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Glasgow, men turned round to gaze upon him and ask “who : is that?” Such a man had an influence greatly beyond that of, an ordinary farmer. “The Gudeman of Covington Mains” was known far and wide for his active benevolence, his hatred to every kind of oppression, his sound judg. ment and extensive information. We have heard his son reinark, “ I am very forbearant myself, but I will not permit the son of the Gudeman of the Mains to be treated disrespectfully.” Among his friends he reckoned the brilliant Henry Erskine, and the poet Robert Burns, the Earl of Hyndford, and Hope Vere, Esq., of Craigie Hall, and was alinost the universal arbitrator of his "neighbourhood.
By his second marriage_he had five sons and three daughters. His eldest son, David, had early shown a genius for mechanics, and after being a millwright for several years, in his native place, emigrated to the United States. Ulti. mately he settled at Louisville and was the first to build and fill with machinery (of his own construction) boats of sufficiently light draught to navigate the Ohio in the summer. He was regarded as the Fulton of the West, and ere his death, had acquired a considerable degree of influence, which he exercised in promoting the public good.
The “ Gudeman's" second son, John, succeeded him in the farm, but left it and became contractor for some of the extensive improvements then planned and carried out at Edinburgh. He resided in that city when the Reform Bill was in progress. The present writer, in his Autobiography of a Work. ing Man, gives a somewhat detailed account of the popular commotion of that period in Edinburgh. He remembers Mr. John Prentice as one of the leading men on the popular side, possessing an extraordinary influence over the local public opinion, an influence which might have been dangerous but for his strong sound sense. He obtained it by his aptness of address, stern integrity of purpose, and open sympathy for the fullest measure of political liberty to all classes. He also emigrated to America, and now (when we write, 1850) resides at Louisville. The younger son, Thomas, gave promise of good ability, but died just as he attained manhood.
Archibald, the third son, of whom we now especially write, was born as already noted, 17th November, 1792. He was sent to the parish school for six years, and has said that although he learned to read and write, he never was taught anything, and in after life he has always denounced the parochial school system of Scotland, so much lauded by scotchmen, as an institution much behind the requirements of
the time. As a first start he was for two or three years in a clothier's warehouse in Edinburgh. But in 1809 he was sent to Glasgow to receive a regular education as a manufacturer, and was apprenticed for five years to Mr. Thomas Grahame, brother of the amiable J.Grahame, author of "The Sabbath.” During the two years which he remained there he read much, and had the privilege of being a listener to the conversation of well-informed and liberal men at the tables of his cousin, of the Glasgow Chronicle, and of Mr. Charles Tennant, the great manufacturing chemist, who had procured him his situation.
That his cultivation of literature did not take his attention from business was proved by his salary of the first year being raised from £15 to £22 10s., and of £20, the second, being raised to £70, and his being sent out to travel at the beginning of the third year at a salary of £100, instead of the £25 which he was to have had under his indenture of apprenticeship. After three years of travelling he became, at the age of twentythree, a partner, and settled in Manchester, as the entire manager of the branch established in that town. In his 6. Historical Sketches and Personal Recollections of Man. chester,” partly published in the Manchester Times, and which, we understand, will be extended and re-published,) he gives the following as the reason for removing from Glasgow :
“ My residence in Manchester was the result not of accident but of deliberate choice, while yet in a position where choice is not often allowed. I had been only two years in & warehouse in Glasgow, when, near the close of 1811, my master resolved that I should become the traveller in Eng. land, to receive orders for the muslins he had manufactured. My journey extended from Carlisle, through the western counties, to Plymouth, and then through the southern and midland counties to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After three years of such employment another traveller was employed in my stead, and my time was devoted to the wholesale houses of London and Manchester. In Manchester I found that I met accidentally in the street in one day more country drapers than I could, with the utmost industry, meet in their own shops in two, and it struck me that if we kept our manufactured stock in Manchester we could considerably increase our business, and at a great saving in travelling expenses. One evening in September, 1895, while sitting with my master at his house, I mentioned the concourse of drapers to Man. shester, and expressed my conviction that if there were to be a continuance of peace, that town would become so muot
the market for all kinds of goods, in cotton, woollen, linen,
regarded it, in the first place, as an impious attempt to intercept, for the profit of a few, the gifts which God had bestowed for the benefit of all; in the second place, as an impolitic and impoverishing interference with the liberty of exchanging the surplus produce of our own country for the surplus produce of other lands; and, in the third place, as a gross injustice to the working classes, the great mass of the nation, tending at once to lower their wages and raise the price of food. Such were the opinions I expressed in the spring of that year, 1815, to my excellent friend, John Childs, of Bungay, when, at an early hour of the morning we were returning through the Strand, after listening to a long protracted debate in the House of Commons during the progress of the Corn Bill, his memorable reply being: “If we live, we shall see more misery produced by this bill than ever followed human legislation.” We have both lived to see the predicted misery. It is something to have lived to be instrumental, even in the slightest degree, in removing the inquitious infliction. I did not find many persons of my own class in Manchester, whose opinions on free trade in corn were in accordance with my own. The working men, indeed, were right on the question, as they continued to be throoghout after struggles; but they were powerless, and could not meet to deliberate without danger to their personal liberty. The manufacturers had opposed the Corn Bill, because they believed that raising the price of food would raise the wages of labour, and thus prevent their competition with the manufacturers of other countries. 1 found that the opposition to the bill had been very faint. A meeting had been held pursuant to requisition. He ives the names to this, at the head of which stands Robert eel, the great print-master, first baronet of that name. “The meeting was presided over by the borough-reeve, of whom he says, this Mr. Hugh Hornby Birley, borough reeve, who convened an anti-corn-law .# presided over it and signed its resolutions, subsequently attained the bad pre-eminence of commanding a troop of the local yeomanry, which rode furiously, and with newly sharpened sabres in hand, into the middle of a legally-called and peaceably-assembled meeting to petition for the repeal of corn-law; striking indiscriminately unarmed men and defenceless women and children. Why, at an intervaloflittle more than four years, did the petitioners of the one period hew down the petitioners of the other? The Birleys and the Greens, the Bradshaws and the Hardmans of 1815 believed that WOL. II 25
the enactment of the corn-law would raise wages; and the working men of 1819 asked for its repeal, because it had reduced wages. The meeting passed the following resolutions:—
“1st. That the great importance of trade and manufactures in this country has been fully evinced during the period of the late war, by enabling us to call forth resources impracticable in any state that was merely agricultural.
“2nd. That a large exportation of our manufactures is absolutely necessary to their support, and their sale in foreign markets can be insured only by their superiority and cheapness.
“3rd. That the great extension of manufactures in France, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, where they possess decisive advantages from the low price of labour, is severely felt in this country, and is truly alarming. “4th. That the proposed restrictions on the importation of corn must materially raise its price, and consequently that of every other species of provisions; and as a great proportion of labour in the manufactures is and must be manual, it will be utterly impossible to carry on competition with the continent for any length of time, if the projected measure be adopted. “5th. That whilst the landed interest was enriched by the war, the class of manufacturers sustained, in a variety of ways, its heaviest pressure. “6th. That no policy can be more short-sighted or unjust, than that which would redress the temporary grievances of a part of the community, by permanently sacrificing the best interests of the whole.” It will be seen that the stress of these resolutions is upon cheapness of labour as necessary to successful competition with other countries. The newspapers of the time contain no reports of speeches—no comments on speeches. The notice in Cowdry's Gazette was confined to the following meagre paragraph :— “On Monday last, pursuant to a requisition from some of the most respectable mercantile characters of this town, a public meeting was held at the Exchange Rooms, to take into consideration the propriety of petitioning against the new corn-laws, in their process of passing both houses of Parliament. Several appropriate and spirited resolutions met with unanimous assent, and we hope that the