School of Industry and Home for the Fatherless, Lewisham, London
The School of Industry and Home for the Fatherless was established in 1869 by Henry Toye. Its stated object was 'to train poor fatherless children, and fit them to be useful men and women.' The establishment was known by variety of names including Toye's Orphan Homes and the Home for Destitute Children. It occupied a row of houses, known as George Terrace, on Lewisham Road, which by 1881 included numbers 64 to 76. Accommodation was also constructed at the rear or the houses.
The Home received destitute children, from the age of two upwards, who had lost one or both parents, and also poor children who had been abandoned by their parents. In 1890, there were 139 inmates in residence. The children were given 'a fair education in reading, writing, grammar, arithmetic, history, etc.' Boys remained until they were between 14 and 15, and were then found trades or put into situations. Any relatives were expected to provide for them at that age. The girls were trained for service and sent out between the ages of 14 and 16. If they did not suit in their situations they were taken back until a suitable situation arose.
Other members of Toye's family were involved in running the home. His daughter Matilda was matron for many years. Another daughter, Mary, was a teacher at the home as was his eldest son, also named Henry, who took over as Director of the institution after his father's death in 1896. By 1914, William Henry Turner had become Director.
The Home's premises no longer survive and Morden Mount Primary School now covers the site.
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- None identfied at present — any information welcome.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
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