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

Case 262

Case number: 262
Application year: 1884




Year of birth: 1879
Home: St Barnabas' Home For Girls, Newark


N's mother died of "creeping paralysis" in January 1884. Her father was not married to her mother who was a widow. N. was the youngest of 6 children and her father had deserted the family more than once, leaving them dependent on her half brother who was in poor health and could barely look after himself and his wife. They lived in a very poor area of Southampton and it was feared "impossible [the child] could grow up anything but vicious in such surroundings". Her father drank and was "very bad". He did nothing to help maintain his daughter. In March 1884 N. was boarded out in Reigate. In December 1890 she was placed in Mrs Kitto's Orphanage in Reigate and discharged in August 1895. This was not one of the Waifs and Strays' Society's Homes. In May 1897 she was admitted to the St Barnabas Home for Girls, Newark and on 2 May 1898 was apprenticed to a dressmaker in Warrington. In 1902 N. was living in Manchester and making enquiries about her parents. No record of her birth in Southampton was traceable. A card with the date 1930 and bearing N's married name and her address in Manchester records that she made further enquiries about her parents.

Keywords: Abandonment; Alcohol abuse; Illegitimacy; Neglect; Poverty; Workhouses; Health

Items: 1. Application to Waifs and Strays' Society 21 February 1884
2. Letter concerning N's birth certificate and parents 1902
3. N's card with note written on it 1930

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