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to have children confined with scarlet fever, &c. &c., and beg for them. They state that they have obtained a note to take their children to an infirmary or to an hospital, and want a few clothes and a little money.'
6. The Deaf and Dumb Lurk.—I have known many persons of both sexes, who have acted as if deaf and dumb, and by this means succeeded very well in obtaining money, food, &c. Many of them pretend to tell fortunes, and frequently get something considerable by such practices. They carry a slate and pencil with them, to write questions and answers.'
It would appear from the pamphlet before us, that sometimes these deaf and dumb lurkers affect even in the lodging-houses to be thus afflicted; but in such cases they are generally found out by their fellow vagrants.
7. The Servants' Lurk.-There are considerable numbers who go on the servants' lurk, or as servants out of place; and both males and females frequently succeed well in imposing on servants and others by false statements and tales of distress. . . . The greater part of those who go on this lurk are neatly dressed, and have exactly the appearance of servants in gentlemen's families. Many of them have the Court Guide, which, as it contains a list of the nobility and gentry, enables them to do the thing completely.'
8. Collier's Lurk.-This is followed by thousands who were never in a coal-pit, and numbers of such are daily imposing upon the public as colliers out of employ. They generally say they have been thrown out of work by some accident, such as the flooding of the works or the falling in of the pit... . . They often go in parties from two to seven or eight. Others have
printed papers, which are left at each house, and called for again in a few hours. . . . Others have written statements of the pretended masters of the accidents, and the supposed signatures of the works are affixed to them.
Some of these obtain as much as fourteen or fif
teen shillings per diem.'
9. The Weaver's Lurk.-There are at the present time great numbers who go on this lurk, many of them having printed papers or small handbills, and leave one at each house, and then call again for them, and to receive what persons are disposed to give. I have seen men who represented themselves as weavers of every kind, and from all the manufacturing parts of the kingdom-men who I well knew had never been near a loom, but had been born and bred vagrants.'
10. The Cotton Spinner's Lurk.-There are many going on this lurk with printed papers or small handbills also. . . Some who go on this lurk carry sewing cotton for sale, alleged to be their own spinning.
One man I know, who travels on this lurk, has been doing so for twelve years. He sometimes obtains as much as from twelve to fifteen shillings in one day.'
11. The Calenderer's Lurk.-Those who go on this lurk represent themselves as calenderer's out of employ, through the depression of trade and improvement in machinery. They, like sham weavers and colliers, have false papers, which are printed, some in poetry.'
The sums raised by these descriptions of lurks' must be immense, especially where the individuals have a good address, and can explain and enforce the written and printed appeals they take with them.
'HIGH-FLIERS,' or begging letter writers, are, it would seem, the next in order of importance, after the Lurkers. 'These begging letter-writers scribble false statements of their having been unfortunate in business, or suffered great losses, which have reduced them to a state of extreme distress. In London, but especially in the watering and sea-bathing places, these letters procure as much as from five to one pound per day.'
'SHALLOW COVES' are impostors begging through the
country as shipwrecked sailors. They generally choose winter, and always go nearly naked. Their object in doing so is to obtain left-off clothes. . They have a long, pitiful got-up tale of pretended distress, which they shout through the streets, of having been shipwrecked, &c. Shallow Coves generally go in companies, (or, technically speaking, in school) of from two to ten. There is generally one selected to be the spokesman. As Shallow Coves only call at respectable houses, they often obtain a great deal of money.'
"Shallow Motts' are females who, like the Shallow Coves, go nearly naked. They also adopt that mode of begging in order to obtain wearing apparel. . . . . They plead long and severe sickness, but only ask for clothes. The clothes are disposed of as soon as possible, none being ever kept for their own use. I knew one of these who in ten days obtained at Kingston-uponThames between seven and eight pounds' worth of clothes.
'CADGERS' are those who make begging their trade, and depend upon it for their support. Cadgers on the downright are those who beg from door to door, and Cadgers on the fly are those who beg as they pass along the tober, (road.) Cadging on the fly is a profitable occupation in the vicinity of bathing-places and large towns. A person of this description generally gets many shillings in the course of the day. Cadging on the downright (from door to door) is like all other trades, getting worse; but still thousands do very well at it, and frequently get more food than they can consume.
I have often seen food, which many working people would gladly have eaten, shamefully and wantonly wasted.
'CADGERS CHILDREN' (kiddies) are so well instructed in the arts of imposition by their parents, that they frequently obtain more in money and food than grown-up cadgers.'
Cadgers' Screeving.-There are many cadgers who write short sentences with chalk on the flags, and some of them can do it remarkably well; these are called screevers. I have seen the following sentences frequently
written by them in places where there were numbers passing by, and where they thought it would be likely to get plenty of half-pence, (browns,) and now and then a tanner or a bob, (sixpence or a shilling,)
"Hunger is a sharp thorn, and biteth keen."
I have known them by this means obtain seven shillings a day.
Cadgers' Sitting Pad.-Whenever cadgers stand or sit, either in towns or by the road side, to beg, they call it sitting or standing pad; and this often proves a very profitable method. Some of them affect blindness; whilst others represent themselves as unable to follow any employment, in consequence of being subject to fits. Some cadgers save very considerable sums of money; but these are very few, compared with the great number who live by this trade of beggary.
"Match-sellers' never entirely depend upon selling matches, for they cadge as well; in fact, they only carry matches as a cloak for begging, and never offer them at any house where they expect to get more without them. Match-sellers, as well as all other cadgers, often get what they call a back-door cant;' that is, anything they can carry off where they beg, or offer their matches
'CROSS COVES,' though they beg their bread, can tell a long story about being out of employ through the badness of trade, &c., yet get what they call on the cross, (by theft.) One of their chief modes of getting things on the cross is by shoplifting, (called grabbing, Another method is to star the glaze, (i. e. break or cut the window.)
Prigs (or pickpockets) are another closs of vagrants, and they frequent races, fairs, and prize-fights.
Like cross coves, they are generally young men who have been trained to vagrancy, and have been taught the arts of their profession in their childhood.'
'Palmers are another description of beggars, who visit shops under pretence of collecting harp half-pence;
and to induce shopkeepers to search for them, they offer thirteen-pence for a shilling's worth, when many persons are silly enough to empty a large quantity of copper on their counters to search for the half-pence wanted. The palmer is sure to have his hand amongst it; and while he pretends to search for the harps, he contrives to conceal as many as possible in the palm of his hand, and whenever he removes his hand from the coppers on the counter, always holds his fingers out straight, so that the shopkeeper has not the least suspicion that he is being robbed. Sums varying from five to fifteen shillings per diem are frequently got in this way, by characters of that description.'
Extract from Edinburgh Review, Jan. No. 1844:
It is obvious that the insecurity of a community in which the bulk of the population form a conspiracy against the law, must prevent the importation of capital; must occasion much of what is accumulated there to be exported; and must diminish the motives and the means of accumulation. Who will send his property to a place where he cannot rely on its being protected? Who will voluntarily establish himself in a country which to-morrow may be in a state of disturbance? A state in which, to use the words of Chief Justice Bushe, 'houses, and barns, and granaries are leveled, crops are laid waste, pasture lands are ploughed, plantations are torn up, meadows are thrown open to cattle, cattle are maimed, tortured, killed; persons are visited by parties of banditti, who inflict cruel torture, mutilate their limbs, or beat them almost to death; men who have in any way become obnoxious to the insurgents, or opposed their system, or