effect quite amounting to 
a sensation — produced by a single speech from a man in a private 
station on a worn subject, and in the middle of a prolonged and 
frequently adjourned debate ; it passes my comprehension. DTsraeli 
said to me last night : ' I think it quite a duty to tell you what an 
effect your speech has produced. I have spoken to-day to all kinds 
of persons, from Crockford's up to the Bank, and have heard but one 
voice. You have hit out a line of action and argument ; — °reat con- 
ciliation with steady and full assertion of Protestantism. The very 
violent, the discreet, the lukewarm, have all concurred in expressions 
of approval. The peroration was of especial value.' I thanked 
him, and replied that, ' standing as I did so much alone, these things 
gave .me hearty encouragement.' 'Yes,' he added, 'I have long 

1845.] MAY MEETINGS. 103 

observed your single efforts, and I thought it a duty to break the 
ice, and say what I have heard.' . . . 

Although the second reading was carried by a 
majority for Ministers of 147, that majority was 
curiously composed — viz., Conservatives in favour of 
the Bill, 158; Liberals, 1C5. Against: Conservatives, 
145; Liberals, 31. Sixty-four Conservatives were 
absent from the division. 

April 21st.— It was a fearful minority: 145 of Peel's friends 
voted against him. He had a majority of Conservatives in opposition 
to his Bill. He lives, therefore, moves, and has his being through 
John Russell. 

The Bill was not read a third time until the 21st of 
May, but its eventual success was regarded as certain. 
Lord Ashley speaks of it in the following entry as if 
already achieved. 

May 3rd. — Ireland thankless, as I foresaw, for the boon ... Is 
it not tor weaken the religious argument when you protest against 
Maynooth, not because of its purpose, but because of its effects % The 
effects have nothing to do with the arguments ; were they even good, 
humanly speaking, it would be equally a duty to resist the national 
and permanent teaching of that religion which was declared and 
established by the Council of Trent. . . . What a blessing to me it 
is that I am not tied by the strings of a Party either indoors or out ! 

The month of May brought Lord Ashley many 
pleasures and duties in connection with the meetings of 
religious Societies. Especially was his interest excited, 
at this period, in the Jews' Society, which was enjoying 
its palmy days. There had been everywhere a revival 
of zeal on behalf of " God's ancient people ;" good news 
was constantly arriving from Jerusalem of the labours of 


the Bishop and his noble band of workers, and certain 
promises and prophecies of the Scriptures were regarded 
as about to be speedily fulfilled. As a matter of fact 
their fulfilment was not accomplished, but the anticipa- 
tion stimulated faith and hope in those who read, what 
they thought to be, the " signs of the times." 

It reminds one of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, to 
read the muster-roll of the " great cloud of witnesses " — 
the Fathers of the Evangelical Church- — who were on the 
platform at the " exciting meeting," as Lord Ashley calls 
it, on the anniversary day in this year, most, if not all, 
of whom, have now gone to their rest. There were 
Sir Thomas Baring, the Bishop of Chester (Sumner), 
Lord Ashley ; the Revs. E. Bickersteth, Hugh Stowell, 
T. S. Grimshawe, F. C. Ewald, W. R. Fremantle ; 
Dr. Wolff of Bokhara, Hugh McNeile, W. W. Pym, 
and Dr. Marsh, of whom it may be said, " These all died 
in faith, not having received the promises, but having 
seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them and 
embraced them." 

Lord Ashley was singularly happy in his speech 
from the chair. He said : — 

Our Church and our nation have been called to the glorious 
service of making known the Gospel of Christ to the many thousands 
of Israel. ]STo\v, in whatever light I view this great question, 
whether I regard it as purely secular, whether I regard it as purely 
religious, or whether I regard it as partaking of both characters, I see 
no subject which can surpass, or even approach it, in magnitude and 
in all those attributes which feed the imagination and stir into life 
the warmest energies of the heart. . . . We rejoice in the end and 
hopes of this Society, as seeking the fulfilment of a long series of 


prophecies, and the institution of unspeakable blessings, both in time 
and in eternity, for all the nations of the world. We believe (and 
we act, too, as we believe) that, if the casting away of the Jewish 
people be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of 
them be but life from the dead ; and turn where you will to examine 
the operations of this and all kindred Societies, and of every people 
on earth, and you will see in our tardy progress, and in our compara- 
tive unfruitfulness, the necessity of this revival. ... It is our duty, 
our most high and joyous duty, that every effort be made, that no 
exertion be spared, that all our toil be given, by day and by night, 
that into every prayer, with all our souls, this special supplication 
should enter, for the revival and exaltation, be it figurative or be it 
literal, of repentant and forgiven Jerusalem. * 

It was little dreamed by those who had taken 
part in the meeting 1 , that before the year closed they 
would have to mourn the death of Bishop Alexander, 
the one, it was believed, who was to be the instru- 
ment for carrying out many of the great schemes 
on which their hearts were set. The sad event, and 
its effect on Lord Ashley's mind, are thus recorded : — 

December 15th. — Just received, in a letter from Veitch, the 
examining chaplain, intelligence of the death of the Bishop of 
Jerusalem, at Cairo. I would rather have heard many fearful things 
than this sad event ; it buries at once half my hopes for the speedy 
welfare of our Church, our nation, and the Children of Israel! What 
an overthrow to our plans ! what a humbling to our foresight ! what 
a trial to our Faith ! Alas, this bright spot, on which my eyes, 
amidst all the surrounding darkness, confusion, and terrors of Eng- 
land, have long been reposing, is now apparently bedimmed. 

I am quite dismayed, and enter fully into the Scripture expression, 
'amazement.' We were rejoicing in his expected arrival in England 
to aid our efforts, and advance the cause ; he is cut down as suddenly 
as a flower by the scythe ! 

* Jewish Intelligencer, June, 1845. 


But what is our condition 1 Have we run counter to the will of 
God 1 Have we conceived a merely human project, and then 
imagined ;t to be a decree of the Almighty, when we erected a 
bishopric in Jerusalem, and appointed a Hebrew to exercise the 
functions 1 Have we vainly and presumptuously attempted to 
define ' the times and seasons which the Father hath put in His own 
power 1 ?' God, who knoweth our hearts, alone can tell. It seemed 
to us that we acted in faith for the honour of His name, and in the 
love of His ancient people ; but now it would appear that the thing 
was amiss, and not according to God's wisdom and pleasure. 

And yet, short-sighted, feeble creatures as we are, all this may 
be merely a means to a speedier and ampler glory ! 

Did not perceive at first the full extent of my repulse, as it were. 
The Bishop went out with his amiable wife and seven children, the 
whole family, ' Hebrew of the Hebrews,' of the pure Jewish race. 
I ardently, but fondly, believed that herein was an accomplishment 
of the prophecy of Isaiah ; and every morning during the last four 
years have I prayed that it would please God to ' accept this little 
company as a present unto Thee in the Mount Zion, and give him 
grace to say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God in your 
crucified, but now glorious, Messiah.' All at an end ! 

The year was memorable for a mania among specu- 
lators, as curious as that of the South Sea Bubble. 

The railway s} r stem had been in partial operation for 
some years, but there had not been any remarkably 
vigorous speculation in shares ; due in great measure to 
the languor and depression that had prevailed since 
1839. In 1843, a few adventurers had succeeded in 
doin 0, " a good thing " in railways ; and the notion soon 
became prevalent that the best way to make money 
grow, was to invest it in railways. Speculative capitalists 
caught at the idea, and resorted to every available 
means to create a demand for investment of the money 
that had been lying idle for the past four years. 

1845.] THE RAILWAY MANIA. 107 

Success attended their labours ; a railway specula- 
tive fever set in, and soon became an epidemic. Grave 
and sedate people, no less than the dreamers of dreams, 
seemed suddenly to have lost their senses ; the old and 
the young, the millionaire and the thrifty artisan, 
people of all ages, of both sexes, and of every rank, were 
eager to risk all they possessed, so confident were they 
that timely investment was the sure road to fortune. 

Parliament was besieged by the promoters of Bills 
for new railways ; and every fresh scheme proposed, 
brought forward a host of enthusiasts, who, despite 
the fact that the advantage to be gained from some 
of these wild and ruinous propositions, could only be 
the saving of a little time and a little money to 
those who travelled or carried goods, were ready to 
back up the designing and unscrupulous few who were 
making gigantic profits by their frauds on the public. 
It was at this time that Lord Ashley's father, Lord 
Shaftesbury, so greatly distinguished himself as Chair- 
man of Committees in the House of Lords. Much 
labour also devolved on Lord Ashley in connection 
with these railway matters in the House of Commons, 
and there are many entries in his Diary to the follow- 
ing effect : — 

May 26th. — In the chair of Railway Committee ! Six days in 
the week. Sharp work. . . . 

June 7th. — Still in chair of Railway Committee ! 

This was happening at a time when he was more than 
usually pressed with Parliamentary duties. He had 


determined to brino; forward further measures with 
regard to Lunatics and Lunatic Asylums, but " had been 
let hitherto." The subject was continually in his 
thoughts, and, at different periods of the early part of 
the year, he writes in this strain : — 

March 23rd. — To Surrey County Lunatic Asylum. A noble 
establishment, and admirably conducted. A sight to make a man 
who cares a fig for his fellows jump for joy and give thanks to God. 
Surely we are on the advance to better things. Compare this with 
the state of lunatics fifteen years ago, and what a change ! We see 
it all around, but do we go fast enough 1 Is not the cup being filled 
more rapidly by our iniquities than emptied by our obedience ! Oh, 
that I might be permitted, by God's grace, to introduce and carry 
my measures for the benefit and protection of this helpless 
race ! . . . 

May 7th. — Cannot get in my Lunacy Bills. Graham is not ready. 
Session is slipping away. The labour and hopes of years will be 
lost. 'All these things,' said old Jacob, ' ai^e against me.' God 
grant, for I commit all to Him, that I may be alike persuaded of 
the contraiy ! 

It was not until the 6th of June that Lord Ashley 
found his opportunity, and then, at the request of the 
Government, who had pledged themselves in the previous 
Session to support him, he brought forward, simul- 
taneously, two Bills : the first, " For the Regulation of 
Lunatic Asylums," and the second, " For the Better 
Care and Treatment of Lunatics in England and 
Wales." In reviewing the past history and present 
position of the question, he described the lamentable 
state of the law prior to the Act of 182S, and the 
partial benefits which that, and other Acts, had con- 
ferred ; but pointed out that evasions of the law were 


frequent, and that horrors of almost every kind were 
possible under the existing system. He proposed now 
to establish a permanent Commission, and thereby secure 
the entire services of competent persons. The Bill 
Avould give the power of more detailed and more fre- 
quent visitations, fix the limit of expenses, and place 
all asylums or " hospitals " under proper regulations. 

My Bill will also provide an additional security against the im- 
proper detention of pauper patients, by requiring that the persons 
signing the order for their confinement shall personally examine them 
beforehand, and that the medical officer who certifies as to their 
insanity shall see them within seven days previous to their confine- 
ment. I may add that neither of these safeguards exists at present. 
I propose, also, that my measure should compel every person receiv- 
ing a patient to state his condition, mental as well as bodily, when 
first admitted, and the cause of his death when he dies. It will also 
direct that every injury and act of violence happening to a patient 
shall be recorded, and will require a case-book to be kept, thereby 
affording additional securities against mismanagement, and showing 
how far the patients have the benefit of medical treatment. It will 
also authorise the visitors to enforce a pi'oper supply of food (in 
licensed houses) to pauper patients, who are at present fed at the 
discretion of the proprietor. Further, it will enable the visitor to 
order the admission of a patient's friends ; at present they are 
admitted or excluded at the caprice of the person who signs the 
order for the patient's confinement. It likewise will enable the 
visitors to sanction the temporary removal of a patient in ill-health 
to the sea-side or elsewhere. It, moreover, will enforce an immediate 
private return of all single patients received for profit, and authorise 
the members of a small private Committee, named by the Lord 
Chancellor, to visit them if necessary. This is the provision of the 
law in France : in that country licences are prescribed for every 
house, and certificates and visitors for every lunatic. The abuses 
and cruelties perpetrated in these retreats for single patients 
would surpass the belief of the House. . . . These returns are 


universally evaded at present, the law rendering it unnecessary to 
make any return unless the patient has been confined for twelve 
months. The Bill will give the Chancellor power to protect the 
property of lunatics against whom a commission has not issued, by 
a summary and inexpensive process, and it subjects all workhouses 
in which any lunatic is kept to regular visitation. 

The purpose of the second Bill was to extend the 
system of county as} 7 lums. It provided that the 
erection of county asylums should be compulsory, the 
existing accommodation increased where necessary, and 
separate buildings provided for chronic cases. The 
Bill further provided for the prompt care and treat- 
ment of all classes of lunatics ; that those whose 
friends could not pay for them should be placed in an 
asylum as paupers, and that all lunatics taken care of 
by their friends, instead of being placed in asylums, 
should be inspected quarterly by a medical man, and 
lists of them returned to the Commissioners. 

After giving details of the financial part of the 
question, and a characteristically vivid description of the 
horrors still prevalent in certain quarters under the 
existing system, Lord Ashley urged the necessity of 
utterly abolishing the practice of making pauper luna- 
tics the prey of speculators. Appealing to the House — 
" an assembly of educated, humane, and Christian 
men " — on behalf of this utterly helpless class, who 
"were under the marked visitation of a wise, though 
inscrutable Providence — a class who could not make 
the least compensation for their disinterested zeal and 
labours," he said : — 


It is remarkable and very humiliating, the long and tedious 
process by which we have arrived at the sound practice in the treat- 
ment of the insane, which now appears to be the suggestion of 
common-sense and ordinary humanity. The whole history of the 
world, until the era of the Reformation, does not afford an instance 
of a single receptacle assigned to the protection and care of these 
unhappy sufferers, whose malady was looked upon as hardly within 
the reach or hope of medical aid. 

To the wise and humane efforts of Pinel, to the 
signal success of the Society of Friends, and that 
remarkable family of the Tukes who founded the retreat 
at York, Lord Ashley paid a high tribute, and concluded 
thus : — 

To secure not only the progress, but even the continuance of this 
improved condition, we have need of a most active and constant 
supervision ; if this be denied, or even abated, the whole system will 
relapse. There is the strongest tendency, and it is not unnatural, 
amongst the subordinate officers of every asylum, to resort to coercion; 
it gratifies all the infirmities of pride, of temper, and of insolence . . 

It is our duty, and our interest too, when we have health and 
intellect— meus sana in corpore sano — leisure and opportunity, to 
deliberate upon these things before the evil days come, and the years 
of which we shall say we have no pleasure in them. Here are we 
sitting in deliberation to-day ; to-morrow we may be subjects of this 
fearful affliction. Causes, as slight apparently as they are sudden, 
varying through every degree of intensity — a fall, a fever, a reverse 
of fortune, a domestic calamity — will do the awful work, and then, 
' Farewell, King ! ' The most exalted intellects, the noblest affec- 
tions, are transformed into fatuity and corruption, and leave nothing 
but the sad though salutary lesson— how frail is the tenure by which 
we hold all that is precious and dignified in human nature." * 

After a debate, in which there was no opposition, 
leave was given to bring in the Bills, and Lord Ashley 

* Hansard, 3 s., lxxxi. 180. 


carefully guided their further course. On progress 
being reported, Mr. T. Duncombe denounced the ap- 
pointment of salaried Commissioners as "a job," and the 
Board as a secret tribunal dangerous to the liberties of 
English subjects.* He divided against the Bill, which, 
however, passed this stage by 117 votes to 15. The 
two Bills became law in 1845, and have been not inaptly 
called " the Magna Charta of the liberties of the 

The permanent Lunacy Commission now introduced, 
whose functions were greatly widened, comprised six 
paid Commissioners at salaries of £1,500 each. Lord 
Ashley, who since its foundation had always been a 
member, became unpaid Chairman of the Commission, 
an office he retained until the end of his life. 

June 7th. — Hiatus. Many tilings to record ; but large proportion 
of tliem have fled from my memory. First, though not in order of 
time, I must enter an expression of humble, hearty, and unceasing 
thanks to Almighty God for my great success in the introduction of 
the Lunacy Bills yesterday evening. Sir J. Graham seconded the 
proposition in a very kind and fervid speech, and announced the full 
support of the Government. Just as I had concluded my speech 
amid applause from the House, two Masters in Chancery appeared 
from the Lords, and announced their acceptance of the Bill for the 
protection of women and children in the Calico Print-works. What 
an answer to my prayers ; on the same day, and at the same hour ! 

June 30th. — Never have I suffered more anxiety than on these 
Lunacy Bills. I dream every night, and pass, in my visions, through 
every clause, and confuse the whole in one great mass. It is very 
trying — perpetual objections, perpetual correspondence, perpetual 
doubt ; and yet there are good feelings exhibited. Nevertheless, at 

* Hansard, 3 s., lxxxi. 14] 6. 

1845.] COWPER'S INSANITY. 113 

this late period of the Session, one obstinate, ill-disposed, and stupid 
man may impede our entire progress. . . . 

July 2 2nd. — Have toiled through obstruction, insult, delay, 
desertion, to the third reading, and have been detained all this clay 
by Mr. Duncoinbe on clause by clause of the Bill, as he has a 
rigid to do on this stage. What a time I have passed ! Every hour 
of every day engaged in this Bill and its collateral troubles ! Not a 
moment to myself for thought or comfort. Have had a violent 
attack, brought on by labour and anxiety. Beached only the forty- 
sixth clause ; the Lords yet in view, and this day the 2 2nd of July ! 

July 30th. — Both Bills passed Committee in the Lords, and they 
are now quite safe. Most humbly and heartily do I thank God for 
my success. Such a thing almost before unknown, that a man, 
without a party, unsupported by anything private or public, but God 
and His Truth, should have overcome Mammon and Moloch, and 
have carried, in one Session, three such measures as the Print-works 
Begulation and the two Bills for the erection and government of 
Lunatic Asylums. 

Aug. 20th. — Have been reading, in snatched moments of leisure, 
'life of Cowper.' What a wonderful story! He was, when he 
attempted his life, thoroughly mad ; he was never so at any other 
time. Yet his symptoms were such as would have been sufficient 
for any ' mad doctor ' to shut him up, and far too serious to permit 
any 'Commissioner' to let him out, and, doubtless, both would be 
justifiable. The experiment proved that Cowper might safely be 
trusted ; but an experiment it was, the responsibility of which not 
one man in three generations would consent, or ought, to incur. 
We should, howevei', take warning by his example, and not let people 
be in such a hurry to set down all delusions (especially religious 
delusions) as involving clanger either to a man's self, or to the 
public. There are, I suspect, not a few persons confined whom it 
"would be just as perplexing, and yet just as safe, to release as the 
poet Cowper. 

Parliament was prorogued on the 9 th of August, 

but there was little time for Lord Ashley to rest. 

For him, repose consisted more in the change than in 

the total absence of occupation ; and a mind like his, 



active and hungry, needed something to feed upon more 
definite and practical than speculation. It is not sur- 
prising, therefore, to find the lull in one kind of en- 
gagements occupied busily in other directions. 

Sept. 1st. — The Society of Friends watch me with unparalleled 
love or unparalleled malignity. Wherever I turn, I see, or hear, or 
read, some token of their sleepless zeal. Mr. Bright gives me no rest 
in the House of Commons; Ash worth in Lancashire; Pease has paused 
but for a time in the public press. There is a Quaker, whose name I 
forget, but who keeps all alive at Fordingbridge ; and now a Mr. 
Wright, of Pontefract, has written to denounce the oppression of the 
peasantry, ' thy tenantry near thy residence in Dorsetshire ! ' as set 
forth in the Times of August 23rd. Replied to contradict his 
assertions, and express my sense of the love the Quakers bear me 
and their zeal for my reformation. 

Sept. 12th. — Turning over in my mind some scheme of general 
education, such, at least, as may bring the vast mass of the juvenile 
population within the ' reading of the Bible.' It is sad to see, and 
quite awful to consider, the vast multitude of immortal creatures 
who live and die without ever hearing, except in an oath, the 
name of Christ. This every one admits, deplores, and leaves un- 
redressed. The more I think, the more I am embarrassed and 
perplexed ; the Church on one side, which ought to be respected ; 
the Dissenters on the other, who will make themselves heard, 
seem to present insurmountable difficulties ; and meanwhile the 
people perisheth ! 

In June, just when Lord Ashley's hands were full, 
as we have seen, with the Print-works and Lunacy Bills, 
Railway Committees, and other pressing affairs, some of 
the Lancashire operatives had grown angry and sus- 
picious because he hesitated, at that period, to broach the 
Ten Hours question in Parliament. " It is not their 
intention," he wrote in his Diary, " but they are mon- 
strously unjust. No man, living or dead, has sacrificed' 

1845.] IX THE GLOAMING. 115 

for them the tenth part that I have done ; and what 
motive can I have, but their interest, to be silent even 
for an hour ! ' : As soon, therefore, as circumstances 
would permit, he made a tour in the manufacturing 

Oct. 14th. — Manchester. On Ten Hours business. Met a delega- 
tion of operatives ; heartily received ; all went off well ; plenty of 
zeal and ' no surrender.' The cause has long been in the ground ; 
now, surely, it is time for it to bear fruits upward. 

Oct. 17th. — Bradford. In addressing operatives, urged two points 
of, as I think, great importance. Held out, as a ground of hope, 
the improved tone and temper of all classes of station and property 
towards the working people ; the various efforts for their moral and 
physical amelioration ; their question could not be stationary while 
all the others advanced. Next, the value of the Ten Hours move- 
ment ; it had been the beginning of all the movements ; it had 
directed general and individual attention to the state of all the 
classes of the working people ; it was, as it were, a representative 
question — the interests and welfare of all were contended for under 
the struggle maintained on behalf of this one. And, moreover, the 
manner in which the operatives had conducted the question — no 
violence of language or action, no threats, no expressions of ven 
geance, no bitter accusations, no unhealable wounds — this was, I 
told them, a bright example to the whole world of the mode in which 
a people should demand, and will obtain, their inalienable rights. 

Oct. 19. — Row ton. The evening sun is now falling across the 
landscape ; the rest are gone to church, and I am left alone ; a 
melancholy, not quite unpleasant, is spread over the whole, and I 
seem, for the place recalls them, to travel over twenty years of my 
bygone life. What a period ! and what treasures of opportunity 
for good passed, and perhaps wasted ! I may, by God's especial 
grace, have clone some few things ; but how many have I not done; 
how many have I prevented, it is possible, in others ! Yet there is, 
even here, a blessing in such a reflection : it will stimulate to further 
efforts while it saves us from self-righteousness. The evening is 
bright, soft, and peaceable. Would to God it could be eternal ! that 

i 2 


is, the peace, not the evening. We should long for a better country 
and the brightness itself of the firmament. Pray for nothing, hope 
for nothing, that could delay the Second Advent ! 

In the early part of this year, the Peel Adminis- 
tration was standing, apparently, upon the firmest pos- 
sible foundation, and when Parliament was prorogued, 
on the 9th of August, there was not a cloud in the sky 
to give warning of the coming storm. 

Only two days, however, passed, before Sir James 
Graham received a letter from a potato dealer, inform- 
ing him that, from some unaccountable cause, a species 
of blight, or other form of disease, had fallen upon the 
potato crop of the country, and that all the potatoes 
sent to the markets bore indication, more or less, of the 
disease. The news soon received confirmation. It was 
found that throughout the whole of Kent and Sussex 
the disease was prevalent ; and, later on, similar reports 
came from all quarters. In England, where the peop>le 
— partly owing to the operation of the Poor Law — had 
not to depend upon the potato for subsistence, the 
threatened clanger was not so alarming as to suggest 
the idea of famine. But in Ireland, if the disease 
should spread there — there was no evidence at present 
that it had clone so, the crop being later in its yield 
there than elsewhere — the result would be disastrous 
in the extreme, as the vast majority of the working 
population were entirely dependent upon the potato 
crop for their existence, and its failure would mean 
nothing less to them than ruin and starvation. 

The Government could not shut their eyes to this 


terrible contingency, and frequent Cabinet Councils 
were held. People began to inquire what these could 
mean, for, as yet, the public in general were ignorant of 
the approaching danger, and rumours were current 
that there was a division among the Ministers. 

A few weeks sufficed to explain the mystery, and 
then there was a clamour for the immediate calling 
together of Parliament, and, on the part of the 
Anti-Corn-Law League, for the ports to be thrown 

Sir Robert Peel had come into office in 1841 to 
maintain the Corn Laws, but now, seeing the extent of 
the danger, his first consideration was the necessity of 
throwing open the ports to the importation of provisions 
of every kind. 

This in itself would have been an easy matter, if it 
were only to meet the present emergency ; the difficulty 
would be to re-impose restrictions after they had been 
once relaxed. 

Towards the end of October, the news arrived that 
the distemper was spreading throughout Ireland with 
frightful rapidity, and on the last day of the month, 
a Cabinet Council was held at Sir Robert Peel's resi- 
dence, to deliberate on the alarming prospects of the 
country. On the following day, he set before the Cabinet 
his opinion that the Corn Laws could no longer be 
maintained, that the existing duties should be at once 
suspended, and the ports thrown open. No definite 
action, however, was taken at that time ; a Commission, 
consisting of the heads of departments in Ireland, was 


appointed to take steps to guard against the sudden 
inroad of famine, and the idea of an autumnal 
Session was abandoned. Shortly after this, there arose 
a great cry in Ireland, and the Mansion House Relief 
Committee of Dublin interpreted it in a series of reso- 
lutions which stated that there was undoubtedly ap- 
proaching, throughout that land, calamitous famine and 
pestilence, and which concluded by impeaching the con- 
duct of the Ministry, for refusing to open the ports or 
to call Parliament together earlier than usual. 

In this position of affairs, the course adopted by 
Lord Ashley is best told in his own words. 

The following letter, addressed to his constituents, 
was republished from the Dorset Count// Clironicle in 
the Times of October 20th : — 

Lord Ashley upon the Corn Laws. 

(From the "Dorset County Chronicle" of Oct. 16.) 

To the Gentry, Clergy, and Freeholders of the County 

of Dorset. 

Gentlemen, — The interval of the recess from public duties affords 
me leisure to address you on the subject of my conduct as a Member 
of the House of Commons. 

I have taken the course of addressing you by letter, because it is 
not likely that I shall have the pleasure, this year, of attending any of 
your agricultural anniversaries ; and if, moreover, the period of a 
dissolution of Parliament be nigh at hand, you may possibly be sum- 
moned to exercise the elective franchise before another such oppor- 
tunity occur for inquiry or explanation. 

A requisition has, I understand, been numerously and respect- 
ably signed, and circulated throughout the county, to call upon some 
other gentleman, whose principles and whose practice are more in 



accordance with the views of those who have subscribed it, to offer 
himself as a candidate at the General Election for the honour of 
representing you. 

I do not complain of this proceeding on the part of the requisi- 
tionists ; they have exercised openly and legitimately a constitutional 
ri^ht and probably a duty — yet it renders inevitable a declaration on 
my part of the course I shall pursue, that we may not remain in 
ignorance of the views of each other, and that I may not have any- 
thing to suppress now and explain away hereafter. 

But it will be very short, because I cannot promise you any 
alteration. It would be desirable, I know; for I am fully aware 
of the incompetent manner in which I have discharged the trust com- 
mitted to my hand ; but that is an imperfection beyond my power to 
amend, and thus, as I am unable to improve my abilities, and alto- 
gether indisposed to change my conduct, I have the pain to find 
myself at variance, for the first time during the space of fourteen 
years, with many of those who have hitherto honoured me by their 
countenance and support. 

I will seize this occasion to touch the subject of the Corn Laws, 
and the certain result of the present movement against them. It 
appears to me that their destiny is fixed ; and that the leading men 
of the great parties in the Legislature are by no means disinclined to 
their eventual abolition. The debates of last Session have left no 
doubt on this head ; both the candidates for power and the occupants 
of it, approximated so much more closely than at any former period, 
that most of the hearers were induced to believe that their difference 
was less a matter of principle than a question of time. 

If this be so, it is needless to argue the policy or impolicy of such 
a change ; it would rather be wise to consider in what way you can 
break the force of an inevitable blow. The sudden repeal of these 
Laws would be destructive ; the gradual abolition of them would be 
less injurious. You have at this moment the power to offer such 
terms ; there is no certainty that you will retain it much longer — 
our actual prosperity must come to an end ; and then the wide and 
fearful pressure of commercial distress, with the hostility on one side 
and the indifference on the other, of the great political chiefs, will 
leave you, in an hour of especial difficulty, altogether without a 

retuge or resource. 

And now, gentlemen, with many and sincere thanks for the 


kindness and confidence you have hitherto bestowed upon me, allow 
me to subscribe myself, with much respect, 

Your very faithful friend and servant, 

London, Oct. 10th. Ashley. 

The Diary continues : — 

October 25th. — 1 cannot see my opinion on the Corn-Law ques- 
tion in a different light. I am sure it is safe, and even necessary, in 
the present position of affairs ; and as for the insinuation that I am 
shifting or changing, I cannot treat regulations as principles. I have 
written this in reply to Melbourne, and stated the case fully. 

October 27th. — Violent articles in papers ; sent to me, of course. 
League paper absolutely truculent ; every form of baseness ascribed 
to me. Surely this extreme and ferocious bitterness from the two 
opposites is a tolerable proof that I have hit the mean. This comes 
of speaking the truth. Good it is, no doubt, that the truth should 
be told, and it will, no doubt equally, at last prevail ; but the man 
who speaks it is oftentimes a martyr to his sincerity, and others are 
enlightened to praise him when he is either dead or ruined. I 
fancy I see the motives of this eruption of anger. The high Pro- 
tection party conceive that my letter gives an impulse to abolition, 
the very shadow of which is frightful to them ; the Free Traders 
conceive that it will aid to qualify their scheme of abolition by 
adding time and modifications. Thus I have smevouslv offended 
both sides; my strength, if I have any, will be found among the 
reasonable, thinking men of the land. 

I do not, cannot, repent of the step I have taken. But by adopt- 
ing this line I separated myself from many with whom I had hitherto 
acted. And I thus invited the assaults, the combined assaults, of 
two parties, and, standing alone, lost the countenance (such as it is) 
of the third ! I had, in this way, nothing to rest on but my general 
influence and character. It was impossible to be blind to the 
ill-suppressed hatred of many individuals of all classes ; and the 
tone and language of the public papers, metropolitan and provincial, 
develop the grounds of the animosity — ' canting, saint, hypocrite, 
pretence of i-eligion, &c.' — everything, in short, that can pass a sneer 

1845.1 THE CORN-LAW LEAGUE. 121 

on the principles I have ventured to maintain. It has always been 
so. and will be so to the end of time. God help me ! . . . . 

For my own satisfaction and conscience I could not endure the 
annual repetition of sham-fights, so to speak. We were summoned, 
every Session, to make a plain, unconditional resistance to the repeal 
of the Corn Laws. I had long suspected that it would be ultimately 
unavailing, that the agricultural interest would some day be sum- 
moned, either by the presence of commercial difficulty, or by the will 
of the Minister, to reverse, in some following Session, the decision of 
the one that had preceded. The last debate confirmed both this 
opinion and that of utter hopelessness of continued resistance. What, 
then, was to be done 1 I could not think this without saying it. 
There arej no doubt, many occasions on which it is wise to be silent ; 
but here I could not with propriety refrain from speaking out. I 
could not deceive those whom I represented, by urging them on to 
protracted resistance, by promising results which I was sure would 
never arrive. I could not myself coldly persist in a line of conduct 
which was (I thought, at least) fatal to the interests of the landed 
gentry, and at variance with my own judgment of what was required. 
I said it, therefore, and awaited, and do await, the personal con- 
sequences ! . . . 

The action of Lord Ashley had raised a storm 
around him, such as was novel even in his experience. 
Two years before, the Examine)' had said, "If this man 
goes on as he now does, telling the truth to every one, 
he will soon become the most hated person in England." 
The prophecy now appeared to be about to receive its 

November 3rd. — At times I almost quail when I think of the 
concentrated hatred against me. 

Nov. 24th. — After all, what have I clone to provoke such con- 
stant, minute, and pointed hatred ] The League hate me as an 
aristocrat ; the landowners, as a Radical ; the wealthy of all 
opinions, as a mover of inconvenient principles. The Tractarians 
loath me as an ultra-Protestant ; the Dissenters, as a Churchman ; 


the High-Church think me abominably low ; the Low-Church some 
degrees too high. I have no political party; the Whigs, I know, regard 
me as leaning very decidedly to the Conservatives ; the Conservatives 
declare that I have greatly injured the Government of Sir R. Peel. 
I have, thus, the approval and support of neither ; the floating men 
of all sides, opinions, ranks, and professions, who dislike what they 
call a ' saint,' join in the hatred, and rejoice in it. Every class is 
against me, and a host of partisans in every grade. The working 
people, catching the infection, will go next, and then, ' farewell, 
King : ' farewell any hopes of further usefulness. 

On the 22nd of November, a letter from Lord John 
Russell, written from Edinburgh, and addressed to the 
electors of London, appeared in the daily papers, an- 
nouncing' his unqualified conversion to the principles of 
the Anti-Corn Law League, and expressing his surprise 
that, with calamity of an unprecedented nature threaten- 
ing, Ministers had separated, apparently, without having 
taken any steps to meet the impending scarcity. It 
concluded in these unmistakable words : — " The Govern- 
ment appear to be waiting for some excuse to give up 
the present Corn Laws. Let the people by petition, 
by address, by remonstrance, afford them the excuse 

they seek Let the removal of restrictions on 

the admission of the main articles of food and clothing, 
used by the mass of the people, be required in plain 
terms, as useful to all great interests and indispensable 
to the progress of the nation." 

On the re-assembling of the Cabinet two days after- 
wards, it became evident that Sir Robert Peel had re- 
solved either to repeal the Corn Laws or to resign. On 
the 4th of December it was announced in the Times, 


with all authority, though uot using the word itself, 
that Parliament would meet at an early date, and that 
the repeal of the Corn Laws would then be proposed by 
the Ministers. 

It is quite impossible now to realise the intensity of 
the excitement caused by this announcement. How 
the information found its way into that paper, remains 
to this day a mystery, and it was indignantly denied by 
the Ministerial press. 

Lord Stanley and the Duke of Buccleuch intimated 
to the Premier that they declined to be parties to 
any measure involving the ultimate repeal of the Corn 
Laws, and refused further to retain office ; and a feeling 
having become prevalent that others would do the same, 
Sir Robert Peel, on the 5th of December, repaired to 
Osborne, and tendered his resignation to her Majesty. 

Lord John Russell was summoned to form a Govern- 
ment, but his arrangements fell to the ground, and 
before the end of the year Sir Robert Peel was again 
First Minister of the Crown. 

Dec. 23rd. — A question will shortly arise, which we, M.P.'s of a 
certain complexion, shall be called on to answer — ' Do you intend to 
vote for the Bill of Sir R. Peel, which will take away all protecting 
duties (though gradually, perhaps) from British Agriculture 1 ' Weigh 
the reply ; you may, in reference to the exigency of the country, and 
of the times, be convinced that such an issue is inevitable, and, if 
carefully introduced, not injurious ; you will say then that, ' if you 
give a vote at all, it must be for abolition as against Protection.' 
Have you a right to give such a vote 1 I will look to my own case ; I 
was elected by an agricultural body, who expected, undoubtedly, that 
what they called ' Protection,' should be maintained. I was not tied, 
by their language or by my own, either to mode or to extent, to 


sliding scale or sixty-shillings ; it was not a matter on which they 
could have demanded, or I would have given, a pledge — but a new 
case has arisen, one not then in the contemplation of either party, the 
case of total abolition, one on which the electors would have had a 
right to ask, and possibly I should have been ready to give, a decided 
engagement. It seems then that, if I were to vote for abolition, I 
should vote in a sense diametrically opposite to the sense of their 
hopes and views when they chose me as their representative, and in 
a way which, had it been then foreseen, would have, in all likelihood, 
prevented my election, 

Now we must take heed what we do, and pray earnestly to God 
for a sound judgment, for counsel, wisdom, and understanding, that 
those especially, who make profession of religion, may bring no 
scandal on honesty and truth. 

The last entry in the Diary for the year finds Lord 
Ashley face to face with this alternative : — 

Dec. 31st. — If Peel's plan be for total abolition, and I be disposed 
to support it, must I not previously resign my seat 1 What a tre- 
mendous sacrifice ! The Ten Hours Bill abandoned, and all my 
projects at once extinguished ! God in His mercy give me wisdom 
and prosper the issue. 



Repeal of the Corn-Laws— The Ten Hours Bill— Mr. John Bright— Seat for 
Dorset resigned — Hard Work in Factory Districts — Care of Ten Hours 
Bill devolves on Mr. Fielden — Out of Parliament — In the Lobby — Fall of 
the Peel Ministry — Lord John Russell Prime Minister — The Colonies — 
Indian Successes — Letter from Sir Henry Hardinge — Gloomy Views — The 
Ragged School Union — Curious Coincidence of Names — Labour for the 
p 00r — The London City Mission — The Labourers' Friend Society— Housing 
of the Poor — Perambulations in Low Haunts of London —Speaking to the 
Outcasts — With little Children — Tbe Model Lodging-House System Inaugu- 
rated — Article in Quarterly Review — A Striking Narrative — Poverty and 
pjehes — Dreams of Future Work — Activity in Religious Circles — Young 
Men's Christian Association — Early Closing Movement — Bishop Gobat — A 
Foreign Tour — Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Holland — " The Cells 
where Memory Slept " — Invited to Stand for Bath — Famine in Ireland — 
Pope Pius IX. — A Talk with Lord John Russell— Church Appointments — 
Unsuitable Education — Poverty. 

On the 2.2nd of January Parliament re -assembled. For 
some weeks previously, public feeling had been strained 
to the uttermost, and the announcements to be made by 
the restored Minister were awaited with feverish anxiety. 
But, although it was clear that Sir Robert Peel had 
become a convert to the Manchester School, and that 
it was his intention to abandon the Corn Laws he had 
come into office to maintain, he did not make any 
definite statement : " I will reserve to myself the un- 
fettered power of judging what will be for the public 
interest," he said; "I will hold office unshackled by 
any other obligation than that of consulting the public 
interest, and providing for the public safety." 


A few days later, however (Jan. 27), he announced 
his policy, into the details of which it is not necessary 
that we should enter here. The important part of the 
explanation was, that he proclaimed himself " an 
absolute convert to the Free-Trade principle, and that 
the introduction of the principle into all departments of 
our commercial legislation was, according to his inten- 
tion, to be a mere question of time and convenience." 

Throughout this period, Lord Ashley was full of 
anxiety. He had ever been an opponent of the 
Repeal of the Corn Laws ; he had been sent to Parlia- 
ment to defend them, but now he felt that defence 
was no longer possible. Staunch Protectionist as he 
had been, he could no longer conscientiously retain 
his old opinions ; and he felt it to be his duty forth- 
with to avow his conviction, and, as a consequence, to 
resign his seat in Parliament. That this resolution was 
not arrived at without a struggle, the entries in the 
Diary abundantly testify. He was supported in the 
step he was about to take by Lady Ashley, who went 
with him, heart and soul, wherever duty called. 

Jan. 15th. — Ought I not to be deeply thankful to Almighty- 
God that He has given me a wife capable of every generous self- 
denial, and prepared to rejoice in it, if it be for the advancement of 
religion and the welfare of man 1 Oh, that my children may inherit, 
by God's grace, of their mother's spirit, and find their truest pleasure 
in the virtue and happiness of others ! 

Jan. 27th. — Ten o'clock at night. He (Peel) has just made his 
statement, and, to my mind, it is most satisfactory. The landed 
gentry ought to be content with the proposed adjustment ; nay, 
thank God for it. If they do their duty by their estates and the 
people on them, they will be richer and move powerful than ever ; 


but 1 rejoice that this repeal of the Corn Laws will compel them to 
care, and to some effort, at least, towards improvement. 

If I remain an M.P. I shall vote for it in all its parts, and 
throughout all its stages ; but can I remain so 1 Though no pledges 
were given or asked, was there not between the electors and myself 
an ' honourable understanding ' that ' Protection ' of some kind should 
be maintained 1 If this be the case, I may not vote in direct con- 
tradiction of the principle ; neither will I vote for it. Public 
necessity and public welfare both demand the repeal of the Corn 
Laws. I could justify such a vote before God, because I am con- 
vinced that it would be for the best for every material and moral 
interest ; but I have entered into relations with men, and I must 
observe them, though it be to my own detriment. The slight in- 
fluence I possess is founded on an estimation of character ; if that 
be lost, I shall have nothing left for a ' stock-in-trade ; ' besides, I 
must recollect the principles I have maintained, the language I have 
held, the public professions I have made ; and it will then appear 
far better that I should suffer any loss than give ' occasion to the 
enemies of God to blaspheme,' and say that, ' after all, your religious 
men, when they come to be tried, are no better than any one else.' 
Many would say this ; many more would think it ; and I should 
thus, by a deliberate act, have myself brought discredit on the public 
profession of religion ; and, when I have endeavoured and prayed 
that all my conduct might be to the honour of God, I should have 
done more, in a single hour, to cast a stain on ' pious statesmen,' than 
I could render of service to His holy name in the labours of twenty 

I remember, therefore, those blessed texts : ' Seek ye first the 
Kingdom of God and His righteousness ; and all these things shall 
be added unto you.' ' Commit thy ways unto the Lord ; and He 
will direct thy paths.' In this hope I will surrender all : and main- 
tain my integrity, while I lose my office. 

I shall resign my seat, and throw up all my beloved projects ; 
all for which I have sacrificed everything that a public man values ; 
all that I had begun, and all that I have designed. Nearly my 
whole means of doing any good will cease with my membership of 

But God's will be done: 'Though he slay me,' said Job 'yet 
will I trust Him." 


Notwithstanding the fact that the agitation for the 
repeal of the Corn Laws was occupying the attention of 
the great bulk of the people, the Ten Hours Bill was 
not allowed to languish. Lord Ashley, knowing that 
there was little time for him to act in the present 
crisis of affairs, left no stone unturned to advance the 
cause he had so much at heart. It was evident that 
there was an increasing inclination on the part of many 
of the large mill-owners to adopt his views. Not a few 
of them had made experiments in their own factories in 
shortening the hours of labour, and had found the results 
satisfactory. But there was still a strong opposition in 
Parliament on the part of those who held that any re- 
duction in the hours of factory labour would tend to 
endanger the national interests. Many of the sup- 
porters of. the League, however, had stated, both in 
and out of Parliament, that if the Corn Laws were 
repealed they would then vote in favour of the Ten 
Hours Bill, although many entertained the curious 
notion, that the necessity for factory legislation would 
cease in that case. Mr. Cobden had said, " The demand 
for labour will be so great that three masters will be 
looking after one man," and Free Traders, generally, 
took up this cry. The staunchest opponents of the 
measure, were those who objected on principle to any 
State interference with private rights, and foremost 
among these was Sir James Graham. 

The skill and judgment, the indomitable perse- 
verance and importunity of Lord Ashley in the con- 
duct of this great cause, were displayed now in the 


midst of circumstances of a peculiarly embarrassing 

On the 31st of January he resigned his seat. Two 
days before taking that step, he re-introduced into the 
House of Commons his Ten Hours Bill with every 
prospect of success. He set forth briefly the arguments 
bearing on the whole question, reserving for consideration 
only those arguments which showed that the proposed 
change would not injure the manufacturers nor seriously 
diminish the wages of labour. In support of his views, 
he adduced a large mass of important facts and informa- 
tion recently collected, including the results of experi- 
ments tried in several of the leading factories, as to 
the effects of shortened hours of labour. He read the 
remarks of the Committee of Operative Spinners, who 
had hitherto been extremely opposed to the clause which 
limited the labour of children to half-time, and who 
had written to him as follows : — 

We also instituted an inquiry into the moral and physical con- 
dition of piecers and young persons now, as compared with the 
same class in 1833, and from every quarter we learn that it is much 
improved; and since the Bill of 1833, which restricted the hours of 
labour to eight in the day, and that of 1844 to six in the day, with 
enactments for education, their physical and moral condition has 
been improved to such an extent, that they do not appear to be the 
same race of beings. "We have recently conversed with a large 
number of the operatives, and those men especially who have devoted 
a large portion of their time, and much of their means, to the promo- 
tion of this question, and they all declare that the benefits which 
have arisen to themselves and their children are more than sufficient 
to repay them for their time and sacrifices, and that sooner than go 
back to the old system they would part with the last shilling they have 
in the world in defence of the restrictive system of factory labour. 



Pie deduced from this testimony the strongest case for 
further restrictions, and argued that the present system 
gave to female children a certain amount of teaching 
until the age of thirteen, and that then, at a period when 
the acquisition and experience of whatever is practical 
should begin, they were advanced to the full extent of 
adult labour, and debarred, by their unceasing occupa- 
tion, from the attainment of the knowledge, indispens- 
able to their welfare in life. They became unsexed in 
nature and habits by such constant abstraction from 
domestic duties, and all the community suffered in con- 
sequence. " There was wisdom," he said, " concentrated 
wisdom, in the saying of Madame Campan, who, in 
answer to a question of the Emperor Napoleon, ' What 
shall I do for the benefit of France ? ' replied without 
hesitation, 'Give us, sire, a. generation of mothers." 

All the strength of his opponents was put forth 
in the debate that followed, and Mr. John Bright was 
again conspicuous for the warmth of his opposition. He 
made, in the course of his remarks, a statement, to which 
Lord Ashley intimated he would reply at the close of 
the debate, and requested Mr. Bright to remain. Mr. 
Bright, however, thought fit to leave the House, and 
Lord Ashley justly complained of " great discourtesy 
on the part of the hon. member for Durham, who, 
having made a charge against him — a charge of a per- 
sonal nature — had not remained in the House to hear 
his reply to it, although he had requested him to do so." 

The circumstance which gave rise to the charge was 
very trivial in itself, but it may be quoted as a specimen 

1846.] ME. BRIGHT 8 MILLS. 131 

of the miserably weak character of the complaints 
brought from time to time against Lord Ashley by 
those who found that, in all probability, they were soon 
to be on the losing side of the factory argument. 

In 1844, when on a visit to Lancashire, Lord Ashley 
was staying at Oldham, and, being within a very short 
distance of Mr. Bright's mills at Rochdale, thought he 
would go over there, not to inspect the mills, but 
" simply and solely that he might see the lion, member, 
or leave his name, because the hon. member having 
attacked him in the House in a way which was highly 
unjustifiable, he thought he would be acting, in collo- 
quial phrase, 'like a gentleman,' to show him that 
he entertained no resentment towards him, and wished 
to meet him on friendly terms. He saw Mr. Bright's 
brother, conversed with him for half an hour, but did 
not go over the mills, first, because he did not wish it to 
be thought that he had come there to spy out some 
defect or discover some mismanagement in their arrange- 
ment, and next, because he had never said anything in 
disparagement of those mills. He believed himself to 
be thoroughly conversant with all the operations of 
mills, and did not deem it necessary to add to his ex- 
perience by an inspection of Mr. Bright's. Yet that 
gentleman now denounced him as one-sided in all his 
statements because he had not gone over his mills ! ' 

In the debate of that evening, Lord Ashley was well 
supported by Lord John Manners, Mr. Wakley, Mr. 
Fielden, and others, and the Bill was read a first time. 
Everything was ready for a further, and, it was hoped, 


a successful campaign. But its future conduct was 
reserved for other hands. 

He probably little thought when, on the 10th of 
May, 1844, he had said: "It may not be given me 
to pass over this Jordan ; other and better men have 
preceded me, and I entered into their labours ; other 
and better men will follow me, and enter into mine," — 
that his words were to be, in some respects, so speedily 

But, as we have seen, two days after he had re- 
introduced the Ten Hours Bill, conscience demanded 
that he should resign his seat in Parliament, and the 
future charge of the Bill devolved on Mr. Fielden, 
the Member for Oldham. 

Jan. 30th. — Last night Ten Hours Bill. Through it, God be 
praised, without failure. Not in heart, not in vigour ; but again I 
say, God be praised ! . . . Most awfully reviled by Messrs. Bright, 
Trelawney, Roebuck, and Escott, of which I took no notice, except to 
clear away a misstatement by the belligerent Quaker. . . . 

Jan. 31.— Heard from Farquharson. He gave me his own 
opinion, and, no doubt, the true one, that the yeomanry would con- 
sider me as ' acting in direct reversal of the principle,' &c. &c. ; 
wrote, therefore, immediately for the Chiltern Hundreds, and am 
now, for the first time in nearly twenty years, no longer a member 
of Parliament ! Many will condemn me, some for doing that which 
they ought to do ; some for appearing to sanction the principle of 
delegation. Others will approve the course as wise and safe for 
public men. Much touched by the honest and virtuous sincerity of 
Fielden, Wood, and Philip Grant. They are, if any men be, deeply 
anxious and deeply interested that I should remain a member 
of Parliament, yet they did not hesitate for an instant. Moved 
almost to tears they were, while they applauded my decision, and 
hoped and believed that it would prove, eventually, the best. 


Lord Ashley, although the most marked, was not 
the only man who changed his opinion at this time 
with regard to the Corn Laws, and who supported 
that change of opinion by the resignation of his seat 
in Parliament. 

Referring to this circumstance, Sir Robert Peel, in 
one of the masterly speeches which characterised the 
period when the Corn Laws were being violently 
debated, said : " Look to the change of opinion that 
has taken place, not amongst mere politicians, which 
you are apt to attribute to some selfish or corrupt 
motive ; but look at the opinions now expressed, of 
the sincerity of which conclusive proof has been given 
by some of the most honourable men that ever sat 
upon these benches. Did my noble friend, Lord 
Ashley, vacate his seat for the county of Dorset from 
• any interested or corrupt motive ? Did Mr. Sturt, or 
Mr. William Patten, avow their change of opinion 
from interested or corrupt motive? Did Mr. Tatton 
Egerton offer to vacate his seat for Cheshire, or Lord 
Henniker his seat for Suffolk, from any other motive 
than a real conviction that the time was come for the 
adjustment of the question of the Corn Laws? . . . 
No ; and surely these afford proof that the Minister 
who should suspend the law, and give a guarantee to 
revive it whenever the period for suspension should 
pass away, would have enormous, insuperable difficulties 
to encounter." 

Feb. 6th. — Bonham very anxious to see me yesterday before the 
post went out. It was to say that a few persons had contributed 


two thousand pounds towards the expenses of a re-election. I found 
that Peel and Graham (is there an end of wonders 1) were among 
them ! Their language was generous and delicate ; they instructed 
Bonham to say that they considered a great public principle was in- 
volved in my re-election ; that their assistance conferred no personal 
obligation ; that if I were returned, and the next night moved the 
Ten Hours Bill, and by success drove them from office, they should 
consider that it was simply within the compass of my inevitable duty. 
1 did not refuse at once. Such a decisive course has always some- 
what of harshness in it ; but refuse I shall, because acceptance of 
aid of that kind, however guarded and delicate the terms, limits 
independence of thought and action. The parties who confer the 
favour may expect nothing, but the party who receives it has a 
sensation of being fettered. A requisition, I hear, to be got up on 
Protestant grounds. God grant that I may ever stand firm there ! 

Feb. 9th Wrote to decline, very civilly and even thank- 
fully, offer of two thousand pounds. . . . Times of yesterday contains 
address of the Short Time Committee to electors of Dorset. It is 
excellent, and, to me, most gratifying. ... 

Feb. 13th. — Wrote yesterday address to announce that I could 
not fight the purse of the County, and must, therefore, decline a poll. 

On the nomination of a candidate to supply the 
vacancy caused by his retirement, Lord Ashley took 
the opportunity to explain in person to the electors of 
Dorset his altered views. 

Feb. 19th. — Dorchester. Kon nobis Domine. I have never 
spoken so forcibly in my life. It touched, I could see, and I have 
heard, half convinced, many of my opponents. 

Having taken so important a step, which seemed 
vitally to affect the Ten Hours movement, and conse- 
quently the welfare of tens of thousands of operatives, 
it was necessary that Lord Ashley should seize the 
earliest opportunity to go again amongst the factory- 


hands to explain to them his action, and its bearings 
upon the great question in which their interests were 
so deeply involved. 

March 2nd. — Manchester. ... It was a mighty comfort to these 
excellent operatives that I promised to visit them.. Large and 
crowded meeting in Town Hall. . . . Operatives in general feel 
that I have advanced the question by the mode and subject of my 
retirement. I told them that I had nothing to serve them with but 
my personal character; that, had I continued in Parliament, while 
I retained my seat, I should have lost my reputation ; holding the 
opportunity, but throwing away the means to do them service. . . . 

March 4th. — Preston. . . . This is hard work. Shall I accom- 
plish it 1 Would to Heaven I were home again ! Monday, from 
London to Manchester, and meeting in the evening ; Tuesday, to 
Preston, and meeting ; Wednesday, to dine with Thomas Fielden, 
and meeting at Ashton ; Thursday, to inspect large mad-house, and 
a meeting at Bolton ; Friday, Oldham ; Saturday, to Bradford, 
and dinner with Walker. God grant that Sunday may be quiet ! 
Monday, meeting at Bradford ; Tuesday, Halifax ; Wednesday, 
Huddersfiekl ; Thursday, Leeds ; Friday, homeward, God be praised. 
This is the pertinacious, unwearied revolution of a steam-engine ! . . . 

Not satisfied with myself. Monstrous difficult to find a fresh 
speech every night, and more difficult, too, to make them run on the 
soft, conciliatory line ; to avoid all exciting topics, and, so that we 
may attain our end, to leave out, in fact, all our reasons for it ! I 
want to propitiate the masters, and yet encourage the workpeople. 
' Soft sawder ' to the mill-owners (unless it be skilfully applied) is a 
damper to the men ; and a stirrer to the men is a damper to the 
mill-owners. Nevertheless, by God's blessing, I have hitherto been 
passably successful. . . . 

March 20th. — London. Received two days ago an address, agreed 
to unanimously by the General Assembly of the Free Church of 
Scotland, and signed by Br. McFarlane, as Moderator. It spoke of 
my services and of the good that, under God, I had been enabled to 
effect for the working people of the realm, with many expressions of 
esteem, gratitude, and affection. Surely this is a remarkable event ; 
that it is a most gratifying one I can best decide. Its peculiar 


value is well described in Seeley's * letter to me on the subject. ' I 
was much struck with the movement of the Free Churchmen. . . . 
It was such a spontaneous motion ; the people have so little connec- 
tion with you. There is no party object concealed, all these things 
gave it value. Also, these are sour, hard men, the Camerouians of 
our time. Also, they have raised, among the middle classes and the 
poor of Scotland, nearly a million sterling in the last three years — a 
thing unprecedented. Therefore I hold that document to be of value 
to your children. I hope, too, that it is a shadow cast be/ore.' 

The second reading of the Ten Hours Bill, which 
Lord Ashley had introduced, was moved by Mr. Fielden 
on the 29th April, and a debate, lasting the whole day, 
ensued. At its close Sir James Graham announced the 
determination of the Government. " There ought to 
be no hesitation on the part of the executive Govern- 
ment in a question of this kind," he said, " and I 
announce our firm determination to resist the further 
progress of this Bill." 

For days beforehand, Lord Ashley had been in a 
state of great anxiety and suspense. He had learned 
that, despite the unanimity at the meetings in Lanca- 
shire and the West Ridings, the operatives had yielded 
to the intrigues of Mr. Hindley, and were willing to 
accept a compromise in the shape of an Eleven Hours 
Bill. To this he was steadfastly opposed, but he could 
not interfere with any vigour, as he felt sure he would be 
misrepresented, either as wishing to favour the Govern- 
ment, or, as endeavouring to keep the measure in his 
own hands. It must have been with a heavy heart that 

* Mr. Seeley was the well-known publisher of that name. 


he went to the House on the night of the second read- 
ing, hut he refers to it in his Diary very briefly : — 

April 29th. — Factory Bill in House of Commons. "Waited in 
lobby. Had not spirit to attend under the gallery. Many things 
will be started in debate which no one can refute but mvself. Alas ! 
alas ! 

April 30th. — So Sir James Graham and his colleagues have de- 
clared themselves against the Factory Bill. Heartless and dishonest 
men ! The whole debate proceeded, and will proceed, on a lie ; on 
the lie that the Bill is directed to the control of the labour of grown 
men ! Alas ! alas ! I must have fallen very low, or this proposal 
would not now be treated so contemptuously. 


The debate was adjourned for a week. It was 
resumed on the 13th May, and again on the 22nd, when 
Lord John Russell spoke warmly in its favour, and 
Mr. Macaulay supported the Bill in one of his brilliant 
orations. When the House divided, however, the re- 
sult was the loss of the Bill by a majority of 10. 
For, 193 ; against, 203. 

But influences were at work which were neverthe- 
less greatly to expedite the movement. 

On the 26th of June, the same day that saw the 
Corn and Customs Bill receive the Royal Assent, the 
Ministry of Sir Robert Peel was defeated, on the Irish 
Coercion Bill, by a majority of 73. The result was, 
the resignation of Sir Robert Peel and the return to 
power of Lord John Russell and the Whigs. It was 
now felt that new prospects of success were opening 
up to the advocates of the Ten Hours Bill, as Lord John 
Russell, and several of the members of his Government, 


were pledged to the principle of that Bill. It was 
impossible to renew the question in the House that 
Session, and therefore the whole energy of its sup- 
porters was directed to keeping the interest in it alive 
in the country. 

The fall of the Peel Ministry was a source of con- 
siderable satisfaction to Lord Ashley. We append two 
extracts from his Diary, in which he gives, very clearly, 
his estimate of the character and career of the deposed 
Minister : — 

May 18th. — On. Friday evening Corn-Law Repeal Bill passed 
third reading. Disraeli made one of his invectives against Peel — 
very pointed and powerful. Though I should not have spoken it 
myself, I am forced to admit the truth of it ; though bitter in prin- 
ciple and motive, it is hardly exaggerated in imputation. This 
statesman's career is without precedent in the history of politicians : 
he has begun by opposing, and ended by carrying (not simply sup- 
porting) almost every great question of the day. He has availed 
himself of the virtues and vices, the wisdom and the prejudices, the 
desires and fears, of his friends and adherents ; for them or against 
them, as his purposes required. He denounced ' party ' that he 
might set up ' Peelism,' led the Tories and followed the Whigs, 
holding power by the first and seeking praise in the second. His 
opinions, 1 suspect, have ever been discordant with his conduct. He 
thought with Canning on the Roman Catholic question, but acquired 
consequence, distinction, power, and a party, by heading the re- 
sistance to it. When resistance had become ti'oublesome, and raised 
impediments in his way, he changed his front, developed his opinions, 
seduced some of his followers, and browbeat the others. 

He is forced out of office. His whole life is bent to discredit the 
Whigs, and weaken their hold on the helm of power. All the changes 
that could be rung on the bells of Popery, O'Connell, Protestant 
Church, are performed by his friends ; he stands by, and, though he 
guards himself against any precise and indisputable statements, which 


may rise, ghost-like, out of Hansard, he leaves every one to suppose 
that he shares the sentiments and approves the policy. Can any one 
doubt that lie saw and encouraged those notions in the public mind, 
hoping and believing that they would restore him to power 1 His 
language to the Scotch deputation, as recorded by Fox Maule in the 
Maynooth debate, would alone be sufficient to prove that assertion ; 
his language in private once to me, as I rode with him in the Park, 
that the cry of 'No Popery' had become necessary, plainly exhibited 
what was passing through his imagination. I do not doubt, myself, 
that he had at that time resolved, should he arrive at office, to endow 
Maynooth ! 

Again, in 1841, had he not conceived — nay, more, devised — the 
plan which he has since propounded 1 Had he not long disliked 
the men by whom he was supported 1 and had he not determined 
to sacrifice them to the commendations of his antagonists ? 

Cunning, I fear, has ever ruled him ; he has employed it ardently, 
though awkwardly, in the Factory Question ; he will employ it, 
should he remain in office, in the matter of the Protestant Church in 
Ireland ! . . . 

June 26th. — Government defeated by a majority of 73 ! Far 
larger than I had expected. Peel must retire, having reduced Par- 
liament, party, and men's minds, to the original chaos. Will he 
learn from this result his own miserable want of foresight and dis- 
crimination 1 Not one of those whom he had hoped to conciliate, 
not a Whig, or a ' Leaguer,' to whose principles, and for whose 
applause, he had sacrificed his own consistency, voted in his behalf ! 
All the Whigs against him ! Cobden against him ! Bright against 
him ! Where are his hopes, and Graham's, drawn from their re- 
sistance to the Ten Hours Bill 1 

Before proceeding to describe Lord Ashley's man- 
ner of occupying the time during which he was out of 
Parliament, a few extracts from his Diary, which have 
been omitted in order not to break the thread of the 
narrative relating to Factory Legislation, may be given 

Referring to reverses in New Zealand, in 1845, 


when Colonel Despard was defeated by the Maoris, with 
a loss of 500 killed and wounded, he writes : — 

We cover the world with our colonies, and yet we have not, or 
practise not, one single healthy principle of colonisation ! This last 
was the best imagined of all. Religion went hand-in-hand with 
political government, and we have, nevertheless, fallen short of the 
mark. 1 should like to make each colony, so far as possible, a tran- 
script of the mother-country. I would protect and train it unto its 
riper years, and then give it, like a full-grown son, free action and 
absolute independence. Thus Old England would not be ashamed 
when she ' spoke with her enemies in the gate.' . . . 

In Indian affairs Lord Ashley always took a deep 
interest, and day by day, as the news arrived, commented 
on the war in which our arms were engaged. 

February 24th. — Details from India show a sad loss in officers 
and soldiers. Sir Robert Sale killed ! But we have gained a victory, 
and a just victory, without rapacity or aggression. Yet, glorious as 
it is, I rejoice as much in the noble pi-oclamation of the Governor- 
General, as in the triumph itself. Here is, at last, for the first time 
since the days of Nelson, a direct, open, and pious recognition of 
God's goodness in giving success to our arms. The order is dated on 
Christmas Day, and closes with these paragraphs : — 

' These grateful and heartfelt acknowledgments to the army for 
its services cannot be closed without humbly remembering that our 
thanks are due to Him who is the only Giver of all victory, and 
without whose aid the battle is not to the strong. 

' The Governor-General, therefore, invites every British subject 
at this station, to return thanks to Almighty God, this day, at eleven 
o'clock, for the mercies He has so recently vouchsafed us, by assem- 
bling at the Governor-General's tent, where prayers and thanks- 
givings will be read by the Govei'nor-General's chaplain. 

' By older of the Right Hon. the Governor-General of India. 

' F. Currie, 

'Secretary to the Government of India with the 

1846.] THE SIKH WAR. 141 

April 1st. — A third great victory over the Sikhs in India. God 
has put honour upon Hardinge, who humbly offered honour to Him. 

April 2nd. — I trust that Hardinge will not fail through excess of 
magnanimity. His conditions must be severe ; he' must demand, 
and see effected, the total dispersion of the Sikh army. The interests 
of civilisation, the only object which has reconciled us to this war, 
are involved in such a policy. . . 

April 3rd. — Hardinge's despatch (Times, April 2nd) containing 
his ultimatum to the Sikh Government is of the noblest order — 
dignity, moderation, justice, good feeling, and sound sense, appear in 
every expression. He has done inestimable service to the character 
of his country. ... I admire nothing more than the unanimity and 
unselfish friendship of all the officers ; no jealousy, no self-seeking] 
the interests of the country predominant. What faithfulness in the 
native troops ! Surely, this speaks well for the equity of our Indian 
Government. . . . ' I could have wept,' says the gallant old Gough, 
'over the carnage in the Sutlej, had I not remembered the deliberate 
cruelty those men had exercised towards the wounded and dying.' 
Never was Divine retribution more manifest, never justice more 
signal ! This army, stained with years of profligacy and murder of 
kings and ryots, of friends and foes, wantonly invades the British 
Empire, threatening fire, spoliation, and bloodshed, even to the walls 
of Delhi ; and, almost in the twinkling of an eye, is ' melted like 
snow in the glance of the Lord.' . . . These events have seized hold 
of my imagination ; and, thank God, I do feel the sentiment of 
gratitude and glory very deep in my heart. 

April 5th. — Sunday. A thanksgiving is to be appointed. 
Praised be God for this ! Heard yesterday from Peel. ' We shall 
thus break through a bad principle, which has hitherto prevailed, of 
not returning thanks to God for Indian successes.' These are his 
words ; I am grateful for them. 

Towards Sir Henry Hardinge, Lord Ashley enter- 
tained feelings of strong personal friendship. A letter 
from Sir Henry, who was this year created Lord 
Hardinge, bearing npon the important events just re- 
corded, will be read with interest : — 


Sir Henry Hardinge to Lord Ashley. 

Simla, May 20th, 1846. 

My dear Ashley, — I am very much obliged to you for your 
letter. There is no man's approbation I value more than your own, 
proceeding from a friend who has proved the sincerity of his prin- 
ciples by his actions. 

It has been a source of great consolation to me, in the midst of 
the turmoil of the camp, that the war into which I was so reluct- 
antly forced, is admitted by all to have been a just war, and that no 
efforts were omitted to avert it. A righteous cause is the best pro- 
pitiation for the aid of the Great Disposer of all events. 

This overgrown Empire requires consolidation and peace. We 
have the protection of the whole, as the paramount Power, with the 
resources of one-half only of the soil ; and I should have been very 
glad indeed, as the most prudent policy at the present time, to have 
kept the Sikh nation as the advanced guard on our north-west 
frontier, opposing a Hindoo Government to the Mohammedans and 
Afghans, on this the most vulnerable point of our Empire. 

I have strengthened our own frontier by annexing a valuable 
portion of the Punjab to the British Empire. I have established a 
Rajpoot Principality of the Hills as a counterpoise to the Sikhs in 
the Plains. I have disbanded their mutinous army and deprived 
it of 256 pieces of artillery ; one and a quarter million has been 
exacted for the war expenses, and the Sikh power, curtailed of more 
than one-third of its territories, now only exists by the aid of the 
British garrison occupying Lahore. 

I could not have annexed a very difficult country, larger than 
England in extent, with 15,000 infantry, including 3,200 British 
infantry, in February last. But if the experiment of re-establishing 
a Sikh Government should fail, we must annex the whole, even up 
to Peshawur. It is too early to say whether the experiment will fail 
or succeed. It was impossible to have done more for want of means. 
What has been done has been accomplished in sixty days, and whilst 
it lasted, I hardly ever recollect severer fighting. 

Our countrymen are noble fellows, and these Sikhs, drilled by 
French officers, are undoubtedly the most warlike race to which we 
have been opposed in the East. 

1846.] GLOOMY VIEWS. 143 

Jocelyn is a most satisfactory Secretary to have to deal with. He 
comes to the point, and is very clear, and the Board of Control will 
suffer a severe loss whenever he retires. 

Conceive what an army this is to move. I had 15,000 infantry 
at Lahore, and, in camp-followers, &c, 100,000 mouths to feed daily. 
The Sikh army, having no difficulties of caste, are rough and ready, 
and I long to enlist 10,000, but then, we shall not find them so docile 
and faithful as our Hindoostanees. 

Ever, my dear Ashley, 

Yours very sincerely, 

H. Hardinge. 

A charge, if charge it may be called, was brought 
against Lord Ashley very frequently, and at various 
periods of his life, that he took a gloomy view of 
things, and was too apt to look upon the dark side 
of every prospect. He refers to this in the following 
entry : — 

Jan. 19th. — Yesterday Elliott* gave us, as he ahvays does, 
blessed be the man, a most pious and excellent sermon — he touched 
the signs of the times, and took, first, the good signs, reserving 
the bad ones for a second discourse. He spoke of those who (and 
therein, probably, with a glance at me) ever saw what was dark, 
and never what was bright on the far horizon. Well, it is true. 
Evil is more powerful and lasting than good ; evil is natural, good is un- 
natural ; evil requires nothing but man as he is, good must find the soil 
prepared by the grace of God. It is far more difficult, in a period of 
specious tranquillity, to alarm than to soothe, to rouse than to lull, 
mankind. For one who is active to avert a distant peril, I will find 
a hundred who repose in present security. The prayer is as needful 
for nations as for men, ' So teach us to number our days that we may 
apply our hearts unto wisdom.' 

* Rev. H. V. Elliott, of St. Mary's, Brighton. 


It was not always that he entertained these gloomy 
views, as an entry on another page testifies : — 

Wilberforce was much harassed by letters and interviews on 
cases of conscience ; he was selected as the spiritual adviser of many 
parties. No one holds such a place in the present day ; and we may 
draw, from this fact, the pleasing inference that the number of good, 
and pious, and qualified men is very greatly increased. The revival 
of religion and activity among the clergy has furnished, to nearly all 
who may desire it, the means of spiritual edification and support ; a 
true counsellor may be found nigh at hand in a thousand localities. 

No sooner was Lord Ashley "out of Parliament ' 
than he entered on a campaign to which he had long 
looked forward, whenever he should have the leisure to 
undertake it. That campaign was a visitation of the 
slums of the Metropolis, with a view to assist the work 
of the Ragged Schools, the London City Mission, the 
Labourers' Friend Society, and other organisations for 
the welfare of the poor, and also, to institute a rigid 
examination into the dwelling-houses of the humblest 
of the working classes. 

Before we follow him in this crusade, we must 
go back a little in order to see what progress had been 
made in the development of the Ragged School system, 
and to speak of the history and operations of the 
London City Mission and also of the Labourers' Friend 

Thankful as Lord Ashley had been to have his 
attention drawn, in 1843, to the Field Lane Ragged 
School, and earnest as were his endeavours to as- 
sist the labourers there, it was clear to him, and 


to everybody who had anything to do with the poor 
of London, that no isolated efforts could affect the 
general condition of the waifs and strays of the Metro- 
polis. There were thousands of the children of the 
lowest and most ignorant classes springing up, " sturd}' 
of growth as weeds in a wheat field, and, like the latter, 
gaining daily increase of strength at the expense of the 
honest grain." They swarmed the streets ; they gam- 
boled in the gutters ; they haunted the markets in search 
of cast-away food ; they made plaj^grounds of the open 
spaces ; they lurked under porches of public buildings 
in hot and wet weather ; and they crept into stables or 
under arches for their night's lodging. They lived as 
the pariah dog lives, and were treated much in the same 
way ; everybody exclaimed against the nuisance, but 
nobody felt it to be his business to interfere. 

The first practical effort to reach these outcast " city 
Arabs," as they were called, was to lure them to the 
Ragged Schools. But these were few and far between, 
and, each having an isolated and independent existence, 
was helpless to grapple with the evil, in any degree com- 
mensurate with the need. 

It became evident, to some who were deeply in- 
terested in the matter, that the strength of these organi- 
sations would be greatly increased by union, and in 
April, 1844, the first steps were taken to institute a 
society which has done an amount of good altogether 
incalculable — the Rasped School Union — with which 
the name of Lord Shaftesbury will always be intimately 


Lord Shaftesbury was scrupulously exact in giving 
" honour to whom honour was due," and would not allow 
himself to be styled the " Founder " of a society when 
that honour was due to another. As we have seen, he 
was not the founder of Eagged Schools, nor was he the 
founder of the Easrged School Union. 

On the 11th April, 1S44, Mr. S. E. Storey, at that 
time a solicitor's clerk, invited a few Eagged School 
Teachers to meet him at his rooms, No. 17, Ampton 
Street, Gray's Inn Eoad. Only three responded : 
Messrs. Locke, woollen-draper, Moulton, dealer in 
second-hand tools, and Morrison, a City missionary ; 
an uninfluential band to a 1 appearance, and yet they 
discussed the hardest problem of that day, and came 
very near to a solution when they resolved, " That to 
give permanence, regularity, and vigour to existing 
Eagged Schools, and to promote the formation of new 
ones throughout the Metropolis, it is advisable to call 
a meeting of superintendents, teachers, and others in- 
terested in these schools, for this purpose." That was 
the first step towards the foundation of the Eagged 
School Union, and those three unknown men were the 

On the 26th April, forty superintendents and teachers 
responded to the invitation and met at the St. Giles's 
Eagged School, held in the loft of a cowshed in Streat- 
ham Street, Bloomsbury — a neighbourhood known as the 
Eookery of St. Giles's ; notorious for its filth and fever, 
its riots and immoral revels, its rickety and dirty 
dwellings, and its teeming population of the lowest of 


the low. Here this little band of Christian workers 
formed themselves into a Central Committee, and on 
the 5th of July they decided that this association of 
teachers should be called " The Eagged School Union." 
At first they were anxious to affiliate themselves to the 
London City Mission, and a formal proposition to that 
effect was made, but it was wisely declined, as the City 
Mission had, even then, more work in hand than it knew 
how to manage. Messrs. Locke and Starey were ap- 
pointed Secretaries, and requested to draw up the rules 
for the regulation of the Union. It was only for a 
comparatively short time, however, that Mr. Starey was 
able to act as Secretary, owing to business demanding 
his removal from London, when Mr. J. Gr. Gent was 
appointed to fill the vacancy, an office he has retained 
for thirty-five years. In November, six months after 
the Union was originated, Lord Ashley was asked to 
give the weight and influence of his name and personal 
assistance to this feeble and somewhat insignificant 
body of workers, by becoming President of the Union. 
He responded thus : — 

Lord Ashley to Mr. Wm. Locke. 

November, 21, 1844. 

Sir, — At the instant I had the pleasure of receiving your letter 
I was contemplating a walk to Field Lane, that I might hear what 
progress was making in your admirable undertaking. 

I shall be happy to aid you to the full extent of my power, but 
I am disposed to advise a little deliberation before we set up a 
Society with all the apparatus of a President and Patrons. T shall 
return to London, I hope, on Monday next ; it will then give me 

k 2 


pleasure to see you and hear your report. We may, I think, do 
much for these poor children. 

God be with us ! your obedient servant, 

Mr. William Locke. Ashley. 

From the time that Lord Ashley joined the move- 
ment, the Ragged School Union grew in importance and 
usefulness, and for over forty years his love for, and zeal 
in the cause never knew abatement or change. For a 
great portion of this time the Union was under the 
direction and responsibility of a Committee elected at 
each anniversary, and of an Executive consisting of 
Shaftesbury, President, Win. Locke, Hon. Sec, Joseph G. 
Gent, Secretary, whose names appeared in all public 
announcements, and on the certificates obtained by de- 
serving scholars. These are not very common names, 
and yet we find them standing in similar relative 
positions 200 years ago. 

Charleston and Carolina are names given in honour 
of our King Charles II. The city of Charleston, 
stands on a narrow slip of land, bounded on the 
north side by the Cooper River, and on the south side 
by the Ashley River. The names of these magnifi- 
cent streams, which, at their junction, form the harbour 
of Charleston, were given in honour of the first Earl 
of Shaftesbury. The greater part of America was at 
that time a wilderness, and at the disposal of King 
Charles II. By means of a Royal Charter, the King 
gave to the Earl of Shaftesbury and some others, 
the whole tract of country between the parallels of 29 


cleg, and 31 cleg. 31 mm. N. latitude, and from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific. This included an area of 500 
miles from North to South, and of 2,500 miles from 
East to West. Now comes the remarkable coincidence 
of names. Shaftesbury was the most active and able of 
the eight proprietors, aud, by agreement, undertook to 
frame a constitution for the embryo colonies, suitable to 
the period and the vastness of the territory. Assistance 
was required by him, which he obtained from the illus- 
trious Locke. The constitution drawn up contained 
120 articles, and in its day was considered a grand 
model ; but, in reducing the theory to practice, mighty 
difficulties intervened. With a view to lessen these 
difficulties, and to facilitate the working of the great 
scheme, the services of a Mr. T. A. Gent were secured. 
This gentleman visited the country, and afterwards 
brought out a volume entitled " A Complete Dis- 
covery of the State of South Carolina," which seems to 
have been eagerly caught up by the public, as three 
ships were soon sent out filled with emigrants. They 
settled at Oyster Point, as the neck of land was called, 
at the junction of Ashley and Cooper Rivers. On this 
spot they built a village which grew into a town, and, 
at length, developed into one of the strongest cities — so 
strong as to seem to be impregnable. 

Such were the labours of Shaftesbury, Locke, and 
Gent 200 years ago; and, in another sense, such were 
the labours of Shaftesbury, Locke, and Gent in recent 
times ; but " the labours of the latter trio have been 
to reclaim the moral wilderness, to purify and cultivate 


the moral wastes, and to set up spiritual fortresses that 
shall be unassailable by the great enemy." * 

The years 1844-6 were memorable in the life of Lord 
Ashley if only on the ground that they saw him pub- 
licly espousing the cause of poor ragged children and 
organising fresh efforts in their behalf. The years were 
memorable in the history of the Metropolis, for they 
saw the commencement of a series of philanthropic 
labours which were, in some measure, to improve the 
condition of the outcast poor, to check the existing evils, 
and to avert the calamities which many feared. When 
Dr. Arnold considered the state of society about this 
time, he said : — " It haunts me, I may almost say, night 
and day. It fills me with astonishment to see anti- 
slavery and missionary societies so busy with the ends 
of the earth, and yet all the worst evils of slavery and 
of heathenism are existing among ourselves. But no 
man seems so gifted, or to speak more properly, so en- 
dowed b} T God with the spirit of wisdom, as to read this 
fearful riddle truly ; which, most Sphinx-like, if not 
truly read, will most surely be the destruction of us 

all." f 

Lord Ashley had " the spirit of wisdom to read 
that fearful riddle truly." He heard, as he believed, 
the voice of Grod speaking directly to him, and he 
went forward heart and soul into Bagged-School 

A few extracts from the Diary on the subject of 

* Bagged School Union Magazine. 
t Stanley's " Life of Arnold." 


Ragged Schools will show the progress of his thought 
and action in their behalf: — 

Nov. 27th, 1845. — Last night Broadwall Infant Ragged School; 
very humble, but very useful ; well received. . . . Many Dissenters ; 
but it is high time to be thinking where we agree, not where we differ. 
Tens of thousands of untaught heathens in the heart of a Christian 
Metropolis cry aloud to God for vengeance. 

Dec. 11th. — Just come back from a tea-meeting in Jurston Street 
Sunday School, given to the ragged, half-starved, neglected children 
of the locality — a sight to thank God for ! a sight to pray Him to per- 
petuate, and extend ! 

I conceive I am acting in the spirit of the Bible and the spirit of 
the Church of England. I conceive that I am proving myself a true 
son of the Church in which I was baptised, and in which, by God's 
blessing, I will die. I am violating none of her laws, precepts, 
principles, or prayers ; none. But, if the conduct I pursue be at 
variance with the doctrines and requirements of the Established 
Church, I shall prefer to renounce communion with the Church 
to abandoning those wretched infants of oppression, infidelity, and 

March 19th, 1846. — Last night tea party at Jurston Street 
Ragged School ; in the Chair. A wondrous company on the plat- 
form ; these things are now becoming ' fashionable.' Humanity will 
soon be considered ' elegant,' ' genteel,' &c. &c. Bishop of Norwich 
came ; * a kind-hearted man, who goes, as he says, wherever he sees 
my name. Strange as it was to see a Bishop in the middle of a 
Dissenting school, surrounded by Dissenters, and supporting their 
efforts, yet it was well and usefully done. 

During the long period of Lord Shaftesbury's 
Presidency" of the Ragged School Union he was always 
in the Chair, at the annual meetings. But this was 
the least part of his work. Much of the success 

* Dr. Stanley, father of the Dean of Westminster. He was the only- 
Bishop who was ever seen on Ragged School platforms. All the others 
were, at that time, fearful of meeting Nonconformists. 


of the Eagged School movement Avas due to the public 
meetings which were held in a great number of 
churches and chapels and halls in London and in 
the large towns. At these meetings Lord Ashley 
took the Chair on innumerable occasions, and in short, 
pithy addresses set forth the claims of the poor. More 
important still were the quarterly meetings of dele- 
gates from the Metropolitan Eagged Schools, at which 
he always presided, when every conceivable topic that 
could assist the teachers *in practically carrying on the 
work was discussed, new plans were formed, and pro- 
gress was reported. A merely cursory glance through 
the 30 volumes of the Ragged School Union Magazine 
and Quarterly Records will give some idea of the stu- 
pendous amount of work undertaken by him in this 
movement, but even a close study of those volumes will 
not give a full conception of what he wrought. For 
many years the ragged children of London were rarely 
out of his thoughts waking or sleeping ; he visited them 
in their wretched homes, he saw them at their daily 
work, he sat beside them in their schools, he let them 
come to his house to tell him their troubles ; he pleaded 
for them in religious and political assemblies ; he carried 
their cause into the House of Commons and into the 
House of Lords ; he interested the whole country in 
their welfare, and, as we shall see, he achieved wonderful 
results in their behalf. 

The London City Mission had been established 
by David Nasmith, who had already set on foot simi- 
lar institutions in Glasgow, Dublin, New York, and 


elsewhere. It was in a room of his little house in 
Canning Terrace, on the bank of the Regent's Canal, 
on May 16, 1835, that he met two of his friends by 
appointment, and the story of their interview is recorded 
by him in these simple words : " After prayer we 
three founded the London City Mission, adopted our 
constitution, assigned offices to each other, and after 
laying the infant mission before the Lord, desiring that 
He would nurse and bless it, and make it a blessing 
to tens of thousands, we adjourned." 

Such was the origin of one of the most admirable 
and valuable institutions of our time, and one that has 
been the means of conveying temporal and spiritual 
good to untold myriads. 

Although Lord Ashley's name appears for the first 
time on the records of that Society towards the end of 
1845, he had, immediately after his discovery of the 
existence of Ragged Schools, been in communication 
with it, and henceforth, in all his labours on behalf of 
the poor, he was to be indebted to the aid of the 
London City Mission, as it, in turn, was to be indebted 
to him. 

How best to improve the condition of the labouring 
population of the country, was a question which he had 
long- been revolving: in his mind and which had demanded 
a large share of his energies. While recognising the 
value of every agency for bringing about the physical 
and moral elevation of the people, he was more and 
more convinced, as his knowledge and experience of 
their actual state increased, that it was utterly futile to 


attempt to educate and raise the masses unless at the 
same time they were provided with decent homes. 

Already he had stood forth as the pioneer of the 
great question which, in after years, was to become so 
conspicuous a feature of his labours — the Housing of 
the Poor. 

In 1842 he had assisted in founding what was then 
known as the " Labourers' Friend Society," but was 
afterwards named the " Society for Improving the Con- 
dition of the Labouring Classes," the object of which 
was, not to accommodate the people on a large scale — 
such an undertaking would have been far beyond the 
power of a simple Committee — but to ventilate the whole 
question, and to keep in view the erection of Model 
Dwellings for all the varieties and grades of industrial 
life, and to show, in the buildings it would raise, what 
was necessary for the comfort and health and decency 
of the inmates, and also the lowest cost at which the 
structures could be provided and the rents imposed, con- 
sistently with a moderate though fair return of interest 
on the capital expended. It had also another object in 
view ; it wished to prove that in such amelioration " the 
moral were almost equal to the physical benefits ; and 
that, although numbers would decline or abuse the boon 
extended to them, many would accept it joyfully and 
turn it to good account." * 

At first, Lord Ashley met with scant success in his 
labours in this direction, but once having put his hand 
to the plough, he was not the man to look back. The 

* Article by Lord Shaftesbury in Nineteenth Century, xiv., p. 934. 


time had not yet come for him to make any great 
public stir in the matter, but meanwhile he never lost 
an opportunity, of advocating the need of better dwell- 
ings for the poor. 

In 1844 the first public meeting of the Society for 
the Improvement of the Labouring Classes was held at 
Willis's Eooms, and an influential company supported 
Lord Ashley in the chair. He vigorously exposed the 
lamentable state of affairs, in regard to the shameful 
dwellings in which the poor were compelled to live, and 
urged that if the Society thus inaugurated, only did the 
work that lay before it, it might, by strong representa- 
tions to the Government, produce most beneficial results. 
"Unite all your efforts," he said, "for this one great 
object ; give it a fair trial ; be not discouraged by argu- 
ments, however specious, and failure is impossible. Soon 
you will see dawn, great moral, social, and political bless- 
ings for those who are the noblest material God ever gave 
a nation — the working classes of this country." 

This appeal went far and wide, and one of the first 
to respond to it was the Prince Consort, who, in the 
following July, was graciously pleased to accept the 
office of President of the Society. 

Now the time had come when, owing to the cessa- 
tion of his Parliamentary duties, Lord Ashley had that 
leisure for labour which he had long coveted, and, as we 
have said, he determined to devote it to visiting the 
homes and haunts of the poor in the Metropolis. He 
chose for his companions a medical man, and one of the 
missionaries of the London City Mission. 


There were two objects lie had specially in view in 
the perambulations he was about to undertake ; first, to 
explore the unknown parts of London and to see for 
himself the lanes and alleys, and more particularly the 
houses, in which the poorest of the poor and the lowest 
of the low dwelt ; and next, to bring himself into per- 
sonal contact with the people, so that he might better 
understand their thoughts and habits, and qualify him- 
self to grapple with their need. 

Such a mission needed no ordinary man, and Lord 
Ashley brought to it no ordinary gifts. Let any one who 
thinks it an easy task to win the confidence of the poor 
and the outcast ; to speak words to them that shall draw 
out their real thoughts and feelings ; to seek to benefit 
without patronising ; to give counsel without preach- 
ing ; to preserve his own dignity amid the rough and 
lawless, without placing any barrier to mutual approach ; 
withal, to enter the abodes of filth and wretchedness, 
where every sense sickens, and yet to appear at home, 
and at ease ; let any one try the experiment, and then — 
and not till then — the difficulty will be apparent. 

Lord Ashley could do all this as few other men 
could. He saw in the miserable creatures before him, 
not thieves and vagabonds and reprobates, but men with 
immortal souls that might be saved, and with human 
lives that might be redeemed from their corruption. In 
the woman with unkempt hair and tattered garments, 
he saw, not the abandoned harlot, but the " woman 
that was a sinner," who might yet be brought to the 
feet of Him who would say to her, in the tenderest 


of all human accents, " Go, and sin no more." But the 
whole heart of Lord Ashley went out to little children ; 
he grieved over their past neglect, their present lack of 
opportunity ; and he yearned over their future. It is 
no exaggeration to say that, in the whole course of his 
life, he hardly ever passed a ragged child in the street 
without the desire to stop and talk to it. Morning, 
noon, and night, the welfare of the uncared-for and the 
unthought-of children weighed upon his heart, and he 
looked upon any day as lost in which he did not do 
something, however little it might he, to make the 
weariness of their lives less weary and their sadness 
less sad. The words of the Master were ever ringing in 
his ears — " Feed My lambs." 

He possessed, in perfection, the art of speaking to 
children, and few men ever spoke to them with greater 
effect ; not because he was a " lord," nor because he 
brought sensible benefits wherever he went, but because 
lie could lay hold of the heart of a child, and soothe 
it with gentle words, and because the accent, the tone, 
the smile, the whole bearing of the man, impressed even 
little children with the fact that he was intensely in 
earnest. No man ever received greater encouragement 
from visible results. Year after year he had seen the 
law of kindness produce the most wonderful effects 
on the minds of the wildest, the rawest, the most 
ungovernable children ; often he had seen the heart 
melted, for the first time, by the language of sympathy 
and of love ; often his voice had been like the voice 
of God speaking to the heart of a child. It was 


always through the children that he hoped to win the 
parents. As the shepherd, with refractory sheep, will 
carry the lambs into the fold, certain that eventually the 
sheep will follow, so his efforts were mainly directed to 
reaching the children and to putting them in places 
of safety, as the surest means of alluring their parents 
thither. Wherever Lord Ashley went, during these 
perambulations, the people clustered round him in groups, 
and received him with respect. And it may be remarked 
here that, throughout his life, although he went freely 
among vagrants, paupers, harlots, drunkards, thieves 
and criminals of all kinds, the refuse of society, he 
never, on any one occasion, or in any circumstance, 
received an insult. Everywhere the people were 
grateful to him for the interest he took in their con- 
dition, and, in the large majority of cases, answered 
freel} r the questions he put to them. 

Bad as he had expected to find certain quarters of 
the Metropolis, the actual state of things was a thousand- 
fold worse than he had conceived possible. He found, 
in some cases, hundreds of human beings — equal to the 
population of a whole village — compressed and hidden 
in a dozen small and wretched houses packed in a court, 
the houses and court occupying less than the area of a 
good-sized barn, or a village church, or a moderate-sized 
emigrant ship. He saw how the people became liable 
to disease ; why contagious maladies were not only bred 
and extended, but likewise why they clung to these 
places. He saw how utterly impossible it was for 
the physician to minister in them with any degree of 


satisfaction or success, for everywhere the drainage was 
bad, the ventilation worse, and the light of heaven 
almost excluded. He saw, too, that nature was at- 
tempting to do her part towards that which sanitary 
reformers recommended: she was attempting to reduce 
the number of inhabitants, by commissioning fever, 
scrofula, and other diseases, to slay them. 

One of the things that appears to have struck 
him with great force, and to have strongly laid hold 
of his imagination, was the terrible injustice involved 
in the want of sufficient accommodation. He found 
that in a large number of instances, it was not ex- 
treme poverty that had driven the inhabitants into 
these dreadful dens — as they were earning what, with 
proper management, might be called a decent living — 
but the exorbitant prices charged for accommodation. 
There were few house-rents so extravagantly high as 
those paid by the veriest outcasts of our streets. The 
tenant of a mansion paid a lower nightly rent, in pro- 
portion to the space he occupied, and the cubic feet of 
air he breathed, than did the miserable urchin who spent 
his two or three pence for permission to stow himself 
under a bed of a low lodging-house filled to suffocation 
by the most abandoned of all ages — one of the twenty 
or thirty inmates of a space not large enough for the 
accommodation of more than two or three. 

It was necessary to the purpose Lord Ashley had 
in view, that publicity should be given to this state 
of things ; and on the 22nd of May we find him at 
a meeting of the " Society for Improving the Condition 


of the Working Classes," held at the Hanover Square 
Eooms, bringing the subject before an influential 
audience as vividly as it could be brought. " I do not," 
he said, " speak merely from book ; I do not speak 
merely from the accounts that have been given me ; 
because I have, not onfv in past years, but during the 
present year (having, from certain circumstances, rather 
more leisure than I formerly had) devoted a very con- 
siderable number of hours, day by day, to going over 
some of the worst localities in various parts of this great 
Metropolis." He startled his audience by some of the 
revelations he made, of rooms " so foul and so dark that 
they were exposed to every physical mischief that can 
beset the human frame " — so foul that when a physician, 
habituated to enter such places, visited them, he was 
obliged to write his prescription outside the door ; of 
courts and alleys thronged with a dense and most im- 
moral population of every caste and grade of character, 
but almost every one of them defiled by perpetual habits 
of intoxication, and living amid riot and blasphemy, 
noise, tumult, and indecency. 

It was not enough, however, to state the evil ; active 
practical steps must be taken to meet it, and Lord Ashley 
announced that it was the intention of the Society, if 
funds were forthcoming, to erect in the heart of the 
parish of St. Giles's a Model Lodging-House — a house 
where a young man coming up from the country for the 
first time, or others who wished to live in a place where 
some, at least, of the decencies of life were observed, 
might find a place of retirement and shelter at a 

1846.] THE BAGGED RACE. 161 

moderate rent. This was the germ of that great Model 
Lodging-House system, which has now sprung up in 
the neighbourhoods once occupied by reeking courts 
and alleys. 

Not by lip only, but by pen also, Lord Ashley 
turned to good account the results of his perambula- 
tions. In the Quarterly Review for December, there 
appeared a startlingly graphic article from his pen, on 
" Eagged Schools," in which he gave the results of his 
own observations of the habits of the clientele of those 
schools, founded upon his recent visitations. He says : — ■ 

It is a curious race of beings that these philanthropists have 
taken in hand. Every one who walks the streets of the Metropolis 
must daily observe several members of the tribe — bold, and pert, and 
dirty as London sparrows, but pale, feeble, and sadly inferior to them 
in plumpness of outline. Their business, or pretended business, 
seems to vary with the locality. At the West End they deal in 
lucifer matches, audaciously beg, or tell a touching tale of woe. Pass 
on to the central parts of the town, to Holborn or the Strand, and 
the regions adjacent to them, and you will there find the numbers 
greatly increased ; a few are pursuing the avocations above mentioned 
of their more Corinthian fellows ; many are spanning the gutters 
with their legs, and dabbling with earnestness in the latest accumula- 
tion of nastiness ; while others, in squalid and half-naked groups, 
squat at the entrances of the narrow, fetid courts and alleys that lie 
concealed behind the deceptive frontages of our larger thoroughfares. 
Whitechapel and Spitalfields teem with them like an ants' nest; but 
it is in Lambeth and in Westminster that we find the most flagrant 
traces of their swarming activity. There the foul and dismal pas- 
sages are thronged with children of both sexes, and of every age from 
three to thirteen. Though wan and haggard, they are singularly 
vivacious, and engaged in every sort of occupation but that which 
would be beneficial to themselves and creditable to the neighbour- 
hood. Their appearance is wild ; the matted hair, the disgusting 
filth that renders necessary a closer inspection before the flesh can be 


discerned between the rags which hang about it ; and the barbarian 
freedom from all superintendence and restraint, fill the mind of a 
novice in these things with perplexity and dismay. Visit these 
regions in the summer, and you are overwhelmed by the exhala- 
tions ; visit them in the winter, and you are shocked by the spectacle 
of hundreds shivering in apparel that would be scanty in the tropics; 
many are all but naked ; those that are clothed are grotesque ; the 
trousers, where they have them, seldom pass the knee ; the tail-coats 
very frequently trail below the heels. In this guise they run about 
the streets, and line the banks of the river at low water, seeking 
coals, sticks, corks, for nothing comes amiss as treasure-trove ; 
screams of delight burst occasionally from the crowds, and leave the 
passer-by, if he be in a contemplative mood, to wonder and to rejoice 
that moral and physical degradation have not yet broken every 
spring of their youthful energies. 

Of these nondescripts he is tempted to have eccen- 
tric doubts. " They look not like the inhabitants o' the 
earth, and yet are on't," and so he proceeds to investi- 
gate their natural history, their haunts, their habits, 
their idiosyncrasy, their points of resemblance to the 
rest of mankind, and the part they sustain in the great 
purpose of creation. This brings him, first, to their 
dwellings : — 

Many a weary and pestilential search, and many a sick head- 
ache, will prove to the disgusted inquirer that a large proportion of 
those who dwell in the capital of the Britisli Empire, are crammed 
into regions of filth and darkness, the ancient but not solitary reign 
of newts and toads. Here are the receptacles of the species we inves- 
tigate ; here they are spawned, and here they perish ! Can their state 
be a matter of wonder 1 We have penetrated alleys terminating in 
a cul-de-sac, long and narrow like a tobacco-pipe, where air and sun- 
shine were never known. On one side rose walls several feet in 
height, blackened with damp and slime ; on the other side stood the 
dwellings, still more revolting, while the breadth of the wet and 
bestrewed passage would by no means allow us the full expansion of 

1846.] AMONG THE POOR. 163 

our arms. We have waited at the entrance of another of similar 
character and dimensions, but forbidden, by the force and pungency 
of the odours, to examine its recesses. The novelty of a visit from 
persons clad like gentlemen, gave the hope that Ave were officials ; 
and several women, haggard, rough, and exasperated, surrounded us 
at once, imploring us to order the removal of the filth which had 
poisoned their tenements, and to grant them a supply of water, from 
which they had been debarred during many days. Pass to another 
district ; you may think it less confined, but there you will see 
flowing before each hovel, and within a few feet of it, a broad, black, 
uncovered drain, exhaling at every point the most unwholesome 
vapours. If there be not a drain, there is a stagnant pool ; touch 
either with your stick, and the mephitic mass will yield up its 
poisonous gas like the coruscations of soda-water. 

He draws a melancholy picture of children sitting in 
these depositories of death, in a silence broken only by 
an irritated scold or a pugnacious drunkard, their dis- 
coloured faces and shrivelled forms recalling the living 
skeletons of the Pontine Marshes. Nor are the interiors 
more inviting : — 

The interior of the dwellings is in strict keeping ; the smaller 
space of the apartments increasing, of course, the evils that prevail 
without — damp, darkness, dirt, and foul air. Many are wholly 
destitute of furniture ; many contain nothing except a table and a 
chair ; some few have a common bed for all ages and both sexes ; 
but a large proportion of the denizens of those regions lie on a heap 
of rags more nasty than the floor itself. Happy is the family that 
can boast of a single room to itself, and in that room a dry corner. 

These people, although all may not admit the 
necessity, have a conviction that they must live ; and 
Lord Ashley proceeds to describe their modes and habits 
of life, their business and amusements. And then, 
having thoroughly aroused intense interest in the waifs 
/ 2 



and strays of London, he plunges into a description of 
what Kagged Schools are doing to meet the need of 
these neglected creatures : — 

Ladies and gentlemen who walk in purple and fine linen, and 
fare sumptuously every day, can form no adequate idea of the pain 
and the toil which the founders and conductors of these schools have 
joyfully sustained in their simple and fervent piety. Surrendering 
nearly the whole of the Sabbath, their only day of rest, and often, 
after many hours of toil, giving, besides, an evening in the week, 
they have plunged into the foulest localities, fetid apartments, and 
harassing duties. We have heard of school-rooms so closely packed 
that three lads have sat in the fireplace, one on each hob, and the 
third in the grate with his head up the chimney ; and frequent are 
the occasions on which the female teachers have returned to their 
homes, covered with the vermin of their tattered pupils. All this 
they have done, and still do, in the genuine spirit of Christian 
charity, without the hope of recompense, of money, or of fame- — it 
staggers at first our belief, but nevertheless it is true ; and many a 
Sunday-school teacher, thus poor and zealous, will rise up in judg- 
ment with lazy ecclesiastics, boisterous sectarians, and self-seeking 

Then, with that thorough mastery of detail which 
distinguished all his efforts, he quotes the statistics of 
crime — a terrible revelation of the state of society in 
those days — and he says : — 

Here is subject - matter enough for the sentimental, for spare 
teai-s, and wandering sympathies ! Those who, amidst the enjoy- 
ments of existence, seek the luxury of woe in a poem or a romance 
may learn that the realities of life are more touching than fiction ; 
and the practical alleviation of sorrow, quite as delightful as the 
happy conclusion of a novel. 

He narrates some of the successes of those who have 
engraved in the work of rescue, and concludes : — 


We are often met with the interrogatory — ' What will you do 
with these children when you have educated them ? ' A reply may 
partly be found in the statements already given ; but question for 
question — ' What will you do with them if you neglect to educate 
them ] ' They are not soap-bubbles, or peach-blossoms— things that 
can be puffed away by the breath of a suckling ; they are the seeds 
of future generations ; and the wheat or tares will predominate, as 
Christian principle or ignorant selfishness shall, hereafter, govern 
our conduct. We must cease, if we would be safe, to trust in measures 
of coercion and chastisement for our juvenile vagrants ; they are not 
too many to be educated as infants ; they are far too many to be 
punished as adults. We must entertain higher thoughts for them 
and for England, and, witli a just appreciation of their rights and our 
own duties, not only help them, by God's blessing, from these depths 
of degradation, but raise them to a level on which they may run the 
course that is set before them, as citizens of the British Empire, and 
heirs of a glorious immortality. 

This admirable article was the means of giving a 
great impetus to Bagged School work. It was the talk 
of the town ; people ran wild about it ; extracts were 
inserted in all the papers ; and innumerable people made 
applications to be taken to see the Ragged Schools. 

Lord Ashley was greatly amused one day at hearing 
two men discussing the article. 

" I believe it was written by Lord Ashley," said 

" I don't think so, because his name isn't mentioned, 
and it isn't like his style." 

" Those are the very reasons that make me think 
he wrote it," was the answer. 

A few extracts from his Diary will show how com- 
pletely absorbed Lord Ashley was in the beneficent 
work in which he was engaged : — 



April 28th. — St. Giles's. This is my birthday. I am this clay 
45 years old. Praised be the Lord that hath feci me all my life long 
until this day. . . Starting for London, though clay be tempting 
here, to take Chair at Ragged School as a sort of thankful offering 
and appropriate duty. 

May 29th. — Dined yesterday with . . . The courtesies of life 
and ancient friendship demanded it. A splendid display of luxury 
and grandeur, yet unsatisfactory. The contrast so great to the places 
where I have passed so many hours lately, that I felt almost uneasy. 
The few pounds, too, that I want, and shall not obtain, for the esta- 
blishment of Eagged Schools, seemed wasted in every dish. All this 
is very well, according to their wealth and station, now and then ; but 
the crumbs which fall from their table are in scanty proportion to 
the number and abundance of their feasts. A greater simplicity, 
however, even in permitted things, would be more beneficial to the 
poor, to society, and to themselves. A life so led rivets 'the world 
in the heart ; ' and all the externals of good humour, pious language, 
and occasional charities, &c, etc., only contribute a hollow and de- 
lusive sanction to that system of things which the individuals, and 
the world at large, have pre-determined to be right, because they 
know it to be pleasant. . . . 

May 31st. — Whitsunday. Broadlands Day beautiful. 

Lose early, and went out, like Wilberforce, to make the field my 
oratory ; but the prayers of the birds, and of all animated nature, had 
more, no doubt, of sincerity and less of murmuring than mine. We 
know well what we dislike and deplore ; but little do we know or 
consider for what we ought to be thankful. I wish that every one 
would daily and hourly set before his eyes, and confess, his sin and 
the sin of his people : what we have received and done as individuals 
and as a nation ; what we have left undone ; what, in the despite of 
God's long-suffering, we persist in leaving undone ; our hopes and 
fears ; our loves and hates ; our enormous wealth, and still more 
enormous covetousness ; the cry of the poor, and the sensuality of 
the rich ; and then, if there be but the smallest spark of grace in the 
soul, we shall, one and all, exclaim with Job, ' Wherefore I abhor 
myself, and repent in dust and ashes.' 

June 8th. — Went to Lambeth on Ragged-School business; called 
on a poor Irishwoman whose husband had just committed suicide; 
bought, alas ! a ' pledge medal ' from the widow of a man who had 


hung himself in a fit of intoxication ! Took a short walk afterwards 
in Park with my sweet Mary and the baby; dear Evelyn accom- 
panied me. May God be praised. 01), if some Dives would give me 
two or thi'ee hundred pounds, the price of a picture or a horse, I 
could set up schools to educate six hundred wretched children ! . . . 

June 12th. — I am now begging for four objects — circulars out 
upon each. God give me, first wisdom, and then success ! Busy 
in founding a Ragged School ; peculiar evils require peculiar remedies. 
The natural history of these singular children cannot be read in any 
page of the natural history of man ; they are things sui generis, 
nondescripts, unknown or uncared for, yet sharp enough for any 
mischief, and in numbers enough to cause any danger. God 
has made them immortal beings, and no system will receive His 
blessing that does not recognise their equality with ourselves. Alas ! 
alas ! I can set up a school which shall give education every evening 
to 280 children for £58 a year — hardly more than it costs to prose- 
cute one criminal — and yet I can barely collect the sum ! 

The labours of Lord Ashley were all -consuming. 
His time was so broken to pieces by small details, public 
and private, that if, perchance, he had a quarter of an 
hour to spare, he hardly knew what to do with it ; so 
many things offered themselves, that the period was 
exhausted in making the selection. For a long time he 
was only able to get through one book, of which he 
writes : — 

June ICth. — Have crawled by degrees through a very entertaining 
Life, by Tytler, of Sir W. Raleigh. Energy, genius, speculative and 
practical knowledge of all kinds, unlimited courage and perseverance, 
promptitude at every moment, and adaptation to every circumstance. 
What a chequered life ! what an unhappy close ! Indignation and 
contempt towards that despicable reptile of the human race, James I., 
are impotent ; but I feel them as though he stood before me. As 
dreams may be urged as an argument in favour of the immortality 
of the soul, so may this sense of injustice, perpetrated whole centuries 
ago, be maintained as a proof of final retribution ! 


Lord Ashley could not but think with some anxiety 
of the future, and ask himself the question, whether 
he should ever return to Parliament. Useful as his 
present labours were, he felt himself " like a man at 
sea without a rudder." He was constantly moving on, 
but not to the point he desired. He was collecting 
facts, examining evidence, and instituting inquiries, 
none of which he could turn to account as he wished. 
He felt that there was "no attraction or compensation 
in the study of human misery and degradation, except 
in the prospect of abating them," and in order to do 
this, he must be back again in Parliament. 

At length the future shaped itself to him with some 
distinctness, and he wrote : — 

June 1st. — I assume, if the Lord will, that I shall return very 
speedily to the House of Commons. What, then, shall I do? I 
must throw aside many questions in which I take a deep and glowing 
interest, because I have neither time nor strength for them all — 
Ireland, India, the Colonies. There is no likelihood that I shall be 
called to official life, and the study of them, therefore, is not alto- 
gether necessary. I have no party nor following, nor should I find 
support anywhere to my peculiar opinions on these heads ; I should 
be individualised, and reduced to a single unit. I am somewhat 
differently situated, however, in respect to my especial questions; 
and to them, therefore, I must confine ' les restes d'une voix qui 
tombe, et d'une ardeur qui s'eteint.' 

From these I shall select some three or four, such as I may hope 
to compass in either an equal, or less, number of years ; and what a 
blessed thing could I hear the word spoken to Joshua : ' The Lord 
thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest ' ! 

I will take, first, the long-agitated, much-desired, and most blessed 
Ten Hours Bill ; this, with a Parliamentary effort in behalf of the 
' Ea<rtred Children,' will constitute the work of next Session. I will 
then proceed with Church Eeform, a reform that shall restore it to 


the scheme of Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, and revive, if possible, 
the primitive examples ; and the last that I dare to contemplate will 
open a series of exertions to aid, spiritually and physically, the op- 
pressed, forsaken, and heathen children described and reported on by 
my Commission of 1840 — a vast and foul mass, which our avarice has 
engendered, and our luxurious ignorance overlooks, and increases, 
and perpetuates. ' "Who is sufficient for these things?' Not I alone, 
but any one, if God be with him. And, now, O God, the Father of 
the forsaken, the help of the weak, the supplier of the needy, who 
hast diffused and proportioned Thy gifts to body and soul, in such 
sort that all may acknowledge and perform the joyous duty of 
mutual service ; who teachest us that love towards the race of man 
is the bond of perfectness, and the imitation of Thy blessed self : 
open our eyes and touch our hearts, that we may see and do, both 
for this world and for that which is to come, the things which belong 
unto our peace. Strengthen me in the work that I have now under- 
taken ; give me counsel and wisdom, perseverance, faith, and zeal, 
and in Thine own good time, and according to Thy pleasure, prosper 
the issue. But, Lord, pour into me a spirit of humility and fear ; 
let nothing be done in a vain and wicked notion of righteousness and 
merit, but in devout obedience to Thy will, thankfulness for Thine 
unspeakable mercies, and love to Thine adorable Son, Christ Jesus, 
with a constant and hearty confession of sin and unworthiness, and 
everlasting hope through His merits alone, our only Redeemer and 

June 3rd. — Another object I have, but I can leave the special 
conduct of it to others, because societies are formed and joint-stock 
companies on foot ; slow, it is true, and not very sure, but neverthe- 
less in action — the health of towns and dwellings, of all 'physical 
questions the most important by far, and exercising a terrible 
influence on things spiritual. 

In religious circles there was an almost restless 
activity ; many important movements were beginning 
to strike root, and, to employ a Scriptural metaphor, 
often used by Lord Ashley to denote the early 
indications of new life in religious work, there was 


"the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry 

Never was there a time when religion was brought 
more prominently forward, and public prayer more 
largely attended. To Lord Ashley this did not sug- 
gest relaxation of effort ; on the contrary, he felt it 
was an hour in which every oue should be up and doing, 
and he himself came forward more than ever into the 
forefront of the battle. In speaking of the religious 
aspect of the times at the meeting of the Pastoral Aid 
Society, he said : " Certain it is that wherever there is an 
advance towards God, there is always a proportionate, 
perhaps a greater, advance towards evil, such is the 
activity of the Wicked One ; and you will never be able 
to ascertain until the day of conflict and decision shall 
have arrived, on which side is the preponderance of 
power. Our exertions, therefore, are more than ever 
needed." It was in this year that Lord Ashley became 
officially connected with the British and Foreign Bible 
Society as Vice-President — that Society which, in his 
3'outh, he had been taught to regard as revolutionary, 
and as undermining the foundations of Church and 
State ! A few years later he became its President, and, 
until the close of his life, he never ceased to take the 
deepest interest in its operations. 

Two other movements, of which more will have to 
be said hereafter, are referred to for the first time in 
his Diaries, in this year. 

Feb. 28th. — Night before last took chair at 'Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association.' Four hundred persons to tea, a very striking 


scene — young shopmen, with their mothers and sisters, attending 
really in a religious spirit. Last night presided in Covent Garden 
Theatre at Anniversary of Metropolitan Drapers' Association for 
early closing of shops. Both these Societies have their origin in the 
Ten Hours movement. 

The death of Bishop Alexander of Jerusalem, had 
been a terrible blow to the friends of the enterprise 
he inaugurated. He seemed to have been a man with 
the special gifts and graces essential to the trust 
reposed in him. His own zeal helped to keep alive the 
zeal of those who, full of hope for Israel, lived in an- 
ticipation that the hour for their restoration to their 
own land would speedily arrive. The death of the 
Bishop, cut off in the midst of his labours, when 
engaged in his first episcopal visitation of the darkened 
kingdom of Egypt, threw a gloom over these hopes, 
which, as the years rolled on, were never again revived 
in the same intensity. 

According to the terms of the arrangement made on 
the foundation of the bishopric, it was now the turn of 
the King of Prussia to appoint a successor to the See 
of Jerusalem. He selected Dr. Gobat, of the Church 
Missionary Society, a German by nationality, who was 
duly appointed, and retained his episcopate for thirty- 
three years. He was a man of high character and 
principle — an excellent man in every respect. Unfor- 
tunately, however, he was not without enemies, and, 
prior to his consecration, Lord Ashley had to defend 
him from some odium and calumny. He believed in 
the man thoroughly, and, throughout his career, gave 


him hearty and persevering support in the difficult 
position in which he was placed. Notwithstanding 
opposition, Dr. Gobat's influence was felt throughout the 
countries over which his jurisdiction extended, and 
many abiding works have been left behind as memorials 
of his labours. As the years went by, other difficulties 
and dissensions arose ; the bishopric did not answer the 
expectations formed of it ; Jerusalem showed no signs 
of being " a city at unity with itself," and the saying 
of Newman, " I have never heard of any good or harm 
that bishopric has ever done," was bandied about until, 
at last, it was endorsed even by some of those who in 
1844 were most enthusiastic in its favour. 

July 5th, Sunday. — Attended to-day consecration of Gobat as 
Bishop of Jerusalem at Lambeth ! a deeply interesting ceremonial ! 
and God be praised that it is now accomplished ; but may it in the 
Lord's mercy be the beginning of a new series of Gospel doings in 
England and the East ! may it tend to hasten the Second and glorious 
Advent ! 

On the 7th of July, Lord and Lady Ashley, accom- 
panied by their four sons, started on a tour in Swit- 
zerland in quest of health and repose. There were 
important reasons why — " at this season, in a time of 
great interest, of changing government, of schemes of 
his own, of Commissions in Lunacy, and sittings on 
the Malta College " — Lord Ashley should leave London. 
It was, however, contrary to his own wishes, and 
throughout the journey he was depressed and harassed 
by the claims of his many conflicting duties. " I 
am not very full of agreeable anticipations," he writes ; 

1846.] IX BELGIUM. 173 

" a little low-spirited. My heart returns to my objects 
in public life." 

From his ample Diary we shall only quote very 
briefly. The first halting-place on the journey was at 

. . . Went to seethe Church of the Beguines. . . I cannot get over 
these Beguines ; they seem to be the ' ne plus ultra ' of uselessness. 
What purpose do they serve, 750 of them, beyond making a sight 
for curious foreigners, materials for a handbook, and aids to a 
rhapsody ! Doubtless, the first view of the church was singular and, 
to a certain extent, impressive, but only from its novelty. The large 
white covering on the head of each gave an appearance as if the 
church were studded with pigmy tents, but then the silence of the 
assembly, and the attitude of prayer, struck the imagination, until 
the bursting of the organ into something like a jig, after a few notes 
of more reverential music, raised the eyes to the figure of the 
Virgin, the great object of their adoration, a doll of about two 
feet in height and figged out in a pink court-dress ! 

There is evidence in the Diary that, to Lord Ashley, 
the first few days of the tour were full of irritation 
and unrest. The cares and anxieties which had 
thickened around him of late, had left their impres- 
sion ; he was out of health, and jaded in body and mind. 

The first real relief came to him, as it came in old 
time to the Psalmist, " in the sanctuary of God." 

Sunday. — -Attended service. An unknown man preached a 
sermon from the text, ' Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou 
shalt find it after many days.' He proceeded to enlarge on the hopes 
and duties of perseverance — never to be weary in well-doing, to 
banish despair, or even despondency, in the pursuit of things tending 
to the honour of God and the welfare of mankind. He directed his 
discourse specially to ministers with cure of souls ; to philanthropists, 
and to pai'ents. His observations were just, true, and affectionate; 


he dwelt more particularly on the cares, anxieties, and disappoint- 
ments of parents, and showed that they were seldom, if ever, without 
their fruit at the last ; he considered their labours and their prayers 
as seed which might lie long before it sprang, and still longer before 
the harvest, but he held it to be nearly sure, as the fulfilment of a 
Divine promise. His entire discourse seemed a special message to 
my doubts and apprehensions, a spur to my discouragements, a balm 
to my failures, a word of exhortation to invigorate the mind into 
which I had fallen during the last few days ! Blessed be His name ! 

At Carlsruhe, " built like a fan, of which the streets 
are the ribs, and the tower from which you see it the 
bulb," he enjoyed the forest scenery, and pronounced 
his rest there to be " good, very good." 

July 16th. . . . Baden. Certainly, it is a lovely spot ; nothing 
is common, nothing is without its point. The undulating hills all 
around, clad with the deep, close velvet of the Black Forest, keep the 
place at all times in a dress of state. But I am sure that it shares 
the climate of Aix and Carlsbad, and, clown in its luscious valleys, 
would suck out every energy of mind and body. Ascended hill in a 
carriage to view Alte Schloss. . . . When one stands on the pinnacle 
of these remnants of former days, and surveys, even to giddiness, the 
terrible abyss below, the almost unassailable strength of the fortress, 
and endeavours to estimate the vice and violence against which these 
preparations were made, and the sorrows and fears their inmates 
must have often endured — first one heartily, aye most heartily, blesses 
God that our lot is cast in a milder and a better age ; and then one 
proceeds to sympathise with those victims of robbery and murder, 
who, to flee from power, had made their nest in a rock. All this 
sentiment continues in full force itntil you descend to the Neue 
Schloss below, and there inspect the distressing dungeons and all the 
various inventions and appliances of incarceration and torture. These 
scoundrels inflicted as much as they suffered ; it was defect of means, 
not excess of compassion, that restrained their hands ; the wretch 
that screamed on the rack, or pined in the oubliette, had forecast 
the same for the monster that thrust him in. These things, although 
memorials of events long passed, turn me quite sick. I felt the same 

1846.] GERMAN LIFE. 175 

at Ratisbon three years ago ; I felt it here. Aye, well may we say 
with David, ' Let me fall into the hands of God, and not into the 
hands of men ! ' 

July 17th. — Read one of the 'Tales of the Genii' to the kids, 
making such verbal alterations and omissions as propriety required. 
Works of fiction may be read in moderation with considerable 
effect ; and specially such as these, where there is always a high tone 
of morality and sentiment. The author, by a hazardous attempt to 
render, by his descriptions, the indulgence of the passions odious, has 
excited thoughts which should ever be suppressed. The best way to 
avoid sin is not to know it ; the knowledge of evil brought in both 
the practice and the love thereof. 

July 18th. . . . These Gemians lead an easy, sensual, sleepy life 
of placid and noiseless current. It is wonderful that creatures of such 
a vegetative habit should have produced, and should still be pro- 
ducing, men and things of so high an order. Intellectually they are 
very great ; were they physically equal in their energies to the 
British people there would be nothing on earth to compare with 
them — but it is not so. One Englishman will perform his work in 
half the time that it takes two Germans to consider it, and whether 
it be the stoker of a steam-boat, a banker's clerk, or a commissioner 
of police, or a gentleman at dinner, the British nation will save both 
time and trouble. Surely their mode of life in the present day, their 
constant and friendly intercourse, their tranquil smoking, their baths, 
their gardens, their naps, their mid-day retirement, are a wonderful 
contrast to the savage conflict, the uproarious festivals, the dirt, the 
prisons, and the everlasting watchfulness against danger, of the 
Middle Ages. 

Between Kehl and Strasburg, with " the air de- 
licious, the tints on the mountains deep and rich, the 
snug and picturesque cottages embosomed in trees, the 
agreeable costume of the peasantry," there was sufficient 
to " have furnished a hundred thoughts to verse-makers 
and lovers." 

In Strasburg a visit was paid to the grand monu- 
ment of Marshal Saxe. 


The piece of sculpture has made a great noise in Europe.* I 
confess that, greatly as I admired many parts of it, the figure of the 
Marshal made me laugh. He looks like a principal singer coming 
forward to the lamps at the theatre to give us a popular air ; all 
smiles and self-possession. The female figure is unequalled, and 
there is much original genius and execution in the figure of Death. 
As for the British lion, the Dutch bear, and the sentimental Her- 
cules, they are good, but irresistibly comic ! 

Much later in life Lord Shaftesbury took an active 
part in the movement in London for funeral reforms ; 
and was even an advocate of cremation. It is interesting 
to catch a glimpse of his views on these subjects at this 
early date. 

. . . Taken to see a dried Count of Nassau and his dried 
daughter, all in their fine clothing as they were embalmed and buried 
four hundred years ago. What is this passion that people have had, 
and still have, to battle with nature, and resist, if they can, the 
decree, ' Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return ' 1 Do they 
believe in the resurrection of the body 1 If so, let them trust the 
power and goodness of God. Do they disbelieve it 1 What satisfac- 
tion to prolong the existence of a shrivelled, sapless, disfigured, and 
disgusting carcase ! . 

Alsace suggests to him this query: — 

Why did the Allies in 1815, when they adjusted the kingdoms of 
Europe, leave this German territory in the hands of France 1 It was 
acquired by fraud and violence, by the actions of war in a period 
of peace, under the authority of that arch-villain and exceeding 
charlatan, Louis " le Grand." It is " as one of the royal cities," 
and should be restored to the German Confederation. I believe, 

* Tt represents the Marshal as in the act of descending iuto the tomb, 
opened for his reception by Death, while a female figure, symbolising 
France, strives to detain him ; and Hercules, in mournful attitude, leans 
upon his club. 


however, that it is not ill-governed ; and had ic been restored to Ger- 
many would probably have been annexed to some second-rate Duchy. 

In his journeys, Lord Ashley always took care to 
try and find out what signs of activity were being 
shown in Christian work, and at Basle, the " Holy 
City " of Switzerland, he discovered more regard for 
religion, than in any other town of the Republic. There 
were missiouary establishments and Bible societies and 
Evangelical preachers and Sabbath observances. 

Called on the Professor Hoffmann ; found him kind, intelligent, 
and pious. He gave an encouraging account of the progress of 
Christian principle and Christian action in Germany. He stated 
that, seven years ago, he knew but rive persons of station who took 
any interest in missionary operations ; he now knows fifty ; and that 
their meetings, which at one time were ' well ' attended by twenty 
persons, numbered at present nearly four thousand. 

As set against this, however, he found that the pro- 
gress of systematic and avowed ' Freethinking ' — the foe 
he was hereafter to meet in constant battle — was increas- 
ing to an alarming degree, and spreading even among 
the poorer sort. 

Here is a peculiarity among the German literati ; professorial 
chairs are held, and public lectures given, by men of open, acknow- 
ledged, and boastful Atheism ; nor does opinion frown them down. 
We have bad people in England, but few dare to parade their make- 
beliefs with ostentation and joy. 

. . . Saw the cathedral — curious, and worth the walk if it were 
oidy to pay respect to the memory of Erasmus. I have always a 
sneaking sympathy with that man ; he saw the truth, loved it, and 
yet he dared not to be a martyr in the hour of trial. I fear I should 
have been a hare like him. 



The fountains of the towns and villages, combining 
ornament and use in a signal manner, were to Lord 
Ashley a most agreeable feature : — 

Had T a landed property I should erect them in every village for 
the convenience of the people. The resort to them in the evening 
recalls the primitive times and the narratives of Scripture. Just 
now, under the window, there are assembled at one fountain several 
women with their vessels, a number of nakeddegged children, and 
many cows and oxen drinking. ' Our father Jacob gave us this well 
and drank thereof himself, his children, and his cattle ! ' . . . The 
sunset was lovely ; and, as it lighted up the distant peaks of the 
snowy range of the Alps with its parting rays, revived the conso- 
latory words of our blessed Lord, ' I will not leave you comfortless ; 
I will come again unto you ! ' 

On the Lake of Lucerne he recalls some of the 
deeds of patriotism achieved on its borders : — 

But for my own part I feel no very great enthusiasm about 
Helvetic Liberties. ... I find nothing to dwell upon, in the results 
of such actions, on the welfare of mankind. The world has gained 
no advantage in morals, politics, science or religion from the Swiss 
people ; but the Swiss people have received an uncommon share 
of admiration and countenance from the world. God grant them 
virtue and peace. ... 

Even at such an early date as 1S4G, the hand of 
change was working wonders in Switzerland :— 

Aug. 1st. — Interlaken. ... I saw this place two-and-twenty 
years ago ; it was then a beautifully rural spot, an Auburn to have 
delighted Goldsmith. Cows, cottages, and peasants, everything in 
harmony with the scenery around, and the few strangers who flitted 
past, or stationed themselves for a while in the modest inn, had all 
the air of travellers, persons who had trodden, or were preparing to 
tread, the mountains. This evening I drove along a miniature revival 
of the Parisian boulevards — shops, benches, groups of fashionables 


in suitable conversation, hotels, casinos, and all that can banish the 
country and bring in the town. The hills are still high, and the 
pastures green, but they are peopled by a different race, and 

' All, save the spirit of man, is divine ! ' 

At Grrindelwald the freshness and vivacity of the air 
gave all the party elasticity and spirit, " with a capa- 
city," says Lord Ashle}^, " I, at least, had not known 
since I left England, to enjoy life." His admiration of 
the glacier was unbounded : — 

Never was a river born so suddenly and so magnificently. It 
does not come creeping in a thread-like stream, from small and silent 
fountains, but gushes forth in full size, like Minerva from Jupiter's 
head, and rushing with thunder into an amphitheatre of mountains, 
escapes through the windings of the valley. On either side of these 
mighty pyramids of ice, stands an enormous mountain of naked 
granite, and behind them rise the lofty and terrible peaks of the 
Vischerhorn, covered with masses of everlasting snow. There they 
all stand in the stillest and most awful majesty, engaged, as it were, 
to watch the only thing that 1ms sound and motion, the river, which 
issues forth from a beautiful archway, beautiful in the form and 
colour of the ice, at the foot of the glacier. 

The illness of his son Maurice, who was one of the 
party, had given cause from time to time for great 
anxiety, and on the 4th of August, the following entry 
appears in the Diary: — 

Maurice has become languid as a drooping flower ; the good 
effects of the place are gone back ; we must return without delay to 
England. . . . 

■& j 

The determination was not altogether in opposition 
to Lord Ashley's desires. 
m 2 


I felt wonderfully well, and gloriously enjoyed existence, when on 
the Wengern Alp ; I know not that I have been really elastic at 
any other time during this tour. 

They returned at once to Interlaken, and from 
thence the travellers proceeded to Berne, en route for 

Aug. 11th. . . . Berne is Protestant, no doubt, but its observance 
of the Sabbath has nothing in it of the ' sour, ascetic stiffness ' of the 
old Puritans. The blue-book of Connecticut is reversed here ; and if 
jollity can recommend the Reformed faith, let the gainsayers seek 
their refutation at Berne. The noise all night in the public street 
was that of ' men dividing the spoil ; ' they shouted, they sang, they 
marched, they ate and drank in the public saloons ; and 'the tabret and 
harp were in their feasts.' Then came the cracking and re-cracking 
of whips, the rumbling of diligences, the argumentations of bedless 
loiterers. All conspired to drive sleep from my eyes, and respect 
from my heart for the police of Berne. 

Aug. 19th. — Rotterdam. Went to see a Dutch Fair, amused 
beyond all precedent ; could have spent hours, had but minutes. We 
must, if it please God, have at some future time a tour in Holland, 
and a leisurely one ; nothing could be more interesting and in- 
structive. . . . Why did we ever (God forbid that we should repeat 
such a folly) go to war with the Dutch % Our interests are alike ; 
one or two trifling questions of trade may, for a while, jilace us in 
opposition, though on false grounds, but our great political interests, 
all that concerns our social and national positions, are the same. . . . 
A singular effect occurred last Sunday during the reading of the 
Communion service. A Roman Catholic procession had stopped to 
offer its adorations to the Virgin ; and just at the moment when the 
song of idolatry began, the clergyman read, ' Thou shalt have none 
other Gods but me.' The response, 'Lord have mercy upon us, and 
incline our hearts to keep this law,' went with joy to one's very 

The passage from Rotterdam, occupying thirty-six 
hours, was accomplished in a dreadfully rolling sea, 


with an adverse wind, heavy rains, and an awful thunder- 
storm, but owing to a severe attack of mal de. mer, 
Lord Ashley says : — 

I regarded them with the indifference of a man who has more 
important things to think of. 

On the last page of the Diary there is the following 

note : — 

This journal, like the three of preceding dates, re-opened for the 
first time (after having being written) in August, 1880. Never 
kept, afterwards, the journal of a tour. The re-perusal of them is 
best described in Cowper's words : — 

' How soft the music of those village bells 
Falling at intervals upon the ear 
In cadence sweet, now dying- all away, 
Now pealing loud again and louder still, 
Clear and sonorous as the gale comes on ! 
With easy force it opens all the cells 
Where memory slejjt.' 

And so here. What experience of life ! what tenderness of feeling, 
what truth of heart ! what depth of simplicity in these lines ! 

In all these journals, which I bequeath to my beloved daughter 
Victoria, there may be seen consistency of the past with the present. 
May have been right, may have been wrong, but at least do not con- 
tradict myself and make the last half of my life antagonistic to the 
first. Great infirmity, much trace throughout of original sin, and yet, 
though now, on a revision, could wish, were it possible, to add much 
to what is gone by, see nothing to take away. Never intended for 
the eyes of any one but of myself and of that beloved woman now 
gone to her rest, they are the entries of one day after another ; and 
everything may be said against them but the charge that they were 
not hearty and sincere. Victoria may find them interesting and, 
possibly, even profitable. 

Almost immediately after his return to London, 
Lord Ashley received two important letters, one from 


Bath, and the other from Oxford, inviting him to be 
the representative in Parliament of each of these con- 
stituencies. He briefly records the fact in his Diary, 
and adds : — 

Nightmare ! and dreams all night. "Went up, of course, ' for my 
degree.' * 

Later on he writes : — 

Oct. 3rd. — Offers from Bath to represent that place at the next 
election — replied that I wished to have some assurances and guaran- 
tees as to support and expense. Many, from the county, urge my 
reconsideration of Dorset; but the matter is very doubtful. The Pro- 
tection party are determined to regain all that they have lost, and 
will, therefore, oppose my at least quiet return. I am not prepared 
with any seat, nor have I, except Bath, any prospect of one. 

Dec. 26. — Many kind letters from Bath, still urging me to 
become a candidate, and engaging to bear every expense. I am not 
anxious to accept the offer ; I have, indeed, ceased to be anxious, at 
least I fancy so, to enter Parliament again; but I must receive the 
deputation. I should prefer, no doubt, an honourable return to my 
own county, but my enemies there are bitter, and my friends are 
slow — every word that I read from the county confirms me in my 
judgment, that I ought not to place myself forward unless invited 
by a requisition, which, in all likelihood, I shall never have. . . . 

The month of October found Ireland on the brink of 
starvation. Lord Ashley had maintained that every 
one ought, by private self-denial, to aid the legislative 
effort for relief, and abridge his own consumption, that 
"all might have a little." He never advised others to 
do what he w r as not prepared to do himself, and it is not 
surprising therefore to meet with these records : — 

* He used to say that, whenever he had a l'estless or disturbed night, 
his dreams always recurred to the "going up " for his degree at Oxford. 

184(3.] POPE PIUS IX. 183 

Oct. 7th. — Found all provisions rising in price. Gave orders 
that no more potatoes should be bought for the house. We must 
not, by competing in the market, raise the cost on the poor man. 
He has nothing after this to fall back upon. . . . 

Dec. 12th. — Ireland is manifestly set for our punishment, the 
slow but just punishment of a ruling power that thrust upon it 
Popery, anarchy, and unsympathising proprietors. The nation is 
irreconcilable to the Saxon authority. Our late repentance, and 
numerous benefits, are perverted to our injury. Famine stalks 
through the land. We expend money for their maintenance at the 
rate of £127,000 a week; and the starving j)easantry can save, 
from this effort of mercy and munificence, enough to purchase 
arms to a greater extent than was ever before known for the 
assault and overthrow of their benefactors ! And yet so besotted 
are we, that all this is turned into an additional argument for the 
endowment of the Irish priesthood ! . . . 

Dec. 29th. — Ireland is terrible, terrible, teiTible. And the 
year 1847 will be worse than 1846. Counsel has perished from 
among us. We are at our wit's end. It is a just retribution for 
our sins towards that country. ' Be sure your sin will find you 

A few extracts from the Diary, selected from many, 
will tell, in the briefest way, what were the subjects 
pressing upon the thoughts of Lord Ashley towards the 
end of this year of ceaseless activity : — 

Sept. 1st. — A Pope called Pius IX. has mounted the Roman 
throne. He is ' like the Son of Nimshi,' he ' driveth furiously.' 
He will soon be the most popular, as he seems to be the most liberal 
man of his day. Shouts attend him wherever he goes. His plans 
for ' reform ' are more rapid and more extensive than the capacity, 
at the moment, of the people to receive them ! To what will all 
this grow 1 ? Most assuredly these political advances cannot co-exist 
with the maintenance of ecclesiastical monarchy. 

Sept. 5. — Took chair on Thursday, at Bunsen's request, to form 
Society for the Religious Care and Instruction of Foreigners, there 
being nearly one hundred thousand in this land, and totally 


neglected. Tholuck, Monod, and some American divines attended. 
It was altogether highly interesting, and the scheme is one which 
we are bound to attempt. 

Sept. 16th. — The ' Evangelical Alliance ' is, like the Anti-Corn- 
Law League, a 'great fact.' It does not appear likely, however, 
to have practical results in the same proportion — its chief result, for 
the present, must be that such a meeting could have been collected 
and conducted on such principles and in such a manner. 

Oct. 25th. — Dined last night with Kingscote, to consider plan 
for larger admission of laity to services in the Church. To be 
submitted to the Bishop of London. Our consultation seemed to 
prosper, and all present were of one mind. It is a great under- 
taking, and involves, so far as our human eyes can see, the per- 
manency and efficiency of the Church of England. 

Two days later Lord Ashley wrote to Lord John 
Russell to request an interview, in order that he 
might talk to him on the state of the Church, and on 
the 29th he called on him by appointment. The inter- 
view was a hurried one, hut the conversation then com- 
menced was resumed at a further interview on the 31st. 

Oct. 31st, — I shall here enter the topics of our first interview. 
State of Universities ; proportion of tainted men who yearly enter 
ministry ; effect of their clerical conduct ; indifference or indignation 
of people ; progress of ' Gregorianism ' among wealthy ; result among 
people at large ; Laud and Puritans ; efforts of Tractarians to sever 
Church and State ; hence their desire to see bishops out of Parlia- 
ment ; warned him against such a step without great consideration ; 
cited conduct of Scotch bishops as proof of tyranny and ecclesiastical 
despotism in those who had no public responsibility; mentioned 
King Charles's Club at Oxford ; and observed a dangerous precedent 
set by Archbishop of Dublin ; appointments of bishops, so far as 
possible, from those who have had parochial experience ; assured him 
that, through human infirmity, bishops in general inclined to High 
Church rather than Low, and would be blind to many Tractarian 
tendencies in one who exalted the episcopal office. To-day I resumed 


by quoting the instances of Bishop Denison and Thirlwall to prove 
the difficulty of judging the future characters of men — he saw it. 
' You cannot,' I said, ' enjoy peace of conscience, amidst all these 
difficulties, unless you make your appointments as in the sight of 
God, knowing that you will render an account for the use of your 
power.' He assented to this. I told him that I had not touched on 
the spiritual character of their doctrines ; I had confined myself to 
those points which chiefly affected Government > it was, however, to 
be borne in mind that it was a soul-destroying heresy.' He asked 
me what I knew of Archdeacon Hare ; I replied in terms of high 
eulogy of his learning, eloquence, and piety. ' Is he not unsteady ] ' 
he said. ' I consulted the Bishop of Durham, who knew nothing 
about him. ' ' His unsteadiness,' I replied, ' if he have any, arises 
from his too deep study of German theology and German metaphysics ; 
it breaks out in conversation, but will never influence his writing or 
preaching.' ' Do you know Pelham V (he had, I perceived, seen my 
list). ; Not myself, but those in whom I have confidence speak 
most highly of him ; he is a superior man in firmness and decision 
to his brother.' I then introduced the name of Archdeacon Shirley 
as a person fit for any station, adding, ' he is a Whig ; and I say this 
because I cannot pretend to be ignorant that, after all, a Minister 
must listen to those who support him, and that, if cceteris paribus he 
have a fit man on his side of politics, he may, for the sake of peace, 
advance such a person.' ' Yes,' he replied, ' cceteris paribus. A 
Minister is exposed to great annoyances if he overlook a man on his 
own side.' He proceeded : ' I dislike Tractarians and Tractarianism; 
but I, as much, dislike those parties who speak of the Roman Catholics 
in such violent terms, and who would degrade them to the condition 
of serfs, and who entertain sentiments bordering on persecution ; 
men like Sir Culling Smith.' ' I have no sympathy,' I replied, 'with 
any such excesses ; I do not approve of this unmeasured violence 
you speak of ; but I see what is passing through your mind, and I 
will be candid with you. Now, in this case, as in all where I have 
spoken freely, it is not to obtain your secret opinions. I should be 
ashamed of such a low, prying curiosity ; do not, therefore, make 
me any answer or any observation. It is reported that the great 
desire of your Government, it may not be actually their policy, is to 
endow the Romish priesthood in Ireland. Now, if you think to 
engage more than a fraction of the Evangelical body in such ub 


undertaking, you will make an awful miscalculation ; this is a point 
on which they are, I am sure, quite resolved ; if you threaten that, 
if the proposition be resisted, the Empire will be dismembered, they 
will reply, ' Let it be dismembered ' ; if you say that desolation will 
extend over the realms of England, they will answer, ' Let it be 
desolated ' ; there is no consequence they will not endure, very few 
degrees of resistance that they will not consider legitimate. The 
Dissenters will join them, partly on the ground of dislike to Popery, 
partly on the ground of dislike to establishments.' He seemed to 
admit this entirely. ' I have now,' I added, ' taken up much of your 
time ; I am much obliged to you for the opportunity ; I shall never 
again intrude on you in these matters, unless you send me an invi- 
tation ; and I shall then think it a duty to obey your summons. 
May I, however, be permitted to send you a list of names 1 you will, 
of course, throw it behind the fire, or consult it, as you may see fit.' 
He assented ; we then parted. Same evening I saw Sir George 
Grey. Russell had told him of our interview j ' I hate the Tract- 
arians,' added Russell, ' because they persecute the Dissenters, and 
I hate the Evangelicals because they would oppress the Roman 
Catholics.' He assured me, however, that J. R. was exceedingly 
well disposed. The truth is, that Russell, like many others, regards 
Popery as a political system ; to be ruled politically ; to be resisted 
politically ; to be considered, with all its branches, only as it affects 
the political position of a Government. By this measure he will 
estimate both men and things. God be with us ! I have, thank 
God, done my duty ; I have ' testified ' to this Prime Minister, as I 
did to the last ; the fruit from both may be about equal ; but I prefer 
Russell as a man to Sir R. Peel. 

Nov. 14th. — Yesterday to Broadwall to meet Committee on 
Ragged School — established a class of industry for one evening in 
the week : tailoring and shoemaking for the boys, needlework for 
the girls— have undertaken to pay the expense ; am in hopes of 
making nearly sufficient by one article in the Quarterly Review on 
' Ragged Schools.' . 

Macaulay argues, and well, that the term ' superficial ' is relative, 
and can seldom be applied accurately. That which is profound in 
one day becomes shallow in another ; the utmost depths of Roger 
Paeon would be paddling-pools for the school-boys of our day. This 
is not the objection to be raised agairst education altogether, or even 

1846.] FINANCES. 187 

the education of the present era. My objection is that all are taught 
alike, whatever their stations, hopes, views, and necessities — there 
is little practical, little of use for future application, and hoys are 
ill-educated, not because their knowledge is acquired by rote and lies 
mainly on the surface, but because they are lifted above their 
political and social station, tilled with personal conceits, and inflated 
with notions that they are fit to reform the world, and then 
govern it. 

Dec. 31st. — Croesus would be pauperised if he were to meet half 
the demands that are made upon me every month ! Alas, I must 
refuse the largest propoi'tion, and give very sparingly to the 
remainder. I say ' alas,' because the cases are oftentimes meritorious, 
and I shall always be misrepresented, and frequently misunderstood. 
Many people choose to believe that I am rich, and ask accordinglv; 
yet more than half of my income is borrowed, to be repaid at some 
future day, with heavy accumulations of interest; eight children, 
the two eldest costing me more than £200 a year each ; a ninth 
coming, and an allowance from my father of only £100 annually 
more than I had as a Bachelor at Oxford ! Are these sources of 
wealth 1 . . . 


1847—1850. THE TEN HOURS BILL. 

In Lancashire — Mr. Fielden's Ten Hours Bill— Debate thereon in the Lords — 
Lord Brougham — The Bishop of Oxford — The Bill Carried— Rejoicings — 
Letter to the Short Time Committees — A Check to the Rejoicings — The 
System of " Relays" and " Shifts"— A Test Case— The Bill in Jeopardy- 
Mr. Baron Parkes' Adverse Decision in the Test Case— An Appeal to the 
House — The Work of Agitation Renewed — Sir George Grey's Proposal — 
Acceded to by Lord Ashley — A Split in the Camp— The Government Bill 
becomes Law — The Principle Established by the Ten Hours Bill— Recanta- 
tion of Mr. Roebuck and Sir James Graham — Letter from Mr. Roebuck — 
Mr. Gladstone on Factory Legislation — Tributes — Summary of whole 

The great struggle for the Ten Hours Bill was drawing 
near its end, and, by the irony of fate, the victory was 
to be achieved while Lord Ashley was out of Parlia- 
ment. The winter of 1846-7 had seen him in Lanca- 
shire, attending meetings in every large town, and 
adopting all possible means to support the efforts which 
Mr. Fieklen was to resume in Parliament in the ensu- 
ing Session. Everywhere Lord Ashley met with an 
enthusiastic reception. He reminded his hearers that 
his opponents used to taunt him about the Corn Laws, 
and argue that there lay the obstacle which prevented 
the passing of his Ten Hours Bill. " With respect to 
myself," he said, at a public meeting at Manchester, 
" I know the arguments I used to encounter while the 
Corn Law was yet in force — how often it was said, 

1847.] THE TEX HOURS BILL. 189 

' You are the cause of the long-time vexation ; it is you 
who are to blame, because, for your own exclusive 
interest, you keep up the price of bread, and prevent us 
from entering- into competition with foreign manufac- 
turers.' I recollect perfectly well one of your present 
members saying, ' If I vote for the noble lord on the 
Ten Hours Bill, will he follow me into the lobby for 
a division on a motion for the repeal of the Corn 
Laws?'" He went on to say that, now he had voted 
for repeal, he asked for concession in return. 

The object of Lord Ashley on all occasions, was to 
encourage and stimulate the friends of the movement to 
rally round Mr. Fielden with the same enthusiasm with 
which they had rallied round him. Many, out of 
friendship for himself, had said, " We may as well 
relax our efforts, and wait until Lord Ashley is again 
in Parliament," not realising that he was anxious, not 
for his own honour, but that the measure might be 
launched on the crest of the popular wave. 

It must not be supposed that he alone was bearing 
the whole brunt of the battle. In various parts of the 
country Mr. Oastler and others were vigorously prose- 
cuting similar labours, while a weekly periodical, The Ten 
Hours Advocate, published by Mr. Philip Grant, an able 
and zealous colleague, was, under the advice and guid- 
ance of Lord Ashley, doing good service to the cause.* 

On the 26th of January, Mr. Fielden moved for 
leave to bring in the Ten Hours Bill ; the motion was 
seconded by Mr. Ferrand, and leave was given. On the 

* Alfred's " History of the Factory Movement," p. 218. 


second reading (Feb. 10) the subject was discussed 
for several hours, Mr. Hume strenuously opposing the 
measure on grounds of political economy, and Mr. Roe- 
buck, who never lost an opportunity of attack, assailing 
it on all sides. 

There is a natural and mournful ring in the follow- 
ing words from the Diary : — 

Feb. 10th. — Factory Bill is under discussion in the House of 
Commons. I lingered in the lobby ; had not spirit to enter the 
House ; should have been nervously excited to reply, and grieved by 
inability to do so. 

March 1st. — Intense anxiety about Factory Bill. I dream of it 
by day and by night, and work as though I had charge of the Bill. 

March 12th. — Lady De Grey observed to me, last night, that I 
was grown silent, and had lost all my spirits. It is quite true. I 
have, during the last two or three years, been growing more melan- 
choly and even stupid. It is, pei-haps, because I have little or no 
play ; and that makes Jack a dull boy. 

March 17th. — Long labour yesterday in furnishing John Russell, 
at his request, with notes for a speech. 

Notwithstanding all opposition, the second reading 
was eventually carried by a majority of 108, and on the 
3rd of May the third reading, after an animated debate, 
was likewise carried by a majority of 63 ! 

When, ten da}'s later (May 13), the Bill was intro- 
duced into the House of Lords, it was observed that 
the attendance of bishops was larger than had ever been 
known on any previous occasion. 

The Earl of Ellesmere (formerly Lord Francis 
Egerton), in moving the second reading, said that 
having taken part in the discussions upon this subject 
in another place, he felt it not unbecoming to occupy 

1847.] THE TEX HOURS BILL. . 191 

his present position. The measure, which had origin- 
ated in the wishes of those who contributed by 
their toil to the manufacturing wealth of the country, 
had been wafted up to the Legislature by petitions 
signed by thousands of the operative classes, who were 
deeply interested in its success. It had received the 
sanction of those whose lives were devoted to one 
undeviating course of philanthropy — men of every 
party, and of every religious denomination. It had 
made its way to the Legislature, against the opposition 
of those who brought to bear on it the most powerful 
interest, and their still more powerful minds. It had, 
however, been sanctioned by a considerable portion of 
the Cabinet, and had been carried into their lordships' 
House by a conclusive majority of the other House of 

After Lord Faversham had seconded the motion, Lord 
Brougham, apologising for interrupting the unanimity 
which Lord Faversham had hoped would characterise 
their proceedings, at once addressed himself to " the 
large number of right reverend prelates whom he saw 
assembled opposite," and laid before them his views of 
the question in its relation to the morals of the people. 
He based his argument on the assumption that the Ten- 
Hours restriction would lower wages, and urged that 
the condition of the labouring population in a thickly- 
inhabited country, was always at the lowest possible 
condition with respect to wages, and anything that 
tended to make them worse, could not but be injurious 
and reprehensible, and he then proceeded to draw a 


melancholy picture of a state of things never likely to 
be witnessed. The vote for the second reading was 
carried by a majority of forty-two. . 

On the 17th of May the bishops again mustered in 
full force. The debate was one of the most interesting: 
ever listened to in the House of Lords, the most remark- 
able speech being that of the Bishop of Oxford, who set 
himself to the task of meeting the arguments used in 
opposition to the Bill, which were grounded in great 
measure upon a number of untrue assertions. It had 
been taken for granted, in the first place, that great risk 
wouid be run of driving British manufactures abroad ; 
in the next place, that the factory labourers were un- 
willing to assent to the proposed law ; and in the third 
place, that a measure was about to be forced upon the 
master manufacturers, which would deprive them of an 
adequate supply of labour to carry on their mills with 
profit. Having refuted these assertions, the Bishop ad- 
dressed himself to Lord Brougham's argument, which he 
himself had urged upon the labourers, who had replied, 
" Why, this is the argument of my Lord Brougham ; 
and there is nothing in it." Then, passing on to 
the discussion of the practical question at issue, he 
asked, " Could their lordships believe, that upon the last 
two hours' labour of trembling hands, tending upon that 
machinery, after long, unceasing, and heart-consuming 
attention, when Nature almost refused to perforin her 
functions — could their lordships believe that upon those 
two last hours depended all the profits and accumula- 
tions of the manufacturers ? He believed that the work 


done in those two last hours was infinitely inferior in 
quality to that which was done in any other portion of 
thedajr; it was demanding work when nature refused 
the power of working ! ' Finally he showed how, for 
years, this cause had been slowly winning its way 
against the greatest of all human passions — the love of 
gain, and in a powerful peroration, maintained that the 
acquisition of wealth was based upon moral principles, 
that there could be no moral wrong which was politi- 
cally expedient, or that could tend to the production of 
wealth ; but that, if they neglected the people in order 
to make the nation rich, they would, in the end, make 
the nation poor, by debasing the people. 

The Bill was read a second time without a division, 
nearly every member of the Bench of Bishops voting in 
its support, and on the 1st of June it passed its final 

May 18th. — Bill passed second reading in House of Lords by 53 
to 11. How can we praise Thee, or thank Thee, O Lord 1 ? One step 
more, and all will be safe. 

The Bishops behaved gallantly— 13 remained to vote ; three 
spoke, and most effectively : London, Oxford, St. David's: Clarendon (!) 
and Brougham (! !) in opposition. This will do very much to win the 
hearts of the manufacturing people to Bishops and Lords — it has 
already converted the hard mind of a Chartist Delegate. 

June 1st. — Six o'clock. ISTews that the Factory Bill has just 
passed the third reading. I am humbled that my heart is not burst- 
ing with thankfulness to Almighty God — that I can find breath and 
sense to express my joy. What reward shall we give unto the Lord 
for all the benefits He hath conferred upon us 1 God, in His mercy, 
prosper the work, and grant that these operatives may receive the 
cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord ! Praised be 
the Lord, praised be the Lord, in Christ Jesus ! . . . 



This great victory was received throughout the 
country with intense enthusiasm. The rejoicings in 
the manufacturing districts were such as had never 
been seen before. Lord Ashley and Mr. Fielden were 
greeted with ovations wherever they went ; many of the 
mill-owners welcomed the change, and arranged for 
festivities in honour of the occasion. Medals were 
struck in commemoration of the event, and the Queen 
was graciously pleased to receive, at the hands of Lord 
Ashley, one of these medals sent to her by the factory 

The importance of the Act of 1S47 becomes very 
apparent, when Ave remember that out of 544,876 
persons employed (according to the returns of that year) 
in the textile industries, no less than 303,796 were 
3^oung persons and women, whom the Act directly 
affected ; the time of their labour being limited, from 
the 1st of July, when the Act came into force, to 
eleven hours a day or sixty-three hours Aveekly, and 
from May the 1st, 1848, to ten hours a day or fifty-eight 
hours weekly. 

For forty years the subject had been before the 
world, and for fourteen years Lord Ashley had been 
working incessantly for the boon now granted. He 
had, at the first, demanded that the agitation should be 
carried on in the most conciliatory manner possible, and 
now that the great principle of the Ten Hours' limit 
had been affirmed by the Legislature, he urged that 
there should be no noisy or affronting exultation. 
Three days after the Bill had passed its final stage, 


he addressed a letter to the Short-Time Committees as 
follows : — 

My good Friends, — Although there is no longer any necessity to 
name you collectively and as united together for the purpose of obtain- 
ing a reduction of the hours of working in factories, I will address 
a few words to you, in your capacity of representatives of the whole 
operative body, on questions of the highest and dearest interest. 

First, we must give most humble and hearty thanks to Almighty 
God for the unexpected and wonderful success that has attended our 
efforts. We have won the great object of all our laboui-s — the Ten 
Hours Bill has become the law of the land ; and we may hope, nay, 
more, we believe that we shall find in its happy results, a full com- 
pensation for all our toils. 

But, with your success have commenced new duties. You are 
now in possession of those two hours which you have so long and 
so ardently desired ; you must, therefore, turn them to the best 
account, to that account which was ever in the minds of your friends 
and advocates when they appealed to the Legislature on behalf of 
your rights as immortal beings, as citizens and Christians. 

You will remember the principal motive that stimulated your own 
activity, and the energetic aid of your supporters in Parliament, was 
the use that might be made of this leisure for the moral improvement 
of the factory people, and especially the female workers ; who will 
now enjoy far better opportunities both of learning and practising 
those duties which must be known and discharged if we would have 
a comfortable, decent, and happy population. 

You will experience no difficulty, throughout your several dis- 
tricts, in obtaining counsel or assistance on these subjects. The 
clergy, the various ministers, the medical men — all who have been 
so forward and earnest in your cause — will, I am sure, be really 
delighted to co-operate with your efforts. 

I need not, I know, exhort you to an oblivion of past conflicts, 
and to hearty endeavour for future harmony. I trust that there 
will be no language of triumph, as though we had defeated an enemy. 
Let us be very thankful that the struggle is over, and that we can 
once more combine, not only the interests, but also the feelings, of 
employer and employed, in a mutual understanding for the comfort 

n 2 


and benefit of each other, and for the welfare of the whole com- 

I cannot entertain a doubt that you will liave anticipated me in 
this respect ; it has been my endeavour from the beginning, to seek 
and to advise all methods of conciliation ; and I can safely declare, 
that in the periods of the greatest ardour or disappointment, I never 
heard, either in meetings or from individuals, a single vindictive 

Although the final completion of this great measure has been 
achieved by another, I could not, after so many years of labour, take 
leave of it altogether without a few words to you of advice and 
congratulation. To no one could the lot have fallen so happily as to 
our friend Mr. Fielden. He joined me in 1833 in the introduction 
of the first Bill, and has been ever since, as you well know, your 
able, energetic, and unshrinking advocate. 

In bidding you farewell, I do not retire from your service. 1 
shall, at all times, hold myself in readiness to aid you in any measures 
that may conduce to the moral and physical welfare of yourselves 
and of your children ; and I shall, indeed, most heartily pray that it 
may please God to prosper this consummation of our toils with every 
public and private blessing. 

I remain, your very affectionate friend and servant, 


It will be well in this place, perhaps, to glance at 
some of the subsequent features in the history of the 
Ten Hours movement. 

At the time of the passing of the Act, a great 
commercial crisis caused many factories to stop work- 
ing, or at least to work only half time. There was, 
therefore, at first, a reduction of wages, solely due, 
not to the Act, but to a concurrent stagnation of trade. 
"When, however, in May, 1848, the Ten Hours Day 
came to be adopted, a revival of production had taken 

1849.] THE SYSTEM OF "BELAYS:" 197 

place. The legal working day was reckoned to begin at 
5.30 a.m. and to end at 8.30 p.m., and the manufacturers 
took advantage of this to work their young persons by 
a system of " relays " and — what was still worse — of 
"shifts" of hands, so as to keep the operatives employed, 
and the mills in action, the whole of this time. The 
masters who kept the time prescribed by the Act, were 
loud in their denunciations of the practice. There was a 
struggle between the manufacturers and the inspectors 
on this point ; and the country justices, of the manu- 
facturing class, assisted the mill-owners in thus evading 
the purposes of the Act. Great alarm was created 
among the operatives, and, in order to allay it, a test case 
was got up by the Lancashire Central Short-Time Com- 
mittee, and tried, when the bench decided that the law 
was not explicit enough to enable them to convict, and 
an appeal was entered to carry the case before a superior 

Throughout the year 1849, there was intense anxiety 
amongst the friends of the Ten Hours movement, who 
feared that the whole question would have to be re- 
opened in Parliament. The old Committees were 
re-established, tours of inspection were organised ; all 
the machinery of agitation had to be called again into 
use, and it was found that the system of " relays " was 
spreading in all directions. The Masters' Association, 
on the other hand, was equally active, and petitions 
were drawn up against the Ten Hours Bill, and 
circulated freely. 

A few extracts from the Diary will show Lord 


Ashley's attitude towards the question during this 
anxious time: — 

March 5th, 1849. — The Ten Hours law is in jeopardy: God gave 
it us in His mercy, and admirably has it worked, no reduction of 
wages, no flight of capital, no misuse of vacant hours, nay, the 
reverse of all this. Some of the masters, a small, thank God, though 
powerful minority, have discovered a means of evasion. The Govern- 
ment say that they cannot prevent it, and they will, therefore, par- 
tially legalise it ! Here is fresh toil, fresh anxiety. Would to God it 
were settled for ever ! 

June 8th. — Old John Fielden is dead. . . . Poor old Fielden ; he had 
many kind qualities, and was a true and energetic friend to the Ten 
Hours Bill : greatly, indeed, am I, and the operatives also, indebted 
to him, and we shall miss him very seriously now, when wealth and 
capital and avarice and power are again in arms against weakness 
and poverty. The mighty boon of the Ten Hours law is nullified 
by fraud and abused justice ; and they seek now to annihilate it by 
open legislation ! 

Oct. 4th. . . . The Ten Hours agitation still alive. Mr. Oastler 
and Mr. Stephens have seized the opportunity to revile me and place 
themselves at the head of the operatives ; but I rejoice to say that 
the operatives will neither believe them nor accept them. This 
matter must be speedily determined by an appeal to one of the 
Superior Courts : it is disgraceful that the Home Secretary has so 
long neglected this pressing necessity. 

Nov. 1st. — Mr. Oastler and a crew of others (I can use no milder 
term), including Sam Fielden (why he?) are denouncing and reviling 
me in every society, by day and by night, in speech and on paper, 
as a traitor, and a thousand other things, to the Ten Hours Bill. 
God knows my sincerity, my labours, vexations, losses, injuries to 
health, fortune, comfort, position in that cause. It is true I told the 
workpeople that I would assent (if they would assent, but not with- 
out) to the concession of half an hour, provided they received in 
return the immediate and final settlement of the question, and the 
limitation of the range from fifteen to twenty hours, a concession the 
masters alone could make. Here is my offence, and I am too busy, 
and also too tired to begin a controversial defence. Like Hezekiah, 

1850.] A TEST CASE. , 199 

I ' spread it before the Lord.' ... I wish I could be cheerful, but 
mirth hath perished. 

It was not until the 8th of February, 1850, that the 
test case came on for hearing in the Court of Exchequer. 
The decision was awaited with feverish anxiety, as it 
seemed that the whole effect of the statute hinged upon 
it, aud the adverse judgment of Mr. Baron Parke, in 
which it was decided that the system of " shifts " aud 
" relays " was not contrary to the letter of the Act, was 
received with dismay. 

Feb. 1st, 1850. — Jiidges will decide adversely on factory case 
submitted to them, and thus legalise relays ! The Attorney-General 
said to me this afternoon, ' They will give judgment, not according 
to law, but on policy.' ' Judge Parke,' he added, ' observed to me, 
" I have no doubt that the framers of the Act intended that the 
labour should be continuous, but as it is a law to restrain the exercise 
of capital and property, it must be construed stringently." Might 
not this judge have said and thought, with equal justice and more 
feeling, ' This is a law to restrain oppression and cruelty, and alleviate 
an actual slavery under a nominal freedom. I will, therefore, con- 
strue it liberally ! ' . . . 

Feb. 15th. — Adverse judgment in Court of Exchequer. Great 
remedial measure, the Ten Hours Act, nullified. The work to be 
done all over again : and I seventeen years older than when I began ! 
But, as" I did not commence, so neither shall I renew it, in my own 
strength. My sufficiency, if there be any, is of God. 

It was now clear that the cruel system which had 
been declared legal, would spread rapidly throughout the 
manufacturing districts. But Lord Ashley was equal to 
the emergency, and, having in the interval taken his seat 
for Bath, he, four days after the decision had been given, 
introduced the question into the House of Commons, by 
f calling the attention of the Government to the necessity 


for " taking some steps to obviate the very evil con- 
sequences of that decision ; " and on March 14, after a 
smart discussion, obtained leave to bring in a Bill. He 
insisted upon immediate action, as, in the then present 
state of things, with the mills going for fifteen hours 
and the actual labour of young persons restricted to ten, 
it resulted in their being turned out into the streets at 
different intervals during the day, which was not only 
an incentive to vice, but it made it impossible for In- 
spectors to ascertain how many hours the hands really 
worked. Even Mr. John Bright acknowledged the need 
for settling what was, he admitted in some degree, an 
unsatisfactory state of the law ; but he took occasion to 
charge Lord Ashley with posing at one time as the 
" hired advocate " of those who were anxious to paint 
in the blackest colours the condition of the manufactur- 
ing districts, " and at another time as if he were en- 
gaged, in consequence of the passing of the Ten Hours 
Bill, to paint an entirely different people." 

Throughout the Session, the Ten Hours question 
was constantly before the House, and every stage in its 
progress was guarded anxiously by Lord Ashley. Sir 
George Grey, on behalf of the Government, proposed a 
plan to which Lord Ashley had previously agreed — 
namely, in return for the strict limitation between six 
and six, to allow ten and a half hours labour per day, 
and not more than sixty hours per week. The real com- 
pensation in this was — and it was worth all the rest — 
that the time of labour was limited to a range of twelve 
hours with a certain termination at six o'clock. There 

1850.] "BELAYS" AND "SHIFTS." 201 

were many amendments to this proposal, and endless dis- 
cussions in and out of Parliament. Lord John Manners 
moved that the factory day should be limited to half- 
past five in the afternoon. Mr. John Bright seconded 
a proposal to legalise the hateful system of " shifts and 
relays," and to fix the factory day from half-past 
five a.m. to half-past eight p.m. ! Both of these motions 
were lost, as was also a motion by Lord Ashley, that 
children between eight and thirteen years of age should 
be included in the six to six clause. But, although this 
was lost then, it was afterwards effected by Lord Pal- 
merston, when at the Home Office in 1S53. 

March 11th, 1850. — Saw Grey; lie proposes, in fact, an eleven 
hours' bill, and admitted that it was so, offering at the same time 
advantages in the reduction of the range from 15 to 12^ hours; all 
mills to close at six o'clock. He would not interdict relays, and by 
permitting them, enable masters to work for eleven hours ; why this 1 
All has prospered under the ten hours, why thus propitiate Bright 
and Ashworth 1 Evasions would be universal ; detection, impossible. 

March 14th. — Grey fearful, vacillating, showing no principle — 
matters appear well ; if all goes on as it has begun we shall prosper. 
To-day is the clay of trial. 

March 15th. — The case was unanswerable, the House with me; 
Grey weak, vacillating, quibbling on legal points, yet admitting the 
truth of the asserted improvements. Bright and Gibson angry, 
though subdued. 

May 7th. — Harassed day after day by this Factory Bill — im- 
possible to get a stringent clause to prohibit relays : tried many and 
failed — have resolved then, as only hope of ge*ing anything good 
an 1 secure for the operatives, to accept Government Amendments. 
I am sure that they are the best terms that ever will be offered, and 
probably that this is the last time of their being offered. I fear, too, 
division among the operatives, for, if some reject, some will accept 
the terms ; once divided they are lost, the masters will effect an 
Eleven Hours Bill ! 


May 8 th. —Harassed exceedingly by Factory affair. — resolved to 
adopt clauses of Government, and wrote letter to Times announcing 
it. Expect from manufacturing districts a storm of violence and 
hatred. I might have taken a more popular and belauded course, 
but I should have ruined the question ; one more easy to myself, but 
far from true to the people. 

May 9th. — Two considerations £ave greatly determined me to 
take the resolute course of accepting the Government proposals. 
First, I felt most distrustful of the disposition of the House to 
support me in the full demand for the 'ten hours.' The majority, 
that, in 1847, gave victory to the old supporters of the Bill, were 
governed, not by love to the cause, but, by anger towards Peel and the 
Anti-Corn -Law League. Had not these passions interposed, there 
would have been no unusual 'humanity.' Our position in this re- 
spect, is now altered. Secondly, it is manifest that neither party 
(the employers, or the men) is striving for what is considered to be 
really essential. The two additional hours could give nothing of 
value to the amount of production ; the two hours spread over the 
week, could take nothing of importance from the operatives, the 
rule being constant and rigid that the mills should be closed at six 
o'clock every day. They are struggling merely for victory ; no side 
chooses to be beaten. This may be natural, but I could not consent 
to be the tool. Doubtless it is a blow to my reputation, because 
many will misunderstand, while many will misrepresent, my position 
and conduct. 

After a long and wearisome course, the Bill was 
passed, and received the Royal assent on July 26, 1850. 
It reduced the legal working day for all young persons 
and women, to the time between six in the morning 
and six in the evening, with one and a half hours for 
meals. This permitted ten and a half hours work on five 
days in the week ; on Saturdays no protected person 
was to work after two. Such was the main feature of 
the Act 13 & 14 Yic. cap. 54, which has, since 1S50, 
regulated the normal day in English factories. 


The principle established by the Ten Hours Bill 
has had an effect, the importance of which it is difficult 
to over-estimate, and, owing to the perseverance of Lord 
Shaftesbury, that principle has been extended, until to- 
day we have " a complete, minute, and voluminous code 
for the protection of labour; buildings must be kept 
pure of effluvia ; dangerous machinery must be fenced ; 
children and young persons must not clean it while in 
motion ; their hours are not only limited but fixed ; 
continuous employment must not exceed a given number 
of hours, varying with the trade, but prescribed by the 
law in given cases ; a statutable number of holidays is 
imposed ; the children must go to school, and the em- 
ployer must every week have a certificate to that effect ; 
if an accident happens, notice must be sent to the 
proper authorities ; special provisions are made for bake- 
houses, for lace-making, for collieries, and for a whole 
schedule of other special callings ; for the due enforce- 
ment and vigilant supervision of this immense host of 
minute prescriptions there is an immense host of in- 
spectors, certifying surgeons, and other authorities 
whose business it is ' to speed and post o'er land and 
ocean ' in restless guardianship of every kind of labour, 
from that of the woman who plaits straw at her cottage 
door, to the miner who descends into the bowels of the 
earth, and the seaman who conveys the fruits and ma- 
terials of universal industry to and fro between the 
remotest parts of the globe ! " * 

One of the most interesting circumstances in con- 

* Morley's " Life of Cobclen." 


nection with the later labours of Lord Shaftesbury on 
behalf of factory operatives was, that his steady per- 
severance, in the long run, brought round to his side 
many of those who had most stoutly opposed him. In 
I860, Mr. Roebuck, who had formerly been bitterly 
hostile, stood forth in Parliament and made his public 
recantation. The question before the House was the 
labour of children, young persons, and women employed 
in Bleach works. He said : "I am about to speak on 
this question under somewhat peculiar circumstances. 
Very early in my Parliamentary career Lord Ashley, now 
the Earl of Shaftesbury, introduced a Bill of this de- 
scription. ... I opposed Lord Ashley at that time, and 
was very much influenced in my opposition by what 
the gentlemen of Lancashire said. They declared then 
that it was the last half hour of the work performed by 
their operatives which made all their profits, and that 
if we took away that last half hour we should ruin the 
manufacturers of England. I listened to that state- 
ment, and trembled for the manufacturers of England — ■ 
but Lord Ashley persevered. Parliament passed the 
Bill which he brought in. Prom that time down to the 
present the factories of this country have been under 
State control, and I appeal to this House whether the 
manufacturers of England have suffered by this legisla- 
tion?" (Loud cheers.)* The burden of his speech 
throughout, was, that in his former tooth- and-nail op- 
position, he had been wrong in almost every particular. 
No sooner had Mr. Roebuck concluded than Sir 

* Times, March 22, 1860. 


James Graham came up to him, and, laying his hand 
on his shoulder, said, " I am glad that you have read 
your recantation, and I will read mine to-morrow." 
Eoebuck's recantation was more fully announced in the 
following letter, written a few days after his speech in 
the House : — 

Mr. Roebuck, M.P., to Lord Shaftesbury. 

19, Ashley Place, S.W., March 24, 1860. 

My dear Lord Shaftesbury, — I am much obliged by your 
kind expressions and by your flattering appreciation of my labours 
on behalf of the women and children working in Bleaching and Dye- 
works. The praise, however, if any be due, belongs to yourself, for 
the evidence supplied by the enactments which you promoted, made 
a convert of me, and led me, as far as I was able, to imitate your 
example and follow in your footsteps. That good will come of last 
Wednesday's division I feel certain. The success of the measure is 
now assured, and much misery, which has hitherto disgraced us, will 
now be prevented. The present state, however, of these poor women 
and children is a serious lesson to all legislators. It teaches us, in 
a way not to be mistaken, that we ought never to trust to the 
justice and humanity of masses of men, whose interests are furthered 
by injustice and cruelty. The slave-owner in America, the manu- 
facturer in England, though they may be individually good men, 
will, nevertheless, as slave-owners and masters, be guilty of atrocities 
at which humanity shudders ; and will, before the woidd, with un- 
blushing faces, defend cruelties from which they would recoil with 
horror if their moral judgments were not perverted by their self- 
interest. It is happy for us that we have an impartial public around 
us, who, being unswayed by evil interests, can, without a sacrifice, 
give a just judgment. 

Thanks again for your approval, 

Believe me, very sincerely yours, 



True to his word, in a debate upon the same subject 
(the Bleaching and Dye -Works Bill), Sir James 
Graham rose and said : " I have a confession to make 
to the House. Experience has shown, to my satis- 
faction, that many of the predictions formerly made 
against the Factory Bill have not been verified by the 
result, as, on the whole, that great measure of relief for 
women aud children has contributed to the well-being 
and comfort of the working classes, whilst it has not 
injured their masters. . . . By the vote I shall give to- 
night I will endeavour to make some amends for the 
course I pursued in earlier life in opposing the Factory 

In March, 1864, Mr. Gladstone, in a speech on 
interference by prohibition, referred to the Factory 
Acts, and said, "It is an interference, as to which it 
may be said that the Legislature is now almost unanimous 
with respect to the necessity which existed for under- 
taking it, and with respect to the beneficial effect it has 
produced both in mitigating human suffering, and in 
attaching important classes of the community to Par- 
liament and the Government." In a note written by 
Lord Shaftesbury in the margin of Mr. Grant's " His- 
tory of Factory Legislation ' : ' are these words : " He 
does not retract with the honesty of Boebuck and 

In all quarters, testimony was borne to the bene- 
ficial effects produced by the intervention of the Legis- 
lature in the emplo} T ment of women and children in 

* Times, May 9, 1860. 


factories. To quote such testimony would be an endless 
and unnecessary labour. One extract only, as a sample, 
shall be given here. At a meeting- of the British 
Association in Manchester, in September, 1861, Pro- 
fessor Newmarch, in his opening address as President of 
the Economic Science Statistics Section, after referring 
to the progress of Factory Legislation, and the " wholly 
successful " issue of the limitation of hours, said: "It 
had consolidated society in this part of the island, 
swept away a great mass of festering and growing dis- 
content, placed the prosperity of the district on a broad, 
solid, and safe basis ; on the orderly, educated, contented 
labour of Lancashire, a security against foreign com- 
petition, a guarantee of power, and fund of undivided 
profits. These results had followed from the sagacious, 
persevering, and moral exertions, of the advocates of 
the Ten Hours Bill." 

By far the most interesting summary and comment 
upon the great Factory struggle, is supplied by Lord 
Shaftesbury in some manuscript notes appended on fly- 
leaves to Mr. Philip Grant's " History of Factory 
Legislation." They were written towards the end ot 
his life, and are as follows : — 

My friend Grant has made some omissions, and especially in p. 145. 
He has left out the whole history of what follows on my acceptance 
of Grey's offer of a 'limitation of the hours between 6 and 6, with an 
hour and a half off for meals,' thus making the working day 10i 
instead of 10 hours. 

It led to a violent disruption. Oastler, Walker, and the Fielden 
family denounced me as a traitor, and never ceased afterwards to 
hurt and slander me. 


I assented on the ground that twenty years of well-balanced con- 
flict showed that neither party could gain its full purpose ; and that 
compromise was the only solution. And the gain to the people was 
far beyond the concession to the employers, who, for an additional 
half hour, surrendered their right to take the hours of labour over 
an interval of 15 hours with all the means of evasion, and agreed to 

7 O 

close their works at 6 o'clock. 

This was recognised, at the very first, by very many of the opera- 
tives, and, eventually, by all. 

It, moreover, prevented a ' sore place ' by giving neither party the 
absolute victory. And in nothing have I seen more reason to admire 
and trust the factory-workers, than in their readiness to conform to 
my advice (which I gave in abundant letters and speeches) that, 
while there was much joy, there should be no insolent exultation, 
no language of triumph, but expressions of gratitude, addresses of 
friendly sentiments, and desire for harmony and common action. 

All this had the desired effect ; for the masters, instead of a sulky 
opposition, were zealous to aid the operations of the measure, and 
hence, under God, its success. 

From the first hour of my movement to the last, I had ever before 
me and never lost sight of it, the issue of a restoration of a good 
understanding between employer and employed. 

He has also omitted to note the completion of the Act by bring- 
ing, in 1853 (this we owe to Palmerston), the children between 8 
and 13 under the 6 to 6 Clause. To this time, though the adults 
and young persons were liberated after 12 hours' detention on the 
premises, the children of tender years were detained 15 hours, many 
of them, in Yorkshire, coming 3 miles to their work. 

These new measures (the Extension Acts) were mentioned in the 
Queen's Speeches both at the opening and the closing of Parliament 
in 1867. 

The next entry, on another fly-leaf, appears to have 
been written at a later date : — 

Forster* suggested that, in the preface to my ' published volume ' ( !) 
I should set forth many of the obstacles that had beset my progress. 
This could not be clone by myself ; the narrative would savour of 

* John Forster, author of " Life of Dickens," and many other works. 


egoism. But for my children, if this book survive me, I may say 
that they were many and severe. I had to break every political 
connection, to encounter a most formidable array of capitalists, mill- 
owners, doctrinaires, and men, who, by natural impulse, hate all 
' humanity-mongers.' They easily influence the ignorant, the timid, 
and the indifferent ; and my strength lay at first (' tell it not in 
Gath ! ') among the Radicals, the Irishmen, and a few sincere Whigs 
and Conservatives. Peel was hostile, though, in his cunning, he 
concealed the full extent of his hostility until he took the reins of 
office, and then he opposed me, not with decision only but male- 
volence, threatening, he and Graham, to break up his administration 
and ' retire into private life ' unless the House of Commons rescinded 
the vote it had given in favour of my Ten Hours Bill. The Tory 
country gentlemen reversed their votes ; but, in 1847, indignant with 
Peel on the ground of Corn Law repeal, they returned to the cause 
of the factory children. 

Fielden and Brotherton were the only ' practical ' men, as the 
phrase then went, who supported me, and to ' practical ' prophecies 
of overthrow of trade, of ruin to the operatives themselves, I could 
only oppose ' humanity ' and general principles. The newspapers 
were, on the whole, friendly ; some very much so. A few, especially 
the local journals, inconceivably bitter, though balanced by local 
papers sound and hearty in their support. 

Out of Parliament, there was in society every form of 'good- 
natured ' and compassionate contempt. In the provinces, the anger 
and irritation of the opponents were almost fearful ; and men among 
first classes of workpeople, overlookers and others, were afraid to 
avow their sentiments. It required, during many years, repeated 
journeys to Lancashire and Yorkshire, no end of public meetings in 
the large towns ; visits, committees, innumerable hours, intolerable 
expense. In very few instances did any mill-owner appear on the 
platform with me ; in still fewer the ministers of any religious deno- 
mination. At first not one, except the Rev. Mr. Bull, of Brierley, 
near Bradford ; and even to the last, very few, so cowed were they 
(or in themselves so indifferent) by the overwhelming influence of 
the cotton lords. 

I had more aid from the medical than the divine profession ; 
and ever must I record the services and skill of Mr. Fletcher of 


The demands upon time and strength were quite up to my 
powers, and, indeed, much beyond them. I suffered a good deal. 

The operatives, themselves, did their duty. Their delegates, 
whom they maintained at their own cost, were always active and 
trustworthy men ; specially my friend and fellow-labourer, Philip 
Grant, who was, in my support, as two right hands. 

Perhaps the vai'ious efforts made by Sir R, Peel to induce me to 
take office, were amongst the greatest of my difficulties. The attrac- 
tions of office were not weighty ; but Sir P. Peel wishing, not so 
much to have me as a member of his Government as to withdraw me 
from the Factory Bill, spared no entreaties, no ' flatteries,' no almost 
falsehoods, to entice me. He shifted his ground in every way, first 
one thing, then another. Among other things, the Lord-Lieutenancy 
of Ireland, as ' a man who would have great influence over the clergy 
to induce them to accept reforms.' 

In the Times of Saturday, April 11th, ]86$, there is a review of 
the Life of Wilberforce ! There are many things said in it of him 
that might be said of me, but they never will be. He started with a 
Committee and a Prime Minister to back him. I started to assail 
home interests, with every one, save a few unimposing persons, 
against me. O'Connell was a sneering and bitter opponent. Glad- 
stone ever voted in resistance to my efforts ; and Brougham played 
the doctrinaire in the House of Lords. 

Bright was ever my most malignant opponent. Cobden, though 
bitterly hostile, was better than Bright. He abstained from opposi- 
tion on the Collieries Bill, and gave positive support on the Calico 
Print-works Bill. 

Gladstone is on a level with the rest ; he gave no support to the 
Ten Hours Bill ; he voted with Sir R. Peel to 'rescind the famous 
division in favour of it. He was the only member who endeavoured 
to delay the Bill which delivered women and children from mines and 
pits ; and never did he say a word on behalf of the factory children, 
until, when defending slavery in the West Indies, he taunted Buxton 
with indifference to the slavery in England ! 

Lord Brougham was among my most heated opponents. He 
spoke strongly against the Bill in 1847. 

Miss Martineau also gave her voice and strength in resistance to 
the measure. 

By degrees some public men came round. Russell, then Lord 

1850.] FRIENDS AND FOES. 211 

John, did me disservice while he was Minister ; he espoused the 
cause when turned into Opposition. Then Sir G. Grey adhered ; 
and, towards the end, Macaulay gave us one of his brilliant and 
effective speeches. My latter years in the House of Commons were 
dogged by Oastler and the Fieldens, who resented my policy in 
bringing all things to a happy conclusion by making and accepting 
concessions to abate too much exultation in the operatives, and too 
much soreness in the mill-owners. 

The pressure upon purse and upon time was very great ; the 
pressure upon strength was greater, but the pressure on the mind 
was greatest of all. I endured terrible anxieties. 

(I have omitted above that the famous O'Connell was, for a long 
time, very bitter and hostile, and spoke of the ' good-natured non- 
sense ' I delivered. He became, afterwards, much milder.) 

What follows was written evidently after another 
long interval : — 

On May 15th, 1869, a great celebration at Bradford to uncover 
Oastler's statue. The reception the operatives gave me was wonder- 
ful. There must have been one hundred thousand people present ; 
many had come from distant towns in Yorkshire. 

o 2 



Famine in Ireland— Day of Humiliation — National Education and Wesleyan 
Support — Letter from Lord John Eussell — Election Speech at Bath — Inci- 
dents of the Election — Returned Head of the Poll — Ragged School Busi- 
ness — Broadwall Ragged School — Roger Miller, City Missionary — His 
Death — Article on Mrs. Elizaheth Fry — Quakers and Quakerism — Article 
on Lodging Houses — A Hapless Wanderer — A Round of Visits — Leader of 
the Conservative Party — Missionaries — Miss Strickland — Highland Scenery 
— A Presentation at Bradford — Party Spirit — Lahours in Lunacy Cases 
— Baron Lionel Rothschild and Jewish Disahilities — At Windsor — Dr. 
Hampden — Faith. 

There were many who did not hesitate to declare that 
the scare produced by the threatened failure of the 
potato crop in 1845, and the consequent famine, was 
neither more nor less than a political coup. It was, 
nevertheless, a terrible fact, and Ireland had been 
plunged into unprecedented distress. In the autumn of 
1846 the disease reappeared with greater virulence than 
ever; and in 1S47 Ireland was in a state of absolute 
famine. It is impossible to describe the terrible condi- 
tion of that unhappy country ; tens of thousands were 
threatened with actual starvation, and thousands more 
were suffering from disease consequent upon insufficient 
food. Then it was seen that the repeal of the Corn 
Laws was a stroke of the wisest policy ; the ports had 
not been thrown open one day too soon, nor had the 
intimation to countries from whence grain could be 

1847.] FAMINE IN IRELAND. ' 213 

imported, been given an hour too early. The descriptions 
in the daily press were of the most harrowing kind, and 
the whole world was horrified by their shocking details, 
to which there is, happily, nothing similar on record in 
the annals of this country. The food of the people was 
gone ; and although every effort was made to bring sup- 
plies into the country, these were altogether inadequate. 
Subscriptions were set on foot, work was improvised for 
the unemployed ; but, notwithstanding this, the people 
died in hundreds daily from dysentery, famine, fever, 
and starvation. Never before had there been such 
universal sympathy with suffering — all the nations vied 
with one another in sending contributions towards the 
relief of the distress — and never before had any country 
in civilised lands and times been dependent for existence 
upon one poor article of food. Despite all the efforts 
that were made, " there was not a house where there 
was not one dead." It was ascertained by the census of 
1S51 that a million and a half of persons, of all ages, had 
disappeared — either starved to death, destro} r ed by pesti- 
lence, or fled the country. 

In a great variety of ways the sympathies of Lord 
Ashley were called out towards the suffering people, to 
whom constant reference is made in the Diary through- 
out these years of famine. 

February 21st, Sunday. — Sermon for relief of Irish ; held one of 
the plates in Park Street. Largest collection ever known here, 
£192 14s. lid. Sad to see how many well-dressed people pass by 
and oive not a brass farthing. . . . 

February 26th. — Wrote to Bishop of London to urge day of 


humiliation. It is something to reverence God as a nation, though 
it be only externally. 

March 24th. — The day appointed for fast and national humilia- 
tion. At ten o'clock, prayers being ended, some bread and cocoa. 
The savings in the house-books to go (it is the homage, not the sum) 
to some Irish fund. Were this done in every family, thousands of 
pounds might be collected. It has been a comfortable day to me ; 
the service, the reading, the conversation, have all been consolatory 
and profitable. Seldom have I known my heart more touched, or 
my eyes more full. ... O God, may this people stand before Thee 
in penitence, in prayer, confession, and forgiveness ! May they yet 
be Thy instruments, for honour to Thee and welfare to the human 
race, Thy chosen soldiers of the Cross of Christ against sin and the 
devil ! 

In the early part of the year Lord Ashley was en- 
gaged in rendering important service to Lord John 
Kusseil, who was about to submit to Parliament a 
scheme for the education of the people, based upon the 
grant of £100,000 to be asked for during the Session. 
He proposed to exclude Soman Catholics from the 
benefit of the grant, and to take up their case in a sepa- 
rate form. The details of his plan were submitted to 
the House on the 19th April, when he expressed his 
belief that any proposal for making State education 
purely secular would be opposed to the opinion of 

April 1st. — Much engaged in endeavouring to bring the Wes- 
leyan body to accept and support new scheme of education. 

Lord J. Russell to Lord Ashley. 

Chesham Place, April 7, 1847. 

My deab Ashley, — Your exertions to induce the Wesleyans to 

accept our Minutes will, I trust, be successful. 

But at all events, I cannot refrain from expressing the obligations 

1847.] SPEECH AT BATH. ' 215 

which I feel to you for your very active and judicious endeavours to 
obtain the support of that most valuable body to our Minutes. 

I remain, ever yours faithfully, 

J. Russell. 

April 15th. — All is well ! The Wesleyans have accepted the 
Minutes. May God prosper the issue ! Took chair in evening- 
yesterday of great education meeting in Freemasons' Hall. Very 
enthusiastic, very successful ; everything prospered. 

April 17th. — I cannot dispossess my mind of a suspicion that 
John Russell meditates ' other ' things in a new Parliament, yet 
that does not alter my desire and determination to aid him, heart 
and soul, in all that is right. He has written to thank me for my 
services in the negotiations with the Wesleyans. And truly they 
were very opportune. Their hostility would have been disastrous. 

April 23rd. — A majority last night on the Education Minutes of 
345, forty-seven only voting against it ! I am truly thankful. May 
the measure be prospered to the advancement of true; religion ! Now, 
where would the Government have been had the Wesleyans joined 
the Dissenters ? Their union would have damped the ardour of the 
Church, and all would have been in confusion. 

Lord Ashley had accepted the invitation of an influ- 
ential deputation that had waited upon him, urging 
him to stand for the representation of Bath, at the 
forthcoming General Election, and offering to pay all 
his expenses; and on the 25th May he addressed the 
electors. In his opening remarks he gave a graphic 
description of Parliamentary life. He said : — 

I was almost willing to retire from public life, and all its dis- 
tracting vocations ; for, however tempting to the young and inex- 
perienced — however full of promise of usefulness and of honour to 
those who have never tried it — the House of Commons does not 
present, to its more practised members, such an amount of unalloyed 
enjoyment a3 to render it, of all sublunary things, the most to be 


The immense consumption of time, the constant demand on the 
moral and physical energies, the enormous effort winch is required 
to do the smallest good, and the misunderstanding and abuse which 
constantly attend that attempt — these circumstances, when seen and 
felt, greatly diminish the attraction of Parliamentary honours. Add 
to these the state of public parties, the uncertainty of the opinions 
of your own ordinary political friends, and the total impossibility of 
reposing entire confidence in any public man— consider all these 
things, and you have but little left to inspire any inordinate desire 
of senatorial privileges. 

The subjects he principally brought forward, were 
those connected with the social condition of the labour- 
ing; classes, indicating principles rather than precise 
measures, and holding himself free to decide the time 
and mode of asserting them; but, in all, he pledged 
himself to maintain the " great principles of the Con- 
stitution in Church and State — those great principles 
which, ever since the Revolution of 1GSS, have been 
recognised and cherished by the people of these 
realms — the Crown, the Bishops, the Houses of Lords 
and Commons, and eveiy institution ecclesiastical and 

His opponent was Mr. Eoebuck, then his bitterest 
antagonist in the Factory agitation. Mr. Eoebuck had 
arrayed on his side capital, as well as considerable in- 
fluence, the Jews alone subscribing £2,000 towards his 
expenses, and he made, moreover, the usual extravagant 
display which produced no inconsiderable impression 
upon a certain class of electors in those days. Lord 
Ashley, on the other hand, declined to allow banners, 
processions, or even ribands ; determined that if he 
triumphed, it should be a triumph of principles. 

1847.] RETURNED M.P. FOR BATH: 217 

July 24th. — Bath. Arrived yesterday— all seems quiet, and 
appearances are not bad. It would require a world of argument to 
make me vote for the repeal of the Septennial Bill ; a more frequent 
repetition of the toils, expenses, excitement, and evil passions of a 
contested election, would be awfully injurious to all parties. ' 

July 2Gth. — Mobbed on Saturday, and struck in the evening by 
a man, who was instantly seized, his blow having been broken — yet I 
shall continue to walk about. Violence is expected at the hustings ; 
I trust that the police will do their duty. Attended several com- 
mittees, very crowded, and very hot — all looks pretty well, but 
' Dieu dispose.' Mr. R. is determined, I hear, to wither me by 
sarcasms — doubtless he will have the opportunity to revile, and I 
shall have none to answer ; but God judge between us ! 

July 28th. — The nomination has passed off quietly — people noisy, 
but gooddiumoured. An immense meeting ; Mr. Roebuck, piano in 
comparison of what I expected, so much so that I could not produce 
the only part of my speech that I had prepared in answer to his 
invectives ! 

Perceived a change in the popular feeling towards end of my 
speech ; cries of ' Ashley for ever ! ' ten times more frequent all this 
evening than before. 

July 31st. — London. No time for entries till this morning- 
many events ; returned, however, thank God, at the head of the 

*A. . . . 1278 
D. . . . 1228 
R. . . . 1093 

August 2nd. — I am deeply sensible of the immense value of the 
mode in which I have been returned, and of the principles asserted 
in it. I can never sufficiently thank God for the whole event, and 
for the prospect it has opened to me of restoration to public use- 
fulness. I have been excluded from Parliament for two Sessions, but 
the time has not been entirely lost ; and I am now replaced in it in 
a way the most honourable, and the most pleasant on record in the 
history of elections. I did not ask a single vote ; I appeared but 

* Lord Ashley, Lord Duncan, Mr. Roebuck. The latter was left at 
the foot of the poll after a connection of fifteen years with the constituency. 


once in Bath, and made a single speech before the week of the dis- 
solution ; I did not pay a single farthing ; I had not an inch of 
ribbon, a banner, music, or a procession ; not a penny during six 
months was expended on beer ; nor had I one paid agent ; the 
tradesmen conducted the whole, and with singular judgment and 
concord. This is indeed a model for elections, and heartily do I 
thank God that the precedent has been set in my instance. We had 
no mob, no bludgeon-man, and trusted entirely to the police and 
common sense 

Aug. 7th. — The unanimity of the London press, great and small, 
the blue-bottles and the gnats, against me and for Roebuck, is very 
remarkable. Punch of yesterday added his sting. Such perseverance 
cannot fail of some general effect on the public mind ; for, as Mr. 
Hardwick, the architect, told us a few days ago, the repeated jars of 
a train, passing over an iron bridge, were equal, in the aggregate, to 
one mighty blow ! 

Auff. 9th. — Amused with the issue of Oxford election. Had 
been requested to stand ; stated all my objections (of which I had 
many) in reply, but consented, if my friends regarded it as a matter 
of real principle. I see by the result that I should have come in. 
I was proposed at Oxford, and Dr. Ogilvie, who takes the lead in that 
place, would not allow the name of so low a churchman — one so con- 
nected with the Pastoral Aid Society — to be mentioned. To avoid any 
division, all agreed to seek out some one against whom nothing could 
be said ; but then, as the price of that, they were obliged to adopt 
a person for whom they could say as little, so Dr. Ogilvie took 
Round, and subsequently finds out that he had rejected a ' low church- 
man ' to espouse one who had played the ' dissenter ; ' and he loses 
the election into the bargain ! 

The interest excited in Ragged Schools and the 
London City Mission showed no sign of diminution. 
Many influential persons were eager to see the strange 
sights which Lord Ashley so graphically described by 
pen and speech. The newspaper press lent material 
aid in making the subject popular ; and the mustard 
seed was beginning to spread itself into the largest of 


trees. Frequent notes similar to the following occur in 
the Diary : — 

March 27th. — To Pye Street at 11 o'clock to show Ragged 
School to Fox Maule and Mr. Guthrie. Lord, how we ought to bless 
Thee for this measure of success ! 

May 1st.- — An article in the Edinburgh Review on 'Ragged 
Schools,' written, evidently, by one who knows nothing of them. ISTo 
mention of our Ragged Union, no recognition of our labours and 
services. The spirit of it is good — no tendency to irreligion. Now, 
I discern the reason of their silence : I see a contemptuous allusion 
to factory legislators, and any praise of the Union would involve a 
praise of myself. Such things are in themselves of no value ; the 
result is the sum and substance, wherewith we should be content ; 
but to a public man, the praise of successful efforts, especially if he 
be a ' philanthropist,' is stock-in-trade for further enterprise ; to 
withhold it where it is due, is not so much to injure the man as to 
retard humanity. 

The Broad wall Ra^o-ed School in South London 


owed its existence to the indefatigable labours of Mr. 
Roger Miller, a City missionary, who had at first 
gathered about 130 of the most destitute and forsaken 
children he could find, and, in a tumbledown building, 
had laboured, week-days and Sundays, to lead them 
into better paths. Soon, the crowds of applicants were 
too numerous for the accommodation ; and Lord Ashley 
happening to hear of this, sent for Mr. Miller, to see if 
something could not be done to assist him in his work. 

Lord Ashley seemed to know instinctively the men 
he could trust, and with whom he could work ; and 
once having taken kindly to a man he would trust him 
implicitly, and work with him ungrudgingly. It was 
so in this case ; and Mr. Miller was soon entered upon 


his list of friends. This was no meaningless distinc- 
tion implying mere patronage. He sought out in 
men beauty of character and singleness of purpose, and 
it mattered not to him whether they belonged to the 
humbler walks of life or to the higher : he gave them 
his friendship in no ordinary sense of the term. He 
accepted the motto of the poet Young : — 

"Judge before friendship, then confide till death." 

Eoger Miller was a man whom Lord Ashley highly 
esteemed. He was a frequent, and always a welcome, 
visitor, and his simple, earnest devotion to the poor, 
his practical piety, and his cheerful, hopeful faith, 
were often helpful to the spiritual life of Lord Ashley. 
The death of this faithful . missionary, just at a time 
when his labours were more than ever needed, was a 
serious blow, which deeply affected Lord Ashley. 

June 7th. — This morning overwhelmed with grief ; hut God give 
us faith and obedience. Miller killed in the Birmingham train on 
Saturday night. I had seen him in the morning, well and full of 
zeal. He was ejoinor to Manchester to bury his mother. How in- 
scrutable are Thy ways, O Lord ! Write this lesson on our hearts. 
Here was a man rich in good works, piety, truth, service to God and 
man, labouring by night and day for humanity and religion, and 
especially amongst the poorest of our race. He is suddenly cut off, 
his work unfinished, his wife and children left destitute ! And this, 
too, when so many profligate, idle, mischievous, useless, survive. Let 
us rejoice that we know the issues of life and death to be, not only 
in the poiver, but in the care, of our Father which is in Heaven ! He 
is gone, I believe, to his rest ; and now, O God, give us the will and 
the means to aid his widow, who is a widow indeed, and the children, 
who are orphans ! But where shall I find another such for the charge 
of our Bagged School 1 Where another so full of love, piety, earnest- 

1847.] MRS. ELIZABETH FRY. 221 

ness, discretion, and labour ] Lord, Thou knowest. Blessed Saviour 
of mankind, remember Thine own words — ' Feed my lambs.' 

June 9th. — A far greater man might have gone out of the world 
with much less effect. All was grief on Monday at Broad wall ; 
children and adults wept alike, and blessed the memory of poor 
Miller. I have known men of a hundred thousand a year depart 
this life, and every eye around dry as the pavement. Here goes a 
City missionary at thirty shillings a week, and hundreds are in an 
agony of sorrow. I have lost an intimate friend. We took, I 
may say, ' sweet counsel together.' A gap has been made in my 
life and occupations which will not easily be tilled up. 

Lord Ashley had in early life often wished to devote 
himself to science. At this period in his career he 
seemed about to devote himself to literature. Two 
articles from his pen appeared in the Quarterly 
Beview for 1847. The first was on Mrs. Elizabeth 
Fry, whose biography it reviews. We append the 
following extracts : — 

That this admirable woman had a special vocation for the office 
she undertook is manifest in every step of her progress ; her intel- 
lectual constitution was singularly adapted to the peculiar task ; add 
to this the zeal which governed the whole, an enthusiasm regulated, 
but never chilled, by judgment, and we have a character armed at 
all points, ready to take up the gauntlet of every conceivable obstacle 
that could impede her in the accomplishment of her great design. 
Among subordinate, but very real advantages, we cannot fail to 
count the succour she derived from her connection with the Society 
of Friends. A little eccentricity of action was considered permissible, 
and even natural, in the member of a body already recognised as 
eccentric in opinions, eccentric in dress, eccentric in language. Philan- 
thropy, too, had been the distinguishing characteristic of this 
respectable brotherhood ; a devious effort for the interest of man- 
kind passed in one of them without censure, almost without 
observation. The Quaker habit and Quaker renown disarmed 
hostility, nay, propitiated favour ; it secured the first introduction to 


magistrates, to nobles, to ministers, to Emperors. When so much 
was effected, the rest was sure ; her simple dignity of demeanour, her 
singularly musical voice, her easy, unaffected language, the fit vehicle 
of her unfailing good sense, her earnest piety, and unmistakable 
disinterestedness, enchained the most reluctant ; and to every Cabinet 
and Court of Europe, where religion or humanity could be main- 
tained or advanced, she obtained ready admission as a herald of 
peace and charity. 

But, we must repeat, we take her as the exception, not as the 
rule. The high and holy duties assigned to women by the decrees 
of Providence are essentially of a secret and retiring nature ; it is 
in the privacy of the closet that the soft, yet sterling, wisdom of the 
Christian mother stamps those impressions on the youthful heart, 
which, though often defaced, are seldom wholly obliterated. What- 
ever tends to withdraw her from these sacred offices, or even abate 
their full force and efficacy, is high treason against the hopes of a 
nation. We do not deny that valuable seiwices may be safely, and, 
indeed, are safely, rendered by many intelligent and pious ladies 
who devote their hours of leisure or recreation to the Rarotoncas 
and Tahitis of British Christendom — it is not to such that we 
would make allusion ; our thoughts are directed to that total 
absorption which, plunging women into the voi'tex of eccentric 
and self-imposed obligations, merges the private in the public 
duty, confounds that which is principal with that which is secondary, 
and withdraws them from labours which they alone can accomplish, 
to those in which, at least, they may be equalled by others. 


We are amused, we confess, by her struggles with Quakerism, 
and her ultimate surrender to a pedantic system, by which her 
inner being could never be ruled. Though a member of a sect, 
she, in truth, Avas no sectarian ; but, underneath the ostentatious 
singularity of the mob-cap and light grey mantle, bore a humble 
heart — and a heart that could give honour to whom honour was 
due, whether he wore an ermine robe, sleeves of lawn, or the 
foulest rags. We are at a loss for her reasons ; the ' concern ' — 
such is the term — is not alleged in her journal to have offered 
splendid advantages unattainable elsewhere. She may have yielded 
to the persuasions of her many relatives, to the suggestions of 

1847.] LODGING HOUSES. 223 

convenience ; but, whatever the motive, she embraces, with true 
self-devotion, the whole ; adopts, without reserve, the Friend's 
ceremonial law ; and finds various philosophical arguments to fortify 
the usage of 'thou' and 'thee' (pp. 56, Gl). 'I considered,' she 
observes, ' there were certainly some advantages attending it ; the 
first, that of weaning the heart from this world, by acting in some 
little things differently from it.' ' Vain service all, and false philo- 
sophy ! ' Our deep respect for many Quakers will not beguile us 
into a fulsome conceit of the elevating and purgative powers of 
Quakerism. They are men of like passions with ourselves ; they 
may be seen in Mark Lane and on the Exchange, and pursue their 
wealth and enjoy it with similar zeal and relish. Nor are they fully 
weaned from the rougher and more stimulating diet of political 
ambition. With the vow of separation upon them, they have recently 
shaved their heads, and entered the world of Parliamentary service ; 
how far they, or the public, have gained by this invasion of the 
Nazarites is beyond our experience. One of them, however, must 
have imbibed the humanising influence of ' thou ' and ' thee ; ' 
since the friend who knew him best, not long ago declared, that ' if 
John Bright had not been born a Quaker he would most assuredly 
have become a prize fighter ! ' 

In some particulars the work of Elizabeth Fry was 
closely allied to that of Lord Ashley, and he reveals the 
secret of its success in these words : — 

She saw clearly and experienced the power of love on the human 
heart, whether corrupted, as in the criminal, or stujaefied, as in the 
lunatic. She saw that the benighted and wandering madman pos- 
sessed and cherished the remnants of his better mind, and that he 
clung to nothing so much as to that which all seemed to deny him — 
some little semblance of respect. Sympathy is the great secret to 
govern the human race ; and, whether it be in a prison, a ragged 
school, a madhouse, or the world at large, he that would force men's 
hearts to a surrender, must do so by manifesting that they would be 
safe if committed to his keeping. 

The second article was on " Lodging Houses," and 
was written to assist the efforts being made by the 


Labourers' Friend Society, in the same way in which 
the article on Ragged Schools had assisted the Ragged 
School Union. 

Thoroughly conversant with his subject Lord Ashley ' 
set forth graphically the abominations of the then 
existing lodging-house " system," and the efforts made 
to supersede it. His description of a hapless wanderer 
arriving in London, homeless, friendless, and seeking 
a shelter, is here subjoined : — 

The astonishment and perplexities of a young person on his 
arrival here, full of good intentions to live honestly, would be almost 
ludicrous, were they not the preludes to such mournful results. He 
ali'dits, and is instantly directed for the best accommodation to 
Duck Lane, St. Giles's, Saffron Hill, Spitalfields, or Whitechapel. 
He reaches the indicated region through tight avenues of glittering 
fish and rotten vegetables, with doorways or alleys gaping on either 
side — which, if they be not choked with squalid garments or sickly 
children, lead the eye through an interminable vista of filth and 
distress — and begins his search for the ' good entertainment.' The 
pavement, where there is any, rugged and broken, is bespattered 
with dirt of every hue, ancient enough to rank with the fossils, but 
offensive as the most recent deposits. The houses, small, low, and 
mournful, present no one part, in windows, door-posts, or brickwork, 
that seems fitted to stand for another week ; rags and bundles stuff 
up the panes, and defend the passages, blackened with use and by the 
damps arising from the undrained and ill-ventilated recesses. Yet 
each one ;iffects to smile with promise, and invites the country 
bumpkin to the comfort and repose of ' Lodgings for Single Men.' 

He enters the first, perhaps the largest, and finds it to consist of 
seven apartments of very moderate dimensions. Here are stowed — 
besides children — sixty adults, a goodly company of males and 
females, of every profession of fraud and violence, with a very few 
poor and industrious labourers. He turns to another hostel — the 
reader will not, we know, proceed without misgivings — but we assure 
him our picture is drawn from real life. The parlour measures 


eighteen feet by ten. Beds are arranged on each side of it. composed 
of straw, rags, and shavings, all in order, but not decently, according 
to the apostolic precept. Here he sees twenty-seven male and female 
adults, and thirty-one children, with several dogs (for dogs, the 
friends of man, do not forsake him in his most abaudoned condition), 
in all fiftv-ei£fht human beings, in a contracted den, from which licdit 
and air are systematically excluded. He seeks the upper room, as 
more likely to remind him of his native hills ; it measures twelve feet 
by ten, and contains six beds, which in their turn contain thirty-two 
individuals — and these bearing but little resemblance to Alexander 
the Great, Cujas the Lawyer, or Lord Herbert of Cherbury, whose 
bodies yielded naturally a fine perfume. Disgusted once more, he turns 
with hope to the tranquillity of a smaller tenement. Here, groping 
his way up an ascent more like a flue than a staircase, he finds a nest 
of four tiny compartments — and they are all full. It is, however, in 
vain to search further. The evening has set in ; the tenants are 
returned to their layers ; the dirt, confusion, and obscenity baffle 
alike tongue, pen, and paint-brush : but if our bewildered novice 
would have for the night a roof over his head, he must share the 
tlcor with as many men, women, and babies as it has space for. 

After further descriptions of the state of things the 
article continues : — 

Our readers will now have some notion of the ' system ' which it 
has been the aim of the Labourers' Friend Society to attack. It 
being asked once ' What is the best method of protecting against 
depredation a barrel of small beer 1 ' the answer was ' Place alongside 
of it a barrel of strong.' On this principle the Society determined to 
act : and we shall now sketch the triumph of their superior barrel. 

The experiment was successful, and paved the way 
for attempting greater things, not only by the Labourers' 
Friend Society, but upon their model, and not in London 
only but in many of the large provincial towns and 

In August Lord Ashley set off on a round of visits, 


to take a little relaxation before the labours of the 
new Parliament should commence. 

Aug. 12th. — Broadlands. Went over yesterday to St. Giles's. 
Minny, and the four boys ; no one there ; place solitary as the plains 
of Tartary, but, thank God, it looked well and uninjured. A few 
years ago I could have adopted a rural life, I could not, I think, 
now ! My habits are formed on metropolitan activity, and I must 
ever be groping where there is the most mischief. . . . 

Aug. 23rd. — William Cowper writes to Minny, ' I hear Ashley 
sometimes spoken of as the only man who is calculated to lead the 
majority of the Conservative party, and certainly if he were an am- 
bitious man he might assume a leadership with many followers next 
Session, particularly on subjects relating to the Church, &c, <kc.' 
Well, this is a new view of my futurity ; what sport for the news- 
papers. If they shot at me while I was merely a cocksparrow, what 
would they do when I had become a Popinjay ! no, no, no ; I have 
opinions and feelings, strong and deep ; they may be right or wrong ; 
but, right or wrong, they can never lead a party, because no party 
would follow them. 

Aug. 30th. — Byde. Reading ' Missionary Enterprises ' by Wil- 
liams. It may well make us all blush — blush by contrast with the 
missionaries, blush by contrast with the natives of the South Sea 
Islands. Zeal, devotion, joy, simplicity of heart, faith and love ; and 
we, here, have barely affection enough to thank God that such deeds 
have been done. Talk of 'doing good ' and 'being useful in one's 
generation,' why, these admirable men performed more in one month 
than I or many others shall perform in a whole life ! O God, bless 
our land to Thy service, and make every ship an ark of Noah to 
bear the Church of Christ and the tidings of salvation, over all the 
waters of the ocean. 

Sept. 17th. — Galloway House. There cannot be a lovelier or 
more enjoyable spot. The air is so elastic and bracing that it saves 
one from Sybaritish atiections ; one feels up to doing something. 
God give me a stock of health to be used in His service. 

Dear old Duchess of Beaufort here ; talked much with her on the 
Second Advent ; Ave both agree and delight in the belief of the personal 
reign of our blessed Lord on earth. I cannot understand the Scrip- 

1847.] IX SCOTLAND. 227 

tures in any other way ; it is, however, a doctrine much abhorred by 
certain people, and greatly ridiculed and persecuted in those who 
profess it ; the adversaries argue and revile as fiercely as though they 
attacked or maintained the fundamentals of the Christian religion, 
whereas the reception of this text, however comfortable, is no matter 
of faith. 

Sept. 25. — Wishaw, Lord Belhaven's. Arrived here yesterday, 
hospitably received ; found Miss Strickland, authoress of ' Lives of 
Queens of England ' ; put up my bristles in fear, and prepared for an 
onslaught of blue-stocking Tractarianism ; agreeably disappointed ; 
a good-natured, kind-hearted woman. She spoke gloriously of my 
public exploits, hence I suppose my becalmed spirit. . . . 

Sept. 30th. — Aclmacarry. Visit to Lord Malmesbury. Found 
here Ossulston, the Castlereaghs, and a Mr. Giles, a skilful limner. 
Rose this morning at 6. The purple hills were tipjoed with the 
rising sun, and all around is heathery mountain. It is like living at 
the bottom of a teacup with lovely edges. 

Oct. 2nd. — Impossible to describe the fascinations of these High- 
land regions ; the hills must be seen, and the air must be breathed ; 
one's old limbs become elastic, and we ' leap exulting like the 
bounding roe ; ' it is a joy which fills the heart with thankfulness. 

The colours and tints of every kind and hue, in most abundant 
variety, enliven the valleys and mountains with a brilliant glory. It 
looks as if some mighty giant, intending to do a landscape, had used 
a whole district for his palette, and spread it over with all the colours 
that singly or combined can exist in Nature. And as for the whole 
effect, language is altogether impotent ; one's vocabulary will supply 
no adequate terms, and must be content to admire in silence or by 
short and emphatic ejaculations. . . . 

Oct. 9th. — Rossie Priory. Been here since Wednesday ; it is a 
fine possession, people hospitable and kind ; found here Sheriff 
Watson — very glad indeed to meet him — a tutelar saint of Ragged 
Schools ; also Sir David Brewster, a dear old man, combining beau- 
tifully science and religion. ... I have been in good spirits 
since my arrival in Scotland, and have laughed a great deal, perhaps 
too much. 

Oct. 13th. — Freeland (Lord Ruthven's). The heat and mugginess 
of these beautiful, but close, valleys, almost kill me, by contrast with 
the elastic, life-giving breezes of the Highlands. 

p 2 


Oct. 20th. — Boiling Hall, near Bradford, in Yorkshire. Yes- 
terday evening the Short Time Commissioner of the West Biding 
] (resented to Minny a f nil-length portrait of me, painted by Bird, 
and an excellent likeness, as a memorial of gratitude for my services. 
Nothing could have been more acceptable in every sense.* 

Oct. 27th. — Row ton. The Government in their distress have 
consulted Reel. He and Sir C. Wood were closeted together for four 
hours, from eight till twelve o'clock at night on this monetary crisis ; 
all quite right and yet rather mean. This is the man whom they 
rejected from office a twelvemonth ago, as wholly unfit for the place ; 
and now they call him to council. Party spirit is the ruling principle 
of public men, says all experience ; Peel is an exception, so far only 
as that his party is himself. . . . 

On his return to London, Lord Ashley found abun- 
dant labours awaiting him. One matter in particular 
claimed his attention, and it was characteristic of him 
that he would carry an urgent case to its final issue, 
however pressing other claims might be. A lady, Mrs. 
H., had been shut up as a lunatic, but, as far as Lord 
Ashley, and three other Commissioners, could judge, 
she was as sane as any woman in England ; and he 
was pained and alarmed to find how, with all the safe- 
guards of the law, there were still facilities for in- 
carcerating a victim. He spared no pains in sifting 
the evidence on both sides, and prosecuted the investi- 
gation day by day until he had proof indisputable that 
the lady was the victim of a cruel conspiracy, and was 
perfectly sane. It need not be added that she was 
set at liberty with the least possible delay. 

The patience and skill and unwearying labour of 
Lord Ashley as a Commissioner in Lunacy can never 

* It now hangs at St. Giles's House. 

1847.] A LUNACY CASE. 229 

be told. One story out of many, illustrating the charac- 
teristic promptness with which, even late in life, he 
would examine a case an J take immediate action, may 
be cited here. 

A lady, Mrs. A., residing in the West End, was on 
visiting terms with Mrs. B., a woman of fashion and 
position. There was very little in common between the 
two, and the visits of Mrs. A. would have been less 
frequent than they were, had she not taken a more than 
passing interest in a young lady, Miss C, who was 
staying, indefinitely as it seemed, in the house of Mrs. 
B. There was a great charm in her conversation, and 
the visits of Mrs. A. seemed to afford her considerable 
pleasure, although they were only of an occasional and 
somewhat formal kind. One day when Mrs. A. called, 
Miss C. was not there, and on making very pointed 
inquiries, she was, after some hesitation, informed that 
her young friend was out of her mind, and was in an 
asylum fifty miles away from town, the name of the 
asylum being mentioned. 

That evening Mrs. A. felt troubled and distressed ; 
she had seen Miss C. only a week or ten days pre- 
viously, and perceived no indication of a disordered 
mind. It was true she had observed indications of 
sadness and depression of spirits, and had feared that 
her young friend was not happy ; but that she was 
out of her mind, and fit to be in an asylum, she 
could not and would not believe. She was greatly 
troubled, not knowing what to do or where to go. At 
length it occurred to her that the Earl of Shaftesbury 


was a Commissioner in Lunacy, and she went straight 
away to his house, found him at home, and told him 
the whole story. It was evening when she arrived in 
Grosvenor Square, and dinner was on the table, but 
within a quarter of an hour, Lord Shaftesbury was on 
his wa} r to the railway station to go down to the asylum 
and investigate the matter for himself. He did so, 
and on the following da}^ the young lady was released, 
it having been authoritatively ascertained that she was 
not in a state to render it necessary for her to be an 
inmate of an asylum. 

The new Parliament was opened by the Queen in 
person, on the 23rd November, and her speech was, for 
the first time, transmitted to the chief towns in the 
kingdom by the electric telegraph. 

At the preceding General Election Baron Lionel 
Eothschild was returned for the City of London — the 
first Jew ever returned to the House of Commons ; and 
in order that he might be allowed to take his seat, 
the question of the removal of Jewish Disabilities was 
revived. The subject had been frequently under dis- 
cussion since Mr. Eobert Grant, in 1830, first brought 
forward a Bill to enable Jews to sit in Parliament. At 
that time a Jew was liable to everv kind of humiliation: 
he could not vote unless he took the prescribed oath ; 
he could not be an attorney, or practise at the bar, or 
be employed in a school, and, in many other respects, 
was " conspicuous in a free community as a man under 
a social and political ban." In the course of years, 


however, various concessions had been made, until all 
the privileges of citizenship were accorded to him, 
except the most coveted honour of all — the right to sit 
in Parliament. 

Lord John Russell moved a resolution to enable 
Baron Rothschild to take his seat, and, although it was 
strongly opposed by the Conservatives, the resolution — 
" for the admission of Jews into Parliament " — was 
carried by a majority of 253 to 186. The Bill was 
eventually thrown out, however, in the Lords. 

Lord Ashley took part in the debate, and his speech 
told with considerable effect. His objection was not to 
admitting them as Jews, but that the Oath of Allegi- 
ance should be altered to suit them. " What I said in 
effect was this," said Lord Shaftesbury, when telling the 
story of these times to the writer : " You call on us to 
alter the oath by striking out the words ' on the faith 
of a Christian,' and ask the Legislature to affirm that 
this is unnecessary. I will not be a party to playing 
with the name of Christ, by striking it out of an oath, 
to please any one. If you like to have no oath at all, 
well and good, but I will have nothing to do with its 
alteration, which is a practical denial of the faith." 

The closing events of the year are thus recorded : — 

Nov. 15th. — Dined with John Russell on Saturday last. 1 had 
some thought of avoiding any ' private ' civilities ; but I determined 
otherwise — he made a friendly advance and quasi-apology ; let us 
forget all in the common necessity. 

Nov. 19th.— Windsor Castle. Came here on Wednesday evening. 
Queen kind and hospitable : may God shield her and her's from every 
mischief, and above all, incline her heart to thoughts of service and 


of love. My visits here mark the lapse of time and the progress of 
things ; as such they have a tinge of melancholy in ' looking after 
those things that are coming upon the earth.' Sir G. Grey here also ; 
he is ' a good man and a just.' . . . 

Nov. 25th. — Last night attended tea-meeting of Lambeth Ragged 
School : 370 children, orderly, decent, happy ; here is a result of an 
effort I made in July, 1846, and founded the school in conjunction 
with Mr. Doulton the pottery master, and his sons. 

Dec. 3rd. — No man in the present day can henceforward hope to 
have the confidence of the country if he be not a master in the Israel 
of money. But with such an accomplishment he might command it, 
though he were Satan himself. . . . 

Dec. 13th. — A singular correspondence in the paper to-day. The 
Bishops (twelve in number, Winchester and Ely surprise me) re- 
monstrate with Lord J. Russell for his appointment of Dr. Hamp- 
den ! Their letter is weak, almost foolish, his reply is clever and 
just. My opinion is quoted as having been given to Russell in sup- 
port of the appointment. He did not previously consult me on it. 
He asked me subsequently what I thought. I replied, ' I should 
not, had I been Prime Minister, have made the appointment myself ; 
but now that it is made, I venture to say that more good than evil 
will, I think, come out of it. His appointment as Regius Professor 
was infamous, because his writings at that time were Neological, of 
the school of Strauss ; but. during the last four or five years he has 
written and published very beautiful and orthodox discourses.' . . . 

Dec. 15th. — To-morrow Jew Bill in House of Commons. I must 
speak ; may God give me a mouth and wisdom ; if I fail I shall be 
discouraged for any future effort : my spirit is far from elastic, I was 
always easily depressed, I am more so now. . . . 

Dec. 17th. — Who ever trusted in God, and was disappointed? 
Spoke last night, and obtained (I am full of wonder) astonishing 
success. How curious ! I was so frightened and dejected that I had 
almost determined not to rise. A minute more of my predecessor's 
speech would have consigned me to silence ! Now, God ! grant 
that whatever of reputation I may have acquired be thrown at Thy 
feet for Thy blessed service ! Grant that, unlike Herod, I may give 
Thee the glory ! . . . 

Dec. 20th. — Now, is this result traceable, in His free mercy to 
past faith 1 I resigned my seat in Parliament, and all my public 


hopes and public career, that I might not give 'occasion to the 
enemies of God to blaspheme,' and I surrendered everything to His 
keeping. Mark the issue ; my Ten Hours Bill is carried in my 
absence. I am returned to Parliament in a singularly and unusually 
honourable way, and within three weeks I begin to occupy a higher 
position than at any antecedent period : surely it is a completion of 
the promise, ' Them that honour me, I will honour.' . . . 



A Coming Storm — Revolution in France — Flight of Louis Philippe— A Revolu- 
tionary Epidemic — State of England — Louis Philippe lands in Sussex — 
Panic among English Residents in France — Efforts for their Relief — Met- 
ternich Deposed — " Revolutions go off like Pop-guns ! " — The Chartist 
Demonstration — Ends in a Fiasco — The Prince Consort — A Conversation 
at Osborne — Letter from the Priuce Consort — Letter from Lord John 
Russell — The Prince Visits Homes of the Poor — Presides at Labourers' 
Friend Society — May Meetings — Philanthropy a Mania — State of Sanitary 
Science — Chairmanship of Board of Health — Ragged Schools and Emigra- 
tion — Condition of the Poor— Emigration Scheme Expounded — Farewell 
Address to Emigrants — " Lord Ashley's Boys " — A Curious Letter — Anec- 
dotes of Thieves — A Strange Experience — A Thieves' Conference — Lord 
Hardingc — Letter from Mr. Gladstone — In Scotland again — Special Provi- 
dences—With the Queen Dowager— With the Queen at Harrow — Death of 
Lord Melbourne. 

The year 1848 was ushered in amid distrust, perplexity, 
and doubt. Everywhere there was foreboding of some 
unseen and undefined misfortunes. Men's souls were 
stirred by strange presentiments. 

It was not long before the first rumblings were 
heard which presaged the approaching storm. 

" Events are coming to the surface," wrote Lord 
Ashley, early in the year. "We see the stir on the 
waves, and we shall soon see the mass thrown up by the 
volcanoes. Italy is in open revolution; Austria is 
crumbling to pieces ; France internally is threatened by 
reform conflicts ; England is harassed by falling revenue, 
want of employment, republican principles, and Church 


dissensions ; America is rushing to debt, foreign con- 
quest, and dissolution of States." 

The great event which was to become the signal for 
the pent-up fires to break forth all over Europe was 
not a surprise to some, although unexpected by the 
majority — a third revolution in France, the proclama- 
tion of a Eepublic, the expulsion of the Orleans dynasty, 
and the election of a Provisional Government and a 
National Assembly. 

It is not necessary to trace here, however briefly, 
the causes which led to the Ee volution. The spark 
which caused the explosion was an arbitrary attempt to 
stop a proposed Reform banquet. 

Lord Ashley took an intense interest in watching 
the progress of events ; and his Diary gives a complete 
epitome of the revolutionary epidemic, which spread 
over nearly all the courts and capitals of the Con- 
tinent. If we quote from it only sparingly, it is because 
we wish to confine our extracts more particularly to 
those passages which show the current of his own life. 

Feb. 25th. — Are we not in times of wonder, distress, and danger 1 
To-day the grass is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven. On 
Tuesday" the King of the French Avas in all the plenitude of his 
power, with an army of a hundred thousand men in Paris alone; 
and on Thursday he is an outcast from his dominions, expelled with 
indignity from his capital, his palace plundered, and himself cast 
down to a private station. Revolution and anarchy are in the 
ascendant ; the whole royal family is exiled, a Eepublic pro- 
claimed, and France, apparently, on the eve of a democracy, a 
consulate, and an empire ! ' Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of 
the earth ! ' None of this surprises me, except the electrical 
suddenness of the event. The King has, for seventeen years, been 


combating the principles that placed him on the throne, resisting 
the national feelings that were evoked and cherished to prepare 
the Revolution of 1830, and fighting the whirlwind that he him- 
self sowed as a storm. How could he, and his Minister Guizot, 
suppose that a nation of thirty-two millions would rest content 
with an electoral system based on 240,000 voters, one-half of 
whom were Government placemen 1 One thing alone surprises 
me : that they should have fallen into the same error as Charles X., 
and have been deceived in their estimate of the fidelity of the 
soldiers ! This is really a judicial blindness, that with such an 
example to guide them, they should have fallen into the same pit ! 

Feb. 26th. — A Republic is proclaimed, and anarchy reigns in 
Paris. Revolutions, which in former days required years, are now 
perfected in clays ; a week is an age for these extraordinary events. 
' So great power in one hour is come to nought ; ' all his schemes 
about dynasties, his astute and false diplomacy for the Spanish mar- 
riage, his rigorous and absolute laws for the foundation of despotism, 
his terrible army schooled in Africa, his vast fortifications of the 
capital, his mighty authority among crowned heads as the ruler of 
thirty-two millions of a military nation, all blown away like a soap 
bubble ! ' Afflavit Deus.' . . . We are not safe here ; a falling 
revenue in the face of a necessarily, I fear, increasing expenditure, 
and a determination to admit no new taxes. Trade, too, is fearfully 
stagnant, and distress prevails universally. In this state of things 
comes a French Revolution ! . . . . Now what sufficient ground is 
there for all this rebellion I The sagacious Cobden said, a week ago, 
in taunting contrast with the English system: 'The French are 
most happy, they have no privileged orders, no large properties, no 
established Church ; they have obtained all that they want, another 
Revolution is impossible ! ' 

"With the flight of Louis Philippe from France, the 
spirit of Revolution was let loose in Europe. Every 
country suffered more or less, but those countries which 
suffered least were England and Belgium. In England, 
however, disaffection had, in a limited degree, been for 
some time growing, and the events in France brought it 

1848.] CHARTISM. 237 

to a bead. The Chartists, led by mad Feargus O'Con- 
nor, who bad been returned for Nottingham at the 
General Election of 1S47, immediately commenced an 
agitation for "their rights." Their programme included 
" Down with the Ministry," " Dissolve the Parliament," 
" The People's Charter," and " No Surrender ; " and pre- 
parations were made to bold a monster demonstration 
in April to demand these points. 

The state of England was to some extent alarming. 
In the manufacturing districts distress, almost unpre- 
cedented, prevailed, and a revolutionary spirit was 
abroad ; nevertheless, the people remained tranquil — 
thanks, in no small measure, to the boon of the Ten 
Hours Bill — and in Manchester alone some thousands 
of the operatives enrolled themselves as special con- 
stables. In London there was a spirit of turbulence 
and lawlessness, excited partly by Mr. Ernest Jones, and 
others like-minded, who urged the people not to fear 
" the vile men of the law, the police, the troops, or the 
shop-keeping ' specials.' In Ireland the United Irish- 
man w^as urging its readers " to sell all that they had to 
buy a gun." In Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Liverpool, 
there was rioting and loss of life among the starving 
and the unemployed. 

Everywhere these symptoms caused a sense of un- 
easiness ; no one knew what surprise and alarm the 
next hour might not bring forth. Meanwhile, events 
in Prance were hurrying on. 

March 2nd. — If the King, instead of signing his abdication, had 
thrown himself among the troops which remained firm, he might 


have prolonged the monarchy of the barricades. But he has been 
' demented ' for a long time past ; his obstinate maintenance of all 
the corruptions of France, both in public men and public things, 
because he chose to govern by them ; his eager pursuit of wealth and 
place for his own children, the history of the Conde property, the 
appanages, the Montpensier marriage, regarded simultaneously with 
his apparent indifference to the social welfare of France, led the 
whole nation to believe that he was Harpagon engrafted on Louis 
XIV. Like the present Bishop of Exeter, lie over-reached himself 
by his over-cleverness, and has now found that all the sagacity and 
experience of the most tried of men are not necessarily ' counsel, 
wisdom, and understanding.' . . But we are in a social revolution ; 
the first was against aristocracies and established Churches, the 
second against a particular dynasty, the third against that which 
alone remains, the possession and rights of property ! The work- 
people have thrust their special representatives, Blanc and Albert, 
into the highest offices, and have propounded their own code of laws 
for the regulation of labour. ... In England we have yet Conserva- 
tive feeling enough to resist a storm. Our peril will arise from a 
calm. A storm of violence we should shrink from or withstand ; 
the calm of Republican success would inevitably breed a spirit of 

March 4th. — Louis Philippe is actually in England. He landed 
at Newhaven, in Sussex, from an English steamer, on one of the 
points selected, by his son Prince Joinville and others, as the fittest 
for a descent upon the British territory ! He was kindly and hospita- 
bly received. God be praised, adversity covers a multitude of sins. 

March 8th.- — The activity of the Provisional Government in pro- 
clamations is astounding. It takes away one's breath. They decree 
everything ; they have deified the people, declared their sovereignty, 
and now proceed to act with the assurance of divine power. Poor 
victims ! they have no hope of existence but by promises and flat- 
tery ; nor will these be able to give them one moment's security, 
unless the balances in the treasury sustain the flimsy situation. 

(Noise and disturbance yesterday and to-day in Trafalgar Square : 
windows, lamps, and heads broken ; a mass of housebreakers and 
pickpockets, swollen by idlers. In these days, however, everything 
must be noted. More serious riots at Glasgow ; many shops of great 
value plundered.) 


March 10th. — Breakfasted with Mahon, to meet Macaulay and 
Carlyle ; pleasant, but strange. 

Provisional Government have fixed wages of cab-drivers at three 
francs and a half a day ; and the Minister of Instruction has issued a 
circular to announce to the electors that ' education ' and ' fortune ' 
' are not required for a deputy.' An unlettered peasant ' would be 
better for an agricultural district.' Go it, my hearty ! 

' France for the French.' All English workmen have been ex- 
pelled, and with circumstances of great oppression and dishonour. 
They were driven out by the bayonet ; not allowed to bring away even 
their property, nor to receive their arrears of wages. Yet, without 
their aid, not a railway could have been constructed in France, and, 
I believe, hardly a factory carried on. 

A general panic among the English residents in 
Paris ensued. They fled in various directions, and 
abandoned the city. Those only were left behind who 
had no means of flight — artisans and domestics, de- 
pendent for employment upon the better classes of their 
countrymen. Nor was the situation of the English 
artisans in the provinces any safer. There were many 
thousands scattered over France ; in the factories of 
Normandy alone, there were no less than 2,500 English 
workmen employed. There, and elsewhere, riots were of 
frequent occurrence, all masters who gave employment 
to British artisans being marked out for attack. At 
Boulogne, from one single factory, English workmen, 
numbering, with their wives and families, 700 souls, were 
dismissed in compliance with the demands of the rioters. 

Turned out of their homes, denied employment or 
public relief, with rents half a year in advance imposed 
upon them, involving them in losses , met at the 
savings bank, where their earnings had been deposited, 


with the answer of " ~No funds," their case was des- 
perate. They crowded the French outports, and cla- 
moured to be sent back to their own country. 

With Lord Ashley originated the scheme for their 
relief. An influential committee was called together, 
over which he presided ; funds were collected, agencies 
were set to work, and Lord Palmerston and the 
authorities at the Foreign Office gave effect to their aims 
in various instances in which it might have been diffi- 
cult for the committee to have realised them. 

Among the results of their efforts, upwards of 6,000 
refugees were brought over, cared for on their arrival, 
and passed on to their respective destinations, while 
special provision was made for the children of the 
British Orphan School in connection with the Marbceuf 
Episcopal chapel in Paris, which had been broken up 
during the general panic in that city. 

In referring to these and kindred efforts, and also to 
a speech made by Lord Ashley, on the 16th of March, 
on better " Medical lieliei to the Sick Poor," the Times 
said, " Political Economists and men of the world vote 
Lord Ashley a bore, but there is none of them who 
would not rather have twenty speeches from him on 
matters of Humanity, than one circular from Ledru 
liollin ; ' : while the JSIorning Chronicle, treating him 
with contemptuous kindness, said, " No thinking man 
concurs with Lord Ashley ; but it is a very good thing, 
in these days, to have a nobleman who brings forward 
the distresses and needs of the people, and gives them 
assurances that their case will be considered." 


It was in allusion to these remarks that the follow- 
ing entry in the Diary was made : — 

March 21st. — Amidst all this contempt and desertion, I may 
rejoice and heartily thank God, that the operatives of Lancashire 
and Yorkshire, suffering as they are, remain perfectly tranquil. 
Such, under God, is the fruit of many years of sympathy and 
generous legislation. In Manchester several thousands enrolled 
themselves as special constables. 

While uneasiness was increasing at home, " men's 
hearts were failing them for fear " on the Continent. 

March 23rd. — Insurrection at Berlin ! Insurrection at Vienna ! 
The Prince Metternich deposed ! It is astounding at first to see 
how these great monarchies fall ! They seem as though they had 
no roots, nor ever had any. The truth is, that for years their foun- 
dations have been undermined ; they were as rotten a quarter of a 
century ago ; but either the gale of wind was not strong enough, oi 
it failed to hit them on the weak side, and at the right moment. 
The first Revolution in France shook the whole system ; but war 
and terror diverted men's minds. Peace brought reflection, com- 
parison, anticipation. The second Revolution gave a blow on the 
other side, and completely snapped the roots and loosened the earth ; 
the third brought down the Cedar of Lebanon in a single gust ! 
Such is power, and such are human calculations. Terror, moral, 
physical, and financial, is at its height — every tremendous passion is 
about to be unchained. France seems surrendered by God to ' a 
reprobate mind,' the Devil reigns for a while. I pass my time in 
ejaculations; all is so wonderful, my thoughts are unconnected, and 
expression proportionately incoherent. The King of Prussia has had 
a conflict; he is apparently conqueror, he is actually conquered. 
Mobs are everywhere triumphant, with more or less of moderation in 
their demands at present ; the ultimate issue is certain. And ive 
yet stand upright, a column in the midst of ruins. Glory be to Thee, 
O Lord. . . . 

March 25th. — Revolutions go off like pop-guns ! Lombardy is 


in full revolt ; it will doubtless be severed from the Austrian 
Empire. . . 

March 30th. — Would to God that people, as men, and as patriots, 
would lay these things seriously to heart, and see that they are such 
lessons as never yet were given for the warning of a generation. 
Lessons indeed ! What fall can be compared with that of Metter- 
nich 1 That of Sejanus is the nearest to it ; but the difference is 
striking : Sejanus lived at a time, and under a system, when such 
reverses were common ; every one who took power, took it in the 
fear, and even expectation, of death and confiscation. . . . We have 
yet a tumult in store, English Chartists and Irish Repealers are to 
have their dav. ' Count no man happy before he be dead,' count no 
event small until it shall have passed. 

Happily, the event so much dreaded — the great 
Chartist demonstration — collapsed in a most ignominious 
manner. But the alarm had been serious, and the pre- 
cautions unprecedented. The military defence of the 
metropolis was under the care of the Duke of Welling- 
ton : troops were ready everywhere ; a quarter of a 
million citizens were enrolled as special constables ; 
Downing Street was barricaded. But on the day before 
the "Demonstration" the Chartist leaders quarrelled 
amongst themselves ; on the morning of the day these 
dissensions were renewed ; the police informed the 
rioters that they would not be allowed to cross the 
Thames, and the whole affair ended in a ridiculous 

April 10th. — The threatened day has arrived. How will it end 1 
Referring to all the circumstances, I think it will close peaceably, 
but who knows 1 We are in the hands of God. He has told us, 
and would that one and all recognised from our hearts, ' Except the 
Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.' 

April 12th. — It ended, how shall we sufficiently praise God, 


according to our minutest prayers. All was peaceable. The meeting 
at no time exceeded thirteen thousand. No more actual disturbance 
than on ordinary days. The procession was abandoned, and the 
petition came down in a hack cab. Surely the glory must be 
to Him ' who stilleth the raging of the sea, and the madness of the 

April 13th. — Nevertheless, I remain of the same mind. All 
things are tending to a change. We are entering on a new political 
dispensation ; and many of us probably will outlive the integrity 
of our aristocratical institutions. Men are talking, they know not 
why, and they do not reflect how, of this slight concession and that ; 
of an ' enlargement of the franchise,' and other vagaries. No one, 
except the Chartists, has asked for it, and they will rest satisfied 
with nothing short of the whole. The middle classes are content, and 
so are nineteen-twentieths of the working people ; but this will be 
of no avail against indistinct terrors, ignorant uneasiness, and specu- 
lative, not social policy. A Sanitary Bill would, in five years, 
confer more blessing and obliterate more Chartism than universal 
suffrage in half a century ; but the world, when ill at ease, flies 
always to politics, and omits the statistics of the chimney-corner, 
where all a man's comfort or discomfort lies. . . . 

In the " Life of the Prince Consort," Sir Theodore 
Martin, after describing the turbulent state of the 
country" and the anxiety with which it was regarded by 
the Queen and Prince, proceeds to say : " An oppor- 
tunity arose during this month (May) for the Prince to 
take the position before the world which he afterwards 
occupied with so much honour, as the advocate of 
measures for improving the condition of the labouring 
classes. Four }^ears previously he had testified his in- 
terest in the subject — one that always lay nearest to his 
heart — by becoming the President of the Society which 
had been established with this special object.* The 

* The Labourers' Friend Society. 

2 2 


Society, in the meanwhile, had been making its \va} r 
steadily, but slowly, for public attention had yet to be 
awakened to the importance of the subject ; and it was 
considered by Lord Ashley, and others of its active pro- 
moters, that the appearance of the Prince in the chair 
at a public meeting to advocate its interests at this time 
might be attended with excellent results. The Prince, 
ever ready to show his sympathy and interest for that 
class of our community which has most of the toil, and 
least of the enjojmients of this world,* at once fell in 
with their views.'' f 

It is somewhat singular that Sir Theodore Martin, 
who elsewhere has described so fully the circumstances 
leading up to any important event in the life of the 
Prince Consort, should, in this instance, have omitted 
all mention of them, and passed over in silence not only 
the action of Lord Ashley in the matter, but also some 
interesting details as regards the action of the Prince. 
These omissions we are fortunately able to supply. 

Under the date of the 19th April, Lord Ashley 
entered in his Diary : — 

April 19th.— Osborne, Isle of Wight. The Queen has sent for 
me to talk over the condition of the working people ; and here I 
am. I was obliged to put off Golden Lane Ragged School (W. 
Cowper took the chair for me). Her Majesty very amiable and very 
considerate for the poor. God be praised, who has put such thoughts 
into her heart ! May they bring forth fruit to His glory on earth, 
and her own peace in time and eternity ! . . . 

* His own words in his speech at the meeting of the society, 18th May, 

f "Life of the Prince Consort," vol. ii., p. 46. 

1848.] AT OSBORNE. 245 

From a memorandum found among the papers of 
Lord Shaftesbury, and from conversations with him 
upon the subject, noted down at the time, the following 
particulars are obtained : — 

" The Queen sent for me to Osborne ; the Fairy was 
ready for me at Grosport, and I went. The Queen was 
greatly alarmed, and so was the Prince, by the Revolu- 
tion in France and the exile of Louis Philippe. They 
feared the continuance of commotions in England, and 
were desirous to know how they could exercise their 
influence to soothe the people. The Queen, on my 
arrival, expressed this sentiment very warmly, and added 
at dinner, ' The Prince will talk to you to-morrow. 
We have sent for you to have your opinion on what we 
should do in view of the state of affairs to show our in- 
terest in the working classes, and you are the only man 
who can advise us in the matter.' 

" On the following morning, during a long walk in 
the gardens, lasting for over an hour and a half, I dis- 
cussed with the Prince the condition of affairs and the 
state of the nation. He asked me my advice, and how 
he could best assist towards the common weal. 

" ' Now, sir,' I said to him, ' I have to ask your 
Poyal Highness whether I am to speak out freely, or to 
observe Court form ? ' 

" ' For (rod's sake,' he answered, ' speak out freely.' 

" 'Then, sir, I would say that at this juncture you 
hold a position in which you can render to the country 
far greater assistance than if you were its king. You 
can speak as a king, represent a king, without the neces- 


sary and inevitable restrictions of a king. Your pre- 
sence, though formally different, is virtually the presence 
of the Queen. My earnest advice to you is, that you 
should put yourself at the head of all social movements 
in art and science, and especially of those movements as 
they hear upon the poor, and thus show the interest felt 
by Eoyalty in the happiness of the kingdom.' 

" ' What can I do ? ' the Prince asked, eagerly. 

" ' On the IStli of May next, the anniversary of the 
Labourers' Friend Society will be held, and if your 
Royal Highness will accompany me, first to see some of 
the dwellings of the poor, and afterwards to preside at 
the meeting, I am satisfied it will have a good effect. 
You should come in three carriages, and have the foot- 
men in red liveries — even these things are not with 
out their influence.' 

" The Prince at once fell in with the suggestion, and 
arrangements for carrying it out were discussed. But 
when Lord John Russell heard it he was frantic, and 
brought to bear every possible opposition, as he often 
did with regard to other schemes which he did not 
originate himself." 

It was with no little regret that Lord Ashley 
received the following letter from the Prince : — 

H.R.H. the Prince Consort to Lord Ashley. 

Osborne, April 23rd, 1848. 

My dear Lord Ashley, — Lord John Russell did not like the 
idea of my presiding at Exeter Hall on account of the i*isk of a dis- 
turbance. I begged him to consider the question a little longer, and 
to consult Sir George Grey before committing himself against it. I 


have received this morning the enclosed, which, I am afraid, is deci- 
sive against the plan. Though I must admit that there is strong 
reason against it, I sincerely regret it, as it will be difficult to find 
another becoming opportunity for expressing the sincere interest 
which the Queen and myself feel for the welfare and comfort of the 
working classes. You may have opportunities for conveying our 
sentiments. At any rate, our Society ought to be more prominently 
brought before them, and they ought to be invited to make sugges- 
tions for the amelioration of their own condition, to have these gone 
into by those who understand the matter, and to give, in this way, 
the means to the higher classes to assist them in their work. 

Ever yours truly, 


The enclosure referred to in the above letter was as 

follows : — 

Lord John Russell to H.R.H. the Prince Consort. 

» Chesham Place, April 22ncl, 1848. 

Sir, — On considering further Lord Ashley's proposal to your 
Royal Highness, it seems to me that the risk is greater than the 
probable advantage. Any Chartist might attend and attempt to 
speak ; such an attempt would be resisted by the meeting, and much 
confusion might ensue. The triumphant reception of your Royal 
Highness would not compensate for any disturbance of the meeting. 
Sir George Grey, to whom I have spoken, concurs entirely in this 
opinion. The Repealers in Dublin have become more violent since 
my declaration, but the well-affected are confirmed in their loyalty. 
In England the Chartists seem to be declining in numbers and 

I have the honour to be 

Your Royal Highness's 

Faithful and obedient servant, 

J. Russell. 

Soon after this Lord Ashley had another interview 
with the Prince — at Buckingham Palace — and urged 


him to persevere in his intention. "This is a matter," 
he said, " in which your Royal Highness is perfectly free 
to act as yon may please, and my advice is that you tell 
Lord John Russell that you are as good a judge as 
he is." 

On the 29th April the Prince wrote to Lord John 
Russell : — 

The book which you sent me certainly shows great disposition on 
the part of some mischievous folks to attack the Royal family ; but 
this rather furnishes me with one reason more for attending the 
meeting, and showing to those who are thus to be misguided, that 
the Royal family are not merely living upon the earnings of the 
people (as these publications try to represent), without caring for the 
poor labourers, but that they are anxious about their welfare, and 
ready to co-operate in any scheme for the amelioration of their con- 
dition. We may possess these feelings, and yet the mass of the 
people may be ignorant of it, because they have never heard it ex- 
pressed to them, or seen any tangible proof of it.* 

Eventually the advice of Lord Ashley prevailed, 
the opposition of Lord John Russell was over-ruled, 
and the Prince wrote: — 

From H.R.H. the Prince Consort to Lord Ashley. 

B.P, a, 1848. 

My dear Lord Ashley, — I am glad that all difficulties are 
removed with respect to the meeting. Thursday, the 18th, at twelve 
o'clock, will suit me perfectly. I must see you soon upon the subject; 
perhaps you could call here to-morrow at four o'clock. 


Yours truly, 


* Quoted in " Life of Prince Consort," vol. ii., p. 47. 


On the appointed day the Prince arrived with a 
brilliant cortege, and, accompanied by Lord Ashley, went 
to George Street, St. Giles's, and other streets in that 
neighbourhood, entered house after house to examine 
the actual state of affairs, and was received everywhere 
with the utmost enthusiasm.* Later on the Prince 
took the chair at the public meeting, and, as Sir Theodore 
Martin says truly, " made it the occasion for the speech 
which first fairly showed to the country what he was." 

Lord Ashley refers to it in his Diary thus : — 

May 19th. — Yesterday, a glorious meeting of the Lab. Friend 
Soc. Prince Albert in the Chair — Non nobis Domine, non nobis 
Domine ! but, God give us grace to bless Thee ; no drawback at all, 
it is new life to our efforts. . . . 

May 20th. — Hear little but satisfaction at the success of the 
meeting, ' So wise, so opportune, so very happy,' all this because it 
succeeded. What would have been the indignation and contempt 
against me had it failed ! But God was my helper ; I may now, on 
this stock of reputation for good judgment, obtain influence to do 
good in other things. ' Put into my heart good desires, and enable 
me to bring the same to good effect.' Prince Albert did his part 
admirably, with remarkable grace and modesty. His speech, too, 
was excellent in itself ; and it was his own. The success has been 
hitherto complete ; almost every paper bepraises the step, and writes 
upon it in an anti-revolutionary tone. Aye, truly, this is the way to 
stifle Chartism. . . Rank, leisure, station are gifts of God, for 
which men must give an account. Here is a full proof, a glowing 
instance ! The aristocracy, after a long sej)aration, are re-approach- 
ing the people ; and the people the aristocracy. 

It was, however, a long time before any very sensible 
effects were to be felt generally from these efforts. In 

* " If the Prince goes on like this," said a Socialist to the Rev. Mr. 
Branch, a zealous evangelist to the working classes, " why, he'll upset our 
apple-cart ! " 


proportion, however, as the mischief became apparent, 
the labours of Lord Ashley increased, and we lind in 
his Diaries many entries with regard to the state of the 
people and their needs. Thus : — 

May 25th. — What will be the event in Ireland 1 Everybody they 
sav is armed to the teeth against the Saxon. The Saxon meanwhile 
is giving from Saxon funds nearly four hundred thousand meals every 
day to his Celtic assailant. But a moral poison pervades the whole 
European atmosphere, and we here in England are beginning to be 
affected. It is painful to listen to the desperate weariness with which 
many declare that ' Repeal ' would be better than the present state 
of things. . . 

The meetings of the religious societies this year 
were admirable beyond precedent. 

May 12th.- — The speeches have been altogether of a deep and 
feeling character, well suited to the times in which we live. The 
effect of this month of May, with all its attendant ceremonies, is 
indescribably beneficial ; it is a species of salt, and preserves, by the 
purification of the atmosphere, even those who do not come in contact 
with it. Very few of the wealthy or the noble appear on the plat- 
forms, or take any interest in them. May God prosper the work ! . . 

Yet it was thought by many that philanthropy was 
becoming a mania. It was constantly receiving a large 
share of notice. At one of the May meetings Lord 
Ashley called attention to a special phase of the subject, 
and the view he took is as true to-day as it was then. 
He said : — 

It is the fashion to bepraise the liberality of the people of England 
in all matters of religion and charity. I confess that I think that 
savours much more of adulation than of truth ; the fact is, that if you 
look at the sums that are expended in these high pm^poses, they are 
contemptible beyond expression, if they be measured by the revenue 


of the country. And those who are the loudest in praising general 
liberality are themselves the least inclined to aid its progress. The 
fact is, that everything in the way of religion and charity that is done 
in this country, is done by a small knot of chosen persons, whose 
names you will find repeated in the catalogue of every charity that 
spreads its benign influence to relieve the wants of the country. 
The contributors to religious purposes are found to be the same 
in all associations ; and if you take fifteen societies, I will undertake 
to say the names of the same persons will be found in ten of 
them. The great mass of the public stand aloof, and contribute 
nothing towards the general exertions ; and it is most distressing 
to see that when there is any purpose of profit or of interest the 
money is dealt out in rapid thousands ; but when it is a question of 
religion and charity, you have to collect your funds by tardy units. 

Although there was no fear of philanthropy becom- 
ing a mania, it was quite certain that practical efforts 
for the general good, were considered and received, far 
more willingly than they had ever been before. In two 
such efforts Lord Ashley took a leading part in the 
summer of this year, namely, the passing of the Public 
Health Act, and the ventilation of the question of 
Emigration for the ragged population of London. 

In the early half of the present century sanitary 
science may be said to have had no existence. Until 
the visitation of cholera in London in 1831, no one 
seemed to think that evil lurked in overflowing cesspools 
and contaminated water, beyond the fact that the odour 
of the one and the taste of the other were unpleasant. 
When, however, a terrible plague threatened the land, 
the causes were investigated, and to the inroad of cholera 
we owe the first real impetus given to sanitary research. 

Progress, however, was very slow. When the 


calamity abated, people returned to their old ways, and 
allowed the interest, which had been awakened in a time 
of fear, to die out. But not so men of science, who 
patiently investigated facts and traced out hidden 
sources of malaria ; and not so philanthropists, who 
continued to preach the good doctrine that cleanliness 
is next to godliness. 

In 1839 the first Report of the Registrar-General 
and the fourth Report of the Poor Law Commission 
were published, and they made such a startling revela- 
tion of the state of the public health, and of mortality, 
that general attention was again directed to the subject of 
sanitation. Interest was sustained by a further Report 
of the Poor Law Board in 1 842, and culminated in the 
first Report of the Health of Towns Commission in 1844. 

From that time forth the necessity of sanitary re- 
form was never lost sight of, although practical steps 
were taken slowly. A series of "Nuisances Removal 
Acts " was passed in Parliament ; the first Act by which 
summary jurisdiction was given to justices of the peace 
to remove nuisances proved to be injurious to health, 
coming into operation in 1846. 

By far the most important Bill introduced into 
Parliament on Sanitary Reform was the comprehensive 
measure known as the Public Health Act, presently to 
be referred to. 

Lord Ashley spoke on the subject in the adjourned 
debate (Sth May), claiming that this was essentially a 
working man's question, as it affected every phase of his 
life — his home, his capacity to eat and drink in comfort, 


and his ability to gain a livelihood and rear a family in 
decency and respectability. He argued that the same 
condition of things, and habits of life, which give rise to 
fever, also powerfully stimulated the action of immorality 
and violence, and that the connection of misery with 
filth, and crime with both, was inevitable. He was 
satisfied that no genuine or lasting good could result 
from education, so long as Parliament left the people in 
their present physical and domiciliary condition. He 
warmly supported the Bill, which became law during 
this Session. 

The Public Health Act of 1848 created a Central 
Board of Health, and, as chairman of this Board, it was 
Lord Ashley's duty, in conjunction with Dr. Southwood 
Smith and Mr. Edwin Chadwick, to initiate a series of 
reforms, and to undertake labours almost unprecedented, 
especially in connection with the visitation of cholera, 
which, in 1S49, swept from London, in the course of a 
few weeks, no fewer than 4,000 souls. 

On the 2Gth September the following entry occurs 
in the Diary : — 

September 26th. . . . I have accepted, at the urgent request ot 
Morpeth, and through him of John Russell, the office (unpaid) of 
Third Commissioner under the Health of Towns Act. It will in- 
volve trouble, anxiety, reproach, abuse, unpopularity. I shall 
become a target for private assault and the public press ; but how 
could I refuse 1 First, the urgency of the request on the part of the 
Government ; second, the immense and unparalleled value I always 
attached, in public and private movement, to the sanitary question, 
as second only to the religious, and, in some respects, inseparable 
from it ; third, the public and private professions and declarations I 
had made ; fourth, the mode, extent, and principles on which I had 


pressed the Government, at all times, as a real and solemn duty, to 
undertake the measure, promising invariably the utmost aid in my 
power ; fifth, the Government accede to my request, and in the 
face of great unpopularity, rebuke, toil, and vexation, introduce a 
measure ; sixth, they cany it, and then turn to me and say, ' Re- 
member all that you have done, spoken, promised, and give us aid 
we now require ; ' seventh, can I forget their services on the Ten 
Hours Bill 1 ; eighth, I have many things to ask of them yet ; with 
what face can I do it, if I refuse them when they make a reasonable 
request to me 't May God give me strength ! . . . 

The second great practical question, in which Lord 
Ashley took part this year, was that of Emigration. 

On the 6th June he brought forward in the House 
of Commons a motion, " That it is expedient that 
means be annually provided for the voluntary emigra- 
tion to some one of her Majesty's colonies of a certain 
number of young persons of both sexes, who have been 
educated in the schools ordinarily called ' Ragged 
Schools ' in and about the metropolis." The speech 
was a masterpiece of effective oratory, and although 
bristling with facts and figures and details, it was so 
well relieved by vivid and picturesque descriptions and 
telling anecdotes, that it created a profound impression. 
At the outset, he announced that he was not introducing 
a controversial question, or assailing any interest, and 
did not, therefore, anticipate any opposition, except from 
those who believed they could suggest a better plan ; 
and that it was less from any overweening confidence 
that he had hit the true method, than from a desire to 
excite discussion and stimulate general effort, that he 
had propounded the matter for debate. He first gave 
the clue to the sources of his information : — 

1848.] EMIGRATION. 255 

Till very recently the few children that came tinder our notice in 
the streets and places of public traffic were considered to be chance 
vagrants, beggars, or pilferers, who, by a little exercise of magisterial 
authority, might be either extinguished or reformed. It has only of 
late been discovered that they constitute a numerous class, having 
habits, pursuits, feelings, customs, and interests of their own ; living 
as a class, though shifting as individuals, in the same resorts ; per- 
petuating and multiplying their filthy numbers. For the knowledge 
of these details we are mainly indebted to the London City Mission. 
It is owing to their deep, anxious, and constant research ; it is owing 
to the zeal with which their agents have fathomed the recesses of 
human misery, and penetrated into places repulsive to every sense, 
moral and physical ; it is owing to such exertions, aided by the piety 
self-denial, and devotion of Sunday-school teachers, that we have 
advanced thus far. Certain excellent persons, who gave their energies 
to Sabbath training, were the first to observe these miserable out- 
casts, and hoping, by the influence of the Gospel, to effect some 
amendment, opened schools in destitute places, to which the children 
were invited, not coerced. 

He stated that the numbers of this particular class — 
estimated at great trouble and on the best authority — 
exceeded 30,000 — naked, filthy, roaming, lawless and 
deserted children, quite distinct from the ordinary poor. 

He then described to the House the habits and dis- 
positions of this wild race, their pursuits, modes of 
livelihood, the character of their dwelling-places, and 
the natural history, as it were, of the species. He ex- 
plained how 1,600 of these street Arabs had been placed 
under examination, and of these 

162 confessed that they had been in prison not once nor twice — 
many of them several times; 116 had run away from their homes, 
the result, in many instances, of ill-treatment; 170 slept in lodging- 
houses — nests of every abomination that the mind of man can con- 
ceive; 253 confessed that they lived altogether by begging; 216 had 


neither shoes nor stockings ; 280 had no caps, hats, bonnets, or head 
covering; 101 had no linen; 219 never slept in beds — many had 
no recollection of having ever tasted that luxury ; 68 were the 
children of convicts ; 125 had step-mothers, to •whom may be traced 
much of the misery that drives the children of the poor to the com- 
mission of crime ; 306 had lost either one or both parents, a large 
proportion having lost both. 

Of the habits of these unfortunate children he gave 
some graphic details : — 

Many of them retire for the night, if they retire at all, to all 
manner of places — under dry arches of bridges and viaducts, under 
porticoes, sheds, and carts ; to outhouses ; in sawpits ; on staircases ; 
in the open air, and some in lodging-houses. Curious, indeed, is their 
mode of life. I recollect the case of a boy who, during the incle- 
ment season of last winter, passed the greater part of his nights in 
the iron roller of Regent's Park. He climbed every evening over 
the railings, and crept to his shelter, where he lay in comparative 
comfort. Human sympathy, however, prevails even in the poorest 
condition ; he invited a companion less fortunate than himself, pro- 
mising to 'let him into a good thing.' He did so, and it proved a 
more friendly act than many a similar undertaking in railway shares. 

In speaking of the mental, moral, and physical con- 
dition of the children, he adduced the startling fact that, 
in the previous year, 62,1 SI persons were taken into 
custody, of whom 2.2,075 could neither read nor write, 
and 28,118 had no trade, business, calling, or occupa- 
tion whatever, and these figures only approximated to 
the extent of the evil, as the records of the tribunals and 
police courts, while they showed the numbers of those 
whom the constable was quick enough to apprehend, did 
not touch the vast amount of unseen and undetected 
crime, breaches of public order, injuries to the peace, 


property, and safety of individuals, nor yet the pre- 
valence of that training 1 which forms those children to 
a character perilous to the well-being of society. 

In describinp; the nature of the efforts which had 
been made to rescue these children from their evil habits 
and associations, he pointed out that there had been 
many plans proposed for dealing with them, such as the 
erection of schools (but this was not feasible, because 
there were no existing agencies by which they could 
be superintended or controlled), or the adoption of the 
" hospital system," and the erection of barracks for 
their reception ; and the conclusion at which he had 
arrived was, that, in the present aspect of affairs, there 
was nothing better than that the Ragged School system 
should be extended as much as possible. 

The system, however, must, as I have said, be stimulated; and 
the proposition which I make to the Government is this : that the 
Government should agree to take every year from these schools a 
number of children — say 1,000 — 500 boys and the same number 
of girls — and ■ transplant them at the public expense to her 
Majesty's colonies in South Australia. When I make this propo- 
sition, of course I do not do so in a dictatorial manner ; and if the 
Government only accede to it, they may vary it in detail precisely as 
they please. I mention South Australia, because in that colony 
there is at this moment the greatest demand for labour. I propose, 
too, that the removal of the children to that colony shall be the 
reward of good conduct. . . . 

If you will hold out to these children, as a reward of good 
conduct, that which they desire — a removal from scenes which it is 
painful to contemplate, to others where they can enjoy their exist- 
ence — you will make the children eager by good conduct to 
obtain such a boon. There are, be assured, amongst the child- 
ren, guilty and disgusting as they are, many thousands who, if 



opportunities are given them, will walk in all the dignity of honest 
men and Christian citizens. 

After an animated and interesting discussion, Lord 
Ashley observed in reply, that the reason why he only 
included the metropolis was through extreme caution; 
that his object was to make an experiment, and then 
extend it if it were successful. After the generous 
manner in which his proposition had been supported, he 
thought that if he attempted to divide the House, he 
should only take a hostile course, and convert into 
enemies those who would otherwise be coadjutors," and 
he would, therefore, withdraw his motion. Subse- 
quently, however, a grant of £1,500 was made by the 
Government for the purpose of an experimental trial of 
the scheme. 

June 6th. — Eleven o'clock. Just returned from House of 
Commons, having made motion on Ragged Schools and Emigra- 
tion. Had much success in the speech, and some in the motion. 

June 12th. — This 'Ragged' motion has produced considerable 
effect; much is said everywhere. I received abundant letters, 
onymous and anonymous, in high terms of approbation. 

The grant of £1,500, and the contributions of friends, 
put Lord Ashley in a position to set to work vigorously 
on the emigration scheme. Although he soon found 
himself crippled for want of adequate funds, he went 
heart and soul into the matter, and made the money go 
as far as possible. 

There was never an effort attended with greater 
success, and we must anticipate a little by looking at 
some of the results. The children were carefully selected 


and specially trained, and each was impressed with the 
idea that he was to go forth as the representative of a 
large reserve. Before each detachment started, Lord 
Ashley visited them, and some of his farewell addresses 
on the eve of their departure are worthy of being 
written in letters of gold, so full are they of tender 
fatherliness and Christian love. Here is a specimen : — 

I see you now, my boys, probably for the last time. You are 
going to enter upon new connections. You are going to a land 
where much will depend upon yourselves as regards your future 
prosperity and success in life. The whole world is open to you. I 
believe you will be placed in circumstances where honesty will not 
fail to meet with its reward. I hope, when you are far away, you 
will not forget those friends who have taken care of you here, and 
the instruction and advice you have received from time to time from 
those who have felt an interest in you, and that you will not forgot 
what has been said to you to-night. I believe it will be a great help 
to remember, not only what has been said, but the very counten- 
ances of those who have befriended you ; let their presence be 
familiar to your recollection. Remember the faces of those who 
are present here to-night. The remembrance may deter you in the 
time of temptation from doing that which would disgrace yourselves 
and bring discredit on them, Especially let me tell you, working 
boys, that, however you may rise in society — and there is no reason 
in the world why you should not rise — you must still be working 
men. Christianity is not a speculation, it is essentially practical. 
It is the only thing for your soul's health to be always at work. 
Remember this : you have something to do for others as well as for 
yourselves. You have a character to get, and you have a character 
to lose. You must not by any misconduct of yours, bring disgrace 
upon those who have gone out before you. If you bring discredit 
upon them, you are injuring a whole class. Many of those lads who 
are now roaming about the streets, houseless and friendless, may yet 
be brought into this or similar institutions, may be helped or 
hindered in their future course by your conduct. If that should be 

r 2 


.such as would bring disci-edit upon yourselves and those who send 
you out, it may hinder their being sent as you are. If there is any 
one single thins: which more than another tends to make a man feel 
great, it is that he is answerable for his own conduct to God and to 
society at large. You are going across the water. I have no doubt 
but we shall soon hear that you have got employment. What- 
ever your duty or circumstances may be, never forget prayer. You 
may rise to high stations ; they are open to you there as here. 
Whatever success you may meet with in this world — and we heartily 
wish you may meet with great success — still, my lads, never forget 
the greatest ambition of the Christian is to be a citizen of that city 
whose builder and maker is God ; and though we may never meet 
together again on earth, may we all at last meet together there. 

Testimony was borne in many, and sometimes un- 
expected quarters, as to the conduct and efficiency of 
the Ragged-School boys who were sent out to the 

It is recorded that a gentleman (Major E. J. Robin - 
>on), while travelling in Australia, observed that there 
were a number of young emigrants whose behaviour 
presented a striking contrast to others of the same class. 
They were intelligent, industrious, and of uniform good 
conduct. On making inquiries, he was told that they 
were lads who had the knack of never getting into 
trouble. He accosted some of them. " Who are you, 
and where do you come from ? ' " Oh," said the}', 
" we are Lord Ashley's boys." "Lord Ashley's boys ?" 
" Yes, from the London Ragged School." 

The gentleman knew nothing of those schools, but 
resolved that on his return to England he would take 
an opportunity of learning something of an institution 
that could send out such lads, a resolution he carried 


into effect with great advantage to Ragged-School 

Captain Stanley Carr, on behalf of the Committee of 
Australian colonists, and himself a colonial proprietor, 
bore frequent testimony to the good conduct of the 
Ragged-School boj^s. A magistrate in Portland Bay 
wrote to him, " I should be glad if you could procure 
for me some of Lord Ashley's lads," and again and 
again the request came from the Colonies for more. 
The better they were known, the better they were 

Many curious letters were sent by the young 
emigrants to those who had rescued them from their 
lives of misery and crime. Here is one as a specimen: — 

January 15, 1851. 

Lord ashley and lady Charlotte sturt, — we rite these 
few lines to you hopeing that you are in good health as we ar at 
preasant we rite to you to let you no that the monney and intrest 
you have taken in us to is the means of making us bright men, but 
before we was a pess to scity and more so to Newgate the house of 
Correction, for J. B ad bin in gale over seven times on summery 
conviction and thre times for a trial every one looked on us theves 
and roges, but in this contry respected as gentlemen when we think 
of the harships that when threw her it makes us cry kind friends do 
send Fred held and let im come to us I ham sure that he will do 
well but he never will in England, for his character is to fur gorn, 
do Lady and Gentleman try to send im to us, and if he we will 
pay ten dolers each fore him to come to us so has he can recover his 
character as we ave done. 

No more at preasant from your thankful and obedient friend 

J6seph Brady axd James Way 

County of Schenectady, State of New York. 

Quaker street post-office. 


It was not all smooth sailing with Lord Ashley in 
his efforts to carry ont his emigration scheme, and there 
are, in the Diaries, many entries which show that the 
disappointments were as numerous as the successes. 

July-21st. — So I am now to be disappointed, nay, deceived ! No 
emigration for my nigged children, unless I raise a sum of money 
for that purpose. How is that to be clone 1 Not a word was said 
on this subject when I consented to withdraw my resolution. . . . 

Two Chairs yesterday. Opened Westminster Reading-room for 
the dirty, forgotten workpeople of Duck Lane and Pye Street. Very 
successful, God be pi-aised — really affecting. Letters and Chairs eat 
me up ; I never refresh my mind with new stores : always speaking, 
never reading or thinking. God in His mercy grant me a little 
repose this summer. I am thin as a wafer. . . . 

... A great deal of melancholy over me, both to-day and yester- 
day and the day before. Truth is, I am a little tired, and a little 
disheartened ; men are untrue and lukewarm. I am endeavouring 
to pile Pelion on Ossa, the work of the Titans with the force just 
sufficient for an ant-hill. . . . Talk of the dangerous classes, indeed! 
The dangerous classes in England are not the people ! The dangerous 
classes are the lazy ecclesiastics, of whom there are thousands, and 
the rich who do no good with their money ! I fear them more than 
whole battalions of Chartists. ... I am as much fretted by 
anxiety as worn by labour. I cannot feel by halves, nor only when 
the evil is present. I take it I suffer very often much more than 
the people do themselves ! . . . 

July 27th. — An affecting evening yesterday. Gave a tea-party to 
take leave of our ' ragged ' emigrants to Australia, ragged no longer, 
thank God ! They go from private funds that I have collected from 
the excellent Miss Portal, Mr. Farrer, Lord Wriothesley Russell, 
and my sister Charlotte. Many were assemUed ; we addressed 
them, and many were moved to tears. It was a deeply religious 
meeting ; and a feeling of piety and gratitude pervaded us all. And 
now here, as then, I commit them, Oh, Lord ! to the word of Thy 
jr ra ce — prosper the work ! bear them safely, happily, joyously to their 
journey's end ! watch over them in body and in soul ; make them 

1848.] YOUNG THIEVES. 263 

Thy servants in this life, and Thy saints in the next, in the media- 
tion and everlasting love of Christ, our only Saviour and Redeemer ! 

During his perambulations of the slums of London 
in 1846, by his Kagged School investigations, and 
in other ways and places, Lord Ashley made himself 
thoroughly acquainted with the haunts and habits of the 
young thieves of the metropolis. Some of his descrip- 
tions of them are admirable, and his anecdotes telling. 

A large proportion do not recognise the distinctive rights of 
meum and tuum. Property appears to them to be only the aggregate 
of plunder. They hold that everything that is possessed is common 
stock ; that he who gets most is the cleverest fellow, and that every 
one has a right to abstract from that stock what he can by his own 

They make little or no secret of their successful operations, cloak- 
ing them only with euphonistic terms ; they ' find ' everything, they 
' take ' nothing ; no matter the bulk or quality of the article, it was 
'found' — sometimes nearly a side of bacon, just at the convenient 
time and place ; and many are the loud and bitter complaints that 
the ' dealer in marine stores ' is utterly dishonest, and has given for 
the thing but half the price that could be got in the market, f 

These children are like tribes of lawless freebooters, bound by no 
obligations, and iitterly ignorant, or utterly regardless, of social 
duties. They trust to their skill, not to their honesty ; gain their 
livelihood by theft, and consider the whole world as their legitimate 
prey. With them there is no sense of shame ; nor is imprisonment 
viewed as a disgrace. In many instances it has occurred that after a 
boy has been a short time at one of the Ragged Schools he suddenly 
disappears. At the end of a few weeks he comes back to the very 
spot in the school where he sat when he was last there. The master 
going up to him says, ' My boy, where have you been ? ' The boy 

* House of Commons, July. 1849. 
f Quarterly Review, Dec, 1846. 


answers, ' Very sorry, sir, I could not come before, but I have had 
three weeks at Bridewell.' Going to prison is with these children 
the ordinary lot of humanity ; they look upon it as a grievous act of 
oppression, and when they come to school they speak of it as one 
gentleman would tell his wrongs to another. 

As an illustration of their low state of morality 
and their utter shamelessness, he instanced what had 
passed one evening at a Ragged School : — 

Fourteen or fifteen of these boys presented themselves one Sun- 
day evening and sat down to the lessons, but, as the clock struck, 
they all rose and left, with the exception of one who lagged behind. 
The master took him by the arm, and said, 'You must remain; the 
lesson is not over.' The reply was, ' We must go to business.' The 
master incpuired, ' What business 1 ' ' Why, don't you see it's eight 
o'clock ; we must go catch them as they come out of the chapels.' 

On another occasion he told a story of a City 
'Missionary, a kind and worthy man, who had endeared 
himself to the whole of a wretched district, and 
especially to the } r ounger population. 

One evening, having put on a new coat, he went, about dusk, 
through a remote street, and was instantly marked as a quarry by 
one of these rapacious vagabonds. 1 h 3 urchin did not know him in 
Ids new attire — therefore without hesitation relieved his pockets of 
their contents. The Missionary did not discover his loss, nor the 
boy his victim, until in his flight he had reached the end of the 
atreet. He then looked round and recognised in the distance his old 
friend and teacher. He ran back to him, breathless. ' Hallo,' said 

he, 'is it you, Mr. 1 I didn't know you in your new coat; 

here's your handkerchief for you ! ' 

It was in consequence of his speech in the House 
of Commons on the suhject of emigration that in July, 

* House of Commons, June 6, 1848. 


1848, Lord Ashley entered into one of the strangest 
experiences, in connection with London thieves, that 
ever fell to the lot of mortal man. A City Mis- 
sionary, named Thomas Jackson, a zealous, earnest, and, 
in his way, gifted man, had been appointed to the Rag 
Fair and Rosemary Lane district, where he was known 
as the Thieves' Missionary. He was in their confidence; 
his house was open at all times to those who chose to 
visit him in search of advice and consolation ; he was 
acquainted, far more intimately than the police, with the 
habits of pickpockets, burglars, and every class of con- 
victed or unconvicted roguery ; he had the entree into 
dens of infamy, and had familiarised himself with sin 
in some of its most sickening aspects, and yet he carried 
with him a quiet and a prayerful spirit, and became to 
Lord Ashley not only a guide, but also a philosopher 
and friend. 

Soon after Lord Ashley had propounded his scheme 
in the House of Commons, for the emigration of young 
criminals, it occurred to him to ask a notorious adult 
thief whether he would like to avail himself of such a 
scheme. " I should jump at it," was the reply. Thus 
encouraged, he determined to have the same question 
propounded at one of Mr. Jackson's meetings, to which 
discharged criminals only were to be admitted. " It 
would be a capital thing for chaps like us," was their 
unanimous answer. Then one of them got up and pro- 
posed that they should write Lord Ashley a letter on 
behalf of themselves and all their tribe, inviting him to 
meet them, and give them his opinion and advice as to 


how they could extricate themselves from their present 
position. A round-robin was accordingly prepared, and 
was signed by forty of the most notorious thieves and 
burglars in London, praying him to meet them. A 
night was fixed, and on July the 27th, Lord Ashley, 
without hesitation, and without fear, went to the meeting. 
Accustomed as he was to strange sights and strange 
assemblies, he was not prepared for what was awaiting 
him. There, in a large room, with Jackson in the 
midst, were close upon four hundred men of every ap- 
pearance, from the ' swell-mob ' in black coats and white 
neckcloths, to the most fierce-looking, rough, half- 
dressed savages he had ever seen. 

The City Mission Magazine for August, 184S, says: 
" Several of the best known and most experienced 
thieves were stationed at the door to prevent the 
admission of any but thieves. Some four or five indi- 
viduals, who were not at first known, were subjected to 
a more public examination, and only allowed to remain 
on their stating: who thev were, and bein<>- recognised as 
members of the dishonest fraternity. The object of this 
care, as so many of them were in danger of ' getting into 
trouble,' as they call it, was, to ascertain whether any 
who should betra}" them were present." 

Lord Ashley was received by them with genuine 
enthusiasm, and, after taking the chair, the proceed- 
ings were opened by devotional exercises ! A chair- 
man, to be at ease, always likes to feel the pulse of 
his audience, in order to know, as far as possible, what 
manner of men they be, and the method adopted on 


the occasion of which we write was striking in the 

extreme : — 

I was anxious to know what was the character of these thieves ; 
some of them pickpockets, some shopliftei's, others of the swell-mob, 
and exceedingly well-dressed some of them were. Many of them, 
however, had no stockings, and some of them had no shirts. I 
wanted to know the great departments of roguery; so the Missionary 
said : ' His Lordship wants to know the particular character of the 
men here. You who live by bm*glary and the more serious crimes 
will go to the right, and the others will go to the left.' About 
two hundred of the men at once rose and went to the right, as 
confessed burglars and living by the greatest crimes.* 

Lord Ashley then addressed them kindly hut firmly, 
expressing his willingness to befriend them, not 011I3* as 
his duty but out of regard for them. In the first place, 
however, he wished to hear them speak. 

A number of the men then gave addresses, and anything more 
curious, more graphic, more picturesque, and more touching I never 
heard in my life ; they told the whole truth, without the least 
difficulty, and, knowing that they were there to reveal their con- 
dition, they disguised nothing. 

Lord Ashley had recommended mutual aid, self- 
reliance, a relinquishing of their old practices, and new 
resolves for the future. " But how," said one of the 
men, " are we to live till our next meeting ? We must 
either steal or die." It was an awkward question. 
Lord Ashley acknowledged that he never felt so utterly 
impressed with the magnitude of the task, and the 
feebleness of the power ; and confessed, that when 
Jackson urged them "to pray, as God could help them," 

* Speech, West Middlesex Auxiliary City Mission, June 23, 1873. 


he felt a certain amount of sympathy when one of the 
party rose and said, " My Lord and Gentlemen of the 
Jury, prayer is very good, but it won't fill an empty 
stomach," whereupon there arose a general response of 
" Hear, hear ! " 

One point was made clear that night. It was, that 
the men were dissatisfied with the life they led, and 
would do anything to break away from it if they only 
knew how. One and all they were eager for the emigra- 
tion scheme, and Lord Ashley promised to do all he 
could for them. Then one man, on behalf of the rest, 
exclaimed, " But will j^ou ever come back to see us 
again ? ' : " Yes," replied Lord Ashley, " at any time, 
and at any place, whenever you shall send for me." 
" And," as he said when telling the story, " the low, 
deep murmur of gratitude was very touching." The 
result of that night's work, like so mai^ in Lord 
Ashley's career, can never be known. One outward and 
visible sign, however, was the fact that, within three 
months from that date, thirteen of those who were 
present were starting in life afresh in Canada, while, 
a little later on, nearty three hundred had either 
emigrated, or had passed into different employ- 
ments, and had no need to return to their hateful 

In reviewing the public labours of Lord Ashley 
during this year, we have almost lost sight of other 
matters scarcely less interesting. We must, therefore, 
go back in the narrative. 

In the early part of the year, his eldest son, Antony, 


had entered the Navy, and in March sailed for the 
Australian station in H.M.S. Havannah. 

March 30th. — Just returned from Portsmouth with Minny and 
the boys ; have been to take leave of dear Accy for three years, and 
perhaps never to see him again ; it may be so, but yet I hope, nay, I 
believe, that God will be with him, and restore us safe and happy to 
each other. But it is a pang ; we feel it more when we reflect, than 
Avhile we experience it. I see him now ; I shall see him for ever till 
we meet again, standing at the ship- side, and watching us depart. 
Oh, Christ, our only Saviour and Redeemer, have mercy on the lad in 
body and in soul. . . . 

On the return of Lord Hardin ge, after his brilliant 
successes in India, a banquet was given to him, and 
Lord Ashley, who entertained for him strong feelings of 
personal friendship, was present, although at that time 
he was " hurried, hurried, by day and by night." He 
briefly notes the occasion thus : — 

April 6th. — Splendid feast to Hardinge last night, given at 
London Tavern by E. I. Company. Every man of public note in 
England was present. 

Apropos of one of the speeches made at the festival 
in honour of Lord Hardinge, the following letter from 
Mr. Gladstone, characteristic of his abounding verbiage, 
was received : — 

Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone to Lord Ashley. 

6, Carlton Gardens, May 4th, 1848. 

My dear Ashley, — I have to blame myself for not having 
mentioned to you more promptly what I am now about to state. 

In consequence of the great encouragement which I derived from 
your very favourable and warm reception of some observations of 
mine at the dinner to Lord Hardinge, about the importance and 
advantage of giving to the lay communicants of the Church of 


England functions connected with her work, aiad to be performed by 
them in that capacity, I was emboldened to speak to Lord Harrowby 
on the subject, with particular reference to the School Committees, 
which the Privy Council Committee on Education desires to see 
organised. It had always appeared to me that this desire of theirs 
afforded an admirable opportunity of trying in a quiet way, within 
certain bounds, and for a practical and important purpose, a principle 
of great moment to the welfare of the Church, and one upon which 
all her sincerely attached members ought to be cordially agreed. 

I therefore suggested to Lord Harrowby, as a member of the 
Committee of the National Society, that perhaps that Society might 
be disposed to place for the Government, either as the plan which it 
preferred, or at least as one of the plans which it preferred and 
thought worthy of the approval of the P. C, a plan by which the 
members of the Committee should be only such persons as subscribed 
a declaration, setting forth that they had been communicants in the 
Church of Ewjland for three years. It appeared to me that, with 
Committees so constituted, almost all questions would in practice 
settle themselves very easily, and the knotty points now in discussion 
would at once become of very minor importance. 

I will not at this time attempt to describe all the advantages 
which, in my view, would attend both the promotion of such a settle- 
ment as this, and the settlement itself after it had been obtained. 
If I may judge from what you said, and from what I have heard said 
by others, I cannot but estimate very highly the harmonising effect 
of the co-operation which it ought to command in the very first 
instance, as a common decision upon a very important subject, to 
take effect through common efforts, and one with respect to which 
all, I think, ought to feel that it would be an honest measure, a 
measure likely, as far as it went, to develop and confirm the Church 
of England in her own true character, which, I apprehend, is what 
they should all on their own principles desire, even though, through 
human infirmity, they may not have each in his own mind precisely 
the same image of that character. 

Lord Harrowby entered warmly, and I think entirely, into the 
view of the subject which was the same as I had stated to you ; so 
did the Bishop of Oxford, to whom we together mentioned it. Lord 
H. undertook to bring it before the Archbishop of Canterbury ; 
and the only difficulty was, that he thought the Committee of the 

1S48.J IN SCOTLAND. 271 

N. S. had just before arrived at a conclusion as to the proposal which 
they might lay before the Archbishop, with a view to its being sub- 
mitted to the Government if approved by him ; but he did not appear 
to regard this as more than an inconvenience, thinking that the 
subject was still open to reconsideration. 

I hope that you may have the means of putting forward either 
this measure, or some other and like one, at this particular season 
and I am certain that if you have them, you will not let them slip. 

I remain always, 

Very sincerely yours, 

W. E. Gladstone. 
The Lord Ashley, M.P. 

One of the red-letter days of every year was the 10th 
of June. It was spent this year at the country seat of 
Mr. and Lady Louisa Finch, in Rutlandshire. 

June 12th. — Burley on the Hill. Arrived here Saturday, 10th, 
our wedding day. Well may I thank God for His manifold and 
various mercies. He has given me eighteen years of happiness, 
true, joyous, confiding, unalloyed, in the wife of my bosom. Praised 
be His name, and may He grant that it ever continue, and bring 
forth fruits to His glory and men's service, for our Blessed Redeemer's 
sake ! 

In August, came the lon^-looked-for relaxation from 
the harassing cares and anxieties of public business. 
There was no place in the world that did him so much 
good as Scotland, and so to Scotland he went. 

Au"\ 12th. — Galloway House. Galloway, in the height of 
friendliness and amiable feeling, has lent us his beautiful cottage 
of Cumloden in the Wigtown mountains ; and thus we are going to 
enjoy mountain breezes, Scotch scenery, and romantic seclusion. 

Au<*. 16. — Cumloden. Everything conduces to enjoyment and 
comfort here ; amusement for the eye, brisk air for the lungs, leisure 
and contemplation for the mind. I seem in a week to have lost all 


power of business, as I certainly have all taste for it; dress in a 
shooting-coat, lounge about, read all sorts of books. 

Oct. 4th. — Invei'ary. Arrived here yesterday through very 
beautiful scenery, on a very beautiful day. Duke and Duchess 
amiable in the extreme ; she is a dear, sensible, lovable creature, 
whom I have known from a child. It is a stately place ; trees, 
rocks, mountains, torrents, and lochs, all in the perfection of the 
noble and fascinating. . . 

Oct. 7th. . . . HaA'e been studying with more regularity and 
attention St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians ; it is a noble work of 
zeal, piety, and sound argument. 

Oct. 10th. — Edinburgh. Left yesterday Inverary, having passed 
a very agreeable week. We had there Barry, the architect ; the 
Ellesmeres, with two daughters ; young Campbell of Islay, Dr. dim- 
ming, M.D., the Kay-Shuttleworths, and Col. Talbot of Canada. 
Peace be to the house and all in it ! 

Oct. 16th. — Cumloden. I know not a better preacher than 
Mr. Johnstone, our minister here at Minnigaff; his matter is true, 
sound, and plainly evangelical, argumentative, persuasive, touching, 
practical, and admirably, yet very simply, delivered. He is worth a 
regiment of ecclesiastical 'Pindars.' . . 

Oct. 26th. — Surely no sun ever rose more beautifully than this 
morning ; viewed it with delight. Yet there was a coldness in my 
affection and a formality in my prayer which seemed little to accord 
with such a display of God's works. But we must be careful not to 
estimate the state of our hearts towards God merely by the rapture 
we may feel at occasional periods ; religion would then be measured 
by enthusiasm ; it must be tested by its fruits, by our real and 
inmost desires, by our daily walk, by our Scriptural belief, by our 
constant faith, and by our practical life. . . 

In the midst of the hurry and worry of London life 
Lord Ashley rarely found time carefully to read a book, 
unless it related immediately to some of the questions 
occupying his attention at the time. On his holidays, 
however, he read industriously, and was wont to enter 
in his Diary or note-book a digest of the impressions left 


on his mind by the perusal of any work that particularly 
interested him. Thus, at Cumloden, we find him deep 
in the study of the " Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald," 
aud the " History of the 45 " by Chambers, and at the 
conclusion he writes : — 

Nov. 7th. — The mass of the world are all erect against the admis- 
sion of Special Providences ; it savours, they think, of fanaticism, 
hypocrisy, cant. I do not deny the delicacy and difficulty of the 
subject ; to allow it fully, in almost every trifling instance, seems to 
cripple man's free agency, and supersede secondary causes ; to deny 
it, is to deny God's goodness and mercy, and His moral government 
of mankind ! My memory has just been refreshed by reading two 
books, the ' Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald,' and the ' History of 
the 45 ' by Chambers. Now, if a man be a sceptic, cadit qtuestio, 
but if he believe in a superintending Ruler, will he hesitate to say, 
in the language of our Liturgy, ' O .God, we have heard with our 
ears, and our fathers have declared unto us, the noble works that 
Thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them.' ' In 
1719,' says Chambers, 'a plan of insurrection and invasion in favour 
of the Stuarts was formed by Spain. A fleet of ten ships of the 
line, with several frigates, having on board 6,000 troops and 12,000 
stand of arms, sailed from Cadiz to England, and while this fleet 
was preparing the Earl Marischal left St. Sebastian with two Spanish 
frigates, having on board 300 Spanish soldiers, ammunition, arms, 
and money. . . . The Spanish fleet was completely dispersed by a 
storm off Cape Finisterre.' ... In Moore's 'Life of Lord Edward, 
from p. 282 to 288 of Vol. I., the lesson is most striking ' 

We need not follow the extracts. Page after page 
he collects, and summarises the instances in which, to 
his mind, the hand of God is clearly visible, and the 
special providence of God is employed for the defence of 
this country. 

On November the 8th the pleasant holiday in Scot- 
land came to an end, and shortly afterwards we find 


Lord Ashley again in the midst of his labours. A few 
of the special events which marked the close of this 
memorable year may be noted in this place. 

Nov. 15th.— Priory, Stanmore. Here by command of the Queen- 
Dowager to meet the Queen Regnant. Very stately, but, perhaps, 
dull Nevertheless, it is kind and amiable on her part, and I ought 
to be, and I am, sensible of it. Now, when I say 'dull,' am I quite 
sure that the dulness is not in myself ; and that people, when I 
call them dull, would not declare that / am dismal ? I seem to have 
lost nearly the power of thinking, and certainly, altogether, the power 
of expressing anything. I have two rooms to myself and two fires. 
I deplore the waste of fuel when there are so many who have none. 
This feeling is growing upon me, and may degenerate into stinginess, 
or, at least, a parsimony in the exercise of just hospitality. The 
amount of waste in all things is prodigious, in some instances care- 
less ; in some inevitable. Why, the very crumbs and scrapings of 
finished dishes in a thousand well-fed families would, week by week, 
sustain a hundred persons ! This, alas ! cannot be avoided, but a 
wanton or thoughtless waste is sinful. ' Gather up the fragments 
that remain, that nothing be lost.' 

Nov. 17th. — Went yesterday to Harrow; accompanied her 
Majesty. Day brilliant, boys and people enthusiastic, the whole 
successful. This is good. Royalty had never shone upon Harrow, 
which has turned out some good men, and seems likely, in God's 
providence — oh, that it may be so — to turn out some more ! An early 
impression of respect to the Sovereign is wholesome ; it may, in these 
days, become indispensable. Saw dear Francis, and heard his praises 
from Dr. Vaughan and the tutors. 

Nov. 25th. — Poor Melbourne died yesterday, and to-day he is, 
of course, gibbeted in the limes. This is ' one of the new terrors 
of death.' 

Nov. 30th. — Charles Buller, poor fellow, has been carried off by 
typhus fever, following on an operation, in the prime of life. I 
regret his loss. He was a much changed man. His pertness, his 
light and saucy opinions, had given way to sobriety and kindness of 
heart; and his humanised feelings had begun to ornament and 


invigorate his great talents. Had lie lived he might have been (I 
speak as a man) of real service in his generation. But God is wiser 
than us. 

Dec. 1st. — This day Melbourne consigned to the grave. Attended 
the funeral at Hatfield Church. May the Lord sanctify the event 
to those who survive, and say, with resistless power, to us all, 
' Watch: 

s 2 



Habeas Corpus Act Suspended— Distress in Ireland — Plans and Projects — 
Illness — Scheme for Subdivision of Parishes — Good Friday — Idle Ecclesi- 
astics — Attendance at Court — Capital Punishment — A Sorrowful Narrative 
— Death of a Son at Harrow — Effect on Lord Ashley — Ragged School Emi- 
gration Scheme — A Very Precious Letter — Approach of Cholera — Labours 
on the Board of Health — The City of the Plague — Public Prayers — Corre- 
spondence with Lord John Russell and Sir George Grey — Cholera Statistics 
— Lord Hardinge — Sunday Labour at the Post-Office — Collection and De- 
livery of Sunday Letters Suspended — The most Unpopular Man in the 
Kingdom — The Order prohibiting Sunday Labour at Post-Office Rescinded. 

Although in the early part of 1849 there was a lull 
in the excitement which had made 1S4S so memorable, 
there were forces at work in this country which were to 
create general alarm and uneasiness. In Ireland, the 
suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act was renewed in 
consequence of the critical state of affairs, and a grant 
of £ 50,U00 was made for the relief of Irish distress in 
certain Unions, where, owing to the severity of the dis- 
tress, a sufficient rate could not be collected. Referring 
to this, Lord Ashley wrote : — 

Jan. 5th . . . Ireland again distressed, and again to be re- 
lieved. All admit the fact and the necessity, but wish to throw the 
necessity on every shoulder but their own. Government propose a 
rate in aid, which may be questionable as a principle of taxation, but 
is most just as applied specifically to Ireland. Irish proprietors are, 
of course, furious, and, generally speaking, not very honest in this 
respect. What is the remedy for this state of tilings 1 What is the 

1849.] SCHEMES OF LABOUR. 277 

cause of it ] Is it the Celtic race 1 Yet we see many of this tribe in 
other parts of the world frugal, industrious, orderly ; much may be 
recorded of the economy, foresight, and affection of thousands. Is 
it the religion? Yet I do not find, however faulty, superstitious, 
idolatrous, may be their belief and practice, that any physical inca- 
pacity is necessarily connected with it ; in many heathen nations 
there may be found much temporal prosperity, and the Tuscan 
farmers and peasantry show by their high cultivation and general 
comfort that indolence and barbarism are not inevitably the con- 
sequence of Popery. Is it national hatred to the Saxon, or pious 
hatred to the Protestant 1 ? or is it both combined? But if so, this 
would appear in Ulster, but hardly be known in Connaught, where 
Saxons and Protestants are as rare as a meat dinner. Is it mis- 
government 1 Why, every measure, however excellent, and by 
whomsoever brought in, fails at once. And why 1 You can obtain no 
agency in Ireland ; no one is to be trusted — no public, no private 
functionaries ; all are of one complexion ; whatever enters Ireland 
is transmuted by the prevailiug atmosphere ; everything acquires 
an affinity to job, and to job it all. Whence is this 1 ? Magna hits 
commissa, O England ! and thou hast not repented of them. But 
until that be done, and we begin good things in a good spirit (here it 
is we fail) nothing will prosper. 

Among the schemes of labour that Lord Ashley set 
before himself for the year was, first, the stirring-up of 
the Board of Health to more vigorous efforts . One 
hundred and fifty wretched children had recently died 
of proved neglect, and " They will be the martyrs of a 
cause of reformation," he wrote. " Their death will be 
the signal, and the compulsion, too, of an improved and 
more merciful state of things." Next, a plan for the 
general Subdivision of all the larger Parishes for ec- 
clesiastical purposes, so that the population of each 
parish should not exceed 4,000, a plan that he felt 
certain would effect a greater amount of moral, social, 


and religious improvement than a whole code of laws. 
Then, the completion of Ragged School projects, espe- 
cially in relation to Emigration ; and finally, "the invi- 
tation to the stragglers in the lanes and streets ; the 
evangelical coercion through the highways and hedges, 
according to the commands of our blessed Redeemer. 
Add to this the ordinaiy and existing work, and there 
is my budget ! " 

The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. 
Lord Ashley's health began to fail, and this was to be 
one source of hindrance to his projects ; while a cloud, 
which had not yet arisen, was to gather and overshadow 
him, and make this year memorable for the bitterness 
of its sorrow. The following is the beginning of a long 
series of entries extending through many years. They 
will only be referred to occasionally in the course of this 
work, but to ignore them altogether would be to detract 
from the heroism which, notwithstanding, persisted in 
incessant labours. 

Jan. 30th. — "Warned by six months of unpleasant symptoms, 
teiTible noises in my ears, sleeplessness at nights, or slumbers broken 
by strange sensations of nervousness, my whole body appearing to 
vibrate like a Jew's harp, consulted Dr. Latham. ' Rest or decay,' 
he replies. ' Over- toil, over-anxiety, over-sensitiveness to the sub- 
jects handled during many years, have shaken you in every part; you 
must be more moderate, or utterly disabled.' I can well believe it 
— few can know ; nay, none know the full extent of my labours, and 
the full trial of all my feelings. Thank God, I am warned in time, 
that I may, should it be His pleasure to spare me, husband my 
strength for a few more years of service ; I can do so with a clear 
and even happy conscience, for I know that I have given to the 
public, and have not spent on myself, the best of my life aud 


energies. But yet I cannot contemplate even comparative inaction 
with joy ; but God's will be done ! . . . 

In his scheme for the Subdivision of Parishes, Lord 
Ashley was threatened in the first instance with the 
opposition of Lord John Bussell, on the ground that it 
was opposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury ; but an 
interview with the Archbishop disposed of many diffi- 
culties, and Lord John withdrew his opposition. On 
the 1st of March, therefore, the motion was brought 
forward, although to the last moment there were strong 
misgivings as to the support it would receive. 

March 1st. — My misgivings justified. John Russell writes to me 
to-day to put off my motion, ' as the Dissenters will ojipose it. 
What shall I do 1 If I postpone it I incur many hazards, such as 
ill health, misrepresentation, no opportunity ; if I urge it, I avert 
the Government. Good may, by God's blessing, be brought out of 
evil. J. Russell hints at a Commission without a previous motion 
in Parliament ; if so, thank God, I shall be spared a speech ; and 
sad, discreditable disclosures of the wrangles and anomalies of the 
Church will be avoided. Ten o'clock. — Just returned from the House 
— a debate — a division, headed by Bright and Hume ; beat them, 
God be praised, by 111 to 18! Kept in uncertainty until two 
minutes to five, when Johnny said he wished me to proceed. Debate 
was most triumphant, and the issue all the better, because motion 
was opposed without a shadow of reason by Dissenters ! The truth 
is, they see it is a heavy blow and great discouragement to Dissent 
and popular discontent ; they see that, by this means, the Church 
can and will, God blessing us, recover her just position and ' con- 
servatise ' the kingdom. 


A Commission was appointed, and in the course of a 
week or two was working harmoniously, with hearty 
zeal and a desire to see the facilities first, and the diffi- 
culties afterwards. 


Anything that would arouse the clergy to greater 
activity, Lord Ashley hailed with satisfaction ; his esti- 
mate of their zeal and of the religious state of the times 
is given in the meditation entered in his Diary on Good 
Friday : — 

April 6th. — Good Friday. Tins is a serious contemplation. Is the 
world better than the day that our blessed Lord died upon the Cross ] 
Are men individually better 1 Is the world collectively better ? That 
the externals of society are more refined, that the surface is smoother, 
that more pious things are said, and more pious actions tolerated, 
that civilisation has been advanced, and that Christianity is the 
cause of it, few persons will deny. But how are the hearts of men % 
Are they cleaner, less averse from good, more given to God ? Is the 
number of the faithful increased, diminished, or stationary '] Are we 
nearer to be an acceptable people 1 Is there, as yet, any appearance 
of a Harvest? 'Lord, Thou knowest.' I look around, myself, and 
am much discouraged. I see but few who could stand a trial, few 
who love truth and God's will above all things, few who are not 
ready to find ten thousand excuses for doing what they like, and 
rejecting what they dislike. My experience may be very limited, 
and I may form incorrect judgments, but I trace much of our evil to 
the moral condition of our ecclesiastical rulers and ministers. It is 
possible that they may be improved in comparison of former days ; 
they are wholly insufficient in reference to the present. Look to the 
metropolis ! Why so frightful a state of spiritual destitution 1 Why 
so many wretched, forsaken, naked vagrants 1 I have said this, and 
received in reply, ' The clergy are unequal to the task.' Well, then, 
why do they discountenance and almost insult (the exceptions are 
few but honourable) those who toil to collect the outcasts in Ragged 
Schools and make them at least to hear the name of Christ 1 These 
men seem to think that of two evils, it is the less for them to die in 
their sins, than to be brought to knowledge and repentance by the 
co-operation of a Dissenter ! If so, what was there worse in Jeru- 
salem 1 . . . 

Lord Ashley's presence at Court was very frequent, 
and his Diaries show how constantly his sympathies 


were alternating between the highest and the lowest in 
the land. A few extracts may be given here : — 

Feb. 8th. — Here I am at Windsor Castle. Carae yesterday; sat 
next to the Queen at dinner ; had some interesting conversation. 
May God, in His mercy to the Realm, raise up for her some Joseph, 
Daniel, or Nehemiah, some one who, in Christ's faith and fear, shall 
rule this people prudently and with all his power ! . . . 

Feb. 12th. — Newspapers of late very full of cases of cruelty to 
children in schools, in private houses, on board ship. They come 
between me and my rest, and to no purpose, for the evil is irremedi- 
able, except by the grace of God. 

May 1st. — Sat in House of Commons to vote against Ewart's 
motion for abolishing punishment of death. I have a very strong feeling 
on the subject. Tuflhell gave me leave to be absent for three-quarters 
of an hour (it being really necessary that I should go and support 
the Lord Mayor in the Chair of the Plumtree Ragged School), and 
when I returned the vote was over. I am vexed, for I wished 
publicly to record my opinion that the Word of God does not permit 
but commands ' He that sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood 
be shed.' . . . 

May 8th. . . . Young Peel came forward for the first time, 
and made a most promising speech in language, manner, tone, and 
talent. If his principles and his heart are equal to his abilities 
in oratory (judgment being added) he will be a veiy considerable 

May 10th. — To the Queen's concert last night; everything as 
brilliant and cheerful as music and company could make it ; my- 
self rather dismal. . . . 

May 15th. — Made a night visitation to Hoxton Lunatic Asylum, 
having suspicions of misconduct ; found, I rejoice to say, things far 
better than we expected ; our system, therefore, of inspection, may 
be considered successful, and our terrors salutary. Ventilation of 
apartments very bad. . . . 

May 16th. — Last night chair of Ragged Anniversary in Exeter 
Hall. A stupendous meeting. Prince Albert took chair to-day at 
Hanover Square Rooms for Servants' Provident Institution. He 
did his business admirably well, with good taste, good feeling, and 


real ability. But, to be sure, if he liked flattery he had full measure 
of it, and of the strongest quality — pare rectified spirits ! 

Moved a resolution, as I was desired, though hoarse with roaring 
yesterday to four thousand people. Thank God that the Prince is 
what he is, and the Queen too, with a moral Court, domestic 
virtues, and some public activity in philanthropic things ! 

May 19th. . . . Seven o'clock. Just heard that some one has 
fired at the Queen ! She is safe. God be a million times praised for 
His mercy to her and to the country ! The profligate George IV. 
passed through a life of selfishness and sin without a single proved 
attempt to take it. This mild and virtuous young woman has, four 
times already, been exposed to imminent peril ! 

It was late in the evening of this day that Lord 
Ashley received a letter from Harrow which filled him 
with the greatest alarm and anxiety. It was to announce 
the serious illness of his second son, Francis. He had 
been at Harrow since April, 1847, where he had taken 
and kept a distinguished place in the school, and, at the 
time of which we write, was in the sixth (highest) 
form. He was a singularly striking character; old and 
thoughtful for his years, deeply religious, and pure in 
heart and habit. The illness with which he was seized 
was a severe attack of cold and inflammation, and the 
remedy then applied was one which would not now be 
even thought of — such has been the rapid advance of 
medical science — repeated bleedings. 

The sorrowful narrative that follows, must be told 
only in the words of his father, and should it be thought 
that the incidents are too sacred for the public eye, it 
may be stated that Lord Shaftesbury had often been 
urged to preserve them in the form of a short biogra- 
phy, but was withheld from doing so, as he would have 


been obliged to sslj things which would relate to himself, 
and his motive might possibly have been misconstrued. 
Almost the last evening that the writer was permitted 
to spend with Lord Shaftesbury, was occupied in hear- 
ing the narrative of the incidents which follow, and 
it was his earnest wish that they should be recorded. 
" It may be, nay, I feel sure it will be, useful to others 
— let it be told," were his last instructions that even- 
ing, as he wiped away the tears that had been flowing 

May 21st.— Dearest Francis no better. . . . Saw him after he 
had slept : very feverish, thirsty ; but calm, composed, and cheer- 
ful. Blessed be God, he is easy and peaceful ! Asked me soon 
after my arrival to read the Bible. Did it joyfully. Bead the 
seventh of Bevelation for the glories and bliss of the other world, and 
the twenty-fourth of Matthew for the present duties and occupations 
of this. Frepared thus for either alternative of God's will. Then 
we prayed, and were, I think, comforted. What a darling, tender, 
true, zealous, and God-serving boy it is ! Oh, that he may be spared 
to us, not for our solace and enjoyment only, but for the Lord's 
faith and fear ! How often have I meditated on his future aid and 
sympathy in all my thoughts and pursuits for the good of mankind. 
But I must imitate the example of our dear Lord, and say, ' If it be 
possible : nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done ! ' . . . 

May 22nd. . . . He knows his danger, but he knows also his 
hope. Never have I seen such a boy ; though so young, and as the 
world goes, so innocent, he is filled with a sense of sin and un- 
worthiness ; and his only fears are those which spring from a senti- 
ment that ' the joys of heaven are too glorious for one like him' Oh, 
what a mercy it is, and what a consolation to us, that he is as far 
from self- righteousness as the east is from the west ! Never have I 
known till now what I am possibly to lose ! ' Bead to me,' he said, 
'about forgiveness of sins.' We then read and talked much of the 
free and full mercy of God in Christ Jesus. Above all, I urged him, 


as a calmer to every apprehension, to bear ever in mind that ' God is 
Love,' that human love is capable of great things ; what, then, must 
be the depth and height and intensity of Divine love ! ' Know 
nothing,' we said, ' think of nothing but Jesus Christ and Him 
crucified.' The darling boy kissed me repeatedly, and blessed his 
parents that they had brought him up in the faith and fear of the 
Lord. Oh, blessed Saviour, this is a wondrous work of Thine ; it is 
the humbleness, the resignation, the piety, the experience of an aged 

May 25th. — Yesterday left dear Francis with great hopes of 
recovery. His mother stays with him. The disorder has been 
dreadful ; not an ordinary attack of fever, a positive conflagration. 

May 28th. — Harrow. Yesterday (Sunday) a clay of fearful and 
agonising anxiety ; a better account to-day, and various symptoms 
of permanent improvement. Sat with him, read the Bible and 
prayed ; he desired specially some prayers of thanksgiving. ' Do you 
meditate, can you meditate,' I said, ' my dear boy, as you lie here 1 ?' 
' Oh, yes,' he replied; 'but I have learned what a futile thing must 
be a death-bed repentance. I feel that I have been reconciled to God, 
but what could I have done, when lying on this bed, to make my 
peace with Him, had I not before been brought to a knowledge of 
the Truth ! ' We prayed earnestly that, if he were raised up, it 
might be, by Divine Grace, to service in this world and salvation in 
the next ! 

Yesterday attended school chapel, and took Sacrament ; 120 
boys are communicants ! Can this be without its fruits 1 Blessed 
Lord, water it by Thy Spirit ! Why, in my day, not only no boys 
(and there were many of seventeen and eighteen) took the Lord's 
Supper ; but no one dreamed of it. Surely a true and well-earned 
consolation to Dr. Yaughan. 

June 1st. — Yesterday, at eight o'clock in the evening, it pleased 
Almighty God to take our blessed Francis. It was the work of a 
moment ; and we were like amazed persons, so great had been the 
promise, not many seconds before, of returning strength and vivacity. 
Yet we must not murmur or repine, for all is wisdom, and mercy, 
and love, that cometh from Him. The child, we doubt not, is with 
Christ, which is far better. 

June 2nd.- — The loss to us is irreparable ; if we regard it only in 
reference to ourselves, we can neither describe nor appreciate the 


calamity. What happiness had we not promised our declining years, 
from his respect, his love, his sympathy, his piety ! No pen, no 
tongue, can set forth the charms and perfections of that blessed hoy. 
But this is a small fraction of the view. We must look at him 
as emancipated from sin and danger, as received into the embrace of 
his precious Lord and Saviour, as a dear spirit in the realms of bliss. 
Is it not that the fruit was ripe, and that God, in His mercy, plucked 
it before it rotted on the tree 1 Yet every day and every hour 
bring his memory to our thoughts — the books — the chair, the things 
we so often talked about. . . . 

I must gather up all that he said : I cannot let any of his words 
fall to the ground. During his suffering he had a dream. ' I have 
had a dream,' said he to Mrs. Gay (the housekeeper, that dear, and 
kind, and religious woman, who nursed him). ' I dreamed that I 
was very ill, and that I died, and was buried at Harrow.' ' Did he 
seem disturbed by it 1 ' I asked. ' Not in the least ; he took it with 
the utmost composure.' Blessed be God, his heart was proof against 
fear ; he had said in the early part of his illness, ' Mamma, I fear 
that I shall be numbered among the fearful ; ' but God was pleased 
to reveal Himself more clearly, and, as ' perfect love casteth out fear,' 
so was it with his dear soul. 

June 3rd. — Sunday. Sweet darling, he was unselfish to a sin 
gular degree. ' Oh, mamma,' said the blessed boy, ' I am so ashamed 
of myself, that through my incaution and neglect I have exposed 
you to this heavy expense.' Thus the dear child, instead of dwelling 
on his own rightful comforts and remedies, was thinking only of 
our pecuniary inconvenience. 

On Tuesday, after he had first learned his extreme danger from 
the medical attendants, he said to me, ' Is it so 1 ' I replied ' that 
it was.' He then called me, saying, ' Come near to me, dear papa.' 
I went and knelt down by his bedside ; he threw his blessed arms 
round my neck, and kissed me for a very long time, and then said, 
' I want to thank you, dearest papa, for having brought me up as 
you have done, for having brought me up religiously. I now 
feel all the comfort of it; it is to you I owe my salvation.' 'No, 
dearest boy,' I replied, 'it is to the grace of God.' 'Yes, it is true,' 
he said, ' but you were made the instrument of it.' Is there not 
consolation, almost divine, in these precious sentences] His 
voice and manner throughout his whole illness were, so to speak, 


sublime ; he retained his infantile simplicity, and yet he was above 
himself. His heart was unlocked, and all its treasures displayed. 
Two or three times his dear mother said to me, ' This boy will 
never recover — his state of preparation is such that God will take 
him ; he cannot return to the world.' He seemed to have no desire 
for it ; he began, no doubt, after the promises of amendment in his 
health, to form little plans of happiness, but they were as pure and 
simple as himself. ' I shall be so happy when I am at borne, and 
under your care, dearest mamma ; and I shall see all the dear child- 
ren, and then, too, I shall be of such use to papa.' Blessed, ever 
blessed boy, he was thinking of my letters and Ragged Schools. 
Was he not, indeed, of use to me 1 How many delightful, useful 
hours have I passed in his dear society ; he was my companion, my 
coadjutor, nay, half my very soul ; the precious boy helped me more 
than thousands of wealthy, idle, powerful adults. 

June 4th. — On that awful Tuesday, after we had read and prayed 
together, the dear boy said, ' Dear papa, give me your blessing.' I 
might have replied, like St. John the Baptist, and said, ' I have need 
.... of thee, and comest thou to me 1 ' but he asked it, and from 
my soul I gave it. ' If prayers will avail you,' I said, ' you will 
have the prayers of hundreds of ragged children.' He seemed greatly 
pleased with the thought, and his face, as his mother now remem- 
bers, quite brightened up. When he spoke of his recovery, which, 
in his improved state, seemed likely, his rejoicing was of the same 
simple, modest, unselfish character, all bearing on the exercise of the 
domestic virtues which are akin to religion. 

Saw Hewlett, who told me, more in detail, about his announce- 
ment to Francis of his state of danger. The darling child, having 
ascertained it by inquiry from him, ' received the answer,' says 
Hewlett, ' with a smile on his countenance, and simply added, 
" Whatever is God's will is enough for me." ' This alone would 
have been a real and deep consolation ; but, by God's mercy, it is 
only one of many such sentences. 

June 5th. — ' What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt 
know hereafter.' Yet I can see, even at present, many reasons, and 
we, as God's creatures, must receive them as all-convincing. His 
death may be the instrumental cause of seriousness and renova- 
tion to many, especially of his schoolfellows ; it may strike an 
indelible impression on those of his family who survive ; it may 


exhibit a beautiful specimen of early fitness, and remain as a monu- 
ment of Divine Grace ! It may chastise me, and yet so mildly, that 
while I bow the head in submission I am not prostrated by the blow. 
Oh ! what a strange chastisement ! My own clear, precious, darling 
son is taken to everlasting glory, to the end and object of all my 
labours and my prayers ! and this is the Lord's mode of afflicting 
His people ! . 

How marvellous the influence of this dear, departed boy ; how 
fragrant his name ! The school is subdued by sorrow ; and tears of 
affection and words of admiration flow from every one. The boys 
and the masters vie in language of respect and love. He bore 
his honours so meekly, and ascribed everything to any source but 
his own merits. ' Well,' he said, when he heard of the numberless 
inquiries being made concerning him, ' if I cared about being 
made a fuss with, all Harrow is coming after me ! ' Then he 
assigned it, not to his own deserts, but to mine. ' It is, I am 
sure, dearest papa, because I am your son.' Blessed, simple- 
hearted boy, he saw and valued every one but himself ' 

June 7th. — Francis is dead and buried. It is difficult to realise 
the truth, but so it is. We attended yesterday his funeral, which 
accomplished his dream that he should be interred at Harrow. 
Minny and I greatly rejoice that we surrendered our feelings of 
nature that his dear remains should lie, where, in the course of 
things, God willing, we should pass many of our days and perform 
many acts of worship, at St. Giles's in Dorsetshire. We consigned 
him to the churchyard of the school which he had so loved and 
adorned, and where he needed not preachers, or poets, or the tongue 
of friendship, or love, to make known his admirable virtues. He 
was buried in the presence of all his schoolfellows and their several 
masters ; and though sermons and speeches may and will be blessed to 
enforce his example on those who survive, no one yesterday, among 
many hundreds, required the word to say who or what he was. ' The 
evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their 
bones.' Not so with him ; the record of his name will long be 
fragrant ; and I trust, nay, believe (for God will give us this 
consolation over and above the other), that the monument of stone 
will also present him to many hearts as a monument of Divine 
Grace. . . . 

June 12th. — They ask me to write a short memoir of my darling 


boy. ' It will be useful,' they say, ' to many, and specially to other 
boys.' If I do so, I must record things in praise, as it were, of 

Harrow churchyard is classic ground, to which not 
old Harrovians alone are wont to go on pilgrimage. 
Many are the visitors, even from beyond the Atlantic, 
who, after feasting their eyes on the glorious panorama 
commanded by the fine elevation, seek out the modest 
grave marked by the following inscription : — 



the second sox of loud and lady ashley, 

who was horn 13th march, 1833, 

and died at harrow school 31st may, 1849. 

to those who did not know him a statement op 

his many excellencies would appear to he exaggerated. 

for those who did know him, no more 

is required than the simple record of his name. 

but his father and mother. who haye erected this stone, 

must say something more. 

though so blameless in life that he was without fault 

in the eyes of his parents and associates, 

he trusted not to any yain hope in his own works and deservings. 

pressed by the deep conyiction of indwelling sin, 

he only sought forgiveness in the free love and mercy of god 

through the atonement of a crucified saviour, 

and thus left an example to all you 

who shall remember his life ok read this epitaph, 

that even the very earliest youth 

.may exhibit the triumphs of divine grace. 

"is it well with the child?'' 

"it is well." — 2 Kings iv. 2(j. 

They were sad and solemn days, those thirteen 
days when his son lay on his bed of sickness ; and sad 
and solemn were the days that followed. Were it not 

1819.] A TERlilBLE SHOCK. 289 

that we want to see every aspect of the life of Lord 
Shaftesbury, we should have hesitated to have intruded 
even thus far into scenes so private. But it opens up a 
beautiful page in a man's life, when it can be seen that 
there was, between himself and his children, such abso- 
lute confidence and affection, that they could speak un- 
reservedly together on the subject of personal religion. 
It sheds a lustre over every public effort for the good of 
others, when it is known that this was but an extended 
phase of the work that had been going on in his own 

Lord Ashley's nervous and sensitive organism 
suffered much from the shock of this event ; and 
months after (October 11) he writes: — 

1 The thing that I greatly feared is come upon me ; ' and remark- 
able it is that the very effect I ever anticipated from such an event 
as the death of one of my children, has been produced. It has left 
me equal to business, with life and energy and sympathy with im- 
portant interests as warm as ever ; but it has thrown an alloy into 
all enjoyment. Pleasures the most innocent are qualified by it, and 
nothing has its former flavour. Two objects are constantly by clay 
and by night before my eyes : I see him dying, and I see his cofhn 
at the bottom of the grave. They alternate the one with the other ; 
and the flesh, do what I will, predominates. Then come to my relief 
his dear and precious words, that God's mercy sent for my consola- 
tion. The pain ceases, and then begins anew. I am grown much 
more nervous and apprehensive. Every trifle, if it be sudden, makes 
me expect some sad intelligence — a knock at the door, a footstep, a 
letter, an unusual expression of countenance. The truth is, that the 
shock I experienced on being summoned in a moment to attend his 
death-bed — having left him not half an hour in, as we all believed, 
returning vigour — was far deeper than was then felt. It was a blow 
of which the internal mischiefs were not exhibited when it was. 



For many months, there is scarcely a page of the 
diary that does not record the name of " my blessed 
Francis." His portrait, ever after his death, was on 
the mantelpiece in the study at St. Giles's ; and thirty- 
six years later than the time of which we write, Lord 
Shaftesbury declared his belief that not one day had 
passed without some conscious memory of his beloved 

Although it was the first time that death had 
entered in the family, and Lord Ashley felt stunned by 
the blow, he did not " sorrow as those who have no 
hope." Within a week of the funeral we find him busy 
on the Commission for the Subdivision of Parishes, and 
busier still in Bagged School work, for a new motive 
was now added. 

Work of the ' Ragged ' kind recalls his image so vividly, and his 
dear words of sympathy and approval, how conld I please him more 
were he alive, or more, if he be cognisant of what is passing, than 
by endeavouring to please God in seeking the welfare of those forlorn 
lambs of our Master 1 

There were two things for Lord Ashley to accom- 
plish without delay — the prosecution of the Ragged 
Schools Emigration scheme, and the Bill for the Public 
Health Provisional Orders. 

On July the 24th he again brought forward in the 
House of Commons his motion for an annual grant of 
money to be provided for the emigration of a certain 
number of Bagged School children of the metropolis 
to the Colonies. He brought it forward at that late 
period of the Session because it was the only oppor- 


tunity lie had, and because lie was anxious to show the 
House to what profitable uses the £1,500 he had ob- 
tained last Session had been applied ; and also, because 
he was anxious to excite some interest, and, perhaps, 
discussion, on the preventive, as contrasted with the 
reformatory, system. 

By a system of emigration, as a reward of merit to a 
certain number of children rescued, by the training re- 
ceived in Eagged Schools, from ignorance and destitution, 
a double advantage would be gained. Not only would 
those who actually emigrated be benefited, but those 
who remained would be incited to join the schools, and 
to persevere in a course of good conduct, in order to 
qualify themselves for the reward held out. There could 
be no doubt that emigration was preferable to employ- 
ment at home ; it abated the terrible competition of the 
day, it removed the young people far from their former 
haunts and temptations, and it relieved them from the 
infliction of excessive labour. 

The conditions it was proposed to require from every 
candidate for emigration, were — sound health, regular 
attendance for at least six months in a Ragged School, 
the ability to write a sentence from dictation, to work 
the four simple rules of arithmetic, to read fluently, to 
repeat the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments, 
showing a comprehension of their meaning, and to 
answer a few easy questions on the life of the Saviour 
To these was to be added, a certificate of regular at- 
tendance in some industrial class for at least four 
months, or a competent knowledge of some handicraft, 

1/ iQ 


or practical occupation, which would serve as an equiva- 
lent for such industrial training. 

If anything could have stimulated the Government 
to action in this matter, it should have been the manner 
in which the £1,500 granted in the previous Session 
had been expended, the amount of good it had already 
done, and the permanent good it seemed likely to 
effect. Letters were read from the boys who had been 
sent out to Australia — touching letters, full of gratitude 
and hope, and, in concluding his speech, Lord Ashley 
said : — 

And now, Sir, revile the system and criticise it as they may, 
these Ragged Schools have been, and are, the sole means whereby 
religious and secular knowledge is imparted to the thousands of 
a race sunk, whole fathoms deep, in destitution and suffering. 
You vote £100,000 a year for the purposes of education. You 
might, as far as these miserables are concerned, vote one hundred 
pence ; they cannot receive any portion of your bounty ■ they cannot 
be accommodated to the system of your National and Borough 
Road Schools. What other means exist 1 ? We have now 82 
schools, full 8,000 children, 124 paid and 929 voluntary teachers, of 
whose services I cannot speak with adequate gratitude and respect. 
In weariness and painfulness, and with every form of self-denial, 
they surrender themselves, body and soul, to this noble cause, hoping 
to excite in others a kindred sympathy. But they are not successful. 
The sympathy with the cause is lamentably small, and especially 
from those who should be the very first in every work of charity and 
religion. ... It is, then, to the House of Commons that we direct 
our attention, in the hope that the Legislature will take up the duty 
that individuals seem to reject. I can hardly appeal to your feelings, 
because you appear to me to lie under an obligation to consider the 
case of these desperate sufferers. ' Their enemies drive them into 
the sea, and the sea throws them back upon their enemies ; ' and yet 
they are immortal spirits, as precious, body and soul, in the sight of 
God, as the very best among us in this august assembly. I commit, 


therefore, the issue to the representatives of the kingdom, believing 
that thejr will not gainsay by their actions what so many of them 
profess with their lips, when they pray ' that it may please God to 
defend and provide for, the fatherless children, and all that are 
desolate and oppressed.' 

In the discussion which followed, several speakers, 
especially Sir George Grey and Mr. Page Wood, took 
hold of minor points, and misrepresented the views and 
statements of Lord Ashley ; and in the end, as it was 
evident there was a strong feeling in the House against 
his proposition, he felt it would be indecorous in him to 
press it to a division, and the motion was therefore 
withdrawn. The country was not ripe for the effort ; 
no second grant was made, and henceforth the Emigra- 
tion scheme, as regarded Ragged Schools, had to be 
carried on from private sources. 

But the ventilation of the subject in the public 
press, gave an impetus to Ragged School work gene- 
rally. The subject became popular ; and the fact that 
the Government would not take up the matter, made 
the flow of contributions from voluntary sources more 
abundant than ever. 

The strong personal interest that Lord Ashley took 
in individuals on whose behalf he laboured can never 
be adequately told. An illustration only can now and 
again be given. For example, a letter, written in 1849, 
was found, thirty-six years after its date — that is to 
say, shortly after his death — in the box which he al- 
ways carried about with him, as containing the things 
he most valued. It is written in a cramped, ill-formed 
hand, and is addressed : " Lord Ashley, Exeter Hall, 


Westminster, London." On the cover Lord Shaftesbury 
had written: " Very precious to me, this letter. — S." 
It ran as follows : — 

Port Adelaide South Australia. 

October 8th, '49. 

Most Noble Lord, — 1 Arived at port Adelade on the 25th 
March after a very plesant passage and am now in a very com- 
fortable situtation and with very pious people. I like Australia 
very well but the Weather is so very hot in the summer it is now 6 
mounths since I arived here and have need to thank you for your 
kindness in sending me out. I think with persevience I shall do 
much Better here than in England. I do not think I shall ever 
forget the good Advice i recived at palace yard Ragged School and 
senserily thank them all for there kindness. 

Please to except the poor thanks of your obliged and thankful 


Caroline Walker. 

On the back of the letter, written, evidently many 
years later, although there is no date affixed, is the 
following : — " She went into service, behaved so well 
that her master gave her in marriage to his son. 
She became a considerable person in Australia, and 
afterwards went to India. Where is she now? God 
be for ever with this Eagged School girl ! — S." 

Throughout the year — in fact, from October, in 
1848 — the country had been in a state of growing 
alarm on account of the outbreaks of cholera ; and Lord 
Ashley, as Chairman of the Board of Health, was in- 
volved in the most harassing and unceasing labours. In 
the early part of the year as we have said, one hundred 
and fifty children perished by the pestilence in an 
establishment at Tooting, for the " care of the Infant 


Poor," and it was found that they were attacked when 
suffering from insufficient food, defective clothing, and 
impure air. Investigations into further outbreaks, at 
different times and places, proved conclusively, that 
" wherever neglect, wherever depression, or vice, or 
poverty, pressed down the population, there the pes- 
tilence raged with its retributive and warning arm ; 
the sins of omission and commission were revisited 
on the lives of those who perpetrated or permitted 
them." It was found that foul drains, overflowing 
cesspools, fetid waters, overcrowded lodging-houses, 
damp cellars, and ill-ventilated rooms, attracted the 
pestilence, which then spread to the houses of the 
better classes, and to the mansions of the rich. 

As the summer advanced the pestilence grew in 
virulence ; but while everybody, who could do so, was 
running away from London as fast as possible, Lord 
Ashley, with his indefatigable colleagues Dr. Southwood 
Smith and Mr. Edwin Chadwick, was working night 
and day in the very midst of the plague. Reviled by 
the newspapers, resisted by Boards of Guardians, 
hampered by red-tape, he persevered in his labours ; 
and, be it remembered, that it was entirely unpaid 
service, which he rendered throughout the whole of the 
difficult and dangerous time of the existence of the 
Board of Health. 

September 7th. — Labour and anxiety at Board of Health very 
great. We are now in the City of the Plague, and still by God's 
love under His shield and buckler. He hears our prayers, and 
defends against the 'Pestilence that walketh in darkness.' Disorder 


increasing ; close of last week showed a mortality trebling the 
average of London; 1,881 victims of this awful scourge! Yester- 
day showed, for the metropolis alone, a return of 345 in one clay. 

God, Thou art terrible and yet just in Thy decrees. 

September 9th. — London is emptied. Cholera worse than ever; 
returns of yesterday quite appalling, and yet manifest that we do 
not receive more than two-thirds of the truth. Have been mer- 
cifully preserved through this pestilence. Have not, I thank God, 
shrunk from one hour of duty in the midst of this City of the 
Plague, and yet it has not approached either me or n»y dwelling. 

September 1 7th. — Times of this morning contains an extract 
from the Observer which is gratifying. The Board of Health may 
hope little, and perhaps desire little, for the applause of men ; but 

1 do much deplore that our anxieties and labours should be thrown 
away, and we be told that we have done nothing, attempted nothing, 
imagined nothing, wished nothing. Our diligence and zeal are men- 
tioned in the article ; yet it is less than justice. We have indeed 
toiled unceasingly, and not as mere officials, but with earnestness 
and feeling. Chadwick and Smith are men who may feel, but who 
know not fatigue or satiety in business, when necessity urges, or 
duty calls. As for the staff of the Board, miserably paid as they 
are, with scanty hopes of preferment, or even of continued employ- 
ment, I am unable to speak with adequate praise. They have 
laboured even to sickness, and when struck down by the disease, 
have hastened back to their work, not for emolument (for they 
receive fixed salaries), but for conscience sake. And such are the 
men whose scanty recompense certain gentry would reduce by 10 per 
cent. Out upon this disgusting economy ! 

The one great cause of surprise and anxiety to Lord 
Ashley throughout this perilous time was, that although 
the disease was spreading, and terrible alarm was preva- 
lent, there was no apparent turning to prayer. Not an 
ecclesiastic attempted to stir the Government to direct 
public supplication. In vain he wrote to the Archbishop 
and the Bishop of London, and he says, " Surely it is 

1849.] CHOLERA AND PllAYEll. 297 

prodigious that the laity should always take the lead in 
these things. The world will soon ask ' Cui bono our 
spiritual, or, rather, our ecclesiastical rulers ? ' " 

It was in vain also that he urged a fast-day ; and 
not until alarm was approaching to panic was he able to 
obtain a special prayer. 

As an example of his persistency, the following 
correspondence is principally given : — 

Lord Ashley to Lord John Russell. 

Board of Health, August 6tli, 1849. 

My dear Russell, — There is a very deep and extended feeling 
that the present state of the public health, and, consequently, of 
public safety, requires some open recognition of the Hand from which 
the scourge has come, and which alone can avert the terrible results. 

I am astonished and grieved that our ecclesiastical rulers have 
been so slow to enforce on your attention this prime necessity ; but 
the laity are as much a part of the Church as the Archbishops, and 
I have, therefore, taken the liberty, in their silence, to bring the 
matter under your serious consideration. Many would desire a fast- 
day ; but the majority, I think, would, whatever their private wishes, 
be content with a special prayer. 

The returns of to-day are as follows : — 

August 6. — County — Cases, 435. Deaths, 189. London — 
Cases, 454. Deaths, 182. Compared with last Monday. — Cases, 240. 
Deaths, 130. 

The total mortality of London from cholera in the week ending 
August 4th— 920. In week ending July 28th— 783. 

Very truly yours, 


Lord John Russell to Lord Ashley. 

Richmond, August 7, 1849. 
My dear Ashley, — I have sent your letter to Grey, who is with 
the Queen. 

But I think it right to say that when the cholera appeared in 


this country some months ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote 
to me proposing a special prayer. I took the Queen's pleasure on 
the subject, and wrote to him in reply that, as there was a prayer 
in the Prayer-book on the subject of a common plague or sickness, 
the Queen thought it better to have recourse to that prayer in the 
parishes where the cholera had appeared, than to order a prayer in 
Council. The cholera did not, at that time, make much progress ; 
now the case is lamentably different, but I doubt whether any more 
appropriate prayer could be ordered by the Queen in Council. 

I remain, 

Yours faithfully, 

J. Russell. 

The Eight Hon. Sir George Grey to Lord Ashley. 

Falloden, August 30, 1849. 

My dear Ashley, — Since 1 wrote to you yesterday I have 
received your second letter. Lord John Russell sent to me in 
Scotland your former letter, on the subject of a special prayer for 
the removal of the cholei'a. It appeared, however, to him, and I 
concurred, that while the prayer in the Prayer-book was quite un- 
suited to an apprehended epidemic, it was expressly framed with 
reference to the existence of ' great sickness and mortality,' and that 
to frame a new prayer now, would be, in effect, to supersede altogether 
the use of the prayer in question. I wrote to the Archbishop to 
suggest that if this prayer was not commonly used in all churches in 
places where the cholera was raging, a letter might be addressed to 
the clergy enjoining its use. I wrote again to Lord John on the 
subject a few days ago, and I expect daily to hear from him, but our 
communications by post are very slow. I still do not see on what 
ground the prayer in the Prayer-book should be superseded fro had 
vice by another. But a distinct recognition of the Hand of God by a 
day set apart for the purpose, is a different proposal, and it is that 
only to which I think people's minds are directed. This should be 
national, but the disease is at present very partial, and I am inclined 
to think that local Services, such as I see by the papers, have been 
recommended by the Bishop of Salisbury, are better adapted for the 


existing state of things than a general fast, which would include a 
large portion of the country in which the cholera is, as yet, happily 
unknown. This is, again, an advantage in the use of the existing 
prayer, that it can he used where circumstances justify it, but need 
not be universally used where it is inappropriate. 
I will send your letter on to Lord John Russell. 

Yours truly, 

G. Grey. 

Lord Ashley to Sir George Grey. 

London, September 1, 1849. 

My dear Grey, — Surely you cannot have watched the progress 
of this pestilence, when you say that its influence has been merely 
partial. It has ravaged Ireland, it is ravaging London, sparing no 
place and no classes ; it has broken out in 160 towns and districts of 
England and Scotland ; Glasgow and Dumfries will remember the 
scourge so long as the world lasts. 

And as for a special prayer, I asked it only because I did not 
hope to obtain a Fast. But surely you are wrong again here ; prayer 
is not only to remove an infliction which exists, but to avert its 
arrival. "When I first wrote to Lord John, the cholera had not 
appeared in many spots where it has since shown its hideous violence. 
The special prayer might have been framed for use in places un- 
touched by the disorder, the ordinary prayer remaining still for 
those where the plague was present. But now there is a loud and 
just call for a Fast ; and I confess to you that I tremble lest the 
Government should refuse to listen to it. It will not redound to 
their honour, or to the security of themselves or of the Realm. 

The consternation is deep and general. 

Yours very truly, 


P.S. — From many places we receive no returns. There is the 
greatest effort made to suppress all reports from watering-places or 
any places of trade or public resort. 


Lord John Russell to Lord Ashley. 

Balmoral, September 1, 1849. 

Dear Ashley,— I have written to-day to the Archbishop, in 
answer to a letter of his, to say that the Queen ■will direct a form of 
prayer to be prepared on account of the cholera. 

The visitation of this disease has indeed taken a very awful 

Now as to your own health. Carlisle writes me word that he is 

going to London, and I think you owe it to your family that you 

should now take the rest which is so necessary to you. Had I 

foreseen your duties would have been so severe, I could hardly have 

proposed the office to you. But, though unpaid, you will, I am siire, 

feel the satisfaction of having worked for the health and life of your 

fellow-creatures, in a way that hardly any other person would have 


Ever, my dear Ashley, yours truly, 

J. Russell. 

On Sunday, IGth September, the special prayer was 
read in the churches. During the preceding week the 
number of deaths from cholera raised the ordinary 
average of mortality from 1,008 to 3,183. By the 13th 
of the following month, cholera had disappeared, but 
not until 14,497 deaths from this cause had been 
registered since the 1st October, 1848. Referring to 
the special prayer, the diary continues : — 

Sept. 17th. — Yesterday, Sunday. The prayer for deliverance from 
the cholera. A poor substitute for a day of repentance and humilia- 
tion ; but thank God, better than nothing. . . . Alas ! alas ! who 
can trust our ecclesiastical rulers 1 Does it not savour of a mockery 1 
Was it so that Moses and Aaron stood ' between the living and the 
dead,' when wrath had gone out from the Lord? What gibes, jokes, 
sneers, and doubts we shall encounter ! What varieties of scoffing 
and bitterness ! a precious occasion for sceptics and worldlings ! . . . 


It was not until a fairly clean bill of health could be 
returned, that Lord Ashley allowed himself the rest 
for which he had long been pining. 

Sept. 18th. — Tunbridge Wells. Attended Board of Health on, 
ray way through London. Pestilence on the decline. I can be 
spared from London, and I seek a short repose. But I heartily thank 
God that I shrank not from the post of toil and danger, but persisted 
from August 1st to September 11th in the midst of the pestilence, 
and stirred not till the plague was stayed. The Almighty bore me 
through and covered me, for Christ's sake, with His shield and 
buckler. . . . 

A few days later, and the following entry occurs : — 

Sept. 29th. — Yesterday to Lord Hardinge's with Minny to dine 
and sleep. He is a good-hearted, simple-minded, generous soldier ; a 
noble fellow in his profession and a real good man. I love and 
esteem him much, and God ever bless him and his for his pious, 
manly, true, and thankful acknowledgment, in a public order, of God's 
mercy to the armies in the battle of Sobraon ! . . . 

In a letter to Lord John Russell, Lord Ashley, who 
was always fertile in suggestion, propounded his views 
on the grant of peerages to distinguished mercantile 
men, and on the Government of Canada : — 

Lord Aside]/ to Lord John Russell. 

Nov. 2nd, 1849. 

My dear Bussell, — It is quite manifest that you hold my 
opinions, ecclesiastical and religious, in supreme contempt, and the 
probability is that you will not regard my civil views with much 
more respect. Nevertheless, you have always been so kind and gooJ- 
humoured in allowing me to state what I think, that I shall once 
more take the liberty — ' extremum liunc mild concede lcd>orem ' — of 
offering two suggestions. They will be found on the accompanying 
papers. I have not argued them at length, or worked them out, 


because you will bring your experience and judgment at once to bear 
on them and see, as the phrase is, ' with half an eye.' My conscience 
then would be satisfied. 

The proposition relating to the peerages could be far better 
effected by you than by many Prime Ministers. Springing from one 
of the oldest and greatest of our noble families, you could say and do 
thing? which might be carped at in others. 

Yours very truly, 


Notes on Peerages. 

Nov. 2nd, 1849. 

If it be admitted as desirable to maintain aristocratic institutions, 
it will also be admitted as necessary to strengthen and adapt them 
to the wants and character of the times. 

This has been the Conservative principle of our hereditary 
nobility ; they have been recruited at various periods from the 
middle classes. Hence their superior position, in every respect, to 
foreign aristocracies. 

The times in which we live are mightily changed, compared even 
with the times of fifty years ago. The policy of the Sovereign should 
change in the same degree and proportion. 

Is it necessary, or expedient, to confine, henceforward, the grant 
of peerages to the possessors of land, and exclude from them men 
who are actually in trade and commerce ? 

Some of the most wealthy, virtuous, intelligent, generous, and 
patriotic men, are to be found at the head of great mercantile estab- 
lishments. The admission of these gentlemen, as such, to the House 
of Lords would greatly popularise the Peers in the hearts of the 
nation, and confer essential benefit on the Assembly itself. 

Of course nothing would be said beyond the expression of a wish 
that, if they accepted the title, they would make a suitable provision 
for its maintenance, when transmitted to their children. As an 
instance of what is proposed, why not elevate to the peerage such 
men as Mr. Jones Lloyd, the banker, Mr. Gregg, the cotton spinner, 
and others engaged in business 1 



Short Notes on Canada. 

Nov. 2nd, 1849. 

The difficulties and exjienses of governing Canada are become 
very great ; and yet you can neither abandon it altogether, nor 
permit annexation to the United States. Erect it, with its actual 
Constitution, into a kingdom, to all intents and purposes independent, 
and offer Prince George of Cambridge as the Sovereign. 

The people are loyal and accustomed to Vice-regal Government, 
prefer monarchy to a republic, and will, if separated from us in this 
way, be firm allies to the Mother Country, and a counterpoise to the 
power of the United States. 

A continuation of our present expenditure for a year or so, would 
be sufficient to start the Canadas on their new career. 

The principle is good to enfranchise colonies as soon as they have 
arrived ' at years of discretion,' and the mode will remove the 
reproach, that we have nowhere set up in the Colonial Dependencies 
those institutions which, with all their faults, have ensured more of 
civil and religious liberty, more of public and private peace and 
security, than any other that have been tried in the whole history of 

Other colonies may follow in succession, when they are as ripe as 
the Canadas. Anglo-Saxon princes will not be wanting. 


Lord John Russell to Lord Ashley. 

Nov. tih, 1849. 

My dear Ashley, — I have this moment received your letter of 
the 2nd. I do not hold your opinions, ecclesiastical and religious, 
in supreme contempt. On the contraiy, I have often acted in 
accordance with them, but I must reserve some liberty of judgment 
to myself. 

In civil matters we are not so far apart, as I have offered a 
peerage to Jones Lloyd, and in confidence I may tell you I believe 
he will accept it. 

He was with me yesterday on the subject. 

I will say no more, as I do not intend to send this by the 
Sunday post. Yours truly, 

J. Russell. 


In defence of the Christian Sabbath — its claims, 
duties, and privileges — Lord Ashley was, throughout 
his life, always on the alert. Any encroachment upon 
its sanctity, from whatever quarter, was sure to bring 
him to the front ; and any effort to guard and honour 
it, was equally sure of his co-operation and support. 

While he was resting at Tunbridge Wells, a rumour 
reached him that a Government order had been issued 
for all clerks in the Post Office to attend to their offi- 
cial duties on Sundays as on other days. Instantly he 
wrote to Sir George Grey, Lord John Bussell, and 
Lord Clanricarde,* appealing to them, as Christians and 
Statesmen, to interfere, and, in the course of a few 
hours, he had placed himself at the head of a move- 
ment, organised by the employes of the Post Office to 
resist the demand. A few days later, he came up to 
town to preside at the Freemasons' Tavern over a full 
and enthusiastic meeting, to protest against the action 
of the Post Office authorities. Referring to it he 
says : — 

Oct. 6 th. — This movement for increase of Sunday labour at the 
Post Office is terrible ; it is the fruit of a self-seeking Mammon- serv- 
ing spirit, and the more difficult to encounter as it is hypocritically 
based on a pretence of reducing the labour of the provincial offices. 
Have written earnestly to Russell, Grey, and Clanricarde ; answers 
very unsatisfactory ; the answers of men, who, whatever they may 
believe of Scripture, have no zeal for God's service. 

The protests were in vain ; and on Sunday, 28th, he 
writes : — 

* The Postmaster- General. 


Nov. 20th, Sunday. — On this day will begin the new ministerial 
scheme of Sabbath labour at the P. O. Should it succeed, should it 
increase revenue, and gratify moneyed men, alas, humanly speaking, 
for the Sunday altogether ! But we pray and trust that God ' will 
blow upon it,' and bring to confusion the vile attempt. The true 
remedy lies in closing every P. O., metropolitan and provincial, from 
12 o'clock on Saturday night, till 2 o'clock on Monday morning. 

For the present he was unsuccessful ; but within a 
short time he was to return to the charge with resolu- 
tion undaunted. 

On May the 30th in the following year he moved, 
in the House of Commons, that an address be presented 
to her Majesty, praying that she would be graciously 
pleased to direct that the collection and delivery of 
letters on Sunday might, in future, entirely cease in 
all parts of the kingdom. A noisy debate ensued, the 
Government strenuously resisting ; but Lord Ashley's 
motion was carried by 93 to 6S ! He was conscious, 
however, that the triumph would be short-lived, and 
wrote, a day or two afterwards : — 

June 2nd, Sunday. — It will be a satisfaction, at least, to reflect 
that I have laboured for the repose of these poor men ; but difficul- 
ties grow between me and the attainment of it. Should the Govern- 
ment not reverse the decision, the P. O. powers will take care that 
the whole thing be complicated and utterly fail. 

In reply to the Address, her Majesty adopted the 
resolution, and thus confirmed the victory that Lord 
Ashley had won in the House. Lord John Russell 
announced that it was the intention of the Government 
completely to carry out the vote, and that no exception 
would be made even in favour of foreign correspondence. 


For three weeks the Sunday post was stopped 
throughout the kingdom ; and during that period, and 
for some time after, Lord Ashley occupied the unen- 
viable position of being the most unpopular and the 
most roundly - abused man in the kingdom. He 
writes : — 

Mouths are yawning against me in anger and contempt. Not 
only the papers, but all society, are furious, and all this because cer- 
tain aristocratical people will not have their gossip in the country 
every Sunday morning. ... It requires either strong shoulders, or 
an ass's skin, to bear the strokes. . . . The variety, universality, and 
bitterness of attack are quite original. 

Of course the newspapers teemed with letters, from 
irate correspondents, descriptive of the inconvenience, 
and calling for immediate alteration. The Government, 
after advising the Queen to adopt the resolution, re- 
turned to the House, and, represented by the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, set to work to neutralise the effect of 
the vote by publicly inviting petitions to prove the 
inconvenience and damage. 

The press, and society still more, so they tell me, teem with 
vituperations and hatred. Epithets and appellations are exhausted ; 
bigot, fool, fanatic, Puritan, are the mildest terms. They seek 
to beat me with my own weapons, and lament the ' desecration of 
the Sabbath ' of which I am the cause ! Truly ' Satan is transformed 
into an angel of light.' . . . 

On the other hand, Lord Ashley received letters 
" of deep, earnest, grateful joy from postmasters and 
messengers, full of piety and prayer," and letters of 
thankfulness and offers of aid from many unexpected 


quarters, with the assurance that " no real inconve- 
nience had arisen anywhere, but much comfort in many 

It was not for long, however, that the controversy 
was to last. An inquiry was moved for, and entrusted 
to Lord Clanricarde, Mr. Labouchere, and Sir Gr. Corne- 
wall Lewis, the result being that the resolution, with 
the order of the Postmaster-General under it, were re- 
scinded, and the Sunday delivery was replaced on its 
former footing. 

u 2 



Trusteeship of Money — Miss Portal —Death of Rev. E. Bickersteth — Mediation 
— Ash Wednesday — In Paris — Adolph Monod — Low Haunts of Paris — At 
Madame Pozzo's — -The President's Eeception at the Elysees — Lamartine — 
Theatres — Board of Health — Extra-mural Interment Bill — Death of Sir 
Robert Peel — Memories — In Scotland — The Papal Aggression — Dr. Wise- 
man — The " Durham Letter " — Great Meeting at Freemasons' Hall — Letter 
from the Bishop of Oxford — Speech on Progress of Popery — Action of 
English Catholics — The Ecclesiastical Titles Bill — Archdeacon Manning 
joins the Church of Rome — Roman Catholics and Roman Catholicism — 
Christian Fellowship — The Great Exhibition — The Shoeblack Brigade — 
Bible Stand in Exhibition — President of British and Foreign Bible Society 
— Speech at Anniversary Meeting — Model Lodging-house Bill— Common 
Lodging-house Bill — Death of Lord Shaftesbury — Lord Ashley Reviews 
his Career. 

" By doing good with his money a man, as it were, stamps 
the image of God upon it, and makes it pass current 
for the merchandise of heaven." In the course of his 
life there were many who thought that the greatest 
good they could do with their money, was to place it in 
the care of Lord Shaftesbury. He always had schemes 
on hand which needed help. Every one who knew him, 
knew that, as a trustee of money, he was scrupulously 
exact, and that not a penny entrusted to him would fail 
of accomplishing some direct end ; and it was known, 
too, that he had special channels for circulating it where 
it would be most useful. At various periods of his 
career, large sums of money were placed at his disposal 
for charitable purposes, and the last months of his life 


were much occupied in the disposal of a legacy of 
£50,000 left to him for distribution among charities. 

He was probably never more grateful for such aid 
to his schemes, than at the time when, the Government 
having failed to further his efforts to promote Emigration 
among Ragged Schools, the whole burden of supplying 
the means for it fell upon the exertions of the benevolent. 
There was one lady, Miss Portal, who was always ready 
to help in any work of mercy in which Lord Ashley was 
specially interested, and many times in the course of 
the diaries there are entries like the following, relating 
to her Christian love and munificence : — 

Jan. 6th. — Received yesterday a draft for £1,000 from that clear 
woman, Miss Portal, to be laid out, at my discretion, on Ragged 
Schools, emigration, and whatever can advance the temporal and 
spiritual well-being of the youthful outcasts. This makes now 
£3,300 with which this pure-hearted and disinterested daughter of 
Zion has supported my efforts. May God bless her basket and her 
store, her body and her soul, her heart and her spirit, with fruitful- 
ness in faith, joy, peace, prayer, and everlasting life ! . . . 

On the same day in the following year a similar 
entry occurs : — 

Jan. 6th. — Miss Portal, with her wonderful, though usual muni- 
ficence, sent me £1,000 for the relief of the most neglected and 
destitute, Ragged Schools, ifcc. God bless her gift, and bless her, 
dear woman. She has been a real comfort to me ; her sympathy 
and co-operation, her simple, humble-minded generosity, have given 
me great support. 

Money and help flowed in from many quarters in 
furtherance of the Emigration scheme — the Queen 
and Prince Consort sent £100 — and, so long as sucli 


resources lasted, the greatest success attended the la- 
bours of Lord Ashley in this direction, notwithstanding 
a bitter attack made on Ragged School work generally, 
in the columns of the Morning Chronicle, and reiterated 
elsewhere. The Rugged School system was, however, 
built upon too solid a foundation to be much injured by 
newspaper calumnies, and Lord Ashley's advocacy of 
its claims in and out of Parliament became the means 
of making it one of the most popular institutions of the 
da} r . It was noteworthy that at the annual meeting of 
the Ragged School Union in this year, long before the 
hour of meeting, there was not standing room in Exeter 
Hall, and no fewer than from 1,500 to 2,000 persons 
went away unable to obtain admission. 

One friend who, more than any other, had been 
a constant sympathiser and earnest coadjutor in Lord 
Ashley's labours — the Rev. E. Bickersteth — was, early 
in this year, called to his rest. In his society Lord 
Ashley had always found satisfaction; on almost every 
subject their views were identical, and many a solemn 
hour had they spent together in discussing the state of 
the times in relation to Tractarianism ; in pondering 
over unfulfilled prophecies — the frequent subject of Mr. 
Bickersteth's pulpit discourses — in talking over the 
restoration of Israel to their promised land, and, dearer 
than all, in hoping and praying for the Second Coming 
of the Son of Man. 

On the 17th February he writes : — 

' Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick.' Is this too much to say of 
Bickersteth 1 I trow not. This clearly-beloved friend and fellow- 


servant is grievously ill ; and prayers, we bless God, are daily made 
for him throughout the Church. How little can we afford to lose 
such a champion for the Truth. And yet I hardly dare to ask that 
he be detained longer in this sinful and suffering world ; but we may 
safely ask, and do ask, that he may enjoy consolation and assurance 
in the grace and mercy of our blessed .Redeemer. 

On February the 28th Mr. Bickersteth died; and it 
was long- before there was another to take his place in 
Lord Ashley's memory and affection. Some time after 
his death, when harassed with cares for the Church, he 
wrote : — " How I miss, and shall continue to miss, the 
warmth, the joy in good, the sympathy, of dear Bicker- 
steth. How many times his words have encouraged 
or consoled me." 

Before proceeding to dwell upon the larger subjects 
that were to specially engage the heart and brain of 
Lord Ashley, a few extracts upon general matters may 
be given here from his diary. 

Feb. 8th. — Windsor Castle. Came here yesterday. On "Wednesday 
speech at Sanitary Meeting. Walked tlirough state- rooms ; saw and 
loved a picture of Edward VI. He and my blessed Francis were 
counterparts of each other in thought, in heart, in service, in age, and 
in death. They are probably now together humbly and joyously 
adoring their blessed Lord ; and as they sleep in Him, so will they 
come with Him ! * Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.' . . . 

In the House of Commons a serious altercation had 
taken place, on the 7th of February, between Mr. Hors- 
man and Lord John Ttussell, arising out of charges 
made against the Government by the former in a letter 
to his constituents. It is to this that the former part 
of the following entry relates :— 


Feb. 13th. — On evening 11th acted as mediator between J. 
Russell and Horsman, without previous concert with either ; was 
urged to it by Hume, V. Smith, Inglis, ifcc. My bat-like position 
gave me facilities. Prayed to God, and succeeded. Many spoke to 
me afterwards very kindly on the subject. Gorham affair still un- 
pronounced upon ; it is supposed that the Bishops of Oxford and 
Salisbury, working on the duplicity of the Bishop of London and the 
simplicity of the Archbishop of Canterbury, will retard the decision 
that the clergy may have time to protest against the tribunal ; and 
they themselves, during the delay, take the chapter of accidents ! 
Wrote finally to Russell to urge despatch ; he replied that ' he 
viewed, with much suspicion, the conduct of the Bishop of London.' 
Singular it is, the state in which I am ; I am almost forced to have 
' a finger in every pie.' I verily believe, that humanly speaking, I 
was instrumental^ the cause of the safer construction of the Gorham 
Committee. Certainly Lord John had never dreamed of the Arch- 
bishops as assessors, before I had suggested them. 

Ash Wednesday, attended church ; afterwards the Board of 
Health, then proceeded to Pye Street. Had agreed to make one of a 
small family dinner-party with my mother-in-law;* but when she 
tilled it with strangers and raised it to sixteen, I declined. It is not 
that I attach any peculiar sanctity to the day ; but it has been set 
apart by the Church for confession and meditation. Festivities, 
therefore, are not in accordance with it, and would shock the feel- 
ings of many conscientious members. . . . 

Feb. 21st. — By desire of Prince Albert attended meeting at 
Willis's Rooms, to move resolution on behalf of the Industrial 
Exhibition of 1851. Though I am disposed to regard the thing as 
having ' more cry than wool,' I went in obedience to his wishes. 
Twenty-two speakers, some very long; I, the twelfth, for four 
minutes, and never did I dislike anything so much. . . . 

In March Lord Ashley left London for a fortnight's 
visit to Paris. Crossing in the boat with him was Sir 
Richard Mayne, the head of the London police, who 
told him that the correspondent of the Homing Chronicle 

* Lady Palinerston. 

1850.] REV. ADOLPH MONOB. 313 

had been unceasing in his activity to raise up a bad 
feeling among the police against Bagged Schools, as 
being mischievous in their tendency. Sir Richard 
Mayne not only denied the charge, but was able to 
prove that juvenile commitments had decreased, and 
that the police regarded Eagged School teachers as their 
greatest allies. It was the habit of Lord Ashley to 
" gather as he went ; " and in future Bills, dealing with 
the juvenile " dangerous " classes, he found the informa- 
tion he gathered that day of great value. 

One of his first visits in Paris was to the Es-lise 
Reformee, to hear the Rev. Adolph Monod preach. 

April 1st. . . . and right glad I am that I did so, for a better 
and more touching sermon, more pointed and true, and effectively 
delivered, I never heard. It was steeped in evangelism ; and the 
worthlessness of man's works and the free grace of God, savoured 
every thought and expression. It did me and Minny real good, and 
I felt truly comfortable. . . . The sun shines, the houses sparkle, 
the shops abound ; all is bustle, felicity, bunting and gobble — yet 
' all faces gather blackness ; ' not a cheering word drops from any 
one, no matter what his station, politics, or education. The utmost 
of comfort is, 'it will not be just yet.' That mysterious 'it.' The 
syllable contains the renewal of sixty years of Revolution, of j>ro- 
scriptions, wars internal and external, fall of trade, distress, men's 
hearts failing them for fear. By-the-bye, sat next to Guizot at 
Monod's sermon. 

In the following year, when Lord Ashley was again 
in Paris, he was less successful in his visit to hear 
Monod. The church was the Temple de Sainte Marie. 
It was crowded, the heat oppressive, and the people not 
over civil. " I. saw here," he said, " at least liberte, for 
the beadle slammed the door in my face ; egaliti, for no 


one was better treated by each other, or the officer, than 
any one else; but no fratemite, for they drove me from 
point to point, until, having reached the bottom of the 
church, I could go no further." 

The immediate object of Lord Ashley's visit to 
Paris was to examine the homes and haunts of the 
poor, to see what practical hints could be gathered in 
sanitary matters, and to contrast and compare methods 
of meeting the evils incident to all great cities. Hence 
we find him visiting, " in the way of trade," as he says, 
Montfaucon, the slaughter-house of horses ; the Cite 
Ouvriere, " desolate, and without inhabitant ; " the Abat- 
toir Montmartre, " excellent, well-placed, no dirt, no 
cruelty ; ' the Salpetriere, whore, during the cholera, 
1,600 out of 5,000 had died, the reason assigned being 
singularly confirmatory of experience in England — 
" rooms over-crowded, great faults of construction, 
exceedingly ill- ventilated." 

Paris had a great charm for Lord Ashley — its tints, 
its climate, its movement, its life, the kindness and 
courtesy of the people — and yet he looked upon all with 
a feeling of sadness. " I cannot bear," he says, " to 
think of the horrors that designing and self-seeking 
men — men of low personal interests and godless am- 
bition — are preparing for this generation. As I 
walked through the gardens and through the streets, 
contemplating the numbers of young, pretty, and 
playful children, I felt as Elisha, and wept to think 
of the sorrows in store for them, the widowhood, the 
orphanage, the desolation, and suffering." 

1850.] IN PARIS. ■ 315 

This feeling was to a great extent shared in by 
the Parisians themselves, as the following notes will 
show : — 

April 4th. — It is strange the condition of mind of all in this 
city. Every day, sometimes twice a day, rumours of a decree, 
a coup d'etat, a Bill which will drive the Socialists to fury, then a 
struggle. Went to Madame de Lieven's yesterday evening ; saw some 
notables, but heard the same as elsewhere ; the French gentry are at 
their wits' ends. I remarked that the people were misled by evil 
and designing leaders. Guizot maintained that the people were 
'utterly corrupted from their very youth, having neither moral 
discipline nor religion ; they would be quite as bad without them.' 
Thence to Madame Pozzo's, the great Legitimist house. No differ- 
ence of sentiment or expression ; all gloomy, apprehensive, and life 
from hand to mouth. And yet they live in show and distraction 
everywhere — no end of plajr-going, balls, parties, receptions ; plenty 
of fear, and no thought ; abundance of anticipations, and no prepara- 
tion ; a dismal future, a present gaiety — ' Let us eat and drink, for 
to-morrow we die.' . . . ' I have not had,' said Madame Pozzo to 
Minny, ' a day of assurance for two years ; I have had the actual 
day, but no security of the morrow ; ' and yet these Legitimists 
dream of ' reaction,' and, as M. Pozzo informed me, had already their 
plan ' pour modifier la ville.' 

Four o'clock. Very weary. Penetrated and perambulated Fau- 
bourg St. Antoine, and the street behind the Hotel de Ville. All is 
speciously fair ; saw nothing externally so bad as London. These 
wide streets and tall houses are very fallacious ; they look rich and 
easy, and hide, in fact, abundant wretchedness. The exterior of 
the Faubourg St. Antoine would lead no ignorant person to believe 
that it was rife with violence and revolutions ; — all is show, and on 
the surface, there is nothing behind. Thence to the Chamber. It 
has the look of a bad theatre, with uncomfortable boxes and ill-chosen 
decorations. Stayed one hour and a. half, during which time the 
Deputies threw pellets and papers into urns, and did nothing else. 
Bored to death, so came away. 

A scene in the Chamber yesterday, which ended nearly in blows 
Threats were uttered, and fists shaken. These are but symptoms of 


internal fires. The offending party was fined fifteen days' pay. Was 
there ever anything so vulgar 1 

April 5th. — Last night to the President's reception, Elysee. The 
style simple, without pretence. Amused in contemplating the 
various figures, and the various parts they might play hereafter. 
Changarnier there in plain clothes, with white moustaches and a 
black wig ; he looks like a Tartar cat. Certainly, for a Republic, 
there never were so many orders, ribbons, stars, and other decora- 
tions. We know whence they came, but whither do they go ? 
The immorality of the nation lies at the root of all the evil and 
all the danger ; it is not misgovernment, oppressive taxation ; it is 
not religious persecution, nor denial of freedom ; it is not the pre- 
sence of a griping Church, or a monopolising aristocracy ; it is not 
any political defect, or any civil abuse or blunder ; it is the utter 
want of all religion, all sense of God, all respect for man. The 
domestic system, the prime ordinance of God for human society, is 
nearly extinct. 'In thee and thy seed shall the families of the earth 
be blessed.' Mark the expression ; not the nations, not the people, 
not the individuals, but the ' families ' of the earth. This, however, 
is cut up at the very roots ; their mode of life, their dwellings, their 
amusements, their tastes, their passions, all are incompatible with the 
cares, the toils, the duties of domestic existence. Hence, to save 
money and gratify their selfish and carnal desires, the unnatural and 
disgusting conditions respecting children ; hence the total neglect 
of thousands of their offspring, consigned from their birth to the 
charge of distant and indifferent hirelings ; hence the annual ex- 
posure of 30,000 children in the streets of Paris, many, too, they say, 
born in legitimate wedlock. I will rest (but not unto us, oh Lord, 
not unto us) the superiority of England over France on this alone : 
30,000 infants abandoned every year in Paris on a population of 
1,000,000, not 300 in London on a population of 2,000,000 ! 

April 6th. — Dined with Lady Elgin last night, Rue de Varennes, 
to meet Lamartine. He is over head and ears a poet, and looks 
like one ; he talks well, and is highly interesting while he recounts 
his revolutionary experiences. But I could not trust him ; he seems 
to take sober and practical views of nothing, all is resolved into the 
fitness of the affair, or the moment, for a speech, or a stanza. Doubt- 
less his prodigious oratorical abilities are a great source of tempta- 
tion to him. He showed as much when he said yesterday, ' If it 

1850.] AMUSEMENTS. 317 

were not bad for the country, I should rejoice to live my period of 
power over again, it was so exciting.' He is the only one who speaks 
with assurance of the future, but, then, he is become once more a 
candidate for office. His wishes are fathers to his thoughts. He 
rendered great service, all must confess, in the first moments of the 
dreadful insurrection of 1848, but I cannot regard him as a dis- 
interested man. 

April 10th. — Dined last night with Madame de Lieven, and met 
many French gentlemen, Guizot, &c. &c. Sat next to me a ' Legiti- 
mist.' 'You have been saved,' he said, 'by the religion of your 
people.' I observed that the ' best and only mode of humanising the 
working classes was to go amongst them and prove that you studied 
their best interests.' 'This,' he replied, ' is now impossible with us; 
the masses are in so awful a condition ; and every obstruction besets 
us ; all our men of science, station, and note, are professed infidels.' 
It is so, but what a contrast to England ! Yet we must not boast. 
Who made us to differ 1 . . . 

April 11th. — Dined last night with Monsieur and Madame 
Andre. A pai'ty of French Protestants desirous of listening to 
stories about Ragged Schools and other modes of assisting society. 
Kind, hospitable, and friendly ; full of zeal and piety. Deeply 
alarmed by the state of the Parisian people, and equally anxious to 
devise some means of encountering it, but their difficulties, it cannot 
be denied, are tremendous. . . . 

To-day we start for England. . . . 

Lord Ashley's views with regard to amusements will 
have been found, from various extracts given in this 
book, to have been much wider than those of many with 
whom he was associated, and whose views in great 
measure he was supposed to represent. The principle 
which governed him was that laid down by the Apostle, 
" All things are lawful for me, but all things are not 

To oblige Minny went to Theatre Francais, not having entered a 
playhouse for very many years. I have abstained in deference to the 


opinions and feelings of those with whom I have been associated in 
religious undertakings, and I shall do so again, though I am dis- 
posed to believe that the theatre might be made a ' School of Virtue.' 
Told, besides, that it was necessary to see Valeria, in order to 
ascertain the public mind of Paris, its views and sentiments. Saw 
nothing but a bad play, well acted. 

One of Lord Ashley's first acts on his return from 
Paris, was to send in his resignation as Chairman of the 
Board of Health. We have seen how arduous his 
labours had been during the year of cholera, and they 
had not decreased. It was not, however, on the ground 
of the labour involved, that he wished to discontinue 
his services in connection with the Board. He had 
seen the necessity of a change in the laws concerning 
the burial of the dead in the metropolis, and had pre- 
pared a Bill for their amendment — the '.' Extra-mural 
Interment Bill." Early in January of this year, he 
received a letter from Lord Carlisle informing him that 
the Government proposed to take out of his hands the 
future conduct of that Bill. This, however, was but 
one of a series of disappointments which are alluded to 
in the diary thus : — 

They expect me, I perceive, to devote my time, thoughts, almost 
life, to the business of the Board of Health ; to prepare the plans and 
Bills, but then to have no voice or discretion in the proposal or con- 
duct of them, nor any little honour that may accrue from the scheme 
and the industry bestowed upon it. (Honour, in these matters, be- 
comes influence and power to do more). I am to sit in the House of 
Commons, and speak when they want me, and vote as they like, but 
without the privilege to advance or recede, as I may see fit from my 
knowledge of the question. Thus I am to he reduced to the station 
of a senior clerk in the Home Office, and, meanwhile, all my other 
projects languish because I am withdrawn from attending to them. It 

1850.] THE BOARD OF HEALTH. 319 

is the duty of the Minister to assign the introduction of the Bill, and 
then to adopt it. God give me counsel and judgment to act aright, 
but this is my conclusion. I will, if they adopt the measure, labour 
in and out of the Hovise to pass it into a law, but I shall then retire 
and resume social questions that have fallen into comparative neglect. 
The Government throw on me the small, tedious, harassing details of 
the Provisional Orders, but the measures of credit they reserve for 
themselves. This, however, has altered and abated my duties for 
the Session, because I am now detached from the special charge of 
the sanitary measures, Interment, Water, Building. I cannot hide 
to myself my own disappointment j partly, I had hoped that my name 
(is this an illegitimate desire 1) would be inseparably connected with 
these reforms ■ and, partly, I hoped that intense labour and anxiety 
would not be without their fruits. ' He best can paint them, who 
can feel them most.' I tremble for the issue, in ignorant or unsym- 
pathising hands. . . 

Notwithstanding the disappointment, Lord Ashley 
considered that the Interment plan was one of the best 
ever devised, and was likely to be productive of real 
moral effects on the poorer population, and he con- 
tinued to work at it laboriously. The appointment, 
however, of Lord Seymour as President of the Board, 
over the head of Lord Ashley, who had borne all the 
burden and heat of the day, greatly changed his position 
and impeded his action. It was this that led to his ten- 
dering his resignation. But Lord John Russell would 
not hear of it, and, sinking his own preferences for the 
general good, Lord Ashley continued, at great personal 
sacrifice, to retain his office. If he could not keep 
the Interment Bill in his hands, he trusted, at least, 
that he should be able to carry through the Bill for the 
Metropolitan Water Supply, and, in fact, he made this 
a condition of his remaining on the Board. 


Throughout the year, and still later, the diary con- 
tains many entries relating to these matters, of which 
the following may be taken as specimens to show the 
nature of some of the difficulties that assailed him. 

June 5th. — Interment Bill. Passed but three clauses in nearly 
five hours. Much attacked and reviled. . . . These are the sweets 
of unreraunerated public life ! 

June 8th. — Again a long, heavy, vexatious night on the Inter- 
ment Bill ; carried, however, a principal clause. Have, I thank God, 
kept my temper, though somewhat spitefully assailed. 

July 18th. — Yesterday gave whole day to wander over the wild 
heaths of Surrey, around Farnham, in quest of springs and getting 
grounds for Water Supply of the Metropolis. Started at ten and 
returned at ten. Saw all that we wanted, found rivers to break 
out in the desert, and confessed that God was bountiful. But will 
man be so 1 It is overwhelming, heart-breaking, awful to reflect, 
how many thousands are deprived, in this Christian city, of the 
prime requisite for health, comfort, decency, of an essential prop 
and handmaid to morality ! 

Dec. 12th. — The Water Supply, for which alone I remained 
at the B. of H., will be set aside or emasculated by the Govern- 
ment ; and yet I made this measure a condition of my stay there. 
The situation is painful, because it is become that of a clerk, 
and I am made, by Seymour and Grey, to feel it hourly. The 
Board has no free action, no power to effect any of its decisions, 
for the Treasury and the Home Office refuse, or thwart, every 

Jan. 31st, 1851. — The labours and anxieties of the B. of H. have, 
I suspect, contributed not a little to my disorders. I feel these sub- 
jects deeply ; they are intimately connected with the physical and, 
to no small extent, with the moral welfare of mankind. I am grieved, 
harassed, overwhelmed with variety of work, a dull position, and a 
dismal horizon. 1 want neither honour, nor praise, nor payment ; 
but I want some little fruit of protracted toil and expended health. 
. . . But what shall I do 1 Shall I persevere, or shall I retire 1 
I want the time for the stirring and precious business of this Session. 
I want it for other movements of service to God and man. I want 


it for moments of reflection and repose ; but I must not seek my 
own, but Thy will, O God. 

The summer of this year saw the close of a very 
remarkable career, and one with which Lord Ashley 
was, more particularly in his earlier life, closely 

On the 24th of June there was a debate on the 
foreign policy of the Government, introduced by Mr. 
Roebuck, and continued over four nights. On the 28th 
Sir Robert Peel spoke, and his speech was generally 
admitted " to be characterised by great kindliness of 
feeling and political foresight.'' It was his last speech, 
his last appearance in that House, where, ever since 
1809, he had been one of the most conspicuous members. 
On the following day, as he was riding up Constitution 
Hill, after entering his name in the Queen's visiting 
book at Buckingham Palace, his horse shied and threw 
him over its head, and Sir Robert, still keeping hold of 
the reins, drew the animal upon him with its knees 
between his shoulders. The injuries were not at first 
considered likely to be fatal, but their extent was not 
really known. On the 1st of July, the symptoms grew 
more and more alarming, and on the following night 
he expired. 

June 30th. — Sunday. Yesterday Peel was thrown from his 
horse, and injured by the fall. God have mercy on him in mind 
and body ! . Called to inquire after Peel — do not quite like 

the account, though I trust that all will be well. 

July 2nd. — Peel still in great danger — poor man. May God be 
gracious to him ! 

July 3rd. — Peel is dead. He died last night, at eleven o'clock, 



in full consciousness, having seen his family and friends, and taken 
the Lord's Supper at the hands of the Bishop of Gibraltar. What 
an end ! What an event ! Are we not all in the midst of death 1 
It has deeply afflicted me ; he was a great intellect, and had some 
noble qualities. O Lord, give us hope that he has found mercy in 
Christ Jesus, and sanctify it to us all ! . . . House this morning 
was adjourned in respect to poor Peel. This awful death has 
revived many recollections, and stirred many feelings of ancient 
days. . . . 

July 5th. — Yesterday J. Russell pronounced an eulogy on Sir 
R. Peel, and proposed a public funeral, which was declined, with 
gratitude, by Goulburn on the part of the family, who urged a pas- 
sage in his will expressive of a desire to be interred in the vault 
at Drayton. It was well and feelingly done on both sides ; but, as 
it went on, I could not but estimate how worthless are these things. 
How did they affect him 1 how did they console his family 1 And 
yet such have been in history, the springs of many brilliant actions, 
and, perhaps, will be so again. The true value of it is nothing ; the 
same minds that have recorded their panegyrics will, as soon as the 
peculiar shock is over, review his course with critical 'justice,' and 
qualify the praise that was uttered in the moment of sympathy. 
Human applause is very tempting ; but woe to the man who con- 
fides in it ; there is no secure ami fruitful honour but that which 
cometh from God only. As the shock subsides, reminiscences arise. 
This event, that was at first terrible, is becoming sad. The man, 
his voice, his figure, all are before my eyes. It is truly awful. May 
God in His mercy bless the affliction to his wife and children ! 

July 9th.— This day Sir P. Peel will be interred at Drayton, 
and then speedily forgotten. Such is human fame, and yet in many 
respects, one of the greatest men of this generation ! The Duke 
of Cambridge expired this day. I deeply lament his loss. . . He 
brought the branches of the Crown into frequent contact with the 
charitable institutions of the metropolis and the comforts of the 

July 25th. — Attended, on Tuesday, a meeting to do honour to 
Sir R. Peel, and to second a resolution moved by the Duke of Wei- 
ll ngton ! Had been requested to do so by Goulburn and Graham, 
and of course complied. He had wonderful qualities of various 
kinds, and his loss is great. 


In August, Lord Ashley, who had not been in really 
good health since his severe attack of illness in 1848, 
left London for a tour in Scotland, in the hope that he 
might renew his strength and be braced up for the 
work which lay before him in the winter. The Duke 
of Argyll had lent him Roseneath, the Duke's place on 
the Clyde. We will not follow him through the tour, 
except to note one or two incidents. At Tarbert he 
met, by accident, Mr. Locke, the Secretary of the 
Ragged School Union, and suddenly, vividly, there 
came before him " the ragged race, and indeed, all 
the race of unhappy, forgotten, ill-used children." In 
intervals of leisure he tried to read a few books, and 
keep pace with the generation ; but he found that 
" while he roamed over the older works he had missed, 
he let go the new, and so, like panting Time, he 
toiled after them in vain." In one part of his journey 
he went seven miles in a spring cart, " rightly so named, 
for he was never made to spring so high before." And 
in another he was " entrapped to ascend the hills with a 
shooting-party, and found himself unintentional ly con- 
verted into a deer-stalker, although he neither fired a 
rifle nor saw a stag." At the little town of Tain he 
records this surprising fact : " I was made ' free of the 
city.' The first public honour I have ever had. It was 
kindly proposed, and most flatteringly conferred in the 
Town Hall, nor am I indifferent to the goodwill and 
esteem of a body of citizens, though small and remote." 

When the Session of Parliament was closed bv the 
Queen in person in August, there was peace at home 
v 2 


and abroad. But a new chapter in the ecclesiastical 
history of the country was opening, and within a few 
weeks the whole kingdom was to be agitated, as it had 
rarely been before. One of the most marked features 
of English history, during the nineteenth century, has 
been the continuous growth of liberty of conscience. 
One by one, the disabilities of Dissenters, Roman Catho- 
lics, and Jews have been removed ; but, with all this 
large-hearted tolerance for almost every form of faith 
and practice, England never forgot that there was an 
ecclesiastical system which, in its era of supremacy, 
wrote its history in characters of blood, and, while 
yielding complete religious freedom, even though cau- 
tiously and tardily, to all law-abiding Roman Catholic 
subjects, watched jealously for auy manifestation on 
the part of the Church of Rome of a desire to re-assert 
her ancient pretensions. 

Thirty-six years ago the fear of Rome was much 
more dominant in England than at the present day. 
Circumstances have altered, and a "No Popery " agita- 
tion of national dimensions would require for its exciting 
cause a high-handed policy, such as no ecclesiastical 
body seems ever likely to venture upon again in this 
country. Indeed, it is difficult to believe how thoroughly 
the heart of England was stirred by the institution of 
certain titular dignities which are still illegal, but 
are now accorded, as a matter of course, in our ordinary 
conversation and in our literature. 

In October, 1850, there was published a Papal Bull, 
abolishing the Administration of Roman Catholics in 

1850.] A FATAL BULL. 325 

England by Vicars Apostolic, and appointing instead, 
two Archbishops and twelve Bishops, with territorial 
districts distinctly marked out. Lord Ashley was in 
Scotland when the Bull was published, and his first view 
of the matter, written at the moment, is noteworthy. 

Oct. 25th. — Inverary. Events are beginning to be rife ; the 
Pope, by a Bull, has divided England into dioceses with territorial 
titles, such as ' Archbishop of Westminster.' We must be careful 
not to push this matter too far ; it is an act of great annoyance and 
audacity, but not contrary to law, nor worth, in fact, a new law. 
It must be used as a warning, as a stimulant, as a proof of Roman 

The aspect of affairs soon began to assume a more 
serious complexion. Dr. Wiseman was appointed the 
first Archbishop of "Westminster, and raised to the 
dignity of a Cardinal, and, in this capacity, he sent to 
England the notorious pastoral dated " From out of the 
Flaminian Gate at Borne," a document which inflamed 
the Protestant fervour of the country a hundredfold 
more than the Papal Bull. Apparently ignoring the 
English Church and its episcopate, he spoke as if 
England had been restored to the Romish communion, 
and would henceforth be ecclesiastically governed by the 
new hierarchy. The following extract will serve as a 
sample of the arrogant assumption that characterised 
this extraordinary document : — 

"The great work, then," wrote the Cardinal, "is 
complete ; what you have long desired and prayed for is 
granted. Your beloved country has received a place 
among the fair churches which normally constituted 


the splendid aggregate of Catholic communion. Catholic 
England has been restored to its orbit in the ecclesiastical 
firmament from which its light had long vanished, and 
begins now anew its course of regularly adjusted action 
round the centre of unity, the source of jurisdiction, of 
light, and of vigour. How wonderfully this has been 
brought about, how clearly the hand of God has been 
shown in every step, we have not leisure to relate, but 
we may hope soon to recount to you by word of mouth." 

The recent proceedings of the Tractarians had pre- 
pared the people for a unanimous cry of " No Popery," 
and all the Protestant sects and communions united to 
resist these outrageous demands. Had Sir Robert Peel 
been living, he might, perchance, have calmed the popular 
excitement, or, at least, have directed and subdued it ; 
but Lord John Russell, who was now Premier, saw an 
opportunity of dealing a blow at his Tractarian foes, 
and " raised a tempest, from the effects of which his 
Government, soon after suffered shipwreck." On No- 
vember the 4th he wrote to the Bishop of Durham, what 
was long after famous as " The Durham Letter." 

After pointing to his ©wu advocacy of the Catholic 
claims in past years, he denounced the recent measures 
of the Pope as " a pretension of supremacy over the 
realm of England, and a claim to sole and undivided 
sway, which is inconsistent with the Queen's supremacy, 
with the rights of our Bishops and Clergy, and with the 
spiritual independence of the nation, as asserted even in 
Roman Catholic times." He went on to say that his 
alarm was not equal to his indignation, and that the 

1850.] " THE DURHAM LETTER." 327 

necessity for taking active measures should be duly 
considered. But there was a danger which alarmed 
him, in the fact that clergymen who had subscribed to 
the Thirty-nine Articles should " have been the most 
forward in leading their flocks, step by step, to the very 
verge of the precipice." After denouncing various 
ritualistic practices introduced by the Tractarians, he 
wound up by saying : "I rely, with confidence, on the 
people of England, and I will not bate a jot of heart or 
life, so long as the glorious principles, and the immortal 
martyrs, of the Reformation shall be held in reverence by 
the great mass of a nation which looks with contempt 
on the mummeries of superstition and with scorn at the 
laborious endeavours which are now making, to confine 
the intellect and enslave the soul." 

This letter won from Lord Ashley the strongest 
admiration, and roused the whole country to a ferment. 
The course of events is noted, stage by stage, in his 
Diary from which we now quote : — 

Nov. 3rd. — Edinburgh. People have often rebuked me as a 
croaker, as a bird of evil augury ; but, as David says, ' Is there not 
a cause ! ' I never fear attacks, but I tremble for the spirit that 
resists them. The Pope and his decrees are nothing; but the 
Puseyite Churchmen and the Laodicean nation are enough to inspire 
terror. I am ready to conflict with Infidelity, and defy it ; but I 
sink with dismay when I find the University rife with the German 
philosophy, and ecclesiastical Judases, pretending belief in the Holy 
Scriptures, betraying the Son of man with a kiss ! 

Nov. 5th. —Gunpowder Plot day ! It was a mighty deliverance, 
for which we of this generation are about as thankful as we are for 
the rescue of Daniel out of the lions' den. And yet, when has God 
dealt more mercifully with any people 1 


Nov. 7th. — London. The feeling against the Papal Aggression 
is deep and extensive. The 5th November was rife in town and 
country ; a display of zeal and Protestantism ; various meetings of 
clergy, strong and resolute expressions. John Russell has written a 
letter to the Bishop of Durham on this subject, bold, manly, Pro- 
testant, and true. It is admirably written, and is ten times more 
imbued with religious Protestantism and veneration of the martyrs 
than I should have expected. The document is worthy of Lord 
Burleigh, or of Cromwell in his defiance of the Duke of Savoy. 

Public meetings denouncing the Papal Aggression 
were being held throughout the country, and petitions 
were adopted calling upon the Government and Legis- 
lature to intervene. It was impossible that Lord Ashley 
could remain away any .longer from the scene of conflict, 
and on November the 1 1 th we find him again in London 
and at the head of the Anti-Popery movement. 

Nov. 11th Took chair at conference of clergy and laity 

to devise mode of meeting present crisis ; sat for five hours ; fearful 
of disunion ; all settled, by God's blessing, on a little management ; 
agreed to a committee to stir country. How shall we ' improve the 
shining hour 1 ' Such an occasion may never return. 

Nov. 21st. — The Cardinal's manifesto is out ; bold, astute, unscru- 
pulous ; but, with all its cunning, more hurtful to the shooter than 
to the target. 

Nov. 25th. — What a surprising ferment ! It abates not a jot ; 
meeting after meeting in every town and parish of the country. 
Vast meetings of counties, specially of York. At concerts and 
theatres, I hear, ' God save the Queen ' is demanded three times in 
succession. It resembles a storm over the whole ocean ; it is a 
national sentiment, a rising of the land ! All opinions seem for 
a while merged in this one feeling. 

An announcement having been made that a great 
meeting was to be held to discuss the question, the 
Lishop of Oxford (Wilberforce), " striving," as his bio- 


graplier says, "to hold the balance between the two 
parties in the then excited state of opinions," wrote to 
Lord Ashley thus : — 

The llishop of Oxford to Lord Ashley. 

Cuddesdon Palace, Dec. '3rd, 1850. 

My dear Lord Ashley, — Seeing that you are to be Chairman 
of Thursday's meeting at the Freemasons' Hall, I trouble you with 
this letter. Your kindness to me whenever we have met, leads me 
to hope that I am not, in doing so, taking any liberty with you. I 
am anxious to do so : 1st, on my own account ; 2nd, on account of 
the Church. 1st, — For myself. At all similar meetings the conduct 
of the Bishops has been (as is natural) considered, and / have been 
very generally blamed for encouraging Romanising opinions. The 
alleged proof has been mainly my toleration of Mr. Allies.* Such 
an impression is quite natural, but it is quite untrue. So long as 
Mr. Allies acted under the engagement he had formed with me, I felt 
bound to bear this unjust suspicion in silence ; but now I believe 
the interests of the Church require, and circumstances allow, of my 
justification. I believe my power of justification to be complete. 
I have written down, therefore, a short statement of the case ; and 
I trouble you with it, with the request, that if the charge is again 
made you would contradict it. My request is that you would state 
the facts, not that you would read my letter, as if I stood on my 
defence. You are, of course, at perfect liberty, if you deem it 
needful, to satisfy yourself from other quarters of the accuracy of 
this statement. I know of no other allegation which can be made 
against me of carelessness as to these matters. My clergy well 
know how firmly I have set my face against such views as those 
of Mr. Allies. It is, however, natural, perhaps unavoidable, with 
such a press as we have at this time, with my poor brother's f 
notorious course, and with my own distinctly High Church opinions, 
that I should labour under the unfounded reproach of holding 

* The Rev. T. W. Allies, a young High Churchman, who wrote a book 
entitled " A Journal in France," full of Romish doctrine. He afterwards 
joined the Church of Rome. 

t The allusion is to Henry Wilberforce. 


secretly that I have always opposed. And this brings me to my 
second head. You will be, more than anyone, able to direct the 
current of Thursday's meeting ; to settle whether it shall set against 
bond fide Romanising tendencies in the Church (by which / mean 
the revival of a system of auricular confession, sacramental abso- 
lution, the sacrificial character of the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper, the denial of Justification by Faith, tfcc, &c), or whether 
it shall be a mere attempt to brand as Romanisers all those in the 
Church who are of the school of Andrews, Hooker, Beveridge, <kc. 
Of this school I am a member. I make no secret of it. I have, 
as I believe, dropped no one truth of my Evangelical education, 
but I hold those truths in a more consistent and, therefore, a firmer 
grasp. But the question I am anxious you should let me suggest 
for your thought is this : Can it strengthen us as a Church against 
Rome, against Latitudinarianism, against irreligion, against Social- 
ism, and our frightful social evil, to drive out, or render suspected, 
all the earnest-minded and, I will venture to say, spiiitually-nundcd 
men in this our day of exceeding need of every aid 1 

I am, my dear Lord Ashley, most truly yours, 

S. Oxon. 

" To this letter," says the biographer of Bishop 
Wilberforce,* " Lord Ashley replied, that at the meet- 
ing he was not only most anxious to avoid personalities, 
but that he would do all in his power to prevent them. 
He explained that the object of the meeting was to 
prevent Tractarian dogmas, which, as he said, drove 
whole congregations to Dissenting chapels, and which 
were rapidly turning the Church of England into a free 
Church." There is no reference to this correspondence 
in Lord Ashley's Diary, nor does a copy of his reply 
appear to have been kept. 

On the 5th of December, the meeting — a large and 

* "Life of Bishop Wilberforee," by his sou, Reginald G. Wilberforce, 
vol. ii., p. 69. 


influential gathering of lay members of the Church of 
England — was held at Freemasons' Hall, " to protest 
against the insolent and insidious attempt of the Bishop 
of Borne," and to invoke the Queen's aid for the suppres- 
sion of Romish innovation in the Church of England. 
Over this meeting Lord Ashley presided. Addressing 
his Protestant brethren of the Church of England, with 
grief that the exigency of the times required this 
distinctive epithet, he called upon them to show, by 
their "vigorous, ready, and persevering antagonism, 
that the ecclesiastical establishment of these realms is 
the right of the people, and that the people will defend 
the right to the last extremity." He continued : — 

A foreign priest and potentate, who misunderstands and mis- 
governs his own people, who is kept on his miserable throne, to the 
oppression of his own subjects and all religious liberty, only by out- 
landish bayonets, to the everlasting dishonour, I must say, of the 
French people, has presumed to treat this realm of England like ' to 
a tenement or paltry fai-m,' part its soil into provinces and dioceses, 
invest his nominees with titles of episcopal and territorial jurisdic- 
tion, and usurp the functions of our Ptoyal Mistress. We protest 
against this as an act of monstrous audacity. It ignores alike (such 
is the modern phrase) the Church and the State, Her Majesty and 
the Bishops. We own, under God, no rule in these kingdoms but 
that of our beloved Queen, and the laws and constitution of the 
realms ; and, God helping us, none other shall be planted here in 
civil or ecclesiastical authority. It may be said that a title is of 
little import ; yet, if any one hold the contrary, let him urge it on 
these intrusive bishops, and tell them that 'a rose by any other 
name would smell as sweet,' and see whether they will yield to the 
argument. But the name is of mighty importance ; it is always of 
prodigious weight with those who do not reflect, and who, after all, 
are the largest portion of mankind. Why, then, if it be so valueless, 
do the Roman Catholics insist on its adoption 1 Why, for a trifle, 
invoke a Papal Bull, and disturb this country from John o'Groat's 


House to the Land's End 1 Mark the true reason : the Romish 
Church claims sovereignty and jurisdiction over every baptized soul ; 
those very people who denounce the Cardinal — I have lately read it 
in a Popish periodical — are the Cardinal's spiritual subjects. To call 
himself, as he is, Bishop of the Roman Catholics in the city of West- 
minster, would be to forego that claim, and shrink within his rightful 
sphere ; to call himself Archbishop of Westminster is to assert the 
whole spiritual sovereignty of the district, and demand its subjection 
to the See of Rome. Can you doubt this 1 Read the manifesto : — 
' Whether the Pope appoints a person vicar apostolic, or bishop in 
ordinary, in either case he assigns him a territorial ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction, and gives him no personal limitations.' Why, here is 
the whole thing ; and because we see that their hierarchy is incom- 
patible with ours — because, not content with equality, they aspire to 
supremacy, we will resist them step by step, inch by inch, nor yield 
them one hair's-breadth beyond that which we have already ceded. 

After quoting the statement of Dr. Wiseman that a 
hierarchy was needed in order to introduce the Canon 
Law, Lord Ashley continued : — 

Do you know what the Canon Law is ? It is a law incom- 
patible with the civil law of this realm ; it is subversive of all 
religious liberty ; it permits — nay, enjoins — persecution of heresy ; 
it elevates the Pope as God, and asserts that he is superior to all 
human and national laws. We deny synodical action to our own 
Church, shall we allow it to a rival and hostile body 1 Hitherto 
we have been free from this moral pestilence ; and if we resist this 
hierarchy we shall continue to be free ; admit it, and you admit the 
introduction of a code which denounces, not only those who are now 
without the pale, but all who may be persuaded to withdraw from it. 
But let us not be misunderstood. We do not stand here to ask for 
penal enactments. We do not ask, nor demand, a reimposition of the 
former disabilities ; we will invade no rights of our fellow-subjects ; 
but, by the blessing of God, they shall not tra/mple on oars. We 
wa^e no war with the Roman Catholics of these realms, but we wage 
interminable war against the Pope and his Cardinals. And yet, 
when I reflect on the vast good that we have received from this out- 
rageous assault, in the start from our slumbers, and in the attitude 


of our people, I am disposed to take a forgiving view, and in 
these days of testimonials, to propose a vote of thanks to the Pope, 
with what I am sure he will prize above all things — a handsome 
edition of the polyglot Bible ! 

But enough of the outside mischief. Let us turn our eyes to 
that within, from Popery in flower to Popery in the bud ; from the 
open enemy to the concealed traitor ; from the menace that is hurled 
at -our Church, to the doctrine that is preached from our pulpit ; from 
the foreign assailant, to the foes of our own household. What has 
invited this agression 1 What has induced the Court of Pome, so 
wily, cautious, and penetrating, to throw aside the sheath, and openly 
attack the Capitol 1 One may say one thing and one another ; one 
may see the encouragement given by successive administrators to 
Papal pride and Papal endowments — the precedence, the annuities, 
the marks of honour ; all, no doubt, have had their share, and no one 
more deeply deplored them than myself, yet I maintain that they 
are all secondary causes, and this is not the time and place to discuss 
them. But what are these to the great and master-temptation — the 
manifest tendency in many of our clergy, in faith and practice, to the 
faith and pi-actice of the Church of Rome 1 the numerous perversions 
of that unscriptural creed, the adoption of rites, ceremonies, and 
languages titted only to a Popish meridian ] Need I enumerate 
them 1 You know them well ; and when to this they add the teach- 
ing of false and heretical doctrines ; when they add the practice of 
auricular confession — the most monstrous, perhaps, of all the mon- 
strous practices of the Romish system— who can wonder that the 
appetite of the Pope was whetted, that his eyes were blinded, and 
that he believed the time was come for once more subjecting this 
Protestant land to his odious domination 1 Now, we insist on these 
details, not only because they are ' histrionic ' arrangements, adapted 
only to the theatre, and impeding all worship, in spirit and in truth, 
but because they are the symptoms of a deep-seated corruption of 
faith and doctrine, enticing, and intended to entice, the people from 
the simplicity of the Gospel, and to lead them to submit to the 
sacerdotal forgery of a sacrificing priesthood, and the necessary and 
inevitable train of abominable superstitions. Here is our daily, 
hourly, imminent peril. It is for the sons of the Church to protest 
against these enormities in all their length and breadth. What else 
can be done 1 Do not some of the bishops tell you that they are 


powerless ; that they speak, exhort, command, but the rebellious 
Tractarians will not obey 1 Have they not nearly all declai'ed the 
extent of this festering mischief 1 What otber course can we take 
to obtain a general and united expression of feeling 1 The laity love 
their Church, its decency, its simplicity of truth, its Gospel cha- 
racter, and they will maintain it in all its efficiency ; but that Church 
must continue to be scriptural ; — if it change its character, and cease 
to be such, why then they will lie under the same duties, and they 
will entertain the same feelings as their forefathers, when, disre- 
garding everything but the confession of the Truth, and the honour 
of Almighty God, they broke, at all hazards, from the unscriptural 
and unholy Church of Rome. I speak here for myself. I doubt not 
I speak the sentiments of thousands in this realm, that if we be 
driven to this necessity (which God in His mercy avert !) I had 
rather worship with Lydia, on the bank, 'by the river side,' than 
with a hundred surpliced priests in the temple of St. Barnabas.* 

[Here the whole assembly enthusiastically rose to their feet, and 
the ladies joined in the vociferous cheering which succeeded.] 

Referring to this meeting, Lord Ashley wrote in his 

Diary : — 

December 5th. — Well, to be sure. I never saw such a thing; 
the enthusiasm, from the first moment to the last, was miraculous. 
The audience would have remained and cheered till midnight ; time 
after time they rose from their seats, and shook the room with thun- 
ders of applause. But the feeling was more than boisterous— it was 
deep and sincere, and had all the character of being permanent and 
religious. The speaking excellent ; the laity shone in power and 
theology ; many pulpits could not produce such solid stuff. 

The Roman Catholics in England saw with regret 
the results of the latest outcome of Ultramontane policy. 
On November 17th they sent up an address of loj'alty 
to the Queen, and asserted the purely spiritual character 
of the new organisation. A few days afterwards Lord 

* St. Barnabas, Pimlico, was notorious at this time for its ritualistic 


Beaumont, a Roman Catholic peer, publicly regretted 
the ill-advised measure of the Roman Pontiff, which had 
placed English Catholics in the position of having 
" either to break with Rome, or violate their allegiance 
to the Queen." On November the 28th, the Duke of 
Norfolk expressed his unity with the sentiments of 
Lord Beaumont. The action of the English Catholics 
and of the Puseyites was a source of great anxiety to 
Lord Ashley, who wrote : — 

December 20th. . . . Enthusiasm against Puseyites no wise 
subdued; but I, nevertheless, am out of heart; the unity of pur- 
pose, the systematised action, the vigilance, penetration, zeal, and 
perseverance of our enemies are a match for a discipline ten times 
greater than that we can show. It is the difference between a large 
militia force and a small standing army ; vje have the numbers, but 
they the experience and skill. It is our occasional and momentary 
occupation, their single vocation aud profession. They, so far as I 
can learn, have few or no dissidents ; we are crippled by half-hearted, 
timid, crotchety, or hostile men. The Evangelical party itself is 
sadly disunited. 

December 23rd. — Windsor Castle. Prince sent for me after morn- 
ing service, and we spent an hour and a half on Church matters. I 
am delighted, and I bless God for his zeal, judgment, perception, 
and vigour. 


Some idea of the ferment of the times may be 
gathered from the fact that between the 14th and the 
30th November no fewer than seventy-eight works on 
the Papal Aggression issued from the press.* 

On the reassembling of Parliament, the subject was 
alluded to in the Queen's Speech by the announcement 
of " a measure calculated to maintain the rights of the 

* Publishers' 1 Circular, December 2nd, 1850. 


Crown and the independence of the nation against all 
encroachments ; " and on the 7th February the Premier 
introduced a Bill to prevent the assumption of ecclesi- 
astical titles in respect of places in the United Kingdom, 
which was denounced by Roebuck, Bright, and others, 
but strenuously supported by Lord Ashley. By a vote of 
395 to 63 the House permitted the Bill to be brought in. 
Referring to his speech, which was an admirable exposi- 
tion of every aspect of the case, Lord Ashley wrote : — 

Feb. 11th. — Great success last night on Papal Aggression; as 
great, it seems, as I ever had in my life ; enthusiastic commendation 
from many. . . . Home late : head in a frightful state of vibra- 
tion. . . . Many Roman Catholics have spoken to me civilly, and 
declared that, though I vigorously stated my opinions, I said nothing 
offensive to them. This is happy. 

The progress of the Bill was delayed for a time by 
a Ministerial crisis. * 

March 1st.- — Who can now assert that the Pope has no power in 
England 1 ? He has put out one Administration, and now prevents 
the formation of another. . . . Wrote yesterday to Prince Albert, 
and told him the feeling of the nation ; it will reach him, I guess, 
inopportune!?/, but he desired me to tell him the truth, and I have 
done so. God bless the endeavour ! 

March 3rd. — Seven o'clock. Government reinstated, every man 
of them, according to the slang, ' as you was.' Pussell announced 
that he should proceed with the Anti- Papal Bill, having promised 
some amendments. 

The Bill was re -introduced on the 7th March, but 
very much toned down in its character. The opposition 
to the measure was still formidable, and there was a seven 
nights' debate before the second reading was carried. 

* The celebrated cartoon in Punch will be remembered. It represented 
Lord John as a naughty boy chalking up the words "No Popery," and 
then dodging round the corner. 


On the 18th March Lord Ashley again put the matter 
forcibty before the House, from his own particular point 
of view. He asserted that, in the tone of Napoleon in his 
most haughty and terrible days, the Pope had virtually 
declared that the House of Hanover ceased to reign ; 
and discussed at length the manner in which " such a 
Protean power, presenting alternately and conjointly 
every form of spiritual, temporal, and ecclesiastical 
policy," was to be dealt with. " It pretends," he said, 
" to be spiritual in England, ecclesiastical in Spain ; it 
is temporal everywhere, though professing it nowhere ; 
it is democratic in Ireland, and despotic in Austria ; it 
terrifies statesmen in Sardinia by refusal of the sacra- 
ments, and the Government in France by a refusal to 
support them at elections ; here it is, in England, 
appealing to the rights of man and the liberty of con- 
science ; and there it is, in Italy, denouncing them by 
the lips of Pope Gregory XVI., as ' that absurd and 
erroneous maxim, or wild notion, that liberty of con- 
science ought to be assured and guaranteed to every 
person.' In conclusion, he declared his belief that 
England " would not give way to Pome by submission 
— no, not for an hour," and added, " What may be the 
issue to the nation, no man may foretell, but for our- 
selves, happen what may, we will, by God's blessing, 
stand immovably on our immortal Faith, which we have 
neither the right nor the disposition to surrender.'' 

One practical outcome of the agitation was, that 
on the following day a great meeting was held, for 
private conference, of members of the Church of Eng- 


land, clerical and lay, and representatives from all the 
orthodox Nonconformists in London — " all who held 
the Head — the great truths of Christ's gospel." 

March 20th. ... It was to see whether we could not, under God's 
blessing, lay aside our minor differences and make a common front 
against a common enemy. Met at eleven o'clock at an hotel in the 
Adelphi — everything prospered ; the Divine Hand was manifest in 
the fervour, earnestness, self-control, and mutual goodwill of the 
assembly. It was a noble and a Protestant sight, and illustrated the 
Apostle's benediction, ' Grace be with all those that love the Lord 
Jesus Christ in sincerity.' 

A committee was formed to consider modes of opera- 
tion, and, at Lord Ashley's suggestion, to endeavour to 
include the Protestants of every nation, and the result 
was the formation of a vigorous Protestant association. 

Another outcome of the agitation is thus referred 

to :— 

April 8th. — Archdeacon Manning has joined the Church of 
Rome, and four clergymen in Leeds have done the same. Lord, 
purge the Church of those men, who, while their hearts are in the 
Vatican, still eat the bi-ead of the Establishment and undermine 
her ! 

The further story of the unfortunate " Ecclesiastical 
Titles Bill " may be briefly told here. It was elaborately 
discussed in Committee, and then read a third time on 
July the 3rd, after which the Lords dealt with it in due 
course. But the later stages of the measure were not 
marked by any of the old enthusiasm. It became law, 
and then, curiously enough, " no one seemed one penny 
the worse or better," and Englishmen freely used, as a 
matter of course, the territorial titles which had put 
the nation into such a nutter only a few months before. 


Twenty years afterwards the Act was repealed, though 
the illegality of the titles was again explicitly affirmed. 

Before passing away from this subject, it may be 
stated here, that, throughout this controversy, and at all 
times, Lord Ashley was scrupulously careful to main- 
tain a wide distinction between the Roman Catholic 
priesthood and laity, and any " violence " of language 
he ever used, was directed against the former, while 
to the latter he was invariably tolerant. Passages 
innumerable from his public speeches and private 
writings could be quoted, were proof necessary ; and 
as the charge of " never being able to see good in 
any save those of his own way of thinking " was not 
unfrequently brought against him, it may be well to 
show that this was unfounded. He warmly supported 
Mrs. Chisholm, and attended, from time to time, her 
" group meetings " of emigrants. " This is a novel and 
most admirable scheme of colonisation," he writes in his 
Diary, July 17th; "but many people suspect that the 
Devil is in it, and that Mrs. Chisholm, who is a Papist, 
has no views but the extension of Romanism." Referr- 
ing to the self-devotion of Roman Catholics to the great 
works of charity and love, he said : " I can speak with 
no disparagement of those sisters of charity and mercy 
who, in long black gowns, perambulate our streets ; I 
speak of them with deep respect ; engaged, as they are, 
in works of compassion, goodness, and tenderness ; but 
I maintain that in our own Protestant faith we have 
sisters of mercy to vie with them." * In a speech at 

* Ragged School Union, May 11th, 1838. 

w 2 


St. James's Hall, in defence of voluntary schools, lie said: 
" I confess that I sympathise with the Roman Catholics 
in this matter ; it is natural and just that the}^ should 
insist on the full teaching of all the points essential to 
their faith ; they must insist upon a distinctive teach- 
ing in religious matters." Again, in a speech protesting 
against the exclusion or discouragement of religious 
teaching in schools aided by grants from the State, he 
said : " I would rather have any form of religious teach- 
ing when there is something definite, though there may 
be only a particle of what is true. I would much 
rather children went to almost any other kind of school 
than to one where religious teaching was prohibited. I 
would much rather be a Papist than a Positivist, and I, 
for one, will accept and believe the syllabus of Eome 
in preference to the syllabus of Birmingham." And 
again on the same subject in another place : " What- 
ever I may think of their system in other respects, 
the Roman Catholics have, I must say, always been 
true to the great principle that religion should be 
the alpha and omega of education, and they shrink 
with horror from the very notion of a place of 
education where religion is not the primary considera- 

In things spiritual, however, it was utterly impos- 
sible that he could have any " fellowship " with Eoman 
Catholics, and in his opening meditation in the Diary for 
the year 1S51 — the year of Anti-Papal controversy — 
he defines the principle which governed him. He 
writes : — 


Jan. 5th. — Broadlands. Sunday. 'Grace be with all them that 
love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.' This shows clearly not 
only what is permitted, but what is enjoined, in the walk of Christian 
labour ; — to wish ' God speed ' to all such, and to give them the right 
hand of fellowship in all works of love and charity. This overrides 
all ecclesiastical differences, all distinctions of form and human 
arrangement, all the modes and varieties of non-essentials ; but it 
demands the full belief of evangelical truth, the joyous reception 
of Christ's blessed Atonement, His perfect work, His everlasting 
dominion, His faith, His fear. His love. It binds us to the true 
believers of the Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches ; it binds us to 
the pious Nonconformists of England, to the Henrys and Doddridges 
wherever they be ; but it does not bind us — does it not even separate 
us — from those who 'hold not the Head ' in obedience and childlike 

The Great Exhibition, which was opened in Hyde 
Park on the 1 st of May in this year, and which brought 
so much pleasure to many, brought to Lord Ashley a 
considerable amount of work. The religious societies 
desired to make it the occasion, while so many foreigners 
were in the land, of pressing the claims of the Gospel 
in various ways, and it had by this time come to be 
recognised that, if anything good was to be done, Lord 
Ashley must have a prominent share in the doing of it. 

A great many new undertakings, and developments 
of old ones, marked this period. For example : On 
November 28th, 1850, a meeting of delegates of Eagged 
Schools was held in Field Lane Schoolroom, Lord 
Ashley in the chair, to consider the means by which boys 
might get new employment when the " Great Exhibi- 
tion of 1 851 should bring thousands of foreigners to 

Three Eagged School teachers — Messrs. John 


MacGregor ("Eob Boy"), E. J. Snape, and J. E. F. 

Fowler, on their way home from that meeting, crossed 
over Holborn, arm-in-arm, when a bright thought flashed 
into the mind of Mr. MacGregor, who said, " Why not 
make some of our boys into shoeblacks for the 
foreigners, to employ in the streets ? " 

The thought at once ripened into action ; ten 
shillings were subscribed on the spot ; and the next day 
the plan was submitted to Lord Aside} 7- , and obtained 
his hearty approval and support. By the 1st May 
regular " stations '' were established, and, during the 
continuance of the Exhibition, twenty-five boys cleaned 
101,000 pairs of shoes, for which the public paid £500. 

The success of the scheme was ensured ; from year 
to year improvements and extensions were made, and 
to-day the Shoe Black Brigade is one of the permanent 
institutions of the land. From first to last, Lord Shaftes- 
bury was a staunch friend to the Brigade, and although 
not the originator — as we have seen — he was always 
regarded as one of the " Fathers " of the movement. 

The story of Lord Ashley's efforts to obtain a place 
in the Great Exhibition for the display of the transla- 
tions of the Bible made by the British and Foreign 
Bible Society, may be told in his own words : — 

There was a great struggle to obtain a proper place for the great 
works achieved by the Bible Society. There was no difficulty what- 
ever in obtaining abundant space for all the implements of war and 
of human destruction that the mind of man could imagine ; a large 
proportion of the Exhibition was taken up with guns, cannons, 
torpedoes, every thing that could annoy and desolate mankind. It 
was suggested that we should erect for the Bible Society, some place 


in the great Exhibition where we could show proofs of all that we 
had done to the praise of God, and all we were capable of doing ; 
some, however, said we had no right to appear before the public in 
any form in the Exhibition. I had a long interview with his Royal 
Highness the Prince Consort on the subject, and he took the view 
that the Bible Society had no right to a position there. I said, 
' Putting aside the religious aspect of the question, I will put it 
before you from an intellectual point of view. I ask you whether it 
is not a wonderful proof of intellectual power that the Word of God 
has been translated into 170 distinct languages, and into 230 
dialects 1 Is it not proof of great intellectual power that the agents 
of the Bible Society have given a written character to upwards of 
thirty distinct languages, enabling all those people to read the Word 
of God in their own tongue 1 ' He said, ' You have proved your 
right to appear ; it is a great intellectual effort, and I will do my 
best to secure for the Society such a position that their deeds shall 
be made known.' * 

The result was, that a position was eventually secured, 
although not a good one. 

Lord Ashley's views with regard to the great Exhi- 
bition were not those of the majority, although he 
shared in the general enthusiasm. He writes : 

May 1st. — Queen opened Exhibition amidst at least one million 
of people ; all, God be praised, tranquil, joyous, satisfied. Such 
an event could not well have occurred in any capital of Europe 
but ours. 

May 17th. — Stole two hours to-day for the Exhibition. Sun 
bright, crowd immense, admiration, almost adoration, unbounded 
amongst them ! All are carried away by the impulse ; and not a 
few regard it as the highest of all achievements, and the proof of the 
perfectibility of the human race. There is a strong tendency, just 
now, perhaps, only more developed than at any other times, to 
estimate the moral progress of man by his intellectual, scientific, and 
material advancement. The character of the future is calculated 

* Speech, Bible Society (Kensington Auxiliary), March 9th, 1877. 


on china-plates, steam-engines, brilliant conceptions and skilful 
executions. They see not that all this may consist with the hardest 
and vilest hearts. Except the 148 translations of the Bible, exhibited 
by the Society (and these the Commissioners have thrust into a 
remote corner), there is not one thing to distinguish a moral from a 
material existence., a Christian from a heathen generation. And yet 
we are told that this ' great fair ' is to show the world's progress ! 

In April, just as Lord Ashley was on the point of 
starting for a visit to Paris, a deputation waited on him 
to offer him the Presidency of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society. He urged some reasons that he thought 
might disqualify him, but, eventually, on the 5th May, 
accepted the office. It is thus referred to in his Diary : — 

May 5th. — Received a deputation this morning from the Committee 
of the British and Foreign Bible Society, to offer me the post of 
President, vacant by the death of Lord Bexley. It was headed by 
Harrowby, who proposed the office to me in an address of singular 
kindness. There were also Inglis, Acland, Lord Cholmondeley, 
Mr. Roberts, Mr. Foster, and the clerical Secretary, Mr. Browne. 
I finally accepted the offer, having referred to the consideration of 
the Committee the fact that I was already President of several 
important Societies, that I should appear a monopolist of place and 
power, that I might not be able to give so much time to it as could be 
wished. I left it, however, in their hands ; and, imploring God to 
govern all to His will and honour, went to Paris. Thev maintained 
their invitation and waited on me to-day. I should have been grieved 
had circumstances prevented my elevation to that high post ; it is 
the headship of the greatest and noblest of the Societies ; and I am 
not indifferent either to the honour or the utility of the position ! 
Grant me, O Lord, Thy grace, and uphold me in the work. 

On the 2nd of May Lord Ashley wrote in his Diary : 
" I have before me those terrible ' May chairs ' — always 
the most difficult of one's labours." The meetings during 
this year were, however, exceptionally good, and, owing 


to the Papal aggression, were of a staunchly Protestant 
character. One of the most interesting was that of the 
Bible Society, when Lord Ashley took the chair for the 
first time as President. In moving a resolution that 
the meeting should unite in " expressing their best 
wishes that the blessing of God might rest upon the new 
President and upon his efforts in connection with this 
Society," the Earl of Harrowby, turning to Lord Ashley, 
said — 

I am sure, my Lord, that you will not hold cheap the honour which 
has been conferred upon you. I do conceive that it is the highest 
honour which could be conferred on a Christian man. As it is 
accounted the highest honour to be an Englishman amongst the 
nations of the earth, so I conceive that it is the highest honour 
within the realm of England to be the representative of her religious 
principles and feelings ; and I believe that there is not, within the 
realm of England, a man who enjoys the general approbation of his 
fellow-citizens more than your Lordship. In your Lordship are com- 
bined all the requisites for advancing the social interests of your 
fellow-countrymen in their widest ramifications ; and you have 
pursued your course undeterred by difficulties, by opposition, by 
sneers ; uninjured by popularity, uninfluenced by the fear of un- 
popularity ; and, throughout, your conduct has, I am convinced, been 
based on the deepest personal religious convictions. 

In a brief speech at the conclusion of the meeting 
Lord Ashley said : — 

When I reflect that the honour and safety of this nation are 
its religious principles, and that our religious societies are the repre- 
sentation and reflex of those principles, I feel very deeply the honour 
of being called upon to preside over the greatest and best of those 
Societies. It is an honour to which I should not have ventured to 
aspire ; biit, having been raised to it by your voluntary suffrages, I do 
feel gratified, nay, more than gratified ; it is heart-stirring to one 


who, by the blessing of God, has attempted to do something to im- 
prove the condition of his fellow-men. 

Ill concluding, he expressed his special pleasure in 
being identified with the Bible Society, on the ground 

That it is catholic in its character, catholic in all its operations ; 
that it enables vis to form in these realms, in times of singular 
distress and difficulty, a solemn league and covenant of all those who 
' love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity ; ' that it shows how, sup- 
pressing all minor differences, or treating them as secondary, members 
of the Church of England and Nonconformists may blend together 
in one great effort. I do thank God that this Society brings us 
into co-operation with our fellow-men of every nation and of every 
clime ; that it binds us heart and soul to our American brethren — 
those noble specimens of the Anglo-Saxon race, in moral energy and 
in physical development ; nay, more, that it binds together Pro- 
testants on the Continent and in the world ; all, in short, who hold 
' one Lord, one faith, and one baptism,' and who are prepared to 
maintain tlie great truth established at the Reformation that the 
Bible and the Bible alone, is the religion of Protestants. 

The office thus entered upon, was retained to the 
end of Lord Shaftesbury's life. In 1SS5 he spoke 
at the annual meeting for the last time, and through- 
out that long period he never wavered or faltered in 
any step that might promote its welfare. 

There were several new measures which Lord Ashley 
was anxious to introduce, and had for some time past 
been carefully preparing. It was only by the most 
persistent economy of time, and the complete surrender 
of himself to perpetual labour, that it was possible for 
him to do so, but he persevered. It was not in the nature 
of things that he could be much longer in the House 
of Commons ; his father had entered upon his eighty- 
third year, and was showing signs of failing strength ; 


and Lord Ashley was anxious to do as much as possible 
of the work he had set before himself, while his oppor- 
tunity lasted, and before he should, to use his own 
words, be " consigned to the helplessness and indolence 
of the House of Lords." 

On April the 8th he introduced into the House of 
Commons a Bill to " Encourage the Establishment of 
Lodging-Houses for the Working Classes." In this 
Bill it was proposed that towns or parishes having a 
population of 10,000, or over, should be enabled to build 
Model Lodging-Houses, and raise money and defray 
expenses from the rates. In moving for leave to bring in 
the Bill, Lord Ashley drew upon his long experience, 
and graphically described the overcrowded state of 
lodging-houses both in London and in certain other 
lar«-e towns. Bad as was the case of those who consti- 
tuted what might be termed the stationary population 
— many of whom herded in rooms occupied by a family 
in each corner and another family in the middle, to the 
destruction of all decency and morality, and rendering 
education and moral elevation impossible — the case of 
the migratory population, those who flitted from one 
lodging-house to another, was far worse, as he gave 
ample proof. 

To one phase of his subject he drew special attention, 
namely, the effect produced by clearances and altera- 
tions, made with the view of beautifying the metropolis, 
on the housing accommodation of the working classes : — 

When the great thoroughfare of ' New Oxford Street ' was 
opened, a great number of wretched dwellings were cleared away, 


and no provision was made for the accommodation of those inhabi- 
tants who were displaced, so that, while the formation of that street 
added to the beauty of the town, it had the effect of exaggerating 
the evil that pressed on the humbler classes. There was a district 
in Bloomsbury called Church Lane, one of the filthiest that existed 
in the metropolis, and one of the most unsafe to visit, from the con- 
stant prevalence of fever. It was examined in 1 848 by the Statistical 
Society, whose Committee stated in their report that it presented 
— 'A picture in detail of human wretchedness, filth, and brutal 
degradation. In these wretched dwellings, all ages and both sexes, 
fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, grown-up brothers and 
sisters, the sick, dying, and dead, are herded together. Take an 
instance: House No. 2 : size of room, 14 feet long, 13 feet broad, 
6 feet high ; rent 8s. for two rooms per week — under- rent, 3d. a 
night for each adult. Number of families, 3 : 8 males above 20 ; 
5 females above 20 ; 4 males under 20 ; 5 females under 20 ; total, 
22 souls. Landlady receives 18s. a week ; thus a clear profit of 10s. 
State of rooms, filthy.' Now, the average number of persons in each 
house in Church Lane was 24 in 1S41 ; but when an examination took 
place in the end of 1847, the average was 40 persons to each house ; 
and I desire particularly to direct the attention of the House to the 
fact that the parties who had swelled those numbers were people 
displaced along that line of street occupied now as New Oxford 
Street, — displaced in consequence of the formation and beautifying 
of that thoroughfare. When great improvements are in progress 
it is a matter for consideration whether provision ought not to be 
made for the accommodation of those removed, not only for their 
own sakes, but for the sake of the community, who are exposed to 
peculiar danger from the confluence of many persons into places 
which foster typhus and cholera. Now, to give a summary of the 
state of the country, I may mention that the inspectors of the Board 
of Health have examined 161 populous places, the aggregate popu- 
lation being 1,912,599 ; and, without exception, one uniform state- 
ment has been made with respect to the domiciliary condition of 
large masses of the workpeople — that it is of one and the same 
disgusting character. 

Of the benefits of model lodging-houses Lord Ashley 

could also speak from personal experience, and he told 


the House of the cheerful punctuality with which the 
rents were paid ; the general freedom from disease ; the 
accommodation that made it possible for men to enjoy 
staying at home instead of passing their leisure hours 
in the beer-shops ; the ample space for children to play, 
instead of running wild in the streets ; the lower rents 
for comfort and cleanliness, than had previously been 
paid for filth and wretchedness. It was impossible, 
however, that private speculation could ever effect the 
end in view, as the temptation to make inordinate 
profits had always proved irresistible. Referring to the 
houses erected by the " Society for Improving the Con- 
dition of the Labouring Classes," he said : — 

That Society has expended £20,750 in building and fitting up 
new piles of model houses, and £2,250 in improving, adapting, and 
fitting up ranges of old dwellings, making together an expenditure of 
£23,000. The net return on the same, after deducting all incidental 
expenses, including those of management and ordinary repairs, 
average 6 per cent. 

In concluding his speech, he urged the House to 
take up this matter, which had excited the interest of 
all civilised Europe, from parts of which, as well as 
from America, letters had been received, asking for plans 
and reports on the subject. He was certain that he 
spoke the truth — and a truth which would be confirmed 
by the testimony of all experienced persons, clergy, 
medical men, all who were conversant with the working 
classes — that, until their domiciliary condition were 
Christianised (he could use no less forcible a term), all- 
hope of moral or social improvement was utterly vain. 


Though not the sole, it was one of the prime sources of 
the evils that beset their condition ; it generated disease, 
ruined whole families by the intemperance it promoted, 
cut off, or crippled, thousands in the vigour of life, and 
filled the workhouses with widows and orphans.* 

A few days afterwards, Lord Ashley introduced a 
Bill for the Regulation and Inspection of Common 
Lodging-Houses — houses where individuals, or families, 
were received by the night. It was accepted without 
any preliminary remarks, it being generally known and 
acknowledged that the state of them, both morally 
and physically, was most pernicious. 

It was when these two Bills were passing the Com- 
mons that an event occurred, not altogether unexpected, 
although it came suddenly at the last. It is referred to 
in the Diary thus : — 

June 1st, Sunday. — Received at half-past five this morning in- 
telligence of my father being dangerously ill. A train starts at nine, 
and I must go by it. 

June 2nd. — St. Giles's. My father died this morning, at seven 
o'clock, having suffered no pain, but unconscious to the last. Harriet 
and her daughter, John, and William Avere present. Now I enter 
on a new career, one to which I am little adapted. Parliamentary 
business and city duties are my calling. How can I, at fifty years 
of age, learn other things 1 Land, rent, &c. &c, are as Arabic to me. 
But the issues of life and death are in the Lord's hand ; He, there- 
fore, has determined ; and my prayer now is that He will sanctify 
it to me, and that, whether high or low, rich or poor, conspicuous 
or obscure, I may do His blessed will, serve my generation, and then 
fall on sleep. 

June 6th, St. Giles's. — Ah, my poor father ! I bless Thee, O 
Lord, that I was here to say ' Lord Jesus, receive his spirit,' and 

* Hausard, cxv. 1258. 


close his eyes. (Kissed yesterday the lips of darling Minny's bust, 
the bust of my precious wife in her youth and beauty, but just as 
beautiful to me now, though twenty years have passed.) 

June 10th. — Yesterday, my poor father committed to the grave. 
All was simple, decent, impressive — no show, no hearse, no horses, 
as he desired ; but there was much respect and reverence. 

Cropley Ashley Cooper, sixth Earl of Shaftesbury, 
was the second son of the fourth earl, and was born 
December 21st, 1768. He was educated at Winchester, 
from whence he passed to Christchurch, Oxford, where 
he took his B.A. degree in 1787. At the general elec- 
tion of 1790, just after coming of age, he was elected by 
the town of Dorchester to be its representative in Par- 
liament, and he held this position until his succession, 
in 1811, to the earldom. Soon after taking his seat in 
the House of Lords, he filled the office of Chairman 
of Committees during the temporary illness of Lord 
Walsingham ; and he performed these duties with such 
marked ability, that, in November, 1814, he was per- 
manently appointed to that office, and was sworn of 
the Privy Council at Carlton House. 

Hansard reports but few of his utterances in the 
House of Lords, and yet for many years no peer's voice 
was heard so frequently. The duties of his office as 
Chairman of Committees were very considerable. The 
functions which, in the other House, were divided 
amongst the Chairman of Committees, the Speaker's 
Council, and the two Examiners of Petitions, were for 
nearly forty years ably fulfilled in the House of Lords 
by " old " Lord Shaftesbury, as he was generally known, 
although he showed no signs of age in his conduct of 


pressing business. His uncompromising impartiality, 
joined to his strong common sense, and his thorough 
knowledge of the statute law, made him completely 
absolute in his own department. When he had once 
heard a case, and had deliberately given his judgment 
upon it, he expected, and as a rule obtained, implicit 
submission from all concerned. Unfortunately, as we 
have seen, he carried these autocratic habits into 
domestic life, where he was more feared than loved. 

There are not many instances of an active part 
being taken in the business of a deliberative assembly 
by men above the age of seventy-five ; but in the case of 
Lord Shaftesbury, these labours were continued beyond 
that of fourscore. He seemed very little less efficient 
in the later period of his life than in the earlier. " By 
the time he had reached the age of fifty — which was 
about half-way through the fifteen years that Lord 
Liverpool's Ministry held the government — Lord 
Shaftesbury's knowledge of his duties as Chairman 
to the Lords was complete, and then he appeared to 
settle down in life, with the air, the habits, the modes 
of thought and action natural to old age. He was 
certainly a man of undignified presence, of indistinct 
and hurried speech, of hasty and brusque manner ; but 
there was a general impression that the House of Lords 
could not have had a more efficient Chairman. In the 
formal business of Committees he rarely allowed them to 
make a mistake, while he was prompt, as well as safe, in 
devising the most convenient mode of carrying any 
principle into practical effect. He was no theorist ; 


there was nothing of the speculative philosopher in the 
constitution of his mind ; and he therefore readily 
gained credit for being, what he really was — an excellent 
man of business. In dealing with minute distinctions 
and mere verbal emendations, a deliberative assembly 
sometimes loses its way, and members sometimes ask : 
' What is it we are about ? ' This was a question which 
Lord Shaftesbury usually answered with great prompti- 
tude and perspicuity, rarely failing to put the question 
before their lordships in an unmistakable form. 
Another valuable quality of Lord Shaftesbury as a 
Chairman, consisted in his impatience of prosy, un- 
profitable talk, of which, doubtless, there is compara- 
tively little in the Upper House, but even that little he 
laboured to make less, by occasionally reviving attention 
to the exact points at issue, and sometimes, by an ex- 
cusable manoeuvre, shutting out opportunity for useless 
discussion. When he sat on the Woolsack as Speaker, 
in the absence of the Lord Chancellor, he deported 
himself after the manner of Chancellors ; but when he 
got into his proper element at the table of the House, 
nothing could be more rapid than his evolutions — no 
hesitation, no dubiety ; nor would he allow any one 
else to pause or doubt. Often has he been heard to say, 
in no very gentle tones : ' Give me that clause now,' 
' That's enough,' ' It will do very well as it is/ ' If 
you have anything further to propose, move it at once,' 
' Gret through the Bill now, and bring that up on the 
third reading.' He always made their lordships feel 
that come what might, it was their duty to 'get 


through the Bill;' and so expeditious was the old 
Earl, that he would get out of the chair, bring up his 
Report, and move the House into another Committee, 
in the short time that sufficed for the Chancellor to 
transfer himself from the Woolsack to the Treasury 
Bench and back again."* 

During the later years of his life, and especially 
during the prevalence of the great railway mania of 
1S44 — 46, the labours of Lord Shaftesbury in connection 
with railways were enormous. He materially aided in 
reducing to a system, the laws and regulations of the 
House of Lords on this important subject. It was 
generally allowed that the speed with which he passed 
unopposed Bills through Committee, was something 
marvellous. On questions of parliamentary law and 
usage his authority was unquestioned. 

The Earl was nearly eigMy -three years of age 
when, at the opening of the Session of Parliament in 
February, 1851, the Marquis of Lansdowne informed 
their Lordships that he had received a communication 
from their Chairman of Committee stating that " from 
his a^e and infirmities he' felt himself unable to con- 
tinue the duties of the office." Lord Stanley, the Duke 
of Wellington, the Earl of Harrowby, and others, bore 
testimony to his ability and unswerving integrity and 
firmness, and the Duke of Eichmond, in alluding to his 
well-known characteristics, said : " I have seen attempts 
to influence Lord Shaftesbury in matters relating to 
private Bills, and he invariably followed what was a 

* " Annual Register, 1851," p. 292. 


very good plan, for he answered, ' I shall do no such 
thing.' He kept the attorneys and agents in very good 
order, for, when they once got a good dressing from 
Lord Shaftesbury, they never made any such attempts 
again. * 

" And now," wrote Lord Ashley, on the day of his 
father's funeral, " I bear a new name, which I did not 
covet; and enter on a new career, which may God 
guide and sanctify. If I can by His grace make the 
new as favourably known as the old name, and attain 
under it but to the fringes of His honour and the wel- 
fare of mankind, I shall indeed have much to be 
thankful for." 

"What had been achieved under that old name can- 
not possibly be better told than in his own words, 
written during the preceding Christmas-tide, and cer- 
tainly no more appropriate words could be found with 
which to close the story of this part of his career : — 

Dec. 25th. — Christmas Day. Broadlancls. It would be curious 
to take an impartial review, if I could, of what I have gained, by 
many years of toil, for myself, for the public, and, may I say it 1 for 
the cause of our blessed Master. 

I. — What have I gained for the public ? that is, according to my 
own estimation, for many will say, in the language of Scripture, 
that my doings have only 'gained them a harm and loss.' 

1. Seventeen years of labour and anxiety obtained the Lunacy 
Bill in 1845, and five years' increased labour since that time has 
carried it into operation. It has effected, I know, prodigious relief, 
has forced the construction of many public asylums, and greatly 
multiplied inspection and care. Much, alas ! remains to be done, 
and much will remain ; and that much will, in the estimation of 

* Hansard, 3 s., cxiv. 47. 

x 2 


the public, who know little and inquire less, overwhelm the good, the 
mighty good that has been the fruit. 

2. Seventeen years, from 1833 to 1850, obtained the Factory 
Bill. The labour of three hundx-ed thousand persons, male and 
female, has been reduced within reasonable limits, and full forty 
thousand children under 13 years of age, attend school for three 
hours every day ' Let the people themselves, let the reports of the 
Inspectors, let the records of bygone days,', be heard against the con- 
tempt, the misrepresentation, the ignorance, the hatred of those who 
ojjposed or discouraged me. 

3. A Commission moved for in 1841 reported in 1842, and in 
1843 passed a Bill to forbid labour of females in Mines and 
Collieries. No one can deny the blessed results of this measure ; my 
persecutors, therefore, admitting the good, attack the principle, and 
question the wisdom of obtaining happy ends by such means. 

4. In 1845 passed Bill to regulate and limit labour of children 
and women in Print-works. Cobden even supported me here. 
Necessarily an imperfect measure, but yet productive of some good. 

5. Had main share (though the honour went to another) in pre- 
paration of Interment Bill, and carrying it through the House. 

6. Address and grant of Royal Commission for Subdivison of 
large Parishes. Result yet to be tried. 

7. Two years of intense labour, without pay, on Board of Health, 
specially in season of cholera, and lately on Water-Supply to 

8. Say nothing, perhaps, of failures, though they were intended 
for public service, and received some approbation : — Motions on Opium 
Trade, Education, Poor-laws, and Sunday Post-office ; nor of share 
taken in general debates on subjects of vital interest. 

9. This for Parliament. Out of it have spared no trouble nor 
expense (and both have been excessive) for Ragged Schools, Model 
Lodging-houses, Malta College, Emigration Committees, and meetings 
by day and by night on every imaginable subject. 

II. — What gained for the cause of our blessed Master 1 What- 
ever little, if any, has been achieved, it has been by God's own grace. 
To Him then be all the glory ! 

Perhaps we may rejoice in an awakened attention, though but 
partially so, to the wants and rights of the poor ; to the powers and 
duties of the rich ; perhaps, both in Parliament and out of it, in a 


freer, safer use of religious sentiment and expression ; perhaps in an 
increased effort for spiritual things, and in greatly increased oppor- 
tunities for doing and receiving good. This, alas ! is not the thing 
itself, but only the means to it. It is, nevertheless, all that we can 
boast of. 

III. — What gained for myself 1 

1. Peace of mind, but nothing else. Four objects may be said to 
stir the action of public men, singly or combined ; money, power, 
fame, desire to do good. As for the first, I had, when young, three 
years of office from 1828 to 1830, and then three months from 
January to April, in 1835 ; the rest of my time has won me 
nothing, but has, rather, been sadly expensive to me. Declined, in 
succession, several offices, that I might be free for Factory Bill. 

2. Power and patronage. Confess I should have desired both, 
believing (but how terrible and deep is self-deception !) that I should 
have, through faith and prayer, exercised power well, and patronage 
to the welfare of important interests and to the honour and comfort 
of good men. But have obtained neither ; have never held any post 
in which I could act on my own authority ; nor ever have I had the 
disposal of a single place, either ecclesiastical or civil. 

3. Influence and fame. ' Your influence,' ' Your commanding 
influence,' &c. &c, I am constantly hearing, but never experiencing. 
In a long public life I have obtained three cadetships and one 
surgeon's appointment for the sons of deserving men ; one living from 
Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst and a Commission ship in Lunacy from 
Lord Chancellor Cottenham, for persons of unrivalled public merits ; 
one, too, from Lord Carlisle for an admirable minister. Is my in- 
fluence with the Government 1 What do I avail, and what is their 
treatment of me 1 Is it with the Peel party 1 I lost my political 
connection with them when I refused office and urged the Factory 
Bill. Is it with the Protectionists 1 I lost them when I supported 
the repeal of the Corn Laws. Is it with the manufacturers ? They 
hate me for the Ten Hours Act. Is it with the operatives 1 They 
forget all my labour of love in the middle course I took for their 
welfare. I won for them almost everything ; but for the loss of that 
very little, they regard me as an enemy ! Is it with the Commons 
House of Parliament 1 Whatever I had is gone : I had once the ear 
of the assembly ; I have it no more. Is it with the bishops 1 the High 
Church, the Tractarians 1 Is it with the Low Church 1 So it is said, 


but I ask the proof of it. Is it with the Press 1 Nearly every paper 
is hostile ; I have had my day of favour ; now I suffer the reverse. They 
began by reviling me, they now ignore me, as the phrase goes. Is it a 
power to raise money for charitable purposes 1 Why, Sidney Herbert 
raised, in three months, nearly as much as I have raised in my whole 
life. Is it with private individuals ] Why, who attends to what I 
do, say, or think 1 except to mark it for cavil or reproof. Is it with 
my friends 1 Alas, how few can be trusted in the hour of trial ! 
My curious career, too, makes me, every day, new enemies, and often- 
times alters my old friends ! Is it with the rich 1 God knoweth. Is 
it with the poor 1 Yes, so far as a few shouts go, but no further ! 
This is my position after twenty years of labour ! I began in the 
hope that many of the aristocracy would first follow and then suc- 
ceed me. Not one is to be found ; a few, at my request, put their 
hands to the plough, but they looked back and return not to the 

Then how stands my fame ? Well, if I had rested on this, I 
should 'have been, indeed, unblessed.' What I have is notoriety, 
not reputation. I have a name that everybody knows, ' a household 
word,' writes the American Minister, Mr. Lawrence, tome, 'from 
New York to the Rocky Mountains ; ' but a name that every one 
fires at ! Some dispute my judgment, some my sincerity, some my 
courage ; some think, or profess to think, me unworthy of their notice 5 
some call me ' well-intentioned but weak ; ' others, ' hypocritical and 
canting ; ' some hold me to be ruled entirely by vanity, others con- 
sider me a mere tool. Now and then I make a speech which pro- 
duces an effect, and I get some praise ; but the speech is soon 
forgotten, and the man only remembered to be ti - eated as before. A 
few, no doubt, think of me, and speak of me, kindly ; but they are 
rare and of small influence in the stirring world. I have been oddly 
and antagonistically viewed : Sir J. Graham, when Secretary of State, 
alluding to the Factory Bill, said, ' I was a man to make a E evolu- 
tion ' (this will be remembered). Sir G. Grey, when Secretary of 
State, said to me in 1848, alluding also to the Factory Bill, ' I shall 
be ready to say, in my place in Parliament, or elsewhere, as Secretary 
of State, that the passing of the Ten Hours Bill has kept those vast 
counties at peace during this eventful period.' (This will be for- 
gotten ; nay, has, I think, been already forgotten.) But notorious 
men are good for chairs of dinners and meetings. People come, not 


through affection and respect, but to see the notorious man ; and so 
I serve their purpose. 

4. Desire to do good/or good's sake. Whatever my weaknesses, 
whatever the human admixture with my former hopes and fears, 
this must, henceforward, be my sole sustaining motive. I am now 
nearly fifty years of age ; my physical and moral powers have at- 
tained their summit. I cannot go higher, but I may fall lower. 
And what is man's judgment ? Does it not often determine that to 
be 'gold, silver, and precious stones,' which God's judgment pro- 
nounces ' wood, hay, stubble ' 1 All see my infirmities ; all, knowing 
human corruption, infer more than they see, and they are right. All 
use me, and all grow tired of me ; but few can know the troubles I 
have endured — the sorrow of mind, the weariness of body ; the 
labour I have undergone by day and by night ; the public and 
private conflicts ; the prayers I have offered, and the tears I have 
shed. Here, however, is my consolation, that, amidst frailties and 
sins, trespasses and shortcomings, I have had one single object per- 
petually before me. It was God's grace that gave me the thought ; 
God's grace that has sustained me hitherto, to have, in truth, but 
one end, the advancement of His ever-blessed name, and the temporal 
and eternal welfare of all mankind. So closes my review. Sursum 
corda 1 


1851 (JUNE)— 1852. 

Farewell to House of Commons — In the House of Lords — Speech on Common 
Lodging-House Bill — Model Lodging-House Bill — Early Impressions of 
House of Lords — First Acts of Power — St. Giles's — Sweeping Reforms — 
The Truck System — Cottage Accommodation — Kossuth — Socialism — Letter 
to Lord John Russell — Thomas Wright the Prison Philanthropist — A Coup 
d'etat— The Militia Bill — Brook Street, Grosvenor Square — A Lunacy Case 
— May Meetings — At Ems — America and France — Death of the Duke of 
"Wellington — Chancellorship of Oxford — Lying in State — The Story of the 
Madiai — An Amusing Letter — "Uncle Tom's Cahin" — Slavery — Address 
from Women of England — The Fugitive Slave Law — Friendships — The 
Lev. E. Bickersteth — Mr. Alexander Haldane — Revival of Convocation 
— Letter from Mr. Gladstone — Auricular Confession— Resignation of Lord 
Derby — Lord Aberdeen, Premier. 

Some time before the death of his father, Lord Shaftes- 
bury had determined not to take his seat in the House 
of Lords. But, to use his own expression, " The lead- 
ing of Providence was the other way." His two 
Lodging-House Bills would soon pass the Commons, 
and it was urged upon him by many friends, and 
especially by Lord Harrowby, that there would be both 
grace and right in his taking them up and piloting 
them through the House of Lords. In view of it he 
wrote : — 

But what an operation to sit as a Peer ! The Chancellor demands 
no end of documents ; and, over and above (what folly when one's 
father had been recognised for forty years), an extoact from the 
Patent of Peerage ! Sutcliffe stands for my place at Bath ; how I 
pray God that he may succeed ! 


It is needless to say that there were expressions of 
sorrow from many quarters that " Lord Ashley " had 
left the House of Commons ; and from many, of belief 
that he would be equally useful in the House of 

In moving the writ for Bath, Sir Robert Inglis took 
occasion to speak of him in terms of respect and affec- 
tion. "I believe that I speak the sentiments of the 
House generally," he remarked, " when I say that Lord 
Ashley should not be withdrawn from the first ranks of 
this assembly, the scene of his labours and his triumphs, 
without some parting expression of respect and regret. 
During the last fifteen years of Lord Ashley's Parlia- 
mentary life he has been emphatically the friend of the 
friendless. Every form of human suffering he has, in 
his place in this House, and especially every suffering 
connected with labour, sought to lighten, and in every 
way to ameliorate the moral, social, and religious condi- 
tion of our fellow-subjects ; and out of this House his 
exertions have been, such as, at first sight, might have 
seemed incompatible with his duties here. But he 
found time for all ; and when absent from his place on 
these benches, he was enjoying no luxurious ease, but 
was seated in the chair of a Rao-o-ed-school meeting, of 
a Scripture-reader's Association, or of a Young Man's 
Christian Institution. I will add no more than that the 
life of Lord Ashley, in and out of this House, has been 
consecrated, in the memorable inscription of the great 
Haller, ' Cbristo in pauperibus.' " 

On the 23rd of June Lord Shaftesbury took his seat 


in the House of Lords, and on the evening of that day 
he wrote in his Diary : — 

It seems no place for me ; a ' Statue-gallery,' some say a 
'Dormitory.' Full half-a-dozen Peers said to me, within as many 
minutes, ' You'll find this very different from the House of Commons,' 
' we have no order,' ' no rules,' ' no sympathies to be stirred.' Shall 
T ever be able to do anything I They are cold, short, and impatient. 
But God has willed it, and I must, and, by His grace, will, do my 

The following day he made his first speech in the 
House of Lords on moving the second reading of the 
Bill for the " Inspection and Registration of Lodging- 
Houses." He spoke in a low tone of voice and with 
great brevity, and took occasion to explain that it was 
the deep interest he felt in the objects of this Bill, and 
the urgency there was for legislation on the subject, 
" that had induced him to address their lordships so 
early after his call to their lordships' House." In the 
course of the very brief debate that ensued, the Marquis 
of Lansdowne, in supporting the motion, " complimented 
the noble Earl upon the success of his exertions to 
ameliorate the condition of the poor and destitute," * 
and expressed a hope that he might pursue, in the House 
of Lords, the career he had followed in the House of 

The Bill became law. It has been acted upon 
throughout the Kingdom, and police authorities, magis- 
trates, medical men, city missionaries, and all whom it 
concerned, have been unanimous in their testimony as 
to its beneficial results. "It is the best law," said 

* Hansard's Debates, cxvii. 1140. 


Charles Dickens to Lord Shaftesbury, some years after- 
wards, " that was ever passed by an English Parlia- 

The second measure — the Bill for " Permitting the 
erection by local authorities of Model Lodging-Houses " 
— came before the Lords for the second reading on July 
the 8th, when Lord Shaftesbury, in the course of his 
speech, gave many details of a similar character to those 
he had given before the other House, and asserted that 
" the concurrent testimony of all persons conversant 
with the habits of the people, went to show that the im- 
provement of their domiciliary condition reversed all 
those frightful pictures which he had felt it his duty to 
present to their lordships." * 

This Bill also became law, but from various causes, 
and principally because it was much mutilated in its 
passage through the House of Commons, it was only to 
a very limited extent put into practice, and ultimately 
became a dead letter. 

Lord Shaftesbury has recorded, in full, his early 
impressions of the House of Lords, some of which are 
given in the following extracts. Referring to the much 
reiterated hope that he would continue in the Upper 
House, the course he had followed in the House of 
Commons, he says : — 

June 25th. — It is, however, a totally different thing — far less 
stirring, far less gratifying. Success here, is but a shadow of success 
there ; little can be gained, little attempted. But God has now 
placed me here, and I must, and do, pray that ' as my day, so 

* Hansard's Debates, cxvii. 235. 


may my strength be.' . . . One of the most striking effects to me on 
removal from the House of Commons is my absolute ignorance of 
the political movements, thoughts, and facts of the day. Everything 
of importance revolves round the centre of the Commons' House : 
unless you be there to see it, hear it, feel it, you get it at second 
hand, and then only half. 

June 27th. — The difficulties of the House of Lords seem to 
thicken as I survey them. Everything must be done between five 
and half -past six, or you will have no auditory ; consequently there 
is an unseemly scramble for the precedence, and a terrible impatience 
after you have got it. Yet I have received many expressions, and 
heard of more, that I ' should rouse them,' and ' give them business 
to do,' and in some measure ' popularise ' the House ! . . . Several, 
nay, abundant, regrets, stated to me personally, and recorded to me 
by others, that I was removed from the House of Commons. 

June 30th. — To House of Lords, where I broke cover in a bit of 
humanity-mongering about Chimney-sweepers. Found my voice ; 
was well received ; 'thanked God, and took courage.' 

July 8th. — Opened this afternoon, in House of Lords, second 
Lodging-House Bill. Wonderfully well received ; their noble 
natures -even cheered during the speech and after it. Many con- 
gratulations and thanks. My surprise knew no bounds. I had 
warmed ' Nova Zembla.' 

Many times during his first Session, the voice of 
Lord Shaftesbury was heard in the House of Lords. 
On the 17th July he made an important speech on the 
Bill for admitting Jews into Parliament, which Bill was 
rejected by a majority of 36 ; and on three occasions he 
pleaded the cause of the wretched Chimney-sweepers, 
whose condition was growing worse and worse, but 
whose sufferings were regarded in almost all quarters 
with surprising indifference. 

On the 8th of August Parliament was prorogued by 
the Queen in person. 


August 8th. — Day fine ; everything gay and good-humoured. 
Attended as a peer, and enraptured the Chancellor and law lords by 
wearing the robes of the first Lord Shaftesbury. 

Having seen how Lord Shaftesbury entered upon 
his public duties on succeeding to the peerage, we will 
now follow him into the privacy of his inherited estates, 
to mark the spirit in which he faced the responsibilities 
of his new position. 

A few days after the burial of his father, the follow- 
ing characteristic entry occurs in the Diary : — 

June 16th. — St. Giles's. I am thankful, very thankful, that my 
two first acts of power have been in the service of God. I have 
limited the disorders of the tap-room here, by closing it at nine 
o'clock every night — ' his brevibus princijnis,' <kc. — and I have pro- 
vided for the appointment of a Scripture-reader. 

An examination into the state of affairs at St. 
Giles's soon convinced him that there were many radical 
changes to make without delay. There had been in- 
credible waste: large sums of money had been ruthlessly 
lavished and thrown away, to no purpose of either use 
or luxury, while many things really necessary had been 
totally neglected. Without losing heart for a moment, 
he resolutely set to work to face the difficulties that lay 
before him, determined to right all that had gone wrong, 
and to establish more firmly all that was good. As 
will be seen in the course of the narrative, the circum- 
stances in which he was placed were of no ordinary 
kind ; but, although the obstacles to be overcome, and 
the difficulties to be vanquished, would have made 
any one less resolute quail before them, by degrees he 


quietty and steadily accomplished the task he had set 

It is worthy of note that, full as the Diaries are of 
details of the actual position of affairs, there is not one 
word that reflects in any way upon the memory of his 
father. On the contrary, scattered throughout the 
pages, there are many touching passages — of which 
the following is an example — to show that the only 
thoughts of him were thoughts of tenderness and 
filial regard : — 

June 29th. — Sunday. My poor father lay for six-and-thirty 
hours after his attack, perfectly unconscious ; free from suffering, 
alive, but apparently, and I doubt not, really, insensible to all around 
him. All these cases are mysterious. What was the state of the 
soul during that .period 1 Was it asleep? Was it benumbed like 
the body, or was it active and cognisant of eternal things 1 Here 
may have been God's chosen time for the infusion of His grace. 
Here may have been the hour, so to speak, of regeneration. Prayer 
was permitted, and then, surely, faith also in the results of prayer. 
' Lord Jesus, receive his spirit,' was no idle supplication, or tossed, 
of necessity, into empty air. 

It is also worthy of note that the plans Lord Shaftes- 
buiy now devised, and the changes he intended to effect, 
were not for the adornment of his own house, or for 
personal gratification of any kind, but on behalf of the 
labourers on the estate and in the neighbourhood, and 
of those who hitherto had not enjoyed the benefits 
which he considered they had a right to expect. 

August 17th. — Sunday. Week passed in depths of abundant, 
dusty, and useless papers. Gave three hours on Thursday to Com- 
mission in Lunacy. Every other moment till seven o'clock, saving 
half an hour for a ride, to this wonderful ' digging ' — old newspapers, 


bills, formal letters from 1790, &c, &c, under a mass of dirt and 
dust deep enough for a crop of mustard and ci'ess. When I lay 
down at night, the tearing, reading, burning, came on me like the 
after-effects of a sea-voyage, and made me sleepless. 

August 22nd. — St. Giles's. Inspected a few cottages — filthy, 
close, indecent, unwholesome. But what can I do? I am half 
pauperised ; the debts are endless ; no money is payable for a whole 
year, and I am not a young man. Every sixpence I expend — and 
spend I must on many things — is borrowed/ 

August 25th. — Car* has offered to build me four cottages in the 
village. Heartily do I give God thanks for this, who has put it into 
her heart. The world will now, at least, see our good intentions ; 
and that is of high importance where, like me, a party has been a 
great professor. 

Sept. 5th. — Have found, at last, a Scripture-reader for the forests 
and steppes of Woodlands and Horton. May his services be blessed 
to the honour and empire of our dearest Lord ! I rejoice with 
trembling that I have been permitted thus far to prosper in this 

Sept. 6th. — Shocking state of cottages ; stuffed like figs in a 
drum. Were not the people as cleanly as they can be, we should 
have had an epidemic. Must build others, cost what it may. 

Sept. 13th. — Yesterday to Pentridge, Cobley, and Woodyates. 
No school of any kind at Pentridge ; some forty or fifty children 
' unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.' I determined, under God, to 
build one, and may He prosper the work ! To-day to Woodlands, 
Horton, and Yerwood, to prepare the ground for Scripture-reader, 
and secure his acceptance by the farmers. 

Sept. 15th. — To Hinton Martel. Rural and lovely scenery; but 
what a cottasre — what a domicile for men and Christians I found in 
that village ! Yet, what can I do 1 And the management of the 
estate, too, has in great measure passed from me by the grants of 
these small life-holds. 

Oct. 3rd. — Yisited some cottages — thank God, not mine ! What 
griping, grasping, avaricious cruelty. These petty proprietors exact 
a five-fold rent for a thing in five-fold inferior condition ! It is 
always so with these small holders. Everything — even the misery 

* His sister, Lady Caroline Neeid. 


of their fellows — must be turned to profit. Oh, if instead of one 
hundred thousand pounds to pay in debt, I had that sum to expend, 
■what good I might do ! But it has pleased God otherwise. 

Having carefully examined into the state of things, 
and made himself master of the facts, Lord Shaftesbury 
lost no time in inaugurating some sweeping reforms. 
These were not easy to carry out, and were opposed in 
some cases by deep-rooted prejudices. 

He found that the truck-system, which he had 
condemned so unsparingly in his Factory legislation, was 
nourishing on his own estate, and he determined to put 
a stop to it forthwith. He knew of its existence ten 
years before, but then he was tongue-tied ; now, he could 
denounce the abominable system as be pleased. He 
discovered that certain farmers were grievously defraud- 
ing the workpeople, paying them, in kind, at the rate of 
£10 a load for wheat when the market price was only 
£8 ! To these men he said, " I am master here ; I will 
not allow the poor to be oppressed. You shall rjay in 
money or quit your farm ! ' It was a bold step, for, in 
the state of his finances, a vacant farm was an important 
consideration, and, as a matter of fact, some were thrown 
on his hands ; but he had counted the cost, and he per- 
severed until he had abolished the system. 

Another mischief — and one that confirmed him in 
the belief that farmers of the old class were ignorant, 
selfish, and tyrannical, and that the repeal of the Corn 
Laws was indispensably necessary to save the agri- 
culture of the realm — was, that many of the farms were 
shamefully undercultivated, and, consequently, not half 

1851.] ST. GILES'S. 3G9 

the proper number of labourers were employed. Yet 
the tenants were well-to-do, for, inasmuch as the land 
was underlet in value, they made a profit with little 
trouble. But they turned their men heartlessly out of 
work, and bade them " Go to the great house " (mean- 
ing his own) if they wanted a job. 

Nothing gave Lord Shaftesbury so much anxiety 
as the want of proper cottage accommodation. " Surely 
I am the most perplexed of men," he wrote. " I have 
passed my life in rating others for allowing rotten 
houses and immoral, unhealtlrv dwellings ; and now I 
come into an estate rife with abominations ! Why, 
there are things here to make one's flesh creep ; and I 
have not a farthing to set them rig-ht." 

On one thing he was firmly resolved, namely, that 
he would not spend any money upon his own house 
until he had effected some improvement in the cottages, 
nor until he had cared for the village House of God, 
which had suffered sadly from neglect. 

Meantime, he was harassed by correspondents who 
assumed that he was rich, and who " wrote in all 
the fervour of meritorious need as to one blessed by 
God with abundant wealth." It was painful to him 
to say "No' : to their appeals; it was impossible that 
he could explain that fresh liabilities were arising on all 
sides, absorbing every farthing yielded by the estates, 
and that expenses innumerable, taxes and labour, had to 
be met out of borrowed money. There was only one 
course open to him, and that was to quit St. Giles's for 
the present. 



This step was taken towards the close of January in 
1852, a little more than six months after his father's 
death. But the improvements he had effected during that 
time were a pledge and a prophecy of what would yet 
be done, as he had opportunity. In that short period, in 
addition to the plans he had proposed for cottage accom- 
modation, he had appointed a Scripture-reader for Hor- 
ton, undertaken a school at Pentridge, projected one at 
Hinton Marhel, and one at Woodlands. The parish church 
at St. Giles's, he thoroughly restored and redecorated, 
and made it " look like a church, and cease to wear 
the appearance of an old ball-room." In addition to 
these things, he had inaugurated the system of giving 
the audit dinners to the tenants at his own house, instead 
of at an inn, being convinced that it was "more hos- 
pitable and friendly, and an excellent mode of prevent- 
ing excess." He had, moreover, planned a series of 
rewards for garden-allotments ; a society to encourage 
labourers on the estate ; evening classes for young men; 
and cricket clubs, for the summer, for all the cottagers, 
the matches to be played in the park. 

Then came the day when, for the present, he must 
leave this new field of activity, and he notes it in his 
Diary thus : — 

Jan. 27th, 1852.— This day I prepare to leave 'the Saint'* for a 
long time, perhaps for ever ! The issue is the Lord's ; ' let Him do,' so 
said old Eli, 'as it seemeth Him good ' ! I do love and cherish the 
spot, and pray that God will lift up the light of His countenance 
upon it, and all its people ! . . . 

Notwithstanding the heavy demands made upon his 

* Lord Shaftesbury's familiar way of uamiug St. Giles's. 

1851.] KOSSUTH. 371 

time throughout the period to which we have been 
referring, the Diary was not allowed to suffer, and a few 
extracts, upon general subjects, may be given here : — 

September 19th, 1851. — California has led the way ; Australia 
follows — avri sacra fames. What no motive, human or divine, 
could effect, springs into life at the display of a few pellets of gold 
in the hand of a wanderer. . . . This may be God's chosen way to 
force tiie world to fulfil his commandment and ' replenish the earth.' 
It brought existence to California. 

October 29th. — Windsor Castle. Kossuth, the Hungarian, has 
entered Southampton in triumph, proceeded to Winchester in glory, 
to the house of ' Lord Andrewes,' the mayor, and is hanging on the 
skirts of London, ready for a descent. This vagabond is treated as 
though he were the ' Deus Optimus Maximus.' Our Lord would 
have but a poor reception compared with his ! Many who attend 
him are designing persons, looking either to electioneering purposes 
or to revolution ; many, in their simplicity, believe that they are 
upholding ' constitutional ' government, and that ' three times three ' 
for Kossuth means ' three times three ' for Queen, Lords, and Com- 
mons ! His address to the people of Marseilles— tierce, democratic, 
infidel — should have undeceived them, and certainly Palmerston, 
who, we fear, intends to ' receive ' him and his crew. 

The action of Lord Palmerston with regard to 
Kossuth, whose mission was to engage in a tierce poli- 
tical agitation, was not regarded favourably by the 
Prime Minister. Had Kossuth come merely to thank 
the English Government for what had been done in his 
behalf, no objection could have been taken to his being 
received by Lord Palmerston, as Foreign Secretary, 
for that purpose ; but, seeing that the real object of 
his visit was to agitate against Austria and Russia — 
sovereigns in alliance with England — the Prime Minister 
requested that no official reception of any kind what- 
y 2 


ever should be given. At first Lord Palmerston de- 
clined to act in accordance with this request ; but a 
Cabinet Council having been summoned to consider the 
question, he deferred to the opinion of his colleagues. 

In the following December, Lord Palmerston retired 
from the Ministry, and the Kossuth incident had an 
important bearing upon this step. 

Popular demonstrations were held in honour of the 
Hungarian exile, and were continued until the 28th of 
November, when he sailed for America. The Corpora- 
tion of London presented him with an address on 
his arrival, when the whole route from Eaton Square 
to the Guildhall was lined by immense crowds of en- 
thusiasts. On the following day he was presented 
with an address from " republicans, revolutionists, and 
socialists — men, consequently, not attracted towards him 
by either the eclat of his title or the renown of his 
name." In Birmingham and Manchester, he was wel- 
comed by enormous multitudes ; and addresses were 
forwarded to him from almost every large town in the 

One effect of these demonstrations was to stir up 
the revolutionary spirit of the country ; and it was, in 
some measure, apropos of this, that Lord Shaftesbury 
wrote the following letter to the Prime Minister : — 

Lord Shaftesbury to Lord John Russell. 

Nov. 15, 1851. 

My dear Russell, — Socialist doctrines and principles are far 
more rife in the great towns of this country than most people are 
aware of. They are found principally among the artisans and 

1851.] REFORM. 


skilled workmen, and specially in the metropolis. These parties aim 
at a distribution of all the property of those above them, and calcu- 
late on measures to prevent, in the future, all accumulations of wealth 
in single hands. They do not, I think, look much to physical force ; 
they rely chiefly on the extension of the suffrage. These are the 
facts ; it is not necessary, at this time, to examine the causes. 

The land is their first object. All the circumstances of landed 
property strike the eye ; and many, who are not disposed to go so 
far as the Socialist party, urge them on to this extent, because they 
know that a revolution in the tenure, or descent, of landed property 
must speedily extinguish the House of Lords. 

If an extension of the suffrage be inevitable, and an extension, 
too, by lowering the present qualification, surely it would be both 
just, and a means of security, to extend it also in another direction, 
so as to give many persons of position and property rights and privi- 
leges they have not possessed before. 

There can be no reason why the suffrage should be limited, in 
these days, to the occupation of a house, or the tenure of a piece of 
ground. Moneyed persons, fundholders, annuitants, &c, have just as 
deep an interest in the welfare of the country as all the other classes, 
and yet many of them are shut out. 

Property and order would be greatly strengthened, and a counter- 
poise found to the lowered suffrage, by admitting to the right of 
voting all lawyers in virtue of their chambers ; all annuitants at or 
above £50 — so that their annuities be for life ; all holders of mort- 
gages : every holder in the funds, and many such. 

The fundholder has an especial right, for he is the object of 
special attack ; and this, too, would give a large number, for the 
great proportion are holders of from £5 to £10 annually. The 
holder should have a vote for the place where he resides, inasmuch 
as the funds, being the result of general taxation, must be considered 
as arising from all parts of the country, and from all sources. 

There are three propositions of special danger : the ballot, electoral 
districts, and shortening the duration of parliaments. I know not 
how the country could stand the whole of them. 

The number of persons desirous of ' Reform ' is much less than it 
was in 1 830, but then the number of persons, idle or indifferent as to 
opposition to it, is far greater. The resistance, such as it is, is not 
grounded, as before, on an attachment to the old forms of the Con- 


stitution, and the preservation, in all their integrity, of the three 
Estates ; it rests mainly on fears of peril to property ; very many 
people would now acquiesce at once in any form of government which 
promised them the greatest amount, and the longest period, of personal 

This country could endure something approximating to Universal 
Suffrage much better than it could any one of the three propositions 
stated above. Universal Suffrage is formidable, not more from the 
numbers who vote, than from the numbers who do not. If every 
one holding the suffrage were sure to exercise it, there would 
be some hope of safety ; but the operation of it is to keep off 
the quiet and orderly, and surrender the field to the agitating and 

One reform is indispensably necessary, and that reform one for 
which we do not require the intervention of the House of Commons ; 
I mean a reform of the system of business in the House of Lords. 
Clearly, unless something be speedily clone, the House of Lords will, 
by losing all effective share in the legislation, lose all the esteem and 
support of the country. The fault, no doubt, is partly their own, but 
it is, in far greater part, the fault of successive Governments, who 
have not proposed to the House of Commons sufficient relaxations of 
nonsensical etiquette in matters of money, and who, instead of intro- 
ducing many important measures in the Upper House, crowd them 
iu a body on the Peers for hasty and inconsiderate enactment at the 
close of a Session. 

Some Ministers, I know, will reply that ' an active House of 
Lords is a great evil.' Well, but surely, no House of Lords at all 
(and such will soon be the alternative) is a ' greater evil.' This 
remark, too, is founded on an experience of the House of Lords in 
former days— the present days exhibit the House in a very different 
light ; it retains great powers, if stirred up and rightly directed, for 
social improvement, but, though it stands well in the affections of the 
country, it has lost all power for political action on the rise and fall 
of Administrations. 

I have sent a few notes by a friend of mine — pray look at them 
attentively, and then send them back to me. 

You have a fearful business before you. At one time I am 
inclined to say with Hannibal ' agnosco for 'tuna m Carthaginis /' at 
another, to quote from Scripture, ' Keturn unto Me and I will return 

1851.] FRIENDS. 375 

unto you.' We have shown the dawnings of a return ; God grant 
that they may issue in the perfect day ! 

I wish vou well, 

Yours truly, 


To this Lord John Russell sent, as was his wont, a 

brief reply : — 

Lord John Russell to Lord Shaftesbury. 

Pembroke Lodge, Nov. 22, 1851. 

My dear Shaftesbury, — Many thanks for your letter on Reform, 
in which, generally speaking, I agree. Your correspondent goes 
further than I should be prepared to do in the way of disfranchise- 
ment. ... I send you in return the sketch of a letter I propose to 
write to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Pray let me know whether 

you find any mistakes in it. 

Yours truly, 

J. Russell. 

There was probably no man whose circle of friends 
and acquaintances was wider than Lord Shaftesbury's, 
and certainly none whose circle included greater variety 
in social position, influence, and attainment than his. 
He was intimate with his fellow Peers and the highest 
in the land ; he was intimate with the humblest and 
lowliest of working men. It made no difference to him 
what a man was in the eye of society or of the world, if 
he saw in him one who possessed those qualities upon 
which true friendships alone can rest. He esteemed a man 
first for what he was in himself, and next, for what 
he was doing for the world to make it brighter and 
happier and holier. Hence it was that among those 


he loved and " delighted to honour " were men who 
were engaged in every branch of Christian work, by 
whom he felt proud to be known as a "fellow-labourer." 
Among these was Thomas Wright, the prison 
philanthropist. How it came to pass that the acquaint- 
anceship, which ripened into friendship, began, was told 
by Lord Shaftesbury to a gathering of young men, when 
warning them against false pride and exhorting them 
not to be ashamed of their trades. He said : — 

Many of you must have heard of a remarkable man of the name 
of Thomas Wright of Manchester. He visited prisons. He was 
en^a^ed all day long in a small establishment acting as foreman, 
covered with oil and grease and everything else. The first time I 
ever saw Thomas Wright was at Manchester. I was staying with 
my friend, the great engineer, Mr. Fairbairn. He said to me : ' You 
have heard of Thomas Wright ; would you like to meet him 1 ' I said 
' Of course I should, beyond anything.' ' Well, then, we shall have 
him to dinner.' So we asked him to dinner ; we three together. In 
came Thomas Wright, and had I not known who he was, I should 
have said he was the most venerable doctor of divinity I ever looked 
upon. His hair was white ; his expression was fascinating ; he was 
dressed in black. We passed the evening and then we went to 
church. Two or three days afterwards, we said we would go and see 
Thomas Wright. We knocked at the office door, and a man, in a 
paper cap and an apron and covered with grease, opened it. I passed 
in and 1 said. ' I want to see Thomas Wright.' ' I dare say you do,' 
he said, ' here I am.' Then I said, ' Bless you, my good fellow ; 
never was I so impressed in my life before, as I am now with the 
true dignity of labour.' There was that man, covered with grease 
and wearing his paper cap. When his work was over, he doffed his 
cap, washed his face, put on his black clothes and away he went to 
prison, to carry life and light and the Gospel of Christ to many 
broken and anxious hearts.* 

• Speech before Y. M. C. A., Glasgow, Oct., 1877. 


The same interview is thus noted in the Diary: — 

Nov. 24. — Manchester. Yesterday that good man Wright, of 
Chorlton-on-Medlock, the visitor and comforter of prisoners in every 
jail to which he has access, dined with us alone, and we had some 
excellent talk. This man is a marvel. He is a workman at wages. 
His white hair, decent dress, and noble, affectionate countenance, 
give him the air of a primitive bishop. What a standard for the 
great of this eai'th to measure themselves by ! 

Some of the entries towards the close of the year are 
as follows : — 

Dec. 4th. — Oxford. Yesterday the world was startled by a new 
French Revolution. Louis Napoleon, stating that he was only acting in 
self-defence, that he was oidy executing against his enemies what 
they had planned against him, indulged in a coup d'etat. He dis- 
solved the Assembly (no such power by law), arrested the Deputies 
and all the Military Chiefs, proclaimed universal suffrage, suggested a 
new Constitution, with two Chambers instead of one (a lesson to our 
reformers), and appealed to the sovereignty of the people ! 

Here is a fact, so sudden and so extensive that it defies immediate 
reflection. He is acting clearly on the precedent of his uncle in 1804 ; 
but Napoleon had the prestige of a great conqueror ; and the nation had 
hopes that he would still be a great conqueror, and so all acquiesced. 

Dec. 8th. — The Saint. I protest against universal suffrage on 
many grounds ; on none more than this, that it has never been found 
consistent with general freedom. Wherever it has prevailed, it has 
established the freedom, nay, licence, of the majority ; and the 
restraint, nay, thraldom, of the minority. Was social, civil, and 
religious liberty of the whole, known in the ancient Republic of 
Greece 1 Does not De Tocqueville show the tyranny of the people in 
the United States % Has universal suffrage emancipated four mil- 
lions of negroes 1 Has it secured in France political independence 
and social peace 1 

Christmas Day. — Day sadly distracted by intelligence of yester- 
day. Palmerston has quitted office and Granville is appointed in his 
place. Palmerston, with all his faults, was an English Minister, a 
man who desired civil and religious liberty for others as for himself. 


Parliament was opened on the 3rd of February 
following, when Lord John Russell explained the circum- 
stances connected with the resignation of the Foreign 
Office by Lord Palmerston, to which we have already 
alluded, and the ex-Secretary defended his action in a 
vigorous speech. Into the merits of the misunderstand- 
ing it is not necessary that we should enter. 

Events in France were causing considerable uneasi- 
ness at this time, not in England only, but throughout 
the Continent, and, in view of the unsettled state of 
Europe, the country was thrown into agitation with 
regard to the inadequacy of the national defences, and 
the Government resolved to bring before Parliament a 
scheme for the re-establishment of the militia. On the 
lGthof February Lord John Russell explained the scope 
and purpose of the Bill, and on the 26th, while it was 
yet in a preliminary stage, the Government was defeated, 
as shown in the following entry. Lord Derby,* the 
recognised leader of the Tory party, was called upon to 
form a Government : — 

Feb. 20th. — Quarter-past eleven at night. Just heard that 
Government is out ; beaten by a small majority on an amendment 
moved by Palmerston, to convert the ' local ' into a ' general ' militia. 
It is strange to me to be shut out of the medley. The House 
of Lords is a sad place for news of the events ; get all at second- 
hand, and dealt out sparingly. Many things now occur, as old 
Latimer says, ' to cut off my comb.' Palmerston had fallen : eveiw- 
one had deserted him ; he was left alone. He gains a victory over 
the Minister who announces his resignation. Palmerston's house (I 
am just come from it, half-past eleven at night) is overwhelmed with 
company ; one would think that he had saved an empire, or that he 
was mounting a throne ! 

* Lord Stanley succeeded to the title iii June, 1851. 

1852.] ROUTINE WORK. 379 

A wonderful Nemesis ! Jolm kicks out Palmerston and Pal- 
merston, alter a short interval, kicks out him. He rejoices, they say, 
in the result, though he was furious and humbled at the mode, 
because he feared both the Caffre Debate and the Reform Bill ! 

Feb. 28th. — Called on Derby, and, afterwards, on Walpole, to 
urge them, as they valued the peace of the country, to a specific and 
open declaration, immediately on the meeting of the Houses, of their 
intention to ask no more than the necessary votes, and then forth- 
with to 'dissolve' and appeal to the electors for a final decision 
whether they will, or will not, accept in any form, or for any pur- 
pose, a duty on the importation of food. 

'I have not a majority,' said Derby; 'but I have sufficient 
strength to withstand a factious opposition.' ' No,' I replied, ' I do 
not think you have ; a Minister may defy both Houses, if he have 
the country on his side, but, be assured, the country is against you ; 
altogether against you, I believe, on Protection ; but most certainly 
on the obligation you lie under to tell them what you mean ! ' He 
was very civil and thanked me. Walpole the same, and he added, 
in confidence, that he had urged, again and again, this very counsel. 

The new Ministerial arrangements were completed 
by the 27th of February. The Chancellorship of the 
Exchequer was offered to Lord Palmerston, who de- 
clined to serve under Lord Derby ; whereupon the office 
was accepted by Mr. Disraeli, to whom was assigned the 
Leadership of the House of Commons. 

During the early part of this year, Lord Shaftesbury 
was unusually harassed by " letters, interviews, chairs, 
boards, speeches." " I am worn, worn, worn by them 
all," he says, " surrendering all amusements and society, 
giving all the day and half of almost every night to 
business and meetings, and all this in the face of weak 
health and tottering nerves." 

In the midst of this work the time had come for 
him to leave his town -house in Brook Street and to 


take up his residence in the old family house in Gros- 
venor Square : — 

Feb. 6th. — This is the last evening I shall ever spend in this 
house ; it is sold, and I must leave it to-morrow. I cannot leave it 
without regret. I have passed here many happy and useful hours, 
praised be God ; certainly more happy, and probably more useful, 
than I shall ever pass again. I have here prepared for nearly all my 
public labours, in study, thought, and prayer ; I am now in the vale 
of years, and, henceforward, shall feed on recollections. We had 
outgrown the dwelling, it had become too strait for us. 

No fresh accession of labour ever tempted him to set 
aside the duties to which he had pledged himself. The 
" Exhibition year " had given an impetus to Ragged 
School work, and every fresh development of that heart- 
stirring movement brought a corresponding increase of 
toil to him. The difficulties in connection with the 
Board of Health had multiplied, and, as we shall see 
later on, were bringing the existence of that Board to 
a close. The May Meetings of this year laid heavier 
demands than ever upon Lord Shaftesbury, every 
Society being eager to secure the presence of the 
" new Earl " amongst them. It was due to his 
marvellous art of economising time that he was 
able to meet his engagements. The Lunacy Commis- 
sion alone, it would have seemed, might have been 
sufficient to have occupied all his leisure, for he con- 
ducted his duties as Chief Commissioner with a care and 
scrupulosity that are as admirable as they are unusual. 
It was his rule, after visiting cases of special importance, 
to record the circumstances as an aid to his memory, 
and the thorough manner in which this was done may 



be illustrated by the following memorandum, written in 
the early part of this year. 

Notes. Visit to at Hayes Park. 

On Saturday, 10th January, 18-52, called to see a Hayes 


House vastly superior, in site and accommodation and furniture, 

to most asylums. 

Accompanied by Mr. Gordon and Mr. Gaskell. 

Had an hour's conversation with ; found him intelligent 

and collected, very ready to converse, and skilful in fencing with 
words and phrases. He admitted his former impressions that the 
Queen had exhibited towards him particular attention, but hesitated 
to explain the nature and mode of her attention. He declared that 
the belief he entertained of her having an attachment to him was a 
delusion ; but the attentions he persisted in, and said that they were 
remarked by others as well as by himself. He admitted also that he 
had frequently written to her Majesty. He reiterated his assertion 
that his confinement was the work of the Government and Lord 
Fitzroy Somerset. 

I pressed him on the contents of his letter to myself, in which he 
used the remarkable phrase, that he assaulted Dr. Mollen under the 
' impunity ' that belongs to one detained in a lunatic asylum. He 
stoutly and ingeniously maintained his proposition, asserting that he 
had assaulted, and would again assault, Dr. Mollen or any others, 
Lord F. S. included, who had ' offended ' against him in this respect, 
of a charge of insanity ; that the law could not touch him, for, as a 
certified lunatic, he was irresponsible ; but that the case would be 
different were he pronounced sane and at liberty, because then he 
should become a responsible person and subject to the laws. I 
urged that, though there might not be a legal responsibility while he 
was confined, yet that, as he could distinguish right from wrong, 
there was a moral responsibility to the Law of God. ' Of that,' he 
replied, ' I do not pretend to know much, but what I do know is in 
my favour ; I consider myself morally justified before God in assault- 
in^ Dr. Mullen, and all who, like him, offend against me in this 


We then urged on him the necessity of caution, both in his 
language and action on this subject, telling him it greatly injured his 
chances of liberation, as most people would be seriously alarmed by 
such avowals, and hesitate to believe, though they might form 
erroneous conclusions, that anyone who so reasoned and acted, could 
safely enjoy freedom. Nothing could shake his opinion here ; he 
declared that he would do no such thing, and that every one who 
heard him must concur with his views and feelings. 

We entreated him to consult a friend, and abide by his advice ; 
he declined to do so. Of his father he spoke with an^er, but without 
violence ; he wished, he said, to appeal to the Law, and, after the 
decision of the Law, he would shake hands with his father. 

It is a most perplexing and painful case. We had no doubt of 
the first part of the proposition in the certihcate, that ' he is of 
unsound mind,' but we must deliberate on the second, 'and a proper 
person to be confined.' Few things can be more distressing than to 
see this intelligent man, still in the prime of life, who has passed ten 
years in an asylum, and seems likely to pass many more. Were his 
monomania on any less exciting subject-matter than the person of the 
Queen, my opinion would incline to let him out ; but this is no 
ordinary influence, this tendency to concentrate every morbid thought 
and feeling on the Sovereign ; and a monomania that, in common 
cases might be harmless, becomes extremely dangerous when directed 
against, or upon, the first person in the Realm. 

By June, the burden of overwork and over-anxiety 
had become so heavily oppressive, that we find this 
significant entry : — 

June 19th. — Dr. Ferguson orders me to Ems to drink the waters. 

It was some time before repose came, even at Ems. 
His mind was full of Ragged School work, to which a 
great impetus had been given at the anniversary meet- 
ing in May, when Exeter Hall had overflowed and two 
or three thousand persons had been sent away. It 
grieved him, however, that contributions should fall so 

1852.] ESSAYS. 383 

far short of enthusiasm. Moreover, he had conceived 
the idea that many of the teachers, though equally active 
in the schools, were less so out of them, and to meet this 
difficulty he had, just before leaving England, appointed 
a City Missionary exclusively to the ragged children " to 
perambulate the town, dive into dens, alleys, recesses, 
seek out the forgotten, oppressed, destitute, and ' compel 
them to come in.' " 

July 15th. — Accounts from London of intense and intolerable 
heat ; there, as in Paris, many deaths from coup de sole'd ! I shrink 
with horror when I think of the sufferings of the poor people in their 
crowded rooms, alleys, courts ; it blunts the edge of my satisfaction 
here ; it stands, in truth, between me and my ' cure.' We are told 
to talk of nothing, think of nothing that agitates ; I cannot obey the 
doctor — as I lie panting under the influence of the sun, surrounded 
by clear air and fresh smells, I reflect with pain, and shame, and 
grief, on the condition of others who, under a sun equally powerful, 
are tortured by foul gas, exhalations — human, vegetable, putrescent — 
without, perhaps, a drink of wholesome water to assuage their thirst. 
My only comfort is, and it is but a slight one, that I have protested 
and laboured for years on their behalf. 

It was a favourite recreation of Lord Shaftesbury in 
vacation time to write in his Diary what may almost be 
termed " essays ' : on the thoughts that arose within 
him. Thus, while at Ems, we find the following : — 

July 20th. — Humanly speaking, and on human grounds, what 
countries in the world seem to enjoy the best and fairest prospects of 
greatness, security, and wealth 1 I should reply, France and the United 
States of America. The United States are a young country; and, so fat 
as analogy is good, have all the hopes and prospects of healthy and 
vigorous youth. They contain within themselves everything, how- 
ever various, that nature bestows, and in abundance inexhaustible. 
In art and science they are equal to the best ; in energy of character, 


almost superior. They have nothing to fear but from internal dis- 
sensions ; they are beyond the power of foreign aggression. Their 
territory is nearly boundless, and so close as to furnish a ready 
safety-valve to all their discontented spirits ; every year adds enor- 
mously to their numbers and resources, and wealth seems to grow 
like the grass of the field. Their Government is essentially re- 
publican ; and there is actually nothing left to contend for in the way 
of more liberal institutions. They may, and will, have party strifes 
and struggles for the possession of place and power ; but what social 
question remains ? There is no Church to be invaded ; no aristocracy 
to be pulled down ; no king to be replaced by a president ; efforts 
at organic changes would seem to be impossible, nor will the bane 
of Europe, the Socialistic principle, become, for many generations at 
least, a continuous and concentrated question. 

'Slavery' will be a thorn in their side; but its utmost conse- 
quence would be a disruption of the Union, and the formation of two 
mighty and independent States ; the North more powerful than the 
South. Then, probably, changes may begin ; and, as Monarchy 
fades into Republics, so Republics rise into Monarchies. 

July 22nd. — France presents a spectacle such as the world never 
saw before. Ransack history and say whether, in any age, there has 
existed a nation, living within a ring-fence of high civilisation, 
advanced science, of military spirit and prowess, almost unrivalled, 
and numbering more than six and thirty millions, all speaking the 
same language, and, with the exception of a small fraction, all pro- 
fessing the same religion. She rests on two seas to the north and to 
the south, and possesses every requisite of a great maritime power ; 
her surface is extensive, and her soil rich, producing, in wine espe- 
cially, many things that other nations demand. She, like the U nited 
States, can fear little or nothing from foreign aggression ; she is more 
than a match for any two of the Continental kingdoms ; and, in the 
way of defence, perhaps, a match for them all. But her means of 
attack are very great ; and both her past history and her present 
vigour impress a terror on every Government around her ! 

Such enormous resources will extricate her speedily from financial 
difficulty; and, indeed, Mr. Bates (of the great firm of Baring and 
Co.) told me the other day that he had more hopeful views of French 
finance than of any other country on earth. She, too, like the 
United States, has little left to destroy. Her Church is despoiled, 

1852.] JOHN MILTON. 385 

the Crown is taken away, the landed aristocracy are no more ; 
nobility is forbidden and equalit} r instituted. Further organic change 
seems impossible ; a despotism, it is true, temporarily exists, which, 
while it lasts, is doing that form of good which liberty, I fear, will 
never effect; and, when it is overthrown, will leave the nation to its 
commonwealth airain. 

Her plague is that of Socialism, deep, rancorous, and wide- 
spread ; the national character, nevertheless, counteracts it in some 
measure, and the personal interests of the community effect the 
remainder. Property in France will be stoutly and immediately 
defended. The attack must be specially and directly on that, since 
nothing else is left ; and as those who are assailed feel that they are 
fighting for money, not for institutions ; for fact, not for principle ; 
for themselves alone, and not for other classes also, in the first 
instance, they will resist with a degree of alacrity and vigour that no 
other motive could infuse. 

Another recreation in which Lord Shaftesbury in- 
dulged at Ems was one which \v r as almost always denied 
him in England — the leisurely perusal of books. 

August 15th. — Reading Birks on Daniel, clear, satisfactory, com- 
fortable. The mysterious resources of China, the progressive might 
of the United States, will neither hasten nor retard the final develop- 
ment of man's destiny on earth ! God's ' tender mercies are over all 
His works ; ' but prophecy is busy with those empires only that affect 
His ancient people, and, therein, the issue of the Elect Church, elect 
from 'all kindreds and tongues and people.' 

August 23rd. — Dover. During my vacation have read Milton 
again. Well did Dryden say that ' the force of Nature could no 
further go.' The older I grow and the more experience I obtain, the 
deeper is my wonder at his mighty and overwhelming genius. How 
is it that no one before him chose such a subject 1 How is it that 
no one since has exhibited even the semblance of approximation 
to his power of handling such a subject 1 I cannot but believe that 
God, in His goodness, inspired the man — not as He inspired Isaiah 
and Joel, to foretell future events in strains of majestic grandeur, but 
to show, for the comfort and instruction of our race, that man's 
mouth and man's understanding are His own divine workmanship. 



Soon after his return from Ems, Lord Shaftesbury 
received the painful intelligence that the Duke of 
Wellington, the friend of his early manhood, who 
had seen in him high principles and large capabili- 
ties, and had sought his friendship and his aid, was 
numbered with the dead. On the 14th of September, 
at Walmer Castle, the old hero breathed his last. 

September 16th. — The death of the Great Duke is an 'event.' 
"Will the world present other opportunities for other such heroes 1 
Such a life is hardly on record ; everything, nearly, went well with 
him, and he 'died full of riches and honour.' His dominant feeling 
was a sense of duty to the Crown and to the country ; it was para- 
mount to everything else. And now begins the ordinary scramble ; 
he held many appointments, and many of his survivors will covet, 
and some will deserve, them. 

There were rumours that the Chancellorship of 
Oxford, vacant by the death of the Duke of Wellington, 
would be offered to Lord Shaftesbury. The following 
entry refers to this : — 

September 24th. — For myself it would add a burthen of duty to 
the many burthens I have already ; it would necessarily call me off 
from many I have undertaken, and have hardly time and strength to 
discharge. Now, is there one that I would surrender for this 
honour 1 Not one. It is an honour I do not covet, a duty I do not 
like — an unprofitable field, a comfortless dignity. I hate all the cir- 
cumstances of it. Let those who are ambitious of it obtain and 
enjoy the post; there will be candidates enough. I had rather, by 
God's blessing and guidance, retain those places for which there are 
no candidates — the chairs of .the Ragged Union, the Colonial Dor- 
mitory, the Field Lane Refuge. . . . This is clearly my province. I 
am called to this, and not to any political or social honours. I am 
now fifty -two years of age ; I have laboured almost incessantly for 
four-and-twenty years, and I have never received an honour, or 

1852.] BUST TO BUST. 387 

notice of any sort or kind, great or small, from the Crown, the 
Minister, or the public, except the citizenship of the small borough 
of Tain, in Scotland. 

September 27th. —The Duke of Wellington's leavings are hastily 
snatched up. One only has been well bestowed : * Lord Hardinge is 
the Commander- in-Chief, and Fitzroy Somerset t (' quo non prtestan- 
tior ') succeeds him at the Ordnance. 

Lord Shaftesbury's ideas of burial were very pro- 
nounced. Any glorification of tbe body from which 
the spirit had fled was repugnant to him. He had 
no sympathy with the passion of some who would 
seek to battle with nature, and resist, or attempt 
to resist, the decree, " Dust thou art, and unto dust 
shalt thou return." He disliked the gross, material 
idea of burial, as unpoetical, unscriptural, and the result 
of materialism in theology ; he looked upon the corpses 
of the departed as no more than relinquished garments 
of living men and women, "temples of Grod, in which 
divine service is over and finished, the chanting hushed, 
the aisles deserted." This was no new idea of his. It 
was, like most that entered into matters of practical 
importance, fixed and rooted. We have heard him ex- 
press the same sentiment in his journals of early con- 
tinental travels ; we shall hear him re-echo those words 
with even greater force in the last year of his life, wheu 
supporting the efforts of the Cremation Society. 

* "When this was written, Lord Shaftesbury was not aware that 
the Wardeuship of the Cinque Ports had been given to the Marquis 
of Dalhousie (then Governor-General of India), who held it until his 

f Afterwards Lord Raglan. 


November 18th. — Last night at half-past eight to 'lying in 
state!' What a monstrous misuse of splendour ! here is the infimy, 
or the infamy, of our nature. ' Dust to dust, ashes to ashes : ' here 
is the decree of God ! Order upon order, gold upon gold, troop upon 
troop : here is the decree of man ! The decrees seem to be in col- 
lision. It was fine, very fine, but hardly impressive ; signs of mor- 
tality, but none of resurrection ; much of a great man in his genera- 
tion, but nothing of a great spirit in another ; not a trace of religion, 
not a shadow of eternity. They would have made far other display 
in Romish countries : the cross, a band of chanting monks, priests 
with censers — a false religion, it is true, but nevertheless something 
that would have shifted the thoughts from a mere grovel on the 

To-day the procession ; saw it well, singularly well, from St. 
James's Palace. Day providentially — yes, providentially — fine ; it 
spared, I doubt not (and let us thank God), many a sickness and 
many an accident. Stupendously grand in troops and music. It was 
solemn, and even touching ; but it was a show, an eye-tickler to 999 
out of every thousand — a mere amusement. The Duke himself 
svould have permitted it, in a sense of duty ; he never would have 
desired such a thing. 

The Protestantism of five-and-thirty years ago was 
much more easily stimulated to enthusiasm than it is 
now, and the story of the interest and excitement 
aroused by the persecution of the Madiai in 1852 reads 
like a chapter out of some old-world history. 

In the City of Florence there dwelt two small shop- 
keepers, Francesco and Eosa Madiai. They were simple 
folk, neither wealthy, great, nor powerful, but they 
were sincere. Under the influence of Protestant teach- 
in o\ they were led to regard the Church of Rome, 
in which they had been reared, as in error, and, as 
they could not conscientiously remain in it, they deter- 
mined to come out and be separate. The Scriotures 


became their delight, and, although warned that to 
read them in their own house, and to seek to propagate 
them, or to spread the doctrines of Protestantism, 
would be to act in hostility to the religion of the State, 
they felt it was their duty to persevere and bear the 
consequences — "they could not but speak the things 
which they had seen and heard." 

They were, in consequence, subjected to severe per- 
secution. But this could not turn them from their 
purpose ; the spirit of the old martyrs possessed them ; 
they would not obey man rather than God. The 
matter was then referred to the Grand Duke of 
Tuscany, who condemned them to five years' imprison- 
ment with hard labour in the galleys. 

When this sentence became known, it produced 
throughout Protestant Europe a sudden and simulta- 
neous indignation. In England, by common consent, Lord 
Shaftesbury was looked to as the leader of the move- 
ment to obtain a reversal of the cruel and tyrannical 
sentence. One of his first steps was to lay the case 
before the Prince Consort, and acquaint him with the 
actual state of public feeling upon the subject. 

To this letter the Prince replied : — 

H.R.H. the Prince Consort to Lord Shaftesbury. 

Balmoral, September 2ith, 1852. 

My dear Lord Shaftesbury, — Many thanks for your letter 
respecting the unfortunate Madiais, which I received this morning. 
The cruel case had already attracted the Queen's notice, and I 
attempted a personal appeal to the Grand Duke, to which I have 
not yet received an answer. I tried particularly to impress him 


(or rather his Confessor, who is the ruling power) that the case will 
do irreparable mischief to the Roman Catholic cause in England, 
knowing that, for the sake of Christian charity, not a finger will be 

This is the Church which calls us intolerant, merely because Ave 
do not choose to be governed by it ! The King of Prussia has 
written to the Queen asking her to make joint representations with 
him at Florence. Her Majesty has, in her answer sent to-day, 
expressed her willingness so to do, and has instructed Lord Malmes- 
bury accordingly. 

Ever yours truly, 


It was decided by those who, under the leadership 
of Lord Shaftesbury, had so warmly espoused the cause 
of the Madiai, that a deputation should go out from 
England to intercede with the Grand Duke (the Arch- 
bishop of Dublin assuming the lead in Dublin). 

The deputation, headed by Lord Eoden, set forth 
on their mission on the 23rd of October. On the 26th 
Lord Eoden wrote to Lord Shaftesbury, informing him 
that he had received a repfy from the Tuscan Minister 
of Foreign Affairs, declining to receive a deputation on 
the subject of the Madiai. " They are Tuscan sub- 
jects," wrote the Minister, " and have been condemned 
to five years' imprisonment by the ordinary tribunals, 
for propagating Protestantism, which is prescribed by 
our laws as an attack upon the religion of the State." 

The deputation went forward notwithstanding, and 
their return is thus referred to in the Diary : — 

Nov. 12th. — Yesterday to Protestant Alliance to receive deputa- 
tion on their return from Florence. Let us bless God ; He has 
really prospered us. . . . Is it no remarkable sign, nay, proof 


of the latter clays, that when two small shopkeepers are persecuted 
by the hand of tyranny, for righteousness' sake, all Europe is in 
commotion ; deputies start from England, France, Holland, Prussia, 
Switzerland ; monarchs interfere with autograph letters, and the 
sanctity of principle and truth is maintained in the cause, and in the 
persons, of social inferiors ; social, I say, for, God knows, they may 
be as ' Hyperion to a Satyr,' compared with grandees 1 It revives 
the memory and practice of Apostolic times ; it is the dawn of the 
day when the Churches that ' hold the Head ' shall be as one ! 
Ah, how dear Bickersteth would rejoice in such a daybreak, were 
he on earth, but probably he is enjoying now a meridian display 
of God's full mercy to this thankless world ! There are hopes, too, 
even for Italy ; the populace crowded around the deputation ; at 
Lucca, Lord Roden could scarcely prevent their drawing his carriage 
in triumph ; at Genoa, the National Guard would have turned out 
in military order. This is good ; the people will see that there is a 
reality in Protestantism, a spirit of brotherhood, a unity of hearts 
under a diversity of forms. 

Successful as the deputation had been in stirring 
popular feeling, it had failed to obtain any reversal or 
mitigation of the sentence on the Madiai, and fresh 
steps had to be taken by the Protestants of Europe. 
Lord Shaftesbury, early in December, headed a deputa- 
tion to Mr. Walpole, to petition the Queen on their 
behalf, a petition signed, " strange, but joyous to say, 
by one Archbishop (Dublin) and eight Bishops ! ' : 

In January, 1853, at the urgent request of the Pro- 
testant Alliance and many influential persons, Lord 
Shaftesbury was on the point of starting off for Florence 
"in search of the Madiai." Just when his preparations 
were made, he received a letter from the Protestants of 
Geneva " urging caution, breathing doubts, quenching 
spirits, and imposing wet blankets." But his ardour 


was not damped, and he still purposed to go forward, 
when he received private information that at the pre- 
sent juncture of affairs he would "complicate the whole 
thing, worsen the condition of the Madiai, and do more 
harm than good." The journey was therefore postponed. 
Meanwhile other and more effective measures were in 
progress. Lord John Russell urged upon Sir Henry 
Bulwer, Envoy Extraordinary to Tuscany, the necessity 
of remonstrating strongly with the Tuscan Government 
on the subject. " As this is a matter affecting a Tuscan 
subject," he said, "it may be argued that Her Majesty's 
Government have no right to interfere. If this means 
that interference by force of arms would not be justifi- 
able, I confess at once that nothing but the most 
extreme case would justify such an interference. But 
if it be meant that Her Majesty has not the right 
to point out to a friendly sovereign the arguments 
which have prevailed in the most civilised nations 
aoainst the use of the civil sword to punish reli- 
gious opinions, I entirely deny the truth of such an 

The Grand-Duke withstood, as long as he was able, 
the storm his tyrann}^ had provoked, but eventually he 
was obliged to yield, and on the 17th of March the 
Madiai were liberated. 

An amusing episode of this subject was the re- 
ceipt of a letter from an agent of Mr. Barnum — the 
American Showman — a letter that greatly tickled the 
humour of Lord Shaftesbury, who had a keen relish for 
a joke. 


Mr. Bamum's Agent to Lord Shafteslury. 

Manchester, March 2bth, 1853. 

My Lord, — As I am aware your lordship is always actively 
engaged in a holy warfare against the Roman Catholic religion, and 
the mainstay of the converts from that faith, I calculate it is highly 
probable that Rosa and Francesco Madiai are likely to come under 
your Lordship's patronage on their arrival in the old country. As 
agent for Mr. Barnum, whose name, I presume, is not unknown to 
your lordship, I respectfully beg to be informed whether it is possible 
to enter into an engagement for these interesting people to exhibit 
themselves in our United States after the London season, as I have 
no doubt they would draw fair audiences in our northern States, 
where the Protestant feeling runs strong, and we are pretty alive to 
proceedings in this country. 

Mr. Barnum would act liberally by these good people, and great 
good may be done. 

I have the honour to be, my lord, 

Your lordship's obedient servant, 

John Hall Wilton. 

Unfortunately there is no record of the reply Lord 
Shaftesbury sent to this communication. 

In the autumn of 1853 Lord Shaftesbury was in 
Geneva, when he wrote in his Diary : — 

Sept. 18th. — Geneva. Called with Lady Georgiana Baillie to 
see the Madiais. Saw Francesco ; Rosa unwell. As soon, however, 
as she had learned my name, and knew that I was President of the 
Protestant Alliance, to which, under God, she owed so much, she 
came, despite her weakness, which is considerable, to see me at the 
hotel. I am delighted with her — her devout, dignified, simple bear- 
ing and expression. She is a true confessor in manner and spirit, a 
servant of our Lord ' with all her heai't, with all her soul, and with 
all her strength.' Francesco, though perhaps inferior in mind, 


is not unworthy of her. May God bless them in time and in 
eternity, and raise up many such to ' witness before ' kings, judges, 
and dukes ! 

It rarely happened that any one subject, however 
great its interest, was allowed to absorb Lord Shaftes- 
bury's attention, and while the case of Madiai was pro- 
ceeding, other and wider movements were claiming his aid. 

In IS 50, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote her 
celebrated tale, " Uncle Tom's Cabin." It was first 
published in parts ; on its completion it was reissued 
entire, and it then commenced a career almost un- 
paralleled in the annals of literature. In the course of 
less than a year more than 200,000 copies were sold in the 
United States, and this was but a prelude to the still more 
astonishing success awaiting it in this country. It ran 
like wild-fire through the land, appealing to every class 
in cities, towns, and remotest villages, and affecting, as 
no other book, perhaps, had ever done, the imagination 
of the people. 

From extracts already given from his journals, it 
will easily be seen how, with his utter detestation of 
slavery of every kind, the enormities revealed in this 
life-like fiction stirred the heart of Lord Shaftes- 
bury. For years he had watched every movement in 
America bearing upon this subject ; and latterly the 
operation of the Fugitive Slave Law, by which " a 
whole nation, blessed by Grod with freedom, wealth, and 
the Holy Scriptures, declares it to be impossible to 
emancipate a slave, and penal to teach any one of them 
the rirst principles of Christianity," had distressed him 

1852.] NEGRO SLAVERY. 395 

beyond measure. But hitherto he had been unable to 
take any important active part against the cruel system. 
As a matter of fact, there was at that time no action 
that could have been taken. After reading Mrs. 
Stowe's book, however, and when public feeling was 
stirred to its depths, he felt that it was impossible to 
remain quiet. 

Nov. 6th. — Long troubled in spirit, and touched to the heart's 
core by ' Uncle Tom's Cabin.' Marvellous work ! What a power 
of Christian intellect ! What a concentration, so to speak, of natural 
simplicity ! One feels, as one reads it, that it is heaven-sent. It 
has a destiny. Ah, Lord, grant it, and forgive, at last, the descendants 
of Ham. 

Determined to draw up an Address from the Women of England 
to the Women of America, and try to stir their souls and sympathies. 
Did it, and sent it off to the newspapers to-day. 

The proposed address was to rouse public opinion, 
by an appeal to the great sympathies of mankind, 
so much more powerful than laws or statutes ; and 
it was hoped that if it were taken up by local com- 
mittees, enriched by many signatures, and then trans- 
mitted to America, it would not fail to produce a deep 
and fruitful impression. 

It was a call from the Women of England to their 
sisters in America, to consider how far the system of 
slavery was in accordance with the Word of Grod, the 
inalienable rights of immortal souls, and the pure and 
merciful spirit of the Christian religion. One of the 
principal paragraphs was as follows : — 

We do not shut our eyes to the difficulties — nay, the dangers — - 
that might beset the immediate abolition of that lon^-established 


system ; we see and admit the necessity of preparation for so great 
an event ; but, in speaking of indispensable preliminaries, we cannot 
be silenG on those laws of your country, which, in direct contra- 
vention of God's own law, ' instituted in the time of man's innocency,' 
deny in effect, to the slave, the sanctity of marriage, with all its joys, 
rights, and obligations ; which separate, at the will of the master, 
the wife from the husband, and the children from the parents. Nor 
can we be silent on that awful system which, either by statute or by 
custom, interdicts to any race of men, or any portion of the human 
family, education in the truths of the Gospel and the ordinances of 

Henceforward for many years, events in America, 
especially as they bore upon the question of slavery, 
were noted at considerable length in Lord Shaftesbury's 

Nov. 12th. — To the House of Lords to take the oath. What a 
mode of administering a sacred office ! What a ' hideous gabble ! ' 
Is there any — can there be any — value in such a form 1 A little 
encouragement to my slavery movement, but very little. Kind 
letters from the editor of the Leeds Mercury, and old Sam Rogers, 
the poet. It is refreshing to see a man so keen in his humanities at 
ninety years of age. . . . 

Nov. 18th. — An anti-abolition party has triumphed and has 
elected a kindred President in the United States. Thus, humanly 
speaking, a new rivet has been added to the bonds of the wretched 
slaves, and a new and enlarged licence to debauchery, incest, mutila- 
tion, murder ! But is it so 1 May not the extremity of the bondage 
be, as in the case of the Israelites, the moment of deliverance 1 Oh, 
Lord, hear our prayer, Christ Jesus, hear our prayer, and maintain 
Thine own word of mercy, truth, and peace ! Have pity on our 
ignorance and infirmity, and make us to understand why it is that 
such special and singular horrors, in every form of physical and moral 
sin, are thus long permitted. 

Nov. 20th. — It is wonderful to contemplate the long-suffering of 
God towards the American Republic. Their statute laws are in 
direct contradiction of the statute laws (so to speak, the Ten Com- 


mandments) of God. Try them in succession, and it will be found 
that every decree is set at nought by the United States law. The 
' fugitive' slave law was a compromise to maintain the Union at the 
expense of mercy, truth, justice, God's gifts and word. The whole 
of their domestic policy is governed, more or less, by ' slavery.' It 
is the beginning: and the end of their movements. They invade 
Mexico to find a market for their breeding farms, seize on Texas, and 
re-establish that slavery which Mexico had abolished ! They are 
bound together by compacts of murder, rapine, adultery. They say 
to three millions of God's immortal creatures, ' Your bodies are 
ours for lust, labour, for any amount or quality of suffering 
and degradation we choose to inflict, and your souls shall wallow 
in utter ignorance of the things of eternity.' And yet they 
prosper. Their dominion is mighty, their wealth stupendous ; they 
seem to have nothing to fear from man, and every ambition is grati- 
fied. They boast of their freedom, their republic, their ' religion ; ' 
and the public press of England is silent on these things ! What a 
mystery is all this ! What is there in former times to match the 
present 1 ? What nation before, knew Thy will, read it in Thy Book, 
professed to believe it, and then passed laws (the work of the whole 
■peojyle, not of a single despot) in flat, insolent contradiction of Thy will 
and truth 1 Lord, ' increase our faith,' and speedily have mercy on 
Thy oppressed creatures, for Christ's ever dear and precious sake ! 

Nov. 21st. — Sunday. This United States slavery harasses my 
very soul ; I can think of nothing else ; breathe a prayer for them 
minute after minute. 

Nov. 25th. — Busy, very busy, about my ' Address from the Women 
of England to the Women of America ' on negro slavery. Have met 
with more sympathy and less ridicule than might have been expected ; 
thanks, under God, to ' Uncle Tom's cabin.' My dear and steady 
friend, the Duchess of Sutherland, has been most zealous, serviceable, 
and high-minded. She has called a meeting of ladies in her house 
to form a committee and adopt the memorial. 

Nov. 27th. — The Duchess did her part in the best manner. Ah, 
Lord, return all into her own bosom, and bless the house, which, 
glorious in human trappings, has been consecrated to the cause of 
Thy dear Son ! 

Dec. 7th. — -The letters and articles in the Times are both wicked 
and silly, and yet they affect some weak minds. I am summoned, 


people say, to answer them ! Answer them ! How can one answe* 
such puerilities ? One says that American slavery is no worse than 
the state of the poor in London ; another quotes the needlewomen ; 
a third asserts that domestic servants are debased and ground by 
tyranny ; a fourth will not hear of any sympathy for the slaves until 
the lodgings for soldiers' wives are improved at Chatham. The truth 
is, that the thing has touched the consciences of some, who see that it 
has reached the hearts of others, and they endeavour to act by 
ridicule on that large mass who always prefer wrong to right, earth 
to heaven, whatever be the question at issue. This is bad, but it is 
better than oblivion. Yet, who will not blush at this exhibition of 
worldliness, falsehood, cruelty, and despotism in English society of 
the nineteenth century. 

Dec. 15th. — Wrote yesterday to Mrs. Beecher Stowe to express 
my admiration of her work, and my gratitude to God who had 
stimulated her heart to write it. 

The death of the Rev. Edward Bickersteth in 1850 
had been a severe loss to Lord Shaftesbury. He 
looked around and saw no one who could supply his 
place ; no one who could give him just the help and 
sympathy he needed in the anxieties of his ever-in- 
creasing work, no one on whose judgment he could 
place implicit reliance. Frequently, in times of great 
perplexity, he recorded in his journal (into which he 
poured every thought and feeling, every aspiration and 
hope, as well as every fear and misgiving) the sense of 
this great and growing want — the friendship of one who 
should be able to enter into his plans and purposes, and 
in whom he could confide in unrestrained measure. 
There were many sorrows pressing upon him which few 
could understand ; his fellow-labourers did not know 
that the sufferings of the poor haunted him night and 
day, and grieved him as though they were personal to 


himself; few ever realised that the records of slavery, 
persecution, and cruelty in the daily papers, and much 
more those that came within the scope of his own know- 
ledge, would fill him with such burning indignation that 
he had difficulty in restraining himself from becoming the 
champion of every individual case of oppression. No 
one ever knew, until his Diaries were seen, how he chafed 
at delay in redressing wrong, how he literally " agonised ' : 
over the misery and the despair of those whose distresses 
were capable of being made endurable, if not altogether 
relieved. Nor did he stand in need of such a friend in 
the hour of his sorrow, less than in the hour of his joy. 
He craved for some one who, himself in the midst of 
similar labour, would be able to sympathise with him in 
his triumphs and successes, and be a sharer in the joy 
of harvest, no less than in the tearful sowing of the seed. 
It was this sense of want that made him write, in the 
midst of the enthusiasm kindled among Protestants on 
behalf of the Madiai , " It is the dawn of the day 
when the Churches that ' hold the Head ' shall be as 
one. Ah, how dear Bickersteth would rejoice in such 
a daybreak were he on earth ! ' : It was a cry for the 
touch of the vanished hand, and the sound of the voice 
that was still ; it was an acknowledgment that there was 
no one else who held in his heart the same position his 
departed friend had held. 

But a friendship was ripening which ere long should 
supply the one he had " lost awhile " — that is, as 
far as one friendship ever can supply the place of 


In the prosecution of various good works, in com- 
mittees and on platforms, lie had been brought into 
contact with Mr. Alexander Haldane, a barrister-at-law 
of the Inner Temple, the representative of an ancient 
Perthshire family, celebrated in the annals of philan- 
thropy and religion, and one of the proprietors of the 
Record newspaper — the organ of the Evangelical party. 

Mr. Haldane, who was some months older than Lord 
Shaftesbury, was an active, energetic man, strong in 
body and mind, of great intellectual force and tenacity 
of purpose, and full of keen and warm-hearted sympa- 
thies. He was lively in temperament, with a strong 
sense of humour and an inexhaustible fund of anecdote. 
He possessed, as Lord Shaftesbury many years after- 
wards recorded, a strong intellect, a cultivated mind, 
and wide knowledge, and he devoted them all to the 
furtherance of religion and morality, to the honour of 
God, and the welfare of the human race. 

He was for many years one of the principal 
writers for the Record. " At every important crisis, 
political and religious, the other proprietors were long 
accustomed to look to him to produce the appropriate 
leaders," and it was to his labours that the paper owed 
much of its influence and value. In public affairs he took 
a profound and absorbing interest. Politics at home 
and abroad, society, literature, the condition of the 
masses, and, especially, the great religious controversies 
of the times, were the subjects that chiefly engrossed 
his thoughts and inspired his pen. 

The first friendly letter from Mr. Haldane to Lord 


Shaftesbury was written in 1S49, on the occasion of 
the death of his son Francis. In 1850-1 there was 
frequent correspondence between them, and after that 
date, as their intimacy increased, the letters became 

In course of time, whenever Lord Shaftesbury was 
in town, scarcely a day passed when Mr. Haldane did 
not " drop in " to bring the news, to report the progress 
of matters in which they were mutually interested, or 
to cheer with friendly counsel and intercourse. "When 
absent from town there was an almost daily interchange 
of letters.* 

Mr. Haldane's interest in the political events of 
his time brought him much into contact with promi- 
nent members of both Houses of Parliament, and for 
many years he had been in the habit of being present 
on the occasion of any important debate in either 
House, f 

In the course of this narrative we shall quote at 
s'ome length from the correspondence between Lord 
Shaftesbury and Mr. Haldane. A letter, written abroad 
in this year, on paper illustrated with a view of 
Ems, may be quoted in this place, as an example of 
the free and open confidence already existing between 

* Lord Shaftesbury's letters were invariably preserved by Mr. Haldane, 
and some hundreds of them have been kindly placed by his daughters 
in the hands of the writer for the purposes of this Biography. 

f From the time Lord Ashley became Earl of Shaftesbury Mr. Haldane 
was so constant an attendant at the House of Lords, that he acquired a 
prescriptive right to a certain place which was always reserved for him. 

a a 


Lord Shaftesbury to Mr. Haldane. 

Ems, July 27th, 1852. 

Dear Mr. Haldane, — At the top of the note is the place where 
we drink the watei'S, and into which the Tractarians would, no doubt, 
gladly infuse a ' quietus ' for me. My human security, however, is 
that I and the Cardinal Archbishop of Cologne drink from the same 
spring and at the same time. 

I Lave only just received your letter. I have no disposition 
to notice the opprobrious fellows ; I care not what they say or 
what they do. If they can write me down, I cannot write 
myself up ; and of this I feel deeply convinced that if, after so 
many years of publicity, I have not character or favour enough 
(with the only portion of the world to which I could appeal) 
to withstand the attacks of Pusey, Sewell, Carlyle, and Co., my 
position is not worth preserving. When I was younger I had some 
ambition for myself ; I have now no desire except to possess so much 
influence as mav enable me to do good. Should these Sons of 
Babylon prevail, it will be because they find a ' predisposition,' as 
we said in cholera times, in the public mind to take the impression 
against me, and thus my hope of a healthy influence would be beaten 

And to tell you the truth, I have had many indications of such 
an issue. The public grows weary of its servants ; it is tired of 
' humanity,' and dead sick of me ; whether by being out of sight for 
a time I shall come forth like an old coat with a new fluff, is a 
matter of speculation ; I much fear that they will find me out, and 
as the Showman said to Lord Stowell, when he went to see the mer- 
maid, ' You have been a customer to me, my Lord, and I'll not take 
you in ; it is only the old monkey ! ' — they will say, ' Don't attend 
to that speech, or go to that meeting, it's only the old monkey.' 

But many thanks for your letter. Pray collect materials ; we 
may yet be obliged to fight. 

The place, I think, is beginning to do me good. God be praised. 
I long, however, to be home again. 




Towards the close of the year, events were ripening 
which were to plunge Lord Shaftesbury into a sea of 
controversy and ceaseless activity. 

It was announced that Lord Derby had advised the 
Crown to issue licence to Convocation to resume its 
Synodical functions. On the 22nd of October a formal 
meeting was held, when it was arranged that Convo- 
cation would assemble on the 5th of November, " for 
the despatch of divers urgent business." 

Oct. 13th. — State now threatened by a revival of 'Convocation.' 
Derby, it is said, lias given Jus assent to the scheme, thereby giving, 
rightly or wrongly, an impression that a quid pro quo has passed 
between him and the University; Convocation in exchange for the 
Chancellorship ! But whither are we going 1 If Convocation were 
troublesome and dangerous ill 1717, it would be fatal now. 

On the 5th of November, the two Houses of Con- 
vocation commenced a sitting of one week's duration. 
Meanwhile public feeling had been stirred, and was 
growing in intensity in many quarters, against the 
attempted introduction of auricular confession into the 
Church. On the 22nd of September, the Bishop of 
Exeter had given judgment in favour of the Rev. 
Gr. R Prynne, incumbent of a church near Plymouth, 
who, it was alleged, had introduced the practice of 
compulsory confession among the girls attending the 
Orphan Home in his parish. 

At the instigation of the Protestant Defence Com- 
mittee, a meeting was announced to take place at the 
Freemasons' Hall, to protest against this innovation, 
and against the revival of Convocation. 
a a 2 


Apropos of this meeting, Lord Shaftesbury received 
the following letter from Mr. Grindstone-: — 

The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone to Lord Shaftesbury. 

6, Carlton Gardens, Nov. 8th, 1852. 

My dear Shaftesbury, — I see it stated in the Record that you 
are about to preside at a meeting which is to be held forthwith for 
the purpose of deprecating the resumption by Convocation of its 
active functions ; and this reminds me to write to you on a kindred 

It grieves me to find that those who are opposing the revival of 
the functions of Convocation, propound, in such cases as have met my 
eye, no better or other mode either of healing those sores in the 
Church of England which grow deeper and angrier year to year, or 
of strengthening her organisation so as to enable her in some degree 
to discharge her duty as a National Establishment to the masses in 
the populous districts. No one knows better than you, how terribly 
true it is, that, with great political and immense social power, with 
Virge endowments, with a clergy abounding in zeal and by no means 
wanting in ability, and with a great number of intelligent and devout 
lay members, the Church of England not only falls short in the per- 
formance of this work, but, in plain language, with the rarest excep- 
tions, is too feeble ever to make a serious attempt at it, and that, in 
consequence, these masses, again with individual exceptions only, 
have passed wholly beyond the sphere of her habitual influence. 

The utmost we can hope from Parliament is, the occasional 
adoption of a measure for the repression of some positive abuse, or 
for the better husbanding of the pecuniary resources of the Church ; 
both of these good, but neither of them going to the root of the evil. 

I have the happiness of recollecting that nearly five years ago 
when I expressed to you a conviction, on my part of long standing, 
that the only hopeful means for the cure of this and of other evils 
was, to prepare the way gradually and with circumspection for some 
corporate organisation of the Church herself, of which her laity should 
constitute an essential part, you, not without an expression of sur- 
prise at hearing such an opinion from me, stated very emphatically 
your concurrence in it ; and that more than once, when you have 


kindly allowed me again to converse with you, you have repeated 
the same sentiments. 

I wish, however, to call your attention to what has happened, and 
is happening, as respects this important matter. 

Being myself convinced that in the practical fulfilment of such 
views lies the best, perhaps almost the only, hope for either real or 
permanent union in the Church of England and her various branches, 
as well as for invigorating her pastoral system, I have striven, as far 
as lay in my power, to promote some efforts in that direction ; and, 
in particular, calling the notice of Parliament to the exigencies of 
the colonial Church, I have proposed to confer on it a qualified en- 
franchisement, enacting that over the exercise of its powers in each 
diocese, the laity should have a control alike full and independent. 

My hope was that here at least there was a ground upon which 
might be exhibited for once, something like co-operation among 
Churchmen ; my fear Avas that from the jealousy of those who are 
favourers of clerical power, if from any quarter, would arise (and 
this, I must add, has to some extent occurred in Scotland), the risk, 
and the only risk, of failure. ■ 

From those persons, however, in the House of Commons who J 
might have hoped would share your impressions, I have up to this 
time met with nothing but either discouragement or absolute and 
strenuous opposition. 

Reverting to this, and now again perceiving that the movement 
against Convocation is assuming the unhealthful form of a movement 
in favour of the status quo as to Church organisation in England, I 
make an earnest appeal to you. 

I do not ask you to bate your opposition to what are called 
clerical Parliaments ; I am no admirer of them. In Scotland, where 
we have one, I have done my best to promote the kind of change we 
agree in wishing for. What I do ask of you is, not to lend your name, 
abilities, and influence to any course which really means acquiescence 
in the present paralysis of our system — a blind policy, which would 
simply aggravate the wounds and scandals of the Church of England, 
and place beyond all hope of remedy the utter feebleness and insuffi- 
ciency that now mark her ordinary contact with those dense masses 
of human souls for whom she has to render an account. 

I do not willingly thus trespass on your indulgence ; but the 
future is overcast, and no one would knowingly forego an effort which 


he thought might, under God, even if ever so little, mitigate its 

dangers or brighten its hopes. Much, I believe, now depends upon 


I remain, very sincerely yours, 

W. E. Gladstone. 

The meeting at Freemasons' Hall was held on the 
1 5th of November. It was explained that its object was 
not so much to deliberate upon some positive course of 
action, as to take counsel and give mutual instruction 
and encouragement. Recent proceedings within the 
Church, developed more especially at Brighton and Ply- 
mouth, had made it necessary that resistance to the 
innovations should be made ; and as the matter could not 
be dealt with in the Ecclesiastical Courts or the Criminal 
Courts, the promoters of the meeting had appealed to 
the Primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to see how 
far his power would extend in putting a prohibition on 
the progress of these practices. He had replied that 
there was nothing left but to appeal to public opinion ; 
and hence the meeting. 

Lord Shaftesbury, in opening the business of the 
meeting, said : — 

We have been somewhat criticised for bringing into juxtaposition 
Convocation and Confession. Now, it appears to me that they 
are so much akin, and so necessarily inseparable, that I should just 
as soon think of separating, in Guildhall, Gog and Magog as sepa- 
rating these two things. The Convocation, and I am speaking of the 
Convocation as extinguished in the year 1717, animated by the worst 
sentiments and views of priestly despotism and priestly ambition, 
would naturally, necessarily, and, to use a modern phrase, ' nor- 
mally ' resort to the Confessional as the best and most effective engine 
of priestly domination. We are not here to denounce every form of 


Church synod or ecclesiastical assembly. We are not here to deny the 
expediency, or, if you will, even the right, of the Church to have some 
power and form of self-regulation. But we are here to denounce the 
revival of the Convocation that was justly extinguished in the last 
century. We are here to deny to that Convocation, if called to- 
gether, the right or the power of suggesting the plan and the limits 
of its own reformation ; and we are here to say that we will not 
submit to any clerical Parliament that will make the laity of this 
Church and of these realms mere ' hewers of wood and drawers of 
water ' to a select knot of sacerdotal dignitaries. A form of Church 
government upon a reasonable and moderate basis, in which the laity 
of the Church will have not only a great, but a dominant, share, is 
well worthy of consideration ; but as for the other Convocation, that 
was extinguished in 1717. I can only express the hope that, should 
there be any attempted revival thereof, her most gracious Majesty 
will follow the example of her illustrious predecessor, and, to use the 
language of that great historian, Hallam, will ' sprinkle a little dust 
on the angry insects.' 

The remainder of the speecli related entirely to the 
Confessional, a subject to which we shall revert later on. 

On the 3rd of December Mr. Disraeli introduced his 
Budget, in a remarkably effective speech of four hours' 
and a quarter duration. The Budget was unfavourably 
received by the Tree Trade party ; the debate extended 
over four nights, and on the 16th of December, the 
result of the vote placed the Ministry in a minority 
of 19, in a House of 591 members. Lord Derby 
immediately thereupon tendered to the Queen his 

It was while Lord Shaftesbury was on the Con- 
tinent, " combining business with pleasure," that the 
Ministerial crisis arose. 

December 17th. — Half-past six. Paris. It is strange to me 
to be absent from ' a crisis ;' but were I present, what could I 


do 1 My professed principles and public course have shut me out 
from the power of serving the Crown in office, and, in fact, from the 
wish of any one, in either House of Parliament, to see me there. 

Derby ought not to resign ; and, indeed, no Minister ought, 
henceforward, to resign on any single defeat. Repeated and rapid 
changes are becoming very hazardous ; and as the House of Commons 
has undertaken to beat every Minister two or three times every 
Session, and then again support him with little or no principle, the 
Minister must refuse to retire, except before the real, unmistakable 
sense of the country. But all this verges on democracy. 

December 29th. — Nice. Jocelyn arrived last night. Aberdeen, 
Prime Minister ; Lord J. Russell, Minister for Foreign Affairs. 
Is it possible that this arrangement should prosper 1 Can the Liberal 
policy of Lord J. square with the restrictive policy of Lord Aber- 
deen 1 Supposing that they are true to their principles, how will 
they agree when Italy calls for sympathy against Austria? John, 
if he have a spark of honesty, will stand for Sardinia ; Aberdeen, if 
lie have an atom of consistency, will stand for Austria. I wish them 
joy, and a safe deliverance. 

Graham, Newcastle, Gladstone, are again installed in power with 
much eclat and high commendation. I am like a stranded sea-weed 
when I find my adversaries in office and myself in disrepute. But, 
possibly, ' more are they that be with us than those that be with 

Did not love Derby's Government, and yet my few hopes were 
in their stability. Seven years of experience have shown the amend- 
ments necessary to complete my Laws of Lunacy. The Chancellor 
has undertaken to present and carry our amended Bills as an article 
of administration. He is fallen, and with him my hopes ' de re 

December 30th. — Palmerston has accepted place under Aber- 
deen as Premier, and subject to John Russell's leadership as 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs. . . . His mortification will, I fear, be 
great almost daily. I regret it for his sake ; I am fond of him ; he 
is kinclhearted and friendly ; he is getting on in life, and I could 
have wished him some respect and affection from those who were 
associated with him in his later clays. 



The Poor of London — Progress of Ragged School Work — Advice to Teachers — 
Inspiring Zeal — Refuges and Industrial Classes — Emigration — Address to 
Children — The Poor Displaced by Building Improvements — A further 
Common Lodging-Houses Bill — Juvenile Mendicancy — Juvenile Delin- 
quency — A Curious Episode —Challenged to Fight a Duel — Correspondence 
with Lord Mornington — Youthful Offenders' Bill — The Waldensian Chris- 
tians — Pasteur Meille — Peripatetic Schoolmasters — Foreign Taste — Pro- 
testantism Abroad — Anti-Slavery Agitation — Stafford House — Reply from 
the Women of America — An Editor's Mistake — China — London Missionary 
Society — Sanitary Reform — "Unpardonable Activity" — The Board of 
Health Abolished — Democracy — 'English Radicals — Cobden on Education of 
the Masses— Reply thereto — The Career of a Philanthropist — Financial 
Difficulties — Lawyers — Family Affairs — Rewards to Agricultural Labourers 
— Palmerston's Reply to Scotch Memorialists. 

" The poor shall never ' cease out of the land.' That 
we know," wrote Lord Shaftesbury, " for God has said it. 
But the poor of London are very far different from the 
poor of Scripture. God has ordained that there should 
be poor, but He has not ordained that, in a Christian 
land, there should be an overwhelming mass of foul, 
helpless poverty." 

To roll away, in some measure, that reproach from 
London, was the gigantic task Lord Shaftesbury felt he 
had " been called of God " to attempt, and the machinery 
he regarded as best adapted to the accomplishment of 
that end was the Ragged School system. 

Since the Ragged School Union was founded there 


had been added to the field of its operations, in the 

space of six or seven years, more than a hundred new 

schools, attended by considerably over ten thousand 

children. Lord Shaftesbury's labours multiplied in 

proportion to the multiplication of the schools. Each 

had its opening ceremonies, or its anniversary, or its 

prize distribution night, and each sent in its special 

claim to his assistance. It required almost superhuman 

strength to perform the duties devolving upon him. 

Conferences with teachers, interviews, correspondence 

day after day ; and, in all parts of London, Chairs and 

the inevitable speeches night after night. 

His watchfulness was unceasing. There was not a 

detail of the system that escaped his observation. For 

example : there was a tendency in some schools, as order 

was established and decent rooms supplied, to admit 

children of a class and condition for whom the schools 

were not intended ; and also, to retain those who had 

mended their ways and had risen in the world, instead 

of transplanting them to other schools. Against this 

tendency Lord Shaftesbury took a very decided stand. 

On one occasion he said : — 

You must keep your Ragged Schools down to one mark ; you must 
keep them, as I have said a hundred times, and, until I carry my 
point, I shall say a hundred times more, in the mire and the gutter, 
so long as the mire and the gutter exist. So long as this class exists, 
you must keep the schools adapted to their wants, their feelings, 
their tastes, and their level. I feel that my business lies in the 
gutter, and I have not the least intention to get out of it. 

He had a great dislike to making any unnecessary 
parade of the schools, and a still greater dislike to the 


system of selecting special examples of children for the 
purpose of winning applause. 

People are glad to see a superior class ; and those who come to 
the schools are impressed with the merit of the master who has raised 
miserable urchins to such beauty and comfort ; and that is one great 
reason why I constantly advise not to have in your Ragged Schools — 
I think they are bad in any schools — periodical exhibitions and 
displays. They have the very worst effect both upon the master and 
the children. The result, even in the better sort of schools, is that 
the great efforts of masters and teachers are devoted chieflv to those 
children who have the gift of intellect, because they become the 
more presentable and make the greater display, and the more extol 
the schoolmaster. Meanwhile children of humble capacity, though 
perhaps of better hearts, and far better qualified to adorn society and 
exhibit the pearl of great price, are overlooked. That is bad in 
schools of a higher description, but when you come to schools of the 
condition of Ragged Schools, where you have only the training of 
children to fill the most subordinate offices among the working classes, 
is it not desirable that everything that can be cultivated in the child 
of morality, piety, religion, and simplicity should be fostered, and 
should not be set aside merely with a view to the intellectual, pro- 
duced to attract an inspector or a wondering audience, who may give 
credit to the master or mistress, although that credit may have been 
produced by the total sacrifice of those other children, who would have 
been far more conspicuous for goodness of heart than acuteness of 
intellect 1 

His unfailing zeal as their leader inspired a kindred 
zeal in the teachers, and his stirring words often put 
new life and energy into them, and, therefore, into their 
work. He would speak to them thus : — 

I tell you, my friends, that if, with all the success you have 
attained, with all the knowledge you have acquired, with all the 
blessings you have received, you pause in your course any longer 
than is necessary to take breath, gather strength, survey your 
position, and thank God — why then I say, never again come into this 


hall, for if you do, I will be the first to say to you, as Cromwell said 
to the House of Commons, ' Out upon you ! begone ; give place to 
honester men.' 

Almost every year, there had been some important 
extension of the scope of Ragged School work. The 
original idea was merely to provide day, evening, and 
Sunday schools for infants, juveniles, and adults of the 
lowest order of the destitute and outcast classes. To 
this, as we have seen, Lord Shaftesbury's emigration 
scheme had been added, and admirably had it succeeded. 
But other organisations equally important had come 
into operation: the chiefest being Refuges and Indus- 
trial Classes. It was found that the work in the schools 
lost much of its moral power, in consequence of the con- 
stant and daily antagonism it encountered from the 
exposure of the scholars, on retiring from the scene of 
instruction, to all that was contaminating and vile in 
the wretched places they called their homes. Lessons 
of virtue were nullified by examples of vice. And it 
was heartrending to know that many a child had no 
choice but to 9:0 from school to the haunts of vice and 
crime in order to obtain food for the day and shelter for 
the night. 

The question of providing Refuges became a burn- 
ing question with many, and efforts were made to 
establish them, not only in the metropolis, but in the 
large towns and cities of the kingdom. 

The Refuges were at first of two classes. Night 
Refuges, for casual vagrants, preference being given to 
children attending the Ragged School ; and permanent 


Refuges, for the support and education, for a stated 
period, of young persons between ten and sixteen years 
of age. 

The object of the Industrial Classes was rather to 
assist in the formation of tidy and useful habits, than 
to rear a race of regular artisans. In some of the 
classes, making and mending their own clothes was the 
only thing taught to the children ; in others, making 
and printing paper bags, printing handbills and circu- 
lars, making mats and church hassocks, and other 
simple handicrafts. 

Although there were, of necessity, many drawbacks 
to the Ragged School movement; although the work 
was greatly impeded by a periodical deluge of the 
miserable population of Ireland, flooding the districts 
that had been purged and improved; although success 
was, in a great measure, indirect and could not be shown 
by figures, — the best results of the system being removed 
from public view by emigration ; although no support 
was received from Government or from legislation, and 
comparatively little from the wealthy classes — an enor- 
mous amount of good resulted, and, as early as the 
year 1851, Lord Shaftesbury had been able to say : — 

"We have devised and oi'ganised a system of prevention by which 
to stop crime while it is in the seed, and sin before it has broken into 
flower and desolated society. Although other schools may have 
stood in the way of vice and crime, no one could say of them, with 
certainty, that almost every one trained in them would, without their 
intervention, have been a vagabond or a thief; domestic discipline 
and other circumstances might have interposed to do their work. 
But we do maintain that every one of those whom we have reclaimed 


would, from the very necessity of his position, have been either a 
thief or a vagabond ; we do maintain that, by the instrumentality 
of this institution, we have established a preventive system which 
operates in anticipation of the gaoler, or even of the hangman. We 
have, moreover, greatly abated the amount of juvenile delinquency, 
and have cleansed the metropolis, not by pouring out from it the tilth 
of our streets, but by passing these children through a cleansing and 
Filtering process, before we poured them forth in a rich and fertilising 
stream on the colonies of our country. 

The emigration movement, originated by Lord 
Shaftesbury, was always a branch of the system which 
secured his warmest sympathy, and there was scarcely 
a child who left these shores under the auspices of the 
Ragged School Union w r ho did not receive some personal 
kindness from him, as well as direct words of help and 
encouragement. The success of the scheme was remark- 
able, and it was due, in no small measure, to the strong 
personal interest that he had taken in each individual 
child that, at the expiration of ten years, he was able to 
say :— 

I believe, among all the children sent out by the Society from 
this country there is not on record one single instance in which the 
child has disgraced the education that was given to him here ; 
whereas there are many instances upon record in which those 
children have done great honour to this institution.* 

Another feature of the Bagged School system with 
which he was especially identified was the gift of a 
prize or certificate to each scholar who had remained in 
one situation for twelve months with satisfaction to his 
employer, and for general good conduct. 

* Ragged School Union Anniversary, May 12, 1856. 


Lord Shaftesbury's addresses to the children on these 
occasions were models of their kind, and overflowed 
with such intense " fatherliness," that they never failed 
to touch their hearts and bring tears of pleasure to their 
eyes. We must give one specimen here : — 

Now, my dear children, I must just impress upon you that 
the advantages which you now enjoy, place you in a very different 
position from that in which you were some time ago. It is now in 
your power — young as you may be, humble as you may fancy your- 
selves to be — to do very great good in the generation in which you 
live, and to benefit greatly the little boys and girls who are still in 
the same position as that from which, by the blessing of God and the 
exertions of your friends, you have been rescued. Now it is for 
you, by the example you shall set, by the behaviour you shall mani- 
fest, by the principles you shall profess, by your obedience to your 
masters, by your general deportment in life — it is for you to reflect 
very great credit indeed upon Ragged Schools. You will be able to 
show by your conduct in life, that Ragged Schools are of very great 
value, that they have been, and will continue to be, the means 
whereby many poor children may be rescued from sin and misery, 
and you will have the satisfaction, therefore, of knowing that you, 
along with us and others, have contributed in no slight degree to the 
good of the suffering children of your generation. And remember 
that, having the power to do this, you will be considered very sinful, 
and very guilty, if you do not do it. . . . 

Now, you are called here to-day for the purpose of receiving a 
prize, a testimonial of good conduct. This card, although a very 
simple thing in itself, will be very honourable to the possessor. You 
know that in some of the higher ranks of life the fancies of people 
are very much tickled by stars, and by ribbons, and by garters; they 
like them exceedingly, and they look very well when they have them 
on, and no doubt they are objects of considerable honour and reward 
to those who have laboured well in their vocation and have done 
good to their country. Depend upon it, however, that this, in its 
degree, is just as honourable to you as the diamond star is to a person 
in any station of life whatever. You will have done your duty in 


your station of life ; and, if you were to become the greatest man or 
woman the State ever knew, you cannot go beyond that point of 
honour — to close your lives having done your duty. However 
humble your station of life, you know not of what value that station 
may be in the order of God's providence. We shall never know in 
this life, the precise purpose and object that has been assigned to the 
career of each of us ; but of this I am quite sure, that every one of 
you can, by God's blessing, conduce to the welfare of mankind and 
to the honour of God's truth ; and thus, whether you be among the 
poorest and the most forgotten, or among the wealthiest and the 
most elevated, you will have fulfilled that duty which you have been 
called upon to perform ; and then, by God's blessing and free mercy, 
and not by any merit of your own, you will hear the words at the 
great final day, ' Well done, thou good and faithful servant.'* 

Every fresh phase in the progress of Ragged School, 
and kindred, work, Lord Shaftesbury noted in his Diar} r , 
as well as his hopes and fears, his elation and depres- 
sion, in connection with them. 

The next entry, although written in the Royal 
Palace, shows that his thoughts were still with the for- 
saken children of the London streets. 

Jan. 20th, 1854. — Windsor Castle. A play here last night. 
Wonderfully amused. It is, doubtless, rather in the style of 
Louis XIV., but it is amusing, nevertheless. 

Must insert, to aid my recollection (though, probably, shall never 
have leisure or spirit to review my entries for many years), some 
preceding operations. On Sunday, loth, to Field Lane Ragged 
School in the evening. Never go there without seeing something for 
which to bless God. 

Five hundred persons, from five years old and under, to fifty, en- 
gaged in reading, hearing, learning the word of God ! What singular 
and remarkable instances of moral power ! A dozen stout, full- 
grown, savage-looking men sitting like lambs under the teaching of 
a young woman ! ' It is marvellous in our eyes.' 

* Ragged School Union Meeting. Feb. 23, 1854. 

1853.] NEW ENTERPRISES. 417 

On 11th, Chair at Dorchester to present Bankes with piece of 
plate — testimonial for his twenty years' Chairmanship of Quarter 
Sessions. The invitation to me was intended as move towards 
reconciliation of the rupture between me and him seven years ago. 
I accepted it as such ; peace, peace — peace everywhere ' on earth as 
it is in Heaven.' 

March 24th. — Some work since my return to London. Anxious 
labour for the Reformatory, and speech in Willis's Rooms. This noble 
institution is dying for want of funds, and the rich and easy of the 
land will sit by and see thousands be rejected and perish, for the lack 
of a few pounds ! Everybody bepraises our exertions and success ; 
and the smallest fraction comes to our aid. If our asylum contained 
dead Indians or tattooed Zealanders we should excite overwhelming 
interest, but because it contains only live Penitents we have scarcely 

April (Good Friday). — Surely God has heard our prayers to 
save the Reformatory from extinction. Money has flowed in, and 
this day I received one hundred pounds for it from the Duke of 
Bedford ! May God bless the deed to his comfort and stir him (for 
his riches are immense) to other acts of love and mercy ! 

The year 1853 was marked by the introduction in 
the House of Lords and to the public, of a number of 
new schemes for the benefit of the London poor. 

In estimating the labours of Lord Shaftesbury, it 
must never be forgotten how much he had to over- 
come before he could throw himself into any fresh 
sphere of action. His self-depreciation, nervous anxiety, 
ill-health, and consequent low spirits made him shrink 
from public labours, while his burning zeal was ever 
urging him forward. It required not a little heroism, 
persistently to surrender himself for the good of 

The first of the new enterprises of this year is thus 
referred to in the Diary : — 
b b 


March 19th. — Last nisrht movement in House of Lords to obtain 
a ' standing order ' for the protection of the multitudes to be dis- 
placed by ' Improvement Companies.' Obtained a Committee of In- 
quiry. Felt dull, incompetent, and confused in my speech. The 
locality and the audience are one cause, and my own infirmity the 
other. It dispirits me, for, old as I am, I am full of projects. With 
me ' the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to 
bring forth.' 

Lord Shaftesbury's motion was to the effect that any 
Bill, sanctioning or involving the pulling down of houses 
inhabited by the labouring classes, should make pro- 
vision for the erection, within a convenient distance, of 
dwelling-houses sufficient for the accommodation of at 
least as many persons as should be dispossessed. Large 
multitudes of the industrious classes, displaced by " Im- 
provement Companies," were driven, either to seek 
lodgings at a great distance from their employment, 
which would often involve their ruin, or else, were com- 
pelled to inhabit dwellings already over-crowded, filthy, 
and infested with the diseases incident to a densely- 
populated locality. In St. Giles's, Farringdon, White- 
chapel, Westminster, and elsewhere, where great " clear- 
ances ' had been made, the suffering, occasioned by the 
improvements, was terrible. The inhabitants were ejected, 
but the localities were not cleared of their population; the 
people only crowded themselves more densely together 
in the lodging-houses in the immediate neighbourhood. 
The same thing happenedwhen railways, running through 
some of the vilest property in London, were constructed. 
Holders of real property received compensation when 
these improvements were effected, but when the poor 


were driven from their dwellings, and consequently from 
their work, which was generally near at hand, there 
was taken from them the only source of profit, the only 
means of livelihood, they possessed. It was bare justice 
that, when Companies asked for large powers to make 
improvements, they should be required to carry them out 
in a manner as little oppressive as possible to the class 
who did not derive any direct benefit from them. Lord 
Shaftesbury did not urge the question solely, however, 
though he did so principally, in the interests of 
the humbler classes ; he urged it also because the 
results to public morality and the public welfare gener- 
ally, were very serious. When hundreds and thousands 
of poor people were driven into localities, already shame- 
fully overcrowded, every form of disease, and all the 
concomitant pauperism and misery, were engendered, and 
epidemic disorders, not confined to the densely-populated 
districts, would spread to localities inhabited by the 
higher classes, as a consequence of those abominable 

The question was surrounded with difficulties, which 
were duly pointed out in the debate that ensued. The 
matter was at length referred to a Select Committee, 
who reported in the following May. It was then re- 
solved that, in future, the promoters of Improvement 
Bills should report the number of houses inhabited by 
the labouring classes to be pulled down (if more than 
thirty in number), and state whether any, and what, 

* Hansard's Debates, cxxv. 400. 

h b 2 


provision was made for remedying the inconvenience 
likely to arise.* 

Although this was only a step, it was a step in ad- 
vance, and Lord Shaftesbury was gratified, more espe- 
cially, as from letters he received from Mr. Cubitt, the 
large contractor, and others, he felt satisfied that the 
relations between capital and labour would, by this 
resolution, be much improved. 

His second great effort on behalf of the poor this 
year, was taking charge, in the House of Lords, of 
another Common Lodging-Houses Bill. The previous 
Act had been " the first successful effort that had been 
made to reach the very dregs of society — the first 
to penetrate to the deepest dens of vice, filth, and 
misery." It was necessary, however, that further bene- 
ficial provisions should be made, especially as regarded 
inspection, and that other provisions, which had hitherto 
been optional, should be rendered compulsory. 

In moving the second reading of the new Bill, on 
May the 13th, Lord Shaftesbury was able to report, 
not only from the evidence of others, but from his own 
personal inspection, that the previous Act was work- 
ing well. The houses had been cleaned, the walls and 
ceilings whitewashed, the ventilation improved, the bed- 
ding was better in quality, quantity, and cleanliness, the 
number of persons to be admitted had been carefully 
regulated, and the liability to fever and other contagious 
diseases considerably lessened. It was shown, also, that 
in the common lodging-houses there were, according to 

* Hansard, cxxvi. 1,291. 


the latest returns, no fewer than 80,000 inhabitants who, 
as well as the keepers of the houses, had materially bene- 
fited by the Act. The principal object of the present 
Bill was to give fuller power to punish offences under 
the previous Act, to abate certain nuisances not hitherto 
specified, to provide for the removal of the sick to hos- 
pitals, and to arrange for reports as to the lodging of 
beggars and vagrants.* 

In advocating the Bill, Lord Shaftesbury urged, that 
if it were successfully carried into effect, many houses 
then beyond the reach of inspection would be affected 
by it, together with a great mass of the population. 
If these common lodging-houses were not brought under 
proper regulation, it would be in vain to strive against 
juvenile delinquency, for it was in them that nine-tenths 
of the crimes perpetrated were plotted. f 

The Bill did not reach the Commons till the 6th of 
June ; it passed the three readings, however, without 
debate, and received the Royal assent on August the 
4th. The advantages of the measure were so obvious, 
that a Bill to extend its provisions to Ireland, intro- 
duced into Parliament in 1860, passed through both 
Houses without debate, and received the Royal assent a 
few weeks after its introduction.} 

In commenting upon the Act of 1853, the Times 
remarked: — " To purify the Inferno that reeks about us 
in this metropolis, to recover its inmates, and to drive 
the incorrigible nucleus into more entire insulation, is 

* Hansard, cxviii. 235. t Hansard, cxxvii. 294. 

% Hansard, clvii. and clviii. 


one of the labours to which Lord Shaftesbury has de- 
voted his life ; and we can never be sufficiently obliged 
to him for undertaking a task which, besides its imme- 
diate disagreeableness, associates his name with so much 
that is shocking and repulsive. 

" To Lord Shaftesbury's legislation we owe the grati- 
fying fact that these recesses are explored by authorised 
persons, that houses are no longer permitted to take in 
more than as many as can breathe properly in them, 
that lodging in cellars is prohibited, that the rooms are 
properly cleaned and whitewashed, that ventilation, 
lighting, and drainage are provided for, and the fur- 
niture of the houses sufficient for the authorised number 
of lodgers. As far as the work has proceeded, we can 
hardly conceive a more meritorious or more gratifying 
triumph. It is a great result out of the very worst 
materials. To change a city from clay to marble is 
nothing compared with a transformation from dirt, 
misery, and vice to cleanliness, comfort, and at least a 
decent morality." * 

Notwithstanding the success of Ragged Schools, 
Night Refuges, and Reformatories, and the wider pro- 
visions of the Common Lodging Houses Acts, juvenile 
mendicancy and crime, if not on the increase, certainly 
showed no si<m of abatement. It was said that 
more beggars were to be encountered in a walk from 
Westminster Abbey to Oxford Street, than in a tour 
from London to Switzerland, whether by Paris or the 

* Times, May 16, 1853. 


The third great effort of Lord Shaftesbury for the 
removal of the vice, degradation, and misery of the 
metropolis, was an onslaught on Juvenile Mendicancy 
and Crime. He had been an attentive observer of the 
causes that had conspired to hinder the success of Eagged 
Schools, and had arrived at the conclusion that disso- 
lute parents were undoing all the good that was done, 
by sending out their children into the streets to beg, 
while they lived in drunken depravity upon the pro- 
ceeds thus obtained. He found that a vast number of 
orphan children managed to remunerate the low lodging- 
house keepers who sheltered them, in a similar manner. 
It was notorious that this great army of child-beggars 
was a nursery of theft and every form of evil. To 
strike at the root of this mischief, he introduced into the 
House of Lords a motion on the " Eepression of Juve- 
nile Mendicancy and Crime." 

The speech in which he brought forward his motion 
was a remarkable one. In addition to his own wide 
knowledge of the subject, he had fortified himself with 
communications from magistrates and reports of inspec- 
tors, and, over and above these, with statements made by 
ninety thieves resident in one institution ; the testimony 
of 100 City missionaries, the opinions of 100 gentlemen 
" particularly and practically conversant with that class," 
besides the confessions of 100 " professional misde- 
meanants." Such a mass of curious, but concurrent, 
evidence, was hardly ever presented on any subject before. 
We need not describe its nature here ; it is enough to 
say that it went to show that the principal cause of 


confirmed crime was juvenile mendicancy ; and that in the 
large majority of cases, the cause of juvenile mendicancy 
was parental misconduct. The little vagrants were sent 
forth and directed not to return without a certain 
amount of money, however obtained. Thus the frauds 
and artifices of professional begging grew into petty 
theft, and " the young mendicant became a confirmed 
robber without ever, in fact, having been acquainted 
with any other calling.'' 

Lord Shaftesbury's proposition was, that the Vagrant 
Act should be so extended as to empower the police to 
apprehend — not for the purposes of punishment but of 
protection — all children found in a state of vagrancy 
in the public streets, and bring them before the magi- 
strates. The children were then to be committed to the 
workhouse and educated, if possible at the charge of the 
parents, or if not, at the charge of the State ; but in 
any case to remove the children from the corrupting 
influence of the parents. 

It cannot be denied that, good as the proposal was 
in many respects, it was open to many objections, and 
it need hardly be said that serious obstacles had to be 
encountered in the attempt to pass the Bill. It was 
argued that the placing of young persons, who were 
criminal, or quasi-criminal, in the workhouses would 
render those establishments " distasteful to the poor ; " — 
that it was contrary to the original design of the work- 
houses to make them "Houses of Detention;" that 
the accumulation of children — 20,000 of whom it was 
alleged were graduating in the school of vice — would 

1853.] A CURIOUS EPISODE. 425 

lead to intolerable pressure and expense ; that the par- 
ticular children or parents to be dealt with, could not 
be clearly defined — and other objections, to all of which 
Lord Shaftesbury fully replied. 

At the conclusion of the debate he said the passing 
of the Bill was an object very dear to his heart, and he 
was rejoiced to find that " the adverse decree he had 
anticipated" on the part of the Lords was not realised. 
In a subsequent stage the Earl of Aberdeen (Prime 
Minister), Lord Campbell, the Duke of Argyll, and 
others, gave him hearty support. 

June 24tli. — Labouring hard on two Bills ; one for the Suppres- 
sion of Juvenile Mendicancy, and thereby of juvenile delinquency, 
another for the abatement of bribery, intimidation, and expense at 
elections. Never was I more convinced of the extensive and 
beneficial results that would spring from these measures ; never was 
I more in doubt of my success to pass them ! I should be certain, 
humanly speaking, were I in the House of Commons; but I shall 
have great difficulties in the Lords, and no hearty mouthpiece in the 
House of Commons. Pray I do, pray I will ; • and God may yet 
prosper me. Oh, what a comfort to enjoy the thought of their 
blessed operation while in brief repose ! The House of Lords is 
terrible ; there is a coldness, an inattention, and an impassibility 
which are perfectly benumbing. 

July 5th. — There is hope and comfort, the Lord be praised. 
To-night introduced Juvenile Mendicancy Bill in House of Lords. 
Scarcely ever had such difficulty in remembering what I had to say, 
in finding words to say it in, and in delivery to make it known. I 
felt like a rusty clock, which nobody trusts to, and the striking of 
which is disagreeable to those who hear it. 

July 12th. — After much anxiety and discussion, carried, with 
hearty approval, Mendicancy Bill, with amendments, through the 
House of Lords. 

A curious episode sprang out of Lord Shaftesbury's 


speech on moving the second reading of this Bill. He 
had claimed for the poorer classes, that jurisdiction 
which the Court of Chancery exercises over the rich — 
namely, that in case of a notorious violation of the 
parental trust, a magistrate should be enabled to place 
the child in an asylum, where the State might perform 
for it duties which its parents had omitted. To 
strengthen his argument, he quoted the judgment 
of Lord Eldon, given some thirty years previously in 
the well-known case of Mr. Long Wellesley, after- 
wards the Earl of Mornington, who was deprived of 
the care of his own children. The case was no- 
torious, and the judgment had been cited hundreds 
of times, as a leading authority on the limits which 
public policy sets, to the right of a parent to abuse 
the trust which nature has confided to him, for the 
education and religious and moral training of his 
children. There was, of course, nothing unusual in 
citing such a case ; on the contrary, nothing could have 
been more natural. It was an apt illustration of his 
argument, and was the more weighty as it was a 
decision given by a high authorit} r . It was, moreover, 
a quotation from a well-known law book accessible to 

Lord Mornington, however, was weak enough to 
allow himself to be greatly perturbed in spirit, by the 
quotation of a decision, in the justice of which he did 
not concur ; weaker still in writing to Lord Shaftes- 
bury calling upon him to retract, or failing in this, to 
meet him in " mortal combat ; ' weakest of all in 


sending the correspondence to the newspapers for 

The age of duelling had, even then, passed away 
in England, and the following correspondence may be 
regarded as among the curiosities of literature. Lord 
Mornington's " challenge " is probably one of the last 
of the long series, demanding " the satisfaction due to 
a gentleman." 

Lord Mornington to Lord Shaftesbtiry. 
124, Mount St., Grosvenor Square, July 9tlt, 1853. 

My Lord, — In consequence of severe and long indisposition, I 
have not been able for the last few years to take my seat in the 
House of Peers, and I have only this day had brought to my notice, 
by a friend, the speech that you made on the 5th inst. in the House 
of Lords, when moving the second x-eading of the Juvenile Mendi- 
cancy Bill. 

My lord, in this speech, evidently the result of 'laboured 
preparation ' and ' research ; ' not delivered in the heat of debate ; 
intended to be spoken in the House, while made for the public eye, 
you have thought fit to go back for a period of twenty-seven years, to 
dive into a Chancery suit of my personal and private affairs for the 
purpose of repeating a most offensive, a most slanderous and unjust 
speech of the late Earl of Eldon, when Chancellor, without taking 
the smallest trouble to refer to my answer and my pei-fect justifica- 
tion and refutation of the suborned perjurers, bought and brought 
forth on that occasion, and so proved by the subsequent prosecutions 
in the courts of law, by the persons inimical to me, and who then, 
and ever since, have conspired to destroy me in fortune, reputation, 
and life. 

When the unjust decree of Lord Eldon was given against me, 
and so given after I had proved the perjury upon the testimony of 
which that decree was made, I took a step so bold and open that I 
could have hoped that it would have its effect even upon your lordship, 
so celebrated for your Christian benevolence. 

It was, my lord, at once to appeal to the electors of the county of 


Essex, in which my wife and children were born and had lived, in 
which I had for many years resided, in which county are my estates 
and my numerous tenantry.* By this appeal I asked the electors of 
Essex for their verdict on my life and conduct. I called upon them 
to decide, by the verdict they should give, whether I was guilty or not 
guilty of the charges brought against me. My lord, the answer to this 
appeal was made in 1830, when I polled the unprecedented number 
of 1,G88 plumpers ; and, although I lost my election by a small 
majority upon that occasion, what happened in the next year (1831) % 
This, my lord : that while I declined to be present during that 
election, or canvass a single vote, the electors formed a committee, 
raised by subscription a fund sufficient to defray the entire expenses 
of that election, and returned me the member for this opulent and 
influential county, notwithstanding a formidable contest, the result 
of which was the defeat of the former member. 

This, my lord, was the verdict of the county of Essex upon my 
life and conduct, given in 1831, and this was my answer to the 
infamous decree of the Chancellor Lord Eldon. 

My lord, I have taken the trouble to give you this explanation 
of my life and conduct prior to asking your Lordship to explain to 
me whether, in taking the course you have done in slandering me, 
your fellow peer, during my absence from the House of Lords, you 
have done this with the intent to offer me a personal insult, and if 
such was your intention, whether I may hope that you are prepared 
to meet the responsibility of such a course of proceeding 1 ? This I 
trust you will do, and I therefore beg leave to invite your lordship 
either to explain and retract the offensive remarks with which you 
introduced my name in your speech of the 5th inst. in the House of 
Lords, and which have been reported in the Times newspaper of the 

* The Times, in commenting upon this appeal from the judgment of 
the Lord Chancellor to the " free and independent " electors of Essex, 
says : " Mr. Wellesley, in addressing the court of appeal from the hustings, 
stated that ' if any one alluded to those family matters, he would do what 
became him ' — that is, we presume, would summon him to mortal combat. 
The effect of this menace was that nobody did allude to those matters, and 
therefore that the electors reversed the decree of the Lord Chancellor 
without the advantage of argument or discussion." — Times, July 15th, 


6th inst., or to say whether you will give me that alternative that I 
am entitled to, and which I trust that you will not refuse. 

I have the honour to be, my lord, 

Your lordship's obedient servant, 


Lord Shaftesbury to Lord Mornington. 

July 11, 1853. 

My Lord, — I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of a 
letter from your lordship dated the 9th of this month. 

In my speech in the House of Lords I simply quoted a judgment 
of Lord Eldon's — a law case, published in a law book. This I had a 
right to do whether in Parliament or out of it ; and every one has 
the same right. 

Your lordship is good enough to send me what is technically 

called ' a challenge.' I refer you for a reply to this, and any future 

communication, either to the Police Magistrate in Bow Street, or to 

my solicitors, Messrs. Mchal, Smyth, and Burnett, 18, Carey 

Street, Lincoln's Inn. 

Your obedient servant, 


In a " parting shot " the Earl of Mornington 
characterised this reply as " very absurdly impertinent," 
and regretted that Lord Shaftesbury had not " the spirit 
to meet what he had himself provoked, in the manner 
which regulates the conduct of gentlemen ! " 

The only allusion to this incident in the Diary is 
the following : — 

July 22nd. — Ems. Have never recorded the august and valorous* 
challenge I received from Lord Mornington, because I quoted, in my 
speech on Mendicity, the judgment of Lord Eldon in re Long Wel- 
lesley. This would have been foolish had I been a fighting man ; but 


it was both foolish and cowardly, when he knew, as well as I know 
it myself, that I neither send nor accept such things ! 

It was late in the Session when the Mendicancy 
Bill was sent to the Commons ; there was a pressure 
of other measures which the Government had eno-ao-ed 
to pass ; the Poor Law Commissioners and Metropolitan 
members showed an active opposition that there was not 
time to counteract, and Lord Shaftesbury's Bill was lost 
for that Session. 

About the same time another important measure, of 
a similar character, was shelved. In 1852 a Conference 
was held in Birmingham on Juvenile Crime, the result 
of which was the appointment of a Parliamentary Com- 
mittee to inquire into the subject and examine witnesses. 
Their labours resulted in the preparation by Mr. Adder- 
ley, of "A Bill for the Better Care and Reformation of 
Juvenile Offenders." This was the Bill that, as well as 
Lord Shaftesbury's, was postponed. 

In December, IS 53, another Conference was held at 
Birmingham, under the presidency of Sir John Pakington, 
at which Lord Shaftesbury w r as the principal speaker. 
In the course of his speech on that occasion, and again 
at a great public meeting in Birmingham, he thoroughly 
ventilated the whole question of Juvenile Mendicancy, 
and gained many fresh adherents to his views. 

An agitation was zealously carried on, public opinion 
was aroused, the newspaper press, ministers of the Gospel, 
magistrates and officials, were all enlisted in favour of the 
Suppression of Juvenile Mendicancy and the Reformation 
of Juvenile Criminals, and society was brought to recog- 


nise the truth of the old motto, that prevention is better 
than cure, and that it is a far easier process to train the 
child than to reform the man. 

The Parliamentary Session of 1854 did not, however, 
appear to offer much prospect of social legislation. The 
air was full of war and rumours of war. Nevertheless, 
Lord Shaftesbury and Mr. Adderley persevered, but with- 
out the success that attended Lord Eobert Grrosvenor, 
who brought in, and carried, a Bill for " The Provision, 
Begulation, and Maintenance of County Industrial 
Schools in Middlesex." This Bill met, in some measure, 
the object of the two other Bills, inasmuch as under it, 
criminals of various degrees might be committed by 
magistrates to an industrial school for a term of years. 
But a partial Act for a single county did not satisfy 
the prevailing desire for a more thorough and compre- 
hensive scheme. Whereupon, Lord Palmerston, then 
Home Secretary, who had the faculty of seeing when 
the nation had made up its mind on any question, 
took the matter in hand, endeavoured to reconcile the 
somewhat conflicting views of various politicians and 
philanthropists, and produced, on June the 19th, 1854, 
a "Youthful Offenders Bill," which, after passing suc- 
cessfully and rapidly through both Houses, received the 
Boyal assent on August the 10th. In the preparation 
and passage of that Bill, Lord Shaftesbury lent in- 
valuable aid, and brought to bear all the resources of 
his long experience and practical wisdom. 

The preamble of the Bill set forth, " That whereas 
Eeformatory Schools have been, and may be established 


by voluntary agency in various parts of the country, it 
is expedient that more extensive use should be made of 
these institutions." When a school was certified as fit 
for the purpose, the Act provided that, on conviction, 
after a short imprisonment of a fortnight or less, the 
child should enter the school and remain for a term of 
years under the sole charge of the managers. Each 
child was to be paid for by the Treasury at the fixed rate 
of six shillings a week. If the parents of a child were 
in a position to afford it, a portion of the cost was to be 
recovered from them. Counties and boroughs might 
furnish money from their funds, to aid in the establish- 
ment of reformatory schools. 

As a consequence of this Act, the number of these 
schools went up to 34 in 18 5G, to 45 in 1857, and to 
59 in 18G0, and during that period there was a marked 
decline in juvenile mendicancy and juvenile delinquency 
clearly traceable to their operation. 

From the rush and whirl of ordinary life Lord 
Shaftesbury was in the habit of taking occasional 
refuge abroad. The change to the Continent presented 
great attractions to Lady Shaftesbury, and he was 
al\va}'s anxious to please her. Thus in January, IS 53, 
we find him in Italy, and in September of the same 
year in France and Switzerland. Unlike the majority 
of travellers, however, each successive journey on the 
Continent introduced him to fresh fields of labour and 
opened up fresh channels for practical sympathy. 

Jan. 23rd. — Sunday. Turin. Saw yesterday Pasteur Meille, of the 
Waldenses, and that Christian soldier and confessor, Gen. Beckwith. 

1853.] THE WALDENSIANS. 433 

Talk of self-devotion, indeed, among the Papists ! who has exhibited 
bo much as this man in his prolonged life of thirty years among ' the- 
saints ' of the valleys 1 Saw, too, the church of the Waldenses, 
rising in one of the finest positions in Turin ! 

Jan. 24th. — Genoa. Attended yesterday Italian service at two 
o'clock, and heard the "Waldensian Pasteur Meille. Lord, that 
I should have lived to witness and to hear such a thing in such a 
p]ace ! What would have been the feelings of old Milton? 

'Avenge, Lord, Thy slaughter'd saints, whose hones 
Lie scatter' d on the Alpine mountains cold ! ' 

They are avenged, and in the way that they themselves would 
have desired it, by the Word of God having ' free course, and being 
glorified, in the very capital of their fiercest persecutors ! An over- 
flowing congregation, a touching service, a heart-inspiring hymn. 

In the evening at eight o'clock, Desanctis (a Romish priest once, 
now a Christian presbyter) preached to the people. He is a great 
man, a good man, a Christian man. Well may we say, with devout 
and humble thankfulness, ' many kings and prophets have desired to 
see the things that ye see, and have not seen them ! ' 

But all hansrs on a thread ! Who shall catch it if it falls 1 — ' fear 
not,' ' underneath are the everlasting arms.' ' The event may be re- 
tarded,' says the excellent Meille ; 'persecutions may arise, but the 
foundation of the Church is laid.' God will soon give us the top-stone, 
crying, ' Grace, grace be unto it ! ' After morning service, met 
Desanctis and Malan, a Deputy to the Chamber, and a Waldensian. 
Much confidential and comfortable talk (it was at Meille's lodgings). 
We agreed that we should now make a great effort for additional 
circulation of the Scriptures, but avoid a very public statement, even 
in England, of our hopes, our progress, our intentions. ' The laivs 
are still against us ; they are still unrepealed ; they are the laws of 
the Middle Ages, and are not brought into harmony with the Con- 
stitution. Hence our danger; the judges, who are bigoted adherents 
to the old system, try all religious causes with closed doors, and test 
the case by the Code and not by the Constitution. There is a strong- 
reactionary party, who, were they in power, could, and would crush 
us by the existing laws of the kingdom. We have, in fact, under 
Heaven, nothing but the good dispositions of the actual Ministry ! ' 

C C 


It was agreed that I should call on Count Cavour, the Prime 
Minister. I did so, and sought him everywhere, but in vain ; so I 
wrote him a letter which Perponcher, the Prussian Charge d'Affaires, 
undertook to deliver to him. Stated that ' I had been most anxious, 
as an Englishman, to testify my gratitude, and that of my country, 
for his good-will to the Vaudois Church ; that we watched the pro- 
gress of religious and constitutional liberty with deep interest; that 
England was alive to the welfare of Sardinia ; and that if anything 
could rouse \is, it would be any menace directed to its conduct and 
independencies. I then expressed my desire to have learned from 
him how to explain the long-continued discrepancy between the laws 
and the Constitution ; how Mr. Mazzinglia could be sentenced (as 
he was a few days ago at Genoa) to three years' imprisonment for 
having given a copy of St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians ; that we 
in England could never understand which was to prevail, the old 
law or the new Constitution.' I then added my personal respect for 
liis character, talents, &c. 

Thus Mazzinglia is condemned, and can be set at liberty by the 
prerogative only of the King by a pardon. Thus all is imperfect; 
nothing is secured ; the whole edifice might to-morrow be thrown 
down ! and yet it will not fall ; 'it is founded on a rock.' God has 
already blessed Sardinia for the Church's sake. Oh that this people 
knew the secret of their strength ! 

Saw Perponcher — much agreeable and useful conversation with 
him. I bless God that I have been to Turin ; and I pray Him 
to render my visit fruitful to His honour and the Church's 
service ! . 

Jan. 29th. — Nice again. Last night to Hudson (Minister at 
Turin) at the Feder. To meet Mammiani, for a short time the 
Pope's Prime Minister under the Constitution at Rome, now a 
refugee. He seems a wise, intelligent man, and anxious for the 
regeneration of Italy. 

Feb. 2nd. — Engaged for two days in devising schemes of Bible 
diffusion. Struck out the plan of peripatetic schoolmasters, as in 
Ireland. God in His mercy prosper it ! 

Count Cavour's reply to Lord Shaftesbury's letter, 
referred to above, was as follows : — 


Count Cavour to Lord Shaftesbury. 

28 Janvier, 1853. 

Milord, — J'ai vivement regrette de n'avoir pas eu l'honneur de 
faire votre connaissance personnelle lors de votre sejour a Turin. Je ne 
me doutais qu'il dutetre de si couvte duree. ainsiai-je ete aussi surpris 
que faclie lorsqu'on m'a dit a l'hotel oii vous etiez descendu le lende- 
inain du jour que vous aviez passe chez moi que vous veniez de partir. 

J'ose me natter que si j'avais eu l'avantage de causer quelque 
temps avec Y. S., il m'eut ete facile de lui expliquer les causes 
de la contradiction qui existe encore entre les principes sur les- 
quels repose la constitution, et certains articles du code penal. 
Le statut fut l'oeuvre spontanee du Roi Charles Albert, prince 
genereux et magnanime, mais en meme anime d'un zele ardent pour la 
religion catholique. Tant qu'il a vecu on n'a pas pu songer a deve- 
lopper les germes de liberte religieuse que presque a son insu on 
avait glisse dans la constitution. Apres sa mort tous les ministeres 
que se sont succe'de ont travaille a faire penetrer l'esprit de liberte dans 
toutes les parties de la legislative, Mais les obstacles de toute 
nature qu'ils ont rencontres, les managements que les conditions poli- 
tiques du pays lui empressaient les ont force a proceder avec une 
grande prudence et beaucoup de lenteur. 

Le gouvernement a reforme ' bit by bit.' Le ministere actuel 
continuei'a l'ceuvre de ses predecesseurs ; vous avez pu juger de ses 
intentions par le discours prononce par le garde des sceaux lors 
de la discussion a laquelle a donne lieu l'aifaire Massingley. 

J'espSre que vous aj^prouverez cette marche prudente. N'est ce 
pas d'ailleurs celle qu'a tenue l'Angleterre qui n'a jamais adopte le 
systeme des sweeping reforms. 

Elle nous a reussi jusqu'a present. Puisqu'au milieu du torrent 
reactionnaire qui paraissait devoir tout importer sur le continent, 
les jeunes libertes de notre pays sont demeurees intactes. 

Je remercie votre seigneurie de ce qu'elle a bien voulu m'adresser 
d'obligeant et d'aimable. L'approbation d'liommes qui corame vous 
ont consacre leur vie au service de l'humanite' et a la cause des 
classes les plus interessantes de la societe, est la plus pre'cieuse 
recompense que puisse obtenir un homme d'etat. 

Je pi'ie votre seigneurie d'agreer l'assurance de ma haute con- 
sideration. C. Cavour. 

c c 2 


The two following extracts were written in the 
autumn, during Lord Shaftesbury's tour in France and 
Switzerland : — 

September 5th. — Every step that one takes on the Continent 
gives a fresh proof of the vast superiority of the foreigner in all 
matters of taste and design (except that of gardening) to the English 
people. Not only their public buildings, but their ordinary dwell* 
ings, the hotels, the shops, their minute ornaments, their dress, all 
the things they make — their railway carriages, their refreshment- 
rooms, their stations — name what you will, all exhibit a refinement 
and purity of conception, generally diffused, which are not found 
even in our great architects and modellers. Struck yesterday by the 
defective result of English preaching. The sermon was good, and 
apparently sincere ; but it was delivered, like ninety-nine sermons 
out of a hundred by English ministers, in a cold, monotonous, sing- 
song uniformity. The preacher was stiff as a May-pole ; and his 
discourse flowed clear, steady, unbroken and unvaried by voice or 
gesture, like the water from a lion's mouth, Not so the foreigner ; 
he is fervent, imaginative, utters as much by his gestures as by his 
tongue, and maintains attention by the variety of his tones. He is 
an intermittent spring ; and his auditors wait with impatience for 
the next gush of the lively stream. 

September 12th. — In talking with French, Swiss, and German 
Protestants, I feel that, however unanimous we may be in appear- 
ance, there are, ever in their minds, two broad, deep foundations of 
actual alienation of heart — our monarchical institutions and our 
Established Church. They say nothing hostile ; they receive in a 
friendly manner our sympathy and co-operation, but the sentiment 
transpires from time to time. It is the love of equality, inborn and 
inherent in the French Protestants, whose persecutions were often- 
times owing to the belief of their republican opinions • inborn and 
inherent, naturally enough, in the Swiss, and borrowed, but eagerly 
adopted, by the Germans. But this love of equality is no more sin- 
cere and consistent among these religious Protestants than among the 
worldly of our own land and elsewhere. The notion of equality is, 
as Dr. Johnson said, to level down, not to level up, to themselves. 
From none will you hear such denunciations of the democrats in 
Switzerland, and the rabble of France. 


It was while Lord Shaftesbury was in Italy that the 
ladies of America replied to his proposed address, the 
draft only of which he had sent to the Times, the address 
itself not having yet been signed. Their reply, pub- 
lished in the papers, evaded the whole question, and 
" recriminated with paupers, London poor, needlewomen, 
India, Cape of Good Hope, and every true and every 
false statement of the last thirty years." To this reply 
Lord Shaftesbury immediately sent to the Times a full 

A few days afterwards he wrote : — 

June 26th. — If we see only as man seeth, the hopes of the 
( blacks ' are utterly crushed. Their friends seem beaten in U. S. ; 
the ministers of religion, episcopal and presbyterian, are either hos- 
tile or silent ; the commercial spirit is over-riding humanity ; and the 
Senate — ' the august Senate,' as Bright calls it — the creature and 
representative of free men, has voted, by a majority of 36 to 6, that 
no advocate of abolition, although one of their members, shall be 
allowed to sit on any committee ! And yet my impression is that 
the thing is drawing to a close ; the darkest moment, when the help 
of man is visibly impotent, when all the powers of Satan seem deve- 
loped and conhrined, God interposes for His people ; and so He will 

Almost immediately upon his return to England, 
Lord Shaftesbury entered heart and soul into the anti- 
slavery agitation, whose centre was at Stafford House, 
and, after himself,, whose moving spirit was the Duchess 
of Sutherland. 

March 25th, Good Friday. — Began a movement for the evangeli- 
sation of the fugitive slaves settled in Canada. It is a natural, 
necessary, and becoming consequence of our movement for emancipa- 
tion. They are utterly friendless and forgotten. 

May 7th. — To-day Mrs. Stowe received at Stafford House by the 


Duchess of Sutherland and the two committees ; it was a singular 
and most useful gathering. We had every rank of life, every form 
of opinion, political and religious — bishops, dissenting ministers, 
tradespeople, peers, Quakers, and the wives of all. The homage 
was general ; and every one seemed delighted with the soft, earnest, 
simplicity of her manner and language. 

May 13th. — Mrs. Stowe dined with us here last night, and all her 
party ; very successful. I rejoice, as a peacemakei', to have brought 
together the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Rev. Thomas Binney, 
a flaming Dissenter. After dinner we had many Dissenters, many 
clergy, the Editor of the Patriot newspaper, Josiah Conder, shop- 
keepers, lawyers, peers, ifcc. &c, all with their ladies. It was quite 
' a happy family ' ; and every one seemed mightily pleased. 

May 17th. — St. Giles's. Last night overflowing meeting at Exeter 
Hall (I in the chair) on Anti-Slavery. Zeal tremendous ; satisfied 
I was, for a wonder, with my own speech, more so probably than 
anybody else. 

June 22nd. — My campaign for the niggers is both laborious and 
expensive. We want more shoulders and more purses to the 

In course of time, the " Address " to the women of 
America went forth, signed by tens of thousands of the 
women of England. It was replied to by Mrs. Tyler, 
wife of the ex-President, who pointed out to the 
Duchess of Sutherland and her co-signatories, where 
fitting objects for their sympathy might be found. 
" Leave it," she said, " to the women of the South to 
alleviate the sufferings of their dependents, while you 
take care of your own. The negro of the South lives 
sumptuously, in comparison with a hundred thousand 
of your white population in London." 

While Lord Shaftesbury was engaged in this Anti- 
Slavery campaign, many of the American papers attacked 
him with great severity, and urged him to " look at 

1833.] CHINA. . 43£ 

home " and consider the condition of the working classes 
of his own country. The ire of an editor of one of the 
" religious " papers of the South, was greatly roused, 
and in an angry article he wrote : " And who is this 
Earl of Shaftesbury? Some unknown lorclling ; one of 
your modern philanthropists suddenly started up to 
take part in a passing agitation. It is a pity he does 
not look at home. Where was he when Lord Ashley 
was so nobly fighting for the Factory Bill, and plead- 
ing the cause of the English slave ? We never even 
heard the name of this Lord Shaftesbury then!' 

Lord Shaftesbury loved a good joke, and he often 
related this story with infinite merriment. 

In religious circles, one of the most engrossing sub- 
jects of thought, and fruitful fields for action, was China, 
A political and social revolution had commenced in that 
country, which was regarded as an event more momentous 
than any that had occurred previously in the history of 
Protestant Missions, and the hope was entertained, 
that the downfall of idolatry and the establishment of 
Christianity throughout the Chinese empire, would be 
ultimately ensured. The leaders of the insurrection 
openly denounced the whole ancient system of supersti- 
1 ion ; a great change was being effected in the minds of 
the people ; isolation and exclusiveness were no longer 
the national boast ; goodwill and fraternity were being 
proclaimed to distant nations. " That populous empire," 
Lord Shaftesbury wrote in his Diary on July the 20th, 
" hitherto hermetically sealed against intercourse, reci- 
procity, and civilisation, seems, like Jericho, to have 


been compassed about seven da} T s, and awaits only the 
final shout, when the walls shall fall down flat and the 
servants of Grod take possession." 

No one was readier than Lord Shaftesbury to see 
an opportunity, and avail himself of it. Now was the 
time to send out additional missionaries ; now was the 
time to circulate freely the Holy Scriptures. It was 
the jubilee year of the Bible Society, and it was re- 
solved by the Committee to give to the people of China, 
in their own tongue, a million copies of the New Testa- 
ment. To this and other plans for reaching the people 
Lord Shaftesbury gave invaluable aid. The opening up 
•of China opened up to him a boundless vista — "the 
beonnnino: of the end." 

Sept. 3rd. — The Times is overflowing with surprise, and cannot 
account for it, that the prodigious revolution in China has been 
•effected in so short a time, and by so easy means. No one who has 
studied the 2nd Book of Chronicles, studied, I say, not simply read, 
can doubt that, when the end vastly exceeds the means, and the 
work is strikingly disproportionate to the instrument, ' the thing is of 
•God ;' it is the result of His own immediate and direct interposition. 
"Was there ever such a political event as the rebellion of the Ten 
Tribes 1 Was there ever one so contrary to all human experience, 
all human reasoning, all human policy 1 But ' this thing is done of 
me,' said God by the prophet ; and so He would say now, did He 
vouchsafe to speak, as of old, to men upon earth. I see it, I see it, 
surely I see it ; the Gospel will be offered where, in truth, it has 
never yet been fairly offered, in China and Japan ; it will then have 
been 'preached for a witness to all nations,' and then will 'the end 
come ! ' ' Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.' 

The efforts being made by the Bible Society for the 
evangelisation of China, were seconded by those of the 

1853.] MISSIONS TO CHINA. 441 

London Missionary Society. They called together a 
special meeting for the purpose of raising funds to send 
out additional missionaries, and invited Lord Shaftes- 
bury to take the chair. He willingly responded, and 
commenced a vigorous speech by saying : " This matter 
commends itself to the judgment and feeling of every 
man who cares, in the least degree, for the welfare of the 
human race. It requires neither statement nor argu- 
mentation ; an actual reality is before us ; the old wall 
of superstition is broken down ; the empire of China 
with its three hundred millions, is opened to our efforts ; 
the breach, so to speak, is practicable ; the citadel is to 
be stormed, not by the potentates and armies of Europe, 
but by Protestant agents, by a noble rivalry of Pro- 
testant missions from every part of the civilised globe, 
aud of every evangelical denomination." 

Dec. 1st. — -Yesterday chair of London Missionary Society in aid 
of their Missions to China. Shall, I suppose, give great offence to 
my friends in the Establishment ; sorry for it ; but the cause is too 
holy, too catholic, too deeply allied with the single name of Christ, 
for any considerations of Church system and Episcopal rule. These 
things are, to my mind, good in their places, but their places are 
bounded by time and space ; the Cause knows nothing but universal- 
ity and eternity. What is the meaning of ' Grace be with all those 
who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity ' 1 Did not Morrison, 
Milne, Medhurst, Moffat, Williams, love Him 1 If grace, then, was 
with those men, shall I, vile man, presume to say that / will not be 
with them also 1 

Sanitary reform in the metropolis had become, in 
every sense of the term, a vital question, and the years 
1852 and 1S53 were marked by several measures of 


great -utility. Among them were the " Metropolis 
Water Act," by which it was provided that no water 
supplied for domestic use should be taken from any part 
of the Thames below Teddington Lock ; the " Act to 
amend the Laws concerning the Burial of the Dead in 
the Metropolis," giving authority to the Secretary of 
State to order, for the protection of the public health, 
that any particular burial-ground should be closed, and 
that any parish should have power to take certain 
simple steps for procuring a new cemetery ; the Com- 
pulsory Vaccination Act ; the Smoke Abatement Nui- 
sance Act, and others. 

Every fresh measure in the direction of sanitation, 
brought, directly or indirectly, fresh labour to the Board 
of Health, and every fresh burden laid upon that ill- 
used and long-suffering Board, brought to Lord Shaftes- 
bury, in particular, anxiety, toil, and annoyance. 

April 29th, 1852. — Great motion in House of Lords on sanitary- 
state of the metropolis. Carried the point and had passable success. 

May 14th. — The Times has taken up the note of the undertakers, 
the water-companies, the Parliamentary agents, and the whole tribe 
of jobbers who live on the miseries of mankind and are hunting the 
Board of Health through brake and briar, and hope to be ' in at the 
death ! ' Be it so : if we fall, not a body will be left to shout 
' unclean, unclean ! ' and form, and guide, and impel, public opinion. 
Matters will become worse and worse. I tremble for the issue. 
"Walked yesterday to review my old haunts in Westminster, and 
look at the wretched children in Pye Street ; sick, sick, sick, to see 
how little years of labour had done. 

Nov. 17th.— Grieved to learn that not only nothing is clone by the 
Government, but that the Ministers will take good care that nothing 
shall be done by any one else ; the Board of Health is to be destroyed ; 
its sin is its unpardonable activity. 


Dec. 31st. — So Sir W. Molesworth is to be our new Master at 
the Board of Health ! What mortifications I have undergone in this 
service ! And will this endurance be blessed at last, or will our 
enemies succeed in destroying the only institution that stands for 
the physical and social improvement of the people 1 Our foes are 
numerous, and I dread their success ; it would vex me beyond expres- 
sion to see Chadwick and Southwood Smith sent to the right-about, 
and the Board, which, under God, has done and has conceived so 
many good things, broken up. 

The " unpardonable activity " of the Board had, in 
fact, brought it into unavoidable collision with every 
interest of magnitude. Eeferring to this, Lord Shaftes- 
bury says : — 

August 9th, 185,3. — It is not wonderful, though sad, when we 
remember the interests that it has been our duty to approach and 
handle. We roused all the Dissenters by our Burial Bill, which, 
after all, failed. 

The parliamentary agents are our sworn enemies, because we 
have reduced expenses, and, consequently, their fees, within reason- 
able limits. 

The civil engineers also, because we have selected able men, who 
have carried into effect new principles, and at a less salary. 

The College of Physicians, and all its dependencies, because of 
our independent action and singular success in dealing with the 
cholera, when we maintained and proved that many a Poor Law 
medical officer knew more than all the flash and fashionable doctors 
of London. 

All the Boai*ds of Guardians : for we exposed their selfishness, 
their cruelty, their reluctance to meet and to relieve the suffering- 
poor, in the clays of the epidemic. 

The Treasury besides ; (for the subalterns there hated Chadwick ; 
it was an ancient grudge, and paid when occasion served). 

Then come the water companies, whom we laid bare, and devised 
a method of supply, which altogether superseded them. 

The Commissioners of Sewers, for ovir plans and principles were 
the reverse of theirs ; they hated us with a perfect hatred. 


Occasionally, hope revived that the Board of 
Health might yet be the appointed means of further 
sanitary triumphs. With Palmerston for Home Secre- 
tary, Lord Shafteshury thought that not only would 
the Board be saved from destruction, but that new life 
would be given to it. " I have never known any Home 
Secretary," he wrote, " equal to Palmerston for readiness 
to undertake every good work of kindness, humanity, 
and social good, especially to the child and the working 
class. No fear of wealth, capital, or election-terrors ; 
prepared at all times to run a-tilt if he could do good 
by it. Has already done more than ten of his predeces- 
sors." But these anticipations were not destined to be 
very fully realised. 

Aug. 19th. — Palmerston has undertaken, and apparently with 
success, several of our Board of Health measures. I rejoice in his 
efforts, but cannot give him, except for good will, all the praise 
bestowed by the Times. We, unfortunate people, having ' borne 
the burthen and heat of the day,' having collected all the evidence, 
having stirred the public attention, having incurred all the odium, 
receive no support from the Government, and consequently fail. 
He, having borne and done nothing of the kind, but being the Secre- 
tary of State, succeeds ! But observe how he ignores our considera- 
tions and difficulties, and cuts the Gordian knot by enacting whatever 
is easy, and omitting whatever is the reverse ; we laboured our hearts 
out to give compensation to the clergy; lie gives them none. We 
devised a long and intricate scheme to lower, for the poorer sort, the 
expense of interments ; he orders extramural burial, and leaves the 
artisan to meet the increased cost as well as he can ! Alas ! alas ! 
success is not what you do, but what people say of it, and they are 
almost always too ignorant, or too indifferent, to judge rightly. 

Towards the end of the year it became manifest 
that the days of the Board of Health were numbered, 


and that some "cold, idle, comfortless, do-little office" 
would be set up in its stead. It was a positive 
grief to Lord Shaftesbury, who, as he said, had given 
to it " five years of his life and intense labour, and had 
not received even the wages of a pointer, with ' that's a 
good dog.' " 

It was not until the summer of 1854, however, that 
the crisis came, and it is referred to thus : — 

July 29th, 1854. — Palmerston will not hear of my resigning; nor 
will I of remaining, unless on grounds very intelligible. This public 
service is a hard, ungrateful thing. My remuneration has been that 
usually allotted to monkeys — more kicks than halfpence. 

July 31st. — No choice of resigning or remaining; the House of 
Commons threw out the Bill this day. . . . Thus after five 
years of intense and unrewarded labour I am turned off like a piece 
of lumber ! Such is the public service. Some years hence, if we 
are remembered, justice may be done to us ; but not in our lifetimes. 
I have never known a wrong by the public, redressed so that the 
sufferer could enjoy the reparation, for 

" Nations slowly wise and meanly just, 
To buried merit raise the tardy bust." 

Aug. 5th. — On Thursday last gave a dinner, by way of farewell, 
to the Board of Health, the commissioners, doctors, engineers, clerks, 
secretary, seventeen in all. "VVe part very good friends. 

Aug. 12th. — On Thursday last Board Bill received tlie Boyal 
assent, and the old Board was extinguished. We have left no arrears of 
business ; our successor will have all before him ; he will not be re- 
quired to give five minutes to arrears on our period of office. Thus 
have closed six years of very hard and gratuitous service. I may 
say, with old George III. on the admission of American Independence, 
' It may possibly turn out well for the country, but as a gentleman I 
can never forget it.' 

Lord Shaftesbury wrote constantly in his Diary 
throughout the year 1853 on the progress of Democracy, 


Kepublicanism, and levelling opinions. He traced it, 
not so much to the general desire of the people, or 
to the influence of the press, but to the operation 
of commercial causes and money-making ambition. 
Landed property was being regarded apart from all 
notions of ancestral feeling, of attachment to here- 
ditary estates, of long connections between property 
and peasantry, and was looked upon merely as a 
negotiable article of merchandise, to be sold and 
shifted with as little of affection and difficulty as a 
five-pound note. 

July 26th. — This is the worst form of republican indifference to 
the generous elements of antiquity. But more : younger children 
must no longer receive annuities and portions, but must each have a 
slice of the landed estate. In two generations, then, every property 
would be subdivided ; the landed interest, as a distinct and powerful 
body, would be extinguished, and the House of Lords rendered in* 

possible, for it can never subsist, except as an independent body 

independent by the wealth of its individual members, having here- 
ditary rights, but also hereditary property. 

August 22nd.— The atmosphere of political principles and insti- 
tutions is decidedly democratic in the present clay, and men are 
borne on against their wishes to democratic results. What is it 1 Is 
it by our own folly, or that of our ancestors? Is it the cycle of the 
principle of government, like the recurring periods of drought, 
famine, plenty, health, and disorder 1 Or is it the will of God that 
.every form should have its day, and then perish? Aristocracy 
exists on the Continent by the sword ; in England by sufferance. 
Which will have the longer duration — the obedience of the soldier 
or the patience of the ten-pound householder 1 

It is observable that not an appreciable fraction of the people of 
England desire the abolition of the King and the peerage ; and yet, 
by degrees, rapid degrees, they will come to it, and be . astonished 
beyond measure when the work is irremediable. So it appears ; but 


we may yet, in the mercy of God, be reserved, institutions and all, 
for higher things. 

Sept. 13th. — The year 1848 was the climax of our odiousness to 
the foreigners. They will never forgive us for the calm, the security, 
the assurance with which our monarchical and aristocratical institu- 
tions withstood the shock that affected, in Europe, monarchies and 
republics alike. They praise us and abhor us. 

Sept. 14th.— Mischief and subversion are the main objects of 
the Radicals of England. They have not, they cannot have, a just 
plea for their policy. We may think and speak differently of cul- 
tivated Revolutionists, who have deep grievances and mighty im- 
pediments in the way of amelioration. But civil and religious liberty 
are complete with us ; the people have not a wrong unredressed, nor 
the Radicals a right unattained, and yet their spirit is that of 
Mazzini, Ledru Rollin, and Kossuth. 

On Octobei the 25th, Mr. Kichard Cobclen, in the 
course of an address delivered at the Mechanics' Insti- 
tute, at Barnsley, spoke very strongly on education, as 
an all-important means of elevating the poorer classes. 
He said . " Take the question of sanitary reform. 
Why do people live in bad cellars surrounded by filth 
and disease ? You may say it is their poverty, but 
their poverty comes as much from their ignorance as 
their vices ; and their vices often spring from their 
ignorance. The great mass of the people don't know 
what the sanitary laws are ; they don't know that venti- 
lation is good for health; they don't know that the 
miasma of an unscavenged street or impure alley is pro- 
ductive of cholera and disease. If they did know these 
things, people would take care that they inhabited better 
houses ; and if people were only more careful in their 
habits than they are, and husbanded their means, they 
might get into better houses. And when I hear people 


advocate temperance, which I, as one of the most tem- 
perate men in the world, always like to hear advocated, 
I say the best way is, to afford them some other occupa- 
tion or recreation than that which is derived only 
through their senses. The best way is to give them 
education. If the working man is deprived of those 
recreations, which consist of the intellectual and moral 
eujoyments that education and good training give, he 
naturally falls into the excitement of sensual indulgence, 
because excitement all human beings must have. There- 
fore, when you wish to make them more temperate, and 
secure moral and sanitary and social improvements among 
the working classes, education, depend upon it, must be 
at the bottom of it all." * 

A few days afterwards there appeared in the columns 
of the leading journal a letter from Lord Shaftesbury 
commenting on the above remarks. 

He was alarmed lest the weight of Mr. Cobden's 
authority should retard all effort at sanitary improve- 
ments by leading the public to infer that nothing could 
be done until a better and more extensive system of 
popular education was instituted. But that, as matters 
stood, though it could not fail altogether, would help 
but little. The artisans might, each and all of them, 
be an Arago or a Watt, capable of squaring the circle 
or inventing a steam-engine, and yet they would have 
no power of selecting their dwellings ; they must 
live near their work, and face every danger, seen and 
unseen, for they could not flee from it. The working 

* Times, October 27th, 1853. 


nicin of high attainments, in the prime of life, decent, 
temperate, industrious, capable of earning his thirty 
shillings a week, would take the best house he could find 
within the prescribed limits ; but such was often the state 
of drainage and ventilation around, that it prepared his 
deathbed in a few months and left his wife and children 
a burden on the public. From this text Lord Shaftes- 
bury, in very forcible language, urged his views as to 
the national duty of providing proper house accommo- 
dation for the poor. 

Until this was done, education became an impossi- 
bility, as, to be worth anything, it must be completed 
by a man's own self, in the peaceful evening leisure of a 
cleanly, decent, and suitable home. Intemperance was, 
doubtless, a prime cause of mischief among the labour- 
ing classes, but intemperance was greatly promoted by 
the exhausting, enfeebling effects of perpetual residence 
in noxious and mephitic vapours. In conclusion, he 
said : — 

Let domiciliary improvements go along with education ; and then, 
if temperance be added to the average earnings of the working classes, 
there remains no human reason that I can see, why our people should 
have any to blame b'-jt themselves if they do not live like Christian 
citizens and die as aspirants to immortality. 

Having glanced at some of the public events in 
which Lord Shaftesbury was concerned during this year, 
we now turn to the Diary to extract some passages 
relating more immediately to himself. 

In reviewing the work in which his life was being 
spent, he says : — 
d d 


April 6th. — Many Bills in hand. Times sneers at me, and 
speaks of my 'restless benevolence.' But why am I restless ? Be- 
cause others are restful. 

April 7th. — Engaged more than ever : small works compared 
with the political and financial movements of the day — a Lodging- 
House, a Ragged School, a Vagrant Bill, a Thieves' Refuge ! No 
wonder that people think me as small as my work ; and yet I would 
not change it. Surely God lias called me to the career. 

June 12th, Sunday. — ' With all your experience ' (I imagine 
some young man saying to me), ' would you counsel me to folio sv the 
career that you have chosen and pursued 1 ' In the first place, T 
reply that, in spite of all vexations, disappointments, rebuff's, insults, 
toil, self-denial, expense, weariness, sickness, all loss of political posi- 
tion, and considerable loss of personal estimation — in spite of being 
always secretly despised, and often publicly ignored — in spite of 
having your ' evil ' most maliciously and ingeniously exaggerated, 
and your 'good ' ' evil spoken of — -I would, for myself, say ' Yes.' 

June 13th. — But what would you counsel to another? I should 
advise him to consider maturely what he desired. If he desired to 
rise in the world, to have a party, to be much thought of, to be a 
great man at Court or in politics, I should say ' No.' If he desired 
internal satisfaction, that humble joy through Almighty God (amidst 
ten thousand vexations) that attend you in retirement and in thought- 
fulness, I say emphatically ' Yes.' 

June 29th. — Harassed by public and private business. My heart 
goes so completely into every question, that I fret like one pos- 
sessed. Chimney-sweepers, juvenile mendicants, ' et hoc genus oinne.' 
Speeches and Chairs without end. But all is not vain ; I am reaping 
a harvest. Is it because, in God's mercy, I have not fainted ? The 
working of the Ten-Hours Bill is peace, wealth, and happiness, 
social order, and moral improvement. 

An impression prevailed that, because Lord Shaftes- 
bury had succeeded to the earldom, and possessed 
large landed estates, he must necessarily be a very 
wealthy man. As a matter of fact, he was, as we 
have already hinted, for the greater part of his life, in 


such circumstances, that only by exercising the utmost 
care was he able to escape from distressing financial diffi- 
culties. "Heroism " is not too large a word to employ 
with reference to the long, hard battle he fought, in his 
endeavour to fulfil the apostolic injunction, to which he 
often refers, and to " owe no man anything, but to serve 
him in the Lord." In estimating the extreme difficulty 
of his position, it must be remembered that his whole life 
was spent under the eye of the public ; that an adverse 
press was ever eager to find a ground of attack upon 
him ; that as a leader in every charitable organisation 
of the day, he could not urge upon others to be liberal 
and not give freely himself ; and that, identified as he 
was with every movement on behalf of the poor, the 
demands upon his private charity were almost incredi- 
ble in number and extent. When Lord Shaftesbury 
put down his name on a subscription-list, he did not 
" offer to the Lord that which cost him nothing," he 
offered that which cost him self-denial, self-sacrifice, 
and anxiety. 

One of the greatest troubles that could befall him, 
was to find himself unable to give pecuniary aid to a 
deserving cause. He was willing to make any sacrifice, 
to leave himself almost entirely without resources, in 
order to give to those who had need ; and if, on any 
occasion he was obliged to say "No," it was a positive 
pain to him. A little incident in illustration may be 
narrated here. A lady called upon him one day, and 
told him a piteous story of a Polish refugee who was 
in a state of utter destitution. She had a dread of 
(J d 2 


asking Lord Shaftesbury for money, because she knew 
him well, and knew how pressing were the demands 
made upon him from all quarters. She told her story, 
however, and left the issue with him. 

" Dear me ! " he said, " what is to be done ? I have 
not a farthing. But the poor fellow must have some- 
thing at once. What can I do?" 

He was as agitated and distressed as though some 
strong personal trouble affected him. Then a bright 
idea flashed through his mind : he suddenly remem- 
bered that in the library he had got a £5 note "in re- 
serve as a nest egg," and bringing it in, with an air of 
infinite delight, he begged his visitor not to delay a 
moment in conveying it to the man in need. 

In quoting from Lord Shaftesbury's Diaries passages 
— which, it must be remembered, he never intended 
when writing them should come before the public 
eye — relating to his monetary affairs, we prefer to 
incur the censure of any who may consider this beyond 
the province of the biographer, rather than to lose the 
opportunity of showing him in the midst of circum- 
stances in which he was misjudged and misunderstood 
because his real financial position was not known. 

May 24th. — Made up my mind ; must sell old family pictures, 
must sell old family estates ; it is painful ; ancestral feelings are 
very strong with me ; hut it is far hetter to have a well-inhabited, 
well-cottaged property, people in decency and comfort, than well- 
hung walls which persons seldom see, and almost never admire unless 
pressed to do so ; and as for estates, why, it is ruin to retain them 
in the face of mortgage, debt, and the necessary provision for your 
children ! 

1853.] LAWYERS. 453 

May 28th. — Sent to St. Giles's for two more pictures to be sold. 
The house is falling, and must be repaired ; will not do it from any 
fund or revenue by which moneys devoted to religion, charity, or 
cottage building, would be diverted. Must therefore surrender more 
heirlooms, dismantle my walls, check ancestral feeling, and thank 
God that it is no worse. . . 

These lawyers are harpies ; they may act honestly, as, I doubt 
not, mine have done, according to the acknowledged custom, but it 
is a custom, one imagined, introduced, and perpetrated by harpies. 
These lawyers multiply business, and charge prodigiously for every 
step of it ; they send in their accounts very seldom, so that the 
client has no notion of the expense he is incurring by a series of 
apparently small items, little suspecting that every question gives 
rise, perhaps, to a dozen letters, and each letter costing as many 
pounds ; and then, when the account does come in, no man that has 
lived, does live, or will live, can check it. Who, at the distance of 
two or three years, can say whether he asked such and such a ques- 
tion, received such and such an answer, saw A. B., was seen by 
0. D., &c. &c., over a statement of minute details, covering, as mine 
does, some forty folio pages 1 They lure you on in your ignorance, 
like Circe, and then turn you to a hog, a monkey, a bat, and cer- 
tainly a fool ! Now this is terrible ; what shall I do for schools, 
cottages, churches 1 

June 29th. — To build cottages is nearly as ruinous as to gild 
your saloons ; it is an enormous expenditure, and no rent. A pair 
of cottages cost me four hundred pounds, and the rent I receive from 
them is £2 10s., or at most £3, for each cottage, garden included. 

The following entries, relating to a variety of sub- 
jects, are selected from the Diary which, during this 
year, was singularly free from gaps. 

April 14th. — Took Lionel * to-day to Harrow ; saw him comfort- 
ably and happily housed at Mr. Warner's. Ah, Lord, I commit him 
unto Thee in body and soul ; preserve him, cherish him, make him 
and dearest Evelyn Thy servants, that they may walk before Thee 

* His third son. 


with a perfect heart in Christ Jesus our only Saviour ! Visited the 
grave of my blessed Francis ; there he was deposited four years ago ; 
he neither sleeps nor is dead ; his body is there, but his soul is in 
Paradise. I no more doubt it than I doubt my own existence, and 
' them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.' What a 
wonderful thing is the Christian religion ! it makes us to see and to 
feel that a stroke of death is oftentimes one of the tenderest of God's 
mercies ! 

Saw, too, the ' testimonial ; ' — the schools erected to his memory. 
Oh, may I die the death of the righteous, and may my last end be 
like his ! 

April 26th. — Have now before me these tedious and wearing 
May meetings : the repetition of ' the speech from the Chair,' the 
same sentiments, almost the same woi'ds, amounts to nausea in the 
utterance. Do not object to hear, but loathe to speak. They do 
good, however, and let that suffice. 

May 3rd. — The House of Commons is the depository of power, 
and it is vain to hope to be an effective man out of it. You may 
experience much social civility, but no one accords you a hairs-breadth 
of political influence. ' Philanthropy,' combined with a peerage, 
reduces a man to the lowest point. 

May 7th. — Lionel, although he has been but three weeks at 
Harrow, has been already removed into the i)th Form, 'a thing,' as 
Evelyn writes, ' unparalleled in history.' 

June 13th. — The fleet is gone to the Dardanelles ! Oh, God, 
protect my son * in soul and body for Christ's sake ! 

August 10th. — Unless something be done, and that speedily, to 
give activity and vigour to the House of Lords it will sink into a 
mere registration office for the decrees of the House of Commons. 
Bills come up in a cloud in the month of August ; 70 or NO to 
be discussed and passed in a week ! How can we do anything 
but simply inspect and register them 1 This must, God willing, be 
my first effort next Session. But what hope have I of success 1 The 
past Session has disheartened me. 

August 13th. — When I went to the House of Lords I deter- 
mined to show its activity and power in the institution of social 
improvements. I did not seek my own repute ; I knew I was 

* His eldest son. 


injuring my own comfort, but I wished, so far as in me lay, to rescue 
the House from the character of the ' dormitory.' God knows it has 
been no ' dormitory' to me. 

The two next entries were made during his annual 
tour on the Continent. 

Sept. 18th. — Sunday. Geneva. A great steamboat, groaning 
with the number of passengers, left the quay this morning ! This 
in the city of Calvin ! I am not opposed to innocent recreation on 
the Lord's day, but no one has a right to make his own recreation 
on that day the burthen and affliction of another. That thousands 
may disport themselves on Sunday, hundreds must surrender, not only 
repose, but even, were they so minded, public worship ! It cannot 
be just and well-pleasing to God. 

Sept. 22nd. — Paris. Times of 17th declamatory, and justly, 
against rewards to agricultural labourers, of ten shillings and a new 
coat, for twenty years of good conduct. Made an attempt myself to 
introduce larger sums at the Blandford Labourers' Friend Society, 
but, though I wrote a year ago, I have received no answer. The 
agricultural labourer could greatly benefit his condition, were he 
inclined to a little care and economy ; a young man, by the payment 
of sixpence a week, might secure to himself an annuity of twenty 
pounds a year, after sixty years of age. 

Oct. 5th. — London. Progress fair at St. Giles's. Provisions 
very high, raised the wages of my people ; will others do the same 1 
Happy prospects of my drainage efforts ; many labourers will be 
required ; and if they labour diligently their wages will be good. All 
the men employed on the house desired a holiday, and they had it 
with cricket, football, quoits, &c. ; bread, cheese, meat, beer, and 
apples in just quantity. They played the whole day, were in extra- 
vagant spirits ; behaved admirably well, and went home perfectly 
sober. I confess it did my heart good to see them sharing with me, 
in due time and proportion, the enjoyment of the old park of my 

In the early autumn of this year there was a severe 
visitation of cholera throughout the country, and the 


Presbytery of Edinburgh wrote, through their Mode- 
rator, to the Home Secretary (Lord Palmerston) asking 
whether, in the circumstances, a national fast would be 
appointed by Royal authority. The Home Secretary 
replied in a characteristic letter of such sterling com- 
mon sense, that a part of it may be quoted here, as it 
illustrates the manner in which Lord Palmerston co- 
operated with Lord Shaftesbury, both working towards 
the same end, but by different means. 

" The Maker of the Universe," Lord Palmerston 
replied, " has established certain laws of nature for 
the planet in which we live, and the weal or woe of 
mankind depends upon the observance, or the neglect, 
of these laws. One of these laws connects health 
with the. absence of those gaseous exhalations which 
proceed from over-crowded human dwellings, or from 
decomposing substances, whether animal or veget- 
able ; and those same laws render sickness the 
almost inevitable consequence of exposure to those 
noxious influences. But it has, at the same time, 
pleased Providence to place it within the power of 
man to make such arrangements, as will prevent or 
disperse such exhalations so as to render them harmless, 
and it is the duty of man to attend to those laws of 
nature and to exert the faculties which Providence has 
thus given to man for his own welfare. 

" The recent visitation of cholera, which has for the 
moment been mercifully checked, is an awful warning 
given to the people of this realm that they have too 
much neglected their duty in this respect, and those 


persons with whom it rested to purify towns and cities, 
and to prevent, or remove, the causes of disease, have 
not been sufficiently active in regard to such matters. 
Lord Palmerston would therefore suggest, that the best 
course which the people of this country can pursue to 
deserve that the further progress of the cholera should 
be stayed, will be to employ the interval that will elapse 
between the present time and the beginning of next 
spring, in planning and executing measures by which 
those portions of their towns and cities which are in- 
habited by the poorest classes, and which, from the 
nature of things, must most need purification and im- 
provement, may be freed from those causes and sources 
of contagion, which, if allowed to remain, will infallibly 
breed pestilence and be fruitful in death, in spite of all 
the prayers and fastings of a united but inactive nation. 
When man has done his utmost for his own safety, 
then is the time to invoke the blessing of Heaven to give 
effect to his exertions. " 

Nov. 2nd. — London. Palmerston has refused a fast day in 
his answer to the Scotch Memorial, and, in such a style, that, though 
his letter contains abundant good sense and much truth, he will be 
regarded by the religious world as little better than an infidel. His 
notions and feelings theologically are feeble, no doubt, and erroneous; 
but he had no intention to be irreverent, though he has stirred up a 

Dec. 21st. — The "burking" system of the newspapers is more 
fatal and hostile than their attack. At conference I made a longish 
speech on various points which the Times reduces to this, ' Lord S. 
said that the children ought to be treated with justice and kindness ; ' 
and, shortly after, Mr. Sturge is made to say, in the same amount of 
words, that 'he could not agree with Lord S.' ! ! 



A Cloud in the East — State of England — Rumours of War with Russia — War 
Declared — Christians in Turkey — Russian Intolerance — Letter from Lord 
Stanley — Letter to Lord Aberdeen — Letter from Lord Clarendon — Religious 
Liberty in France — Correspondence with Emperor of the French — M. 
Drouyn de Lhuys to Lord Palmerston — Offer of Order of the Garter — 
Reasons for Declining the Honour — Colonisation of Syria — Chimney 
Sweepers Bill Thrown Out — A Mothers' Meeting — Harrow — Death of 
Lord Jocelyn — Death of Duchess of Beaufort — Wild Court — War in a 
Christian Spirit — Lord Raglan's Despatches — Letter to Mr. Haldane — 
Mismanagement in the Crimea — Change of Ministry — Palmerston, Premier 
— Offer of Duchy of Lancaster — Correspondence thereon with Lord Palmers- 
ton — Letter from Lady Palmerston — Organisation of Sanitary Commission 
for Crimea— Letter to Lord Panmure — Instructions to the Sanitary Com- 
missioners — Letter from Miss Florence Nightingale — Death of the Czar — 
Visit of Emperor of the French — Letter to Mr. Evelyn Ashley — Offer of 
Duchy of Lancaster Renewed — Letters from Lady Palmerston — In Per- 
plexity — Interposition of Providence — Religious Worship Bill — Opposition 
of Lord Derby and the Bishop of Oxford — Success of the Bill — Sardinia — 
National Education — Death of Sir Robert Inglis — Milliners and Dress- 
makers — Death of his Son Maurice — Letter to Mr. Evelyn Ashley — 
Woburn Abbey- — Life Peerages. 

In 1853, the cloud that had long hung over the East 
was gathering blackness, and threatening to burst in 

storm. A dispute about the Holy places in Palestine, 
was the pretext upon which the peace of forty years was 
to be broken. Eight years previously, the Emperor of 
Russia had spoken of Turkey as " a dying man whose 
dissolution was at hand." On the 9th of January, 1853, 
the Emperor, in conversation with Sir Gr. Hamilton 
Seymour, explained his views in unmistakable language. 

1854.] RUSSIA AND TUB KEY. 459 

" Turkey is falling to pieces," lie said, " and it is im- 
portant that England and Russia should come to a good 
understanding, that neither should take any decisive 
step of which the other is not apprised." A little later 
on, he declared : "I tell you, if your Government has 
heen led to believe that Turkey retains any element of 
existence, your Government must have received incorrect 
information. I repeat to you that the sick man is 
dying ; " and he urged that England should join with 
Russia in making- arrangements beforehand as to the 
inheritance of the Ottoman in Europe. 

A few months later came the. dispute about the 
Holy places ; Turkey claimed that the only Protec- 
torate over the Christians of Turkey was the Sultan's, 
and, although negociations innumerable were under- 
taken to adjust matters between the two Powers, the 
hope of maintaining peace grew fainter and fainter, and 
on the 1st of November, 1853, Russia declared war 
against Turkey. 

Lord Shaftesbury's Diary follows the incidents of 
the war with great minuteness. We shall only extract 
occasional passages to mark the progress of events, and 
his opinions and actions with regard to them. 

Aug. 1 6th, 1853. — England, in all her history, never combined 
before so many elements of material prosperity. We have survived the 
revolutionary shocks of the last half century, and of the last thirteen 
special years ; we have a Sovereign to whose person and office the 
whole country is soberly, yet ardently, attached ; we have an here- 
ditary Peerage of a thousand years duration, esteemed, as yet, 
and admired by the people ; and worthy, too, as compared with 
former or contemporaneous aristocracies, of the position it occu- 


pies. There is a singular union, and mutual respect, of all classes ; 
the highest, the middle, the lowest ; never had we such a develop- 
ment and diffusion of wealth, comfort, security, among the labour- 
ing population : our army is powerful, our fleets unprecedented 
and unrivalled ; and yet the whole kingdom seeks not aggression but 
Peace ! What country ever enjoyed more liberty of thought, speech, 
and action 1 None in the records of the world ! 

Sept. 17th. — -The Emperor of Russia has proudly and angrily 
rejected the Note of the Four Powers as altered by the Porte. The 
Turk is insane, and the Muscovite wicked, but he is a fool into the 
bargain. He has thrown away his character as the umpire of 
Europe ; he has been guilty of sad aggression, has dealt in falsehoods, 
and, by commencing war, he will open up the means of insurrection, 
revolution, and socialism (the very bugbears of his life) to Italy, 
Poland, France, Hungary, and Germany. 

Oct. 1 4th. — Brighton. We are in war and not in war ; full of 
rumours, perils, protocols, negotiations. Drummond has written a 
clever letter to the Peace Society, in which he tells them that they 
desire peace, only that they may have leisure to make money ; that 
if war would answer the purpose they would (he implies) like it as 
well, that they denounce Mars and Moloch, but worship Mammon, 
who, according to Milton, is the basest and meanest of them all ! 

Feb. 8th, 1854. — All seems beating up for conflict. The Czar, if 
not the wisest, must be the maddest of politicians. He is isolated 
in Europe ; Austria and Prussia have refused their co-operation ; the 
whole of Germany is indignant and ardent to get rid of Russian in- 
fluence. I have always believed that the Emperor lived under the 
delusion that his authority was dominant at Berlin and Vienna. 
This rejection, therefore, will equally astound and exasperate him. 
My opinion was confirmed by a statement of Walewski's, that, when 
a short time ago, General Castelbaljac, French ambassador at St. 
Petersburg, hinted to Nesselrode. the probable objections of Austria, 
he received a half contemptuous answer that ' Austria and Russia 
were one.' Meanwhile Italy, Poland, Hungary, every place where 
there is no hope but in revolution, are agitated and expectant ; just 
as we foresaw, so it is ; the notion of war gives them a notion of 
opportunity ; and the Austrians cannot move a regiment without 
exciting a district ! 

March Gth. — The event of the clay is, to my mind, the speech of 


the Emperor of the French to the Legislative Chamber. He there 
declares that, ' the days of conquest are passed,' never to return. He 
shows that France has a deeper interest than England, in repressing 
the power of Russia, and that the intimate alliance of these two 
countries, formerly such bitter rivals, is a noble impulse to civili- 
sation. He has acted wonderfully well throughout ; it would be 
wrong, nay, unjust, to suspect him ; to have even a misgiving ; and 
yet the change is so immense, his policy so unexpected, that one 
ought, for some time at least, to be upon one's guard. 

In the Manifesto of the Emperor of Russia, dated 
February the 9th, 1854, in which he announced to his 
subjects the fact that England and Trance had taken up 
the cause of Turkey, these words occurred : " And thus 
England and France have ranged themselves by the side 
of the enemies of Christianity, against Eussia righting 
for the Orthodox Faith." 

To allow this reproach to remain unanswered was 
painful to many Christians in England, and, on March 
the 10th, Lord Shaftesbury, as their mouthpiece, took 
the opportunity of a formal motion for papers on Turkish 
affairs, to address the House of Lords on the subject. 
On behalf of the friends of missions, he directly con- 
tradicted the assertion of the Czar, and undertook to 
prove that Turkey had, of late, done everything to 
advance, and Russia everything to retard, the progress 
of Christianity. After pausing to express his opinion 
that the negotiations had resulted in their only possible 
issue, he defended the necessity of " making alliance 
with any power, heathen though it may be, to maintain 
the cause of right, justice, and order, against the aggres- 
sions even of professing Christians," and to declare, that 


the real question at issue was, whether we should " assert 
the rights of a weaker state, maintain the independence 
of nations, and endeavour to assign a limit to the 
encroachments of a power that seemed cent upon 
darkening all that was light, and subjugating all that 
was free, among the nations of mankind." For himself 
he could wish that we were well rid of both the parties 
concerned — " that the Russians were driven to the 
North of Archangel, the Turks to the East of the 
Euphrates," but, in the circumstances, it was right " to 
prefer the autocrat who had granted such great facilities 
to the advancement of Christianity and civilisation, to 
the autocrat who had denied them in his own dominions, 
and who would deny them still more fiercely should he 
ever become, by our neglect, the master of those noble 
provinces that he so ardently coveted." 

In tracing the gradual growth of wealth, intelli- 
gence, and civilisation amongst the Christians of Turkey, 
Lord Shaftesbury stated that, owing to the singular 
liberality of the Turkish system, there had been a large 
diffusion of the Scriptures ; in fifty towns there were 
distinct congregations of seceders from the Greek 
Church ; Protestant teachers and schools had multiplied, 
and, in capital and provinces, religious associations, 
printing presses, Bible depots, colporteurs, and native 
teachers were openly permitted. There had been, it was 
true, outbreaks of Muslim bigotry, but these were local, 
and had been controlled b}' the Government ; the chief 
persecutions of Christians had been inflicted by other 
Christians, stimulated by their priests. He continued : — 


Now, contrast this with what is permitted or prohibited in "Russia, 
and draw your inference as to what we have to expect should these 
awakening provinces fall under the dark and drowsy rule of the Czar. 
No associations for religious purposes are tolerated in Russia; no 
printing-presses are permitted for printing the Bible in modern Russ, 
the only language understood by the people ;, no versions of the 
Scriptures are allowed to cross the frontier except the German, 
French, Italian, and English. Not a single copy, I repeat, of the 
Bible in the modern Russ, in the vernacular tongue, can gain access 
into that vast empire ; and it is believed, on the best evidence, that 
not a single copy has been printed, even in Russia, since 1823, in the 
tongue spoken by the people ! No colporteurs, of course, nor native 
agents, to enlighten the gloomy provinces ; no depots for the sale of 
the Scriptures, no possible access to the Word of God. 

Lord Shaftesbury then pointed out the tyranny of 
Russia, in siding with the Greek priests ; in persecuting 
the seceders ; in endeavouring to hinder Sir Stratford 
Canning, and other Ministers, in their labours to procure 
justice for the Protestants; in forbidding Jewish subjects 
to possess the Hebrew Scriptures, and in suppressing 
missionary efforts among heathen, or semi-savage, tribes 
on the outskirts of her empire ; and contrasted the policy 
of Turkey in permitting and protecting missionary 
agencies, which had brought about a " great develop- 
ment of knowledge and liberal sentiment, enlarged hopes 
and aspirations, of the Christian population." 

After extolling the comparatively liberal sentiments 
and policy of the preceding Czar, Alexander, Lord 
Shaftesbury concluded as follows : — 

He died ; and in 1826 the Emperor Nicholas ascended the throne. 
And what did he then do 1 He suppressed, by an ukase, the Russian 
Bible Society, with all its branches ; suppressed every privilege 
granted to religious societies, and brought back that Cimmerian 


darkness of the human intellect and the human heart, that he seems 
to prize so highly. 

Has Turkey, I ask, done anything of the sort ? Has she not, my 
Lords, in the last twenty years, allowed more to the progress of 
liberty and truth, than Russia in the whole of the famous nine 
hundred years that the emperor boasts as the present age of the 
alliance between the Sclavonic nations and the Greek communion 1 
Undoubtedly she has ; and this inference cannot be gainsaid — that, 
if the Sultan had been less liberal towards freedom of religion, less 
considerate of the rights of conscience, there would have been no 
Menschikoff note, and no invasion of the Principalities. 

But now, my Lords, though these are not the matters for which 
we undertake the war, we may rejoice that we are not engaged in 
upholding a state of things adverse to all amelioration, and subver- 
sive of all liberty and truth. And, seeing that we have entered on 
this conflict in no spirit of ambition, covetousness, or pride, but for 
our own defence, and in the maintenance of great principles, which 
concern alike all the races of mankind, let us have no fear for the 
issue, but, offering a humble and hearty prayer to Almighty God, 
let us devoutly trust that His aid will not be wanting to bless our 
arms with success, and a speedy peace, in this just and inevitable 

The newspapers of March the 11th, the clay follow- 
ing the delivery of this speech, contained this remark- 
able passage from the St. Petersburg Journal of the 18th 
of February : — 

Since the year 1829, his Majesty has followed with earnest 
attention the march of events in Turkey. 

The Emperor could not close his eyes to the consequences of 
changes which, one bv one, have been introduced into that State. 
Old Turkey has disappeared since the Turkish Government has 
sought to plant institutions diametrically opposed to the genius of 
Islamism, and to the character and customs of Mahometans — insti- 
tutions, more or less copied from the type of modern Liberalism. 

Referring, in his Diary, to the debate, Lord Shaftes- 
bury writes : — 

1854.] BURIAL CLUBS. 465 

March 10th. — Speech to-night on my own motion in reply to the 
Manifesto of the Emperor of Russia, and his audacious assertion, 
' England and France are siding with the enemies of Christianity 
against Russia, who is combating for the Orthodox Faith.' 

Nothing pleased me more than the statement of Clarendon, who 
was followed by many others, that the debate ' was most opportune.' 

In reply to a letter from his son Evelyn, who had 
written to congratulate him on his success, he says : — 

March Uth, 1854. 

Cod bless you, my darling boy, for your kind, sympathising 
letter. The success was indeed wonderful. 

You ask me how I get through so much work ; why, as I hope 
that you will hereafter, by hearty prayer to Almighty God before I 
begin, by entering into it with faith and zeal, and by making my end 
to be His glory and the good of mankind. ' In hoc signo vinces.' 

Yours affectionately, S. 

The " work " alluded to in the foregoing letter, was 
not only the routine duties inevitable to the position 
Lord Shaftesbury had taken in public life ; on all hands 
new labours were pressing upon him. The following 
letters will indicate some of them : — 

Lord Stanley to Lord Shaftesbury. 

Albany, Jan, 3rd, 1854. 

Dear Lord Shaftesbury, — My attention has been called during 
the recess, by various occurrences in Lancashire, in my own neigh- 
bourhood, and by the conversation of many persons there, to a sub- 
ject which, I know, has engaged much of your time. I mean Burial 
Clubs, and the abuses to which, under existing regulations, they are 
exposed. I wish much, if convenient, to have some conversation 
with you on this subject, as I believo a legislative remedy may be 

C e 


applied, and I know no person who is better qualified to pronounce 
on one than yourself. 

Will you allow me to do myself the honour of calling upon you 
to discuss this question 1 

I make no apology either for this request or for an unceremonious 
address, notwithstanding the slight nature of our acquaintance. 
We are both public men, both deeply interested in the condition 
of the working-class ; and, for my own part, I had rather look 
back on services such as those which you have performed for that 
class, than receive the highest honours on employment of the State. 

Believe me, my dear Lord, faithfully yours, 


Lord Shaftesbury to Lord Aberdeen. 

Feb. 22nd, 1854. 

My dear Lord,— Excuse me for making one remark on what 
you said to me yesterday afternoon. 

It terrified me, for it implied that the country had entered on a 
war, which you could so little justify to your own conscience, as to 
be unwilling, nay, almost unable, to advise the ordinance of public 
prayer for success in the undertaking. 

Why, then, have we begun it 1 You asked whether ' the Eng- 
lish nation would be brought to pray for the Turks 1 ' Surely ; if they 
are brought to fight for them, they would be induced to pray for 
them, in a just quarrel. But would a public prayer be for the Turks 
alone, or for the Turks at all 1 We send out fleets and armies in a 
cause that we consider right, and we should implore Almighty God 
to give us success and a speedy peace. 

If we have entered on the war with a view to self pi'eservation, 
and in defence of principles in which all nations, not the Turks only, 
are concerned, we may expect, and almost demand, that a Royal pro- 
clamation be issued, inviting the Kingdom to prayer, and on these 


Yours truly, 



Lord Clarendon to Lord Shaftesbury. 

F. O., March 2nd, 1854. 

My dear Shaftesbury, — I am always glad to find myself agree- 
ing with you, and I hope that we shall continue to exchange ideas 
upon the grave events that are now rapidly about to follow each 

I take exactly your view of Letters of Marque, and I some time ago 
addressed myself privately to the Governments of France and of the 
United States saying that, as we had been driven into the brutal and 
barbarous methods of settling differences, we should at least endea- 
vour to mitigate its horrors, and thus pay homage to the civilisation 
of the times we live in, and that I could see no reason why a licence 
should be given for robbery by sea, any more than by land, &c. &c. 

The proposal has been met in a corresponding spirit, and I hope 
shortly to settle some change in international law, for that will be 
necessary ; but the three greatest maritime Powers of the world have 
a right to effect such a change in the interests of humanity. 

I am not yet prepared, however, to make any public announce- 
ment on the subject, because I wish, at the same time, with the pri- 
vateering system, to bring our law, or rather practice, respecting 
neutral nags more in harmony with the practice and expressed wishes 
of other maritime nations. 

Very truly yours, 


It had been represented to Lord Shaftesbury — and 
his wide acquaintance with foreign affairs and fre- 
quent visits to the Continent, confirmed the truth of 
the statement — that the cause of religious libedy in 
France needed to be brought under the personal notice 
of the Emperor. The recent alliance presented, it 
was thought, a favourable opportunity for carrying this 
into effect. 

e e % 


Lord Shaftesbury to the Emperor of the French. 

Loxdox, April 19th, 1854. 

Sire, — The liberty that I have taken in addressing your Majesty 
will, I feel assured, he forgiven when your Majesty shall have consi- 
dered the gravity and importance of the subject that I have ventured 
to bring under your attention. 

The position that your Majesty has given to France in the estima- 
tion of Europe ; the happy and providential Alliance between the 
French and English nations, and the great principles for which, in 
truth, both your Majesty and our beloved Queen are contending, 
have led us not only to hope, but to believe, that we shall, all of us 
in both countries, obtain to the full the privileges and blessings that 
we are seeking to obtain for others. 

Your Majesty will be astonished and grieved to learn, by the 
document which accompanies this letter (a document signed by 
some of the best names in England, and to which hundreds, had 
time been allowed, would have attached their signatures) that the 
Protestant Churches in the French Empire do not, at present, 
enjoy the freedom, right, security, of property and of conscience, 
that are enjoyed by the Seceders ' from the Greek Church, or Pro- 
testants, as they are termed, under the Turkish dominions. They 
are, on the contrary, suffering many grievous vexations, and they 
are apprehending many more, unless it shall please Almighty God to 
move your Majesty's heart to show yourself their friend and pro- 
tector in all that they can claim as Christian men, and the citizens of 
a great empire. It would ill become me to press on your Majesty 
the effect that such a contrast would produce, in present circum- 
stances, on the minds of Europe and America. 

With a humble and hearty prayer to the Throne of Grace, that 
your Majesty may receive this address in the spirit in which it is 
offered ; and that your Majesty may be disposed to accord us what 
we presume to ask, 

I have the honour to be, with much respect, 

Your Majesty's very obedient, humble servant, 



The letter was forwarded to the Emperor by the 
Count Walewski, and in course of time the following 
reply was received : — 

The Emperor Napoleon III. to Lord Shaftesbury. 

Palais de St. Cloud, le 22 Mai, 185 4. 

My Lord, — Le 19 avril dernier, vous m'ecriviez pour re'clamer 
en faveur de l'Eglise protestante la liberte, le droit, la securite que 
vingt pe'titionnaires anglais vous signalaient conime meconnus dans 
certaines parties de la France. Or, le 23 de ce meme niois d'avril, 
c'est a dire presque le meme jour, un homme de la plus haute autorite 
parmi vos coreligionnaires, M. Guizot, au sein d'une assemble'e 
generale, dans un compte rendu de la situation de l'Eglise protestante 
de France ('Journal des Debats,' du 25 avril) prononcait les paroles 
suivantes qui, si elles blament la politique de mon gouvernement, 
rendent au moiiis une justice solennelle a la liberte de con- 
science. II disait : ' Au moment meme ou les liberies publiques 
sabaissent et reculent, les liberies chretiennes se relevent et avancent ; 
c'est dans VEglise chretienne que se refugient le mouvement intellectuel 
et la vie libre qui se retirent du monde politique.' L'eloquent orgaue 
d'une pareille declaration ne saurait etre suspect de partialite pour 
l'Empire, et cependant il n'articule pas la moindre plainte contre le 
pouvoir administratif au sujet de l'oppression dont les signataires 
l'accusent. Je pourrais me bonier a cette reponse, mais par- egard 
pour l'lionorable intermediaire qu'ils ont clioisi, je n'ai pas voulu me 
contenter de l'opinion publiquement manifestee par celui que la severite 
de ses principes comme la surete de son jugement rendaient le j>lus 
conq^etent et le plus digne de foi en cette matiere. J'ai done prescrit 
une information scrupuleuse ; elle est sous mes yeux, et les fonction- 
naires recommandables qui Font dirigee se trouvent d'accord avec 
M. Guizot sur l'egalite positive de la protection pour tous. 

Quant aux faits particuliers, il resulte de l'enquete que, dans les 
(le'partements indiquds, quelques dissidents pour couvrir leurs menees 
politiques d'un pretexte religieux ont jete les liauts cris au sujet 
d'un simple rappel a l'execution du decret du 5 mars, 1852 ; qu'ils 
ont voulu faire, du droit commun et de la necessite de s'y soumettre, 


la cause enveniinee cl'une persecution imaginaire. Mais, chose bien 
digne de remarque, my Lord, et qui vous frappera sans doute comrae 
moi, pourquoi les mecontents, avertis ainsi qu'ils le sont toujours a 
l'avance de la reunion annuelle du 23, ne se sont ils pas adresses au 
membre eminent charge du rapport. Le secours de sa voix ne leur 
aurait pas manque. Ainsi, en s'isolant pour denoncer le gouverne- 
ment, en cherchant un appui hors de leur patrie, en renoncant a 
leurs defenseui'S naturels, ils ont trahi la faiblesse de leur cause. 
Personne n'aurait ose la soutenir a la face du pays. Car, my Lord, 
j'ai veille, autant qu'il etait en moi, a ce que le libre exercice du culte 
fut assure a tous les membres des confessions reconnues par la loi. 
II n'y a plus maintenant une seule localite, plus un seul protestant 
en France qui ne soit rattache a un consistoire auquel il peut s'adres- 
ser. VoiUi precisement ce que ne veulent pas les Separatistes. Ils 
repoussent les sages garanties introduites pour proteger leur religion, 
lis affectent une independance absolue. Les ramener par la plus 
salutaire des contraintes dans les limites fixees par la loi, c'est a 
les entendre violer la liberte de conscience et celle des pratiques 
exterieures. Les esprits eleves de la religion reformee ne s'associent 
jamais a ces recriminations exagerees. Rassurez-vous, si Ton appi-o- 
fondit les faits, la plainte n'a autan fondement ; si Ton considere les 
personnes, ce ne sont que des dissidents, plus ou moins animes de 
passions politiques. Ainsi, my Lord, quand vous m ecrivez ' que 
CEglise protestante de V E 'm jiire francais ne jouit pas de la Hberte, des 
droits, de la s'ecurite, de la propriete de conscience dont jouissent 
l'Eglise grecque ou protestante,' vous n'avez pas retleclii combien un 
assertion aussi tranchante etait contraii-e a la verite. Dans aucun 
pays, je ne crains pas de le declarer, tons les cultes sans exception 
n'ont une position comparable a celle qui leur est faite en France. 
[Car en France, liberte de conscience absolue, egalite de protection a 
tous les cultes, subvention et secours a tous ceux que la loi recommit, 
acces ouvert pour toutes carrieres a chaque personne quelle que soit 
sa croyance.] Qu'on me cite une partie du monde, ou les neuf 
dixiemes des habitants etant d'une meme religion ceux qui ne la 
professent pas trouvent, comme en France, un appui plus constant et 
plus assure. 

Croyez, my Lord, a mes sentiments, 



Lord Shaftesbury was not easily silenced, when he 
had strong evidence on his side, even by the voice of an 
Emperor. He had overwhelming testimony that, not 
only had any mayor, or other magistrate, power to refuse 
Protestants the privilege of meeting for public worship, 
and to shut up their chapels by force, without assigning 
any reason, but that this was constantly being done, and 
that the pastors of many churches, especially those in the 
Haute-Vienne, were even then mourning their scattered 
flocks, their closed churches, and their empty schools. 
It was the opinion of Lord Shaftesbury that the Emperor 
was misinformed, or was blind to the power which the 
Ultramontane party was exercising over the civil autho- 
rities, and, in the present temper of affairs, he wanted 
to see him interpose his high authority, and maintain 
before the world, the principle which Napoleon I. set forth 
in these memorable words : " The dominion of the Law 
ceases where the undefined domain of Conscience begins, 
and neither the prince nor the law can do anything 
against this liberty." Lord Shaftesbuiy, therefore, sent 
the following letter to the Emperor : — 

Lord Shaftesbury to the Emperor Napoleon III. 

London, June 20th, 1854. 

Sire, — I have to acknowledge, with sincere thankfulness, your 
Majesty's condescension in replying to my letter. 

I may not intrude on your Majesty's goodness, and presume to 
controvert anything that has been stated by your Majesty. Yet I 
may, perhaps, venture so far as to send a list of a few places of wor- 
ship (by no means the whole) that have been closed since the Presi- 
dential Decree of 1852, and to add that the interposition, which I 
was bold enough to undertake, was founded, not on any request or 


communications to me from the Protestants in France, but on the 
reports of English travellers who had visited the scenes, and on the 
narratives in religious and authentic periodicals. 

I will dare, Sire, to go one step further, and say that your Majesty 
has not received true intelligence from your functionaries. I take 
this freedom, and, at the same time, entreat for it, your royal pardon. 
I would not write in this way to the Emperor of Russia or any other 
Potentate ; but I cherish, from my heart, the alliance with France, 
and I cannot endure the thought that the people of England should 
connect your Majesty's name with the odious name of Persecution. 

I am, Sire, 

With much respect, 

Your Majesty's very obedient servant, 


There was further correspondence on the subject, 
and every step that could be taken with prudence was 
taken to secure greater religious liberty to French Pro- 
testants. But the letters from the French authorities 
all partook, more or less, of a Jesuitical tone, of which 
the following, from M. Drouyn de Lhuys, who knew 
that the question du droit was all in favour of the 
priests, and the question da fait was all against the 
Evangelists, may be cited. 

M. Drouyn de Lhuys to Lord Pahnerston. 

Paris, le 6 Decembre, 1854. 

Mon cher Lord Palmerston, — Je n'ai pas perdu de vue les 
questions soulevees par le memorandum adresse a Lord Shaftesbury, 
et que vous aviez bien voulu me coinmuniquer avant votre retour a, 

Ces questions sont dedicates et doivent s'envisager sous le double 
point de vue du droit et du fait. 

En droit, les cultes dissidents ne subissent en France, dans leur 

1854.] WORLDLY HONOURS. 473 

exercice public, d'autres restrictions que celles imposees a la religion 
de la majorite. Aux ternies de l'article 62 de la loi du 18 germinal 
an X, aucune partie du territoire francais ne peut etre erigee en 
succursale sans l'autorisation du gouvernement. Suivant l'article 44 
de la meme loi et le decret du 22 decembre, 1812, pouretablir une 
chapelle doraestique, un oratoire particulier, meme dans un pensionnat, 
meme dans une e'cole secondaire ecclesiastique, il faut une permission 
speciale accorde'e sur la demande de l'eveque. Des congregations 
d'origine plus ou moins recente ne pouvaient etre affranchies de ces 
conditions applicables aux eglises anciennement etablies, dont le culte 
est eprouve par une longue pratique. La Com* de Cassation n'a done 
pas meconnu la pensee du decret du 25 mars, 1852, qui n'a fait que 
remettre en vigueur les articles du code penal et de la loi du 18 
avril, 1834, prohibant les associations composees de plus de vingt 
personnes. En fait, l'ad ministration cle partem entale a recu recem- 
ment encore des instructions formelles qui lui prescrivent d'user avec 
une grande moderation des pouvoirs discretionnaires dont elle est 
investie dans l'interet de la securite publique. Je n'ai pas besoin 
d'ajouter que lorsque les demandes concernent l'exercice d'un culte 
de'ja reconnu et qu'elles emanent regulierement des representants 
officiels de ce culte, leur objet memeetleur origine sont une presomp- 
tion et un titre en leur faveur. 

Agreez, mon cher Lord Palmerston, les assurances de ma haute 
consideration et de mon sincere attachement. 

Drouyx de Lhuys. 

Worldly honours were not coveted by Lord Shaftes- 
bury, but he was not indifferent to them. The honours 
he had himself achieved, far exceeded any that could be 
bestowed upon him. It is, however, remarkable that, 
up to this point in his career, no public honour had 
been accorded to him, save and except the presentation 
of the freedom of the town of Tain in Scotland ! 

It was when he was fighting a battle as hard as any 
that should be fought in the Crimea; when he was 
distressed by failure in proem in jj just legislation for 


chimney sweepers, and "harassed by Quaker letters be- 
praising the Czar " and denouncing him ; when " private 
affairs and public affairs, the Danube and house-drain- 
age, Ragged Schools and the Kings of the East, Omar 
Pasha and ' pure literature for the people,' the Turkish 
Exchequer and his own '' were dividing and confusing 
his mind, that he received the following letter from 
the Prime Minister : — 

Lord Aberdeen to Lord Shaftesbury. 

Argyll House, May ith, 1854. 

My dear Shaftesbury, — It would give me great pleasure if you 
would permit me to submit your name to the Queen for the vacant 
Blue Ribbon. This is not intended as a political appointment ; for, 
although I hope your general feelings are not unfriendly to the 
Government, I make the proposal exclusively from a desire to mark 
my admiration of your unwearied exertions in the cause of humanity 
and of social improvement. 

I am aware that honours of this description are usually conferred 
from very different motives ; but I feel certain that the distinction 
was never better deserved, and I doubt not that I shall myself 
receive credit for making such a selection. 

Believe me, very truly yours, 

A berdeen. 

Almost every weighty question that came before 
Lord Shaftesbury, he discussed with himself in his Diary, 
and these are his thoughts and arguments on receiving 
Lord Aberdeen's " friendly and gratifying letter": — 

May 5th Though my immediate impulse was to decline 

it, prayed to God for counsel and guidance. The point to be con- 
sidered is 'will it impede, or will it promote, my means of doing 


good?' Minny wants me to accept it 'as a just acknowledgment,' 
so she says, 'of my deserts.' I am unwilling to do so, lest it should 
be considered a payment of them, and I be told, hei-eafter, either 
that I was never disinterested in my labours, or, when I appeal to 
Government for aid in my projects, that they have done enough to 
oblige me, and that they can do no more ! 

I do not, myself, care about the thing the least in the world ; and 
I do not see that it would be advisable to take a step by which 
nothing can be gained and something may be lost. 

First, though I am really anxious to maintain this Government 
in office, I do not wish to bind myself to it by any party ties ; and 
this would, in some degree, lay me under an obligation to the 

Secondly, it would preclude me, in some degree, from claim on 
any other Minister who might succeed Aberdeen, and I can prosper, 
in my various and difficult undertakings, only by being on good and 
disinterested terms with all. 

Thirdly, many ignorant and many malicious persons would 
decry all public virtue, and say that ' every public man had his 

Fourthly, many censorious, spiteful, and wondering remarks, 
some in bitterness, some in pleasantry, which I need not record, 
would be made on myself. 

Fifthly, the novelty of this reward for such services as mine, 
would offend many people, and lower the value of the decoration 
among those for whom it is principally intended. 

Sixthly, the fees would amount to more than one thousand 
pounds, a sum which I have not and cannot command, and which, if 
I had, I must devote either to my children or to duties towards my 
people. Those who are rich, or without claims on them, may do 
these things ; but how can I, when, at this moment, people are asking 
for payment of their debts, and I am unable to satisfy them 1 

This is my mind ; but I must, in deference to the wishes of 
another, take one day for thought and counsel. God give me a true 

The result of the deliberation is given in the follow- 
ing letter : — 


Lord Shaftesbury to Lord Aberdeen. 

May 5th, 1854. 

My dear Lord, — Your very kind letter reached me last night, 
and I determined at once to take a few hours for deliberation before 
I ventured to send a reply. 

I return you my most sincere and hearty thanks for your friendly 
intentions,- and for the gratifying language in which you have com- 
municated them. 

This offer, I know, is not made, nor do I regard it, in a political 
sense. True it is that the course of my public life has separated me 
from Party, but I am not, by any means, indifferent to the welfare of 
your Administration. 

Now, while I acknowledge, with real gratitude, the honour you 
have proposed to me, shall I be considered as slighting either the 
decoration or yourself, if I venture to decline it? In the public 
career I have to maintain, and to secure the objects I pursue, it is 
essentially necessary that I not only be, but that I appear to be, 
altogether independent. You, I know, would impose no conditions ; 
but were your offer accepted, I should impose them on myself, and 
feel bound, by my own act, to limit somewhat my own discretion. 
I must remember, too, that there are many whom you might oblige 
by the high distinction, and whose pretensions would be more readily 
admitted by the political world. 

The act you contemplated, of kindness and respect for my labours, 
has been accomplished by the offer ; and be assured that I shall 
never, to the end of my days, see a Garter or a Star without a 
grateful and affectionate recollection of the honour proposed, and of 
the man who proposed it. 

With earnest wishes for your temporal and eternal welfare, 

Believe me, very truly yours, 


After-thoughts confirmed him in his opinion that 
he had done well to decline the honour, and he writes 
in his Diary a few days later : — 


May 10th. — "Wrote on Saturday to Aberdeen and declined the 
Garter ; but I thanked him heartily and affectionately for his kind- 
ness, and for the estimate he put on my public services. He under- 
stood and felt my difficulties, and sent, he told me, my letter to the 
Queen. I regret the necessity of the determination, for I am not 
indifferent to the honour ; but I am sure that I have done wisely, 
God be praised ; and, so far as I can judge, people seem to think so. 

The position of affairs in the East revived the hope 
that the time was at hand when a way would be opened 
for the return of the Jews to their inheritance in the 
Land of Promise. Whatever opinion others might 
hold upon this subject, and whatever interpretation they 
might place upon the prophecies in the Scriptures con- 
cerning it, Lord Shaftesbury never had a shadow of 
doubt that the Jews were to return to their own land, 
that the Scriptures were to be literally fulfilled, and 
that the time was at hand. It was no commonplace 
belief he held; no mere assent to a proposition. It 
was his daily prayer, his daily hope. " Oh, pray for the 
peace of Jerusalem ! " were the words engraven on the 
ring he always wore on his right hand — the words, too, 
that were engraven on his heart. His study of the 
prophetic Scriptures led him to associate the return of 
the Jews with the Second Advent of our Lord, and this 
was the hope that animated every other. 

He believed in human instrumentality bringing 
about Divine purposes, and, as we have seen,* had laid 
a scheme for the Colonisation of Syria before Lord 
Palmerston in 1840. Nothing practical having come 

* Vol. i., p. 313. 


of the negotiations, he now brought the subject under 
the notice of Lord Clarendon. 

May 17th. — Wrote this clay to Sir Moses Montefiore, to learn, 
if I could, the sentiments of his nation respecting a plan I have 
already opened to Clarendon, and Clarendon to Lord Stratford, 
that the Sultan should he moved to issue a firman granting to the 
Jewish people power to hold land in Syria, or any part of the Turkish 
dominions. This would he analogous to the Decree of Cyrus. Surely 
no one can say, ' you are precipitating events ; ' they are rushing 
upon us ; we desire simply to meet them. All the East is stirred ; 
the Turkish Empire is in rapid decay ; every nation is restless ; all 
hearts expect some great thing ; all look to wars, convulsions, 
changes, new and wonderful issues ; nothing, men fear, is to remain 
as it is, yet no one can shadow even the outline of the events to 
come. No one can say that we are anticipating prophecy ; the 
requirements of it seem nearly fulfilled ; Syria ' is wasted without an 
inhabitant ; ' these vast and fertile regions will soon he without a 
ruler, without a known and acknowledged power to claim dominion. 
The territory must he assigned to some one or other ; can it he given 
to any European potentate 1 to any American colony 1 to any Asiatic 
sovereign or tribe 1 Are there aspirants from Africa to fasten a 
demand on the soil from Hamath to the river of Egypt 1 No, no, 
no! There is a country without a nation; and Cod now, in His 
wisdom and mercy, directs us to a nation without a country. His 
own once loved, nay, still loved people, the sons of Abraham, of 
Isaac, and of Jacob. 

Among the labours that at this time made up the 
common round and daily task of Lord Shaftesbury's 
life, was a renewed effort to better the condition of 
Chimney Sweepers. It was not, however, until some 
years later that his efforts were crowned with success. 

May 2nd.— Great anxiety about Bill for relief of Chimney 
Sweepers. Have suffered actual tortures through solicitude for pre- 
vention of these horrid cruelties. What a mystery that our efforts have 


been so long unavailing. The accursed system is, I fear, returning 
to London. 

May 20th. — For three days have suffered much from giddiness, 
and to-day suffer from grief. The Government in the House of 
Commons threw out the Chimney-Sweepers Bill, and said not a word 
of sympathy for the wretched children, nor of desire to amend the 
law. They stood on mere technicalities, Fitzroy and Lord J. Russell 
giving the ministerial opposition. Walpole was as hostile as any of 
them, sacrificing the bodies and souls of thousands to a mere point of 
legal etiquette ! I have to thank Phillimore for bringing it in, and 
Kinnaird and Acland for supporting it ; and again I must bow to 
this mysterious Providence that leaves these outcasts to their horrible 
destiny, and nullifies, apparently at least, all our efforts to rescue 
them in soul and body. 

May 21st. — Sunday. "Very sad and low about the loss of the 
Sweeps Bill — the prolonged sufferings, the terrible degradation, the 
licensed tyranny, the helpless subjection, the enormous mass of crueltv 
and crime on the part of parents and employers, are overwhelming. 
The prospect is gloomy ; this failure, and the failure of my Bill last 
year for the Suppression of Juvenile Mendicancy, show that my in- 
fluence, always small, is now on the decline. Henceforward effort 
will be hopeless, nevertheless it must be made. The Collar of the 
Garter might have choked me ; I have not, at least, this or any other 
Government favour against me, as a set-off to their insolence and 
oppression. I must persevere, and by God's help so I will ; for how- 
ever dark the view, however contrary to all argument the attempt, 
however painful and revolting the labour, T see no Scripture reason 
for desisting ; and the issue of every toil is in the hands of the 

May 22nd. — Half-past ten. . . . Wrote to Aberdeen about the 
conduct of the Government. I thank God that Palmerston was no 
party to the act, he came to vote for me and found Fitzroy in the 
field against me ! * Am in many minds what to do. Shall I move 
an address to the Crown, and state the whole case \ Shall I let the 
matter rest to another Session 1 . . . 

The following extracts from the Diary relate prin- 

* Fitzroy was Under-Secretary at the time. 


cipally to the private joys and griefs of Lord Shaftesbury 
during this year : — 

May 15th. — Very busy ; little time for thought, none for read- 
ing. Oftentimes do I look at a book and wish for it, as a donkey 
for a carrot ; and I, like him, am disappointed. 

May 17th. — Went to chair of >m others' meeting in Westminster; 
a wonderful, really a wonderful— call it, in the language of theology, 
a miraculous— spectacle. It was a sight to bless God for, such a 
mighty reformation of drunken, idle, profligate, dirty, and cruel 
parents. As usual, none of the clergy there. A work of this kind, and 
of this high and spiritual character, effected by an unordained person, 
a humble layman who, without the intervention of a bishop, or a 
college education, had nothing but the grace of God and the Holy 
Scriptures, is too powerful, too convincing, too irresistible. It over- 
whelms ' Apostolical Succession ' by an avalanche of practical truth. 

July 4th. — To Harrow for the speeches. It pleased me. Dear 
Evelyn was among the speakers ; and most admirably, most agree- 
ably, did he execute his task both in French and English. Every one 
was delighted with his manner, his appearance, his manifest ability. 
Ah ! Lord, make him Thy true, constant, and fruitful servant. 

July 1 6th. — Sunday. Have to record God's mercy and goodness. 
Arrived late last night by rail from Dover, having gone there the 
night before and spent the whole of yesterday on the sea or in Calais 
in an inspection of the embarkation of French troops on board the 
British fleet. Went that I might see dear Antony again in the 
Hannibal under orders for the Baltic. Saw him and passed some 
hours with him. I had the advantage of the Admiralty boat and the 
company of Admiral Berkeley and Captain Milne. 

July 22nd. . . . Threatened by loss of Seeley's aid in the 
various movements and societies. This is heartrending. ' I cannot,' 
as Moses said, 'bear all this burden myself alone.' Specially the 
Lab. Friend Soc. will suffer. It has long depended, humanly speak- 
ing, on Gregson, Roberts, and Seeley, the universal and constant 
(with myself) sub-committee. But Gregson has ceased to attend ; 
lloberts is abroad for health ; and now Seeley must 'give in !' Lord, 
raise us up tit men for this service ! O Lord, succour us ! It is 
surely a work for Thine honour and man's real welfare ! 

1834.] BEREAVEMENTS. 481 

It was when en route to Ems to drink the waters, 
before proceeding on his annual continental tour, that 
he wrote : — 

August 12th. — Ems. Had heard, on road, at Bonn, report of 
death of poor Jocelyn by cholera ; confirmed by a letter from Pal- 
merston. Such is the will of God ; and we must say of this, as of 
many other events, ' What I do thou knowest not now ; but thou 
shalt know hereafter.' It is very sad, for he leaves behind him 
a wife and four young children ; very awful, for he was cut off sud- 
denly, without notice or prepai'ation. ' In the midst of life we are 
in death.' He was in excellent health, all things considered, but a 
few hours before the pestilence struck him — ' the arrow that flieth at 
noon-day.' ... It has startled and grieved . me ; so good-natured, 
good-tempered, and good-hearted ; he was popular, with much social 
merit. . . . God sanctify it to us all — to his relatives and acquaint- 
ances, to the circle of his associates, to high and low, rich and poor ! 
Let it drive us more earnestly to prayer, for ourselves and for our 
children ! 

August 17th. . . . Jocelvn buried at Hyde Hall on Tuesday, 
the day after we received the intelligence. Besides other reasons for 
remaining, it was thus physically impossible to pay the last tribute of 
respect and affection. The feeling is strong to pray for the departed, 
specially if your belief comes short of assurance. But it must be 
resisted ; there is no warranty for it in Scripture. 

September 8th. — The dear old Duchess of Beaufort has been 
gathered to her fathers, full of years and God's grace. At eighty -four 
years of age, and with such hope — nay, assurance — of a blessed 
eternity, who can weep for her departure 1 She lias run a remark- 
able course ; she fought a good fight ; she kept the faith. Called by 
God to be His instrument for the revival of the truth in the upper 
classes of society, she became ' a mother in Israel.' I entertain for 
her the deepest reverence and affection, and well may I add, grati- 
tude, for her undeviating kindness and love towards me, and hearty 
sympathy in all I undertook. Many and profitable have been the 
hours that I have passed in her company. Very kind letter from 
her worthy daughter, Lady Georgiana Ryder. 

November 12th, Sunday. — St. Giles's. To London a few days 



ago, to exhibit the terrors of Wild Court to the editors of papers and 
others, that they might see the present state of things, and judge by 
the inspection of a year hence (should God so far spare us) of the 
improvements we propose to m;ike, their cost, their completeness, and 
efficiency. It answered well. 

The object of Lord Shaftesbury in inviting a number 
of noblemen, ministers, representatives of the press, and 
others, to a kind of " open-air meeting " in Wild Court, 
Great Wild Street, Drury Lane, was that those who 
were interested in the London poor might have an 
opportunity of knowing, from personal inspection, the 
character of the dens in which too many of them were 
obliged to herd together. This wretched Court was 
selected as a suitable locality for the extension of the 
experi mental labours of the Society for Improving the 
Condition of the Working Classes (the Labourers' Friend 
Society) in introducing into London better house-accom- 
modation for the poor. The newspapers of the following 
day published graphic descriptions of the place; and it 
was stated, among other details, that the inadequacy 
of the means supplied for sewage, drainage, and water 
supply were such, as, but for ocular proof, could hardly 
have been believed to exist in any civilised country. It 
was found, too, that in the fourteen houses of which 
Wild Court consisted, nearly one thousand persons 
found shelter, and that the very staircases were nightly 
covered with poor wretches to whom even the pesti- 
lential accommodation of the rooms was an unattain- 
able luxury. 

November 27tl?. — Saw yesterday, in the paper, that Lockhart was 
dead. He had long been in a declining state, and now he is gone ! 


His family anxieties had been gi'eat, and his bodily sufferings too. 
I must ever remember him with gratitude, for the Quarterly Review 
has ever been open to the maintenance of mercy, truth, and wisdom, 
in the cause of the labouring population. His kindness to myself 
was unwearied. 

December 18th. — London. . . . Chair in evening at Drury Lane, 
for an oration of Gough's.* The man is a marvel — a real marvel. 
He would be a marvel if there were only his eloquence and flow ; but 
he is pious and modest withal, which renders him a perfect prodigy. 
He acts as well as he speaks. 

War in a Christian spirit presented no anomaly to the 
mind of Lord Shaftesbury. He acknowledged the Hand 
of God in the unfolding of every fresh page of History, 
and he saw, or thought he saw, in the events which were 
happening in the East, the ripening of many purposes 
and the accomplishment of many ends, which he be- 
lieved to be Divinely decreed. Thus he writes of the 
Czar : — " He has aimed at universal empire, and is now 
undergoing the sentence that Cod ever inflicts on such 
fearful ambition." Again : " He has greatly persecuted 
the Jews, of whom nearly two millions live and smart 
under his warlike dominion. But he will learn, as all 
have learned who have oppressed them, that they are 
' a people terrible from their beginning hitherto,' terrible 
in their possession of Cod's covenanted protection ; " 
and so on throughout the Diaries. 

What did present an anomaly to the mind of Lord 
Shaftesbury was, that any action could be taken by the 
leaders in the great movements connected with the war, 
except in a serious spirit, and, more than this, that any 

* The Temperance Lecturer. 



steps should be taken by a Christian nation, -without 
national prayer, or any signal mercy be received, without 
national thanksgiving. It grieved him that banquets 
given to military and naval heroes on their departure 
for the war should be so "light and jocose." " Surely," 
he says, " we should send them forth with prayer, 
and hope, and confidence, not with wine and laughter." 
It grieved him that the dispatches of Lord Raglan 
made no acknowledgment of the God of battles. " He 
falls sadly short of Hardinge, who, announcing his 
great victory over the Sikhs, gave all the glory to God. 
Forgive him, Lord, and us too, for the nation must 
have a share in the responsibility." 

And again : " Why are Raglan's dispatches so cold 
and thankless to Almighty God ? Is it not grievous ? 
Is it not awful, that, amid such plain and unquestionable 
proofs of God's interposition, there should be no mention 
of His name ? Is he ashamed to follow Lord Nelson 
and Lord Hardinge ? Is he thinking more of the clubs 
of St. James's Street, than the audience of the Heavenly 
host ? I am deeply sorry, and tremble for him and for 
the cause. It is a sad pit}*, a melancholy loss, for a 
nobler specimen of a soldier and a gentleman has never 
existed in our land." 

Lord Shaftesbury did not in these criticisms require 
from others what in principle he did not give himself; 
nor did he preach and fail to practise. The entries in 
his Diaries are full of devout acknowledgments of the 
goodness, mercy, and judgment of God, while on many 
occasions, and especially on the eve of critical events, he 

1854.] SPECIAL PRAYERS. 485 

recorded the particular subjects of his prayer. Here is 
a specimen : " Lord, Almighty God, protect those 
gallant men of both nations by sea and by land, from 
the pestilence, the battle, and the flood ; give them a 
speedy and a joyous victory ; a speedy and a lasting 
peace ; restore them safe and happy to their land, 
and that right soon. We pray not, Lord, in ma- 
lignity or revenge, but for the peace of nations, and the 
security of freedom ; restrain the ambition of this man, 
stay his encroachments, cod found his devices, and turn 
his heart. Rend from him his ill-gotten gain^, the 
acquisitions of fraud and violence, confine him within 
his own limits of race and language. Save a Protestant 
land from idolatrous rule, and enable us to do some 
great work for Poland, of justice, mercy, and retri- 
bution ; and thus, by Thy grace, both in the East and 
in the West, Thy word shall have free course and be 
glorified through Jesus Christ our Lord." 

The following letter to Mr. Haldane relates to this 
subject : — 

Lord Shaftesbury to Mr. Haldane. 

Dec. 21s«, 1854. 

My dear Mr. Haldane, — A controversy will, I suppose, arise 
on the propriety of the refusal of Lord Aberdeen to set apart a day 
for thanksgiving in acknowledgment of the victories of Alma and 

On a consideration of the whole matter, I think that he was 

It would be a happy thing if the public and private prayers of 
the nation ascended, at every hour, to the Throne of Grace, but it is 
a serious question whether the Queen shall frequently interpose, and, 
by authority, direct the devotions of the people. 


In the first place, the constant repetition of such an exercise of 
prerogative has a tendency to bring their power into dispute, and it 
is, I understand, very open to question. 

Next, the frequency of the appeal diminishes and almost wears 
out the effect ; and it should, therefore, be reserved for instances of 
a oreat crisis, such as the commencement of a war, or the close of it, 
or some event having a decided and marked issue. 

This is the more requisite, as a day set apart involves a heavy 
fine on large masses of the working community. Not one employer 
in a hundred will pay his people for the day of suspended labour ; 
and thus, while easy people rejoice, the operative classes almost 
groan, and positively sustain a loss, while we experience none. This 
breeds discontent, and takes greatly from the value of the authori- 
tative observance. The people assent to it on great occasions ; but 
on an occasion less marked, both they and the Dissenters, and even 
the Clergy, complain of the decree. 

Lord Aberdeen added an argument which I had never heard 
before, but it has great force. 'Take heed,' he said, 'how you get 
into the habit of superseding the Liturgy by new prayers under the 
"Royal order ; you may introduce precedents fatal to the integrity of 
your Prayer Book.' 

We had, and most fitly, a prayer at the beginning of the war ; 
we should, I hope, have one more if it please God to bless our arms 
with the capture of Sebastopol. 

If you concur with me, will you use your influence to turn the 
thoughts of religious newspapers into the same channel ] 

Yours very truly, 


The last paragraph in the letter quoted above, is 
noteworthy. Mr. Haldane had great influence with the 
Eecord newspaper, and it was through him that, on 
all occasions and on every conceivable subject, Lord 
Shaftesbury was able to communicate with the public. 

The end of 1854 and the early part of 1855 was a 
period pregnant with important events in the life of 


Lord Shaftesbury, as it was in the political history of 
the country. The mismanagement of affairs in the 
Crimea, particularly as regarded the Commissariat De- 
partment, had kindled a feeling of distress and indigna- 
tion such as had never been known before. 

Dec. 21st, 1854. — The mismanagement and stupidity, if not utter 
negligence, at Balaklava, have caused a great amount of loss of life, 
of property, and health. This was excusable in the outset ; it is not 
excusable now, when the Government know all these things. 

Dec. 22nd. — Much talk with Clarendon, Newcastle, and Lord 
Lansdowne ; they are downcast, and fear the consequences of the 
incapacity of their local agents. The country has sent out stores of 
every kind, equal to five times the demand ; and yet neither the 
sound nor the sick, the officer nor the private, can obtain the 
twentieth part of what is wanted. 

It would be beside our purpose to tell the story of 
the grievous calamities that befell our countrymen in 
the Crimea in the terrible winter of this year. " The 
noblest army England ever sent from these shores," 
said the Times, " has been sacrificed to the grossest 
mismanagement. Incompetency, lethargy, aristocratic 
hauteur, official indifference, favour, routine, perverse- 
ness and stupidity, reign, revel, and riot, in the camp 
before Sebastopol, in the harbour of Balaklava, in the 
hospitals of Scutari, and how much nearer home we do 
not venture to say." Every day fresh tidings came of 
privation, sickness, and death ; of unspeakable suffering 
from neglect ; of medical stores decaying at Varna that 
were intended for Scutari ; of tents standing in pools of 
water for want of implements to dig trenches ; of con- 
signments of boots all for the left foot ; and so forth. 


One good came out of the evil, not limited to the 
Crimea, but destined to affect every battle-field for all 
future time, namely, the landing in Scutari of Miss 
Florence Nightingale and the noble band of women 
who accompanied her, as nurses to the sick and 
wounded. Thus was inaugurated the Geneva Red Cross 
Association which has since done so much to mitigate 
the avoidable horrors of war. 

When Parliament re-assembled after the Christmas 
recess (Jan. 23), jmblic indignation in England had 
reached its height. 


Jan. 25th, 1855. — London. Accounts from the Crimea wax worse 
and worse ; our men are decimated by disease, cold, and hunger. The 
survivors are feeble and demoralised. We have no commanders, no 
officers. ' Counsel has perished.' Raglan's staff— specially his Quarter- 
Master and Adjutant-General — are incompetent, ignorant, obstinate 
and preferring the observance of a red-tape regulation to the 
comforts, nay, the lives of the soldiers. Newcastle, at home, seems 
not more efficient ; he sees all the evil, and yet, through weakness 
or perverseness, applies no remedy. Unless God in His wonderful 
mercy interpose, we shall have a national disaster unprecedented in 
the annals of English history. O God, give us the spirit of peni- 
tence, confession, and prayer ! Here is our only hope. Have 
written to McCaul, Seeley, and Haldane, to stir up every one to 
earnest, hearty, and constant supplication. 

And J. flussell has chosen this time to send in his resignation. 
and break up the Government ! Can any one who knows the man 
and his antecedents, doubt that self-seeking, place-loving ambition, 
aims at the Premiership, and jeopardises everything for his own 
particular 1 

Mr. Roebuck had given notice that he would move 
for a Select Committee "to inquire into the condition 
of the army before Sebastopol, and into the conduct of 

1855.] A CRISIS. 489 

those Departments of the Government, whose duty it 
has been to minister to the wants of that army." As 
this involved " a censure upon the War Department, 
with which some of his colleagues were connected," Lord 
John Russell considered that his only course was to 
tender his resignation, " probably," as Lord Shaftesbury 
said in a letter to Mr. Haldane, " with a desire to flood 
the Government, in the hope of floating to the surface 
and getting the best anchorage as the waters subside." 

On January the 29th Mr. lloebuck's motion was 
carried by 305 to 148, and on the following day the 
Coalition Government ceased to exist. 

Feb. 1st. . . . Folly, rashness, self-conceit, and miscalcu- 
lation are at their height. Affairs in the Crimea, and affairs at home, 
seem to prove that we are anything but ' a wise and understanding 
people.' All is in confusion ; the old Government is out ; and there 
is no new one to come in. Meanwhile the war proceeds, the army 
perishes, and judgments arise out of our own personal childishness. 
We are silly beyond the silliness of a boarding-school. . . . On 
Monday night a majority of 150 destroyed the whole Administration, 
intending to destroy only Newcastle and Aberdeen. The Government 
might have been saved, would it have announced a change in the 
War Department, and a resolution to reform the Civil Departments 
of the army ; but the ' mock heroics ' got hold of them, and they pre- 
ferred defeat. These struttings of dignity are very legitimate iu 
ordinaiy times, but wholly misplaced in such a crisis of the nation 
as this. 

Derby proposed yesterday to Palmerston that he, Gladstone, and 
Sidney Herbert, should join his administration. Palmerston replied 
that he would join none which did not contain Clarendon at the 
Foreign Office. He subsequently refused to join him at all. 

Feb. 3rd. — We are full of rumours ; and none are agreeable. It 
is certain that Lord J. Puissell (!!!) has been desired, this day, to 
form an Administration ; and Palmerston has consented to take the 



lead of House of Commons, Lord John going to the House of Lords. 
. . . Why is the House of Lords to be made the London reformatory, 
where convicted criminals are to have another chance 1 Is it ^ood 
that so tarnished a man should be in so brilliant a situation 1 

Palmerston has many defects for a Premier ; but he is better 
than any competitor. He has judged wrongly in aiding her Majesty 
to inflict the Russell incubus on the country. He urges in excuse 
that ' he should have been charged with personal views and a desire 
to get the thing into his own hands.' 

Feb. 5th. . . . Palmerston has received orders to construct an 
Administration ! It was no slight affront to public morality that 
Lord J. was ever summoned to do so. But 'public morality' is a 
mediaeval thing ; the 19th century has outstripped it! 

Feb. 6th. — The Peelites, it is said, refuse to join, though reluc- 
tantly ; but Gladstone leads them, and they follow him. Various reasons 
are assigned, but none of them sound, patriotic, wise, or true. I hear 
that Gladstone has long exhibited a desire to return to Lord Derby, 
and I believe it. He would then be Leader of the House of Com- 
mons, and be virtually Prime Minister. Then would he work his 
will in the ecclesiastical appointments. People will begin to expect 
that Palmerston's Church nominations will differ much from Aber- 
deen's, being influenced by my opinion. There could not be a greater 
error. He has never in his life, and never will, so long as he 
has breath, consult me on anything. It is not very likely that he 
will consult anybody ; but, if he do, it will not be one connected 
with the Evangelical party. 

The da}' after the above entry was made in the Diary 
Lord Shaftesbury received the following letter : — 

Lord Palmerston to Lord Shaftesbury. 

Piccadilly, 7th Feb., 1855. 
My dear Shaftesbury,— Will you be Duke of Lancaster with a 
seat in the Cabinet 1 You would be useful to us in Council, and 
your being there would, I am sure, be gratifying to large bodies of 
the people. 

Yours sincerely, 

Let me know as soon as you can. Palmerstox. 


Later on in the same day a further letter was sent. 
It ran thus : — 

Lord Palmerston to Lord Shaftesbury. 

Piccadilly, 7th Feb., 1855. 

My dear Shaftesbury, — Unexpected difficulties have arisen 
■which may interfere with the offer which I made you this morning, 
and therefore I must ask you to consider it as suspended till you 
hear from me ajrain. 

Yours sincerely, 



The difficulties to which I allude do not relate to you but to 

AHhough the receipt of the first letter could not be 
otherwise than gratifying to Lord Shaftesbury, the 
receipt of the second brought him infinite relief. His 
replies to both letters are given below : — 

Lord Shaftesbury to Lord Palmerston (No. I.). 

Feb. 7th, 1855. 

Dear Palmerston, — I have received your letter, and consider, as 
you desire, the offer suspended. 

I have sent my letter, which was ready, that you may see that, 
probably after all, I may not be such a colleague as you wished for, 
at least not one worth struggling for against a difficulty. 



Lord Shaftesbury to Lord Palmerston (No. II.). 

Feb. 7th, 1855. 

My dear Palmerston, — You may be assured that I am much 
gratified by your kind proposition, and I feel very sensibly both the 
honour and the friendship of it. 


But the acceptance of office involves so large a surrender of many 
important occupations in which I am engaged, and have for a long 
time been engaged, that I should make up my mind with great 
reluctance to enter on a new careei\ 

The circumstances of the time, however, are such that no one 
may stand on his own particular habits and tastes, if the surrender 
of them can be of advantage to the public weal. Your letter states 
that I can be of such service, but while I submit my judgment to 
yours, and prepare to undertake a charge to which I am most repug- 
nant, I may assert that I can be of service to your Administration 
only by adhering to the principles I have professed, and by which I 
have obtained any small confidence I may have from the country. 

Pray be assured that I am not presuming to make conditions. I 
simply desire to state that there are certain opinions and principles, 
which I have always maintained, and which, wherever I be placed, I 
must continue to maintain. 

Now, the only points on which you and I are likely to differ are : — 

1st. Questions such as Maynooth, and matters akin to it. I am 
not for the extinction of Maynooth, that cannot be now clone, but I 
am strongly against the extension of it, and very much in favour of 
its reformation and adjustment to the necessities of Ireland. 

2nd. Any measures for the encouragement of the Papal power, 
such as the appointment of Roman Catholic chaplains to the several 

3rd. The question of the Jewish Relief Bill. 

4th. Measures affecting the vexata qucestio of the Sabbath, such 
as the disturbance of the Act, passed last session, for the closing of 
public-houses on that day, which has worked so well, but to which 
there is a strong opposition. 

Now, if with the hazard of these differences, and your knowledge 
of the several positions I hold in the country, at the head of many 
Associations and Committees, you are still of opinion that I can 
render a service in the present awful crisis (for this is my main con- 
sideration) I will surrender, to your judgment, my own very strong 
antipathy to official life, and hold the situation until you shall have 
found some other one equally to your mind. 

Yours very truly, 



The incident is narrated in the Diary in these words : 

Feb. 8th. — And so I have had the chance of being a Cabinet 
Minister ! Palmerston proposed to me the Duchy of Lancaster with 
a seat in the Cabinet ! It is a crisis, a dreadful crisis — a Government 
must be formed ! Reserving all principles, I accepted it in the sense 
shown in my letter, though I loathed it beyond the power of expres- 
sion. My first impulse to refuse, but overruled by the importunities 
of Minny. Believed, and still believe, that I should have been 
thwarted, defeated on everything, whether of movement or existence ; 
should have been absolutely alone, defied in the Cabinet, and mis- 
understood out of it. 

A few hours afterwards requested by P. to consider ' the offer as 
suspended,' in consequence of unforeseen difficulties. 

. . . This morning a letter from Lady Palmerston to say that 
the Whigs were infuriated by their ' small ' share of power and place ; 
and that P. must give the Duchy to one of that party. I acquiesced 
more cheerfully in the withdrawal than in the proposition of the 
offer. Lord Lansdowne took the lead against me. 

The letter alluded to above, was as follows : — 

Lady Palmerston to Lord Shaftesbury. 

Thursday morning, Feb. 8th. 

My dearest Ashley, — Palmerston is distracted with all the 
worry he has to go through, and he must go to Windsor at twelve, 
so he desired me to write to you. 

He says that your high character and position in the countiy 
would, he feels sure, have been of great use to the Government, but 
after he first wrote to you he found himself in a very unexpected 
difficulty. The Whigs at Brookes' were all up in arms at the 
Government not being formed on more Liberal principles or rather 
with 'more of the Whig party.' 

They' are disappointed at the Peelites joining, and at under people 
of that party keeping their places, so that, in that manner, there are 
hardly any places to fill up. They press, therefore, very much for a 
Whig in the Duchy of Lancaster, so as to make the Peelite division 
in a greater minority. One part of our friends strongly press for 


Lord Grey, and another put forward Lord Carlisle. I don't think 
Palmerston will agree to either, but still he would give way to 
having a Whig appointed, rather than to have all the party dis- 

Nobody has made any personal objection to you, and Palmerston 
would certainly have preferred you to any other person, both from 
opinion and affection ; but as you did feel reluctant to accept the 
trammels of office, and felt that it would be a sacrifice on your part 
to give up your independence, he will not urge you any further ; 
but hopes you will give him your assistance and the benefit of your 


Believe me, yours ever affectionately, 

E. Palmerston. 
P.S. — It is no pleasure to have to form a Government when there 
are so many unreasonable people to please, and so many interested 
people pressing for their own gratification and vanity, without any 
regard to the public good or the interests of the Government and 

For a time, the anxiety and suspense which an offer 
of a place in the Government always brought upon 
Lord Shaftesbury, were removed. But only for a time. 
Lord Palmerston had too high an appreciation, from 
long personal experience, of Lord Shaftesbury's qualifi- 
cations for statesmanship, to dispense with his imme- 
diate assistance without a struggle. 

In the meanwhile, however, he was called to a work 
of the gravest importance, for which, as far as we are 
aware, he has never had the credit which was justly his 
due, namely, the organisation of a Sanitary Commission, 
with full powers to redress the grievances at Scutari 
and Balaklava, as far as they were capable of redress, 
and thus to roll away, as far as possible, the stigma 
that attached to the nation. 


" That commission," Miss Nightingale wrote to 
Lord Shaftesbury, some time afterwards, " saved the 
British army." 

One day, when excitement and indignation were at 
their height, on account of the mismanagement of 
affairs in the East, Dr. Hector Gavin, who had been 
for three years Government Commissioner for the pre- 
vention and cure of cholera in the West Indies, called 
upon Lord Shaftesbury, to talk about his labours on the 
Board of Health in relation to the same disease, and, 
as a matter of course, the conversation turned upon the 
ravages made by cholera among our brave soldiers in 
the East. It was during that interview that the 
scheme for a Sanitary Commission in the East was 
suggested to the mind of Lord Shaftesbury. 

The outline of the history of the movement is given 
briefly in the Diary. The amount of labour involved 
can be imagined. 

Feb. 14th. . . . Have been running about to stir up Prelates and 
Ministers to a day of prayer. Tried, unsuccessfully, to see Panmure"* 
on sanitary arrangements for Crimea Hospitals, but all in vain ; a 
' Philanthropist ' is always a bore. 

Feb. 15th. — A day of success. May God be praised, and to 
Him be all the glory ! First, efforts with the Bishop of London, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, Gladstone, and Palmerston, for a day of 
humiliation, have prospered. Most thankful was I to-day to find P. 
not only ready, but urging, that the day should be a special day, and 
not a Sunday. This is very good ; it looks serious and reverent. 

Next, Panmure has listened to my scheme for a Sanitary Com- 
mission to proceed, with full powers, to Scutari and Balaklava, there 

* Lord Panmure (formerly Mr. Fox Maule) was Secretary of State 
for War. 


to purify the hospitals, ventilate the ships, and exert all that science 
can do to save life where thousands are dying, not of their wounds, 
but of dysentery and diarrhoea, the result of foul air and preventible 
mischiefs. Again I bless Thee, O Lord ; and bring the work, we 
pray Thee, to a joyous issue ! 

The Commissioners, who were appointed without 
delay, were Dr. Sutherland, of the General Board of 
Health ; Dr. Hector Gavin (who was afterwards killed 
accidentally in the Crimea) ; Mr. Rawlinson, Civil 
Engineer ; Mr. Newlands, Chief Inspector ; three sub- 
inspectors, and one assistant engineer. 

Lord Shaftesbury to Lord Panmure. 

Feb. 19th, 1855. 

My dear Panmure, — The Commissioners must proceed by 
Marseilles. No time should be lost, and the screw steamer will 
not be ready for some days ; nor is there any room left to receive 
new comers. 

You will, I hope, be good enough to permit them to do 
so. . . . 

[The question of stores to be taken, and remuneration to the Com- 
missioners followed^ 

The service will be laborious, and even perilous ; and these gentle- 
men have cheerfully surrendered their personal comforts, and, in 
the case of Mr. Rawlinson, professional emolument, to aid the public 
in this crisis. Mr. Newlands is the chief officer of Liverpool, a 
person of great enei'gy and experience ; the other sub-inspectors are 
from the same place, and will be of infinite service to superintend 
the cleansing of Scutari, Balaklava, and the camp. 

We are greatly indebted to the Town Council of Liverpool for 
the liberal manner in which they have placed their medical" staff 
at the disposal of the Commission ; we could not, otherwise, have 
obtained such excellent service at so cheap a rate. It is to be con- 
sidered as their contribution to the effort made for the improvement 
of the health of the army. 


We estimate that two months, or, at most, three months, will be 
sufficient for the purpose in view. 

It will be very desirable — nay, almost indispensable — that the 
Commissioners should have the power of hiring, on their own account, 
such numbers of workmen as they may find necessary. 

The entire success of this undertaking will depend on the instruc- 
tions given to Lord Raglan, Lord W. Powlett, and other authorities, 
to carry into execution without delay whatever the Commissioners 
may declare to be essential to health and safety. 

You may really repose confidence in them ; they are trustworthy 
men, and they will advke nothing that is needless or extravagant. 
If, upon giving a plan, they are met with any delays, however short; 
sent from one department to another ; their hands bound with red 
tape, and their shins broken by a succession of official stumbling-blocks, 
they will be useless — indeed, ridiculous ; and they will, themselves, 
feel, as every one will say, that they might as well have remained at 
home. We cannot, in these matters, trifle with time ; minutes here 
are as valuable as years : and a pestilence might ravage the troops 
while a score of functionaries were writing to each other to ascertain 
whose business it was to attend to it. But with vigour and dispatch, 
very little writing, very little talking, and very much action, I enter- 
tain, under God's blessing, the most sanguine hopes. 

It would be a great result. 

Yours very truly, 


In addition to the letters to Lords Eaglan and W. Powlett, I 
would recommend a strong letter to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe. 


So completely were the arrangements, even to the 
minutest details, under the personal direction of Lord 
Shaftesbury, that, at Lord Panmure's request, the In- 
structions to the Commissioners were drawn up by 
him, and were even written by his own hand. They 

were as follows : — 

War Department, February, 1855. 

Gentlemen, — Her Majesty having been pleased to appoint a 
Sanitary Commission, to proceed forthwith to Constantinople and the 

9 U 


Crimea, you are instructed, as Commissioners therein named, to obey 
the directions which follow. 

The utmost expedition must be used in starting on your joirrney, 
in the journey itself, and in the execution of all that is necessary at 
the place of your destination. 

Hours even, at this crisis, are of incalculable importance. 

On your arrival at Constantinople and Balaklava you will put 
yourselves instantly into communication with Lord W. Powlett and 
Lord Eaglan respectively ; and you will request of them forthwith 
(according to the official directions they will have received) full 
powers of entry into every hospital, infirmary, or receptacle of what- 
ever kind for the sick and wounded, whether ashore or afloat. 

You will inspect every part of such infirmaiies ; ascertain the 
character and sufficiency of the drainage and ventilation, the quality 
and quantity of the water supply, and determine whether the con- 
dition of the whole is such as to allow, by purity of the air and free- 
dom from overcrowding, fair play and full scope to medical and 
surgical treatment for the recovery of health. 

You will call to your aid, for this purpose, whether as witnesses 
or as guides, any of the officers or attendants that you may require. 

The result of your inspection and opinions, together with a state- 
ment of all that it is necessary should be done, — whether in the way 
of arrangement, of reduction of numbers in the wards, cleansing, 
disinfecting, or of actual construction, in order to secure the great 
ends of safety and health, — must be laid, as speedily as possible, before 
Lord W. Powdett or Lord Raglan, as the case may be, or such persons 
».s may be appointed by them to that special duty, and you will 
request them to give immediate directions that the works be 

As no time is to be lost, you may reserve your detailed and 
minute reports, and give, in the first instance, a statement only of the 
things to be done forthwith. 

The Engineer Commissioner will be expected to conduct the in- 
spection along with his colleagues, and to devise, and to see executed, 
all such structural arrangements as may be declared indispensable. 

You will examine the modes whereby the sick and wounded are 
conveyed to the transports or to the hospitals, ashore or afloat. Much 
suffering and mortality have been caused by the w r ant of jetties for 
the embarkation and disembarkation of the patients. You will see 


that a remedy be applied to such a frightful omission, and that there 
be no recurrence of these disorders. 

You will take care that, so far as is possible, all evil influences from 
without be removed, so that the air inhaled by the inmates of the 
hospitals be not contaminated. It is reported, for instance, that the 
hospital-ship in the harbour of Balaklava is as much surrounded by 
dead carcases as though it were in a knacker's yard. This, and every- 
thing everywhere approaching to it, must be remedied at once. Asa 
necessary consequence, you will order peremptorily that the dead be 
interred at a sufficient distance from the hospitals. You will give 
directions both as to the time and mode of interment, consulting, of 
course, the convenience of the constituted authorities. 

Should any new hospital or receptacle for the sick be decided on, 
while you are on this expedition, you will examine it and state all 
that must be done for health, decency, and comfort. 

You will not interfere, in any way, with the medical and surgical 
treatment of the patients, nor with the regulations prescribed to the 
nurses and attendants. 

Upon your arrival at Constantinople you will determine, among 
yourselves, in what way you can best cany on your operations ; 
but it seems desirable that, after the first inspection, one Medical 
Commissioner should be almost constantly at Scutari and another at 
Balaklava. The Engineer Commissioner would be more frequently 
in motion, to inspect the various works and maintain the communi- 
cation between his brother Commissioners. 

It is imjjortant that you be deeply impressed with the necessity 
of not resting content with an order, but that you see, by yourselves 
or by your agents, instantly to the commencement of the work and 
to its superintendence, day by day, until it be finished. 

It is your duty, in short, to state fully, and urge strongly, fot 
adoption by the authorities, everything that you believe will tend to 
the preservation of health and life. 

You are empowered to institute, both at Scutari and at the 
camp, such systems of organisation for sanitary purposes as may be 
considered essential to carry your plans into effect. 

The camp must also come under your immediate and anxious 

You must consider, and apply, with the least possible delay, the 
best antidotes or preventives to the deadly exhalations that will be 

.9 <J 2 


emitted from the saturated soil whenever the warmth of spring shall 
begin to act on the surface. . . . 

Further instructions were added as to the cleansing 
of the harbour of Balaklava, the transport of the sick, 
the removal of all kinds of nuisances to the outside of 
the harbour, &c. 

These clear and energetic instructions were supple- 
mented by a dispatch from Lord Palmerston to Lord 
Raglan in terms no less vigorous. After requesting 
that Lord Eaglan would give the Commissioners every 
possible assistance, he continued : " They will, of course, 
be opposed and thwarted by the medical officers, by the 
men who have charge of the port arrangements, and by 
those who have the cleaning of the camp. Their mis- 
sion will be ridiculed, and their recommendations and 
directions set aside, unless enforced by the peremptory 
exercise of } T our authority. But that authority I must 
request you to exert in the most peremptory manner, for 
the immediate and exact carrying into execution what- 
ever changes of arrangement they may recommend ; for 
these are matters on which depend the health and lives 
of many hundreds of men, I may indeed say, of thou- 

The work of the Sanitary Commission is matter 
of history. Lord Shaftesbury having originated and 
efficiently organised it, retired, as was his habit, into 
the background, while others enjoyed the credit. 
There were some, however, of whose good opinion 
he was very mindful, who did not deny him the just 
recognition of his timely services. Among these were 

1855.] DEATH OF THE CZAR, 501 

Lord Palmers ton and Miss Florence Nightingale. At 
the time, and ever afterwards, the latter, in public and 
private, gave " honour where honour was due." 

The following extract is from a letter written by 
her in 185S : — 

Miss Florence Nightingale to Lord Sliaftesbury. 

30, Old Burlington Street, Oct. 16th, 1858. 

Dear Lord Shaftesbury, — I venture to send you with this a 
copy of my Report to the War Office upon army sanitary matters. 
It is, as you will see, strictly confidential, and has not been presented 
to the House of Commons. But as Lord Shaftesbury has, for so 
many years, been our leader in sanitary matters (as in so many other 
wise and benevolent things), it seemed to me but right to send him 
a Report which contains so much of what was done by himself, viz., 
the work of the Sanitary Commission in the East, although I can 
scarcely expect that he will read it. 

I am, dear Lord Shaftesbury, 

Yours very faithfully, 

F. Nightingale. 

Two public events occurred about this time, to 
which reference is made in the Diary. The following 
extracts relating to them may be quoted here, before 
reverting to subjects which more immediately concerned 
Lord Shaftesbury. The events were, the death of the 
Czar of Russia, and the visit to England of the Emperor 
of the French. 

March 2nd.- — Intelligence by electric telegraph that the Emperor 
of Russia died this morning between 12 and 1 o'clock. What an 
event at this crisis ! If his eldest son succeed to the throne we have, 
humanly speaking, much hope of peace ; if his son Constantine, a 


pretty certainty of war. It is, however, a mighty change ; the per- 
sonal influence of the Czar over Germany is gone ; the Cabineo 
influence will be abated in Prussia ; the master-mind is extinct ; and 
it is difficult for a successor to emulate the passions, maintain the 
autocracy, and enter into all the conceptions of his predecessor. 

I cannot but feel for the man, though I denounced the Czar. 
He died, I doubt not, in great measure, of a broken heart, and the 
fearful excitement of wounded pride and irrecoverable reputation. 
Mighty losses in men and money ; a declining population ; increasing 
European confederacies against him ; an exhausted empire ; the cer- 
tainty that he could gain nothing, the almost certainty that he must 
lose a great deal ; all this, backed by the conviction that he himself 
was, in fact, the cause of the war, snapped the springs of mental and 
physical life ; and he died a greater slave to his ambition than many 
of the serfs to their tyrannical owners. 

March 19th. — Last night to an evening party at Windsor Castle. 
Went by train in full dress (a special one being provided), and re- 
turned by the same after midnight. Emperor had been installed a 
Knight of the Garter. A wonderful change and elevation ! In 
184S, the last time he was in England, I mounted guard with him 
as a special constable in Mount Street ; his next visit to this country 
(such are the vicissitudes of French public men) may be like Louis 
Philippe's, in flight, and as a refugee ! 

Some people dislike the history of the man and some of his 
doings. It may be so ; but it is here an affair of nations, not of 
persons. His individual character and conduct (supposing it to be 
reprehensible) must be merged in his representation of the French 
people ; it is a question of London and Paris, not of Victoria and 
Louis Napoleon. Nevertheless, his policy will admit of defence ; his 
coup cTUat is not without its point of excuse and right. The stain 
on his actions, and it is a deep stain, is the cruel, unjust, spiteful, 
vindictive, and base confiscation of the Orleans property. This is 
indelible ; and for ever deprives him of the possibility of being called 
a high-minded man. 

We, as Englishmen, have no right to find any fault. We must, 
on the contrary, be full of his praise ; he has, up to the present time, 
been loyal and true. 

April 23rd. — It is a retributive justice that Palmerston is Prime 
Minister to receive the Emperor. He was dismissed for speaking 


favourably of him. And it is also a justice that John Russell is 
absent from the scene of hospitality and splendour. He was the 
man who counselled the Queen to cashier Palmerston. 

In a letter to his son Evelyn, who was studying in 
Geneva, Lord Shaftesbury gives a graphic, gossipy 
resume of public and private news : — 

Lord Shaftesbury to the lion. Evelyn Ashley. 

London, Feb. 28, 1855. 

My dearest Evelyn, — We have been under a misapprehension. 
I fully believed that your mother had written you a long letter of 
intelligence, — social, domestic, political j and this satisfied me for the 
time, as I was so busy. 

I have just received your letter of the 20th. It has been very 
long upon the road, if your date be correct ; and I avail myself of 
' a sitting ' in the House of Lords to hear appeals, to give you a few 

We have had much trouble ; we are again quiet for a while 
externally ; I fear that, internally, our dangers and difficulties are 
no less than they were. When Palmerston had formed his Govern- 
ment, it suddenly fell down with the dry-rot, and he had to begin 
anew, on old foundations and with old materials. The motives of the 
Peelites for retirement are not clear. The arguments, no doubt, 
against Roebuck's committee are unanswerable in the line of folly 
and peril ; but they knew them when they accepted office, and they 
knew also that the question was still pending, and likely to be en- 
forced. It is matter for serious inquiry whether, in such a crisis, 
men are justified in incurring a certain and immediate, for a proble- 
matic and remote, danger. There were two evils to choose between 
— the evil of refusing the inquiry, and the evil of conceding it ; and, 
great as is the evil of the concession, it was less, in my humble judg- 
ment, than the evil of refusal. 

As for the article in the Record, it stated very nearly the whole 
facts. Lord Lansdowne took the lead against me, stimulated, in 
part, by many of the Whig party, who wanted the place for a Whig, 


and, in part, by the ladies of Sutherland House, who wanted the 
place for Carlisle. Palmerston was terrified, and gave way. I do not 
blame him, because, in his predicament and ignorance of the true state 
of things, it seemed, and perhaps was, wiser to take a colleague with a 
party at his back before a colleague without one. He had to get the 
machine of Government into motion, and he was anxious for anvthinsr 
that might grease the wheels. He yielded, therefore, for a Whig. 
When Lord L. had brought him thus far, he waited a bit, and then 
asked for Carlisle. Palmerston protested against such an appoint- 
ment as ridiculous, useless, enfeebling ; but, as usual, he gave way, 
and Brookes' prevailed. 

He is much to be pitied ; he has not a single friend in public life 
who desires to give him honest, kind, and prudent counsel ; he is 
not, himself, disposed to seek such counsel ; the consequence is that 
he is blown to and fro, and reverses the apostolical precept : ' Try all 
things, and hold fast that which is yoocV So far from being firm, he 
is beaten from everything ; and I much doubt whether he has, since 
he became Premier, been able to do any one thing according to his 
own judgment and preference. 

But his difficulties, it must be admitted, are enormous. He has 
no party of his own to rest upon ; he has not even two or three able 
and friendly adherents to fight his battles. His choice is limited for 
office men ; he is limited to the H. of Commons, and to such of 
the H. of C. as dare to vacate their seats. These are few, and mostly 
unworthy ; and yet the public are roaring out for new men ; but 
no new men of any value have been introduced through the Reform 
of Parliament ; and the Minister can no longer introduce new men 
through the channel of the rotten boroughs. 

Well, he has now formed a new Cabinet on the secession of the 
Peelites. It is, to all intents and purposes, a purely Whig adminis- 
tration ; it will be shaky, unpopular, and of short duration. God 
grant that it may last long enough to carry us to a speedy 
peace ! 

The selfishness, the meanness, the love of place and salary, the 
oblivion of the country, of man's welfare, and God's honour, have 
never been more striking and terrible than in this crisis. These, 
added to the singular conceit of all the candidates for office (and all 
have aspired to the highest), have thrown stumbling-blocks in his 
path at every step. The greediness and vanity of our place-hunters 


have combined to make eacli one of them a union of the vulture and 
the peacock. 

There is a blight, my dear boy, on all we say, think, or do. God 
is not with us. 

I much fear that Palmerston's ecclesiastical appointments will be 
detestable. He does not know, in theology, Moses from Sydney 
Smith. The vicar of Ftoinsey, where he goes to church, is the only 
clergyman he ever spoke to ; and, as for the wants, the feelings, 
the views, the hopes and fears, of the country, and particularly 
the religious part of it, they are as strange to him as the interior of 
Japan. Why, it was only a short time ago that he heard, for the 
first time, of the grand heresy of Puseyites and Tractarians ! 

Go on with Herschel. Stick to German, French, and mathe- 
matics, and keep up your classics, so far as to be ready and able to 
start afresh on your return in preparation for Cambridge. Let all 
be 'begun, continued, and ended' in Him, 'from whom alone 
cometh all counsel, wisdom, and understanding ! ' 

Well you may be struck that England is ' in danger of losing her 
influence abroad and her integrity at home.' She is humbled. We 
hear the words of Isaiah : ' Come and sit down in the dust.' Constitu- 
tional government is a laughing-stock, and the progress of rational 
freedom on the Continent is checked for half a century. War, as 
Demosthenes said, discovers to. aadpa, the rotten parts of an Empire ; 
our sin has found us out ; America comes next ; and then the liberty 
of great nations will either be extinguished or become anarchy. 

The French alliance I have always sought and defended ; and I 
do so still. But I have sought it negatively, not positively — as an 
alliance not to do us any good, but to save us and the world from 
much harm. But I have seen, from the beginning, that ' incedis per 
ignes suppositos cineri doloso.'' 

Col. Tronchin is a noble fellow : ' hold all such in reputation : ' 
cultivate him much, and all of that stamp in Geneva ; it is a fruitful 

The frost has ended with us, and the disemployed people, thank 
God, are returning to work. It has been a hard time, and yet I 
have almost prayed for a continuance of it, in the Crimea at least. 
I fear the return of spring and warm weather ; the heat of the sun 
will draw out the pestilential exhalations of a soil which has, for 
months, imbibed the filth and mortality of an enormous camp. 


We have sent out a powerful Sanitary Commission. May God 
prosper it ! 

Mary, I am thankful to say, is much better. Lionel came home last 
Friday for his exeat, and is gone back in much hope of obtaining his 
remove at Easter. Conty, Vea, and all the rest, are well. We have, 
indeed, much reason to give God thanks for the whole household. 
Morico,* too, shares the general health, and seems accommodated to a 
London life. 

I have no news from the Saint, save that the good old widow 
Keeping is dead ; she never recovered the shock of the conflagration 
which consumed her clothes. She was a deeply pious woman, and is 
gone to her rest. My iron house is erected, but not inhabited. The 
Woodlands people will not come to St. Giles's. They assign all kinds 
of reasons ; it is difficult to say which is the true one. 

May God bless you and preserve you, my dearest boy, in time 
and in eternity, through Christ Jesus. 

Your affectionate father, 


The " escape from office " on which Lord Shaftes- 
bury had congratulated himself was not so complete as 
he had anticipated. Changes were made in the Cabinet 
owing to the resignation of Sir James Graham, Mr. 
Gladstone, and Mr. Sidney Herbert ; and Lord Palmer- 
ston determined, if possible, to secure the co-operation 
of his kinsman. Among the changes was the appoint- 
ment of Lord Carlisle to the Lord Lieutenancy of 
Ireland, by which the Duchy of Lancaster became 
again vacant ; and this office, with a seat in the Cabinet, 
Palmerston once more offered to Lord Shaftesbury. 

It was in vain for him to urge the old objections : to 
declare that he could not consent to be a member, in 
however subordinate a station, of any Administration 

* A Pug-dog. 


that did not, as a Government, collectively reject such a 
proposition as that of Sir J. Walmsley's for the Opening 
of Museums on Sunday ; to state that he held views in 
antagonism to the majority of the Cabinet on the 
question of the admission of Jews to Parliament, and 
on the further endowment of Maynooth ; to urge that 
the peculiar position he had chosen for himself dis- 
qualified him to a great extent from giving effective aid 
to the Government; to plead that the trammels of 
office would prevent him continuing in his wonted 
manner, the duties to which he had been for so long 
devoted. Palmerston w r as determined, and he used every 
exertion and influence, direct and indirect, to induce Lord 
Shaftesbury to yield. "I can have no objection to your 
holding yourself free to vote as you like," he wrote in 
reply to the reiterated objections. " It will be as well, 
however, that you should not mention to others your 
reservations, because these things are exaggerated in 
passing from mouth to mouth, and create discussions 
that become embarrassing to Government, and are turned 
against it by opponents. I therefore accept your accept- 

But Lord Shaftesbury had not accepted, and he 
immediately obtained an interview with Lord Palmerston 
to plead for delay. 

Meanwhile the position had become embarrassing. 
The newspapers had announced — " We believe the 
Earl of Shaftesbury will succeed the Earl of Carlisle as 
Chancellor of the Duchv of Lancaster;"* and letters 

* Globe, March 10th, 1855, &c. 


came pouring in from all quarters, urging him to take 
the decisive step, or congratulating him, as though it 
were already taken. Among the former was Mr. John 
Delane, the editor of the Times, who said : " Your high 
estimation in the country would be of great value to 
any Government." But the pressure from without was 
of little weight, compared with that from within his 
own immediate circle. 

Lady Shaftesbury, who was absent from home at the 
time, wrote : — 

I do beseech you not to refuse. Reflect how much more weight 
everything lias, coming from a Cabinet Minister. Think, for instance, 
of all you have said to the Emperor about the persecution of the 
Protestants ; it will have tenfold weight when he knows that your 
position in England is such as to have