ESSAYS - POLITICAL - ECONOMICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL. VOLUME 1.
ESSAYS - POLITICAL - ECONOMICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL. VOLUME 1.
ESSAYS political economical and philosophical
by Benjamin Count of Rumford
Knight of the orders of the white eagle and St. Atanislaus;
Chamberlain Privy Counsellor of State and Lieutenant-General
in the Service of his Most Serene Highness the Elector Palatine
Reigning Duke of Bavaria; Colonel of his Regiment of Artillery
and Commander in Chief of the General Staff of his Army; F.R.S.
Acad. R Hiber. Berol. Elec. Boicoe. Palat. et Amer. Soc.
An account of an Establishment for the Poor at Munich
On the Fundamental Principles on which General Establishments for
the Relief of the Poor may be formed in all Countries.
Of Food and Particularly of Feeding the Poor.
Of Chimney Fire-places with proposals for improving them to save
Fuel; to render dwelling-houses more Comfortable and Salubrious
and effectually to prevent Chimnies from Smoking.
A Short Account of several public institutions lately formed in
Bavaria. together with the Appendix to the First Volume.
To his most serene highness THE ELECTOR PALATINE reigning duke
of bavaria. etc. etc. etc.
In requesting permission to dedicate to you most Serene
Electoral Highness these Essays I had several important
objects in view: I was desirous of showing to the world that I
had not presumed to publish an account of public measures and
institutions planned and executed in your Electorial
Highness's dominions--by your orders--and under your
immediate authority and protection without your leave and
approbation. I was also desirous of availing myself of the
illustrious name of a Sovereign eminently distinguished by his
munificence in promoting useful knowledge and by his solicitude
for the happiness and prosperity of his subjects to recommend
the important objects I have undertaken to investigate to the
attention of the Great--the Wise--and the Benevolent.
And lastly I was anxious to have an opportunity of testifying
in a public manner my gratitude to your most Serene Electoral
Highness for all your kindness to me; and more especially for
the distinguished honour you have done me by selecting and
employing me as an instrument in your hands of doing good.
I have the honour to be with the most profound respect
and with unalterable attachment
Your Most Serene ELECTORIAL HIGHNESS's
July 1st 1796.
CONTENTS of ESSAY I.
an ACCOUNT of an ESTABLISHMENT FOR THE POOR AT MUNICH
A Detail of various Public Measures connected with that
Institution which have been adopted and carried into effect for
putting an End to Mendicity and introducing Order and useful
Industry among the more Indigent of the Inhabitants of Bavaria.
CHAPTER. I. measures for putting an end to it were adopted.
Of the prevalence of mendicity in Bavaria at the time when the
CHAPTER. II. Cantonment of the cavalry in the country towns and villages.
Various preparations made for putting an end to mendicity in bavaria.
Formation of the committee placed at the head of the institution
for the poor at Munich.
The funds of that institution.
CHAPTER. III. Difficulties attending that undertaking.
Preparations made for giving employment to the poor.
The measures adopted completely successful.
The poor reclaimed to habits of useful industry.
Description of the house of industry at Munich.
CHAPTER. IV. The inhabitants are called upon for their assistance.
An account of the taking up of the beggars at Munich.
General subscription for the relief and support of the poor.
All other public and private collections for the poor abolished.
CHAPTER. V. being assembled in the house of industry.
The different kinds of employment given to the beggars upon their
Their great awkwardness at first.
Their docility and their progress in useful industry.
The manner in which they were treated.
The manner in which they were fed.
The Precautions used to prevent Abuses in the Public Kitchen from
which they were fed.
CHAPTER. VI. consideration.
Apology for the want of method in treating the subject under
Of the various means used for encouraging industry among the poor.
Of the internal arrangement and government of the house of industry.
Why called the military work-house.
Of the manner in which the business is carried on there.
Of the various means used for preventing frauds in carrying on the
business in the different manufactures.
Of the flourishing state of those manufactures.
CHAPTER. VII. house of industry:--and of the interesting change which was
A further account of the poor who were brought together in the
produced in their manners and dispositions.
Various proofs that the means used for making them industrious
comfortable and happy were successful.
CHAPTER. VIII. not beggars.
Of the means used for the relief of those poor persons who were
Of the large sums of money distributed to the poor in alms.
Of the means used for rendering those who received alms industrious.
Of the general utility of the house of industry to the poor
and the distressed of all denominations.
Of public kitchens for feeding the poor united with establishments
for giving them employment; and of the great advantages which
would be derived from forming them in every parish.
Of the manner in which the poor of Munich are lodged.
CHAPTER. IX. for the poor at Munich to other parts of Bavaria.
Of the means used for extending the influence of the institution
Of the progress which some of the improvements introduced at Munich
are making in other countries.
[ IMAGE ] view of the Military Workhouse at Munich
Situation of the Author in the Service of His Most Serene
Highness the ELECTOR PALATINE Reigning Duke of BAVARIA.
Reasons which induced him to undertake to form an Establishment
for the Relief of the Poor.
Among the vicissitudes of a life chequered by a great variety of
incidents and in which I have been called upon to act in many
interesting scenes I have had an opportunity of employing my
attention upon a subject of great importance; a subject
intimately and inseparably connected with the happiness and
well-being of all civil societies; and which from its nature
cannot fail to interest every benevolent mind;--it is the
providing for the wants of the Poor and the securing their
happiness and comfort by the introduction of order and industry
The subject though it is so highly interesting to mankind has
not yet been investigated with that success that could have been
wished. This fact is apparent not only from the prevalence of
indolence misery and beggary in almost all the countries of
Europe; but also from the great variety of opinion among those
who have taken the matter into serious consideration and have
proposed methods for remedying those evils; so generally and so
justly complained of.
What I have to offer upon the this subject being not merely
speculative opinion but the genuine result of actual experiments;
of experiments made upon a very large scale and under circumstances
which render them peculiarly interesting; I cannot help flattering
myself that my readers will find both amusement and useful
information from the perusal of the following sheets.
As it may perhaps appear extraordinary that a military man should
undertake a work so foreign to his profession as that of forming
and executing a plan for providing for the Poor I have thought
it not improper to preface the narrative of my operations by a
short account of the motives which induced me to engage in this
undertaking. And in order to throw still more light upon the
whole transaction I shall begin with a few words of myself
of my situation in the country in which I reside and of the
different objects which were had in view in the various public
measures in which I have been concerned. This information is
necessary in order to form a clear idea of the circumstances
under which the operations in question were undertaken and the
different public measures which were adopted at the same time.
Having in the year 1784 with His Majesty's gracious permission
engaged myself in the service of His Most Serene Highness the
Elector Palatine Reigning Duke of Bavaria I have since been
employed by His Electoral Highness in various public services
and particularly in arranging his military affairs and introducing
a new system of order discipline and economy among his troops.
In the execution of this commission ever mindful of that great and
important truth that no political arrangement can be really good
except in so far as it contributes to the general good of society
I have endeavoured in all my operations to unite the interest of
the soldier with the interest of civil society and to render the
military force even in time of peace subservient to the PUBLIC GOOD.
To facilitate and promote these important objects to establish a
respectable standing military force which should do the least
possible harm to the population morals manufactures and
agriculture of the country it was necessary to make soldiers
citizens and citizens soldiers. To this end the situation of
the soldier was made as easy comfortable and eligible as
possible; his pay was increased he was comfortably and even
elegantly clothed and he was allowed every kind of liberty not
inconsistent with good order and due subordination; his military
exercises were simplified his instruction rendered short and
easy and all obsolete and useless customs and usages were