1843 Poor Law
"Poor Law inquiry (Scotland.) Appendix, part III. Containing minutes of
evidence taken in the synods of Angus and Mearns, Perth and Stirling, Fife,
Glasgow and Ayr, Galloway, Dumfries, Merse and Teviotdale, Lothian and
PRESBYTERY OF KIRKCALDY.
Kirkcaldy, Thursday, 12 October 1843.
Mr John Hutchison, Parish Clerk of Kirkcaldy.
I have been kirk-treasurer of the parish of Kirkcaldy since May last, and I have been a member of session for ten years. I have almost always attended the meetings for the management of the poor, and since May last I have paid the poor at my own office. There is no legal assessment for the relief of the poor in the parish, but annually, or at least every two years, the heritors, conjointly with the population of the town, have subscribed voluntarily to supplement any deficiencies in the church collections. The mode of raising the subscription was as follows; The parish was divided into six districts. Two gentlemen, not necessarily, and indeed very rarely, members of session, were appointed to each district. These gentlemen went round, made applications to every individual in their respective districts, and received the subscription, which each chose to give. This year a new system was attempted, to induce each individual to contribute according to his rental, so that the occupier should pay 4d. in the pound on the real rent, and the owner 4d., but when the same person was occupier and proprietor they were to pay 8d., in the pound. A great number of individuals subscribed on this plan, but a great number of them refused to subscribe at all, on the ground that it should be on the old plan of means and substance. Others, for the same reason, paid a smaller sum than they were assessed for. This voluntary assessment was attempted in the months of May, June, and July. It was attempted in consequence of the session funds having been previously almost exhausted, and the collections at the church doors having fallen off to one half what they used to be, in consequence of a great body of the people having Seceded from the church. It would, however, most undoubtedly have been necessary to have resorted to some expedient of this kind even if there had been no secession from the establishment. We thought that a subscription according to the property of each was a more equitable mode of raising the sum necessary for the relief of the poor. The management of the poor funds has hitherto been lent exclusively in the hands of the kirk-session. None of the heritors, as such, have ever attended our meetings, but since the secession, and in consequence of this voluntary subscription, a general meeting of the subscribers to the assessment assembled at a public meeting at the town-hall, and appointed a committee to act in concert with the kirk-session. Individuals at the meeting rose and proposed gentlemen for the committee in their respective districts. There was no opposition to any of the individuals nominated. The total number of the committee was fourteen, including individuals of all religious denominations in the town. This committee has not yet been in operation. It was only appointed a fortnight ago, but besides this, we, the kirk-session, intimated to the general meeting that although we were willing, as individuals, to act with the committee, yet we could not as a kirk-session act with them, inasmuch as this would be contrary to the law and practice of Scotland, relating to the relief of the poor. So matters are for a time in abeyance. With respect to the mode which has existed hitherto here of managing the poor, I may state that the town is divided into seven districts. Two elders, unless any particular circumstances prevented it, were appointed to each district, and the paupers in each district were placed specifically under the charge of such elders respectively. The number of paupers in each district varied from four to twenty-two. It was the duty of both the elders to become well acquainted with the circumstances of each pauper. But this was not always the case, inasmuch as some of those who were appointed to these districts were men very much engaged in business, and they could not conveniently find leisure for attending to minute details respecting the condition of poor persons. I as an elder had a district of my own with the paupers of which I was well acquainted, but I likewise became acquainted with the paupers in some other districts, when the other elders, from various circumstances, did not attend to their own duties. There was no one individual in the town who was acquainted with the condition of the poor. It was too onerous a task for the minister, who, however, was pretty well acquainted with them. There was no particular time of visitation by the elders of all paupers on the roll. I do not believe that many of the elders made a practice of seeing them once in a twelvemonth. But when any alteration was made in the allowances to the paupers, it was always mentioned at the monthly meeting, and attended to accordingly. An individual elder had the power of giving additional interim relief between the monthly meetings of the session. He had never any money in his own hand, but he gave it by what we call a precept, that is, an order on the treasurer. Any permanent alteration in the allowances could only be made by the whole kirk-session collectively. It was undoubtedly their custom to be guided almost entirely by the opinion of the elders, from whose district a pauper came. All the paupers were paid by the treasurer, at his own house. Every pauper was not obliged to attend in person to receive his aliment. Sometimes one pauper received for one, or even two others. We have a book in which the residences of all the paupers were inserted. Our usual allowances to old people, past work, and not bed-ridden, on the roll, are 4s. a month, but there are very few on the roll who are not able to do a little for their own maintenance.
There are two bed-ridden persons on the roll; one is an old woman, aged about sixty, whose allowance is 8s. a month. Her rent is £2 10s. She lives alone. She has no relations here who help her. She is relieved, sometimes, by families in the neighbourhood. There is a charitable institution called the “ladies benevolent female society," which gives her about 2s. a month. She is a widow, without children. She has to pay her rent out of her allowances.
The other is an old man, John Walker, aged eighty, who has been bed-ridden about two years. He receives 4s. a month, and 6d. a week from Thompson’s fund, and receives a little from the ladies’ society. He lives in a house of his own. He has a grand-daughter, aged about twenty, living with him. She sews. I do not know what she can earn at that. I am not perfectly certain as to his family, or their circumstances. He is chiefly maintained by a daughter and a daughter-in-law together. The daughter is married to a sailor, and has a family. It is one of her daughters that lives with the old man. I do not know anything about the daughter-in-law.
There are several widows with large families on the roll. One is a widow Finlayson, aged forty. I do not know the number of her children. I am not acquainted with anyone in the town who knows about her, unless we made particular inquiries as to the number of her children. The book does not contain a statement of the ages of the children of widows. It is true that their ages are important elements in deciding on the allowances which their parents ought to receive.
We have five idiots, lunatics, or fatuous persons on the roll, of whom four are in the asylums of Perth, Dundee, and Montrose. The remaining one is a man, aged about thirty. His allowance is 6s. a month. He lives with his parents; his father is a shoemaker, who had a family, who are, however, all off his hands. The son is, I think, well provided for.
We have ten orphans on the roll.
1. Janet Nicholl, aged about nine. The allowance for her is 4s. a month. She is boarded with Mrs Phelp, a widow, with young children, who is herself receiving relief from the kirk-session. Janet Nicholl is sent to school. She has a sister who works in a spinning mill, and earns 11s. a fortnight. She contributes towards the maintenance of her sister. An elder sister has promised to do the same thing. Mrs Phelp has three children, between six and ten years. The allowance for her is 4s. a month. She has a mangle, keeps a shop, and sells small articles.
2 and 3. Again, there are two sisters, of the name of Oswald, aged from eight to ten years; Their allowance is 10s. a month. They are boarded with a Mrs Black, who keeps a lodging-house. Some operatives live with here She is a respectable woman. They are both sent to school, where they are instructed, and are supplied with school books and clothes from Philp’s institution for the education of children.
4, 5, and 6. There are two sisters and another orphan, named Anderson, between eight and twelve years of age. The allowance is 8s. a month to each. The eldest girl is boarded with an uncle, who is a tailor; he is in good circumstances. The other two are boarded with a man, a relation, who is a weaver by trade. He has a family of his own, mostly grown-up. He is, likewise, in tolerably good circumstances. These children, like the ones already-mentioned, have likewise the benefit of Philp’s institution.
7. There is another orphan, named Jane Wilson, aged about twelve. Her allowance is 8s. a month. I do not know whom she is boarded with. She has also the benefit of being educated and clothed by Philp’s institution.
8. There is another orphan boy of the name of Phelp, aged nine. His allowance is 8s. a month. He is boarded with his uncle, who is a land labourer, and keeps a horse and cows. This boy likewise is educated at Philp’s institution.
9. There is another, John Maculloch, aged about seventeen. He is decrepit and weakly. His allowance is 8s. a month. He is boarded with a Mrs Crichton, a respectable old woman. The lad is undergoing instruction at Thompson’s institution, where he receives instruction gratis, but his clothes are not supplied to him. Mrs Crichton lives with her son, a tailor.
10. There is a boy, called Cecil Gregg’s boy, being an illegitimate child, between six and seven; his allowance is 2s. a week. He is boarded with a Mrs Turnbull, a respectable blacksmith’s widow; and is also at Philp’s institution. Mrs Turnbull has an family of her own.
We have one blind person on the roll, a girl, aged about twenty; her allowance is 3s. a. week. She is boarded with widow Fairweather, aged about fifty, who is a pauper herself, and receives 4s. a month. She earns a little by winding bobbins. We have no deaf and dumb person on the roll.
Almost all the adult paupers on the roll have private means, independent of their allowances. The women can find employment either at winding bobbins, or at washing. A woman who winds bobbins may earn 3s. 6d. a week, if she has constant employment; but employment at this work is not steady. Taking all the year round, for the last twelvemonth, a woman at that work cannot earn more than 2s. a week. I cannot state what women can earn at mangling. Some of those on the roll are employed in out-door work in the spring and autumn, and some of them reap at harvest.
We do not provide a doctor for the relief of the sick poor. In particular eases, we pay a druggist’s bill for medicines on account of the paupers. This, however, is not our usual practice. The medical men of the town give their attendance on the poor gratuitously. I cannot state how much in a year we pay for medicines to the poor - we pay such bills so very rarely. I remember one year we paid as much as 10s. for a druggist’s bill. When the poor are sick, we do not provide extra nutritious diet from the poor funds. We sometimes, however, increase their allowances in sickness. There was one case last winter of a woman who fell ill, to whom we allowed 3s. 6d. a week for her own support, and 1s. 6d. a week for her nurse. The medical attendance there was given for nothing. She died ultimately, and her complaint was consumption. We defray the funeral expenses of paupers. We allow 16s. 8d. for this purpose. In fact, we contract with an undertaker for the whole transaction.
There is a good deal of begging in the town. There is not much of it among paupers on the roll; but a great many from the neighbouring parishes. The individuals alluded to are principally old people, and are frequently paupers of the neighbouring parishes. The shopkeepers complain very much at being annoyed with the stranger poor begging at their doors. We have likewise many vagrants upon tramp who pass through the town. There is a respectable shopkeeper who takes the trouble to furnish a dinner or supper out of a subscription fund raised for this purpose.
The chief employment of operatives in this town is the hand-loom weaving of linen and canvas. We have resident manufacturers in the town connected with this employment. We have likewise several flax spinning-mills, and two iron-foundries. The great majority of the persons employed in spinning-mills are females. The average earnings of the adults are 11s. a fortnight; and the average earnings of younger girls are 6s. a. fortnight. These spinning mills worked their regular hours during the late depression of trade. About a hundred men are employed at the foundries, at which ordinary skilled workmen can earn 16s. a week. The labourers earn 12s. a week.
The population here are pretty well educated, owing to the educational institutions of the town. As the salaries of the teachers are good, we are enabled to ensure the services of thoroughly efficient men. We have generally observed the extremely beneficial effects of these institutions in making the boys moral, active, and enterprising - although there have been a very few instances to the contrary.
There is not a great disposition among the people to emigrate. I do not think the population of the parish is redundant. I have never witnessed eases of extreme destitution among able-bodied persons. Those who are willing to work can generally find employment here. I think that it will now be necessary to introduce assessments for the support of the aged and infirm poor. I say this without reference to the late secession - although, undoubtedly, that secession has very much increased the necessity for such assessments. I would not approve of granting destitute able-bodied persons relief from an assessment, because they can always find employment here, if they are willing to work at reduced wages - for persons would make improvements on their estates at reduced wages which they would not otherwise undertake. I think the law of settlement ought to be altered, so that the term of residence for the purpose of establishing a settlement should be extended from three to seven years. We think that the present law operates with some injustice upon towns.
There was a case only the other day of a man named George Todd, who had, resided nineteen years in a neighbouring parish. He came here about five years ago, and resided three years. During the last year of which period he did not even pay his rent, and then returned to Abbotshall, his former parish; and since that time he has made application to us for relief; and as he is destitute, we are, according to the present law, compelled to grant it. The parliamentary burgh of Kirkcaldy includes a considerable part of the parish of Abbotshall. It was merely an accidental circumstance that George Todd changed his residence. I do not think that he had any ideas of getting a settlement in the parish of Kirkcaldy. I have reason, however, to believe that persons from other parishes do make such attempts. I cannot, however, specify any instance of the kind. I have no further suggestion to make on the poor laws.
The session-clerk was present during Mr Hutchison’s examination, and confirmed his statements.
Notes of Cases of Paupers visited at their own houses in the Parish of Kirkcaldy, 14th October 1843.
1. Widow Macdonald, aged seventy. Allowance 3s. 6d. a month. Rent 25s. Her husband had been in the army, and had been dead six years. She had no children alive. A son, who had lately died, had kept a shop in Stirling, which his widow continued to keep. Widow Macdonald received some small assistance from her occasionally. She had also 1s. 6d. a month from the ladies’ society. She lived by herself, but her sister helped to pay her rent. Widow Macdonald was employed in picking fowls for Mrs MacGlashan, the innkeeper, for whom she was in the habit of doing little jobs, and from whom she got broth almost every day. Mrs MacGlashan also gave her a gown or two for going to church. She could make 14d. a fortnight by knitting stockings. She also received coals when distributed. Her room was clean and the furniture good; three chairs, two tables, two chests, and a cupboard.
2. Ann M‘Cosh, unmarried, aged seventy-nine. Allowance 3s. a month. Rent £2. She received 2s. 6d. a month from the ladies’ society. She had been formerly in service, and four of the ladies, who knew her, allowed her 6d. a week. She earned a little by making and selling sugar-candy, and she also sold a little bread on a Saturday. She also got coals in the winter. Her house was dirty and ill kept, but she appeared cheerful and contented. She lived by herself, and had a quantity of old furniture of all kinds. She said, “I have a good bed to lie on, and that is the only good thing I have ; the house rent is the greatest burden."
3. Effie Ogg, unmarried, aged thirty-six. Allowance 1s. 6d.a week, rent 30s. She has had a sore leg For twelve years, owing to which she was unable to work. She had received relief for about ten years. She had two natural children living with her, the youngest a child about ten years old, the eldest a girl of fourteen, who went about selling matches. The latter once worked in a factory, but was dismissed for bad behaviour. Effie Ogg stated that she depended entirely on what she got from the session and what the girl could earn. She had a woman also a pauper, (see next case No. 4), living with her, who paid 2s. a week for her board. The house was one of very bad character, and contained hardly any furniture.
4. Elizabeth Ramsay, unmarried, age forty-eight. Allowance 2s. a. week. She boarded with Effie Ogg, (No. 3), to whom she paid over her parish allowance. She was formerly in service, and had been two years in bad health. She had also had two natural children, and the house was said to be the resort of drunken and disreputable characters.
5. Andrew Imrie, age seventy. Allowance 4s. a month. He lived in the house with his daughter, a widow with seven children, the youngest of whom was only three years old; the eldest was a son aged twenty, who was a porter and lived in the house; the second son, who was a postilion, lived at the inn ; the third child was a girl aged sixteen, who worked at a factory, and could earn 4s. a week. The remaining four children were unable to work. Two of them were at Philp’s institution, where the children are clothed and educated. The old man had been a carrier, and had saved a little money, which he had put into the hands of a writer in Kirkcaldy, who failed. The rent of the house, which contained four or five rooms, was £9; the rent was in arrear. The old man was generally confined to bed, and his daughter said that her time was entirely taken up in looking after him and keeping the house. The house was good and comfortably furnished. The family were said to be not very respectable.
6. Alexander Cushnie, age seventy-four. Allowance 4s. a month. Rent £1 12s. He was a painter, and had at one time a considerable business. He said he would be glad to do any small job, but nobody offered him anything to do. He was married, but his wife did not live with him; he had eight children all grown up, but they were all away, and did not help him. Some of the neighbours may give him a drop of soup, but few take notice of` him. He received 1s. a month from the ladies’ society, and 15s. a year from Thomson’s trust, which went towards payment of the rent. His room was warm and comfortable.
7. Janet Nicoll, age twelve, an orphan. She was boarded with Mrs Phelp, who was herself in the receipt of` parochial aid, (see next case). The session allowed 4s. a month for Janet Nicoll’s board, and her sister paid 2s. a month in addition. She was lying in bed ill, having been hurt by a cart. The doctor had not been sent for. Her bed seemed very clean and good. Mrs Phelp stated that 6s. a month was not sufficient to keep her, “but what could she do, she could not turn her out."
8. Widow Phelp, aged thirty-three. Allowance 4s. a month. Rent 9l. Keeps a spirit shop, and has several rooms. She has five children, the eldest a boy fourteen years of age, the youngest three. The eldest boy had been eight years at school. He wants to go to sea, and will not do anything else: two of her children were at school. Her husband was a sailor, and was drowned off Hartlepool. She was said to be a very respectable person. She in had a room and a kitchen of her own, which were let for £4. She got coals during the winter. Janet Nicoll (No. 7) was boarded with her. House and furniture good.
9. Isabella Henderson, unmarried, age sixty-five. Allowance 2s. a month. Rent £4 10s., which was to be reduced as she could not pay it. She had a good inner room well furnished, which was let to a lodger. He paid 6d. a night for it. She kept a small shop, and sold bread and other small articles. She slept herself in an ante-room between the shop and the inner room. She had two beds, which were also occasionally occupied by lodgers. The house was good, and her principal means of livelihood was from taking lodgers.
10. John Walker, aged eighty-eight. Allowance 4s. a month. He had his house rent free, having been an old servant of the proprietor. He was wholly confined to bed. He had been formerly a sawyer and carpenter. His grand-daughter, twenty-eight years of age, lived with him and took charge of him. She sewed, and got a good deal to do. He received 6d. a week from Thomson’s trust, and had 1s. 6d. a month from the ladies’ society. The house was remarkably clean and the furniture of a superior kind. He had nobody belonging to him, but his daughter and her family.
11. Widow Henderson, aged seventy. Allowance 2s. a month. Rent £2. She lived by herself. Had four children, a son and three daughters, who were all married and had families. Her husband had been a carter. She was able to wash, and got the sheets and linen to wash from the smacks. The house was clean and furniture good. She said that her children helped her now and then to pay her rent.
12. Widow Rae, aged seventy-five. Allowance 3s. a month. Rent £2 10s., which her allowance goes to pay. She took lodgers, and had four lodgers then residing with her. One of her lodgers was a pauper belonging to Dysart parish. His name was Robert Reid. His allowance was 1s. a week, which he paid for his lodging. He gained his subsistence by begging, but sometimes got a day’s work. The other three lodgers paid 3d. a night. Widow Rae received also 1s. 6d. a month from the ladies’ society. She had an unmarried daughter who lived with her, who was able to work. She was then working at the potatoes, and might earn 1s. a day. At other times she teazes old ropes, but did not earn more than 6d. a week at that kind of work. The house contained only two rooms, and was poor and ill kept, as might be expected in a low lodging house.
13. Elizabeth Chalmers, unmarried, aged seventy-four. Allowance 3s. a month. She paid no rent. Received 3s. a month from the sailors’ fund and 1s. 6d. a month from the ladies’ society. Her brother kept a small shop, but she said she was not the better of her friends. She used to wind yarn, but was unable now to do anything. The house was clean. She had a clock, and the furniture, although old, was of a superior kind.
14. Widow Thomson, aged seventy-six. Allowance 3s. a month. She had her house rent free. She received 2s. a mouth from the ladies’ society. She lived alone. Had two daughters married, and she sometimes went and lived with them for a month or so at a time. She knitted stockings, and would get 1s. 4d. for a pair. It took her a fortnight to knit a pair. Her house was clean and comfortable, and there was plenty of good furniture.
15. Widow Waddell, aged thirty-two. Allowance 5s. a month. Rent £2 12s. She had three children, the eldest a boy of eight, the second a girl six years old, and the youngest an infant at the breast. Her husband who was a carpenter, was killed about fifteen months previously, working at the harbour. He had 15s. a week wages, but had not saved anything. After his death, a subscription amounting to £8 12s. was made in the town for his family. Out of this his widow received 4s. a week as long as it lasted. She was able to make something, about 2s. a week, by winding bobbins. Her boy was at Philp’s institution, where he was clothed and educated. The little girl was at the infant school. No assistance from friends. House clean, three chairs, two chests of drawers, table, &c.
16. Widow Aikin, aged sixty-six. Allowance 3s. a month. Rent £2 2s. She had a daughter, who lived with her, who had recently married a flax dresser in Dysart, but continued to reside with her mother. The daughter worked at the mill before she was married, and had continued to do so since. She had formerly an illegitimate child, eleven years old, who was at school. House well-kept and clean. Two beds, a wardrobe, clock, three chairs, table, &c.
17. Widow Anderson, aged seventy-five. Allowance 3s. a month. Rent £2 5s. which her allowance goes to pay. She had 1s. 6d. a month from the ladies’ society. She used to earn something as a laundress, by washing and ironing, but got now very little to do. Sometimes she would not make more than 1s.a week. She lived alone. Had one son married, with a family. She appeared very contented. Her furniture was good. Clock, wardrobe, &c.
18. Widow Fairweather, aged about fifty. Allowance 4s. a month. Rent £2. She was able to work, and could make 5d. a day by winding. She also worked occasionally out of doors, taking up potatoes, &c. Her husband had been a weaver. She had no family, and was not in bad health. An unmarried sister lived with her. She worked at a factory, and made 4s. 6d. a week. The house and furniture was good. A clock, chest of drawers, wardrobe, cupboard, six or seven good chairs, table, chest, &c. Not properly a case for relief.
19. Margaret Young, aged eighteen. Allowance for board 3s. 6d. a. week. She lives with Mrs Fairweather, (No. 18). She was well dressed, and employed in knitting. She appeared to be well lodged and properly attended to. She was a natural child of Effie Ogg, (See No. 3). Her father had been a clerk in the custom house, and was afterwards collector of customs at Scarborough. Margaret Young had been for eight years in the blind asylum at Edinburgh. The expense of her maintenance there had been defrayed partly by her father, during his lifetime, and partly by some benevolent ladies. It was about eight months since she left the Edinburgh asylum. She might have continued there, but had been somewhat unruly in her behaviour. She was strong and in good health.
20. Christian Bryan, aged sixty. Allowance 2s. a mouth. Rent £2 10s. Her husband was a weaver in Glasgow. They did not agree, and she left him, and has heard nothing of him for six years. She winds, and makes 4d. a day. She never had any children. She got her tea every night from Mrs Berwick, the confectioner, who, she said, had been very good to her. Her claim on the parish of Kirkcaldy seemed very doubtful.
21. Widow Williamson, aged forty. Allowance 4s. a month. Rent £2. She had six children, the eldest a girl of fifteen, the youngest six. She worked out of doors. Her husband had been a sailor, and died about six years ago. The house was very dirty, and ill-kept, and was said to be most disrespectable.
22. Widow Innes, aged sixty-seven. Allowance 3s. a month. Rent £2 2s. An unmarried daughter, aged twenty-eight, who had two natural children, lived with her. She weaved, and when in constant work could earn 4s. 6d. a week. Widow Innes goes about begging. The house was dirty, and of the lowest kind, being equally disrespectable with that of widow Williamson (No. 21).
23 and 24. Bell Irvine, aged fifty-two. Allowance 6d. a week. Widow Stewart, aged about sixty. Allowance 1s. 6d. a week. The two live together in a room, the rent of which is paid by the session. Widow Stewart never had any children. She goes out and sells matches. Bell Irvine knits stockings, and does any occasional work she can get. She had made 9d. one day at harvest. The house was poor, with very little furniture.
Notes of Cases of Beggars examined in Kirkcaldy Saturday, 14th October 1843.
1. Robert Wilson, aged seventy-three. Allowance 2s. 6d. a month from the parish of Kinghorn. Rent 34s. a year. He lives in the parish of Abbotshall. Has a wife, aged seventy-five, living with him. He is a regular beggar. Has been a sailor, and receives a pension of £3 a quarter from a fund in London called the Kinloch bequest. Says he has nothing else to depend upon, except what he gets by begging on Saturdays in Kirkcaldy. He pays his rent by some of the money which he receives from the Kinloch bequest. He is a cripple, and is said to be a great drinker. He smelt of whisky.
2. Widow Nell Brodie, aged sixty-eight. Allowance 4s. a month (“which," she says, “is not muckle for five weeks"), from the parish of Kirkcaldy. Rent 24s. a year. She lives alone. Her husband has been dead eight years. She has a grown-up son in the parish of Abbotshall, who is a married man with a large family. She says he does not help her. She has the palsy, and cannot work. She begs on Saturdays, but not on other days. She gets 1s. a month from the ladies’ society. She had in her lap some coffe, biscuits, bread, and fish, obtained by begging. She had received some halfpence, with which she had bought some tea and sugar. She, is said to be one of the few decent beggars.
3. George Scott, aged about thirty. Allowance 2s. 6d. a month from Kirkcaldy. He is a fatuous person, and is a regular beggar, and carries home all the pence which he collects. He has in his bag 1s. 5d. in coppers, which he has received today.
4. Mary Wilson, aged seventy-eight. Allowance 1s. a week from Kinghorn parish. She begs in Kirkcaldy, and lives with a daughter who has four children, and is married to a sailor absent on the Greenland fishery. The rent is £1 1s., and the old woman pays the half of it. She says that she would much rather not beg; and she added, almost spontaneously, that, if she had 2s. 6d. a week, "that would pay the rent and would keep her brawly;" but that she could not live upon 1s. a week. She seemed a decent woman.