« TrướcTiếp tục »
From these specimens it appears, that the fame object is here placed in a variety of points of view, that tend to give a very clear idea of the internal ftate of the country.
Births, deaths and marriages. By infpecting the table, it appears that the number of births and marriages have been pretty generally recorded, but that of death has been but little attended to. From the general tenor of these returns however it is evident, that the births greatly exceeded the burials upon the whole; fo that if we were to adopt the ufual mode of reafoning on this head, we should conclude that the population of this country was increafing in a very rapid progreffion. In the parish of Kilrenny above-mentioned, for example, the births for the last 20 years have exceeded the deaths in the proportion of 34 to 20. The population by this index therefore fhould be here on a rapid increase. The actual number of the people in this parish has decreased in the courfe of 40 years no less than 262. Again, In the parish of Jedburgh, the average births have 99, and deaths 45: Yet the population has decreased no less than 3000 fouls in forty years, if the returns have been accurate, of which there is fome doubt, On the other hand, in the parish of Coylton, the deaths are 16, and the births only 15; but inftead of decreafing, this fmall parish has increased 140 in that period. And in the parish of Lauder, where the births and deaths are precisely equal, the increase of inhabitants has been no less than 300. These instances, to mention no more, fufficiently prove, that no conclufion can be drawn as to the wholesomeness or un wholesomeness of a place, from the births and burials alone, unless when accompanied with an account of the migra tions that have taken effect either to or from a place.
In perufing this volume, many curious facts occur refpecting peculiarities in regard to births and deaths. The following is the only fingularity of this kind that our limits permit us to infert. In the parish of Dunnichan the following ftriking difparity between the deaths of males and females has been remarked for a number of years.
This, I fhould think, tends to prove, that the parish is increafing in agricultural improvements, which give employment to the men, while the girls are in the practice of going elsewhere to fervice.
Increafe and decrease of population. The parish records have been hitherto fo inaccurately kept, that few articles in thefe columns could be filled up. It appears however from this index, that upon the whole the population has been increafing, though, on account of the conftant drains that are going on from this country for the army and navy, and leffer migrations into England and our external fettlements, not to mention thofe copious drains in large bodies which are emphatically called emigrations, the increafed population is upon the whole much less than the state of the bills of mortality would indicate. This fact is afcertained in one inftance in the volume before us, by the Rev. Mr. Peter Barclay, as to the parifh of Kettle, whofe account in this, and in many other refpects, deferves to be mentioned with applaufe. He states the population to have been
Increase in 12 years
Children under 8 years old
328 Increase in fact
Total born from May 14th
Total deaths in 12 years Increase of population from births and deaths
Perfons who have left the
Perfons who have come into or who have left the parish. The ufes that might be made of this article has been explained; but unfortunately no records for filling up these columns have been kept.
Poor, and the fums required for their fupport. This is a most important article in the civil polity of a country, becaufe, by comparing thefe two columns with the fecond, which contains the number of the people, many conclufions of great confequence refpecting industry, manufactures, and economy, may be drawn.-Could a ftate of the parishes in England be made out in the fame form with that here exhibited, fo as to be compared with this, and were an historical view of the progrefs of the numbers of poor, and the fums neceffary for their fupport, to be made out, it would be one of the most interesting articles of ftatistics that ever was made public. This we cannot expect to fee while the prefent political economy of England fhall prevail.-In the mean time, we confider this article, as here ftated, to be of very great confequence to this country;-and though far from complete, it is hoped it will be preferved as a fure beacon for our defcendants to look to as a directory for their conduct.
Many interesting remarks on this fubject occur in this volume, which our narrow limits prevent us from fpecifying. On the whole, it will appear, that, when compared with England and fome other countries, the number of poor, in proportion to the whole population, is very fmall, and the funds for their fupport inconfiderable ;-yet, among all these parishes, we hear few complaints of a want as to this article; nor are beggars permitted in more than one, or two of them. -The following plain account is given of the poor's funds of the parish of Dunnichan, which may, with little variation, be applied to the greateft part of Scotland;The population of the parish is 872. There may be, fays the
account, about a dozen of poor and indigent perfons belong ing to this parish, principally reduced to poverty by old age and distempers. A fufficient fund for their maintenance arifes from the contributions of the parishioners, collected on Sundays, and at the time of the facrament. It amounts, at prefent, to about 20 1. Sterling a year, and is yearly increasing; and from it, a reserve of 62 1. 1 s. 10 d. has been made as a provifion for bad feafons. Of these poor, fome receive a quarterly, and fome a weekly allowance, according as their neceflities require. The fund is managed by the clergyman and kirk feffion, who, being intimately acquainted with the circumstances of every poor perfon in the parish, are enabled thereby to proportion the fupply to their wants and exigencies.
"This parish affords one among perhaps many instances in Scotland, how fafely the maintenance of the poor may be left to the humane and charitable difpofition of the people, and how unneceffary it is to call in pofitive laws to their affiftance; for, if fuch laws provide funds for maintaining the poor, they alfo provide poor for confuming the funds."
As the proper maintenance of the poor, without stinting them too much on the one hand, or introducing wasteful profufion on the other, is a subject of infinite importance in civil fociety; and as the system above alluded to is perhaps the best for thefe purposes that ever was devifed, it is propofed, in fome future numbers of this work, to explain it fully, fo that it may be made intelligible to ftrangers.-In the mean while, the Editor will be obliged to any of his readers, who will tranfmit to him a state of the parochial funds in any part of England in particular parishes; fo that the fums applied for that purpofe may be compared with the number of perfons in the parishes refpectively.
Number of Horfes, Cattle, Sheep.-The ufes that may be made of these lifts, where completed, to mark the future changes that shall take place in this country, &c. are obvious. We cannot help regretting that thefe lifts have been, in so many cafes, incomplete. The following is the moft particular fpecification of this article we have obferved, given by the Reverend Mr. Robertson of the parish of Dalmeny.
Many articles occur under this head in various parts of the volume, that could not be reduced to a tabular form,particularly the number of ploughs and modes of management, c. c.
150 Bakewell's breed,
Minifter's Stipend. This article serves to fhew the proportion of the national funds that are applied to the church, and the manner in which it is divided.-The little difference between the highest and the lowest must appear ftriking to thofe who are not acquainted with the democratical system that univerfally prevails in the Church of Scotland. In regard to rank, all the members of it are perfectly equal; —and it will appear, that in respect to income, if none can be accounted wealthy, fo none are poor.-All neceffarily refide in their respective parishes,-live in a moderate and becoming manner, and are, in general, greatly respected by all ranks of people, not only for their learning, but for the regularity of their life and edifying conversation.
Number of Acres. As few parishes have been measured, it was impoffible to have this column filled up ;-but where it could be done, it never has been omitted, and the best ufe has every where been made of the materials refpecting this head, that could be come at, of which the following may ferve as an example. The parish of Crofimichael has been accurately furveyed; and the ftate of the landed pro perty stands thus, fractions omitted.
Valuation T. Rent. Eftates.
5662 £2522 £2263
These seven belong to non-refident heritors.
Thefe are part of a flock brought here by George Dundas, Efq. of Dundas, Captain of the Winterton Eaft Indiaman; the reft died on their paffage home. Their fleece is hairy like goats; but near the skin is a very fine foft down.
The valuation is in Scots money, which is precisely one twelfth the amount of Sterling n.oney.-The real rents are Sterling money. VOL. II.