The Children’s Sheriff and the First Industrial Ragged Schools by D. H. Webster

“On the last night of 1839 William Watson wrote in his diary, ‘What have I done for my fellow men? Nothing! Nothing!’, Nothing! What can I do? What does He will that I do? That I love Him with all my strength and might – and my neighbour as myself. How can I love the Father and not the child? I must no longer live for myself but for His little ones. Faith without works is dead.” [1. M.Angus, Sheriff Watson of Aberdeen. 1913, p.58.]


Ragged School Copperfield Rd 1909 (image added - not found in original thesis)
Ragged School Copperfield Rd 1909 (image added – not found in original thesis)

This excess of self-abnegation hardly indicates that the writer was the generous, enlightened and progressive Sheriff-Substitute of Aberdeen; that he had held this post with singular distinction and humanity for ten years; that he had organised a flourishing House of Refuge for the destitute; that he had instituted and largely supported by his own exertions The Society for the Education of the Poor; that he had taken up the cause of prison reform and discussed the conditions in the Aberdeen gaol with Elizabeth Fry. Yet it does underline the extent to which the needs and demands of ’the poor bairns’ weighed on him. It is from this time that his previous hopes for an industrial school in Aberdeen took definite shape.


The problems which William Watson attempted to solve were part of a larger complex of difficulties which arose from the fact that in the first half of the nineteenth century ten millions were added to the population. This increase occurred in the large towns and cities and strained the organs of communal life to the point of breakdown. Services and institutions were not equipped to deal with the explosion. Local government, the police, buildings, sanitation, health services, schools – even cemeteries – were totally inadequate. So the slums emerged. Hideous re ports and stories about the barbarized areas were not wanting. Edwin Chadwick’s The Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain (1842) was the classic document, and along with the reports of Drs. Kay, Arnott and Southwood Smith embodied in the Fourth Report of the Poor


Law Commission (1838) and The Reports of the Royal Commission on Large Towns and Populous Places (1844-45) paved the way for the first national measure of its kind, the Public Health Act of 1848 – tentative and res tricted though this was. Comment was prolific but embodied no real social analysis – the honourable exception being the Rev. Thomas Beames’ famous The Rookeries of London (1851). Too much was an elaboration of the theme that the ‘slummers’ were satisfying their own preferences or paying the penalty for moral lapses.


An appeal for a more intense spirituality and a stricter code of behaviour from the poorest classes, for more charity from the philanthropists and more zealous activity from the clergy and their helpers, tended to obscure the fact that fundamental legislation was required. There was, however, a deep-rooted fear of government intervention. Even as late as 1882 the Liberty and Property Defence League, which had a powerful parliamentary lobby, attempted to thwart the growth of collective responsibility for housing under the banner ’Self-Help Versus State-Help’.


Thirty nine thousand people inhabited the cellars of Liverpool and fifteen thousand those of Manchester in 1842. In many places open sewers ran down the streets and invariably overflowed in the wet weather. In Bethnal Green a row of pigsties emptied their refuse into a nearby pool of stagnant water. A survey by the Royal Statistical Society in 1847 showed that the population of Church Lane, London, in which there were twenty—seven houses, rose from 655 to 1,095 in six years [2. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. 1849, pp.1-19].


A classification of the employments of the inhabitants of the Seven Dials district in 1848 showed that the majority fell into these categories: thief, vagrant, gambler, beggar, coster monger, scavenger, charwoman, seamstress and prostitute [3. Ragged School Union Annual Report. 1848, p.26]. The publication of the Rev. Andrew Mearns’ little pamphlet, The Bitter Cry of Outcast London, in 1883, showed that the living conditions of the urban poor remained as squalid and unhealthy as those of half a century earlier. It caused considerable comment and reawakened the public conscience. Charles Booth confirmed and amplified this in his Life and Labour of People in London (1889-97). Sanitation and water supplies were improved, but many other measures were blocked by the opposition of the vestries, the Treasury and governments wedded to a laissez faire doctrine.


The immediate social consequences of Victorian capitalism were disastrous . Contemporary estimates of national income distribution, actuarial tables and the annual reports of the Registrar General give a broad skeleton of figures which charts the problem. Analyses of separate areas by students of urban history give further elaboration and an account of the cost of industrialisation in human terms [4. E.g. J. Foster, ‘Capitalism and Class Consciousness in Earlier Nineteenth Century Oldham’, University of Cambridge, Ph.D., 1966; W.H. Chaloner, The Social and Economic Development of Crewe, 1780 – 1923. 1950. Vide also Ed. H. J. Dyos, The Study of Urban History, 1968].


Thus, in Oldham, one child in five died before it reached its first birthday; one in seven female mill workers in the 25-34 years age range died usually of T.B; one miner in five could expect to be killed during a normal working life. During the regular periods of mass unemployment over 40% of working-class families experienced primary poverty [5. Ibid.. p.37].


Statistical tools were not refined and opinion and impression formed the basis of some of the figures offered in the literature of the time. Nevertheless, the macabre and pitiful picture is clear. There were plenty of suggested solutions, some visionary, radical and hopelessly impracticable on any scale. Others were more soundly based and had been previously proved on a small scale. General William Booth was the last of a line of distinguished and sincere Christians to suggest mass emigration. ’There are multitudes of people all over the country who would be likely to emigrate’, and such an opportunity would be particularly valued by ’women and young girls’ [6. W. Booth, In Darkest England and the Way Out. 1890, pp.150-151].


Others thought that the urban slums could be decanted to form rural colonies. This was an adaptation of an old idea and had worked at Saltaire (near Bradford) and Akroydon (near Halifax) where miniature factory towns had been planned by two Yorkshire woollen manufacturers. Educational provision for the increasing numbers were totally inadequate. As early as 1816 a Select Committee under Lord Brougham had estimated that more than half of the children in the poorer parts of London received little or no education.


The total without access to schooling in the metropolis was put at 100,000 children [7. Report of the Select Committee on the Education of the Lower Orders. 1316, p.123. Evidence of William Allen]. However, the means of arriving at these figures involved guesswork and a more scientific and sound investigation was carried out by the Manchester Statistical Society into educational provision in that city. It took place in 1834 and revealed that about a third of all children between five and fifteen received ‘no instruction whatsoever’ [8. S. E. Maltby, Manchester and the Movement for National Elementary Education, 1800-1870, 1918, Appendix 3].


And it has to be remembered that two years earlier Dr. Kay, in his report The Condition of the Working Classes of Manchester, had found that half the children of the poor died before they reached the age of five years. With educational destitution at such a level it caused no surprise to the reformers to learn that there was a serious increase in crime in the decade 1836 to 1847. In England and Wales in 1836 there were 20,984 committals, in 1847 there were 28,333. The relative proportion of children and young people to adult offenders was a matter of concern. Of the 25,107 offenders committed for trial in 1846 in England and Wales, 1,640 were under fifteen and 6,236 under twenty [9. The North British Review. May, 1849, pp.83-84].


The government looked to the penal system to solve the problems of juvenile crime. It was a system which rested on assumptions which were not self-evident to many. Questioning at the national level was prompted by the work of the Spitalfields Quaker, Peter Bedford [10. W. Tailack, Peter Bedford, The Spitalfields Philanthropist. 1865]. His committee collected evidence relating ’to the causes of the alarming increase in juvenile crime in the metropolis’ and set up a sub-committee to investigate the conditions within prisons.


The startling findings of one member, Mr. T. Fox well Buxton, were published in the Edinburgh Review [11. Edinburgh Review, Vol.30, Sept. 1818, p.474]. His conclusion was that the prisons as reformatory institutions were gloomy failures. They encouraged rather than prevented crime. He quoted a warder at St. Albans prison who confessed that he had seen a great many children ’who came in comparatively innocent go out quite depraved, but never one who, coming in wicked, went out better’.


The reports on a few prisons were more encouraging. At Millbank Penitentiary some of the boys were taught shoe-making, and at Ilchester instruction was given in reading and in writing. However, until the Reformatory Schools Act of 1854, any special provision for children and young people in prison was a voluntary matter [12. D. L. Howard, The English Prisons, 1960 p.94]. Thus, the juveniles endured the ’silent system’, risking a flogging whenever they spoke.


Or else they were abused by the idea which received such widespread support in the nineteenth century, the separate system which was akin to solitary confinement. The First and Second Reports of the House of Lords Select Committee of 1847, ‘relating to the execution of the Criminal Law especially respecting Juvenile Offenders’, with its appendices, contain some hair-raising evidence regarding the treatment of young people and many brutal suggestions for ’improvement’.


The confusion of philosophies, the inappropriate punitive measures, the inadequate arrangements, the degrading conditions and the poor quality of the staff made the prisons quite unsuitable places in which to place the young. Attempts were made to provide more suitable penal institutions. In 1839 a separate prison at Parkhurst was opened for young offenders which gave them industrial training and some schooling. However, there was a very rigid discipline and the energetic and forthright educationalist Mary Carpenter complained:


“It is utterly vain to look for any real reformation where the heart is not touched and where the inner springs of action are not called into healthful exercise; this cannot possibly be done for children under the mechanical and military discipline of Parkhurst” [13. M. Carpenter, Reformatory Schools for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes and for Juvenile Offenders. 1351, p.323].


A modification of the penal system was not the only approach to the treatment of young people. Experiments were taking place. Stretton-on- Dunsmore, Warks had been established in 1818 as a Farm Colony, taking boys from Birmingham and Warwick gaols. It was not its purpose to terrify and degrade but to offer the security and moral influence of a well-ordered family [14. Ibid., p 342]. Rauhe Haus, near Hamburgh, established in 1833, extended the idea of the family system [15. The Quarterly Review. Vol.98, Dec. 1855, p.39].


At Mettray, in France, in 1839 M. deMetz founded a similar institution run on competitive lines [16. R. Hall, Mattray. 1854]. This was copied at Redhill, in Surrey, by the Philanthropic Society in 1849. These reformatories attempted to ensure that their boys became ’true men and honest labourers’. The Rev. Sydney Turner, who was to become the first Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory Schools, expressed the view of many reformers when he wrote:


“Let there be no high education . . . but only plain and useful instruction such as may place the boy on the fair level of the labouring classes” [17. Edinburgh Review, Vol.94, Oct 1851, p.421].


William Watson found himself among an avant-garde group of thinkers wanting a more humane and carefully—organised approach to the problems of juvenile vagrancy and delinquency. He attempted in 1840 to gain support for the plan to establish ragged schools in Aberdeen for those children who lived in the grossest poverty and who continually fell into the hands of the law. He was prompted to take the initiative after receiving a report from the Committee of the Managers of the Poor’s Hospital in 1840, urging that poor children should be helped…


“… by adopting a proper system of education … by bringing them under a proper system of religious and moral training, and superinducing upon their minds such habits of industry as will make labour of some useful kind a pleasure” [18. W. Watson, The Juvenile Vagrant and the Industrial School. 1851, p.9].


From: Boys Exercising At Tothill Fields Prison. H. Mayhew, ’The Criminal Prisons At London’, 1862.

From: Boys Exercising At Tothill Fields Prison. H. Mayhew, ’The Criminal Prisons At London’, 1862.


Previously to this he had received a report from the rural Police, indicating that in 1839 ’three hundred and twenty-eight children were vagabondising the county’. The Superintendent of the City Police of Aberdeen had told him that upwards of two hundred and eighty children within the city were common beggars and thieves [19. Ibid., p.9].  And he was aware that the City prison held on average each year seventy-five children under fourteen years of age. He wrote to his supporter, Mr. Thomas of Banchory:


“What could be more cruel or absurd than to send a child of 8, 9, 10 or 11 years to prison for theft, begging or breach of the peace, when it is known that unless by begging or stealing 99 in a 100 have no way of subsisting?” [20. M. Angus, op. cit. p.59].


And again, to his brother: ’I think it is high time to attempt another institution’ [21. Ibid, p.58]. His first industrial school was opened in Chronicle Lane, There was much opposition which regarded ‘the product of a heated imagination’ [22. Ibid., p.72]. The boys were taught reading and writing, and they worked at teasing hair and making salmon nets. They received breakfast, dinner and supper in the school and they were forbidden to beg. Numbers grew and so did the staff, until Watson knew that his experiment had been justified.


In 1843, on June 5th, in Long Acre, his female school of industry was opened. His third ’Soup Kitchen School’ was successful because of an initial act of benevolent despotism. Conscious that the problem of the vagrant children had not been eradicated by his previous efforts, he asked the police to bring to the new school every child found begging in the streets. The date was 19th May, 1845, and in the course of the day seventy-five children were brought to the new school, aged from three to fourteen years.


“Confusion and uproar, quarrelling and fighting, language of the most hateful description, and the most determined rebellion against everything like order and regularity, gave the gentlemen engaged in the undertaking of taming them the hardest day’s work they have ever encountered in their lives ” [23. North British Review, May 1847, p76].


It was soon established and in its first year one hundred and fifty-nine children were admitted. This levelled off to an annual average of seventy- four (forty-three boys and thirty-one girls). The Sheriff and his co workers were convinced that there was an obvious causal connection between the foundation of the Industrial school system in Aberdeen and the dramatic fall in criminal statistics relating to young persons [24. W. Watson, op. cit., p.16].



Despite criticisms that these figures had been affected by an increase in private charity, a more liberal administration of the New Poor Law and a diminishing vigilance by the police, they were widely publicised at the national level and impressed many. The early years of the ragged school movement were to see continuing attempts to correlate the foundation of the schools with statistics of juvenile crime.


Sheriff Watson’s ideas spread rapidly and, before the half century, he was a national figure in Scotland. Seven years after its foundation, the Management Committee of his first school noted with some pride. It has been the model of the numerous Industrial Schools that have been established within the last two or three years [25. Aberdeen School of Industry for Boys, Annual Report. 1348, p.1].


Enough of the first annual reports of the schools has survived to confirm this claim. The Committee of the Dundee Industrial Schools Society states clearly that it ‘was framed after the model of the similar Institution in Aberdeen’ [26. Dundee Industrial School, Annual Report. 1847, p.3].  William Watson had attended the public meeting in Dundee on 9th September, 1846, held to promote the plan for a ragged industrial school, and was even instrumental in engaging its staff [27. Ibid., p.7] The Committee wrote of him:


“To his benevolent exertions we are indebted for the first idea of such an institution as the Industrial Schools . . . The Directors would beg to express their deep sense of obligation to the Sheriff, for the assistance he so kindly rendered them in the formation of our Society, and for the great interest he has all along evinced for its welfare, and which well entitles him to be called the Father of our Industrial Schools, as well as of those in Aberdeen, which have served for a model to all the other similar institutions which have since sprung up through out the land” [28. Ibid.. p.12].


Edinburgh had its first industrial school in 1847 [29. It was in Ramsay Lane, Castle Hill, and was called the Edinburgh Original Ragged Industrial School. Annual Report. 1854, p.1] Greenock established one in 1843, with Inverness, Falkirk, Rothesay, Ayr, Stranraer and Dumfries quickly following suit. In each place the ‘Children’s Sheriff’, as he was coming to be known, went to explain the ‘Aberdeen System’.


The ragged and industrial schools in England developed a much more flexible pattern and there were few which completely adopted the ’Aberdeen System’ as envisaged by Watson. Yet they recognised the ideas impelling them and the methods they were attempting to use as the Sheriff’s and acknowledged this. The Manager of the school at Hull corresponded with him before forming their own society. Their first annual report offers the thanks of the members, describing him as ’the originator of these schools’ and records his warning to them that:


“… it will require all of our prudence and caution to prevent our being drifted away from the original principles on which our institutions have been based” [30. Hull Ragged and Industrial School, Annual Report. 1850, p.5].


In 1849 he travelled to Liverpool to support the formation of a school for the destitute children and he corresponded widely in the attempt to foster his ideas. Behind the establishment of the ragged schools in Manchester was the knowledge of the:


“. . . success which has attended the ragged schools in the metro polis and other parts of the United Kingdom” [31. T. Britain, Manchester Industrial Schools. 1884, p.5].


This is a reference to the London schools and those in Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth. The work of Watson is fully described and was an obvious model for the Manchester Committee. An anonymous pamphlet, making a strong plea for a ragged school in Leeds, designates Watson as the institutor of the ragged school [32. Anon., Beggars, Criminals, Fevers and Ragged Schools. 1843, p.9]. While the first industrial schools of the London Ragged School Union were:


“. . .projected, begun and . . . continued in imitation of the schools of a similar character in Aberdeen which have proved so successful in repressing juvenile crime and encouraging juvenile industry” [33. The Ragged School Union Magazine. 1848, p.4].


At Newcastle-on-Tyne the master of the newly-founded school spent:

“… a week in the principal Ragged School in Edinburgh, by kind permission of its managers, for the purpose of learning the system” [34. Newcastle-upon-Tyne Ragged School Annual Report. 1848, pp.3-4].


The schools in Edinburgh were instituted by Dr. Thomas Guthrie, a personal friend and admirer of Watson, and ran on similar lines. The idea of the industrial school became a significant contribution to reformatory education and an important element in the first twenty years of the ragged school movement. This is due to the ability of Sheriff Watson to organise small groups of men and women into societies, with clear and orderly plans for helping destitute children.


He attracted a large following because he offered a workable solution suited to the temper of the times to a problem which could not be ignored. It was Thackery’s opinion that he was ‘doing more good than all the members of Parliament in Great Britain’, though he was high-handed, lacking in discretion and inclined to act on impulse. He had none of the impassioned eloquence of Dr. Guthrie and considered himself to be rather a lazy person. Nonetheless, he had considerable political courage and he fought hard against the strong opposition to his many plans. He had a sensitivity which was outraged at the plight of the poorest children and the treatment meted out to them. Above all, his vision was essentially practicable – or, at least, so it appeared in the short term.


The terms ‘industrial’, ‘ragged’ and ‘reformatory’ were used and connected together very loosely in the 1840’s and early ’50’s. Watson, placing his emphasis on industrial training, held that all his pupils would be ragged, and that many would be potential if not actual law-breakers. Those concerned with children in prison stressed the value of industrial training in new and specially-created institutions. The various Ragged School Unions, though they might be enchanted by the humanity and the economy of the industrial idea, knew that their Sunday and evening schools were not industrial, though they hoped they might be reformatory. However, they set out to encourage industrial training in two ways: they promoted the foundation of industrial schools; and they pressed for the inclusion of ‘classes of industry’ in the curriculum of the ragged schools.


The first industrial school established under the auspices of the Ragged School Union (London) was in Westminster in 1847. There were few others, though by 1856 half the London ragged schools had industrial classes [35. M. Carpenter, Reformatory Schools for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes. 1851].


Some clarity was brought to the situation as the specific interests of reformers were outlined and as legislation was contemplated. One of the most tireless and compassionate workers for reform was Mary Carpenter. As the Superintendent of her local Sunday school she visited the homes of her children and became concerned at the conditions of poverty in which many lived. She opened a ragged school in Lewin’s Mead, Bristol in 1846 and later added a night-school. Her views on ragged schools were widely circulated and she attempted a forthright defence of them.


However, she was one of the few people who, although deeply committed to the movement, could nevertheless see its limitations. She proposed in 1851 the establishment of three types of schools, with separate but related functions: the Free Day (Ragged) School, the Industrial Feeding School (rate-aided, with compulsory attendance) and the Reformatory School [36. The Ragged School Union Annual Report. 1853]. In the same year she was also instrumental in organising a conference in Birmingham to which many parties, interested in the needs of the depressed poor, came. A pamphlet, summarising the proceedings, was printed and circulated and the London Ragged School Union gave it full coverage in its Magazine and Annual Report [37. The Ragged School Union Magazine, 1852].


A Standing Committee was set up in an attempt to bring pressure to bear on the government for legislation. The next year a committee of the House of Lords was given the task of investigating and making recommendations regarding ’the present treatment of criminal and delinquent juveniles in the country’.


Ensuing legislation separated industrial from reformatory schools. In 1854 the first Reformatory Act was passed, encouraging the formation of new reformatories and giving standards to those already in existence, e.g. Hardwicke, near Gloucester; Stoke Works, near Droitwich; Kingswood, near Bristol; Saltley, near Birmingham [38. 17 and 18 Vict., C.86].  Managers could apply to have their reformatories licensed and receive Treasury aid. Magistrates were empowered to send children under sixteen years to a reformatory, though the managers retained the right to refuse any particular child.


The Act was disfigured by a clause which stated that a child had to be committed to a prison for at least fourteen days (longer if the judge directed) before being allowed to go to a reformatory. However, the Bishop of Oxford’s attempt to remove this clause was defeated [39. Hansard, 3rd series, Parliamentary Debates, Vol.143, Col.229].  As Sydney Smith pointed out in its defence, it would never do to treat those guilty of ’vice and mischief’ better than the children of respectable and honest parents’ [40. Report of the Inspector of Certified Reformatory and Industrial Schools. 1876, p.10]. The reformatories thus became schools receiving children of under sixteen years who had been convicted of an offence.


The industrial schools received those not guilty of breaches of the law but who were considered likely, in view of their background, to join the delinquent band. By the Industrial Schools Act of 1857 [41. 20 and 21 Vict., C.48] and further provisions in 1861 [42. 24 and 25 Vict., C.113] and 1866 [43. 29 and 30 Vict., C.117] schools were permitted to apply for ’certification’. Authority was given to a Certified Industrial School to receive children found begging, wandering without proper guardianship or means of subsistence, ’frequenting the company of thieves’, or who were or phans. Treasury aid was supplied, although there were provisions requiring parental contributions.


The significant difference between the schools coming within these Acts and those established by William Watson was in the provisions regarding the boarding and clothing of the children. It was not until 1876, thanks largely to the efforts of Mary Carpenter, that School Boards were able to set up day industrial schools [44. 39 and 40 Vict., C.118] In the 1850’s and 1860’s the ragged schools found themselves trying to deal with large numbers of poor children for whom there were no industrial schools and who could not be sent to a reformatory. The various ragged school unions differed as to how best they could serve these children. The London Union was deeply committed to a policy of ’voluntaryism’ – the hand of Lord Shaftesbury is clear in many of its statements. The provincial unions saw less reason to fear the consequences of State aid for their activities.


The industrial schools were ’but reformatories of a milder sort’ [45. Report of the Inspector of Certified Reformatory and Industrial Schools. 1869, pp.15-16], while the ragged schools either overlapped with the industrial schools – in activity if not in legal status – or attempted to preserve as much of the spirit of industrial training within their curriculum as was possible. In spite of the advocacy by all unions, provincial and metropolitan, of the industrial idea, there were difficulties. Only a small number of ragged schools became schools able to offer industrial classes, many fell below the ideals of the founding managers. There were many reasons for this: common among them were lack of finance, poor premises and the type and quality of the work produced by the children.


William Watson demurred from accepting the credit for the industrial idea [46. W. Watson, op. cit.. Preface, p. v]. He interpreted the idea for his age and systematised it. What started in a loft in 1841 had attained expansion to a national level fifteen years later. Scottish schools copied the initial schemes very closely and clung to the idea of the industrial feeding school. English schools adapted the idea and married it to others which were being worked out within the ragged schools.


Thus this lively man, full of practical energy but without the art of charm or the virtue of tact, lived to see his schemes develop in a variety of institutions: ship schools, agricultural schools and reformatories, as well as urban schools engaging in a very diverse group of industries. He watched the extension of his principle in the shoe—black brigade, the ’steppers’, the ’broomers’, the ’messengers’, the ’sweepers’ and the house boy brigade. The industrial class was a major contribution to the thinking of the ragged school movement. Though it required for its implementation financial resources not within the reach of all schools, there were few in side the various unions who did not agree with John (Rob Roy) Macgregor when he wrote


The hand and the eye oust be taught to work as well as the head stored with book learning, and a school which has no industrial class leaves an essential part of the machinery of improvement unemployed [47. J. Macgregor, Ragged Schools, Their Rise, Progress and Results. 1853, P.37].


Listed Bibliography:

1. M.Angus, Sheriff Watson of Aberdeen. 1913, p.58.

2. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. 1849, pp.1-19

3. Ragged School Union Annual Report. 1848, p.26

4. E.g. J. Foster, ‘Capitalism and Class Consciousness in Earlier Nineteenth Century Oldham’, University of Cambridge, Ph.D., 1966; W.H. Chaloner, The Social and Economic Development of Crewe, 1780 – 1923. 1950. Vide also Ed. H. J. Dyos, The Study of Urban History, 1968

5. Ibid.. p.37

6. W. Booth, In Darkest England and the Way Out. 1890, pp.150-151

7. Report of the Select Committee on the Education of the Lower Orders. 1316, p.123. Evidence of William Allen

8. S. E. Maltby, Manchester and the Movement for National Elementary Education, 1800-1870, 1918, Appendix 3

9. The North British Review. May, 1849, pp.83-84

10. W. Tailack, Peter Bedford, The Spitalfields Philanthropist. 1865

11. Edinburgh Review, Vol.30, Sept. 1818, p.474

12. D. L. Howard, The English Prisons, 1960 p.94

13. M. Carpenter, Reformatory Schools for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes and for Juvenile Offenders. 1351, p.323

14. Ibid., p 342

15. The Quarterly Review. Vol.98, Dec. 1855, p.39

16. R. Hall, Mattray. 1854

17. Edinburgh Review, Vol.94, Oct 1851, p.421

18. W. Watson, The Juvenile Vagrant and the Industrial School. 1851, p.9

19. Ibid., p.9

20. M. Angus, op. cit. p.59

21. Ibid, p.58

22. Ibid., p.72

23. North British Review, May 1847, p76

24. W. Watson, op. cit., p.16

25. Aberdeen School of Industry for Boys, Annual Report. 1348, p.1

26. Dundee Industrial School, Annual Report. 1847, p.3

27. Ibid., p.7

28. Ibid.. p.12

29. It was in Ramsay Lane, Castle Hill, and was called the Edinburgh Original Ragged Industrial School. Annual Report. 1854, p.1

30. Hull Ragged and Industrial School, Annual Report. 1850, p.5

31. T. Britain, Manchester Industrial Schools. 1884, p.5

32. Anon., Beggars, Criminals, Fevers and Ragged Schools. 1843, p.9

33. The Ragged School Union Magazine. 1848, p.4

34. Newcastle-upon-Tyne Ragged School Annual Report. 1848, pp.3-4

35. M. Carpenter, Reformatory Schools for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes. 1851

36. The Ragged School Union Annual Report. 1853

37. The Ragged School Union Magazine, 1852

38. 17 and 18 Vict., C.86

39. Hansard, 3rd series, Parliamentary Debates, Vol.143, Col.229

40. Report of the Inspector of Certified Reformatory and Industrial Schools. 1876, p.10

41. 20 and 21 Vict., C.48

42. 24 and 25 Vict., C.113

43. 29 and 30 Vict., C.117

44. 39 and 40 Vict., C.118

45. Report of the Inspector of Certified Reformatory and Industrial Schools. 1869, pp.15-16

46. W. Watson, op. cit.. Preface, p. v

47. J. Macgregor, Ragged Schools, Their Rise, Progress and Results. 1853, P.37


This is the work of D.H. Webster who wrote a thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Leicester, 1973. It remains an important historical document and analysis of the Ragged School and free education movement in Britain. It will be reproduced and published verbatim in installments for educational purposes to facilitate review and discussion about education. This post is the first part of section one of the thesis where the references have been reproduced inline within the text.

You can see the thesis overview and contents here:

The Ragged School Movement and the Education of the Poor in the Nineteenth Century