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Do they receive any assistance from your society?—They are at liberty to apply for whatever assistance they may require, and if it is found necessary, and the committee think proper, such assistance will be granted.
At what age are the children generally admitted into these Sunday schools?—I believe not under six years of age.
How long do they continue in them?- Usually until they are fourteen years of age; but, upon an average, we think that our children do not continue with us above two years.
Are they children of the poorest classes?-We consider them the chief object of Sunday schools.
Do any children of a somewhat higher class attend?There are several respectable persons' children who attend, on account of the religious instruction given.
Do you receive any pay?-None whatever. In some schools, the children and monitors subscribe; but it is an act entirely their own, without being asked for it.
From what you know of Sunday schools, how long do you think a child takes learning to read?—I have known a boy of 14 years old come into a Sunday school, who was scarcely able to read a letter, and by the time he had been in a twelvemonth he was able to read correctly in the Testament, and had no other instruction whatever, excepting that he received at the Sunday school. But in a general way, we think, upon an average, the children learn to read in about three years.
Do you teach writing?-On the week evenings, which is also gratuitous:
Is that taught to all, or only meant as a reward?-It is a reward for proficiency and good behaviour.
Have you any adults in these schools?-We have adults to the number of 580, taught within the limits of our Union; and there are other adult schools connected with the City of London Adult Society, that has been recently formed; but we take no notice of them in our own.
How long does an adult take to learn to read at an adult school?-About five months; they are taught on Sunday, and one or two evenings in the week.
When you say that a boy at a Sunday school will learn to read in three years, do you mean a boy of ordinary abilities? -I do.
Having no other instruction in the week-day?—None; but then we recommend the children to be taught by their parents, and brothers and sisters, at home, to acquire all the assistance they can by that means.
Have you had the means of comparing the progress made by children of the same description at a Sunday school and
a day school?-We have had many instances occur, where children who go to day schools have been taken from them by their parents, and sent to our Sunday schools, on account of their education being so much neglected.
Have you had any means of comparing the progress made, where there was no neglect of the day schools?-I have not, In these Sunday schools, is the new method of teaching adopted-Only partially.
Is there any deficiency of teachers?-We consider that we have teachers sufficient to instruct the children we have at present in the schools; but that if we could have more commodious school-rooms, we might have a greater number of teachers, and more children might be instructed.
How many teachers, in general, are there, in proportion to 100 children?-About ten in some of these schools; the ten teachers attend each Sunday. To 100 children, in other schools, there are a greater number of teachers, and they take it in rotation.
How many of these others attend each Sunday?-Where they have few children and a great number of teachers, the teachers attend once a fortnight or three weeks.
How many children can the teacher teach at once?-Ten or fifteen children; but the numbers of children vary according to the particular circumstances in the school.
Is there any instance of one teacher in a Sunday school taking charge of 90 or 100 children?I believe not; they cannot take the whole charge, unless assisted by monitors.
Do you mean to represent the teacher to teach, upon an average, 10 or 15 children at once?-Yes, about that number.
Have you any further information to give to the committee?-I undertook to raise a Sunday school in that deplorable part of London called St. Catherine's, there being a great number of children in that neighbourhood who were totally uninstructed. About eighteen months ago a school was formed there, which now contains nearly 200 children; and many of these children who are now in the school, when first they came were unable to read, but now they are able to read well in the Bible. Finding that neighbourhood to be one in which there was a great deal of iniquity practised, I endea voured, through the means of children whom we employ as monitors, to ascertain the ways in which children were led into such iniquitous practices; and by this means I found out that there are four Jews, who live in St. Catherine's-lane generally, but they have other places of abode, and these four Jews have got a gang of 21 boys, whom they are bringing up as reputed thieves. One or two of these boys, and perhaps
more of them, have been in our Sunday school. One, upon being talked to upon the subject, seemed very much affected, He said he did not know what to do about it; he wished to leave that mode of life, and he sometimes never went near his companions for a week or two together; but they would decoy him out to go and play with them, and by that means they got him along with them again, and he could not resist the temptation held out to him. Through this boy I learnt that this gang of boys emulate each other to do the most daring actions. One of them said, "I got a gold watch out of a gentleman's pocket, in the Borough, and you never did such a thing as that yet!" By this emulation they go on from one thing to another, till they perpetrate the most wicked deeds, and until they come to the gallows at last. And we have likewise children attending our Sunday schools, who are either the servants or children of prostitutes living in the neighbourhood; and it appears that they have children bred to the same mode of life, who would be very glad to leave it, if any other means were presented by which they might earn their livelihood.
Mr. WILLIAM FREEMAN LLOYD called in and Examined. WHAT is your business, and where do you reside?-I am a Blackwell-hall factor, carrying on business at Mason's-hall, Basinghall-street.
Are you acquainted with the state of the children of the poor in the metropolis?-Yes; chiefly from my acquaintance with Sunday schools, and with those who conduct them, and from having visited the poor at their own habitations.
Are there in your opinion many who have no instruction? -Certainly a great many.
In what parts of the town chiefly?-In St. Giles's, Saffronhill, Tothillfields. St. Catherine's, and Wapping, where there are many Irish children.
Do you think that Irish children are the most neglected?— Certainly.
From what cause?-From the priests discouraging their attendance at schools where the Bible is used: the Catholic children sometimes come into a school, but they seldom stay long.
Do you belong to a society called the Sunday School Union-Yes, I am one of the secretaries.
What is the nature of that society?-It is a voluntary association of gratuitous Sunday school teachers, and others feeling an interest in the instruction of the young, for the purpose of extending Sunday schools as much as possible.
By a voluntary association, do you mean an association of teachers of various sects of religion?-Yes, certainly.
What are its objects?-Its objects are to promote the extension of Sunday schools, to lead to the formation of new, and the revival of old schools, and to the establishment of similar institutions throughout the kingdom.
Does it extend to the kingdom at large, as well as to the metropolis-Primarily to the metropolis, and more remotely to the kingdom at large.
Are you able to form an opinion of the number of children educated in Sunday schools in the metropolis?-I have drawn out a statement as nearly as I can, which I will deliver in. [It was read, as follows:] SUNDAY SCHOOLS:
East London district.....
I think there are several Sunday schools, either not known or not reported in the above; I think the number of Sunday scholars in the metropolis is about 40,000.
How many teachers are employed in those schools?— About 4000.
Are all the teachers gratuitous?-All of them.
And the Secretaries and other officers of the society?Entirely gratuitous.
What particular advantages do you think arise from this association?-It tends to promote general zeal and union in advancing the cause of Sunday schools.
Has it been the means of producing an increased desire in the poor, for the education of their children?-Certainly.
Do you imagine there is any difference in the progress which children make in Sunday schools and day schools?→ They seem to pay more attention on Sundays, but it depends on the system upon which the schools are conducted; in some Sunday schools, the teachers not only instruct on a Sunday, but in addition to this, the most advanced scholars are taught writing and arithmetic during the week; the scholars also attend regularly public worship, and are taught to
reverence the Sabbath.
How many children does one teacher generally instruct?From ten to fifteen is the general average; some teachers attend only part of the day.
What difference is there between a Sunday school and a day school?-Sunday schools instruct those poor children whose time is fully employed in labour during the week days, and to them this is the only opportunity of gaining instruction; the children also learn their lessons during the week, to repeat to their teachers on Sunday; and the teachers visit their children at their own habitations, and procure the co-operation of their parents, and watch over their conduct as much as they can.
What in your opinion could be done to extend the benefit of education throughout the metropolis?-I conceive it would be desirable to investigate the situation of the poor.
What is the advantage of gratuitous teachers over paid teachers in Sunday schools?-It is the great excellence of the Sunday school system, that it employs gratuitous teachers, who are incalculably preferable to paid teachers, because they perform their duty better; many of them are persons in respectable situations of life, and the children perceive the disinterested attention of their teachers, and therefore feel a greater regard for them, and pay more attention to their instructions. If the 4000 teachers in the metropolis were paid at the rate of 2s. each Sunday, it would cost upwards of 20,000l. per annum.
Do you imagine that the generality of poor children in the various parishes of London are educated in the parochial schools? No, comparatively very few.
Do you know of any plan which could be adopted to increase that number in the day schools?-1 think it would be desirable for the inhabitants of the several parishes where they are formed, to investigate the state of the schools, and to superintend them as much as lies in their power.
What do you calculate the expense, per annum, of teaching a child in a Sunday school?-Exclusive of the expense of rent (of which it is impossible to form a general calculation) sixpence per head is as much as it costs.
Does that include books?-Books, fire, candles, and all other expenses, except rent.
Are there candles used in a Sunday school-Yes.
Do they teach them in an evening?-Many of them, where the children attend public worship in the afternoon.
If children were not clothed in parochial schools, but that expense saved, might not a much greater number of children be educated than are now, in the respective parishes of London?-Certainly, the expense of clothing one child would educate several; a great many more might have instruction; I suppose nearly the whole uneducated poor of the metropolis.