Thursday, September 29, 2011

Habitations for the labouring poor 1817

Thursday, September 29, 2011
Loretta reports:
The habitations of the labouring poor may be rendered ornamental, and the comforts of them increased, at a very trifling charge beyond the cost of common buildings . . . the annexed plate is designed for four cottages, connected with each other, and under one roof; a mode of building that admits a considerable saving of expense . . .   The public attention is now so fully called to consider the condition of the labouring classes of mankind . . . on the means of increasing their comforts, and on lessening the demands for parochial and other aid . . . [T]he following  . . . proves the advantages which result from giving the labourer the means of employing his surplus time.

A commonable land belonging to a parish was inclosed, and an allotment, containing twenty-five acres, set out for the use of such of the poor as rented less than ten pounds a year, to be stocked in common. Previous to the inclosure, there were some few cottages that had land let with them, to the amount of six or seven pounds a year each. The occupiers of those cottages with land annexed to them, were remarkable for bringing up their families in a more neat and decent manner than those . . . without land . . . [I]t was this circumstance that led to the laying out of a plot of lands . . . to other of the cottages, and to add a small building sufficient to contain a horse or cow; and likewise grafting stocks to raise orchards. In some instances small sums of money were lent to these cottagers for the purchase of a cow, a mare, or a pig.

[T]his proceeding . . . has not in one instance failed in giving an industrious turn even to some of those who were before idle and profligate; their attention in nursing up the young trees has been so much beyond what a farmer . . . could bestow, that the value of the orchard increased to double its usual rent, and the poor's rate fell from half-a-crown to four-pence in the pound, when in some of the adjoining parishes they were at length so high as five shillings in the pound; and it has also been the means of bringing a much larger supply of poultry to the market.
Ackermann’s Repository, September 1817


Sarah said...

Hmmm how long did the orchard continue to benefit the poor before some rich git managed to get his hands on the profit instead, one wonders cynically..... it looks an excellent scheme but I have to say I wonder how it worked practically and in the long term.

nightsmusic said...

Oh look! The original condominium!

Couldn't resist.

It's interesting that picture. There are kitchens and parlors but nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but if you look at the floor plan you'll see there are stairs - and the picture shows two floors. Upstairs there would have been two bedrooms (what is known as a 'two up, two down'). What interests me if the 'c' in the floor plan - from the picture I would guess that is the fireplace/chimney space.

nightsmusic said...

I finally got the picture to blow up (I'm on a beta browser) and I see the stairs now.

Why do you suppose if the C indicates a fireplace/chimney that it would only be the kitchen that had access? I know they'd need the fire to cook, but the parlor would always be cold that way. Of course, they could have relied on the kitchen next door for the heat to radiate too.

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