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Poverty in our area

The poverty that prevailed through out Victorian England and indeed the whole of Britain, coupled with often draconian laws, impacted and effected peoples lives. In particular it often affected those folk trapped at the bottom of the class struggle. A very wide class gap existed between the rich and the poor, between 'the have and the have not's.' This is reflected somewhat in the following literature, extracts that outline actual case histories concerning the, all too often, sad plight of children that found themselves at the mercy of the many homes for children and the Work House. The following are just a few of the case histories regarding children from the Woolwich and Plumstead areas during the late 1800's to early 1900's.

Case 86

Case number:

86

Application year:

1882

Name:

C

Gender:

Female

Year of birth:

1873

Home:

Old Quebec Street Home For Girls, Marylebone

 

Description:

C and her little brothers were left living in army barracks when their father, a gunner in the Royal Horse Artillery, was put in prison. Their mother had died of sunstroke sometime earlier. C went into the Old Quebec Street Home in November 1882. The War Office deducted three pence per day from her father's salary as a contribution towards C's maintenance. In 1888 C went into service with a Miss L. Later on she went to India with a couple although the details of this are not clear. C's father was discharged from the army in February 1884. By March 1885 he was living in Massachusetts in the United States with other members of the family.

 

C. accepted
Nov. 20/82

Amount due from War Office from 25 April/83 to 12 Oct./86.
180 weeks or 1260 days @ 3 per day = £15. 15.
Wrote Offr. comd. B. Battery. B Bde RHA Woolwich Oct. 21.86 See reply at back of Mr. Rudolf's reply

In replying, quote the following Number

WAR OFFICE, PALL MALL, S.W.

4ba
House Bdes
335
25th April 1883

Sir,

IN reply to your application of the 19th Instant I am directed by the Secretary of State for War to inform you that, but virtue of the power vested in him by the 145th Section of the Army Act, 1881, he has directed the Officer Commanding the B/B Bde R.H.A. to which Gunner F. belongs, to withhold three pence from his daily pay, which sum will be sent to you monthly by the Officer Commanding, towards the support of his child.

I am, however, to make it clearly understood that, as this stoppage can only be made from the daily pay of Gunner F. you will not receive such stoppage should his pay be forfeited by misconduct or otherwise.

Any future application you may have to make on this subject should be addressed to the Officer commanding the B. Battery "B" Bde R.H.A. at present at Woolwich.

I am,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
H.G. Deedes

E. de M. Rudolf Esq.
Secretary of the Church of England
Central Home for Waifs & Strays,
32 Charing Cross SW.

Overwritten: ack. 25 Ap. 83

Case 86
2. Statement by C's father 11 November 1882

I F. do hereby agree to commit my daughter K. wholly to the care of the Managers of the Church of England Home for Waifs and Strays, to obey the rules in force, and to permit the said girl when fully trained to be sent to any situation in the United Kingdom, which may be obtained for her by the Committee.

Woolwich, November 11th 1882. F.

Case 86
1. Application to Waifs and Strays' Society 14 November 1882

Put on free list October 26/86

1882 Accepted.
Received into London House for girls.
Payment of 1/- per week to commence at once, & a further payment by father on his release from prison.

Received Nov. 20th 1882. [SS] A M Lee into Old Quebec Street House.
[With] Capt. Edwards
16 Sep 85 Rear House Artillery, Woolwich SE on recommendation of Rev. J. W. [Haske] as to [?] contribution from father.
18 Ap. 83 [?] Asst Adjt Sgt R.A. Harrington [?]
25 April 83. [ride] [annexed] [?] from War Office. 3d per day to be deducted from father's pay & handed to the Society.
6 Oct. 1888 Placed in service with Miss L. [Bryanston] St Luke Williams case book

1. Give the girls's christian name and surname.
C.
2. State her exact age, and give the date and place of her birth.
9 years 6 months. Moran 24-5-73.
3. Is she legitimate?
Yes.
4. If baptized, state place and date of baptism.
Yes. Moran 25-1-79.
5. Are her parents living?
Only her father living
6. If, however, either or both are dead, state of what disease they died and give the date of their death
Mother - Dead - disease Sunstroke.
7. If living, give their exact places of abode, and state how long they have resided there.
Father - Woolwich at present undergoing a term of imprisonment.
8. Give the christian names and surnames of her parents (in full) and state their ages.
Mother - F., Deceased 28-5-79 at Curalior.
Father - F. 36 4/12 years
9. What was or is the nature of the father's occupation and the amount of his weekly earnings? Give the name and address of his present or last employer.
Gunner R.H.G. Daily pay 1/4 of which 4 1/2 is deducted for [messing] & washing. (No pay during imprisonment). Office Commanding B/B R.H.G. Woolwich.
10. What was or is the nature of the mother's occupation and the amount of her weekly earnings? Give the name and address of her present or last employer.
11. Have her parents or guardians ever received parish relief? If so, to what extent?
No.
12. Give the names, addresses, ages, occupations and earnings (if any) of all her brothers and sisters.
NAME, ADDRESS, AGE, OCCUPATION, WEEKLY EARNINGS
F., R.G. Barracks, Woolwich, 12, Grand boy at R.G. Institution, 57-
J., 6, none

Overwritten in pencil: SW/SWA/CF/1/86

13. At what address and with whom is the girl now living?
With the Mission woman - Mrs. Clayton James St. Woolwich
14. Give in full the names, addresses, ages, occupations and earnings of each living relative the child is known to possess either on the father's or mother's side such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, &c.
DEGREE OF RELATIONSHIP, NAMES, ADDRESS, AGE, OCCUPATION, WEEKLY EARNINGS
No relations on mother's side.
Father's, Mother & Sister, Crawford, United States of America, not known
15. State whether any of her relatives are in your judgment in a position to maintain her, or to contribute in any degree towards her support.
16. Has she ever been convicted? Is so, state the nature of her offence and term of imprisonment.
No.
17. Has she ever attended day school? If so, where and for how long?
Yes the R.G. School since she was 4 years old.
18. Has she ever attended Sunday School? Is so, where and for how long?
Yes.
19. Has she ever been in the workhouse? If so, for how long and where?
No.
20. Has she any affections of the limbs, joints, skin or eyes which may have the affect of preventing her from entering domestic services?
21. Is she subject to fits or has she ever had one? If so, state its nature. Is this child subject to incontinence of urine?
Fit in all respects [?]
22. Is she at present affected with any infectious or contagious disease, or with scrofula requiring medical treatment?
23. Has she had scarlet fever, or whooping cough or measles, or small pox? If not the latter, has she been vaccinated?
24. Is her general health good?
25. Are her parents, grandparents or next of kin, willing to sign an agreement to commit the girl wholly to the care of the Managers of the Home, to obey the rules in force, and to permit the said girl when fully trained to be sent to any situation in the United Kingdom which may be obtained for her by the Managers?
Yes. Her father has signed the necessary form of agreement.
I certify that the foregoing questions have been correctly replied to.
Name - E.
Address - The Common Woolwich
Incumbent of - Military Chaplain
Date - November 14th 1882

The little girl C. is at present with my Mission woman as Mr. F. is in prison & she was left alone in the Barrack room with her little brothers only a thin wooden partition to divide their bed from all the rest of the men, & I did not consider it a fit place for the girl. I am most anxious to get her into some house or school, but only can pay 1/- per week. I hope you will take the case into yr. kind consideration. I remain

Yr. Faithfully
Emma S.C. Bingham.

Put on free list October 26/86

1882 Accepted.
Received into London House for girls.
Payment of 1/- per week to commence at once, & a further payment by father on his release from prison.

Received Nov. 20th 1882. [SS] A M Lee into Old Quebec Street House.
[With] Capt. Edwards
16 Sep 85 Rear House Artillery, Woolwich SE on recommendation of Rev. J. W. [Haske] as to [?] contribution from father.
18 Ap. 83 [?] Asst Adjt Sgt R.A. Harrington [?]
25 April 83. [ride] [annexed] [?] from War Office. 3d per day to be deducted from father's pay & handed to the Society.
6 Oct. 1888 Placed in service with Miss L. [Bryanston] St Luke Williams case book

refer to www.victorianlondon.org for this and other fascinating facts and pictures

Hidden Lives Revealed A Virtual Archive - Children in Care - 1881 -1918 © The Children's Society



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