Page images

experience, Mr. Carleton Tuffnell, the Government Inspector of these schools has come to the settled conviction that the best thing to do with the boys in these schools is to prepare them for the Navy, the Merchant and Military Services. They are taught shoemaking, tailoring, baking, carpentry, blacksmithery, engineering, painting and glazing, ship exercise and band music; but all these, with few exceptions, serve as subsidiary to the Naval and Military training. Every boy, without exception is made to pass some time in the tailor's shop, not to make him a tailor but to teach him to mend his own clothes, which is of the utmost importance for those who are to become soldiers or sailors; and the same thing may be said of shoemaking, though it is far less useful, as it cannot be practised without certain tools which are not always at hand. With regard to the training for the Navy and Army, it is found that the industrial training which answers the best is music. Mr. Tuffnell has well remarked that this result will surprise many people, as no one could have anticipated that such a refined science as music could be suitable for boys of this low type, or that they could be taught to play as well as they do. Many persons also have objected that the boys would become vagrant musicians. No instance of the occurrence of this evil is known, however ; but the demand for these musical boys for the Navy and Army has been so great that it has been impossible to answer it. The training ships in the Navy have bands of between twenty and thirty boys, who, when they have arrived at the age of eighteen, are drafted into sea-going ships. The whole of the bands on these ships have been supplied with musicians from the District Schools. It must be noted here that a bandsman on board one of Her Majesty's ships occupies a better position than a common seaman. He has no hard work to do, and has the same claim for pension as ordinary sailors. The demand for mpsical boys for the Army is also very large.

It has been found of the greatest utility to cultivate music to the utmost in these schools, frequented as they are by the lowest of the population. Music seems to have an inexplicable effect in softening and humanizing the roughest characters. The children seem never tired of listening to their own band, and the London boys especially appear to have an extraordinary aptitude for music, and learn it with extreme facility.

The school belonging to the Stepney Union is perhaps the best example, small as it is, and with inferior buildings, of what may be done in bringing up boys to the Naval or Military service. The whole training and management has been so dexterously carried out that Mr. Tufnell, when cousidering the re-organization of Greenwich Hospital School, expressed his opinion that it would form a satisfactory model as to what the school ought to be. A ship has been erected in the yard, contemptible in size as that which used to exist at Greenwich, on which the sailor class is constantly exercised, and as the result proves with excellent effect. Before the erection of this ship, the guardians were obliged to pay £10 premium for every boy sent to sea. The effect of the training on this ship was such, that subsequently it was found that shipowners were willing to take the boys without any premium at all. The school has a ten-oared boat, in which the boys may constantly be seen rowing on the river. They can all mend their own clothes ; they are all taught to swim, and many of them to dive; they are all well drilled under a drill-master, who lives in the school; and they maintain an excellent brass band, which furnishes about twenty-five musicians yearly to the Navy or Army. The final result is that ninety-five per cent of the boys who are educated in this school enlist either in the Navy or Army! And that the Services gain by the entry of these boys may be gathered from the testimony respecting their conduct and progress borne by captains in the Royal Navy, One writes : “It is but an act of justice to the little fellows to say that their conduct has been quite exemplary." Another says: “the conduct of the nine band boys received from your establishment is everything I could desire.” Another writes : “the band boys are a well conducted set of lads.” (See Report of the Rev. Canon Mosely, the superintendent.)

Merchant captains are continually applying to the Stepney School, and say that they prefer these boys so trained to all others. In a previous paper we have given information on this head at some length.

It may be remarked that this school does not now send many boys to the Royal Navy except as band boys. There are two reasons for this. One is, the condition of stature, which the boys of low origin are generally deficient in; the other is, the boys much prefer to be bandsmen rather than common seamen, and in fact choose to gain thcir living by entering naval or regimental bands, rather than in other way. We may state, however, on the authority of Mr. Tufnell, the Inspector of schools, that the Stepney School really trains more boys for the Royal Navy than would appear to be the case at first sight. They are prevented • entering it at first by the London characteristic-defect of stature; but it has been ascertained on inquiry, that many of those who enter the Merchant Service, voluntarily transfer themselves to the Royal Navy, when they have an opportunity. The reason they give is remarkable. They say that they have been so much accustomed to discipline and order in these schools, that they dislike the want of it on board merchant ships, and feel themselves more at home on board the Queen's ships, where strict order is always maintained. And is it not of vital importance that the Merchant Service should be well and fully manned ? From what source are the sailors to come in the case of a sudden war or great naval emergency, but from the Merchant Service? We hope to

see the day when all, or the greater part of, merchant seamen will have had some training on board a Queen's ship, so as to be ready to take their places as trained seamen. Yet there is one point suggested by this examination of the Stepney School as a nursery for the Navy, which requires some consideration at the hands of our Naval Authorities. It appears that the boys cannot enter the Royal Navy as boys, on account of their stature, yet that at a later period they are willingly accepted as men. Surely the fact of a boy being of moderate height cannot be of such importance, when a man of middle height is so freely taken. The race of Anak would undoubtedly be rather in the way on board ship, and a man's handiness and capability for the work of a seaman should be of more importance than a fancy standard of height. But we may be wrong, the stunted boy may have de. veloped into the well-grown man. Yet if this be so, what becomes of the judgment of the Navy surgeon who rejects him? Certainly this is a question to which the Medical Director-General of the Navy may be expected to pay some attention.

It will be needless to multiply instances froin the various district and other schools. They are all doing good work, and although it appears that the industrial training which answers the best is music, yet there are large numbers of boys yearly sent into the Navy and Merchant Service, especially the latter. We hope to see steps taken to gather in as many of these as possible for the service of the country; but, as we have already said, we must not lose sight of the fact that the Merchant Service is a most valuable auxiliary to the Royal Navy, and that in time of war, when the operations of trades are necessarily restricted, these would be found a valuable reserve wbich would, we are sure, be found ready when called upon to serve in the defence of their country.

We will now place before our readers a list of the vessels established at different places on our shores as training ships for boys, which will, it is hoped, furnish a constant supply of well taught, smart, and active lads for our Navy. The first on our list is the 'Warspite,' which is moored at Woolwich. This is the school ship of the Marine Society which was founded in 1756, after exertions on behalf of a number of wretched and distressed boys who were sent to serve under the Duke of Bolton. The Society was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1772, and large legacies have been left for its support from time to time. It is stated that this Society has fitted out and sent to sea nearly 60,000 boys, more than half of them having entered the Royal Navy. The time of instruction appears to be very short on board the

Warspite,' and there is a rule which precludes the admission of any boy under 4 feet 8 inches in height. These facts may, it is suggested, account for the statement in the Report that “the Society suffers as old societies are apt to do, from the desire on

the part of many persons to form new institutions, rather than support those long established.”

The ‘ Akbar' was moored in the Mersey in 1856, she and the Clarence' are certified as reformatories, and all the boys now on board are under sentence of a magistrate, (the latter ship being icr the reception of Roman Catholic boys). The Cornwall' moored at Purfleet is certified as a reformatory for the reception of boys, juvenile offenders, seut by magistrates.

These ships are very valuable, and produce good results of the former, the Recorder of Liverpool states that, “ the two reformatory ships have succeeded to a very large extent in clearing the town of juvenile crime, and also of reclaiming those who by this time would have been adult criminals." But though it cannot be said that they can act as nurseries for the Royal Navy, still the boys thus reclaimed prove most useful in the Merchant Service, and good and encouraging accounts have been received from the boys themselves and their employsrs, in the majority of instances,

The Conway'at Liverpool, and the Worcester' at Erith are designed to train and complete the education of boys intended for officers in the Merchant Service. Boys intended for the Royal Navy are, however, admitted in the former ship, and receive special training for that service.

The · Chichester,' which is moored at Greenhithe, is a very interesting experiment. It will be fresh in the recollection of our readers, that at the end of the year 1866, that indefatigable pbilanthropist, Lord Shaftesbury, gathered together at a place in Great Queen Street all the ragged homeless urchins he could get hold of, and after giving them a good meal of tea, bread and butter and cake, he asked them if they would not like to be sailors. The boys jumped at the idea. And a vessel having been presented and fitted out by the Admiralty, a number of boys have been rescued from the misery and wickedness of the London streets, and the life of crime to which they must perforce have been apprenticed, and given the chance of becoming good and happy men, as well as of being serviceable to their country. It has been well remarked by a warm advocate of the Chichester' and similar undertakings, that “the very boys who are worst off, and most tried by dire want and misfortune, are those who may be boldest to run aloft when well taught, and if these British hearts are won young, tutored rightly and trained loyally, and warmly clothed in true blue jackets, we shall not have so many shipwrecks where cheap foreigners skulk as the tempest roars.”

We must now conclude, having attempted to condense our information as much as possible, but we trust that we shall induce our readers to examine for themselves the various Nurseries for the Navy which we have indicated, however briefly. No subject can, we think, be more interesting to Englishmen, especially at the present time, when our “ first line of defence,” our Navy, is really our only sure safe-guard. And we hope we shall not be considered too enthusiastic when we say that we firmly believe that all the labour and pains expended to ensure a con. stant supply of well-trained boys for our fleet, will certainly bave the desired effect, and will raise the morale and physique of our gallant sea defenders higher and higher as each year's efforts produce, let us hope, a more satisfactory result than the one which has gone before.



pay for of horse and te days of Olivemodelled the Irish

The reginent now known as the 18th Royal Irish was first organized in 1684, when Charles II. remodelled the Irish forces in British pay. From the days of Oliver Cromwell a considerable number of horse and foot soldiers had been retained in British pay for the purpose of garrisoning Ireland and overawing the disaffected, but they existed only as separate companies till 1684, when they were formed into three regiments of cavalry and seven regiinents of infantry. The 18th Royal Irish is the only one of these seven regiments which is now to be found in the British Army; the late of the others will appear in the sequel. Its first colonel was Arthur, Earl of Granard, an Irish nobleman of Scottish descent, well known for his attachinent and devotion to the house of Stuart.

The regiinent was called into active service in 1685, when the Duke of Muninouth, a natural son of Charles II, rose in rebellion against his uncle James II. They were ordered to England, and had advanced as far as Chester where they received intelligence of the defeat of the rebels at Sedgeinoor. As their services were no longer required they returned to Ireland the same year. James II. had already resolved to establish the Roman Catholic religion in England, and to employ the Irish regiments in effecting his purpose. As these regiinents were composed almost exclusively of Protestants, it was necessary in order to secure success, that they should be completely reorganized. The work of reorganization was entrusted to Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel, familiarly known as “ Lying Dick Talbot,” one of the most infamous inen of the day. His family, originally of Norman origin, bad long been identified with the Celtic population of Ireland and took part in the rebellion of 1641. He was remarkable for his fine person, bis unblushing impudence and his utter want of principle. A sharper and a bully, he had attempted or was prepared to attempt any criine : before the Restoration he had offered to assassinate the

« PreviousContinue »