Copyright
Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts.

Woman's mission; a series of congress papers on the philanthropic work of women, by eminent writers online

. (page 2 of 49)
Online LibraryAngela Georgina Burdett-CouttsWoman's mission; a series of congress papers on the philanthropic work of women, by eminent writers → online text (page 2 of 49)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


united action amongst the members of different religious
communities for a common good was hardly known except
as the outcome of personal friendship or political sympathy.
Intercommunication beyond a limited area was comparatively
difficult, tedious, and costly ; for the railway system had yet
to cover the land, while the postal service was still such that
members of Parliament could raise smiles or tears by giving
or refusing one of their twelve coveted franks. Even in the
cities the means of communication were very poor and very
dear. There were no cabs, no shilling fares (I believe) by
the dismal old hackney coaches, no omnibus had yet been
seen in the streets, and the tramway was undreamt of.
The stir in favour of organized popular education, as of
other organized endeavours for the welfare of the poorer
classes of the people, was at its beginning, with all that
was to flow from it ; and the Poor-law of Elizabeth, with its
many abuses, remained unamended. It was in 1834 that,
after long and strenuous discussion, the new Act for the
Relief of the Poor was substituted for what must be regarded
as the first legislative establishment of the right of helpless
poverty (it had been acknowledged in the reign of Henry
VIII.) to State Aid. At that time the discussion of the Corn
Laws and the question of their abolition had yet to throw
light on the rising growth of the towns and their increasing
population and influence as compared with those of the rural
districts. But here again we come in view of the agencies
that have so entirely changed the conditions of social life
in England within the last sixty years changes, as I have
already said, which have made organized philanthropic effort
on a broad scale comparatively easy, where before it was
very difficult and not so much required. The invention of
steam machinery filled many a little town with factories,
soon making of them crowded cities, and cities where home
life was sacrificed to the factory by the common employment
of husband, wife, and child at the machine, and also by the
multiplication of close and crowded tenements. In like



Preface. xix

manner, small seaports became great commercial cities, while
great commercial cities took in still denser populations. It
is in crowds like these that humanity, sympathy, fellowship,
and that most excellent thing, decent pride, are most likely
to be lost, and that some of the most unhappy weaknesses
of our nature are encouraged to run riot. It is not in my
mind to underrate the enormous blessings of the growth of
trade consequent on the discovery of the uses of steam ;
and how large a share of those blessings fall to the poor is
shown by one fact alone, which is not much considered,
namely, that an immense middle class, vast in number and
extremely well-to-do, has arisen out of the ranks of the
artisan and manufacturing class since Watt's tea-kettle filled
his head with dreams. But if good came in the mass, so did
its attendant evil. There was the overcrowding ; there was
the feverishness of factory work in close rooms ; there was
the temptation to spirit-drinking as a goad to exhausted
energy ; there was the dissociation of labour from nature, and
from common human sympathies except such as could be
found by each in the narrow circle in which he and his fellow-
workers moved ; and, not to speak of other evils that breed
in crowded ports and reeking towns, there was the destruction
of homely life and of the stamina of the race by the absorption
of whole families into the mill men, women, and children,
the "hands" of the factory. Individual influence, working
locally, was quite incompetent to remedy such evils as
these, except as it succeeded in amassing powerful machinery
of its own. It was in this way that Lord Shaftesbury
worked when he brought together such a body of facts, and
enlisted so strong a force of sympathy both in "all the
Churches " and in popular opinion, as not only insured the
passing of the Factory Bill, but awakened a sentiment against
the labour of women and young children in factory employ-
ments that has never flagged since. That, however, is but
one illustration of the growing need for organized philan-
thropic effort. The changed conditions of social life, the
actual creation of new classes some struggling upward,
others plunging down brought out the need in a hundred
shapes ; while the same changed conditions strongly favoured
such organization in many ways. Every form of communi-



xx Preface.

cation was quickened, including the communication of know-
ledge, of discovery, of sympathy ; and the whole result has
been the establishment of countless beneficent associations
of which the following pages speak in general and illustrate
in detail.

These few words of introduction will not be misappre-
hended. Their intention is to remind the reader that there
are links of continuity between past and present here as else-
where. The good work that women now do in association
was done of old from many little trivial centres of family life,
in the quiet, unimposing way which those times permitted,
and which satisfied them. Though rarely exhibited in united
action, piety and charity, now combined in the beautiful word
" Philanthropy," have run through the national life in golden
threads from long-past centuries to our own day ; and women
have always had a full, perhaps an unrecognized, share in
maintaining and continuing works of mercy. To women the
country owes many of its educational foundations. Hospitals
and almshouses have been generously endowed by them. The
records of old doles, orphan charities, and other pious bene-
factions carry their names, connecting the feeling of protection
for the young and comfort for the old which is the spring of
so much benevolent action in our time. Two of the most
beneficent Acts of Parliament are specially associated with
the names of sovereigns who were women Elizabeth's Law
for the Poor, and Queen Anne's Bounty. Both Acts bear
the impress of having received the personal and particular
attention of these queens, and both have exercised a strong
influence on subsequent legislation, and on the mind of the
country.

Any record of the women of the Victorian Era would be
wanting if the name of the Queen were omitted from its
pages. Her Majesty stands foremost in its history as
sovereign, and also as representative philanthropist. During
the long years of her reign every effort for good and Christian
work has obtained the Queen's personal attention and sanc-
tion, and when, on the completion of her Jubilee, the women
of the United Kingdom of every class, from the pauper in
the workhouse to the highest in the land, poured out their
tribute, this event was chronicled and embodied in an



Preface. xxi

enduring material form by the foundation of the Institute
for Nurses which her Majesty organized, and to which she
devoted the thousands which her countrywomen and subjects
had offered.

I venture to hope that, however inadequate to the
importance of the subject these opening remarks may seem
to be, this volume of Papers, together with the concluding
analysis and notes of the original reports on which they are
based, will not be unwelcome in the country for which it is
written. My personal feeling and knowledge have led me
to believe that the past and present work of Englishwomen
would have for the American people an attraction exceeding
any felt by other nations, however interested these may be
in a common charity.

In an unusual degree the blood of many races runs in our
veins ; but we are bound together in the one historic record
of the English-speaking peoples. One language unites us ;
one Bible, one literature. The poetry and prose of past
centuries, and the first achievements of Englishmen in the
dim twilight of scientific discovery, are a common heritage of
both nations. In the past fifty years the genius of both,
sometimes divided, sometimes intermingled, has" kept the
light burning. To the sacred lamp of literature American
authors have added a peculiar radiance of their own, and the
field of discovery and invention has been illuminated by the
splendid achievements of American research. And as in
these two great branches of progress we are at once co-
inheritors and fellow-workers, so the philanthropic work of
Englishwomen, commingled by practice and example with
the work of American women, must, I feel, have an absorbing
interest for those who, like ourselves, have drawn their
national being from the Anglo-Saxon race.

BURDETT-COUTTS.

LONDON, March, 1893.



CONTENTS.



PAGE

LETTER TO H.R.H. PRINCESS CHRISTIAN OF

SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN ... v

PREFACE. By the BARONESS BURDETT-COUTTS ... ... ix

"THE WORK OF WOMAN'S HAND." A Poem. By Mrs.
ALEXANDER ... ... ... ... ... ... i

WOMEN'S WORK FOR CHILDREN. By HESBA STRETTON 4
FOR THE LITTLE ONES "FOOD, FUN, AND FRESH

AIR." By Mrs. MOLESWORTH ... ... 13

WOMEN'S WORK FOR THE WELFARE OF GIRLS.

By Miss E. SELLERS ... ... ... ... ... 35

CLUBS FOR WORKING GIRLS. By Hon. MAUDE STANLEY 49

CLUBS FOR BOYS AND YOUNG MEN. By Miss VIOLET

BROOKE-HUNT... ... ... ... ... ... 56

THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF MOTHERS. By Mrs.

SUMNER ... ... ... ... ... ... 65

WORKING GUILDS AND WORK SOCIETIES. By Mrs.

G. A. SALA ... ... ... ... ... ... 72

WOMAN'S WORK IN THE RAGGED SCHOOLS. By the

COUNTESS COMPTON ... ... ... ... ... 79

EMIGRATION. By Hon. Mrs. STUART WORTLEY ... ... 87

HOW AND WHY THE NAVVY MISSION SOCIETY WAS

FORMED. By Mrs. CHARLES GARNETT ... ... 93

"MY WORK AMONG NAVVIES AT BECKENHAM." By

Miss MARSH ... ... ... ... ... ... 106

WOMEN'S WORK IN CONNECTION WITH THE

CHURCH OF ENGLAND. By Mrs. BOYD CARPENTER ... in

ON THE ASSOCIATED WORK OF WOMEN IN RE.

LIGION AND PHILANTHROPY. By Miss EMILY JANES 131



xxiv Contents.



FACE



RESCUE WORK BY WOMEN AMONG WOMEN. By

Miss MARY H. STEER ... ... ... ... ... 149

WORK AMONG SOLDIERS. By Miss ANNE BEALE ... 160

WORK AMONG SAILORS. By Miss AGNES E. WESTON ... 167

" FRIEDENHEIM "HOME OF PEACE FOR THE DYING.

By the Authoress of " The Schonberg-Cotta Family " ... 178

SICK- NURSING AND HEALTH- NURSING. By Miss

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE ... ... ... ... 184

PHILANTHROPIC ASPECTS OF NURSING. By LADY

VICTORIA LAMBTON and Mrs. MALLESON ... ... 206

ON NURSING. By the HON. Mrs. STUART WORTLEY ... 216

THE ROYAL SCHOOL OF ART NEEDLEWORK. By

H.R.H. PRINCESS CHRISTIAN OF SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN ... 224

ON PHILANTHROPIC WORK OF WOMEN IN IRELAND.

By Mrs. GILBERT (Rosa Mulholland) ... ... ... 228

THE WORK OF WOMEN AS GUARDIANS OF THE

POOR. By Miss E. S. LIDGETT ... ... ... 248

THE HISTORY OF WORKHOUSE REFORM. By Miss
LOUISA TWINING ... ... ... ... ... 265

THE ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN WORKERS. By Miss

HUBBARD ... ... ... ... ... ... 273

WOMAN THE MISSIONARY OF INDUSTRY. By the

BARONESS BURDETT-COUTTS ... ... ... ... 284

SERVING ONE ANOTHER. By Miss PETRIE, B.A. ... 300

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF DOMESTIC

SCIENCE. By Miss FANNY L. CALDER ... ... 317

MISS ORMEROD'S WORK IN AGRICULTURAL ENTO-
MOLOGY. By the BARONESS BURDETT-COUTTS ... 323

WOMAN'S WORK FOR ANIMALS. By the Hon. Mrs. MuiR

MACKENZIE ... ... ... ... ... ... 329

PHILANTHROPIC WORK OF WOMEN IN BRITISH

COLONIES AND THE EAST. By Mrs. CASHEL HOEY 334

STATISTICS OF WOMEN'S WORK. By Miss LOUISA M.

HUBBARD ... ... ... ... ... ... 361

COPY OF CIRCULAR LETTER 367

APPENDIX ... ... ... ... ... - 6g

INDEX 463



WOMAN'S MISSION

"THE WORK OF WOMAN'S HAND."
BY MRS. ALEXANDER.

As waves that smile at morn are weak
To show wild ocean tempest stirred,

So, feebly does expression speak,

So far the theme transcends the word.

For words from depths of fancy brought
Faint echoes are, though sweet or strong,

And he who singeth all his thought
Will never rouse the world with song.

Theme beyond thought ! in mystery steeped,
The living Love that walked of yore,

Where Hermon stood, and Jordan leaped
Against his vine-empurpled shore ;

That thrilled a slumbering world, and broke
The chain that fettered woman's life,

And to a nobler purpose woke

Her, toy of ease, or cause of strife.

The beauty and the strength He gave,
The love refined that shed the nard,

The courage that could watch His grave
Regardless of the Roman guard.



Woman's Mission.



And still she holds her precious gifts,
Hath smiles to cheer, and charm to win,

The heart that feels, the hand that lifts,
The foot that seeks the haunts of sin.

Not alms profuse at random thrown,

Not class 'gainst class her lip would teach

But brave self-help, sweet mercy shown,
And free dependence each on each ;

And honest toil that need supplies,

God's first best gift to man's right hand,

When forfeit of his Paradise

He wandered forth to till the land.

Now to that World's Show o'er the sea
She saith, " O man, I send my share

The needle's delicate tracery,
The fresh design, the fabric fair.

" I bring my best of hand, and loom,
From teeming cities thronged of men,

From Highland hills enwrapt in gloom,
From English glade and Irish glen."

Load the good ship, and speed her well,
Beyond old England's furthest rock,

And those grey cliffs that sentinel
lerne 'gainst the billow's shock !

Across the wide uncultured plain,
The brown Atlantic lone, and vast,

That swells, and sinks, and swells again
And whitens as she hurries past.

Our sisters hear, and answering pour
Their part ; from spice-embalmed isle,

Canadian coast, and Indian shore,
And where Australian pastures smile.



The Work of Woman s Hand."



So bring them forth, and proudly lay
In that fair place, a whole world's mart,

Where flow'rs shall bloom, and waters play,
And powers inventive blend with art.

Till our great kindred race abroad

And wandering men from many a land

Shall see them lie 'mid gem and gaud,
And praise the work of woman's hand.

THE PALACE, LONDONDERRY, 1893.



Woman 's Mission.



WOMEN'S WORK FOR CHILDREN.
BY Miss HESBA STRETTON.

" Flowers of Thy Heart, O God, are they."

THAT women should work for children is as natural as that
the sun should shine or the rain fall. The human race, in
its teeming millions, falls generally into two divisions : men
on the one hand, women and children on the other. Where
women have their rights, childhood is happy. In every
clime, from the ice-bound shores of the Arctic Ocean to the
parched deserts of the Equator, the child is seen beside the
woman, clinging to her as his natural guardian. She is at
once his protector and nurse, and his willing slave. Even
when the burden becomes a heavy one, the child is borne in
the arms and cherished in the bosom of the woman. He
withdraws himself from her only when he enters the incipient
stages of manhood ; and the heart of the woman aches as the
child is lost to her.

In all religions which have attained any wide sphere of
influence, the idea of the Mother and Child has been presented
as a divine one. This idea almost dominates the Christian
religion. In many lands the symbol of the Mother and
Child is the most common of all sacred symbols. The
memory of the infant Christ has sanctified childhood for
ever. Henceforth, in all Christian countries, no child can
be born without a share in the inheritance of the common
childhood of our Lord.

Therefore, that women should work for children is as
natural as that the sun should shine on the evil and on the
good. But for the last half-century there have been more



Women s Work for Children.



combined and systematic efforts to promote the welfare of
the children of the poor than were ever made before. In the
early part of the nineteenth century many of these little ones
were subjected to untold misery and degradation. They
were set to work in mines, on pit-banks, in factories, in fields ;
through snow and frost and scorching noontide heat ; in foul
atmosphere, in darkness ; under the rule of brutal task-
masters. They had long days of labour and short nights of
rest ; they were always hungry and thirsty, and all but
naked ; they lived in terror and ignorance, and were set to
revolting and dangerous tasks. Their childhood was made
a hell to them, from which they could only escape if they
were strong enough to grow up to manhood. I can remember,
when a young child, seeing a boy as small as myself descend
from our kitchen chimney, covered with soot, and with his
elbows and knees bleeding a terrific sight which I never
forgot. A friend of mine, whose memory goes still further
back, tells me he recollects the time when the children of
farm labourers in the West of England were taken from
their mother by the parish authorities at the age of eight
years, and put up to a kind of auction, where the bidder
who would take them with the lowest gratuity could have
them bound to him as apprentices for a certain number of
years. The suspense of the mothers until they knew into
whose hands their little child would fall, and their anguish if
he fell into bad ones, were indescribable.

It is not my purpose to name all the women who have
distinguished themselves by their care of children. That
would be impossible. But we cannot pass over the work of
Hannah More and her sisters. At the beginning of this
century these unmarried women, five in number, had nearly
one thousand children in their schools in the scattered
Mendip villages. This gave an impetus to the education of
the poor, the force of which has never been lost. We must
also remember Elizabeth Barrett Browning's " Cry of the
Children," which rang throughout England and found an
echo in every true woman's heart, strengthening mightily the
hands of those who were seeking to do away with child-
labour in our factories. The consciences of many women
were then awakened and have never slumbered again. Day



Woman s Mission.



by day their eyes are growing keener to discern any evil
threatening childhood, and their ears are more open to the
least sob coming through childish lips.

The actual work done by English women for the children
of the poor is extremely varied, and is often so unobtrusively
carried on that it cannot be tabulated. We can speak only
of the larger institutions, which send out annual reports ; but
for every one of these there are a number of small and
private charities, with similar objects in view, which are
known only to the few friends and subscribers who contribute
to their support. Homes containing ten or twelve little ones
only, are scattered throughout the land, maintained and
superintended by ladies, who devote a large portion of their
leisure to them. Here and there a school of wealthy girls
supports such a home out of their pocket-money, and they
are entrusted with some part of the education of their young
charges. Small hospitals and convalescent homes are
carried on in the same way. Ladies receive sick children
into their own homes, or place them in some cottage near at
hand where they are under their special personal supervision.
These small unambitious places are often the most useful, as
they create a close and intimate knowledge of each other
between the giver and the recipient of the charity, which
large institutions cannot give. Reports of some of these
small homes may be found amongst the papers forwarded
to Chicago, which can be read by those interested in this
subject.

The absolute helplessness of a baby makes, perhaps, the
most touching appeal that reaches a woman's heart. We
look at it, " an infant, with no language but a cry," so utterly
cast upon another's care ; and a tenderness, with " thoughts
too deep for tears," springs up in the innermost recesses of the
spirit. Most of us see in that frail form the shrine of an
immortal soul which our Lord has ransomed. All of us see
the germ of a life which may prove a great blessing or an
equal curse to the human race. Woman's work begins with
the child in its cradle. The creche, so called to remind us
of the manger in which lay the Babe of Bethlehem, is open
to meet the needs of the babies of poverty-stricken women
who are the bread-winners of their families. How long these



Women s Work for Children.



creches have been established in Paris and Brussels, under
the care of Roman Catholic sisterhoods, I cannot tell. But
in the summer of 1870, Mrs. Hilton, a member of the Society
of Friends, visited a creche in Brussels. She had been
working in the East End of London for some years, and the
sad condition of little children had become an almost
insupportable burden to her. In 1871 she opened the first
creche established in England, in the very depths of the
submerged population of the East End, where the babies
were cradled in filth and fed on food which was poison to
them. They had idle mothers, drunken mothers, widowed
mothers who were compelled to lock them up all day,
without food or fire, whilst they were earning their bread and
a roof to shelter them. To rescue even a few of these little
ones was doing what Christ would have His followers do.
Mrs. Hilton's Creche has now been at work for twenty-two
years, saving unnumbered little lives ; and every large town
has followed her example, and started day-nurseries and
public cradles of its own. Mrs. Hilton's interesting report
contains many valuable hints as to the management of
these institutions.

The upper story of Mrs. Hilton's Creche forms a little
hospital, where sick or dying children, whose mothers still
wish to nurse them by night, are taken care of by day.

The subject of Hospitals will be more fully dealt with
in another Section ; but when writing on Woman's Work for
Children it is impossible to pass on without some slight
mention of the numerous Hospitals for Children which have
been founded during the last fifty years. No form of charity
is more popular in England. There are twenty public
Hospitals for Children in London ; and unnumbered private
ones there, and in the country, where a few sick children are
admitted, who can be attended to by one trained nurse,
helped by the women of the household.

The Homes for Orphans and Fatherless Children are
exceedingly numerous. We do not speak of such gigantic
institutions as Dr. Barnardo's and Dr. Stephenson's, which
were not founded by women, but which are, of course,
largely dependent upon women for their successful manage-
ment. In the List of London Charities there are no fewer



8 Woman's Mission.

than 124 Training Homes and Orphanages; and these do
not include private ones supported at the cost of charitable
persons, who do not ask for help from the public. Of these
homes we can mention only two or three.

The Home of Industry was founded by Miss Macpherson,
in the East End of London, about twenty-two years ago.
A large warehouse in Commercial Street, which had been
used as a cholera hospital, was taken and fitted up as a very
plain and homely shelter for utterly destitute or orphan
children. Other children were admitted during the day, and
employed in matchbox making ; an industry which is now
discontinued. The difficulty of finding suitable employment,
especially for the boys, led Miss Macpherson to begin her
plan of emigration. She has now two homes in England
and two in Canada ; and the number of children she has
transplanted from evil and wretched surroundings in London
to the more promising and healthy life in the Dominion of
Canada, amounts to 5730.

Another interesting work is that of the Brixton Orphan-
age for Fatherless Girls. It was founded in 1876 by Mrs.
Annie Montague, who, with a small fund of ;ioo, took
a house and admitted into it four orphans. By prudent, yet
speedy, degrees the scheme prospered, until in 1886, ten years
after its commencement, three hundred fatherless girls were
being fed, clothed, and taught without payment of any kind.
The control and management of all the internal arrangements
are in the hands of Mrs. Montague alone. The whole of the
Orphanage property is vested in trustees.

Crippled children have evoked great sympathy. The
Cripples Nursery for Boys and Girls was opened about thirty
years ago by Lady Caroline Turner ; a Home for Crippled
and Afflicted Orphan Children was founded in 1877 by Mrs.
Ginever. At the seaside, in almost every favourite health-
resort, crooked and deformed little ones, and children limping
about on crutches, are to be met with, drinking in such health
as their poor little frames can receive from the sea-breezes.
In these homes are to be found all the alleviations and
appliances which ingenious loving-kindness and practical
surgical science can devise.

There are also Homes and Schools for Blind Children ;



Women's Work for Children.



Online LibraryAngela Georgina Burdett-CouttsWoman's mission; a series of congress papers on the philanthropic work of women, by eminent writers → online text (page 2 of 49)