Training Refuge for Destitute Girls, Marylebone, London

On April 18th, 1859, the Training Refuge for Destitute Girls, at 1 Lisson Street, Marylebone Road, London NW1, was certified to operated as an Industrial School, allowing it to receive girls sentenced by the courts to a period of detention.

It was reported in 1862 that during the previous year the average number of girls at the school had been 32, of whom 5 had been under detention. All had been fed and clothed. At the end of 1864, 6 of the 25 inmates were there under detention. The staff at that date comprised the matron, Miss Hargarve, a schoolmistress and a general servant. The industrial training consisted mainly of needlework, housework and washing.

An inspection report in 1866 commented that although the establishment was a remarkably successful and useful institution, its operation was on too small a scale.

In 1867, it was reported that the managers of the Refuge had resigned their Industrial Schools certificate following an unsuccessful attempt by several of the girls to set fire to the premises. The girls themselves had immediately raised the alarm and the fire had been easily extinguished. The facts about the incident had only come to light about two months after the event, when a discharged inmate had given information. The establishment was to continue with only voluntary inmates and the inmates there under detention would be transferred to the Girls' Home at Charlotte Street and other Schools in the area. The Refuge's inspector thought its managers were overreacting and that reducing its numbers would be detrimental to its future, but had no option other than to accept its decision.


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