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From the Cork Examiner of April 2nd. we take the following report and Editorial notice. This is really to advance, it is the true way by which to succeed in juvenile Reformation and protection, it is the heart and soul of the Reformatory system - The Patronage Society.

BENEVOLENT APPRENTICING SOCIETY. The first annual meeting of this Society was held yesterday, at twelve o'clock, in the Dispensary House, Grand Parade. Amongst the gentlemen present were, John F. Maguire, M.P., N. Mahony, Isaac Julian, Professor England, Dr. O'Connor, Dr. Townsend, Robert Scott, George Purcell, W. P. Harris, Edmond M.Carthy, R. J. O'Shaughnessy, Thomas Hayes, Patrick Hegarthy, James Hogy, J. T, Cleary, G. Smith, William D'Esterre Parker, Thomas Gallwey, &c.

On the motion of Dr. O'Connor, seconded by Mr. N. Mahony, the chair was taken by.

MR. Wm. PriTTIE HARRIS. Mr. R.J. O'Shaughnessy read the following :Report of the Committee of the Benevolent Apprenticing Society for

the year ending 31st March, 1858. In making their first annual report, the Committee of the “ Bee nevolent Apprenticing Society” have great pleasure in being able to congratulate the subscribers on the complete success of their humble undertaking. About twelve months since, a few gentlemen acquainted with the condition of the orphan children reared in the workhouse, their good conduct and intelligence while in school, and their expo. sure to contamination should they pass to the able-bodied class, conceived the idea of apprenticing these children, while they were still innocent, and of becoming their guardians for a few years, till their acquaintance with the world might enable them to act for themselves. This proposal being warmly advocated by the local press, was readily adopted by the citizens of Cork and its vicinity, and a sufficient sum of money to carry out its objects was soon subscribed.--How. ever, it must be admitted, that many who aided the undertaking, despaired of its success, from a conviction that boys reared in com. parative idleness would not be got submit to systematic labour. We are happy to be enabled to state, that this very natural appre. hension has been proved, by experience, to be groundless. Of twentyone boys apprenticed more than twelve months since, not a single complaint has been hitherto made by their masters. In one instance two apprentices suffered great privations, their master being reduced by domestic misfortune, from comparative affluence to distress. Nevertheless, they were willing to bear everything rather than return to the workhouse, even for the short time in which we might procure for them another master, such was the spirit of independence created in these boys by so short an experience of its value.

These facts are creditable to the guardians for the excellent train. ing and education which procured these results ; and they put be




yond question the practicability, as well as benevolence, of this society. It is probable, however, that slight differences which occasionally arose between master and apprentice rould bave passed into one open rupture, but for the interference of members of the committee, whose visit at once reconciled the parties. This practice of visiting the homes of the apprentices periodically, we consider the main feature of utility in the society. It ensures justice from the master, and tends to control the conduct of the apprentice, as much by res. pect for his benefactor, as by his advice and counsel.

This duty has hitherto devolved on a few, but in future it is proposed that it be divided between the whole committee, each two members undertaking the patronage of a certain number of apprentices; and we are convinced that any trouble resulting to them will be conpensated by the pleasure of witnessing so much good realised at so small a cost.

Seeing the good which has already resulted from this experiment, we would recommend that a similar effort should be made to rescue the Female Orphans from the lethargy, which a long residence is a workhouse is sure to generate. That they are entitled to consideration at our hands is proved by the fact, that the Inspector of Na. tional Schools was so pleased with their answering at a recent er. amination, that he selected four of their number to become Mise tresses of National Schools. Whether the remainder, nearly their equals in school learning, and not their inferiors in good conduct, shall remain prisoners for life in a Workhouse, or purchase their liberty at the expense of virtue, or wait for the arrival of some speculator from Caffraria or Australia to export them as live stock useful to the new colony, depends upon the subscribers to this Society.

The Committee are confident, that by a little personal exertion on the part of some few ladies, aided by a small pecuniary assistance from the Society, many of those children will find a virtuous home in their own country, where their intelligence and industry, as in the case of the boys, may reward the benevolence that gives them shelter. The details of this plan will be submitted by a member of the Committee.

If we failed in everything else, we have succeeded in conferring a good name, not undeserved, on the poor children of the workhouse : and if without it the highest in rank are degraded, and the most successful in trade are sure to decay, how can the poor rise out of the difficulties which surround them, when divested of it?

We might urge many arguments derived from principles of economy, to recommend the objects of this Society to public notice, namely, the cost of support in a workhouse, the cost of emigration or the cost of punishing or reforming a criminal ; but we would prefer that the citizens of Cork should have the full credit of uni. ting, from feelings of Christian philanthropy, unmixed even with justifiable selfishness; and we feel confident that from this motive alone, sufficient charity will flow to confer on the Society ample funds for its objects.

Mr. Maguire said that he had been just called upon to propose the adoption of the report ; but so full was it of information and of




interest, that it really left nothing for him to add. However, he might be permitted to express his satisfaction at the authoritative proclamation of the fact, which the experience of the last twelve months had established, that although a poor child might have been reared in a workhouse, he yet was not entirely beyond the pale of society, or the hope of social redemption (hear, hear). There was at that moment, and had been for some time, a general and earnest feeling throughout the city, and amongst all classes of its citizens, in favour of Reformatories—a feeling most creditable to the citizens of Cork (hear, hear), who did not despair of redeeming the criminal child, and restoring him to society as a useful and valuable member. And, surely, if they did not despair of reforming the child who had fallen into crime, there was no reason to doubt of the social redemption of the child whose only crime was his poverty, caused perhaps by the loss of a parent, and not by any fault of his own (hear, hear). Crime brought one child to the reformatory; poverty brought the other to the workhouse. They did not despair of the criminal ; why, then, despair of the pauper (cries of “ bear, hear")? On every ground, of common sense, economy, humanity, and charity, he was of opinion that the Benevolent Apprenticing Society was one of the most useful, practical, and benevolent institutions that could possibly have been organised in the city. It was right to make some effort

prove that a residence in a workhouse, often compulsory, was not degrading and debasing, or that it unfitted the child for any useful or creditable occupation. The moment the human plant, that was feeble and declining in the barren soil and uncongenial atmosphere of a workhouse, was transplanted to the vigorous soil and the genial atmosphere of freedom, it was certain to expand, and develope itself in health, in strength, and in energy (cries of "hear, hear') For his part, he had always maintained the opinion, both at the Board of Guardians and elsewhere, that the best money expended was that ex. pended in the industrial and literary education of the children in the workhouse (hear, hear). Some persons might cry out for economy when an attempt was made to improve the training of those children; but the economy which would reduce the number of schoolmasters or schoolmistresses, was a criminal economy,-it was folly-it was madness-it was an injury to the children, an injury to the ratepayers, and a heavy infliction on society (applause). The more that was done to form their babits, to improve their morals, and to add to their knowledge, the more certainly were they rendered discontented with their dependant position, the more anxious were they to leave the house, and, once having quitted its walls, the more determined were tbey to remain outside, supported by their own industry (hear, hear). The fact that some of the twenty-one boys who had been rescued from the workhouse by the society, had submitted to the severest privations, and perhaps to the harshness or even the tyranny of those to whom they had been apprenticed, proved their anxiety to leave the workhouse. If indeed our respected secretary reported the saine of those boys who had not turned out well--if he had to say that there had been four, or six, or even ten failures, we should not still have been surprised, nor ought we have been disappointed



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(hear, hear); we should have attributed those failures to the im. perfection of our common nature, But there has not been a failure at all (hear, hear). The masters were not perfect, nor were the boys angels; still there was not a single instance in which the society had to record a failure. Under those circumstances, the report was the most cheering that could by possibility be presented to the society; and with such a report before them, the public were bound to assist the present effort, and, by contributions as well as by active co-operation, advance the objects of the society (hear, hear).

Mr. Thomas Hayes briefly seconded the adoption of the report, wbich was unanimously carried.

Mr. Robert Scott said he had been requested to propose that “The thanks of this meeting are due to the committee for the past year for the attention which they have given to the business of the society, and for the exertions which they have so successfully made to effect the objects for which the society was constituted.” It was scarcely necessary for him to say anything in support of that resolution. The report which had been read, spoke sufficiently of the efforts made by the committee ; and the success that attended those exertions was a matter of congratulation, and should excite the public to a deeper and greater interest in so laudable an institution (hear, bear). It was a very pleasing fact that after having apprenticed twenty-one poor children, none of them had acted in a way to bring discredit upon themselves or upon those who had taken an interest in them (hear, hear). If twenty-one of a better class of children were apprenticed, it would not be surprising if they turned out unsatisfactory, and when they found a number of boys, who were confined for a considerable period in a workhouse, distributed amongst different parties, and all turn out well, it spoke very highly not only for them. selves, but for the description of training that fitted them to fill their situations. The humbler persons were, the more ought their desire for advancement be encouraged (hear, here). The society was worthy the regard of every benevolent person in Cork, and Cork was famous for the exercise of benevolence.

There was scarcely any cause worthy of support, that was not assisted (hear). He was sure then the object of the society required only to be known to command a larger share of public interest and subscriptions. He Deed scarcely dwell upon the importance of ing young persons out of the workhouse and placing them in a position of making a livelihood for themselves and becoming respectable members of society (bear). After some further remarks, Mr. Scott concluded by moring the resolution.

Mr. George Purcell seconded it.
It was carried unanimously.

Dr. Townsend said he had been requested to propose that the following gentlemen be the committee for the coming sear:T. G. French, president; R. J. O'Shaughnessy, Hon. Sec.; J. England, Dr. W. 0. Townsend, I. Julian, T. Hayes, P. Hegarts, G. Purcell, T. Gallwey, N. Mahony, Francis Lyons, Dr. O'Counor, and Alderman Robert Scott.” After the able speeches the meeting had heard, he need not say a word. Any one conversant with the

interior of a workhouse must perceive with great satisfaction the prospect of getting the little boys out of it. He hoped an effort would be shortly made in behalf of the girls as well (hear). He could not see what crime it was to be poor, and he did not see why any one of these poor little boys should not aspire to high positions (hear, hear).

Professor England seconded the proposition which was carried.

Mr. Mahony stated that last year the sum of £90 was expended, leaving a balance of £60. This balance would not exactly pay the instalments coming on, but they would not be due before the end of


two years.


Mr. Maguire, What is the amount of the fee ? Mr. Mahony-£5. Mr. MaguiremAre they all at mechanical employments ? Mr. Mahony-Yes; we have got no suitable offers for farmers. Mr. Maguire- Mr. Parker says he could get a few on board the Wizard. I got eight or nine from the Dungarvan workhouse on board her.

Mr. O'Shaughnessy-And there were six from our own workhouse.

Mr. Mahony thought that the boys who Mr. Maguire got engaged had a special advantage over the boys of the Cork workhouse.

Mr. Maguire-Well, they were certainly the sons of fishermen.

Mr. Mahony- They weigh the boys before they take them on board those vessels. Mr. French got a little fellow engaged, by putting a piece of lead in his trowsers in order that he might weigh heavier (great laughter). Mr. Mahony continued to say that it was the intention of the society to take up the girls, and they hoped to be able to hire them out as servants by the intervention of the ladies of Cork, whose aid the society solicited (hear, hear). There was to be an examination of the girls on Thursday, at which there would be a large attendance of ladies, and he was certain the moment they saw the little girls, so clean and nice, they would forward the view of the society, (hear, hear).

Mr. Hogg said there was a great want of domestic servants, and from what had been seen and heard of the boys, he was sure any ef. fort to advance the girls would be successful. There was no einployment that could be obtained but that contemplated, every mechanical business, such as shirt making, being done away with. He (Mr. Hogy) knew the men to whom the boys had been engaged, and he could say it authoritatively that it was surprising there should be no complaint.

Dr. O'Connor_Though we could not say there was no fault on the part of the boys, still there was no fault on the part of the inen, perhaps owing to misfortune. We do not wish to overstate things.

Mr. Mahony said there would not be the same liability of failure on the part of the masters in future as there had been at first, because they were then afraid of the boys.

Mr. Julian-Indeed they turned out better than ourselves expected.

Mr. Mahony-As to the girls, a committee of the Guardians have it in contemplation to give the children of two years old, or just weaned, to well conducted girls in the first class to take as nurse

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