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appease his fury. The violence of bigotry and fanaticism excited the numbers brought together by party hostility. Lord Stanley, in a long and animated speech, proposed to overthrow our whole plan, and to rely upon the Church as the recognised and legitimate teacher of religious and secular knowledge. On a division he was defeated by a majority of five." The grant of 30, oool. in a committee of supply was carried by a majority of only two. In the House of Lords the Archbishop of Canterbury carried, by a majority of 111, resolutions condemnatory of our whole scheme. . . . The Bishop of London, Dr. Blomfield, who was sincerely friendly to education, suggested to me that if the State and the Church went on fighting, we should only injure one another, without promoting the great object we both had in view. Seeing the justice of this remark, I agreed to a meeting at Lansdowne House, where the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of London and Salisbury met Lord Lansdowne and me. After a conference we agreed to a treaty, of which the principal terms were—that the inspectors of the schools of the National Society should send their reports to the English Bishops as well as to the Committee of Privy Council, and that we should co-operate on the most friendly terms in the great work of education. In this manner the Committee of Privy Council was confirmed, and has lasted till the present year.
Such were the first beginnings of the great work which, gradually extended from year to year, led, thirty years afterwards, to arrangements for the compulsory education of ali British people. And perhaps among his many great achievements Lord John never did anything which conferred greater blessings on his country than he accomplished by well and truly laying the foundations of the superstructure which has provided for the comprehensive education of the entire nation. Yet the present generation may need to be reminded that, during Lord John's tenure of the Home Office, he laid the foundation of another work, which, in its ultimate results, has proved almost equally beneficial, by the formation of a rural police, by the regulation and improvement of prisons, by the better treatment of juvenile offenders, and by the gradual abolition of transportation.” | Lord Ebrington wrote on June 26, “The last division on Education [i.e. on Lord Stanley's amendment] made me as much ashamed of the House of Commons
as your admirable speech on the former night made me proud of our leader.’ * It may perhaps be added that, stimulated by Mr. Hume's action in Parliament,
And this labour again was no new subject to Lord John. Ten years before he held office, in 1821, he attended a meeting at Exeter Hall summoned to promote improved prison discipline and the reformation of juvenile offenders. In the course of his own speech at this meeting, he said—
Our country is now about to be distinguished for triumphs the effect of which should be to save and not to destroy. Instead of laying waste the grounds of our enemies, we may begin now to reap a more solid glory in the reform of abuses at home and in spreading happiness through millions of our population." A bold prediction for any man to have made in 182 I. But a prediction which largely owed its fulfilment to the labours of the prophet.
In 1835—his first year at the Home Office—Lord John himself had charge of a measure, which passed almost unnoticed through Parliament, for the better regulation of prisons and for the appointment of inspectors.” On August 26, 1836, he wrote to his Under-Secretary, Mr. Fox Maule, that it was high time to improve the state of Newgate; and directed that convicted prisoners, belonging to the metropolitan counties, should be removed to the county gaols; that London prisoners, who had been several years in Newgate, should be sent to a penitentiary; and that the names of all prisoners sentenced to death should be reported to the Home Office, in order that directions might be given for their isolation. In 1837 he largely extended the work which had been commenced by Sir Samuel Romilly, which had been prosecuted by Sir James Mackintosh, and which had been carried on by Sir Robert Peel, of purging the criminal code of many capital offences. In introducing this measure he entered at some length into the question of secondary punishment; and expressed ‘a doubt whether transportation ought to be continued as it has been carried on of late years.’” In 1838 he introduced and
Lord John in 1835 put pressure on Mr. Sydney Smith and Sir Hussey Vivian to afford facilities for the admission of the public to St. Paul's and the Tower. ' Pitman's Zife of A/rs. Fry, p. 166. * This measure indirectly led to the great privilege case of Stockdale v. Hansard. I have not thought it necessary to relate the history of this case in this biography. * Asansard, xxxvii. 725.
carried through Parliament the first measure of its kind for establishing a prison, or, as it would now be called, a reformatory, for juvenile offenders; in the same year he directed Colonel (afterwards Sir Joshua) Jebb to inquire into the best situations for penitentiaries in Great Britain, with a view to health, cheapness of construction and food, and facility of discipline. In 1839 he introduced a measure which gave the Secretary of State power over the designs of new prisons or the alterations of old ones; from 1837 to 1839 he served on and presided over a committee which inquired into the whole question of transportation, and whose report paved the way for its gradual abolition ; and in 1840, after he left the Home Office, his successor carried out his policy by the construction of a model prison at Pentonville, which was the means of introducing new and improved ideas of prison construction. Nor were these the only measures which he took during the same period for the prevention of crime. In 1836 he appointed a small commission to inquire into the institution of a county constabulary. In 1839—a year in which, unhappily, great distress prevailed throughout the country—the working classes, organised as Chartists, broke in various places into tumult and disorder. The riot in the Bull Ring at Birmingham was the most formidable of these occurrences; but serious local disturbances took place in many other parts of the country. These unfortunate circumstances indirectly led to a remarkable tribute to the success of the Melbourne Administration. For the first, and for almost the last time in history, Ireland was able to spare troops for the help of England.” They led directly to a more permanent reform. ' Sir E. Du Cane, Punishment and Prevention of Crime, p. 51. * Lord Ebrington wrote on May 1 : “In consequence of the order received by Sir E. Blakeney for two regiments (which will go this evening) I thought it right to ascertain whether his opinion agreed with mine and 1)rummond's, that you may safely draw on the troops here for further aid if it should be wanted. He has just been with me, and I am happy to say that he fully concurs. I have therefore settled with him to bring another regiment here, so that one may be ready to go over is required at an hour's notice, and should anything take place to demand the temporary services of three or four others he would not feel any more than I should afraid of the present tranquillity of this country being disturbed Lord John at once introduced, and succeeded in carrying, a Bill for the constitution of constabulary forces in Manchester and Birmingham ; as well as a measure empowering the magistrates in any county to establish a local police. These various measures for the prevention of crime, for the more rational punishment of the older, and for the reformation of the younger criminals, are perhaps connected by few people with Lord John Russell. Yet no one acquainted with the highest teachings of modern history will doubt either their success or their importance. Sir E. Du Cane writes, in a passage which has already been quoted by the present author in another work, but which will bear quoting again—
by their withdrawal.’ And again on July 18 : ‘You may draw upon this place for a further reinforcement without my feeling the least apprehension for the safety or tranquillity of the country. Drummond and the Attorney-General are quite of this opinion ; and Sir E. Blakeney, with whom I have just been talking on the subject, does not dissent with reference to our present state, though, with the prudence of an experienced commander, he claims the return of the loan as soon as the emergency which may call for it is over.’ It is perhaps an even more striking testimony to the success of the Irish administration of Lords Mulgrave and Ebrington, that Lord John, speaking in 1840, said of the Irish, “The people are as easily governed as any on the face of the globe' (Hansard, liv. 213). It would be difficult to name any other leader of the House of Commons in the present century who could have made such an admission.
The convict population of Great Britain, with its population of about 15,000,ooo, then [at the beginning of the present reign] consisted of 43,000 convicts in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land besides others in the penal settlements; the convicts in ten hulks in Great Britain, of which the usual number was stated in 1828 to be 3, ooo or 4, ooo; several hundreds in the penitentiary at Millbank; about 9oo (in 1838) at Gibraltar, and probably as many or more at Bermuda: about 50,000 in all. This large number is represented now by less than 9,000 from our population of 27,ooo, ooo, to which should be added, say, 2,000 on ticket-of-leave.
He would be a bold man who would ascribe this extraordinary improvement to any one man or any one measure. But he would be a still bolder man who would deny that, foremost among the causes which have operated for good, are the spread of elementary education and the more rational treatment of crime. It is certain that both of these remedies owe more to Lord John Russell than to any other statesman who has filled the office of Secretary of State for the Home Department.
While, then, earnest politicians are inclined to deplore the easy temperament of Lord Melbourne, and the circumstances under which he persuaded his colleagues to remain in office in 1838, and to resume office in 1839, intelligent critics will at least reflect that his doing so led to the accomplishment of much good both in Ireland and Great Britain. Even the humiliating defeat which the Whig party experienced in 1841 was hardly too high a price to pay for the spread of education and the diminution of crime. These blessings England owes directly to Lord John Russell's administration of the Home Office; they are the enduring monuments of his share in the Government of 1835."
" In the thirties, as in later times, police magistrates were occasionally a little too loguacious on the bench. Lord John wrote to Mr. Fox Maule: “It appears to me that the police magistrates are continually exposing themselves to attack by their very unnecessary custom of making obiter remarks from the bench on all that comes before them. . . . There are too many cases where the thing to be complained of is not so much the decision as the practice of chattering for the benefit of the public and the reporters. Would it not be possible to draw up some circular advising moderation and discretion in this respect? If done at all, however, it must be done yery civilly.”