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It has sometimes happened, that no Marriage has taken place within the year preceding in the parish, to entitle any person to the bounty, in which case the Dividends are accumulated until an applicant presents herself, who is entitled under the Will. She then receives the whole amount of the accumulated Dividend. This Charity, in the opinion of The Rev. JOHN IRELAND, Curate of the Parish of Cloford, has a tendency to produce mischievous effects. Besides it's general tendency to produce Immorality, young persons have been thereby induced to marry at a very early age, in order to entitle themselves to the bounty, and in some instances they have been known to anticipate the sum, by mortgaging the same before marriage.
The same bad consequences have also been observed to result from this bequest, in the parish of Nunney. It is stated to have produced much poverty and distress, inducing Marriage, without any
other prospect of support than what is holden out by this Charity.'
In 1610, MARMADUKE LANGDALE gave the interest of 1001., among other things, towards the relief of poor Servants and poor Labourers, who should be married in the Chapelry of South Skirlaugh. But it appears, that demands for assistance on Marriage are not encouraged there,—two only having been made of late years, and but one of them attended to.”
Several bequests have also been made, for the Marriage Portions of Servants, of good fame and reputation, and who have conducted themselves with fidelity, diligence, and respect, in their different places,--these are confined to particular Parishes, and to various years of Servitude, but all of them are directed to the laudable purpose
purpose of a due encouragement to Industry and Gratitude, and to stimulate them to acquire those distinguishing rewards by their commendable manners and merit.
Rep. III. pp. 317, 318.
: Rep. IX. p. 780.
DEBTORS, AND PRISONERS.
PHILANTHROPY has not been forgetful to furnish relief for the miseries of those unfortunate persons, who are secluded from Society by Imprisonment for incon, siderable Debts, and are thus rendered useless members of the Community by a deprivation of their Liberty,--and who, under the heavy afflictions of poverty and want, are without the cheering hope of friends to undertake their release, except such as spring from those humane and spontaneous acts of pure Benevolence.
The Donations for the discharge of poor Debtors will testify the interest which the Public have taken in their misfortunes, nor have “ the sorrows of the Sufferers” been viewed with indifference, as may be seen from the various and bountiful Charities to the Prisoners, in food, raiment, and coals.
And one Nobleman, with a large and enlightened discernment, has added his benefaction to meritorious Criminals at the time of their discharge, when relief must be most wanted and desirable.?
But Benevolence has no limits, we find it exploring, succouring, and providing for every species of Calamity, charitably forgetting the cause of the distress or the character of the unhappy sufferer, seeking only to do good, and even in the dreary and shunned recess of the Felon's cell, collecting and administering consolation and relief to his dismal wants.”
A singular donation occurs of ROBERT Dowe, who in his life-time, in 1705, gave 501., to the end that the Vicar and Churchwardens of St. Sepulchre, in London, should for ever, previously to every execution at Newgate, cause a bell to be tolled, and certain words to be delivered to the Prisoners who are ordered for exe'cution, in the form and manner specified in the terms of his gift. An' annual sum
· Rep. vi. p. 403. · Rep. XIII. p. 603.
of 11. 6s. 8d. is now paid to the Sexton, who employs a person to go to Newgate on the night previous to every execution, where he offers to perform the prescribed duty, which is always declined, as all needful services of that kind are administered within the Prison.
The words of this remarkable exhorta
tion are, —
“ You prisoners that are within,
“ Who for wickedness and sin, « after many mercies shown you, are now appointed
to die tomorrow in the forenoon, give ear, and un-“ derstand, that tomorrow morning the greatest Bell of .“ St. Sepulchre's shall toll for you in form and manner “ of a Passing Bell, as used to be tolled for those that “ are at the point of death,—to the end that all godly
people, hearing that Bell, and knowing it is for your going to your deaths, may be stirred up heartily to pray to God to bestow his Grace and Mercy upon “ you, whilst you live," &c.*
Nay, even when the last sad office of execution has been performed, Charity still watches over the wretched corpse, and by the Will of Mr. AMERIDETH, in
* Rep. xiv. p. 150. • Maitland's Hist: of London, vol. i, p. 26.