Proposals For Building, In Every County, A Working-Alms-House or Hospital

Richard Haines
Proposals For Building, In Every County, A Working-Alms-House or Hospital

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Title: Proposals For Building, In Every County, A Working-Alms-House or Hospital As The Best Expedient To Perfect The Trade And Manufactory Of Linnen Cloth
Author: Richard Haines
Release Date: February 18, 2005 [EBook #15102]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Ralph Griswald, Nancie McCraw, Keith Edkins and the PG Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

For Building in every COUNTY
As the Best Expedient to perfect the TRADE and MANUFACTORY OF Linnen-Cloth.
Printed by _W.G._ for _R. Harford_, at the Sign of the Angel in Cornhil, 1677.
* * * * *
PROPOSALS for Building in every County a WORKING-ALMS-HOUSE or HOSPITAL, as the best Expedient to perfect the Trade and Manufactory of Linnen Cloth.
I. All Poor people and their Children from five or six years old may be employed and maintained; as also all Beggars, Vagrants, _&c._ restrained and for ever prevented, and so all Parishes eased of that intolerable Burden.
II. Many Hundred Thousand Pounds kept at home, which now every year goes out of the Kingdom for Linnen, whereby our Wealth becomes a prey to other Nations.
III. Much Land improved in every County to great advantage of Landlord and Tenant.
_Humbly Offered to the Consideration of the great Wisdom of the whole Nation, now Assembled in Parliament_.
Considering the great Complaints of Poverty, the heavy Burdens most Parishes lie under to maintain their Poor, which daily encrease; the Swarms of Beggars, Vagrants and Idle People in City and Countrey; the great, and 'tis fear'd, irrecoverable decay of our Ancient Trade for Woollen Cloth; the vast Charge we are yearly at in purchasing Linnen, _&c._ from other Nations, whereby our Treasure is exhausted, and our Lands fall for want of being improved some other way, besides planting Corn, breeding for Wool, _&c._ Which are become of so low a price, as scarce to turn to Account: And understanding, that for remedying thereof, the Improving the Manufactory of Linnen is now under Debate, I have taken the boldness to Offer the following PROPOSAL, which if thought fit to be put in practice, will (in my opinion) infallibly conduce to all the good Ends desired and intended; viz.
_That there may be Erected in every County according to its Extent or Populousness, a greater or lesser_ Working-Alms-House, wherein the Poor may be continually employed in the Manufactory of Linnen Cloth.
The Advantages whereof are evident; For,
I. This Manufactory is an Employment for the weakest people, not capable of stronger Work, viz. Women and Children, and decrepit or aged people, now the most chargeable; as likewise for Beggars and Vagrants, who live idly, and by the sweat of other mens Labours, and can no way so effectually be brought to Industry and Order, as when reduced into to narrow a Compass or Confinement under fitly qualified Rulers, Officers, and Regular Government.
II. These Working-Alm-Houses may raise and supply the Nation yearly with a sufficient Stock of Linnen Cloth (the finest sort excepted) if true measures be taken, and the Design effectually prosecuted; As for example, 1352000 pounds worth of Cloth may yearly be spun in them only, besides what is made in private Families--Thus demonstrated;
1. 'Tis well known by experience, that three quarters of a Pound of Thread worth 12 d. per Pound spinning, will make one Ell of Cloth worth _2 s._ per Ell; which Three quarters of a Pound two Spinners may spin in one day; Hence it follows,
2. That 2000 Spinners will spin Thread enough in one day to make 1000 Ells of Cloth, worth 100 l. And working but 260 days in the year, may spin 26000 Pounds worth of Linnen Cloth in a year.
3. Suppose then there be as many publick Work-houses, as there are Counties, which are 52, and in every Work-house, one with another, 2000 Spinners (though in some more, some less) then according to the reasonable measures, there will be the forementioned Sum of 1352000 l. worth of Cloth spun in one year; which is what we undertook to demonstrate.
This or some such prodigious Sum of Money might yearly be raised to the Nation, whereby a Treble Benefit would ensue, First, we might save so much Money now yearly sent out of the Nation for Linnen, which, as computed by very worthy Intelligent persons, has of late cost us more than a Million per Annum. Secondly, By employing those hands, which for the greatest part are idle, it being
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