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A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Present State of the Gypsies   By: (1750-1831)

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First Page:

CUSTOMS, HABITS, & PRESENT STATE OF THE GYPSIES

Transcribed from the 1816 WM. Alexander edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org. Many thanks to Kensington Library, London, for allowing the use of their copy in cross checking the transcription.

A HISTORICAL SURVEY OF THE CUSTOMS , HABITS , & PRESENT STATE OF The Gypsies; DESIGNED TO DEVELOPE The Origin of this Singular People, AND TO PROMOTE The Amelioration of their Condition .

BY JOHN HOYLAND, Author of an Epitome of the History of the World , &c.

[Picture: Decorative divider]

York: PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR; AND SOLD BY WM. ALEXANDER , YORK :

DARTON, HARVEY, & CO.; W. PHILLIPS; AND W. DARTON, JUN. LONDON.

1816.

Entered at Stationers’ Hall.

Printed by HARGROVE , GAWTHORP , & COBB , Herald Office , York .

INTRODUCTION.

The author of the following Survey, has frequently had opportunity of observing the very destitute and abject condition of the Gypsey race, in the counties of Northampton, Bedford, and Herts. The impressions received from viewing a state so derogatory to human nature, induced him to make numerous inquiries, in order to ascertain if necessity compelled their continuance, under circumstances so deplorable as their condition exhibited.

Not meeting with satisfactory intelligence on application to various individuals, to whose observation Gypsies are frequently presented, the author was excited to an examination of history, for the developement of a case involved in so much obscurity; and aggravated by circumstances so repugnant to the mild and genial influences of the Christian Religion.

He must not however omit to state, that in Northamptonshire, William Allen, who is in the profession of the law, at Higham Ferrers, and Steward to Earl Fitzwilliam, very warmly interested himself on the subject. He said it afforded him much pleasure to find, that some attention was excited to the condition of the Gypsies, and that he should be glad to co operate, as far as was in his power, in any measures likely to conduce to the reformation of this greatly neglected class of British subjects.

He volunteered his services to find out the nearest Gypsey rendezvous, and soon procured information of an encampment which the writer visited. An account of the visit will appear in the following sheets. The first assurance that the Gypsies really had a language peculiar to themselves, which the author received, was from this intelligent and obliging professor of the law, who had heard children, as well as adults among them, speak it with great fluency.

He also observed, that the situation of this people daily became increasingly deplorable, in consequence of the establishment of associations for the prosecution of felons; and that the fear of apprehension as vagrants, and the progressive inclosures near towns and villages, had a tendency to drive them to a greater distance from the habitations of man. And he was fully of opinion, as these houseless wanderers were expelled from Township after Township, without any provision being made for their refuge, that it was high time their case should obtain the consideration of the public.

Of the historic authorities whence the author has derived information and interesting observation, he has to place in the foremost rank, the Dissertation of the learned H... Continue reading book >>




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