LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
William Roscoe to Robert Owen of Lanark, [1814?]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

“A perusal of your fourth essay, which you were so good as to leave with me last night, has confirmed in my mind the justice of the remarks which I took the liberty of making to you on the nature of your plans for public improvements, and the best method of carrying them into effect.

“There is in them so much practical excellence that I cannot without great regret see them united with projects, which, to many persons, must appear in the highest degree extravagant, and supported by arguments, which, to say the least, are often of questionable validity, and which cannot fail to offend all those persons upon whom your plans must depend for support.

“I have already stated to you, in explicit terms, where I conceive you must fix your boundary, if you expect success. These are,—

1. A particular Account of the Improvements at New Lanark, demonstrating the Effects of Education and Habit on the Lower Classes of Society, and the Facility with which they may be trained, without Severity, from a cheerful Infancy, to an industrious Manhood, and a happy old Age.
2. Directions in what Manner the Methods adopted at New Lanark may be best applied to similar Establishments in different Parts of the Kingdom.
3. An Enquiry how far the same Plan may be adapted to Manufactories of other Kinds, or to Establishments where great Numbers of people are employed.
4. A brief Statement of the Influence of Education and Habit on the Mind of Youth, and a Proposal for establishing national Schools of Education, in which shall be inculcated the general Principles of Morality and Benevolence, as well as the Intellectual Acquirements at present taught in the Schools of Bell and Lancaster.
5. An Enquiry into the best Means of affording Employment for the industrious, and relief for the disabled poor.
6. Observations on the Necessity of abolishing all Laws which tend to the Corruption of Morals and the Perpetration of Crimes, as inconsistent with the best Interests of Society.

“On all these points your writings contain many excellent remarks, and if you should be the means of establishing such improvements, you will have done the greatest good that ever any man conferred upon his country. But, when
abandoning these practicable reforms, you resort to theory, and insist upon it as a preliminary that all mankind shall alter their opinions and admit the new light that is descended suddenly upon them; and when you add to this the downfall of all existing establishments in church and state, you appear to me effectually to preclude the very possibility of success, and to convert into your strongest opponents those who would have been your warmest friends.

“I have endeavoured to compress what I have before said on this immense subject into as little space as possible, and have now only to entreat that you will excuse the freedom of my remarks, and will believe me, with real esteem,” &c.