British Workman Vol. 1, No. 27 (1857)


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No. 27.]
Published for the Editor by Messrs. PARTRIDGE & Co.; A.W. Bennett; W. Tweedie, London.
[Price One Penny.
H. Parrott, Coxswain of the Tenby Life-boat
The Broadstairs Life-boat returning from the rescue of the “Northern Belle.”—See next page.
The Shipwrecked Mariner.

The months of December and January last will long be remembered for their melancholy catalogue of wrecks which strewed nearly every part of our sea-girt isle. Whilst, however, many a noble-hearted sailor perished in the fearful storms, and hundreds of bereaved families now mourn over their lost ones, we rejoice in being able to record the heroic deeds of various life-boat crews, whereby not a few of our fellow men were saved from a watery grave.

The following interesting account of the rescue of nine of the crew of the Spanish ship, Nuevo Torcuvato, which went to pieces near Tenby on Sunday night, the 7th December, is from the pen of Robt. Parrott, the brave coxswain of The Tenby Life-boat. There is something so graphic and yet so unostentatious in the narrative, that we feel we cannot do better than publish the letter entire, without note or comment of our own.

“Tenby, Sunday Night, Dec. 7. Wind S.W.; strong gales and squally. Several vessels in Caldyroad riding heavily. At 8 p.m. a vessel was reported on the White Back (the shoal on which the French schooner Alexandre was lost last winter). The life-boat being already out of the house, on the slip, was very soon run down into the water and launched off the carriage. We were then compelled to go round St. Catherine’s Island, as it was only one hour’s flood. There we had a flood tide and heavy cross seas to contend with, which for half-an-hour almost baffled us, as the sea was constantly breaking over us. Passing this, we progressed gradually till we got to windward of the vessel, which had beaten over the shoal and was lying on the strand bow on, the sea making a clear breach over her stern and port quarter. We dropped the anchor and backed in. We should have made quick work now, but, unfortunately, the mainsail boom and gaff were washed over the lee quarter, in backing clear of which, to avoid being stove, a sea struck us on the broadside, going over us, the force of which broke three of our lee oars, leaving us clear of the loose wreck. Here we found the benefit of


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our anchor, for the next sea would have thrown us on the strand but for the anchor bringing us up. The hand grapnel was then thrown aboard, and nine poor fellows were soon stowed away in the life-boat. We gave a hearty cheer, and then hauled her through the surf and pulled away to windward with a will, and then bore up for the harbour, thankful to Divine Providence for enabling us once more to perform this errand of mercy, and to snatch nine poor fellows from inevitable destruction; for in about two hours from our leaving her (before high water) she went all to pieces. The boat behaved admirably; in fact, I am persuaded the crew would cheerfully face any sea in her when it is possible to row ahead. The crew also showed the most perfect coolness and fixed determination to effect their purpose, if possible, which, by the Divine blessing, they accomplished.

Robert Parrott, Coxswain.”

Lowestoft; Life-boat.

This boat and its intrepid crew nobly did their duty during the fearful storm of the 7th January.

A brig on the Newcombe Sands made signals of distress by a flag in her rigging. The life-boat was immediately launched and went off to the brig, and having been enabled to anchor to windward of her, dropped down under her stern, and succeeded in taking on board half her crew, when in a tremendous squall, the cable of the life-boat parted; but having fortunately taken a strong rope from the brig, the crew were enabled to hold on till the remainder of the ship’s crew were got on board with the exception of the master, who, when striving to get into the boat, was washed overboard. With considerable difficulty_ he was recovered and hauled into her in a senseless condition, after having more than once disappeared in the sea! The lifeboat’s crew then immediately ran for the harbour, in order the more expeditiously to land the crew and the master, as the latter had, since he had been taken into the lifeboat, shown scarcely any signs of life. By the prompt and unwearied exertions of a surgeon and his assistants on the master’s landing, they succeeded ultimately in his resuscitation. The vessel was the Tennant, of Stockholm, with a crew of eight hands. Nothing could exceed the zeal and hardihood of the lifeboat’s crew, including the gallant Captain Joachim, R.N., who was with them throughout the trying occasion.

Broadstairs Life-boat,

No event connected with the late gales has caused more general interest than the gallant rescue of the crew of the Northern Belle. Mr. John Lang, who witnessed the transaction, gives the following touching account of it in a letter to the Times:—
Broadstairs, Jan. 8, 1857.

On Monday, the 5th inst., at 3 a.m., an American ship, the Northern Belle of 1,100 tons, bound from New York to London, with a general cargo, came to an anchor off Kingsgate, and distant from the shore about three-quarters of a mile.

At 6 a.m. she rode very heavily, and the sea at times broke completely over her.

At 6 30 a.m. the crew cut away the mizen and main masts. The ship then rode easier; but as the day advanced the gale increased in violence, and the sea ran proportionately high.

At 8 a.m. it was feared that the ship would part from her anchors and come on shore, and a message was despatched to Broadstairs to that effect. The Broadstairs boatmen, who are renowned for their alacrity, immediately harnessed themselves to the truck on which the lifeboat—the Mary White—is always ready, and proceeded to drag it from Broadstairs to Kingsgate, a distance of two miles, over a heavy and hilly country.

At 9 a.m. the boat arrived at Kingsgate. By this time the news of the ship’s dangerous position was spread throughout the neighbourhood, and by 11 o’clock the cliffs were crowded by persons of all ranks from Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs. Some hundreds of persons were present.

At 11.30 a.m. the multitude assembled were destined to witness a very painful sight. A Margate lugger, called the Victory was hovering about the ship in the hope of rendering her some assistance, when a huge sea struck her and she suddenly disappeared from our sight. She and her crew (from twelve to fifteen in number) went down, and were no more seen. Another lugger, the Ocban, of Margate, had, at 6 a.m., put five hands on board the Northern Belle.

At noon, it was expected every moment that the ship would come on shore upon the rocks beneath the cliff; but she held on, the crowd remaining until dark, anxiously watching the vessel, despite the hall, sleet, and snow which began to descend.

Between 10 and 11 p.m., the ship parted with her anchors and drove upon the rocks. At this hour it would have been utterly impossible to launch the life-boat, for the hail, sleet, and snow prevented the men from seeing any.object whatever; and the spot whence it would be necessary to put off was distant more than half a mile. When day broke, at between 6 and 7 o’clock this morning (Tuesday), an awful sight was revealed to those on the cliffs, and on the beach. With the naked eye we could discern 23 men lashed to the rigging of the only mast left standing. What these poor creatures must have suffered during the night the reader will readily imagine.

At half-past 7 a.m. the life-boat, the Mary White, was manned. Since July 1850, when this boat was presented to the boatmen of Broadstairs by Mr. Thomas White, of Cowes, she has saved many lives, and her crew have encountered many dangers; but never has she been engaged in a matter of such peculiar peril as that of this day. Wrecks and the saving of life are such common occurrences in this part of the country that an ordinary case scarcely creates any comment; but this was a very extraordinary case, and it has elicited the wonder and applause of the many who witnessed it.

Ten brave men pulled through a boiling surf and raging sea, which several times hid them from our sight, and filled us with alarm for their safety.

When seven out of the twenty-three men upon the wreck had been got into the lifeboat, it was found necessary to cut her adrift and disentagle her from the ship.

With these seven men the boat returned to the shore amid the cheers of the many persons assembled on the beach. A second lifeboat, which had also been wheeled from Broadstairs, to be ready in the event of the first lifeboat being lost, was now launched, and went off to the wreck. She succeeded in bringing away fourteen. The two remaining were the captain and the pilot, who had been taken in at Dover. The former declared that he would rather die than leave his vessel, and the latter expressed a desire to remain and perish in the old man’s company.

After an hour and a-half had elapsed the lifeboat for the third time left the shore in order to persuade these two men to save their lives. After much difficulty, the crew of the boat succeeded in inducing them to come off the rigging and go to the land.

To describe the scene on the beach when it was known that all hands had been saved is beyond my power. A more affecting scene was seldom witnessed. There were tears of gratitude shed by the Americans, tears of joy and of pride by the Broadstairs’ boatmen.

Benumbed as the shipwrecked men were, they could scarcely partake of the refreshment which was provided for them in the little warm parlour of “The Captain Digby,” the solitary inn which stands upon the cliff at Kingsgate.

There is a little episode connected with the saving of these men’s lives which I am tempted to chronicle:—-At 3 o’clock, p.m. this day, the Mary White was dragged upon her truck by three horses into Broadstairs. In the boat sat her gallant crew. Tied to an American oar was the American standard, which was so recently hoisted as a signal of distress. The tattered flag fluttered over the broken bows of the Mary White. It was thus that the boat passed through the streets of Broadstairs, amidst the joyous shouts of the inhabitants of the town.

It was not in war that those heroes of this day captured that banner which is still waving over the bows of the Mary White. That banner is not an emblem of a bloody victory. It is the emblem of a deed of daring, worthy of being recorded in the largest type of The Times—a deed of daring which the Recording.Angel will dot down without a sigh or without shedding a single tear of sorrow.

In your issue of this day you record the names of 13 brave men who perished on the 4th inst. in a life-boat at Rhyl, in attempting to save the crew of a ship. Would it be too much to ask of you to record the names of the brave men who, at the imminent peril of their own lives, were this day engaged in restoring to America the lives of 19 of those seamen of whom she is so justly proud?

Nearly all of them are married men with large families of small children, and there is not a man among them who has not assisted in saving life, and who has not lost a father, brother, or cousin in the same glorious cause.

In a second letter, Mr. Lang says:—

“I have now the pleasure to transmit to you a list of the crews which manned the lifeboats engaged in saving the crew of the ship Northern Belle.

Crew of the Mary White.—John Castle, George Castle, William Hiller, Robert Miller, William Rowe, Edward Emptage, George Fox. This boat saved seven hands.

Crew of the Culmer White on her first trip to the wreck.—Jethro Miller, William Cowell, Wm. Wales, John Sandwell, George Emptage, Thomas Holborn, William Ralph, Robert Gilbert, Charles Emptage. Saved fourteen hands.

Crew of the Culmer White on her second trip to save the captain and pilot. Jethro Miller, William Wales, Jerry Walker, Fred Lawrence, Thomas Sandwell, Robert Simpson, James Bere, Robert Parker George Emptage, Robert Gilbert, Jethro Pettit.

These men, sir, were not labouring under any species of excitement when they engaged in the perilous duty which they performed so nobly and so well.

Under the impression that these men would never return—the impression of all who witnessed their departure from the shore—I watched their countenances closely. There was nothing approaching bravado in their demeanour—nothing to give a spectator an idea that they were about to engage in a matter of life or death to themselves and the crew of the ship clinging to the fore rigging of the Northern Belle. They had no hope of a “decoration” or of pecuniary reward when, with a coolness of manner, and a calmness of mind which contrasted strongly with the energy of their movements, they “stripped to their shirts” and bounded into the Mary White and the Culmer White to storm batteries of billows far more appalling to the human mind than batteries surmounted by cannon and bristling with bayonets. There could be no question about the heroism of these men.

I have the honour to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,
Wm Lang

Hanxley Life-boat.

On the 4th of January this Northumberland life-boat, manned by twelve men, put off and rescued eleven men from the brig Sophie, of Oporto. The sea was at the time making a complete breach over the vessel, which soon afterwards went to pieces.

Later in the day the same life-boat went off again, manned by the same intrepid crew, and saved the crew of the Georgina, of Inverness, which, in stress of weather, had run on shore near Hauxley. This vessel also became a total wreck.

The Filey Life-boat also went out on the same day, and rescued the crew of nine hands from the brig Bat-cliff e, of Whitby. She was unable to keep off the land, from the violence of the gale and the partial loss of her sails; she afterwards sunk.

Walmer Life-boat

On Monday, the 5th January, this boat, which the National Life-Boat Institution has just placed on that important station, saved the crew of eleven men, of the Reliance, of London, which was driven ashore by the gale near Walmer Castle. The cost of this life-boat was generously presented to the National Life-Boat Institution by some members of the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

Scarboro’ Life-boat.

Crews, consisting of twenty-six persons, were saved from the brig Thompsons, of London; the Northumberland., of Whitby; and the Wilsons, of Shields. A silver medal has been since presented by the Royal National Life-Boat Institution, to Thomas Clayburn, the gallant master of this lifeboat, for his repeated services in saving life during the last forty years.

Various other instances of noble deeds by life-boat crews have been performed, the details of which have not reached us, but we may state as a summary that there have been 340 cases of wrecks during the late gales, reported to the Board of Trade, with the loss of 186 lives. It is a gratifying fact that the number of lives saved during these fearful storms, chiefly by life-boats and the life-preserving apparatus, amount to six hundred and sixty-two!

Mr. E. Pecher, Consul-General of the King of the Belgians at Rio Janeiro, has presented the sum of £500 to Henry Bath, chief boatswain of the coastguard station, St. Alban’s Head, for his noble conduct in saving the lives of himself and other passengers from the Mail Steamer, The Tyne, which was stranded during the storm in January last. The Lords of the Admiralty, have not only sanctioned the acceptance of this munificent gift, but have given Mr. Bath promotion in the service.

The Royal Mail Steam-ship America, which sailed from Liverpool in December last, encountered a gale when off Cape Clear. A heavy sea suddenly struck the vessel with such force that even massive iron steadying bars, several inches in diameter, were snapped asunder, and it was thought for some moments that the vessel must inevitably sink.

Providentially, the worst fears of all on board were not realized. Capt. Lang and his brave crew succeeded in bringing the vessel back to Liverpool for repairs.

At the time the sea struck the vessel, some of the passengers in the fore cabin were playing at cards, but when the waters suddenly rushed amongst them, and the fear of death stared them in the face, they immediately fell on their knees imploring the Almighty to save them. May the promises made lay these gamesters in the storm, be remembered and fulfilled by them in the calm.


There is a loud call for a few harbours of refuge on our east coast. Captain Lean R.N. with reference to the late fearful gales says:—

“It is melancholy to reflect that the greater part of the loss of life and property might have been preserved had there beer harbours of refuge existing for which vessels could run in times of need.

This subject surely is one of urgent national importance. 6,185 persons were last year relieved by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, among whom were 2,542 widows and orphans. In all human probability, the half of these sufferers might have been spared had they had a safe port to run for. As it is, there is no place but the Plumber between Great Yarmouth and the Firth of Forth! Our unfortunate seamen caught in the gale on the coast have no choice between foundering at sea or giving themselves a bare chance for their lives by beaching their vessels.”

We have much pleasure in calling attention to this valuable and humane society, (supported by voluntary contributions) which, during the past year, was instrumental in saving the lives of five hundred and nineteen persons from wreck on our coast.

It is a very gratifying fact, that during the thirty-three years this institution has been established only one fatal accident—and that occurred more than twenty-one years ago—has happened to any of its life-boats.

We trust that in the great and extraordinary exertions which this truly philanthropic society is now making to supply exposed points with efficient life-boats, liberal public support will be extended to it. A life-boat establishment, with its boat, carriage, house, and life-belts for the crew, costs about £350. So that without the cordial co-operation of the public the National Life-Boat, Institution cannot keep up its numerous life-boat establishments and progressively increase the same on the coast.

Let the wealthy of the land and others help it in this mission of mercy. We rejoice to find that the Duke of Northumberland, who is the President of the Society, has set a noble example in this matter.

Contributions should be addressed to the Secretary, R. Lewis, Esq., Royal National Life-Boat Institution, 14, John St., Adelphi, London.


At the Weekly Meetings of the Committee of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society for the month of January, at which attended Vice Admiral Sir Henry Hope, K.C.B., Chairman, Captain the Hon. Francis Maude, R. N., Deputy-Chairman, William Stuart, Esq., Rear-Admiral Bertie C. Cator, Captain Rawstorne, R.N., Lieut, Guyon, R.N., Captain Perrott, E.K.M., Captain Dixon, R.N., and Rev. C. B. Gribble, M.A., Chaplain of the Sailors’ Church and “Home.”

Relief was given to the following sufferers from Shipwreck, viz:—480 Widows and Orphans, 401 Mariners, to assist them to replace loss of clothes, and 570 Shipwrecked persons were reported as having been clothed, when necessary, and sent to their homes, or if foreigners, to their nearest Consuls. 644 Widows and Orphans of drowned Mariners, who had been relieved last year, received a further grant: £76 10s. was sent to the widows of the men drowned in the Point of Air Life-boat, and £58 to the Widows of those drowned in the Victory Lugger, at Margate. Total numbers suffering from Shipwreck relieved during the month, 2095 persons, at a cost of nearly £3000!

The Committee trust that the benevolent will cordially help to alleviate the horrors of Shipwreck caused by the late gales. The thrilling scenes described by the honorary Agents of the Society on the coast are most appalling. The shrieks of the drowning— the wail of the untimely widow and orphans —or the sight of the naked and destitute Mariner cast upon the beach, saved from the devouring elements, should call forth the best sympathies of humanity.

We have much pleasure in inserting this notice, and commend this most valuable Society to the liberal help of our readers. Contributions should be addressed to the Secretary, Captain lean, K.N., Hibernia Chambers, London Bridge.


On the morning of the 4th January, a vessel in distress was observed near Rhyl, on the Welsh coast. The Rhyl life-boat having already gone out on a mission of mercy to rescue fourteen poor fellows who were in the rigging of another wrecked vessel, the men belonging to the Point of Air life-boat readily launched their boat and for sometime bravely battled the tempestuous waves. When opposite the town of Rhyl, sad to relate, the boat was struck with a sudden gust of wind, and capsized. Ten of the poor fellows were instantly drowned, but three of them managed to cling to the keel of the boat for upwards of forty minutes, when at last a wave washed them off, and they were seen no more. Ah! what pen can describe the agony of those forty minutes to the poor dying men, as well as to the weeping spectators on shore, who could render no help.

The names of these thirteen brave men, who lost their own lives whilst attempting to save others, were R. Beck, J. Sharlock, J. Bleddyn, J. Davies, R. Davies, D. Davies, R. Roberts, E. Phillips, E. Roberts, J. Ellis, R. Williams, T. Roberts, T. Owens.

All except four have left widows with large families. May He who has promised to be “a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow,” raise up friends who shall care for these bereaved ones.

The brig Era, of Rochester, while off Easington, was struck by a tremendous sea, by which one of the crew was washed overboard. The vessel was shortly afterwards driven on shore between Castle Eden Dene and Horden, where a number of villagers were gathered together, among whom were Mr. Rowland Burdon, chairman of the quarter sessions, and the curate of Castle Eden. Mr. Burdon proposed that a chain of hands be formed for the purpose of reaching the rope which had been thrown from the wreck, but would not reach to the shore. “Let the tallest man go in first.,” said he. The proposal was at once agreed to; a stalwart gamekeeper went first, Mr Burdon second, and the curate of Castle Eden next. They had advanced into the water until Mr. Burdon was up to the shoulders, when the end of the rope was sought, and a communication obtained with the vessel, and the crew were safely drawn on shore, where warm clothing and provisions were speedily provided. All honour to these brave deliverers of their fellow men!

A black cloud makes the traveller mend us pace, and mind his home, whereas a fair day and a pleasant way, waste his time, and that stealeth away his affections in the prospect of the country. However others mav think of it, yet I take it as a mercy that now and then some clouds come between me and my sun, and many times some troubles do conceal my comforts; for perceive, if I should find too much friendship in my inn, in my pilgrimage I should soon forget my Father’s house, and my heritage.—Lucas.
“They fell on their knees, imploring the Almighty to save them.”

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(Continued from page 103.)

“Love your mother, then, my boy, with a deeper and purer love than ever you have yet felt for her. Regard her with a tenderer interest. Do not mourn for me, for I shall not be altogether separated from you. They who truly love each other are, I think spiritually present, though they may be absent as to body. I shall no longer be encumbered with a gross body, and shall therefore be, in affection, more intimately conjoined to you. Think often of this—-think often of me, and this very thought will bring a degree of presence.”

The feeble old man uttered thus much, and then sunk back upon the bed exhausted. At that moment she to whom he had been alluding, came into the room, and approaching the bed-side, bent over her dying partner, with eyes dimmed by the waters of affection that would unseal their fountains. As she stood thus, he took her hand, and placed it within that of his son, and pressing them both said:—

“Alfred, love your mother, and confide in her. You are just entering the world— a strange and evil world, with thousands of varied allurements and temptations. Trust much to your mother’s experience and counsel. Never do anything that she condemns or opposes, for remember that she has ever loved you and cared for you, and must still continue to regard your good in all that she says or does. A mother who truly loves her son, has perceptions of right and wrong, far above his rational discriminations, especially when he is just entering upon life. Would that you might ever feel this truth, that a mother’s affection for her child is like a sensitive plant, that perceives the slightest touch of that which might injure! But I need say no more — I know your love for her, whose guardian care has ever been about you.”

Weak physical nature sunk under this effort, and the old man closed his eyes, still clasping the hands of his two most beloved earthly objects within his own. For many minutes he lay in a deep, calm, with his eyes closed. Neither the mother nor son attempted to withdraw their hands. At last the still apparent pressure of his fingers began to subside, and they perceived that his touch was growing colder, This aroused them to consciousness. He was dead!

We will not linger to picture the deep grief that weighed down the spirits of mother and son for months after; he to whom their affections had clung for many years was removed from them. Gradually the keen edge of sorrow became less acute, as the cares of this world, from which none are free, pressed upon them, and demanded a due consideration.

Alfred Lennox acting under the advice of his father, who had devoted the best years of his life to legal pursuits, studied law as a profession under one of the most eminent jurists in Maryland. A few months before the death of his father, he had been admitted to the Baltimore bar, and had already conducted one or two cases with no ordinary degree of tact and judgment.

On settling up his father’s estate, of which he had been constituted, by the will, executor, he found that a very large investment which his father had made in stocks, was likely to prove a loss. Before he could make arrangements to sell, even at a loss, the corporation which had issued the stock, failed, leaving no assets to pay the holders of its bonds. This unlooked for event made it necessary for Alfred to devote himself more assiduously to his profession. Under the idea that they had a competence, he had felt only the impulse of a desire to be eminent in his profession, urging him on —now he had the stronger power of necessity inciting him to activity. The consequence was, that he bent himself to his legal duties with an energy and industry that, with his mind and education, could not but ensure him success.

It had not needed the dying injunction of Mr. Lennox to cause Alfred to be devoted to his mother. But that injunction had caused him to think more of her, and with a tenderer regard and more earnest solicitude. Before his father’s death he had always consulted him, and had ever found him a judicious adviser. Now, he transferred his confidence to his mother—but with this difference, that he endeavoured to aid her rational mind in the consideration of a debated point, where action was required, by a full statement of all reasons, pro and con, that were presented to his own mind, leaving her to that intuitive perception of the true difference, for which the female mind, when not biassed by selfish and evil affections, and sustained by man’s rational faculty, is so remarkable. He did not, of course, as a man, lay aside his rationality, and allow himself to be blindly influenced. He only sought the aid of a woman’s perceptions to enable him to see a doubtful point in a truly rational light. For he had been taught by his father this truth—that there are many things in which a woman’s perceptions are more to be confided in than a man’s reasonings.

This confidence drew him nearer to his mother, and caused her widowed heart to lift itself up with a new emotion of pleasure.

Still, conscious of the evil that must beset the path of one so young, and altogether inexperienced in the world’s ways, she felt for him a daily concern, that made her close in all her observations. But she was judicious in this carefulness. She was cautious not to make him feel restraint—nor to destroy his rational freedom; but rather to guide him by counsels that did not seem, and were not felt as such.

It is alas! an evil world in which we live, and its evils are rendered tenfold more powerful in consequence of the reciprocal evils in ourselves; and often while we are guarding one point, the enemy is making a breach at another. It had never occured to either Mr. Lennox or Alfred’s mother, to warn him of the evils of intemperance, the dangers of which had not been so generally perceived and felt, as they have in later days. The rare cases of drunkenness which had occured up to that period, rapidly increasing, however, about that time, had been looked upon as such degrading instances of human folly, that no one of the standing and moral purity of Alfred Lennox, was dreamed of as in danger. Liquors of various kinds, were, therefore, habitually used as beverages; and it had become a custom of the young lawyers to meet frequently in convivial and wine-drinking parties in various places, but most usually at some tavern where a room was hired for the purpose. Alfred being a favourite with the young men of his profession, was usually an invited guest at all of them, so that he was present at such parties almost every week. It pleased his mother to see him thus enjoying himself, for in that enjoyment she did not perceive the slightest danger.

This course of life continued for some two or three years, during which time young Lennox was fast rising into distinction, and acquiring an extensive practice. But, alas! during that time, habits had gradually been forming, that were ultimately to be his ruin. The keen zest with which a young man of buoyant mind enters into almost anything that presents itself involving excitement and companionship is well known. And it greatly depends on his entrance into life, and upon the character of those who become his associates, whether he rises to honourable distinction, or becomes debased by the predominance of low and sensual appetites. Unfortunately for Alfred Lennox,his companions were not of the truly right stamp. Not that they were base and low; but because they too readily joined in the gratification of mere appetite and passion, and thus gradually bore each other downwards, instead of rising together in a mutual superiority over the grovelling power of sensuality.

Nothing had reached Mrs. Lennox’s ears, or met her eyes, that warned her of the danger that was lurking in the path of her son. But she felt, at the end of the second year after her husband’s death, that all was not right. The presence of Alfred, affectionate and attentive to her, though he still remained, and though he still loved her with unabated tenderness, did not affect her so pleasantly as it had previously done. She seemed to feel, as she sat by his side, an emanation of something from him. that was repulsive to her own pure and high feelings. It was not long afterwards that she noted something in the expression of his face that pained her—something indistinct, yet ever and anon recurring, that indicated a progressive change in his moral character, that her heart pronounced not good.

A sudden alarm was the consequence, rousing her mind into active observation. It was not long before she discovered a weakness that startled her with new and painful fears. She observed that his love of wine and brandy was increasing—that he drank double the quantity at dinner that he had been in the habit of taking a year before; and, also, that his mind was always a little excited, confused or wandering after this indulgence. Still, it seemed so improbable that her son could ever become debased by drink, that she tried to dismiss from her heart the fear that oppressed it. But she could not. Every time she saw him recurring again and again to his wine or brandy, and observed its effects upon him, her heart would sink in her bosom.

“You never stay at home with me now a single evening in the week, Alfred,” she said to him, kindly, one evening about this time.

“It is true, mother,” he replied, in a tone of affection, “but then, I have so many engagements on my hands that it occupies all my time.”

“Still, I cannot help thinking that you might spare me a single evening now and then. I am old now and lonely.”

(To be continued.)



Labourers, welcome your Sabbath. Your minds may be free to-day, free to devote themselves to a moral and spiritual life, to the true, to the good, to the Eternal. You are free to-day, free to be with your families, to teach your little ones to know and serve their God, to give pleasure to those around you, to think of better things than the weekly toil and drudgery; you are free to go to the house of prayer, and together with your brethren, offer up praise to God. Welcome your Sabbaths—they are the noblest institutions that time has handed down to us, and through us, to the whole civilized world. Let nothing induce you to violate the solemn ordinance that is enjoined so emphatically and lovingly throughout the Bible.” Thou shalt “ remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” was a commandment proclaimed in the name of God, to the whole house of Israel, and it was to be an everlasting covenant between the Almighty Father and his children. God knew how necessary such a day is to man, and He appointed it to be a season of repose from the world’s warfare, a season of retirement and calm. Welcome your Sabbaths, they give you the leisure you need to attend to life’s noblest and truest duties. Fathers and mothers, welcome them; they give you the time you need to fulfil your duty to your children, to gather them round you in prayer and companionship. Make the day joyful to them; be serene, be calm, speak words of cheerfulness and love to the young and joyous, speak holy words, that shall dwell in their memories long after they are spoken; when they in their turn shall have grown into manhood, they shall remember their home Sabbaths; and shall bless that father and mother that cultivated their love for God. Welcome your Sabbath, all ye labourers; welcome it as a token from God that this toiling, weary life is not our all, but that we are spiritual beings as well as creatures of clay, and that we have not only to care for the mortal frame, but for the soul—the immortal spirit. Welcome, welcome your Sabbaths, for they proclaim to us these truths; they are a type, a hope and a sure covenant.


When through the peaceful parish swells
The music of the Sabbath bells,
Duly tread the sacred road
Which leads you to the house of God;
The blessing of the Lamb is there,
For “God is in the midst of her.”
Bishop Mant.

Many years since there lived a poor mechanic eminent for his pious zeal and consistency, and commonly known by the familiar title of Father II. He was very much tried by the conduct of a neighbour, who was in the habit of cutting his wood for the week on the Lord’s day, and the sound of whose axe continually disturbed the old Christian’s meditations. Father H., as he was called, often remonstrated earnestly and kindly with his irreligious neighbour, but without any effect. At length he adopted a different course. One Saturday afternoon his neighbour found the old man very busy at his wood pile, and inquired in astonishment what he was doing. “ Why,” said Father H., “you will persist in cutting your wood on God’s holy day, and it grieves me so much, that I mean to do it for you this afternoon so that you will have no temptation to do it to morrow.” The man was at once overcome and exclaimed-—“ No you shall not; I will do it myself. Nor will you ever after this have reason to complain of me chopping wood on the Lord’s day.” And he was true to his word.-—Christian Treasury.


A father and mother and three children, all neatly dressed and healthy and cheerful, were walking along a pleasant road near London on a fine summer’s evening. They were returning home from the house of God; there was peace in their hearts and smiles on their faces. They were but poor people, and had to work hard for a livelihood, but they were rich in faith—they had read the words, “ Trust in the Lord, and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed;” and so they were happy with a happiness that the world knows nothing of. They loved the blessed Sabbath; it was to them, and their children, a delight. They loved the rest of the Sabbath, the order of the Sabbath, the instruction of the Sabbath, the worship of the Sabbath, the conversation of the Sabbath. And they made the most of it by spending its hours together, in the house, in the sanctuary, or walking by the way; they heard and spoke of good things, and were a happy united family, loving God and loving one another.

But as they returned that night, they met a crowd going towards the station house. There was a policeman holding a man flushed with drink, and his clenched hand covered with blood, ragged shoeless children ran wailing and crying after him. “Oh, William,” said the mother of the happy group we have described, “It is cousin John, what can he have done?” Alas, the dismal tidings were soon told—in a doctor’s shop near, lay the miserable wife of the man in custody, waiting to be carried to the hospital. The man had been spending all his wages in drink on the Sabbath day, he had returned to his miserable home, and the reproaches of his wife and the rags of his children added to his frenzy, and caused him to commit the outrage which ended in his being imprisoned six months, his wife being nearly half that time in the hospital, his children sent to the work-house, his home, such as it was, broken up for ever. And yet, reader, the Sabbath-breaker John L———, who never had a comfortable home, or a decent suit of clothes, earned twice as much wages as the Sabbath-keeper, William M—–, whose home and family were so neat and well to do, to say nothing of the spiritual difference—the one “sowing to the flesh, and of the flesh reaping corruption,” the other “sowing to the spirit, and of the spirit reaping life eternal.”

“Better to bear the present ills of life.
Than fly to others that we know not of.”

All human situations have their inconveniences; we feel those that we find in the present, but we neither feel nor see those that exist in another. Hence we make frequent and troublesome changes without amendment, and often for the worse. In my youth, I was a passenger in a little sloop descending the river Delaware. There being-no wind, we were obliged, when the ebb was spent, to cast anchor and wait for the next. The heat of the sun on the vessel was excessive, the company strangers to me and riot very agreeable. Near the river-side, I saw what I took to be a pleasant green meadow, in the middle of which was a shady tree, where, it struck my fancy, I could sit and read (having a book in my pocket), and pass the time agreeably till the tide turned; I therefore prevailed on the captain to put me on shore. Being landed, I found the greater part of my meadow was really a marsh, in crossing which, to come up to the tree, I was up to mv knees in mire; and I had not placed myself under its shade five minutes, before the musquitoes and ear-wigs in swarms found me out, attacked my legs, hands, and face, and made my reading and rest impossible; so that I returned to the beach and called for the boat to come and take me on board again, where I was obliged to bear the heat I had strove to quit, and also the laugh of the company.

Franklin’s Letters.
To endure injuries with fortitude, is to half overcome them.


An ungodly gamekeeper, who resided in Lincolnshire, a few years ago, was very abusive towards a simple hearted but pious villager, who occasionally reproved the open profanity of his neighbour. On one occasion the gamekeeper was very angry, and on being kindly reminded that on a dying bed he would probably desire to have the support of the religion of the Bible, he impiously replied “If you come to me when I’m dying, with your religious cant, if I’ve strength to reach my gun I’ll shoot you.” Many months had not rolled over when the gamekeeper, whilst in the pursuit of his daily occupation, got a prick of a thorn under his nail. It mortified. The disease extended up his arm into the body, and the medical men pronounced the case hopeless. The poor man’s son was despatched to the persecuted neighbor with the urgent request, “Oh, sir, do come and pray with my Father, he’s dying.”

The pious man replied, “Why, your father threatened, some months ago, to shoot me if I came to see him on his death-bed; “Is he really in earnest?”

“Oh yes, sir, do come, he’s dying.”

On arriving at his bed-side, the dying man faintly said, “Pray for me—pray, I’m a dying man.”

“I’ll read a portion of scripture, and then we will pray together,” said the Christian man. He sat down. opened the sacred volume, and was just commencing to read when the gamekeeper heaved a convulsive groan, and the next moment he was silent in death. His spirit had entered eternity.

Bold and daring sinner, you who ridicule the Bible, beware lest those solemn words of the inspired writer prove your fearful experience. “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. C. R.


There’s a demon forth! there’s a demon forth!
He roameth a conqueror free,
He is loos’d from the realms of dark despair.
And a maniac’s laugh, laughs he.
He leaps in ten thousand fearful breasts,
He mocketh the haggard eye,
And death and disease are his bosom friends,
Want, sorrow and misery.
He goeth forth with a treacherous smile,
And his blood stain’d banner we see;
His hand doth the fairest scenes defile,
But followers many has he.

I see him go forth in the dark, dark night,
He goes with a flashing eye,
And mocks, with a fiend’s impure delight,
The God of the Heavens on high.
He enters the door of the happiest homes.
But the children flee in dismay.
And the young wife weeps a burning tear.
Which in vain she wipes away.
But he mocketh the grief of that guileless heart.
And curses her innocent form,
And the home that is touch’d by this fearful hand
Becomes like a wreck in the storm.

There’s a demon forth! there’s a demon forth!
His blood from the goblet flows,
And the lips that kiss the cursed draught
His spirit within them glows.
I have seen him wed the fairest bride,
I have heard his bridal prayers,
But have seen how he paled the cheeks of his bride,
And furrowed her brow with cares!
At the happiest homes, at the purest hearts,
Are his bolts of vengeance hurl’d;
And he prides himself on his fiendish darts,
The curse of this sinful world!

There’s a demon forth! there’s a demon forth!
He comes with a tempting wile,
With a witching touch, but a cursed touch,
With a gay, perfidious smile,
from his lips break forth a shower of oaths,
The fruits of the murderous bowl,
And the curse of God is on his brow,
And a leprosy clings to his soul.
Beware, beware of this demon form,
Pluck the sceptre from his hand,
For shame and disgrace are his bosom friends,
Linked with him hand in hand.

There’s a demon forth! there’s a demon forth!
Sound loud the warning hell,
Raise the hue and cry, let the traitor die,
Toll over his grave a knell.
The nations will give a shout of joy,
And smiles will illume the sad,
When men shall this fettering hand destroy,
Oh how many a heart will be glad!
Children will smile with childhood’s smile,
And strong will become the weak;
And the bloom of youth will return again
To many a with’ring cheek.

Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 108



Some few months ago, in company with a friend, I visited a large and flourishing market town in the north of England.

As we walked along one of the principal streets, we approached an old building, near the Bank, in the pulling down of which, a number of workmen were busily engaged. “Stop,” said my friend, pointing to the building, “twenty years ago, I was engaged in that house as a draper’s assistant. It was one of the largest, if not the largest concern in the county. My master was mayor of the place —had his country house —ran his carriage—had his livery servants —lived in great style, and was looked up to as one of the wealthiest men in the place.

He died very suddenly. His affairs were found to be in a bankrupt state, and within a few weeks of his death the establishment was closed, and large posting bills announced the sale by auction of all the effects.

The creditors lost many thousands of pounds and his family were thrown on the world in a penniless condition.”

“Tell me,” I enquired, “how it was that his affairs got into such a state?”

“There were, I think,” replied my friend, “several causes which assisted in bringing about the downfall of this once stylish family, but the chief cause, I believe, was this—the man was a sabbath-breaker.”

He usually spent the sacred day with his accounts and ledgers, and in drinking and card playing. I have marked the history of not a few sabbath-breaking masters, and have generally found, that sooner or later, they have had the Almighty’s blight falling upon either themselves, their circumstances, or their families.”

“Do you know what became of your old master’s family?” I asked.

“I do not know what became of the daughters,” was the reply, “but the last that I heard of the son —he who had been nursed in the lap of luxury —was, that after leading a career of iniquity, he was working m a gang of convicts, with a log chained to his leg!”

Reader! the above is far from a solitary case, and if you will carefully note the career of sabbath-keeping and sabbath-breaking men, you will find that there rests a curse on the one, and a blessing on the other, for doth not the Scriptures say, “ Blessed is the man that walketh in all the ways of my commandments, to do them,” and, “My Sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said I would pour out my fury upon them.”

– S.


In the year 1854, a stranger lady, who was passing through Carlisle, naturally visited the cathedral, as a place of interest in our ancient City.

After having seen everything of note, she handed a douceur to Mr. John Scott, the verger, for his attention, and departed.

Mr. Scott did not at the time observe what he had received, but soon afterwards discovered it was a sovereign. Thinking there must be some mistake, he sought out the lady, and found her on the point of starting for London. The lady thanked him for his honesty, and for the sovereign returned him a shilling, telling him that in her present circumstances she could not spare a larger sum.

Mr. Scott heard nothing, nor did he expect to hear anything more of the lady, till his recollection of the incident was recently revived by receiving a large handsomely bound illustrated family Bible, with the following inscription in the donor’s own hand-writing.

“This sacred volume is presented to John Scott, in remembrance of an act of his integrity, by a lady who visited the Cathedral of Carlisle in 1854.”—Carlisle Journal.


It deserves to be generally known amongst the working classes, that Dr. Livingstone, the celebrated African traveller, whose recent return to his native land has been hailed with delight by the nation, was originally a working man.

He laboured in early life as a piercer in the celebrated Blantyre Print Works, in Scotland. By his habits of industry, temperance, and the wise employment of his leisure hours, he rose, step by step. Providence signally smiled upon the efforts of this good Scotchman, until he became a Missionary of the Gospel to Africa.

Few men have done more for the cause of civilization and Christianity than this unwearied minister of the Cross.

It will afford pleasure to the friends of the temperance cause, to read the following testimony, written about four years ago, by Dr Livingstone, from Kuruman.

“I have acted on the principle of total abstinence from all alcoholic stimulants during more than twenty years. My individual opinion is, that the most severe labours or privations may be undergone without alcoholic stimulants, because those of us who have endured the most had nothing else than water, and not always enough of that. The introduction of English drinking customs and English drinks among the Natives of this country, inevitably proves the destruction of both their bodies and souls.”

Dr. Livingstone purposes, we believe, returning to Africa in the course of the ensuing month, and we feel assured that he will be followed by the good wishes and prayers of tens of thousands in all parts of the land. Long may his valuable life be spared, and may his noble career incite many of our readers to tread in his steps.

If the precious hours which are now spent by thousands of working men night after night in drinking and smoking, were employed like Livingstone’s, what a happy change would this country experience!
TEA v. GROG.—Few circumstances have afforded us so much pleasure since the commencement of the British Workman, as the Receipt of several letters from an officer on board one of Her Majesty’s ships of war, in which he informs us that through the circulation of some of the monthly numbers in the forecastle of the ship, seven of the men have discontinued their daily rations of spirits, and had tea and sugar instead. By an excellent arrangement adopted by the Admiralty a few years ago, sailors in the Navy have the option of taking the value of their grog in tea or money. We are informed that on this ship’s crew having fourteen days’ leave of absence recently granted, one of the above seven men had a surplus of about 6 lbs. of good sugar, and 1-1/2 lbs. of tea, which the happy-looking Jack Tar took on shore in two canvas bags, amid the cheers of some, and the self-reproachings of others! These two bags, containing the savings of but three short months would be no despicable present for Jack’s poor old mother, or wife.

We shall have more to say relative to this matter in a future number, and we trust that the little band of seven will persevere until the whole crew have followed their excellent example.



Alfred the Great, in some respects, stands alone among monarchs. He may certainly be considered as unsurpassed; but in a few particulars he is unequalled, either in the history of our own or other countries. There have been many kings who were great warriors ; there have been many learned monarchs ; there have been a few pious monarchs ; but it is not easy to call to mind any monarch who was equally brave, wise, true, and just with our good and great Alfred. It is now 1007 years since he was born. England then was only very partially cultivated, and all its ports and rivers were infested by cruel enemies—the Danes, who continually destroyed the produce of the land, and oppressed the inhabitants. From this crafty and blood-thirsty foe, Alfred entirely freed the country; and justly gained for himself the name of hero!”

As our country is an island, he saw the need of his people having ships, and learning how to manage them, and so he commenced that marine which has gone on extending to the present time, and by which we keep up our intercourse with every land, and traverse every sea. (Oh, may it be a peaceful Christian intercourse!) It is not surprising, that in Southey’s “Lives of the Admirals,” he should begin with Alfred the Great. Had this king been only successful on land and sea as a warrior and defender, the names of many other monarchs might have matched with his—but he was greatest in the arts of peace. Think of the work he undertook in dividing all the land of Britain. It had been roughly parcelled out into seven kingdoms—then into four—then into one; and these divisions were again allotted into something like the limits of the present counties; but Alfred minutely sub-divided each county into hundreds, tythings, and parishes, and thus brought all his people under regular government. He was the friend of order.

He established schools, and compelled the nobility to send their sons; and he encouraged the adult nobles themselves, to improve their neglected education, by learning the arts of reading and writing, which had been neglected by them, and even by the clergy. Alfred himself began to study the Latin language when he was thirty years old. He was the friend of education.

He knew it was useless to teach people how to read unless he gave them books; so assisted by a few learned men, he translated a great part of the Book of Books into the language of the people.

(To be continued.)

We have received a number of very gratifying letters from correspondents, several of whom refer to various excellent plans which have been adopted for extending the circulation of the British Workman. The following is from Mr. A. Jackson, of the ‘Dunfermline Foundry:—

“In reference to the best method of increasing the circulation of your excellent paper, will you allow me a few lines to explain a plan adopted by Mr. Whitelaw of the Dunfermline and Charlestown foundries.

“About six months ago he gave three copies gratis among his Dunfermline workers. In two months this created a demand for fourteen copies additional, which were paid for by the men themselves; but as there was some trouble in collecting the price of these, he has now resolved to present every individual in his employment with one copy for twelve months, and allow them to pay for it should they choose, and for this purpose a little box, with a slit in the top was put in a conspicuous place, with a paper above it having the words ‘Subscriptions for the B. W.’

At the end of the year, if the amount subscribed be deficient to cover the expense he will make it up, but if there be a balance over, such balance to go to the funds of the Sick Society. In consequence of this arrangement eighty copies of the January number have been got and distributed.

Mr. John Home, of Aberdeen, writes as under. We hope that his good example will soon be followed in many other places.

“I have gone to almost all the Hairdressers in this city with a copy of the British Workman, and also a number of the British Messenger, (an excellent paper by Mr. Drummond, of Stirling) asking if they will allow me to leave monthly a copy of each gratis, so that their customers, who are pretty numerous, may have opportunities of seeing them, and perhaps may lead them to become subscribers. Even though none become subscribers by this means, good may be done by their simply reading them while waiting in their shops. I have called on seventeen, and only received one refusal.”


We have received several letters from officers and chaplains in the army, expressive of the hearty welcome which the British Workman has had amongst the soldiers. We trust that it will prevent a few Court Martials for drunkenness, particularly in India! We regret that we are unable to give so many copies as we could desire in this direction. Several grants have been made by the Gratuitous Fund Committee, but the funds at their disposal are too small for any extensive distribution. We therefore suggest to all our readers who have relatives or friends in the army that they send off to each a copy monthly. For two shillings a year our publishers will forward post free a copy monthly to any soldier in any, part of the United Kingdom, Canada, East and West Indies, China, Australia, Nova Scotia, New South Wales, New Zealand, &c., &c.


It would save much trouble to our publishers if correspondents would kindly attend to the following hints:—

I. —In all letters, write as distinctly as possible, especially the name, with the address in full.

II. —Do not refer to former letters for orders or address, but let each letter contain the full information needed.

III. —When packets are ordered in exchange for postage stamps, be careful that the stamps are not omitted by mistake. Omissions of this nature frequently occur and occasion loss of time and expense.

IV.—If you find your monthly packet ceases to reach you, examine if your subscription has not run out; and if so please remit again to the Publishers.
How to secure monthly packets of the British Workman, delivered at your own door, post free.

A packet will be sent post free for 12 months, viz.:-—
£ s. d.
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* Fewer than four copies cannot be sent at this rate.

Packets as above, sent to any part of the United Kingdom, post free, on the amount being remitted in advance by post office order, (or if under 10s, in postage stamps) to.
Messrs. PARTRIDGE & CO.,
34, Paternoster Row, London. (E. C.)