Page images

the case of an organ maker, who at his death was described as Henry Tolner, alias Turner, buried Sept. 9. 1730,' and whose son, called Turner only, was afterwards organist at St. John's College, Cambridge. A Dutchman, Groenvelt, for many years university printer at Cambridge, Anglicised his name to Crownfield, which was afterwards borne by his son, vice-president of Queen's College in that university. An ingenious whitesmith, a native of Lausanne, called Gracon, and who hardly spoke English, translated his uncouth French name, which few could pronounce,' into Jackson, which name alone was used by his descendants.

It is mainly in London and in a few large commercial places, that this great recent influx of foreigners is found. The family nomenclature of country districts has but slightly changed since the revolution of 1688. The sources of personal surnames throughout all England, town and country, are, however, as we have seen, numerous and varied; and the multifarious origin of such surnames corresponds in some degree with that of the English people. Many centuries have passed since the ancient Norman, and the more recent Saxon surnames, had equally become hereditary; and although existing surnames may still indicate, to the intelligent, a diversity of station and origin among their first bearers, yet that diversity has long ceased to be of any practical importance.

We regret that neither time nor space will allow us now to compare the history of surnames in Ireland and in the Scottish highlands, with that of surnames in England; possibly we may recur to the subject at some future time. In the meanwhile, in closing our survey of the main divisions of the English family nomenclature, we cannot help feeling that we have been, to some extent, noting the various sources from which the AngloSaxon race has received its full and mature growth, and has been enabled to go forth conquering and to conquer a new hemisphere and a southern world. In the course of another century that great race, extending the blessings of civilisation and laying sure foundations of free institutions in new worlds, will have planted there every class of surnames that took root in England between the conquest of 1066 and the revolution of 1688. Such names have already spread with the growth of the United States of North America, from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean; and they will soon be diffused throughout the Australian continent. We hardly need apologise to our readers for inviting them, as we have done, to survey in some detail the varied sources of that English family nomenclature which is destined to spread over so large a part of the whole world.

ART. IV. 1. Report on Criminal and Destitute Children. Parl. Blue Book.


2. Report on Criminal and Destitute Children. Parl. Blue Book. 1853.

3. Acts for the better Care and Reformation of Young Offenders. Nos. 237. and 279. Ordered to be printed, 1854. 4. Reformatory Schools. By Miss CARPENTER.



5. Juvenile Delinquents. By Miss CARPENTER. London: 1853. 6. Report of a Conference held at Birmingham (Dec. 1851) on the Subject of Preventive and Reformatory Schools.

7. Rapport sur les Etablissements d'Education Correctionelle de jeunes Detenus. Par M. De PERSIGNY. Paris: 1854. 8. Treatment of Criminal Children. Report of the Society for the Amendment of the Law. London: 1854.

9. Essays on Juvenile Delinquency. London: 1854.


Na recent Number we developed at some length a system for the treatment and disposal of the adult criminal population, by the adoption and efficient enforcement of which we were sanguine enough to hope for the immediate reduction of that population as a special class;-for the restoration, that is, of the individuals composing it to respectable society and honest industry, under certain conditions, and in some quarter of the world. We have now to call attention, as briefly as the topic will allow, to the point which, in our previous paper, we reserved for separate consideration, -the mode, namely, of cutting off that constant supply of juvenile delinquents, by which the community of adult criminals is perennially supplied. It would be a hopeless and endless labour to be drafting off or rescuing the host of confirmed offenders, unless we could at the same time check or destroy the source whence recruits are hourly pressing in to fill the vacancies created. We must rescue the young, as well as reform and redeem the old.

For more than two generations-ever since, indeed, attention had been awakened and reflection aroused upon the matter,no Judge of unblunted sensibility ever presided over an Assize, no Magistrate of ordinary feelings of compassion or rectitude ever sat at Quarter Sessions, without having to pass sentences which revolted his humanity and lay very heavy on his conscience. Children were repeatedly brought for trial, of twelve, of ten, of seven years of age,-so small that they had to be lifted


up in the arms of the gaoler before the Jury or the Bench could see them, so young that it was impossible for any one really to regard them as responsible moral agents, or proper victims of the law, conscious, indeed, that they were in a state of hostility with the community at large, but scarcely conscious of guilt in being so of whom it was notorious that they were trained to depredation, acting under parental authority, and often under parental threats. Their guilt was undeniable; the necessity of stopping them in the career of such guilt undeniable too; the propriety of punishing such guilt, according to received notions, equally indisputable. Judge and magistrate knew perfectly well that to whip these wretched infants, and then turn them back upon their homes, was to inflict wholly gratuitous and unprofitable suffering-was simply to restore them to a course of inevitable crime, to be re-commenced on the morrow, with greater caution, perhaps, but with added skill.* Judge and Magistrate knew, also, that to send them to prison for the crime, and in the manner allotted by law to the offence of which they were convicted, was to ensure their coming out, after a short detention, confirmed and hardened disciples of iniquity, finished graduates in crime, with their tastes immoveably fixed, and their profession irrevocably settled,-every lingering remnant of good extinguished, every latent seed of evil developed and fostered. No one ever denied that it was so; no one ever doubted that it must be so: there is not, there never was, any demur or controversy as to the conclusion. Yet year by year, Session after Session, Judges and Magistrates, fathers themselves, with tears in their eyes and a heavy nightmare at their hearts, conscious they were acting wrong, knowing they were doing mischief, went on sentencing these young vagabonds to gaol, because it was their duty, or, at least, their function to do so, because law and fact left them no alternative.

The case we are treating now is far simpler than that with which our last Paper on the Criminal Population was concerned. We have here to deal only with acknowledged, principles with uncontroverted facts, with undeniable and undenied inferences. We have simply to arrange statements; we have no necessity to

The same conviction on the part of the community also tends largely to the encouragement of youthful crime, the more thoughtful and compassionate members of society constantly refusing to prosecute where the only certain result to the offender would be that he would be hardened in iniquity and cut off from all chance of reformation. See many instances of impunity arising out of this virtuous and merciful reluctance in Miss Carpenter's Juvenile De'linquents,' p. 176-179.

bring forward arguments. We shall make no assertion the truth of which is not admitted and notorious; we shall deduce no conclusion that is not obvious and irresistible-that does not, as the French say, sauter aux yeux.

And, first, we have to remark, that it is out of these youthful and often infantine delinquents that the adult criminal population is created. They are its source and feeders. Grown men commit occasional crimes, especially crimes of violence, under the influence of actual temptation, or in transient moments of passion; but few, very few comparatively, become criminals in mature life. The vast majority have begun early, gone on regularly, pursued their education steadily in and out of gaol, and formally graduated in crime. Amateurs are considered interlopers, and are generally clumsy; they are therefore soon cut short, and relegated either to prison or to destitution to complete their training. We have already seen that twelve per cent. of the criminal population, as nearly as can be ascertained, are under sixteen years of age, and we now know that there are yearly committed to prison 7000 under seventeen, of whom 4000 are under fourteen, and 1200 under twelve. We see here an ample supply of recruits for the prisons and the hulks; and we need look no further for the source whence the regiments of crime, whose strength and numbers so appal us, are fed.

The second certainty we have to state is this. Whatever may be our feeling as to the question whether the adult criminals, whose case we considered in our former paper, were fitter objects for reformation or for vengeance-whether they ought to be dealt with in a spirit of compassion or in a spirit of retribution-no such question can arise here. Of those who thus in their infancy become amenable to the laws of their country, it is notorious that nine out of every ten have had no chance of any better lot; no other career has been open to them; into this they have been actually forced; for this they have been specially and studiously trained. They had no innate virtue to keep them from thieving; they have never been in an atmosphere which could have fostered their moral sense,' or even given it a possibility of germinating; they have never seen any example which would lead them to good; the daily examples before their eyes could only lead them into evil; they have never been taught that theft was wrong; they have ever been sedulously and severely taught that it was normal and necessary. Hundreds of them are illegitimate; and we all know the vice from which illegitimacy generally springs, and the neglect in which it almost always issues. Thousands of them are orphans, or victims of step-fathers or step-mothers-often a condition

[ocr errors]

worse than orphanage. Thousands more, seeing nothing but brutality and drunkenness, experiencing nothing but harshness and destitution, at home, are driven forth into the streets, fall among companions further advanced in the ways of guilt than themselves, and urged by want and stimulated by encouragement and emulation, take the first easy and prolific step in crime, and become the Ishmaelites of our cities. Finally, thou


sands are regularly brought up to depredation as others are brought up to shoemaking or spinning; go to school to a pickpocket as we went to school to a writing master; are applauded and recompensed if they are diligent and apt-if they learn quickly and practise handily; are abused and punished if they are scrupulous or clumsy; find that the approbation of their parents, the estimation of their fellows, the good things of life, the hearty supper, the welcome dram, in a word, their position in the world their world- the only world they know or can care for, depends upon their proficiency in what we call crime, but what they regard in no other light than as a profession. No one can pretend to feel that children of whom these are the antecedents - antecedents which, it has been proved, can be predicated of nine-tenths of juvenile delinquents are fit objects for retributive punishment, or can in truth, in justice, or in mercy, be regarded in any other light than as victims to be rescued and as patients to be cured. first object may be to protect society against them; the second object undoubtedly is to protect them against their antecedents and surroundings to redeem them from the clinging mire, the mighty influence, the terrible misfortune, of their past: and the practical process by which both objects are to be attained is the same.


The next thing that is certain is, that if these children are imprisoned they are ruined-if they are sent to gaol they are sent to the devil, at once and irretrievably. In the great majority of prisons there is no adequate provision for separate confinement. The untried herd with the convicted; the young with the old; the hardened with the comparatively innocent. The convicted child finds himself in another and a more advanced and efficient school of crime: his education proceeds; he goes in a raw apprentice; he comes out passé maître. It is never otherwise; it could not possibly be otherwise. But there is more than this. The child who is sent to gaol for a week or month for stealing perhaps a loaf, a few apples, or a sixpence, has the brand upon him for his life; not only is his character utterly contaminated, but his reputation is irretrievably damaged; the hope of honest employment is at an end; he

« PreviousContinue »