Account of the “Fazakerley Cottage Homes” near Liverpool

An Experiment for endeavouring to solve the Social problems of

Hereditary Pauperism

By J. Birkbeck Nevins, M.D., London

It is often a cause for concern that important events may be passing in our midst, and yet be unknown to all but a very small fraction of the community. Such is the case with respect to the important experiment which has been carried on for five years by the West Derby Board of Guardians, the representatives of one of the largest Poor Law Unions in the kingdom., forming an integral portion of the great city of Liverpool. It is an experiment for solving one of the great social problems of the present day-the limitation of hereditary pauperism, even though its absolute prevention may not be possible; and yet the experiment has probably not been heard of by one in a thousand of the inhabitants of Liverpool. The following paper is intended to describe its objects, its character, and its success, so far as it has at present been carried out.

Origin of the “Cottage Homes”

The West Derby workhouse had become so full from increase of population that additional room had to be provided for the children somewhere, and for a time they were accommodated in the Kirkdale Industrial Schools, by the Liverpool parish Authorities; who however themselves soon began to feel the want of room. About the same also the Dominion of Canada began to discountenance the immigration of Pauper children. “The Emigration of the inmates of workhouses, or persons in receipt of parish relief is not encouraged by the Canadian Government,”[i][1] and this being the case a strong desire was felt among influential persons connected with the Union, to try whether the rising generation of workhouse children might not be placed under such improved conditions and training as should fit them to become worth keeping in this country, instead of vainly endeavouring to get them provided for in Canada, or elsewhere out of England.

Object of the Experiment

With the above object in view the “Cottage Homes” were originated to provide in the first instance a Home for the hundreds of Pauper or Orphan children dependent upon the West Derby Union; and secondly, so to bring them up that they might be separated from their original injurious surroundings, and might grow up to be useful and respected, self respecting, and self supporting members of the community, instead of perpetuating an unhonoured and inferior stratum in our midst-the class of Hereditary Paupers-to be a curse to themselves and a burden to others.

Method Proposed for Accomplishing these Objects.

1st.       The provision of a Home with bright and healthy surroundings, instead of the inevitably depressing influence of a large workhouse.

2nd        The separation of the children from all association with “Pauperism,” either hereditary or acquired, and while young and amenable to better influence.

3rd        The Training of them so that they may not even in thought be associated with what is criminal or humiliating

In order to carry out this object the word “Pauper” or “Pauperism” is forbidden in the Home; and if any child-for example, an orphan whose parents had never received parish relief-should taunt another whose parents had been in the workhouse by calling it “Pauper,” the child would at once be punished as for an offence; but so little is “Pauperism” associated in their minds with residence in the Cottage Homes, that it is a condition apparently never thought of amongst them, and I was informed that the rule practically never required enforcement.

On the same principle the children do not wear any style of clothing that could constitute a uniform, and no child met with on the road or in the village or elsewhere could be recognised by its clothing as a workhouse child. The diversity of clothing is infinite, and is managed as follows. The periodical sales by the great Mercers and Drapers, &c. at the close of the season are watched, and the Superintendent’s wife is in trusted by the Guardians with powers to purchase at such a cost as she judges right a hundred hats or a hundred garments of various descriptions for the girls, of every shape and character of the out-going season; and coats, or caps, or other garments for the boys; and remnants of cloth of various characters, the clothing from them to be made up by themselves in the workshops in the Home. As the result a visitor among them feels as if he was simply seeing a large school of hundreds of children clothed according to the fancy of their respective parents, and the girls as seen at church on Sunday present as great a variety of costumes and head coverings as the fashions of the past season supply. One feature and one only was universal among them when I saw them in church, and that was a simple white muslin handkerchief round the neck of each girl. And tied under the chin in two large bows; and this, I was informed, was not a badge of being a “Cottage Child” but was a homage to its being Sunday, and a suitable special decoration for Divine Worship. 

The same object is striven in another manner also. During the winter half of the year the children have their lessons in the large hall of the Home; for it was found that they suffered form the wet foot and wet clothes, sometimes unavoidable from having to go a mile of further to the National School at Fazakerley. But in the summer half of the year, the Protestant children go to the National School in the village, which is also attended by the children of the neighbouring farmers and small village shopkeepers and labourers, &c., and like them, each child pays its school fee (or did so until the schooling recently became free), which was provided by the Guardians to be handed up with the other children’s. They also took their dinners with them like the other children who might come from too great a distance to go home between schools, and they all learnt and played and ate together without any official distinction among them. The Roman Catholic children go to “Gill Moss School” in the same neighbourhood, where their fees are (or were), paid by the Guardians as in the case of the National Schools. No doubt it would often be known who they were, and social distinctions would sometimes be observed even among the children; but it is not necessary to get to a National School in an agricultural district to see examples of social distinctions among the pupils of even “High Schools for young ladies.”

In order further to teach the children self reliance combined with self restraint they are allowed to go from time to time to the village shops to spend any halfpence they may become possessed of, having first obtained permission from their Foster Mother which is so seldom abused that it is continued without hesitation.

Plan Adopted

            An area of almost thirty-eight acres was purchased at Fazakerley, a purely agricultural and healthy district, almost six miles from Liverpool, and bordering upon the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, of sufficient extent to afford room for the necessary buildings, and abundance of air and light, and with land enough to provide not only vegetables for the consumption of the inmates, but also play-grounds for the children, and land under cultivation for teaching them something of farming and gardening, both of them beneficial to health, and useful in an agricultural district.

            In this space have been built twenty so-called “cottages,” each with ground at the back for play-ground, and some in front for a little grass and flower-beds, and evergreen hedge to separate it from the road. These cottages form two rows of ten ornamental villa-looking, two-storied, red-brick houses, with a broad road, bordered with trees, running between them the whole way; at the entrance of which is an ornamental arched gateway, and a “cottage” for the first reception of new comers, who remain there for a few days on probation, to judge of their health and freedom from infectious diseases. Near the other end of the road, but only partially closing it, is a large building with an ornamental spire, which is a landmark from a distance, and which on Sundays service is performed twice by a clergyman of the Church of England. A Sunday School is also held in it, many of the teachers being ladies or others resident in the neighbourhood. On weekdays it is used as the general schoolroom; and in the evening there is from time to time an entertainment held in it, in which a concert, or some amusing amateur theatrical performance, or a lecture with lime-light illustrations, is given by friends of the Superintendent or Guardian, or by the Kyrle or other philanthropic society. The Superintendent’s house, and a variety of offices and workshops, occupy the rest of the ground devoted to buildings, including a bright and cheerful Infirmary, presided over by a trained nurse, and containing on average from a dozen to twenty patients; but happily not in frequent use for serious cases, most of them being of a mild, temporary character; and there has been only one death in the Homes since they were opened. There is also a building containing a large tiled and covered swimming bath, which admits of being covered by boards when not in use, and then making a sort of club room for newspaper reading, or chess, etc., for the offices.

Surrounding the above buildings are a portion of garden, in which are grown more vegetables than can sometimes be consumed in the Homes, and also several acres laid down in grass and cereals and root crops, for the purpose of teaching the children something of gardening and farming. A field is also rented in the neighbourhood for football, cricket, and other athletic games, when the crops are not upon it.

Description of Individual “Cottages”

These are two-storied brick houses, built upon a uniform plan as regards the ground plan and elevation and general aspect, and they are all really detached “villas” rather than “cottages”. The groundfloor of each consists of a “mother’s” private room, a store-room, a general play-room, a dining-room, with kitchen, scullery, etc; a lavatory, with six basins supplied with hot and cold water, bath and laundry. And the upper floor consists of large dormitories, thoroughly well lighted and ventilated, and furnished with separate beds for each child, and also lockers, in order that the children may learn the lesson of individual possessions, though the “lockers” are not locked.

The furniture throughout is plain, modern, inexpensive and excellent, such as would now be met with in any recently furnished middle-class house, where comfort was attainable, but thought and economy were still ruling principles. The children have to do everything for themselves in their dormitories, and thus learn care, and attain skill as housemaids; and in every house that I visited without previous notice, and I saw all that I asked to see, the floors, bedding, and crockery were models of cleanliness and neatness; and the brass-work of the taps, and the pans and iron-work of the kitchens were deserving of high praise for their brightness. The only drawback from one’s admiration of the entire house was the feeling that such conveniences were often not to be found in the average houses, especially if twenty years old or more; and that such cleanliness could not be attained in the average family life of an artisan or a middle-class household, in which children are many and domestic aid is limited. And the feeling involuntarily arose whether such admirable surroundings were the best possible preparation for an artisan’s or a labourer’s wife, or for a servant-of-all-work in the lower and middle-class ranks of life.

Inmates of the Cottage Homes

All are paupers, between five and sixteen years of age. The “infants” as they are called, ie; the children under five years old, are left under the nursing care of their mothers if babies, or if older children, or orphans, they are in the Nursery of the West Derby Workhouse until they are five years old, when they are removed whether orphans or not, to its Cottage Homes. If a single parent or a married couple enters the Workhouse with children, those above five years old are sent at once to Fazakerley, and the infants to the workhouse nursery.

What access have the Parents to the children in the Homes?

On a fixed day once a quarter the parents of every child are permitted to go to the Cottage Homes and spend the afternoon with their children, and in the case of sickness of either parent or child information is at once sent to the Workhouse or the Cottage Homes, and the parent or child is taken to the invalid. Thus they are mutually in the same position as the upper classes of parents whose children have been sent to ordinary boarding or to endowed schools, except that the upper classes see their children twice or three times a year, and the inmates of the workhouse see theirs once a quarter.

The average number of children in the Cottages is about 600, and the average number for each cottage is 30 under one “mother, “ or under a married couple, as the case may be. The boys occupy the cottages on one side of the avenue and the girls on the other; and the boys are under the care of a married couple, who are called their “Foster Parents, “ and the girls are under a single woman. Who is called their “mother.”

These children are of various classes, calling for separate and different consideration. About 500 are orphans or deserted children, who are not likely to be taken out of the Homes until the age arrives (sixteen years as a rule) at which they must leave the “Cottages” either to enter upon life in some wage-earning capacity, or as quasi-adult paupers to be removed to the Workhouse. These children – the large majority – may therefore be fairly expected to continue until they are sixteen years old; and as some of them are only five or six years old when they enter, the period of training will be seven or eight years in most cases. Up to the present time only five years have elapsed, which is too short an experiment to warrant confident assertions as to the ultimate result; but so far it has proved fully as successful as could have been hoped for.

Above 100 are the children of parents in the Workhouse, and they are liable to be removed at anytime; for they must be taken away when the parents leave the Workhouse. Parents leaving the House cannot leave their children behind them in the Cottages, whatever may be their object in doing so, whether it be a real desire for the children future welfare, or simple indifference about them, or an evil desire to throw upon the public the care and expense of their bringing up. The Cottage training will, therefore, be short in these cases, and its influence cannot be relied upon, though it may be hoped that it will do some good.

About a third of the children are Roman Catholics, and they introduce a difficulty that is inevitably felt where the conflict of creeds comes into operation. Most of them are from the West Derby Union, but a portion of them are being housed at present in order to relieve the neighbouring Prescot Union, which is, however, providing for them as rapidly as possible, and they will all have left in a couple of years. The Poor Law authorities have also sanctioned the creation of some large schools in Honey Green, West Derby, for Roman Catholics exclusively, to which most of the remainder will shortly be removed, the Guardians paying for the board of the children there, instead of maintaining them at Fazakerley. A limited number (about ten) of Roman Catholic female children have been placed under the care of the Sisters of the Nunnery at Pantasaph, near Holywell, where they are trained to be servants, and a still smaller number of Protestant girls are entrusted to a Ladies’ Committee at Ambleside, who select and recommend suitable persons to receive the children into their families, so as to bring them up in actual family house life; for which 4s. per week is paid by the Guardians, and the ladies undertake to visit them regularly and see how they go on.

Fundamental conception of the whole system

            The home is the fundamental conception of the whole scheme, and everything is arranged so as to be conducive to carrying it out. The Heads of the Cottages are therefore always called the “Parents” or  “Father” or “Mother,” not the “Master” or “Matron;” and they are to endeavour in every way to carry on the Cottage both in provisioning the children and taking their meals with them, in entering into their interests whether joys or sorrows, in training them in religion and good conduct, and in punishing them when deserving punishment, as affectionate, careful, and competent parents would do with their own children.

Management of the cottages

            The Heads. -The Heads of each Cottage for boys must be a married couple of the respectable artisan class socially, and the “Father” must be a skilled artisan, who is capable of conducting a workshop, and of teaching the boys generally who may be placed in it some handicraft, such as tailoring, shoemaking, joinery, house painting, blacksmiths or plumbing work, or the like. He is the general instructor in his particular branch of training, as well as being responsible for the good discipline and behaviour of the boys in his particular Cottage. His wife is responsible for the general management and cleanliness, &c. of the interior of the house, and the cooking and such other duties as would fall upon the “Mother” in an artisan’s or labourer’s house. The “Mother” of the girl’s cottages as a rule is a widow, and it is preferred by the Guardians that she should not have children, although one may not be an absolute bar to appointment; many of the Guardians thinking that personal experience as a Mother of children’s needs and dispositions is a qualification of such valve as to overbalance the danger of partiality in her treatment of the children under her charge, or of neglecting the others in order to attend to her own.

            It will be understood that the finding of properly qualified “Foster Parents,” especially in the case of married couples, when both husband and wife must posses the requisite important qualifications-is one of the great difficulties to be encountered in carrying out such a scheme successfully; and although all the appointments have not been equally successful, the experiment has thus far been so satisfactory as to encourage its continuance.

            The “Foster Parents” are not themselves placed under rigid rules of supervision. It has been considered best to trust them largely, and to rely upon their conscientious interest in their work, so far as to entrust them with the liberty that a widowed Mother or a married couple having a large family would naturally have. They have liberty therefore to leave the home for some hours at discretion without first obtaining the consent of the General Superintendent, and there are two supernumerary “Mothers” in the Establishment having other duties generally, but available for temporary charge of a Cottage during the Mother’s absence for a few hours, or for a longer period if ill or away on their yearly holiday. No Cottage must be left without someone in the position of “Mother” being in it.

Salary of the “foster parents.”

            The salary is £25 per annum for the “Foster Father,” and £20 per annum for the “Mother,” increased in each case by £1 yearly, for five years. All clothing except underclothing is also provided, and a private sitting room with every other requisite of daily life is also supplied as part of the remuneration.

Responsibilities and duties of the “mothers”

            The mother is responsible for the entire management of the cottage under her charge, and for the home religious training of the children; for the cooking, and for the home tuition of the children. She is not provided with any servant, but she and the children must do everything necessary for the good order, cleanliness, and comfort of the house, and every child must assist, according to its age and ability. If there should be no child in the cottage above thirteen or fourteen years old, she\is allowed to have the assistance of a girl from some other cottage for the last twelve months of the girl’s residence in the Homes, under the title of “mother’s help.”

Daily life in the cottage homes

            The Protestant children, after making their beds, come downstairs and commence the day, before breakfast, by singing a hymn (generally one of Moody and Sankey’s), and saying the Lord’s prayer and responding to another one or two prayers, either selected or extemporised by the Foster parents, who then read a short portion of the New or Old Testament but without comment, the whole occupying about ten minutes; and the day concludes with a hymn (generally “Gentle Jesus”) and the Lord’s prayer.

            During this morning period, the Roman Catholic children remain in their dormitories, and say their own prayers.

            A short period of play follows breakfast, and then school for two or three hours, broken by two or three intervals of a few minutes for fresh air and games in the playground. Then dinner, and again afternoon school; and the day concludes as in the ordinary life of children generally.

            The religious difficulty affects these cottages like other schools, as educationists are only too well aware; but by the mutual good feeling and concessions on the part of the superintendent and the priest, no conflicts have occurred.

            The Priest comes to the Homes in the afternoons of two days a week, to teach the Catholic children their religion, while his place is taken by a Catholic lady for the benefit of some of them whom she can better influence. On these two afternoons, Protestant children receive from the Chaplain their Scripture lessons and special religious instruction in the large hall, by which arrangements all clashing conflicting creeds is obviated.

            On Sundays there is a Sunday school for the children in the large hall, already mentioned, and two services by the Church of England Chaplain. The services are bright, and the behaviour of the children leaves really little to be desired. There is a choir of about twenty boys and as many girls, and I observed the Superintendent’s little son was one of them. The singing, led by a harmonium played by the schoolmistress, was hearty and very general, the hymns being Moody and Sankey’s well-known collection; and (there being a high gale of wind that day, difficult even to stand against) one of the hymns selected was “Almighty Father, strong to save.” The whole impression was most favourable. The Catholic children go, morning and afternoon, to Gill Moss Church, about a mile and a half distant, unless the weather forbids the little ones, or the delicate ones, from going so far.

Industrial training of the children

            The girls are taught not only household work, but also sewing, knitting, darning and laundry work-and in going through their play-rooms in the Cottages when they were not in active play but in tranquil employment I found one big girl teaching a little one how to turn the heel of the stocking that the child was knitting with its four needles, and other children doing both plain and fancy needle work. The latter is encouraged as a recreation and a training in something above the level of pauper life, while the former is insisted upon so far that they may be able to make all their clothing at any rate, though they may not be advanced enough to shape a pattern, or cut out their dresses.

            The boys are taught a great variety of handicrafts so as to teach them the general use of their hands, and prepare them for employing them to a useful extent if they should ever become emigrants. The tailor’s shop and the shoemakers’ are apparently the most popular, though the number of boys in each probably arose from the fact that all their clothes are homemade, a Master Tailor being there to cut out, and teach them the needle and pressing part of the business. The shoemaker teaches both the stitching and nailing and also the cutting out, according to the wholesale patterns in use in the manufactories. The other shops that I inspected were the plumbers’, where a boy soldered a tin can quickly and well-the joiners’ shop where I saw some creditable work done by the boy then in the shop, in planning, squaring and sawing. I also visited the painters’ workshop and the bricklayers’ for repairing a damage, and the bake house. I saw boys in the field and others in the garden; but one shop I did not see, though it is useful one in real life, viz. the barbers’-one of the “Foster Fathers” being a hairdresser by trade. No attempt is made to make the boys skilled and thoroughly accomplished artisans in any of these trades, but, as emigrants, many of them could make a capital work-a- day suit of clothes, or shoe his baby’s little foot, or make the cradle for it before its arrival, and also the cabin furniture for his first log hut; and with a good box of tools he would soon have a house with comforts of his own making, with which he would be pleased and proud.

Intellectual training of the children

            The little ones have a good Kindergarten School, and sang for me more than one capital action-song, besides the exhibition of very creditable ordinary schoolwork.

            The Inspector’s Report of the schools generally was a favourable one, and 95% passed his examination.

Gymnastic and athletic training

            There is a well supplied gymnasium as far as the requirements for boys generally render necessary; and their out door sports of football, cricket, and leap frog, &c., are carried on as boys usually do practice them. The last game, and running races, I saw in operation, and nothing more could be desired than the manner in which they were carried out. Wresting is not a Lancashire agricultural game, and boxing is generally speaking only cultivated in the absence of a master or visitor, and I confess that I looked in vain for a black eye. Great stress is laid upon swimming, every boy being urged although not absolutely required to gain skill in that accomplishment; and the swimming bath is a large and excellent one in every respect, and is always heated to 70oF. When used in the cold months of the year, the class of boys in the Homes not having always physical vigour to bear perfectly cold water with safety.

Feeding the children

            Every child has as much as it can eat; and “Oliver asking for more” would at once have more, and would not appal the foster parent for the request. The dietary scale is not “so much” weight or measure per child’s age, but so much per measure by the child’s appetite. It contains animal food, green vegetables and potatoes cooked in a variety of ways, according to the "mother’s” taste and judgment. Each cottage makes its daily return to the Superintendent’s office of the dietary for the day, and the following are taken at random from a pile of returns places in my hands:-


Breakfast 7-45 am

Dinner 12-30 pm

Supper 5 pm

Cottage No 3

Cocoa, bread and dripping

Roast meat, potatoes & turnips, plum pudding

Tea, bread and butter.

(It might not be safe to vouch that this “butter” was not really “margarine,” but it answered as well)

Cottage No 17

Hot milk, bread and butter

Beef, & mashed turnips and bread, rice pudding

Tea, bread and butter, and bun loaf


            Theoretically, there is no corporal punishment except under the Superintendent’s inspection; but in practice, minor punishment by the cane or strap is left in the discretion of the Father or Mother, the school-master, or the workshop master; and no one who has had practical experience of a school of boys will deny the necessity and the wisdom of grating such discretion; keeping up, however, a careful watch that it does not merge into excess or cruelty. So far as an outsider can judge from the children’s faces and demeanour in several visits to the Cottages, these punishments are not severe or unmerited when inflicted. Birching, however, is a grave and very ceremonial business, and has only been resorted to on the average of 1.5 times per annum since the school has been opened. It is inflicted with a great ceremony by the Drill Master, in the presence of the Superintendent, and is recorded in the punishment book, and\ laid before the Guardians, and is only administered for absconding from the school, inciting another boy to abscond, or for deliberate lying, or swearing or some grave offence-and the tradition of the school is that it is “no joke.”

            For the first year of the Homes it was absolutely forbidden; but the Homes and surrounding grounds not being enclosed by walls that an average street Arab could not find means of scaling, it was found that a few new boys constantly revolted against the absence of freedom, and continually escaped within the first day or two, returning to their old haunts and friends. So that two special officers had to be in continual search for these waifs and\strays, and were sometimes days before they could find them. There was no punishment that was influential-for solitary confinement, i.e. imprisonment in a cell-was worse than useless with such boys, and privation of food only aggravated the already depressed condition of the boys morally and physically. The Superintendent, therefore, after many fruitless endeavours, at length succeeded in persuading the Guardians to in trust him with power of the rod for absconding, or very grievous offences; and the next little culprit in this respect was accordingly invited to an interview with him and the Drill Sergeant, and the news of its result flew like wildfire through the school; and “the master’s got a rod and has flogged Tommy” was passed from mouth to mouth in hushed tones of awe. After this, however, it was months before another boy absconded; and the knowledge of its existence has made the rod an almost unused mode of persuasion since then; and it has only been used six times during the four years of its existence.

Approximate cost of the institution generally

            Original outlay in purchasing the land, building and furnishing the cottages, etc., making the roads, and other work necessary before the experiment of the Homes could be commenced-£86000.

            This amount is to be paid off in thirty years, after which the Homes will have become a free gift from the present to the next generation of ratepayers of the West Derby Union. The payment of interest, and repayment of borrowed capital, amount to, per

The payment of interest, and repayment of borrowed capital, amount to, per



Establishment charges


Salaries, including rations, and other allowances of officers


Cost of Maintenance of 600 children

(average per child, 4s. 41/4d per week)




            At the end of the thirty years, this annual expenditure will be reduced to £12664, and the apparent cost of the experiment will be so far reduced. But it is to be borne in mind that the expenses of an institution on the cottage system can never be brought down to the scale of one upon the so-called barracks system, each cottage requiring a separate head or heads for every thirty children, instead of one head for, say, one hundred children; and twenty detached medium-sized houses, requiring more expenditure in maintenance and repairs than one or two large barrack houses.

            The difference of system will therefore always involve a difference of expense, to the apparent disadvantage of the detached houses; and it is for future experience to prove whether the moral and social results of the cottage system are so superior to those of the barrack system as to make the increased expenditure a desirable, and, in commercial language, “a paying outlay.”


            They have been favourable so far as five years’ experience can warrant the expression of an opinion, and they are an encouragement to the Guardians to continue their scheme. The number of children who have left for various situations has been considerable; and while a few have been returned as unsuited for the situations, or the situations as unsuited for them, several even of these have been placed satisfactorily in other situations, and only about 5% have proved hopelessly incapable or unwilling to do better, or have otherwise gone to the bad. When the children leave the Homes to go to situations they are provided with a complete outfit of clothing of a suitable character for the situation they are going to, and sufficient in quantity to last a full year, or longer still with care. The following table shows the manner in which they have been disposed of from March 1887, the date of opening the Homes, to December 31st, 1893:-

Total Number sent out, 332

Boys 194

Girls 138


Sent as Emigrants to Canada[ii]




Domestic Servants




Pantasaph RC Orphanage[iii]




West Derby RC Orphanage




Ambleside Homes-brought up for Home life in various fashions




Grimsby as apprentices to the fishing trade[iv]




Collieries as Harriers[v]




Factory work, weaving, spinning, stocking knitting




Training ship “Indefatigable”[vi]




Farmers, 8, gardeners, 4




Office work




Various trades: shoemakers, 2; dairyman, 1; cabinet maker, 1; chimney sweeper 1




Army, only a single boy








Of the above their relatives took away








Of this number some have been returned to the Cottage Homes for various reasons, such as in suitability of the child for the situation, or of the situation for the child








Total 286 satisfactory = 92.2%


            This result of a five years’ experiment may fairly be considered encouraging.

“Colony of Mettray,” tours, france.

            A scheme strikingly resembling that of the Fazakerely Cottage Homes was devised and brought into successful operation in 1839 at Mettray, near Tours, about thirty-five miles from Orleans, in France, by the Comte de Metz, a retired Judge of Appeal in France, and his college friend Baron Bretignieres de Courcelles, from their own private resources in the first instance, but afterwards aided by help from their friends. Its history and progress are full of interest, and were very briefly sketched to the Literary and Philosophical Society at the conclusion of the foregoing paper; but they would require a paper to themselves if given in extenso. This “Colony of Mettray,” as it is called, has been the origin apparently of the various schemes of Cottage Homes that have been brought into operation in this country of late years.

            A detailed account of the origin and progress of this “Mettray Colony” may be found in Cates’s Dict. Gen. Biog., article “De Metz Fred. Aug.”; and in the volume of official papers relating to it in the Liverpool Free Library, heading “Mettray Colony,” or “De Metz”-Mettray Colony.

[1] Official Handbook of information relating to the Dominions of Canada 1894, p. 27

[i] “Official Handbook of information relating to the Dominion of Canada,” 1894, p.27

[ii] At the present time about 18 boys are sent out yearly.

[iii] All the children at these Orphanages are brought up to be domestic servants

[iv] The boys sent to the fishery go on a month’s probation at first, and after that they either remain or return to the Cottage Homes, according to their own wishes or the judgment of their captains

[v] The boys sent to the collieries for such work as they are best fitted for are from time to time visited by the Guardians or by some person deputed by them.

[vi] The girls who are sent to some special factories in Yorkshire and in Wales were received by the principals of the factories and placed in homes carefully provided for them. They have now been withdrawn, as there is such a demand for them as domestic servants as to make it preferable to place them in situations rather than factories.