Hidden Lives Revealed. A virtual archive - children in care 1881-1981 * Image of handwritten text

Case 476

Case number: 476
Application year: 1885




Year of birth: 1877
Home: Leamington Home For Girls


This case file contains information on E. and her younger sister P., who were both looked after by the Waifs and Strays' Society. Their father had died of consumption [tuberculosis] in March 1884 and they lived in poor circumstances with their mother, sisters and brother, grandmother and an uncle, who maintained the family as well as he was able. The grandmother was too infirm to work so she helped to look after the children. The mother was keen to see her children when they were in the care of the Society. The girls were admitted to the Leamington Home on 13 May 1885. In November 1891 E. went into service in Leamington. In autumn 1893 the girls mother requested that they be returned to London. Miss Furneaux of the Leamington Home did not want the girls to leave as it was felt that E. was settling down with her employer after a period of being troublesome and P. was seen as the "most promising girl in the Home" who was likely to make a "really good and valuable servant". Another thing that perturbed Miss Furneaux were the reports that the girls mother was living an immoral life. She did not have proof for this but hoped that it could be answered one way or another with the help of the police or some other agency. It was felt that E. would be able to do as she pleased as she was almost 16, but P. might be obliged to remain in the Midlands. The file does not make it clear what happened to E. (who had given notice to her employer), but P. stayed in Leamington and is noted as going out to service in Tenbury on 12 September 1894. She returned to the Leamington Home on 31 July 1895 and went out to service again on 1 October 1895.

Keywords: Behaviour; Grandparents; Poverty; Siblings

Items: 1. Application to Waifs and Strays' Society 17 April 1885
2. Letter from Sister Marian of St Andrew's Deaconess' House, Westbourne Park concerning the girls' mother's wish to have her daughters returned to London 23 October 1893
3. Postcard requesting a meeting with Revd Edward Rudolf about the girls [November 1893]
4. Letter from Alice Furneaux about the proposed removal of the girls to London 7 November 1893
5. Letter from Alice Furneaux following a Committee meeting which had discussed E. and P's case 9 November 1893

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