Imagini ale paginilor

" The


2. Effects of intemperance on morals in obscene persons, fighters, gamblers, receivers the colonies and other possessions of Great of stolen goods, receivers and harbourers of Britain.—The safety and peace of New thieves, and of the most depraved of both South Wales was jeopardized from the same sexes; and who exist upon the depravity of cause towards the latter end of the last the lower orders."'* century. For a considerable time, disorder Sir W. Molesworth observes, " to dwell reigned in that part “through the culpable in Sydney would be much the same as indealings" of the officers of the New South habiting the lowest purlieus of St. Giles's, Wales corps, who were allowed to retail where drunkenness and shameless profligacy spirits ; their dissolute habits, and abuse of are not more apparent than in the capital of the means entrusted to their management, Australia.”+ rendering the resources of government in- In South Australia is witnessed the same directly subservient to their own private prolific cause of vice and distress. interests."

These, according to Dr. Lang, vice of drunkenness," says Judge Jeffcott in " entailed ten thousand sorrows on the his first charge to the grand jury, "prevails Colony.” Fearful insubordination was the here to an alarming extent.” · Men," consequence of an attempt which was made to observes one correspondent, “work about put an end to this pernicious monopoly. two or three days of the week, and drink Thegovernor was, in the most daring manner, the remainder." “ Sottishness," writes Mr. put under arrest, and the lawful government, Stowe, "prevails over the lower orders, and for the time being, suspended. At that irreligion over the mass.' “Spirit drink. period, labour and the necessaries of life ing,” says Mr. Gouger, “is carried to a were paid for in ardent spirits, and this mode lamentable excess in the province. Most of barter was adopted by all classes in lieu labourers try to make it a stipulation with of currency.* The consumption of spiritu- their masters, that they should be allowed a ous liquors in that Colony, at the present fixed quantity of rum a day, and a worse period, is fearful in the extreme, and forms habit, perhaps, neither master nor servant the greatest obstacle to its improvement and can adopt.” A labouring man writes in the

following strain.—“Pray tell whoever thinks A recent number of the Colonist News- of coming out, they must make up their paper, states it to average not less than five mind to be sober, as liquor being so cheap gallons and a quarter per annum, to every here, it is the destruction of many; it is living soul of a population of eighty thousand, quite dreadful.” A colonist of this settleincluding women, children, and convicts; to ment, in one of his communications, states as say nothing of wine, beer, and cordials; the follows:-"I do not hesitate to say, that of quantity of spirits in bond, at that time, being the greater number of those who do not no less than four hundred and twenty-two succeed in this colony, their want of success thousand five hundred and twenty-six gallons. may be generally attributed either to idle

The various books published in reference to ness or drunkenness, or both.”* The the state of this colony, teem with accounts of present colonial treasurer imports large the immoralcondition of its inhabitants, which quantities of rum into the colony, thus exists in proportion to the consumption of patronizing a vice, “which absorbs, as in a ardent spirits. It is stated on indubitable bottomless gulf, those surplus wages, which evidence, that “the drunkenness, idleness, it has been calculated would be expended in and carelessness, of a great proportion of the the purchase of land, and consequent increase inhabitants of Sydney, afforded innumerable of emigration."'ll opportunities and temptations, both by day The same national curse has proved the and night, for those who chose to live by greatest hindrance to moral improvement, plunder.” And again, on the same testimony: and the most fruitful source of demoraliza

-“ More immorality prevailed in Sydney, tion in most of those colonies which belong than in any other town of the same size in to the British empire. Reference, in partithe British dominions; there the vice of cular, may be made to New Zealand, the drunkenness had attained its highest pitch : South Sea Islands, and British Guiana. the quantity of spirits consumed was en. Concerning the former, Mr. Ellis, the O: dous; even throughout the whole of New missionary, states, that “the demoralization South Wales, the annual average for every and impediments to the civilization and human being in the colony, had reached four prosperity of the people that have resulted gallons a head. With a free population, from the activity of foreign traders in ardent little exceeding sixteen thousand, Sydney spirits, have been painful in the extreme;' contained two hundred and nineteen public-adding, that in Tahiti alone, in one year, the houses, and so many unlicensed spirit-shops, sum of 12,000 dollars was expended in that its chief police magistrate felt himself spirituous liquors. In New Zealand, scenes incompetent to guess at the number. The of drunkenness are of daily, and even hourly greater portion of these public houses were occurrence; and the immorality occasioned kept by persons who had been transported convicts, and who were notorious drunkards,

* Report of Sir W. Molesworth's Committee on Transportation.

I South Australian Gazette, 1840. * Dr Lang's New South Wales.

li Stephens' South Australia, p. 132.

+ Ibid.

thereby, is in the highest degree alarming. true religion ; and a nation destitute of both Mr. Williams, the missionary, gives it as his morality and religion, is a disgrace to human solemn opinion, that European intercourse nature, and an enemy to God. with these savages, has been with few ex- 3. Effects of intemperance in the present ceptions, “ decidedly detrimental, both in a day in the production of dishonesty and moral and civil point of view."

crime. The records of our own and other “ In British Guiana," writes a valuable countries, exhibit an inseparable connexion journalist, “the Indian population is acknow- between intemperance and crime. Volumes ledged to have been diminishing ever since might be filled with appropriate illustrations ; the British came into possession of the the confined limits of this volume will admit colony, and especially within the last eight of a selection only. or ten years. This diminution is attributed, Intemperance is the chief cause of dis. in some degree, to the increased sale of rum, honesty and breaches of trust. It operates which formed a part of the presents dis- in various ways in producing this result. tributed by the British government, which In Part ii. of the Sixth Report of the Inhas made no effort whatever to convert them spectors of Prisons, published 1841, which to christianity.'

relates to the prisons in Scotland, Northum“ All reports agree in stating that these berland, and Durham, Mr. F. Hill states the tribes have been almost wholly negleeted and following interesting facts. “The passion retrograding, and are without provision for for drink not only tends to produce a great their moral and civil improvement.''of deal of crime by lowering the power of the

“The facility of obtaining ardent spirits,” person affected by it to earn an honest says an able writer, in reference to Prince livelihood, and at the same time by increasing Edward's Island, “and the free use made his necessities, but apparently, also, in some of them, operates here, as in all our other cases, by exciting dormant feelings, which, colonies, as a serious drawback on their at ordinary times have no influence, but morality and prosperity.”I

which, when thus roused into action, appear The same observations will apply to the to urge the individual to steal or to commit North American Indians, the aborigines of any other offence to which he is inclined for New Holland, and to all the savage tribes, the mere gratification of a temporary desire, who have had the misfortune to be in any- without reference to any benefit to be obwise connected with European and other tained. I have occasionally found persons, civilized nations.

who, under the excitement of intoxicating Contrast with these facts the condition of drink, appear to have an uncontrollable the inhabitants of Greenland and Iceland. desire to steal, apparently for the gratification Captain Parry, in his voyages to the Polar of a kind of passion, the value of the article Regions, says, “It is owing to the total stolen seeming to be a matter of little con. absenceof intoxicating liquors, that the Green- cern. The matron of this prison stated that landers are so little addicted to brawling and she knew many instances of the kind, and fighting, and can bridle their resentments she mentioned one in particular of a woman, with such stoical firmness."

who had been in prison three times. The M. Gaymard, and M. Freycinet, who not matron described her as a hard-working, long ago were engaged in a voyage of civil, obliging, and clever woman ; and said, scientific discovery to Iceland and Greenland, that when sober, she always gave satisfaction recently furnished the Academy of Sciences to her employers ; yet when she had drunk with the following, among other interesting what others would call a mere trifle, such facts :— With a population of fifty thou- a desire to steal seemed to sieze her, that sand, there have been only four murders she could not restrain herself. The woman committed since the year 1786 ; and since had never been known to steal any thing of A.D. 1280, or for almost six centuries, the greater worth than what she could pawn or island has not been subjected to the slightest sell for a penny! The last time she was increase of taxation.

convicted, she was sentenced to imprisonment An appeal, however, need not be made to for eight months. During this period she foreign nations for evidence of the demo-worked so well and so cheerfully, was so ralizing effects of intoxicating liquors. Our neat, brisk, and clean, that when she left own, unfortunately, presents too many the prison, some months since, the matron appalling examples. A larger proportion of said, she could not help remarking to the the crime, and every other species of im- governor, we have lost our greatest ornamorality which exists in this kingdom, may ment.' The matron met her a short time be directly traced to this cause; among ago, and heard, with pleasure, that her which may be included, as not the least employers had taken her back again, and baneful in its influence, a very general dis- that she was doing well. She assured the regard of religious principles. The moral matron that she had not taken a single and religious principles of a nation have a glass of spirits since she left the prison.' powerful effect upon its prosperity. Where This fact is exceeding important, inasmuch there is no sound morality, there can be no as it shows that the use of strong drink has • Asiatic Journal, 1837, p. 90.

a direct tendency to induce acts of dishonesty, Col. Bouchette's British North America. to excite in fact, “dormant feelings which

+ Ibid.

at ordinary times have no influence," and persons. The number of persons sentenced which free from all foreign and unnatural for transportation for the same period, was influence, would have continued undeveloped for England and Wales, thirteen thousand and restrained.

one hundred and sixty-seven, and for London Mr. Poynder observes that intemperance and Middlesex, four thousand and sixty-five. is the fruitful source of breaches of trust, In the seven years, from 1804 to 1810, the and leads to perpetual violations of confi- the maintenance of convicts at home and dence. Most of the cases of embezzlement abroad, was no less than £528,716 or which he had known in his official situation, £75,530 annually. In the period, however, were referable to drinking: such prisoners from 1811 to 1817, the sum was nearly had told him that the first temptation to double, it being £985,371 or £140,765 abuse the confidence reposed in them arose annually. The expense of seven police from the necessity of supplying themselves offices during the same periods was, for with liquor, and that when once the first 1804 to 1810, £163,839 and annually barrier between honesty and fraud was passed, £23,405. For the next seven years, howall afterwards became easy, and they went ever, from 1811 to 1817, the amount inon without repugnance, until detection had creased to £186,724 or annually £26,674. ensued. “Most men in my own profession,” In a period of seven years, from 1819 to adds Mr. Poynder, “can, at least, confirm 1825, the number of persons committed for this fact, that drinking is the bane of mul. criminal offences in England and Wales, titudes in it, who would be otherwise valuable increased from sixty-four thousand five in that particular department, and useful hundred and thirty-eight, in the previous members of society. The law-writers es- seven years, to ninety-three thousand seven pecially, are almost universally addicted to hundred and eighteen; and for London drinking, as every law-stationer can testify; and Middlesex, from fourteen thousand five and a person who makes it his business to hundred ninety-eight during the same period, provide situations for law-clerks, and who to eighteen thousand five hundred and nine ; has had great experience among all classes each being an increase of more than thirty of them, assured me that cases of violated per cent. A proportionate increase also trust, arising from their habit of drinking, took place in the number of convicts for were constantly occurring, and that it was transportation. The expense of maintaining impossible to enumerate the instances of convicts, during the same periods for forfeited character and of individual suffering, England and Wales, was from £985,371 to which this source of expense and crime had £1,319,295, being an increase of £47,703 brought under his own observation. In annually. For London and Middlesex, the other professions and trades many examples increase was still more remarkable, being of violated trust, from this cause, must be from £186,724 to £292,112. familiar to every one: mercantile clerks, In the period between 1826 and 1831, apprentices, and shopmen, in order to supply the evidence as to the demoralizing influence their desire for this pernicious ingredient, of strong drink, is prolific and lamentable. have, in repeated instances, become criminals The reduction of duty on spirits in 1826 for life. Servants, both male and female, was attended by an increase of consumption have first robbed their masters and mistresses in England of British spirits, of more than in order that they might procure liquor ; one hundred per cent. In 1825, the contheir character then gone, they have fallen sumption was four million one hundred and in consequence, from bad to worse. thirty-two thousand two hundred and sixty

The same gentleman states, that in many three gallons ; in 1826, it reached to the cases, where a prisoner was not under the enormous increase of nine million three influence of liquor at the moment of com- hundred and eleven thousand six hundred mitting the crime, such, for example, as and twenty-four gallons. The total conforgery, he has been able to trace such sumption for the last six years, was only previous habits of drinking as left no doubt twenty-seven million seven hundred and on his mind that this was the master-vice ninety-nine thousand three hundred and which, while it was expensive in itself, sixty-seven gallons, whilst for the present involved him also in various other expenses, period, it was fifty-three million six hundred which were unitedly beyond his means of and forty-six thousand four hundred and supporting, and induced him to have recourse thirty-six gallons. The decrease of duty to the crime of forgery for their supply.+ was not one half, and the consumption nearly

In the seven years, from 1812 to 1818, doubled, so that there was an increase in the the Parliamentary returns show, that there whole revenue of £4,876,365, and of which were committed, for criminal offences, in England's share was £1,659,589. England and Wales, sixty-four thousand The effects of this state of things on the five hundred and thirty-eight persons; and poor rates, was as follows :-In 1825 the for London and Middlesex alone, fourteen amount levied, was £5,786,989. A gradual thousand five hundred and ninety-eight increase took place each year until in 1831

they reached £6,798,888. * Parl. Evid. Appendix. p. 418.

The influence on crime was equally lament# Ibid. p. 419.

able. The number of persons committed



for criminal offences in England and Wales, crime had increased in the proportion of increased from ninety-three thousand four ninety per cent., that is five times the rate hundred and thirty-two, in the last period, to of increase in the population. In 1835 the one hundred and twenty-eight thousand and number of individuals charged with offences, ten persons, in the present six years. For was in England and Wales, one in six hun. London and Middlesex, the increase was dred and nineteen ; in Bristol, one in two also about thirty-three per cent., being in hundred and ninety ; in Middlesex, one in the last period eighteen thousand five hun- three hundred and thirty-six; in Lancashire, dred and nine, and in the present, twenty-one in four hundred and eighty-one; in four thousand five hundred and sixty-four. Cheshire, one in four hundred and ninetyThe number of convicts increased at the two; in Anglesey, one in eight thousand ! same ratio, being for the previous six years The quantity of ardent spirits consumed for England and Wales, twenty thousand in the United Kingdom in the year 1817, six hundred and fifteen, and the present, was nine million two hundred thousand thirty-one thousand four hundred and thirty- gallons ; in 1827, eighteen million two two, and for London and Middlesex for the hundred thousand gallons : in 1837, twentylast period, five thousand three hundred and six million seven hundred and forty-five thirty-three, and for the present, seven thou- thousand gallons. Thus it appears, that sand eight hundred and twenty.

whilst the population had only increased The expenses of crime were increased in thirty-three per cent. in twenty years, the proportion to its extent. For the seven consumption of spirituous liquors had been years ending 1824, the amount was trebled within the same period. Taking the £1,319,295 ; for the seven years terminat- whole kingdom, the proportion of spirits ing 1831, the cost was £1,390,701, leaving consumed was, in 1820, one gallon annually an increase only of £71,406, while during to each inhabitant; in 1833, it was one the last period the increase was £333,924. gallon and a half. Several adventitious circumstances tended to In addition to this startling and lamentable create this large increase. The expenses of consumption of ardent spirits, we must take the seven police offices during this period, into consideration another potent, if not however, were greatly augmented, having equal or superior, cause of crime, particularly been in the last period £292,112, and in the in agricultural districts—the general and present £478,365.

extensive use of fermented liquors. The These statistics substantiate the evidence number of licenses taken out for beer-shops laid before the select committee on drunk-in 1835, was thirty-nine thousand six hun. enness, that “crime and pauperism have dred and fifty-four; in 1836, forty-four increased in the same proportion to the thousand one hundred and thirty; and in increased consumption of distilled spirits, 1837, forty-five thousand three hundred and and in a much larger ratio than the popula- ninety-four. tion of the United Kingdom." A series of An increase of crime took place soon elaborate tables are published, in the evidence after the new beer act came into operation. of the committee, from which the above It appears, from a statement made by Lord statistics have been carefully selected.* Melbourne, that from the year 1821 to 1827,

The increase of crime has greatly exceed- the increase of crime was at the rate of ed the increase of population In 1821, twelve per cent., whereas from the year 1827 the population of England, Scotland, and to 1833, it had increased at the rate of Wales, was fourteen million seventy-two thirty-one per cent. About or during the thousand three hundred and thirty-one ; in latter period, the establishment of beer-shops, 1831, it was sixteen million two hundred as well as a great reduction in the duty on and sixty thousand three hundred and spirits, took place.* eighty-one, being an increase of two million Parliamentary returns for 1836 state that in one hundred and eighty-eight thousand and twenty-three agricultural counties, possessed fifty. From this it will appear that the popu- of the largest agricultural population, crime lation has augmented in the proportion of two has increased to a most alarming extent. In to sixteen, or about one-eighth. The increase some cases this increase was twenty-in of crime, however, is as nine to twenty-five, others, even thirty-two per cent. The nuor about three-eighths, thus being full one- merous beer-shops, opened in various parts fourth greater than that of population. of the country, have proved nurseries of

Some statistics laid before the British thieves and other wicked persons, and have Association for the Promotion of Science, fully shown that crime increases in proportion held in Liverpool, 1837, exhibit very strongly to the number of licenses granted for beer the connexion between intemperance and and spirit-shops; in other words, in procrime. The returns as to the number of portion to the facilities afforded for obtaining persons charged with offences, committed in inebriating compounds. England and Wales at various periods, show Henry Pownall, Esq., one of the Middlesex that whilst the population had only increased magistrates, asserts, that “the greater poreighteen or nineteen per cent. in twelve years, tion of the crimes which have been com

* Parl. Evid. p. 346.

* Parl. Evid. p. 162.

[ocr errors]

mitted, especially in the country districts, bourhood we find the same results. In the have been planned and concocted in the same districts it is found that a decrease in beer-shops. Lord Francis Egerton, “ con- the consumption of malt liquors is attended sidered the system as productive of enormous with decreased crime. evils."

• No bill had ever been more pro- The evidence that a great proportion of ductive of drunkenness and immorality, than the crime committed in this and in other the sale of beer act.” Lord Dungannon countries is attributable to intemperance, is “considered beer-shops as places where strong and conclusive. Some examples in crimes of the deepest die, such as highway point are now adduced. robbery and deer stealing, were concocted.' “The evil of drinking,” says Mr. Poynder, Reflecting individuals foresaw these con- “ lies at the root of all other evils, in this sequences, from an act which all parties now city, (London) and elsewhere. I have long admit to have been injurious to morals and been in the habit of hearing criminals refer productive of much crime. Robert Chambers, all their misery to this source, so that I now Esq., one of the police magistrates of Lon- almost cease to ask them the cause of their don, says he has no doubt that crime has ruin." increased more rapidly since the establish- The late Mr. Wontner affirmed that ment of beer-houses.* The same gentleman“ ninety-nine out of every hundred prisoners remarks, that “ since the passing of the beer that came to Newgate, committed their crimes act, the places for the sale of spirits have in consequence of intemperance." greatly increased,” and that “besides the “ The increase of crime in Manchester," sale of beer, they permit and encourage the says the Rev. C. F. Bagshaw, chaplain to sale of spirits, which are frequently mixed the gaol, Salford, “I attribute to the increase with beer.''t Mr. Capper, of Bristol, also of intemperance; and I should say as to informs us, that the habit of mixing spirits the cause of crime, perhaps four-fifths of with beer is extensive, and that “ of late those brought into the gaol are brought in years, since the passing of the beer act, the by intemperance." secluded villages have become much more Mr. Clay, in an abstract of a report of intemperate than they were.”' W. A. seven hundred and twenty-three persons White, Esq., seventeen years magistrate of confined in Preston gaol, of which he is the Queen Square Police Office, states, that chaplain, states, that three hundred and intemperance prevails more among the lower seventy-five, or fifty-two per cent, arose classes of the population now than seventeen directly from drunkenness. Mr. Clay further years ago, which he attributes very much to states, that if all the particulars connected the beer act and to the opening of public- with the guilt of criminals were made known, nouses all night.|| John Twells, Esq., or if we were acquainted with their general states, that he has no doubt that the in- habits, drunkenness, which now accounts for crease of beer-shops very considerably in- fifty-two per cent. of the offences, would creases the consumption of ardent spirits.$ manifest itself as being little short of the

The Sheffield Iris of 1834 states the follow-universal cause of criminalty. ing additional corroborative fact. One of the The Rev. E. Faulkner, chaplain of the magistrates of that town at a public meeting City gaol, Worcester, in a late report of the stated, that from the 1st of October 1830, state of the prison, presented to the town when the beer act took effect, till the ensuing council, says very few cases have occurred year, no fewer than three hundred new beer- within the past year of which drunkenness, shops had been opened in Sheffield ; and it or an excessive fondness for intoxicating was a striking fact, that during that period, liquors, has not been the direct, or the no fewer than one hundred and ten of them approximating cause. Many, in a state of had applied for spirit licenses. “Such was inebriety, and others, for the sake of prothe increased desire for spirits, formed, as curing the means wherewith to indulge in it, they believed, by the increased facilities of have committed the offence which assigned obtaining beer."'T

them to prison.” These, and other similar facts, prove the In a Report presented to the magistrates position made in an early section, that the of the county of Lancaster, by the chaplain use of the more mildly intoxicating liquors, of the jail, he states, as the result of personal creates an appetite for stronger stimulants. inquiries of the numerous prisoners, of the Abundant facts in corroboration of this causes which led to the commission of the position, present themselves to our notice offences, he had discovered, that “the in the present day.

passion for liquor was a source of ruin and The drunkenness of the iron districts in disgrace, more fruitful than every other Wales, Staffordshire, and Shropshire, arises cause combined;" and that “of one hundred almost entirely from the use of malt liquors. and eighty-nine offenders of all descriptions, In many parts of the manufacturing districts, there were one hundred and sixteen who five-sixths of the intoxication is also caused imputed their misfortunes, or their crimes, by ale and beer. In Preston and its neigh- to the temptations held out to them, by the


ale-house and the beer-shop.” * Parl. Evid. p-115. IIbid. 132. || Ibid. p. 292

Mr. Stephens, superintendent of the New. $ Ibid. p. 301. [Ibid. p. 167.

castle police, states that out of two thousand

+ Ibid. 115.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »