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No. 265.]

FEBRUARY 1, 1815.

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When the Monthly Magazine was first planned, two leading ideas occupied the minds of those who undertook to con duct it. The first was, that of laying before the Public various objects of information and discussion, both amusing and instructive; the second was that of lending aid to the propagation of those liberal principles respecting some of the most important concerns of mankind, which have been either deserted or virulently opposed by other Periodical Miscellanies; and upon the manly and rational support of which the Fame and Fate of the age must ultimately depend.-Preface to Monthly Mag. Vol. I.

As long as those who write are ambitious of making Converts, and of giving their Opinions a Maximum of Influence and Celebrity, the most extensively circulated Miscellany will repay with the greatest Effect the Curiosity of those who read, whether it be for Amusement or for Instruction.JOHNSON.




THE INSOLVENT DEBTORS' COURT AT WESTMINSTER. HIS building, which contains the busiest and most efficient court in England, was built a few years since for the Sessions' House of the city of Westminster, which are still held here. The Insolvent Debtors' Court is held in a large room at the east end, and is simply provided with a table for the commissioner and his clerk, with a side-table for the council. Mr. SERJEANT PALMER is indefatigable in his attendance, and hu

manely assiduous in the discharge of his duties, sitting every day, Saturdays excepted, from nine till four. The chief council are- -Messrs. J. Prince Smith, Andrews, &c.

In a subsequent page, the justice and policy of the law, constituting this court, are defended; and some practical improvements suggested to obviate the objections of creditors who think they have been aggrieved.


THE WESTMINSTER NATIONAL FREE-SCHOOL. THIS establishment is a branch of united, and was, until lately, known as the Orchard-street School, where premises were appropriated for the purpose; but, the school getting into repute, they soon became too small for the number of children applying for ad MONTHLY MAG. No. 265.

mission; and, being very inconvenient of management determined to present a memorial to the Lords of his Majesty's Treasury, for the grant of a vacant piece of ground on the west side of St. Margaret's church-yard, near the sessions house, where a school might be erected,



capable of receiving one thousand chil-
Their lordships,
dren of the poor.
taking into consideration the public be-
nefit likely to arise therefrom, were of
opinion, that the institution had a claim
upon the support and protection of the
crown, and accordingly granted a lease
of the piece of ground in question, for
the term of ninety-nine years, at a pep-
per-corn rent, which they were enabled
to do by an Act of the last session of par-
liament, (cap. 154,) whereby the patron,
president, and vice-presidents, for the
time being, were constituted a corpo-
ration, by the name of "The Patron,
President, and Vice-presidents of the
Westminster National Free-School," and
have a common seal.

By the activity of the committee of
management, and the very liberal do.
nations of the distinguished inhabitants
in and about the neighbourhood, they
were encouraged to proceed with the
building the architect, William In-
wood, esq. having volunteered his gra-
tuitous services, and the several arti.
ficers offering to forego their usual pro-
fits on the occasion. Accordingly, on
the 21st day of July last, the first stone
was laid by his Royal Highness the Duke
of York, in the presence of his Grace
the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bi-
shops of Salisbury and Peterborough,
the Speaker of the House of Commons,
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the
Lord High Steward of Westminster, the
Treasurer of the Navy, the Rev. Dr.
Carey, (late head master of Westminster
school), and many other noble and dis-
tinguished personages. On the 30th of
November following, the building having
been reported fit for the reception of
the children, they went in procession
from the old school, in Orchard-street,
and took possession; on which occasion
they were entertained with roast-beef
and plum-pudding, in the presence of
the subscribers and friends to the insti-
tution. The relations and friends of
the children were also allowed, upon
this interesting occasion, to walk round
the room, and, by witnessing, to partake
of the happiness which was evident in
the countenances of their offspring.

The schools for the boys and girls are upon the same floor, separated by a wall, with a communication by means of double-folding doors, so as to exhibit them, at one view, upon public examinations, which take place half-yearly, when rewards, principally consisting of clothing, are distributed to the most deserving. The dimensions of the boy's

school are, 58 feet by 57 feet; the girl's
school, 54 feet by 41 feet; the first cal
culated to hold six hundred, the latter
four hundred; the height is about twenty-
eight feet, with nine ventilators in the
ceiling of each school, communicating
with the open air through the roof.

The building also embraces the ne-
cessary accommodation of committee-
room, secretary-room, &c. and a house
for the residence of the master and mis-
tress, communicating with the school, is
nearly compleated. It is computed,
that the expences of the building, house
and furniture, will be about 5000l.; to-
wards which, the National Society have
liberally contributed 5001., and the re-
mainder will be defrayed by voluntary
contributions, and the surplus of the
subscriptions in hand. The number of
children at present admitted into the
school, are-boys, 306-girls, 250; and
the applications for admitting children
upon the committee days, are so nu-
merous, that no doubt is entertained
that the whole number, which the build-
ing is capable of receiving, will very
shortly be compleated. The master and
mistress, (Mr. James Wilmont, and
Mrs. N. Graham,) were selected by the
Rev. Dr. Bell; and to their indefatigable
exertions the institution is much in-
debted, evinced by the rapid progress
the children have made in the several
branches of their education,-the boys
being taught reading, writing, and arith-
metic; the girls the same, with the addi-
tion of useful needle-work and knitting.
The liturgy and catechism of the church
of England have been constantly taught
to all the children; a separate service at
the parish church of St. Margaret is
appointed for them, where the chaplain
to the establishment (the Rev. William
Graves,) delivers a lecture adapted to
their capacity; but no children are
refused on account of their parents being
dissenters from the church of England.

Regulations of the School.

That this school, united to, and aided by, the National Society for pro moting the Education of the Poor, in the principles of the church of England, and supported by voluntary contributions, be adapted to the admission of one thousand children, all of them to be taught free of expence: and that orphan children, and the children of soldiers, sailors, and marines, who are, or have been, in his Majesty's service, be admitted in preference to other children.

That all children received into this Catechism school be instructed in the liturgy and



Westminster National Free-School.

catechism of the church of England; and that they do constantly attend divine service on the Lord's day at the school, or at some place of public worship, under the establishment of the church of England.

But that the benefits of education in this school be not refused to any child, en account of its parents being dissenters from the church of England, or of its non-attendance on the Lord's day at the school, or at some place of worship under the establishment; provided the parents or friends of such child under take for its attendance with them, or some of their family, at some place of public worship on the Lord's day; or assign such other excuse for its nonattendance (on account of sickness or otherwise) as shall be satisfactory to the master or committee of management. And that such books and tracts only shall be admitted into, or used in this school, as are, or shall be, contained in the catalogue of the society for promoting Christian knowledge, or recommended and approved by the National Society.

That the children be taught to read and to write, and the first four rules of arithmetic, and also such works of useful industry, as may be suited to their ages and sexes; and that a portion of the profits arising from works done in the school, be allowed to the children themselves as a reward for, and encou ragement to, diligence, exertion, and good conduct.

That no child be admitted under the age of six, nor above the age of twelve; except as teachers, or for other special

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religious exercises, and to attend divine service. Punctual attendance at these hours is indispensably necessary. Every Thursday and Saturday to be a half holiday, and such other holidays to be allowed, as the committee of manage. ment shall direct.

2. Parents, &c. are desired to send their children with clean skins, with their hair cut short and well combed; and with their clothes, on Sundays at least, well mended.

3. Parents, &c. must strictly enjoin their children to go direct to and from school, in an orderly manner; to behave respectfully to their teachers; to take great care of their books and slates; to behave with the greatest reverence during divine service; to be kind to one another; and never to tell a lie, cheat, steal, or swear.

4. The master and mistress of the school shall have tickets of merit to distribute impartially, as rewards to those children who best conduct themselves; the number and value of such tickets to be regulated by the committee of management, and to be paid to the chil dren weekly, in presence of the visiting committee. Proficiency in moral and religious instruction, and uniform good behaviour, to be the strongest recommendation for such tickets.

5. That on the third Tuesday in the months of June and December, in each year, prizes and honorary rewards be distributed to the teachers and scholars, according to the number of tickets of merit, which they may have obtained in the preceding half-year.

6. In case of sickness, or any accident befalling a child, immediate notice must be sent to the master or mistress, in default of which, or in case of neg lect of any of the foregoing rules, the child will not be permitted to attend the school, unless satisfactory explanation be given.

Attendance on Divine Worship,

Upon every Sunday, the morning service, according to the liturgy of the church of England, has been constantly read to the children in the school-room; and they have been regularly conducted by the master and mistress of the school, every Sunday at two o'clock, to the parish church of Saint Margaret, where the afternoon service has been per. formed, and lectures have been read to them, adapted to their capacity. The attendance of the children, both morning and evening, has been very regular B2


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