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Lees further states, that "during the last three years he has made frequent visits to the chief towns of Scotland, Ireland, and England, especially the manufacturing districts; he knows the feelings of the working classes especially, and with that feeling many of the middle ranks sympathise, to be freed as much as practicable from the temptations of the public-house; and especially to have those houses closed upon the Sabbath" (4221).
Your Committee have examined some witnesses of the working class. A carpenter and joiner, residing at Norwood, gives it as his opinion that "the general feeling with the mechanics is, that they wish the public-houses were closed altogether on the Sunday, and that their wives concur in the opinion" (731-733).
A coach painter at Brixton-hill states, that "the working classes would very much approve of the houses being closed throughout the Sunday. A man in the neighbourhood took a petition round upon the subject, and got 370 signatures. Many of the signatures were those of drunkards; the whole those of working The men do not go out with the intention of spending two or three hours in a public-house, but they cannot resist the temptation when they pass by, and they wish to be saved from it" (838 to 843).
"A stone potter, working at an establishment in Lambeth, at which 60 men are employed, has obtained the signatures of 50 out of the 60 to a petition in favour of Sunday closing; but though they have signed the petition, and believe the houses ought to be closed on the Sunday, the temptation is too great for some, and they still go to those houses" (1112. 1116–1124).
A foreman stonemason, resident in the Blackfriars-road, states that he believes closing public-houses on Sunday would be an immense moral advantage to the working classes (1087).
A cab-driver, resident at Gower Mews, and who for 40 years has been a hackney coach driver, states that "there are not many customers on Sunday, unless it rains in the evening; there is a great inducement for cabmen to go into public-houses when they are waiting about; they are drawn into the public-houses from their being open; they cannot withstand the temptation; but all of them he has spoken to on the subject think it would be a very good thing that the publichouses should be closed on the Sunday" (943-5). "The cabmen would suffer no inconvenience in consequence of their closing; those who come out on Saturday night at 10 o'clock provide themselves with a bottle of beer, or what they want, and put it into the boot of the cab, and they could do the same thing on Sunday if they were out" (929). "Since the passing of the last Act there have been many licences taken out for six-day cabs; they do not ply at all on the Sunday; most of the drivers express the wish that the public-houses were shut on Sunday" (970).
The attention of Your Committee has also been called to some more general expressions of opinion upon this subject; it is stated that "public meetings, recently held at Yarmouth and Stockton-on-Tees, were unanimously in favour of Sunday closing" (249).
"A public meeting held in the City Hall, Manchester, at which several merchants and tradesmen were present, and which was very crowded, chiefly with working people, adopted without any dissentient a petition, which, signed by the chairman on behalf of the meeting, has since been presented to your Honourable House for the entire closing of public-houses on the Sunday" (2079-2084). It is given in evidence by Dr. Lees, that "he has within the last six months attended at least 40 public meetings in all the chief towns in the North; some of the meetings have been of a very important character, at least half of them have been presided over by the mayors of the several towns. There were meetings at Waterford, Belfast, Dundee, Dumbarton, Carlisle; they were all public meetings, and there was not at any of them the slightest opposition to the proposal for closing the public-houses on the Sunday" (4235, 4236).
A meeting of not fewer than 20,000 persons has been held in the Cloth Hall at Leeds, at which the mayor presided, and declared the resolution in favour of Sunday closing carried by a large majority; parties who were present state that there were at least two to one in favour of closing; and at a subsequent meeting at the Music Hall, held in the evening, open to every one, and which
is stated to have been crowded to excess, there was but one hand held up in opposition to the resolution for Sunday closing" (4221. 4223. 4231).
Your Committee have also had evidence of a growing opinion amongst Opinion amongst publicans themselves in favour of closing.
Publicans in favour of closing all day
tion to that effect in Marylebone.
Mr. Wm. Howarth states that at "Manchester there is a petition in course of on Sunday. signature by the publicans themselves for Sunday closing; they want a day of rest as well as others, and would be very glad if the houses were closed" (2036). Mr. Weylland states that "of 125 publicans and beershop-keepers, chiefly in the parish of Marylebone, 40 signed in favour of entire closing on the Sunday; Signatures of 36 expressed their willingness to sign it, if they were permitted to open for two publicans to a petihours in the middle of the day to supply the public with the necessary articles of consumption; many of those expressed an opinion that they ought also to open for one or two hours in the evening; 14 said they belonged to the Licensed Victuallers' Protection Association, and they intended to leave the matter entirely with them; 34 were opposed to the petition on private and public grounds. One licensed victualler refused to sign because of the exception in favour of bona fide travellers and lodgers. He was of opinion that no intoxicating liquor ought to be sold on a day set apart for Divine worship" (38).
Mr. Timothy Maber, who for 28 years has carried on business as a publican in Islington, "is of opinion that it would be advantageous to publicans to have their houses closed on Sunday" (293). "There is a feeling that if they were
closed the trade would be more respectable" (299). The matter would arrange Publicans who itself in a month (315); "there would be very little loss to publicans, and great close on Sunday. benefit to the public" (322.) A publican who a couple of months since gave 7,000 7. for the goodwill of his house has signed a petition for Sunday closing (311). He took a petition round in his own neighbourhood, and 19 out of 24 of the landlords on whom he called signed in favour of closing the houses entirely on Sunday (295). He and a neighbour a few doors off have closed their houses on the Sunday for the last 10 years (297).
Mr. Henry Glass, a licensed victualler in the Hackney-road, keeps his house closed throughout the Sunday, and has done so for the six months he has had the establishment (439, 440). It was formerly kept open on Sunday; he purchased the goodwill; is doing a larger business than his predecessor (501. 504); his customers are persons from the neighbourhood, and comprise a large body of workmen; he hears them all speak in high terms of the closing (445. 449). There is a beerhouse close to him that is also closed (444).
Mr. R. J. Chamen, also a licensed victualler, carrying on business in Tottenham Court-road, and keeping his house closed on Sundays (578. 580), states "that possibly the first Sunday or two he lost a little, but it was made up after; all who were his customers before are customers now" (585. 587. 591).
Mr. Henry Wren, superintendent of police at Merthyr-Tydvil, where, with a population in the town and immediate neighbourhood of 100,000, there are 208 licensed victuallers, and 298 beerhouses, and where, from actual observation, "he estimates, that from eight to 11 o'clock on the Sunday evening, there is an average number of 22 persons in each licensed victualler's, and of 18 in each beershop, states that a petition for Sunday closing has been numerously signed, not only by working men, but, with one exception, by the whole of the publicans and beershop-keepers. If the law were general they would prefer the closing, in order that they might obtain rest like other tradesmen " (2858 to 2878).
Your Committee find that it is the practice of such publicans as close on the Sunday, and there seem to be many who do so throughout the country, to provide their customers with stone-bottles and jars in which to take their beer home, well corked, on Saturday night for Sunday use. The best evidence that the practice is found to answer is, that they, none of them, speak either of complaints of their customers or loss of custom. Mr. Chamen states that "if it is well corked down, and the bottle kept standing on the cork so as to keep it airtight, the beer will drink equally well on the following day" (591).
Several witnesses express the opinion that closing the houses throughout the entire Sunday would be productive of great inconvenience. Mr. Homer, a licensed victualler, and wholesale wine and spirit merchant in the city of
Publicans in oppo sition to Sunday closing.
Evasions of the
existing law as
to closing on Sun day.
Public-houses are closed all day on Sunday in Scotland.
London, states that, he believes such a measure could not be carried out, "a large body of the people would be against such a measure" (3889). Mr. Joseph Stinton, "Chairman of the United Towns Licensed Victuallers Association, comprising Ashton-under-Lyne, Birmingham, Bristol, Bridlington, Coventry, Derby, Hull, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, Loughborough, Banbury, Bath, Bradford, Exeter, Liverpool, Leamington, Lichfield, Manchester, Macclesfield, Nottingham, Northampton, Oldham, Preston, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Stockport, Staleybridge, Sudbury, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Warrington, and York" (3696), states that, "in all these towns the publicans are strongly opposed to closing the public-houses on Sunday more than the law at present lays down" (3702). It is scarcely possible to carry any enactment into effect opposed to the convenience or ordinary habits of any large number of the people. The law seems to be already very extensively evaded. The same witness states that the law is very much broken on the Sunday morning in all towns. He has made inquiries, and finds that "the people get into the beerhouses and into the licensed victuallers' houses, and are hid by the landlords" (3725. 3729. 3732).
Mr. Homer states that, "There is a great deal of drunkenness on Sunday morning, and I believe not only the beershops but some licensed victuallers infringe the law on Sunday morning" (3885).
It is stated by another witness, that "Drunkenness on the Sunday takes place chiefly in the beerhouses, where there are concealed rooms or premises at the back, where the drunkards are harboured out of sight of the police' (6334).
One of the superintendents of police in the return already referred to, reporting upon the operation of the Act closing the houses during the hours of the morning and afternoon service, states that "Habitual drunkards are in the habit of assembling at private houses (having previously laid in a stock when the public-houses close), where they continue drinking through the night, and, not unfrequently all next day, quarrelling and fighting. Hush-shops are on the increase."
Another witness states, that "At Birmingham the afternoon closing has never been enforced; the whole of the public-houses and beershops open at one, and remain open for the remainder of the afternoon and evening."
An Act enforcing the total closing throughout Sunday has recently come into operation in Scotland; but although Your Committee have had evidence of its beneficial effects, there has not yet been sufficient time to test how far it will be practically supported by public opinion, or will give rise to remonstrance or
Your Committee are, however, of opinion that the time has arrived for some further change. Persons connected with and interested in the trade themselves others as to further have expressed a willingness to adopt an additional limitation of the hours during which public-houses may be open on Sunday. It has been suggested, as likely to meet the views of a large majority as well of the public as of persons engaged in the trade, that the houses shall be permitted to be open from one to three in the afternoon, and from six until nine in the evening, or that they shall remain closed until five in the afternoon, and shall be open from five to ten at night.
Mr. William Speechly, a licensed victualler in Southwark, "opens his house at one, closes at five, and does not open again until after eight. He considers the one o'clock closing has done a good deal of good; it would do more if they were closed till five; the people would be obliged to provide their families with dinner, and be obliged to stop at home and partake of it, if the public-houses were not open at all till five (4141). There are many publicans who would not be averse to closing their houses till five on Sunday" (4160).
Several witnesses speak of the advantage that would be derived from prohibiting drinking on the premises on Sunday, which would prevent mere tippling, without interfering with the home habits of the people. The Rev. Mr. Thornburgh, minister of the temporary church of St. Thomas, at Kennington, says, "if you allow people to congregate on Sunday, when they have nothing to
do, they will be likely to get drunk. I would not allow them to drink at the
Your Committee are of opinion that any of these suggestions would be Opinion of the attended in practice with great moral advantage, and with no real public Committee that no inconvenience. Selling only for consumption off the premises is liable to place for the sale evasion; but there does not seem sufficient reason for allowing any places for drinks shall be of intoxicating the sale of intoxicating drinks to be open on the Sunday for more than four open for more than hours, nor for the distinction between public-houses and beershops as to the four hours on the hours of closing on week days. Sunday.
Your Committee do not feel it necessary to pursue further the evidence upon Public-houses and this point; they have gone so far at length into it with the object of showing beershops to close the condition of public opinion upon the subject. It is important that those at the same hours on all days. engaged in the trade should be made aware that there is a rapidly-growing conviction abroad, spreading even into their own ranks, in favour of closing throughout the entire Sunday all places for the sale of intoxicating drinks. Your Committee cannot conclude this portion of their Report without calling attention to the fact of how few places of rational enjoyment are open to the great mass of the population on Sunday, which serve as a counter-attraction to the public-house. They have it in evidence that wherever such opportunities have been provided, they have been eagerly seized upon, and have led to the decrease of intemperance.
Places of rational
recreation should be open on Sunday.
Mr. Richardson, a land and building surveyor, who for 45 years has been Such places are a resident at Manchester, and has during the whole of the time taken part in counter attraction to the publicevery movement amongst the working classes, states that "since the public house. parks have been opened, the people frequent them instead of the public-houses. The sale of intoxicating drinks is prohibited in the parks by a clause in the deed of covenant, conveying them to the towns (3526). The people do not frequent the public-houses in the neighbourhood of the parks (3529); he knows, from having had to value them, that the public-houses and beershops along the line of roads in the neighbourhood of the parks do not sell for as much as before the parks were opened (3529); the people stay in the park as long as they can, and then go home (3533); there is a disposition to go to such places as the Museum and Free Library; they are not open on Sundays, but it would have a good effect to open them, and it is generally desired that they should be open" (3537, 3538). The Rev. Mr. Clay states "that such places would come into competition with the public-houses, and he sees no religious objection to their being open on Sunday" (6424, 6425).
Your Committee have received valuable evidence on this matter from Mr. James Haughton, of Dublin, and from Sir Joseph Paxton.
Mr. Haughton, a merchant of the highest standing in Dublin, states that "in Good effects of 1840 the gardens of the Zoological Society, in the Phoenix Park, were opened opening Dubim Zoological Gardens after morning service on the Sundays, at 1d. admission, with the object of at Dublin on attracting the people from the public-houses (2512-17). The extent to which Sunday. the populace have availed themselves of the boon is shown by the fact, that from a total population of about 250,000, there were in that year (ending March 1841) 81,404 Sunday visitors to the gardens, whilst upon all the other days of the week, and including 2,387 free admissions, there were but 16,001 visitors. During the 13 subsequent years the numbers have varied considerably. The highest was in 1845, when there were 98,704 Sunday visitors; the lowest was 49,096 in 1850; whilst in the present year the numbers have been 87,325. There are no intoxicating liquors of any kind sold in the gardens (2533). The conduct of the visitors may be judged of from the circumstance,that the Council of the Royal Zoological Society were at first unwilling to accede to the request which Mr. Hamilton submitted to them to open their gardens on Sunday, lest injury should result; they opened the gardens to the poor at a low rate after six o'clock in the evening, on the summer evenings, and the people conducted themselves so admirably on those oacasions, that they had no hesitation whatever in extending the boon to Sunday, after church hours; the consequence is, that they have received a very large accession of income, and have given an immense
Testimony of the
Council of the
to the excellent conduct of the people.
the advantage by
members of the Mechanics' Institute.
Chatsworth being opened on Sunday prevents intemperance.
The working classes are ready to avail themselves of the means of improvement.
amount of rational and innocent amusement to the people, of which they would otherwise have been deprived (2540); and after 14 years' experience, the Council, in a memorial recently presented to the Lord Lieutenant, and embodied in their Twenty-second Annual Report, state "that they have afforded to the working classes a most attractive place of rational recreation, of which they fully avail themselves, and in which they manifest a conduct so decorous as to claim still further indulgence" (2532). A letter, read by the witness, from the secretary of the Dublin Mechanics' Institution to the secretary of the Zoological Society, just after it was opened in the year 1840, places in a clear light the importance attached to the opening:
"Sir, I am instructed by the Board of Directors to express their gratitude to the council of the Royal Zoological Society of Dublin, for the valuable means of improvement and innocent relaxation which they have placed within the reach of the working classes in opening their Gardens on Sundays at a premium so very low, that the humblest may (if so disposed) participate in the advantages and enjoyments they afford. May we not hope that other public institutions will follow your praiseworthy example, particularly those at whose disposal large public funds are placed? To such opportunities of improvement as your society now affords is mainly owing the intelligence, the appreciation of works of art, and that polish of manner so marked in the natives of those countries whose higher tastes and educational wants are consulted and provided for. By order, Zechariah Dowling, Honorary Secretary and Operative Printer" (2533).
"There are in Dublin a Museum of the Royal Society, and their Botanical Gardens at Glasnevin, which are closed on Sunday; there would be no mischief done if they were open. The Botanical Gardens are an exceedingly beautiful place, and would be highly attractive to large numbers of the working classes (2537-8).
Sir Joseph Paxton states that "from three to five, and even so many as 800 persons used to come on Sundays from Sheffield to go over the house and grounds at Chatsworth (3095). They had to go afterwards to the public-houses for their vehicles, but used never to sit sotting and drinking, nor to cause disturbances (3096). About 10 years since, his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, in answer to a petition from his servants (who found the duty of attendance both on week-days and Sundays too onerous), closed Chatsworth altogether on the Sunday. Nearly the same numbers of persons as before came into the neighbourhood on Sundays, but having no longer the interest of viewing the park and the house, they used to revel at the public-houses and create great disturbances. On representation of these facts the Duke re-opened, not the house, but the park, and all the outer grounds. Since then there has been no difficulty about the public-house nuisance (3095); the people behave exceedingly well, and it has not been found necessary to employ more than two men to look after the grounds on Sunday" (3099-3102).
“There is a better taste growing up amongst the people (3158). If the working classes have the means, they will improve themselves on Sunday. The Kew Gardens have been open on the Sunday since last year, and a very large number of people go to them" (3152-3). The witness states further that "he has been particularly struck with the reverence which the lower classes display for anything grand or beautiful (3110). He is confident that if abundant facilities are opened to them for recreation, and all kinds of rational amusement, it will tend very much to their elevation (3109). To give a poor man, who is industrious and hardworking, and who attends for six days in the week to business, the opportunity of recreation at the Crystal Palace on the Sunday afternoon, would be doing him an incalculable amount of good (3717). The price of admission should be so low as to afford everybody an opportunity of visiting it; it should be opened about half-past one; the Directors would agree to suspend the sale of intoxicating liquors on the Sunday, and there can be no doubt that the vast numbers who would assemble would be very easily controlled, and would require very little police supervision" (3118-20-21).
Intemperance in- A working man, living in the neighbourhood of the Crystal Palace, states creased by closing that "there is a great deal of drunkenness on Sunday night in the public-houses