Friday, December 18, 2015

Mr Gladstone's orphanage at Hawarden

Lord Bonkers has his Home for Well-Behaved Orphans, but then it seems at one time every self-respecting Liberal politician had his own orphanage.

Caroline's Miscellany writes of William Ewart Gladstone and his wife Catherine:
As a regular visitor to the London Hospital, Whitechapel, Catherine saw at first hand the effects of the 1860s cholera epidemics on the East End poor. 
She founded an orphanage for the children of cholera victims, in a large house in Clapton. It also took in convalescent patients, and the convalescent home later moved to Woodford Hall, Essex, in 1866. Adults and children were sent here from the London Hospital in the East End to recover from illness or surgery. The home moved to Mitcham in 1900, eventually closing in 1940. 
As for the orphaned boys, Catherine sent them from Clapton to a new orphanage in the Gladstones' home village of Hawarden. Initially, she took a dozen boys from London to the village and accommodated them in a former coach house; Gladstone paid for their keep. (The couple also accommodated unemployed Lancashire mill girls and elderly women on their estate.) 
The orphanage continued for many years, and seems to have taken in other children in need of a home. A guide to the village of 1890 describes it as housing twenty to thirty boys and being 'hard by the Castle [the Gladstones' home] and across the yard'.
And this blog's hero J.W. Logan had a home in East Langton for the children of men killed on his works.

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