Ancestry UK

Rules of Kirkdale Ragged Industrial School, Liverpool (1869)

The Kirkdale Ragged Industrial School was founded in 1856 by the Rev. Thomas Major Lester. The objects of the establishment were stated in 1869 as follows:


The School is open to the poorest and the lowest — to beggar-children on the Street — grit girls and boys. To be fed and clothed when found necessary, as far as the funds will permit. To be taught reading, writing, and simple arithmetic, and trained industrially; the boys in some handicraft, the girls in cooking, washing, and household work.

The kitchen of the School (under proper management) will be used as a Soup Kitchen, at once affording the charitable a means of distributing to the necessities of the poor, and an opportunity to the children of the Institution for the practical illustration of the principles of domestic economy. At stated times the oven and fire will he at the service of a few respectable poor women of the neighbourhood.

Washing and Ironing will be taken in and done, for the benefit of the eider girls, so that they may be brought up as good servants.

The Bath of the Institution (which the children are forced to use at least once a week) will be placed at the disposal of the parents upon the payment 1d until such time as a Public Bath is opened for the Township.

The general rules of the organisation were as follows:


1.—All ragged or beggar-children received, fed and clothed, (some lodged.)

2.—No child compelled to learn the Church Catechism, or attend the Church, whose parent, parents, guardians or friends object.

3.—That each child be taught some trade, handicraft or household work.

4.—That any person wishing to place a destitute child in the School, may do so on the annual payment of £14 (if lodged, fed, and clothed), or of £6 (if fed and clothed only), or of £1 10s (if only fed with one meal a day and educated.)

5.—That any person subscribing Five Guineas a year be allowed to send two beggar-children to the Schools.

6.—That the seats of the School-Room Church be entirely free and open, without partiality, to the poorest of the poor.

Finally, the rules for the School itself:

Rules to be strictly observed in the Kirkdale Industrial Ragged School.

1.—That the two Orderlies appointed each week by the Head Mistress, under the superintendence of the Matron, do Sweep, Dust, Light Fires, and prepare every Room for School by Nine o'Clock.

2—That the Names of these Orderlies so appointed be written by the Head Mistress on the Boards in the Kitchen and School Rooms.

3.—Doors to be opened at a Quarter-past Nine o'Clock by the School-keeper. All Teachers to be present by Twenty Minutes past and Prayers commence exactly by Half-past Nine o'Clock.

4,—At the commencement of each Quarter of the Year, each Class to be examined and re-arranged according to each child's amount of knowledge.

5.—All Classes to continue work until Five Minutes to Twelve, and Five Minutes to Four in the afternoon.

6.—That the whole of the Teachers stay and attend their children while dining.

7.—Each day the Number of Children that had Dinner be posted on the black Board in the Kitchen.

8.—That the Books, with account of Work done in the Work Rooms, be Examined and signed each Week by the Reverend the Chaplain.

9.—That the Head Mistress keep a particular Account of everything received into the Building, and also sent out.

10.—The List of Houses wherein Children are Lodged, with the full Names and Addresses, and the Number of Children Boarded in each, be printed, and hung up in the Upper School.

11.—That, on the last Saturday of each month, Miss YOUDS and Miss TROTTER visit such houses, and make inquiries as to the home-conduct of the children, and their requirements as to clothing.