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[HE NORTHERN STAR. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1844.
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TO TH- JOURNEYMEN TAILORS 0 ? TBE TiSlTED KINGDOM . OF GHEAT BRITAIN AXD IRELAND . Felloe WobKhes . —The meteftcholy prostration of cur . rade mast , of necessity , fiii the mind of every -well deposed member of it with deep concern for its -ultimate safety . By our unhappy differences and isolation , we ire brought into rach a stale pf . btlpleas-Btss Biid confusion , that afi * unprincipled employer may , at « = £ / , reduce our trages , adding insult to Injury . It would be & crlas . 0 to close oar eyes to toe dangers vhich surround * s . and dasfcirdly to shrink from apelyiiig a remedy to the evils "which afflict us .
Thirty years ago -wast was xmkno-wii in our trade . Wages "were reasonable s for men were in a position to protect them . Throngh & mutual understanding , regularity -of * ystsm was observed in employment , by which l&bocr \ ras proper . y -iatntuted , and confined to the premises of ths employer . Employers themselves -were in a state of comparative prosperity , and coaipositioas Tfth creditors , or baskrnptcies , seldom taown . The principle of rendering to att tfceir due was strictly chftrrfd by empkyers , jonrneymen , and purchasers , pud the trede was respectable and
resrvected-Whst is the * tste of the trade now ? Respectable employers find their trade diminishfefL Journey men have little or insthing to de , and wages are -s « muth leUoced that tfeoasinds are in a state of poverty , misery , and degradation . The reason is-not that there is a Ecnrcity of -employment ; there being now , for the essvm , us sttich trade as ever . The evil consists in this : —unprincipled competition has reduced our wages to starvation point—ont-door -ibour has thrown one third cf tbs most efficient of our rmmbers ont of remunerative employment . It is the unprincipled capitalists , ¦ who from the metropolis , and by their amenta in large town ? , are inundating the empire with materials of the vilest description , rsade up by famished spectres ; it is this that has created ear depression , and ' supplanted honest traders .
Oar trade possesses the elements of its own regeneration . Let these elements be brought into immediate operation . This can only be accomplished by a firm union of tbe trad 6 in town and cvnntry . Through disunion , our trade has been depressed ; so by nnion alone , legally formed , can it * ver be recovered . Let , then , amultaBeons movements take place in every town . Let this week b * employed In making preparations for holding pnblic meetings early in the next . At thesa meetings Jet resolutions be passed condemnatory of nnprincrplrd competition , and favourable to a general -onion -of the trade- Invite respectable master tailors to he present ; get their hearty co-operation ; for a nnion of journeysifen would be of immense servire to them . Already between thirty and forty towns are in union
with the -metropolis ; and , by a simultaneous movement , all towns in the kingdom may in a few dsyx form one Tailor ' s Trade Protection and Mutual Benefit Society . As . an inventive to action , and to show the degradation to which our trade is reduced in I » ondon , and the revolting nature of the systems practised by slop-sellers , proprietors of resOy-made clothing establishments , professedly cheap tailors , ic-, a few facts may prove acceptable . Fir . es are instituted for being behind time ; also for lice found on garments . Is no case is less than a penny charged for each loose that is found . Oae poor fellow , whose goods were seized for rent , his wife laybig on the floor , ill , was charged
for sixteen lice said by a louse-inspector to have been found on garments in one week . A scene of a most disgusting character was witnessed a few days since at one of tbe warehouse * The Ions * inspector charged a poor woman for five lice , said by him to haTe been found on a garment ; this was resisted by the woman , who loudly j > rotested against what she considered an overchargo ; she contending that there were only four . An altercation ensued between them , which rose so high , that the proprietor interposed and suggested a compromise ; and the question was set at xest by the woman consenting to pay for four and a half !
One of tbe new order of " masters" had -a placard in his warehouse , on which was written two-pence for the first louse ; four-pence for tbe second ; the third a discharge . ** A penny is also invariably charges for a rew piece of atrbi ? to tie up tho work if the other had been mislaid . This crawling , whining hypocrite gives tickets for bread , coals , &c , but starves his workpeople , as his waxes do not -average more than one penny per hour . His men by incessant toil fer ninety-six hoars ( including Sundays ) cannot . average more than twelve ahillingB weekly . One of the Jewish persuasion is charitable with a vengeance ; as he wrings lines from his pocr slaves and gives them to Protestant associations . A poor creature made for this animal a Tweed coat , for 2 * . 6 d-, and two shooting jackets , with
eight pockets in e = sh , for 3 s . 3 d a-pleee ; thus was the poor fdiow toDing seven days and a half for nine shillings , out of which he had to pay for trimmings , fire , and candle-light . Another gave & poor creature two Tweed ecats to make at two snillings each , out ^ f which he had to pay nine-pence for trimmings , besides providing are su& candle-light . Bach took two days makiEg ; yet 2 s . 4 d . was stopped from this trifling sum c-n pretence cf being an hour too late , and to pay for coachhire , leaving the poor slave lid . for foor days' w .. rk . These ate a few specimens of unprincipled , competition , which have come under my own observation , it's general effects I transcribe from the reports of district visitors , who have explored the obscure and indigent nei g hbourhoods of ibe metropolis , to ascertain the condition of those employed by slop-sellers , proprietors of ready-aiade clothing establishments , and professedly catap tailors . The "visiton cho&e Sunday mornings as ths ferns when they shonld find them distngaced ; but at
tbej isvariaWy f ^ ocd them work , and-on icqairing the reasoE were answered— " Did we not do it we should starve * ntirtly , as we cannot earn five farthings ptr b"ur- " The neighbourhoods in which they reside ii j dsoi-eiy populated , and so extremely fiilhy that they sank alone ; m 3 ny rooms had t » o whole families in each . Tie visitors were received with the greatest civility . AH were in a state of the greatest distress . Their apartments almost -destitute of furniture . Some had icings called " beds' laid on ike fljor ; and were ¦ obliged to coTer themselves with the garments they were mskinr . Some , through a bond of £ 5 , had work direct from shops ; yet , with ths aid of their families , ewld pcarcely live by it Others bad tbe same k * nd of work from " sweaters , " who kept back 6 d . from each garment for themselves ; and four men in a filthy court of ? BounGsniteh , called G-un Squire , made thirteen pOct-coats for £ l 13 s . 6 i ; prices varying from Is . 6 L to 33 . each "
liitunate ; y connected wtth this appalling state of things , is ihs atrocious system of " sweating , " wbich is extensively patronised by master tallGrg , some of whom move in nppaxent respectability- " Unlike those who merely w-x-k at feome from ! : ecessity , and are ratufied with what they ns individually accomplish in reasonable wjrkiD ^ h-urs , the " sweater ™ takes ont large quantities of work , and has generally two or more masters ; it the same time . To the " sweater ' s" nasfy oven is gt&U-.-mcc ' s work frvgosnUy sent at nisfct , to be " baked" and polluted by morning- ; and-work so sent could have been done ( with tcarcely an exception ) by competent tradesman , in reasonable working hoars , had the work been confined to the master tailors ' premises .
A munnderstatiilng recently exirted in Sheffield betwen a master icHur -and his men ; the average number enjp ' ojtd being from twelve to twenty ) , respecting the price of T ^ giioni coats , —be wishing to reduce them to S-, bat the men requiring 103 , -srith which they sai-3 thes ¦ would be Kttsfied . Tbe master tailor tkrongh Fheer obsti&acy sent his son to London with from forty to fifty coats and Taglicni ' s to make ; The eon loafed h : in ? slf at a draptrs on the J ' txiUhe o * side of Oxford-street . TDTtngh an Tmderrtanaini ; between this respEctat-i- draper acd one or two fqaally respectible itaster tailors , who patron - ' z 3 the health-desuoying , disease-SEseridering , Icnse-breetjicg , family-starving , ^ esiorsJ ^ z ar , and tccursed system of sweating , " these coats and Taglioni ' s were given to a " sweater" i := iBed
Keo— , living near Oxford . Market , and \? bo frum tbe appearancs of the house might , to a casual observer , be mistaken for a respectable masl « tailor . This avaricious fellow -who was employed by 3 ir . Ramsay , ijot coDlcnt -sriih eazniEg good wsges from that gentleman , unaenook to irake most , if not all of the garments sent by tnt SbtSdd naster . beiEg at the same time ¦ well -rqsucntfcd with fee circumstances under wbich the wojk was brought to London . Several men were engaged bj K * o— , T ^ ho from tbtir nnmbera filled the large arst floor front room as well ss his shop . Some of ties * : itiieved each o"ier at night , ts dnrin ? the time ths wcik -K-is in hand , vriricb was littm eight to ten ba and few
Oijs , one- = day a nights were dtvuted to Isbunr . Tiie price raia I the Sbtffield master to K-o— was for coata 13 i , Tagli ^ pi ' a 12 i ; so that this jussttr taiior , rather Uiiai pa 7 bis ittn at Sb . ffl-U fc-Ar ¦ Wigcs , Etsnt his Eon to L ..:. oor . , sj-. q actoaliy jaid 2 s . mere for ilii ruskiog ol t ^ ch Ta ^ Iif . ni or "wrzpptr , than he weald i .= ? e tone !>* ¦ - ; Uiej lr . au jL& » t- a ; Lome . So much for obsUcficy . Sects of tiie r ^ n ^ rho hid been eaipioyed by Kso— , -. thr .-i thiy ututrntpo : ! the facts of the case , ief = hiic in di ^ ca-t To ' conclude tbe Effrr , iLeo— kzs beta dibctniis « - ^ i by ilr . Kxmsiy for diiappt / intmeEt , as in his anxiety to complete the SfccfiijJd o : d = r lie work of Mr . Kiu ^ say had been
Joarceynirn Tailors !—; o the rescu : !—Your trade is is jeuj , BS-dy . A onion alone can save the trade from pe-nuicn . We have had words In afjmdaccs ; it must be acuoiis iosnded on jasvice and reason that can alone siv-i sis . I > c : ay Eot a moment , for »; e h-iVo waited tlxsaiy too long . I tttTcfyre iniplore yon by evtre cenrfu , ration hoconrable to man to coina farajr-1 at o » nua £ S ; ist in otabaating ihc principies of fitLtral jsro-rtlion thronghent the Kapire . 1 am j our sincere friead , 11 , IflOle Csoss-strett , a ^ ten : j- . t of tie tn ^ e , ls : K . £ i 3 D , Fka > ces Pakbott . P / esiceat of the Uttropo ' . Lm Ta ^ -jr ' s Trs-Je Pxt > tecdon Siariety .
[He Northern Star. Saturday, February 3, 1844.
[ HE NORTHERN STAR . SATURDAY , FEBRUARY 3 , 1844 .
THE FARMERS WHO "WHISTLE AT THE PLOUGH" versus THE FARMERS WHO " WHISTLE" AT DOWNIlsG-STREET . When Sir Robkbt Peel unfolded his triple measure of Tariff , Sliding Scale , and Income T * x to the country , the " adver ; ising" portion of the Press passed over what was merely in perspective , and directed all its wrath and vengemoe igauiBt tbe immediate " touch me-pockel" question . The distant dread of four-jear-old oxen , not yet calved , and tbe dialy shadowed danger of the progressively operating Sliding Scale , were placed in the back
ground ; while the one thing of immediate eerUmty —tne Income Tax—was kept conspicuoaalj before ihe watcfcfnl public eye . It was by this lumping principle that Sir Robeut Peel was enabled to carry his three measures ; neither the House of Commons nor the Preps BeeiDg what the ultimate result of the whole , or any , wonld be . When the time of the House was wasted in a fniUleaB endeavour to resist the Income Tax , our readan will remember that Mr . O'Connor selected the one clause out of the whole Tariff upon which the three measures turned—we allude to that provision in the Tariff which admits the importation of live stock and enred provisions into this coxniry at a mere nominal
dnty . In a letter written by Mr . O'Cokhob at the time , be stated that when the landlords of England and the tenant farmers arrived at a thorough knowledge of the effect likely to be . produced by this clause , " the farmers who whistle at the ploogh , '' wonld beat u the farmers who whistle at Downingstreet f and that Sir Robert Peel would create a hurricane ont of the House , vhich could not be allayed i > y the influence of the " strong Government '* within . Mr . O'Coxsoa further foretold , that tke landlords , heretofore eo fond of national faith , " would , when aroused by a sense of their altered position , be the Jirst to attack " vested interests , '' and to comolain of the weight of taxation .
Well , we find that " the farmers who whistle at the plough , " have at length taken the field igainstthe Downing-street " clodpoles ; " and we further discover that the Landlords who take part at the agricultural meetings , now becomin g so general , are beginning to talk of the injustice of taxation ] and tbe PRESSURE OF OUR DEBT III An orator at one of these agricultural meetings oomplained of the injustice of 27 , 000 , 000 of people being
subjected to a tax of £ 51 , 000 , 000 per annnm while 59 , 000 , 000 of Russians ( living under a despotism ) paid only £ 15 , 000 , 000 taxation . This is beginning at the right end I This evinces a desire to probe tbe wound to the bottom , instead of u sloughing off the proud flesh , " leaving the wound nntonched . One of our greatest complaiats against the Pilous has been , that whilBt its hired jugglers pounrayed existing poverty most vividly , they never had the manliness to direct public attention to the
question of questions—the impossibility to usst OVTB FIXED MOXET ENGAGEMENTS . As soon as the ephemeral bustle oreated by the " impolicy and injustice , " as it was called , " of having recourse to a war tax in time of peaee , '» had Eubrided , the appearance of foreign cattle alarmed the agriculturists ; and this alarm the snpporters of Government were compelled to meet j while the advocates of Free Trade attempted to direct the public mind to the slight advantage to be derived from the change . Of course the Government supporters wrote pamphlets , and Editors wrote
articles , all founded upon the u discoveries of travellers " and " Commissioners , " who " reported that in no country upon the Continent was to be found the dreaded number of horned beasts' *; and that " each foreign country had rather an nnder than an overstock of that com modity . " The beasts did come , however ; and the meat markets fell . Bat then , " h was only temporary "— " tbe experiment would not be repeated . " Again did Mr . O'Con . iob meet the
existing fallacy by declaring that although fat beasts would not be created by a Tariff , yet tho opening of tbe richest market in the world would very speedily lead to an extensive speculation in the new traffic * As a matter of course we were not to expect a large importation of that of which there was not likely to be a large , or indeed any surplus , in foreign countries . It seems however , that the trade has opened again , and early in the present year too , aa we gather from the following announcement in the Timet of Tuesday last : —
" Importation of Foreign Cattle . —Theapeenlators in Spanish oxen have again commenced importing from Tigo . During the last three weeks upwards of eighty have been brought over by tbe Peninsular ( team packets to Southampton , and are of a 'very fine quality , as the Spanish farmers in Biscay and the Northern provinces are now directing their attention to the improvement of the breed for the English markets . There were a few yesterday morning at Smitbncld market , and they met with a-ready sale . "
Aye , aye j not only will the farmers of Biscay and the northern provmees direct their attention to this new description of traffic opened between tbe rich consumers and the " low rent" producers , bat every other European country will henceforth make the supply of untaxed cattle in tbe rich market a part of its policy and system ; while America will give as store provisions , cured to suit tbe English palate : and should there be any imperfection in their mode of making cheese at present , the raw material is there ; the rich land is there ; and all they hare to do to annihilate the Cheshire trade is—to import the be ^ t hands at cheesemaking from that county .
The machinery for carrying on the traffio was expensive for an experiment ; but when the trade comes into full operation , suitable means of transfer will be perfected . Shipping Companies , to carry stock at a cheap and low rate , will be established Establishments , for the fatting of stock upon untamed provisions , produced by untaxed labour ^ will be completed , contiguous to the principal ports for
export ; and , as was the case with those English feeders who imported their store stock from Ireland and the north of Scotland , the foreign speculators will receive their stores from the interior , comprehending a distance of 500 miles ; and the Btock bo fed will be offered in the rich market with all the machinery for its transfer perfectly arranged , to compete iffith the produce of hjchly taxed land and labour !
If the landlords begin to srrueak under the present redaction of rents , what will be their tone when their markets are opened to the competition of the world ? I This anticipated result is what we see valuable in the measure ; because , while it admits produce that requires little or no laboar in the manufacture , it will compel English landlord ! to devote their lands to those productions which require the greatest amount o / manvuil labour . Hence the slight importance attached to the importation of
meat , " the production of which requires but little labour , by the advocates of Free Trade ; and tbe great importance attached to the importation of corn , the production of which requires muoh labour . Their object and design is to convert all the lands of England into pasture ; the management of which , i ^ qiiiriEg but a comparatively small amount of labour , v ? culd have ihe inevitable tendency to place a large amount of surplBS hands at their mercy ; wLcreas home-growD corn being " protected" ooteiEpcracs-ously rrith the auEmsiou of all other
prorisioas at a mere nomina ) duty , will have the effect of creating a home comp etition in the production of corn , which of neoessily will deorease the " supply" in the labour market , and thereby deprive the manufactureri of much of that surplus by which they are now enabled to reduce wages , ' notwithstanding the boasted " improvement of trade . " At long length , the Agriculturists are aroused to a sense of the evils and danger ? to wbioh they are exposed . They are forming themselves into " Anti-Leaeue Associations . " As might be expected , the
landlords are placing themselves at tbe head of the " Movement ; " professing that their object is the defence of native industry . They assert the soundness of the principle of Protection ; and we therefore , so far , welcome their efforts . But we plainly tell the landlords of England , that it is not so much their opposition to the League , as their professions in favour of the labourer , that we approve . We hail their appearanoe upon the political stage just now , because to that one object , and to that alone , they muBt direct their undivided attention . The u upholding of rents , " and " the security of the tenant ' s interest , " shall find no sympathy with us
UNLESS BOTH BPBINQ FROH THE LEGITIMATE SOURCE op all wealth—the improvement of the labouring clastet . It will not suffice , as has been attempted , to throw odium upon the League by a frightful comparison between the poverty of the manufacturing operative , and the agricultural labourer . They must present « # with a rosmvjj , and not with a comparative state of comfort . It will not satisfy to tell us tbat the agricultural labourer drags on a miserable existence while the manufacturing operative dies for want ., No . They must open the wide field of natural labour , inviting all who chose to enter to a state of
positive and uninterrupted comfort ; thes must knock down their loathsome bastiles , or convert them into comfortable habitations for the sick , the blind , and the lame , while unwilling poverty shall once more be allowed either the means of livelihood , or the power to live independently in . idleness . They must do these things ; and then they will have the Protection of the people , and Ltagueism be annihilated . Bnt the landlord class must remember , that if- tbe manufacturers have been guilty of
purchasing human flesh , they have been guilty of Belling it ! If the manufacturers compel the useless and exhausted pauper to return once more to his parish , the landlords have prepared but a cold reception for his wasted frame . If the landlords have been slow in rousing themselves in defence of their own interest , they have been active in producing that Btate of pauperism and desolation of which the League complains , but which it has no desire to alleviate .
We rely , then , upon much good accruing to the labouring classes from this contest between their rival taskmasters . Sir Robert Peel may rest assored that the interest which he hoped to deceive will ultimately be his ruin . This agitation will tarn to an Anti-PsEL agitation . Already there are signs of such a result ; and then be , like many other Statesmen , will have discovered the truth of the old adage , that "between two stools , he has come to the ground . " . 1 ...
THE ATROCIOUS GAME LAWS . THE MORALITY OF JUDICIAL MURDER . Two human beings have been recently strangled ; pnt to death , by the handB of the common executioner , in pursuance of sentences passed on them by tbe administrators of law . The circumstances connected with the " crime" of eaoh , as well as the fact of public strangulation itself , calls for comment . When life is taken , it behoves us to well ascertain , and judge of , the why .
The two cases were widely d ifferent , in their prior circumstances , though both were cases of " murder . ' ' Throne was a crime arising out of that bloody code —the game laws ; the other one in whioh a son took the life of his own father . We Bhall first advert to the case of Roberts , the poacher . He was condemned to " death" for having taken the l ? fe of one Richard Keston , a "keeper " on the estate of tbe Earl of Dekbt . The circum ; stances were these . On the 10 th of November } aet , JoHif Roberts , with some of his companions , four of them named Jakes Mart , Thomas Jacques , Joseph
Riknbr , and Henrt Fillingham went to " poach ;" that is , to catch " wild animals" on the estate of tbe Earl of Derbt . The keepers armed with guns and other deadly weapons , watched and encountered them . A sanguinary conflict ensued , during whioh Richabd Kenton , o /^ ct- he had discharged the two barrels of his double-barrelled gun * was killed . For this killing the five men above-namod were arrested , committed , tried , and sentenced to be hanged . Four of them were " reprieved" from hanging , but transported for life ; while Roberts , the man who had been the immediate cause of death to Kenyon , had his life publicly taken .
Thus , within a few weeks , we have seen one man shot dead ; another publicly strangled ; four doomed to a life of slavery worse than death ; and four or five more compelled to fly their country . Nor is this all . We must take into account the deso ' ated homes , and broken hearts whioh form no inconsiderable item of this catalogue of horrors ; and then ask , —for what ? That tbe aristocracy may conserve to themselves the brutal enjoyment of slaughtering , by wholesale , partridges , pheasants , and hares whioh are , byinature ' s laws , the property of those who can catch them !
la order to form a just opinion of the offence of these men , one of whom has been hanged , we must first consider the motives by which they were actuated in committing the aot of violence laid to their charge . To make an act " murder , " there must be malice afore-thought . But how could this be , in the ease of Roberts ? It is evident that he was not the assailant . He was the attacked . The " keepers watched , and encountered them . " Kenyon , before Roberts shot him dead , fired the two barrels of his double-barrelled gun at those he encountered . It is dear therefore , that malice afore-thought can not be predicated against Roberts .
True , tbe men were in pursuit of game . True , that in bo doing , they were breaking the law . True , that forsnch trangression of such " just" law , they were liable to transportation . True , that the law , the terrifio and bloody game-law , gave the keepers a M right" (!) to " seize" and " apprehend" the offenders , in order to their transportation . True all this : and those terrific truths only set the mind to work to discover tbe foundation of a law to transport a man for being found in pursuit of wild animals ; to discover the foundation oi a law to take from any man , be he whom he may , the right of catching and using those animals .
We know very well ; we are instructed by mere feeling , that we have a right to live , to see , and to move . Common sense tells us tbat there are some things which no man caD reasonably call his own property . Common sense tells us that such animals as are of a wild and uutameable disposition any man has a right to seize upon , and keep for his own will and pleasure . The " poacher" as he is called , needB not Blackstone to teach htm this ; though were he to read the Commentaries of that eminent expounder of English law , he would find that he there lays down that : —
" 4 U 1 these things , so long as they remain in possessession , every man has a right to enjoy without disturbance ; but if once thsy escape from his custody , or he voluntarily abandons the use of them , they return t » the common stock , and any man else has an equal right to seiza and enjoy them afterwards . " That Learned Judge also says in the twentysecond chapter of the seoond book of his great work : — :
•• With regard likewise to wild animals , all mankind had by the original grant of ihe Creator a rfght to pursue and take away any fowl or insect of tbe air , any fleh or inhabitant of tbe waters , and any beast or reptile of the field ; and this natural right still continues in every individual , unless where it ia restrained by tho civil laws of the country . And when a man has once 10 seised them , they become , while living , his qualified property , or , if dead , are absolutely his own : so that to steal them , or otherwise invade this property ,
is , according to tha respective Fa'uea , sometimes a criminal offence , sometimes only a civil injury . " And again he farther says : — " Another violent alteration , of the English Constitution [ at the conquest ] , consisted in the depopulation of wnole counties , for the purposes of the King ' s royal diversion ; and Bttbjjectivg both them , and all the ancient forests in the kingdom , to tho unreasonable severities of forest laws imported from the continent , whereby the slaughter of a beast was made almost as penal aa the death of a man . In tbe Saxon times , though no man was allowed to kill or chase the
King's deer , yet he might start any game , pursue , ani kilt it upon his own estate . But the rigour of these new constitutions vested the sole property of all the game in England in tbe King alone ; and no man was entitled to disturb any fowl of tbe air , or any beast of the field , of such kinds as were specially reserved for the royal amusement of the Sovereign , without expiesa license from the King , by a grant of a chase or free warren ; and those franchises were granted as much with a view to preserve the breed of animals , aa to indulge the subject From a similar principle to
whioh , though the forest laws are now mitigatedjand by degrees grown entirely obsolete , yet from this root has sprung op a bastard slip , known by the same of the game-law , now arrived to and wantoning In Its highest vigour : both founded upon the same unreasonable notions of permanent property in wild creatures ; and both productive of the same tyranny to the commons : bnt ; with this difference ; that the forestlaws established only one mighty hunter throughout the land , while the game-laws have raised a little Nimrod in every manor . "
When this was written , nothing was known of the present severity of the law . Judge Blacb . ston sayd that the Game Law was then w&utoning in it highest vigour : what would he have said to a law making it felony to resist a game-keeper \! He calls it tyranny to the Commons , as it existed in his time : what would he hare said of the present code !! whioh transports a man for being in pursuit of the anlimals which this great expounder of law declares to be the property of all I Perhaps no laws that were ever devised by the worst of legislators have been more prolifio of crime than the Game Code . It has been stated that there
are more persons imprisoned in England for offenoeB againBt the game laws , than there are persons imprisoned in France ( with twice the population ) for all sorts of offences put together ! The / poacher , necessitated to do in the dark , what he should not be restrained from doing in broad day-light , abandons his home when most his family needs hiB protection and good example , spends bis nights in the company of those who , badly-trained or previously corrupted , gradually corrupt him . His days are too often spent in a beer-shop , where he soon learns to regard idleness and dissipation as his highest enjoyments . Imprisonment follows ; but tbat losing its terrors , he becomes more reckless : and transportation , or hanging , is the " grand finale" oi his wretched existence !
But this is not the only light in whioh we must view these atrocious laws . The framers of them have always had in view other and important ends to be achieved by their enactment . The aristocracy have played for a heavier stake tban that merely of plundering the people of a fair share of the oreatures of the forest . Their grand objeot was to disarm the people , and train them up in ignorance of the use of weapons of defence . The right to bear aams has ever been held—and rightly so—to be the distinction between a freeman and elave . Tried by this test , we prove the mass of the people of this country to be slaves ; disarmed and powerless slaves .
Instead of oonfiding the protection of the country to a justly governed , and therefore patriotic and brave citiisn force , comprised of all classes of the community ; successive governments have gradually annihilated all that was left of a national army ; trusting for ' their defence from foreign foes without , and , —an onemy of whom they have much more dread , —a discontented people within , to a mercenary band of hired bravos ; mindless machines employed to butcher abroad , and prop up tottering despotism at home ! whioh honest (!) employment is , for the purpose of tickling the" many-headed monster , " dubbed with the high-sounding names of "duty'' and " glory" !
In the perfecting of this matchless scheme of fraud and tyranny , the Game Laws have been made to play a most important part . Under their operation the people have been gradually , but at length almost universally disarmed . An " Arms Bill" for England indeed!—that will never be needed . Tens of thousands not only have not arms , but are entirely ignorant of the use of them . Suoh has been the effect of the Game Laws , aided by the Acts against " training and drilling ; " until now the people , unskilled in the art of defence , quietly submit to wrong and insult , which they would not bear with for twenty-four hours had they the dearest privilege of freemen , —the means of protecting themselves and punishing their aggressors .
And it is to keep the people in a state of slavery , and give to the wealthy the mouopolr of God ' s gifts to all , that the Game Laws are maintained . Behold the fruits of suoh legislation ! The case of Dobson , the man executed at York , presents a picture of awful depravity , both as regards himself and his victim ; and is damning evidence against tho system which so rears in ignorance and brutality too many thousands of our population . Moreover Dobson had been a soldier . In the " army ' he had been taught that" killing" was " no murder , " when done scientifically and to order . The poet says" One murder makes the villain ; Millions , the hero . Princes are privileged to kill ; And numbers sanctify the crime . "
Dobson was no Prince , though we have heard of Priuces as brutal and as ignorant .. Still , when in the " army , " had he slashed the bowels out of a dozen Chinese , or shot down the like number of Afifehans , he would have been a " hero . " though certainly only on a small soale . Nay , bad his father been a Chartist" rebel , " or a plug-drawing " turnout , " and had he been ordered by his commandingofficer to shoot that father , he must hare obeyed . It would have been part of his " duty , " according to the " articles of war" ! Poor wretch ! he had not forgotten his military lessons . So , when [ his father angered him , he obeyed the " word of command " given by his own passions , and shot him dead I For so doing he was hanged by the neck , till he was himself dead .
A few worda as to the morality of judicial slaughters . We protest against all murder , whether committed by the " villain , " the " Boldier , " or the " judge . " The murder committed by the first of these , is execrated and punished both by opinion and law . But opinion dubs the murder committed by the soldier as " heroism" and " glory ; " and the murder
committed by the judge is authorised j by the " law , " and has too the sanction of opinion . But as two blackB never yet made a white , so neither will law and opinion combined ever make a right out of wrong . To take life is murder , unless when taken in self-defence . Degraded wretch as he was , the taking of Dobson ' s life could not restore the life of his victim . To strangle him therefore was to make two murders where one was one too many !
We may be told that though the hanging of the murderer did not restore the life of tbe murdered , the terrifio nature of the punishment is calculated to operate as a stern lesson upon the multitude , and prevent a similar crime being committed . Lot us see . Take first the criminal himself ; and it will be found tbat in ninety-nine oases out of a hundred , the effect of his crime has been to obtain for him a religious whitewashing of all his sins of omission and commission , and a priestly passport to heaven
into the bargain ! The honest son of toil , who , despite every temptation to the contrary , shall pursue the straight-forward path of moral rectitude through life ; let him only be suspected of scepticism as to the orthodoxy of political and religious systems at present ia vogue ; and he is branded as aa infidel , and his future lot predicted to be that of eternal suffering . But let any one lead a life of ruffianism , and wind up by the commission of some gallows-offence—let him murder his own father for instance , and forthwith ladies of tho Mrs . Fay
Softool , and parsons of all demminatiuns , ftooK to the prison , to administer rel ' gioua consolation to the criminal : and forthwith we are inundated with the cant of " repentance , " " forgiveness , " " hope , " and firm reliance on God ' s mercy , " and oftentimes of " certainly of j heaven" ! * ' O tor a forty-parson power To sing thy praise , hypocrisy !" Dobson , for instance , wrote a letter to his wife , in whioh , after talking of his anticipated joys of heaven , he says , " perhaps it is all ordered for the best" I Yes ! the killing of his father ordered as' the besi means of his sulvation I What awful blasphemy We are told , too , that on the scaffold the Rev . J . Salvin shook hands with the culprit , saying " Good
bye ; God bless you , Dobson" ; to which the priestcrammed culprit replied : " I am in his arms now ' ! The defenders of oapital punishments accuse the anti-stranglers of mock-sentimentalism ; but we ask if here is not mock-sentimentalism carried to its utmost extent ! We do not say that the murderer should not have the attentions of wiser and better men , by way of producing ia him a sincere repentance and amendment . Quite the reverse : but we do protest againBt these " prize-exhibitions" of converted murderers , held up , as they are , as a tort of example toothers to obtain " salvation" by similar means . If they continue much longer , we shall have the people coming to the conclusion that Newgate is the new-gate to heaven ; and the " new-drop" the only certain drop into glory I
And then the example it has on the multitudes who come to witness these strangling exhibitions . At the execution of Dobson , we are told that" At an early hour in the morning , a number of strangers , some of whom had come a considerable distance , in order to witness the execution , arrived in York , and appeared very anxious to ascertain tbe time when the execution would take place . " And what came they for ! "To see , " says the reporter— " to see the show . " The spectators were , in a great measure , women and children , who came to learn mercy and pity by familiarising their
feminine and unformed minds with this Scene of blood-shedding ! " Tower-street and St . George'sfield , " says tho reporter , " opposite the place of execution , had rather the appearance of a country fair than that of a scene of death . " Strange " moral lesson , " this ! . Would it not have been better to have treated the multitude to a veritable saturnalia of folly— " a country fair , "—than to suoh a hideous combination of praying and blaspheming , deathstragglings and wanton revellings , like this ! We are told that " some pitied the wretched man ; others looked on with ; the coldest indifference , being
accustomed to witness similar scenes . " Where is the " moral lesson , " if your punishments are of that nature that pity for the victim of the murderer is swallowed up land forgotten in sympathy for the criminal ! And when men in a calm state of mind can be brought to view the dying throes of a strangled fellow-mortal with passive indifference , perhaps saying to themselves " why this hanging ia'nt so muoh after all ; it's only the work of a moment : " if such be the feelings of the spectators ,
how can the scene operate to prevent them in moments of passionate excitement taking the life of those who may anger them ! You legislators and priests ! you rulers . and teachers ! you teach the people that the ; taking away of life is a mere trifle ! You bring even women and children to see your horrid " show ' ! and then , —foots and hypocrites that you are !—you wonder that the misguided many should take example from your " great moral lessons "; and hold up your hands in pious horror at the depravity of the multitude ! At Liverpool : we are told that " the town poured forth its scum and rabble , " to gloat over the convulsions of strangulation . " When the bolt was withdrawn , and the prisoner fell , " the crowd set up a hideous yell , th « expression , apparently , of their feelings of horror at the shock , rather than of bad feeling towards the dying man . He struggled violently for a few seconds and then ceased to move . " " Great moral lesson" ! What are likely to be its effects we shall presently enquire .
Ia the case of Roberts there was less of cant than in the case of Dobson ; though , as is usual , poor Roberts charged " the Devil" with being the cause of his lamentable end . Yes ! it was " the Devil ; " but not " Old Boggy . " // was the Devil of class-legislation that brought him to the scaffold . The Devil of property-and-aristocraticlaw that trained him up for crime , and then strangled him for his criminality ! That is tbe Devil that must be " cast out , " ere scaffolds and gallow ^ -ropes shall cease to be , and judges and hangmen find an honest living at the plough .
The effeots likely to result from the hanging of Roberts are already distinctly seen . Since the trial which condemned him and four others to death , another murder of another gamekeeper has taken place ; that of the keeper to Lord Grantlet , near Guildfbrd : and the murderer , James Elslet , now lies in prison , awaiting that trial which is almost certain to result in another " great moral lesson , ' ' viz ., another strangulation . " But this is necessary to protect tho keepers . " Lord Stanlet on being applied to by the friends of Roberts , to" use his influence to save the unhappy man's life , declined to interfere , alleging that " information had reached him , through Sir James Graham , of so many gamekeepers having been murdered by poachers , that it was necessary an example should be made . "
Precisely the same language was used . in the year 1822 , by Judge Burrough at tbe Hampshire Lent Assizes , when sentencing to death- James Turner for aiding and assisting in killing Robert Baker , gamekeeper to Thomas Asheton Smith , Esq ., in the parish of South Tidworth ; and Charles Smith , for having wilfully and deliberately shot at Robert Snelorove , assistant gamekeeper ' to ( the Free-Trader ) Lord Palmbbstoh , at Broadlands , in the parish of Romsey ; the Judge observing , that " it became necessary to these cases that the extreme
sentence of tho law should bo inflicted , to deter others ; as resistance to gamekeepers was now arrived at an alarming height , and many lives had been lost . " That was nearly twenty-two years ago ; and although Turner and Smith were hanged , the former for aiding and assisting in the killing of a keeper , and the latter for shooting at a . keeper , . still , despite the " great moral lessons" of 1822 ,. the shootings and hangings have continued—are now at " an alarming height" —and will continue while these blood-written , laws remain on the statutebook !
Does the reader suppose that had the gamekeeper shot Roberts , instead of himself being shot , that the keeper would have been hanged ! Nothing of the sort . He would have but performed his " duty "; and a verdict of "justifiable homicide" would have sheltered him from the penal consequences of the killing . ; : Thevengeanqe with which our game-preserving
aristocrats pursue poor " poachers , " as though they were the vilest ] of the vile , painfully contrasts with their villainous outrages upon all law and justice when one of their own " order , " or aDy one related thereto , has violated the law , no matter how infamous , may have been the nature of the crime committed . We will not now speak of the oft-qaoted , " pon-myhonour" CARDiQAN-farce ; but will remind the reader of the late hideous duel-affair in which the
murderer , Mcnro , ; was concerned . We use the term " murderer" advisedly ; for he was so designated by the verdict of a Coroner ' s jury . Moreover , with the consciousness of guilt he shrunk from any attempt at disproving the charge , being willing seemingly to carry with him through the rest of his despicable existence the brand placed upon his name by an impartial body of his countrymen . He was not only a murderer , but ! had ruffianly courted the catastrophe whioh his trigger accomplished , by his disgusting insults offered to a woman , and his victim , a toosensitive and infatuated man , —both his near relatives . This murderer Mcnro was allowed to escape I The police gotjldnot apprehend HIM . The boasted '* detective lorce" of London could not " detebl "
him ! They knew where he had resided ia . the heart of London ; but not till he had gone ! Then , again , there was the " trial" to come on at the Central Criminal Court ; and daily-press " paragraphs , " —no doubt well paid for , —informing the public that the " honourable" duelist was about to gallantly " give himself up . " All this was to afford time for the " gentleman" to make the necessary arrangements for quitting the country altogether . The army authorities too , lent their assistance to this disgraceful farce . Had this Munro been simply a poor deserter , he would have been hunted through the kingdom and severely punished , had he been absent from the ranks only a few days . In Munro ' s case months are allowed to elapse without any ia *
terfereace on the part of the " Horse Guards ; " until ou the 11 th inst ., just before the opening of Parliw ment , when ugly questions might be asked if there was not something doue , a notice appears in the Gazette that "Lieutenant Munro is superseded , being absent without leave . " And now the news * papers inform us that the " gallant" murderer has quitted England , and is about to enter the Prussian service ! Not thus was poor Roberts allowed to escape ! Not thus did the law ' s myrmidons pass over the offence of poor Cook of Mitcheldover , who was hanged , not for slaying ; not even for shooting at ; but simply for striking at , Binohah Baring , whereby even Bariks's hat was not injured , though tbe blow was struck at it !
And yet the base scribes who , steeped to the lipg in corruption , sell far a mess of pottage their mental faculties to support the existing order of things , yell out , through their daily and weekly "leaders , " " there is not ' one law for the rich and another for the poor . ' " Is there not !! Let the damning facts we hare recorded above answer ! But let not the aristocracy and gentry put faith in the flimsy snpport of these , to them , worst possible supporters . Universal fac t proclaims " that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor ; " and such a system , and the universal knowledge of such a system , cannot long exist without producing the most dreadful results .
There was a game-preserving , class-legislating aristocracy in France once ; and Arthur Younq tells us that these lords and gentry had a " right divine , " when they came in , fatigued from hunting or shooting , to cause the belly of one of their vassals to be ripped up , in order that the lord might soak h sfeet in the bowels ! We all know what came of that ! ! " This was in 1789 : in four years more , did you look into the Tanneries of Meudoa , you would hare seen the locg uaked making for themselves breeches of human skins ! May the merciful Heavens avert the omen ! May we be wiser , that bo we be less wretched . " *
Ah ! ye howl over "French Revolutions , '' ** Reign of Terror , " " Robespierre , " and " Alarat ; " and yet ye hang men for game-stealing to teach them " justice" ! and treat them to a banquet of blood to learn them " mercy" ! Fools and blind that ye are Be warned in time ; or as sure as the sun is in tho heavens , what hath been shall again be ! * ^ Carlyle's " Past and Present . "
B ZUGSTOX— Caf cf Lib . err . . Pollard-Street , JiMiSi " 2 S . —At a general mt ^ uu ^ oT member * , a tie-bt / Ve inn , Mr . JLo-& in the cbiir , ihe mtHiory cf the iauaorta . 1 patriot , IiiOCii » s . Fjh ^ c , - . fas drank . Proposed * by Mr . "V ir ^ o , stceiidtu by 3 ir . ?* & , * ' liai " » ve apply to the ExccuiiTii fur ihe ^ rrircs of Jtfr . M'GT&zh , or s ^ me other Ie 5 : urer , to vi- ; t Bn ^ hton S 3 toon ss ion ^ ei-itu ' . " Jjs : Iu 6 moai oc addressed to . Sir . fia . E h ; sub-S ^^ urj , . Ne . 06 , jE 4 iT £ r 3- £ ti eei SngLica ,
Tbh Co . \ djtj o > " op tus Wklsh Ma . uttbs . —A paragraph is " going ihe ronnd" just now , to the effect that a returned convict , named Mepham ( who has been pardoned because it has been discovered that he was innoopnt of the crime for which he was transported . ) saw Frofct the day before he received bis pardon . He wasai the Cascade station , about sixty miles from Hcbart ' B town , in the bush , and aoted as scboolmasi « r , on which account , he was exempt from labour in the forests . WilliamB had the miBfortune to bre * k his lee , by a tree failing on him , three days before Mepham left . Jones was employed as constable 10 watch the working party in the bush . He told Mepham on the eve of his departure , that he would give ten thousand pounds if he had it to ch&a ^ e places with him .
TRIAL OF THE IRISH GOVERNMENT . Ws perfectly agree . with almost every other newspaper upon the subject of Mr . Shiel ' s speech . It was a splendid poetio effusion , and must have made a deep impression upon all who heard it delivered , as doubtless it was , with apparent earnestness and candour . It was the speech of a justly vain and confident orator , addressed to the excited passions of his audience , rather than the appeal of the practised advocate to a doubtful Jary . For ourselves , we required no speech to convince us of the injustice of the prosecution , or the danger to society from the manner in whioh it was conducted ; while we fear that even the thrilling eloquence , the glowing
patriotism , and manifest earnestness of Mr . Shiel win fail to convince the " glorious , pious , and immortal dozen" of tbe innocence of his client , or of even the error of his petulant prosecutor . They were sent there to perform a certain duty ; and from what they are led to consider a faithful discharge of that duty , the eloquence of a Demosthenes , a Cicero , a Shkdidak , a Hood , a Grattan , or a Curran , will not turn them to the right hand or to the left . There are points in Mr . Shiel ' s speech to which we may hereafter refer , when commenting on the whole case of Ireland , which at present , in our capacity of advocate , it would be unfair to damage by remark . For the present , therefore , we pass them by .
We feel less necessity for immediate comment upon some of the moat objectionable parts , ia consequence of Mr . John O'Connbll ' s very proper , very manly , and very appropriate disavowal of what to him , as well as to us , appeared to be an attempt to save his client at the expense of truth and principle Mr . Shiel is no lawyer ; and was consequently thrown out of the beateu legal track into the maz 9 of fiction . In commenting upon the law of conspiracy he fell into countless errors ; one , and not the slightest , being his assertion , that so revolting was this oharge to the English mind , that tho Juries
whioh tried the Chartists , almost without exception , found them guilty of other counts upon which they stood charged in the indictment , acquitting them of the crime of conspiracy . Now it so happens that Mr- Shiel is in error upon this point ; the fact being that in almost every case where Chartists have been tried they have been found guilty of conspiracy : and had they been tried for high treason they would have been found guilty by the same Juries . We mention these facts for the purpose of guarding our Irish brethren against the erroneous supposition that any lenity has ever been shewn to the English Ch&nista .
The speeches of Mr . Moons , Mr . Hatchell , and Mr . Fitzqibbon , who spoke after Mr . Shiel , were remarkable for their legal acumen . Mr . Shiel having the first cut at the thing , must naturally have embraced all the general topics bearing upon tbe case , and must have consequently imposed upon all who followed the necessity of treading in a beaten track . To weed Mr . Shiel ' s exuberence , and to cull from it the real essence of the case , appears to have been the principal work of the other gentlemen ; to bring back the minds of tha Jury te the real question at issue ; a task not easy , —nevertheless by them well performed .
For the fracas in Court on Tuesday , when the Attorney-General challenged Mr . Fitzoibbon to " mortal fight , " we must refer the reader to the Report . On the propriety of the man who is emphatically the peace-preserver of the nation , and has felt it to be his " duty" to institute the trial now going on , because the alleged actions of the Traversere tended to a breach of the peace ; on the propriety of such a man trying to provoke a breach of the peace , of a character that , in all probability , would have ended in mprdeb ; of the propriety of such an act as this , it is not for us to speak . " Gentlemen" do manage to exhibit some queer antics at times !
We are djw curious for tho reply of the Cro wn , and the summing up of the Bench ; and , should there not appear to be a perfect unanimity in that quarter , a circumstance which , from Mr . Justice Perrin ' s well known legal knowledge , and weakness of the case , we have a right to conjecture—w « can hardly entertain the thought of an adverse verdict upon the trumpery charge , however we may adhere to our doubts respecting the " dosen . " To
the summary of that great constitutional lawyer—* Protestant lawyer , whose elevation to the Bench was hailed by the whole Irish bar , as a just tribute to wisdom , talent , and impartiality—we shall look with no ordinary interest . We anticipate that it will be a" summing-up" worthy of record , noton ly i « the musty archives of legal absurdity , but one from whence the advocates of justice may draw hope for the future , and contrast with the imbecility of th «
past . We have said as muoh as our present space permits . Next week , we hope to record a verdict <» " Not Guiltt . "
_ 4 ^ 1 _ _____ THE NORTHERN STAB ^ February 3 1843 .
Northern Star (1837-1852), Feb. 3, 1844, page 4, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ns/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1250/page/4/