For Building in every county
A working-alms-house or hospital;
As the Best Expedient to perfect the Trade and
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.