St George's Industrial School for Roman Catholic Girls, Liverpool, Lancashire
The St George's Industrial School for Roman Catholic Girls had its origins in the St George's Lace School, established at Everton Crescent by Sisters of the Augustinian Order.
In 1861, largely through the efforts of Father James Nugent, the St George's Industrial School for Roman Catholic Children was opened in the premises of the former West Derby Union infirmary at 137A West Derby Road, Liverpool, which had been purchased from the union for the sum of £4,200. The new establishment was formally certified to begin operation on December 30th, 1861, and the girls from the Lace School became its first inmates at the end of January. A boys' section came into use shortly afterwards. By the end of 1862, there were 156 children in residence, of which two-thirds were girls. The School was superintended by Sister Vincent, assisted by several Augustinian Sisters.
In 1866, the running of the boys' section of the School was placed in the charge of five members of the Christian Brothers who brought some order to the establishment. However, it was reported that there was still 'an unfortunate want of harmony and good understanding between this and the girls' division of the school, which produces many inconveniences.' The situation was resolved in 1867 when the girls' school was transferred to a separate site at Laburnum House, Prescot Road, in the Fairfield area of Liverpool.
The new premises, which consisted of a large house, outbuildings and garden, could accommodate up to 135 girls. The establishment was formally certified to begin operation on June 13th, 1867, and 17 girls then transferred from the West Derby Road institution, together with Sister Vincent and another sister of the Augustine order, two schoolmistresses, and four assistants.
As well as their classroom lessons, the girls received training in needlework and lace-making. They also assisted with the housework and washing for the School.
During the spring and summer of 1872, the School suffered from a long and severe attack of fever, resulting in the death of four of the girls and of Sister Vincent. She was succeeded as superintendent by Sister Philomena.
By 1876, problems with the School's drainage, together with the burden of the heavy rent being paid for the property, led to a move to a new location at Freshfield, near Formby.
The new premises at Freshfield were certified for operation on January 8th, 1877. The house could accommodate up to 70 girls and a separate schoolroom had been erected. The staff now comprised the superintendent, Sister Philomena; schoolmistress, Miss A. Lynch; sewing-mistress, Miss Cunningham; an assistant matron and laundress.
In 1878, Sister Philomena, who had been in somewhat failing health, died. It was then decided to close the School and transfer the children to the other Roman Catholic Industrial Schools in Liverpool.
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- Nugent Care, 99 Edge Lane, Liverpool L7 2PE.
- Liverpool Archives, 3rd Floor, Central Library, William Brown Street, L3 8EW. Now holds the Society's "historical" records and also those of the Catholic Emigration Association which emigrated children from the Society's establishments.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Mahood, Linda Policing Gender, Class and Family: Britain, 1850-1940 (1995, Univeristy of Alberta Press)
- Prahms, Wendy Newcastle Ragged and Industrial School (2006, The History Press)
- None noted at present.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.