Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts.

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president. Sewing meetings are held weekly both in London and in the
provinces. Mr. Henry Irving is a patron of, and a liberal subscriber to,
the Guild, which now numbers over three hundred members. One of the
best needlewomen in the Guild is Mrs. Brough, who has attained the
great age of ninety.


BLIND WOMEN AND GIRLS. By Mrs. Perry. The acute distress which
prevailed about twenty-four years ago among blind women in the neigh-

426 Appendix.

bourhood induced a number of Bristol ladies to open a training-school
and factory, where both women and girls are taught to sew, knit, make
baskets, and dress dolls. In due time they are employed by the Associa-
tion, which provides them with work and pays them wages. Not content
with this, it takes a friendly interest in their welfare, seeks to brighten
their lives in many ways, and gives them the chance of cultivating any
special talent they may possess. Last year nearly 600 worth of goods
were sold, and it is hoped that the Institution may become self-supporting.
Three teachers are employed to visit the blind in their own homes and
teach them to read and write. Those employed at the factory, says the
report, " all derive intense pleasure from their work, and are very proud
of earning their own livelihood. Leading, as they do, active, useful lives,
they have no time for those fits of depression which so often render the
fate of the blind who have no occupation so terribly pathetic."

INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY, Cheltenham. The Home was established in 1858.
It teaches the blind to read, and gives religious instruction and training
in remunerative trades. Instruction in knitting, sewing, etc., is given to
women in their own homes by voluntary lady-teachers. The women earn
from gd. to 4*. a week. The Society offers also the great advantages of a
loan library.

* HOME FOR BLIND CHILDREN, Kilbum. By Miss E. F. Newbery.
This Home was founded in 1869, though not in its present location, by
Miss E. P. Breay, and was the first to admit very young children, who are
thus saved from bad influences and receive an early training. Most of the
pupils are passed on to larger institutions, and many are now earning an
honest livelihood for themselves. Occasionally, a child is incapable of
learning much, but even such a one benefits by the training of the Home.

The object of this Society is to improve the condition of the blind, by
providing for them Scripture-readers, guides to take them to places of
worship, instruction in various branches of education, and occasionally
temporal relief. The attendance at the educational classes is very large,
especially in the poorer districts of London. Much good is also done by
the Society's visitors. It is said that, owing to the influence and opera-
tions of the Society, begging by the blind has become very uncommon in
the East End. Mrs. T. R. Armitage employs about seventy blind women
connected with the Society in knitting, netting, crochet, and other work.
"Massage "has also become an occupation for the blind. About nine
hundred persons are regularly visited, and nearly ,4000 was given in
relief last year. A Samaritan Fund helps blind workers over temporary

bury. By Mrs. Pearman. This Society was formed by the late Miss
Johanna Chandler, who had a short time previously (about 1860) founded
the hospital. It supplies relief to patients in the form of food, clothing,

Appendix. 427

and money ; it helps the families when the breadwinner is in the hospital,
and also gives assistance towards the purchase of surgical instruments.
Railway fares are sometimes paid, and employment provided. Generally
speaking, an effort is made to ascertain the needs of the inmates of the
hospital, and to endeavour to meet them. The committee has in con-
templation the establishment of an Industrial Home for Epileptics. The
first aim of Miss Chandler, the foundress, was to establish a Hospital for
the Paralyzed and Epileptic, and to provide the required treatment
ordered by the physician. Then, like a true Samaritan, she picked up the
poor traveller, and helped him to an inn to support his wants. No
Society was better named " the Samaritan," and its special devotion to the
needs of a most helpless, if not hopeless, class must render this report one
of peculiar interest, especially, perhaps, to the medical philanthropist.

Gilbert was the blind daughter of the late Bishop of Chichester, and
devoted her life to the task of raising her fellow-sufferers from a condition
of idleness and despondency. This was the first effort of the kind. In
May, 1854, she rented a cellar in New Turnstile, Holborn, and there
provided employment for some blind workers who already knew a
trade, to whom she supplied the necessary material at wholesale price.
After a few months the number of workers was doubled, and pupils
received. " Brush-drawing " proved a very successful occupation. The
work was for some years conducted, with the assistance of a skilful
manager and a foreman, both blind, by Miss Gilbert herself. But, with
the increasing importance of the work, Miss Gilbert thought it necessary
to form a committee and appeal to the public for support. As "the
Association for Promoting the General Welfare of the Blind," the work
underwent larger and wider developments of course, requiring larger
and better premises than the poor little cellar in which it originated.
Miss Gilbert then found herself referred to as an authority by all
desirous of benefiting the same class. Soon after this, alas ! the spinal
complaint, from which she also suffered, rendered her unable to continue
to take such an active share in the work ; yet, though forced to lie
helplessly by, her voice, on behalf of her blind friends, rose like a
fountain night and day. She died on the 7th February, 1885. The
work has so prospered that to-day over sixty blind men and women
are employed in the workshops of the Association, others working in
their own homes, receiving annually nearly ^1800 in wages. A sum of
about ^400 is also paid every year in gifts and pensions.

Hill, Ealing. By Mrs. Kinsey. By the pure oral method of teaching
the deaf known as the German system a child that has never heard
a sound may be taught to see sounds, and to speak intelligibly. In
brief, this system, instead of compelling the majority who can hear to
learn the language of the minority who cannot, teaches the minority to
communicate with the majority in their way, thus practically doing away
with the terms "mutism" and "deaf-dumbness." In the College at
Ealing, hearing people are prepared as teachers of the pure oral method.

428 Appendix.

Sixty-five teachers have been certified in fourteen years and a half. They
are employed in families, schools, and public institutions. A sound
thorough English education is all that is exacted from students who
wish to enter the College. When trained teachers have imparted a
sufficient amount of language (spoken and written) to the child, its
education can be carried on in any branch by teachers who have no
technical knowledge whatever. Mrs. Kinsey enthusiastically describes
" the all-absorbing interest of watching a little child whose wistful eyes
and speechless' tongue, pathetically appealing to our tenderest sympathy
and compassion, so sadly suggest the blighting of what, perhaps, promised
to be a brilliant and successful life ; of watching the fettered little tongue
acquiring, day by day with greater ease, the power of human speech,
the wistful eyes gradually changing into bright, eager windows, reflecting
the awakening intelligence of the hitherto slumbering brain. . . . We feel,
indeed," she adds, " that our work is not in vain, when the little child
can tell us, in spoken words, its thoughts and impressions of events that
happened in its life when it was ' not dead, but living voiceless.' "


Mrs. Stuart Wortley. In this paper Mrs. Stuart Wortley traces the
early efforts in this direction, leading up to the establishment, in 1868,
by the Duke of Westminster, of the Metropolitan and National Associa-
tion, with an admirable organization for the training of nurses, as welt
as the actual work of nursing. That Association employs only educated
ladies ; but other bodies, including the East London Society, adhered to
the plan which had already been found successful, and retained well-
trained women of the ordinary nursing class. But Mrs. Stuart Wortley
rightly remarks that "neither class nor training can impart the special
gift of insight which is the crowning perfection of a fine nurse. . . .
Wherever this exists, it will always supersede all other advantages."
At my request, Mrs. Stuart Wortley refers specially in this paper to
other societies whose records are given, such as the Girls' Friendly,
the Young Women's Help Societies, the Young Women's Christian
Association, and the Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young
Servants. Her testimony to their value is inestimable ; for she was
known as a worker before these societies were founded, and has lived
to see the dawn of better things, the results of her own work. She had
ever beside her one who shared her feelings and sympathized with her
aims, and whose high position in the City of London, of which he was
Recorder, holding besides other offices of State, gave him special oppor-
tunities of becoming acquainted with all the great movements of the
day, and of fostering, with many others who have gone to rest from their
labours, those works of Christian philanthropy which distinguish the
Victorian era, not merely in feeling for the poor, suffering, and helpless,
as in determination to fight the evil which existed, and to bring light and
hope into the dark places.

Appendix. 429

Stanmore, Middlesex. By Miss Mary Wardell. The Home is specially
intended for a class of convalescents who are inevitably excluded from
all existing institutions of the kind. It was established in 1879, with
the active support of Sir Risdon Bennett, President of the College of
Physicians, and Dr. A. P. Stewart. Mrs. Wardell was urged by these
gentlemen not to restrict the advantages of the Home to the working
classes only, but to extend them to all ranks, by providing a means for
any patient to obtain change of air, and removal from the confinement
of the sick-room at an earlier stage of recovery than is generally possible.
The suggestion was adopted. Upwards of thirteen hundred patients were
admitted during the past six years, the age of the sufferers ranging
upwards from three weeks. The Home, among its many other great
benefits, has afforded an invaluable security against the spread of
infectious disease.

Mrs. Selfe Leonard. These nurses work in conjunction with the Bible-
women, and form the largest body of nurses in the metropolis. Although
each nurse resides in her own district, her work is directed from the
central offices, where one room is set apart for the reception of stores
of medical comforts, clothing, et cetera. All services are rendered
gratuitously, and only to the poor ; the nurse never being allowed to
receive any remuneration in money or kind from her patients. The cost
of maintaining a nurse is ^60 a year. This includes salary, uniform,
and medical comforts for her patients. One special feature distinguishes
the work of the Mission some of its nurses are told off to nurse only the
maternity patients, who are attended by the students of large hospitals.
All the worst cases of the external departments of St. Bartholomew's
and of St. Thomas's Hospitals are thus cared for.

NURSES' HOME at Fakenham, Norfolk. By Miss S. Hamond.
This Home, originated in 1873, is a ver y humble scheme. At first there
was only one nurse ; there are now fifty-six. Its chief work is the home-
nursing of the sick poor. Nurses attend the very poorest gratuitously.
Women, too, are attended in their confinements, the nurses filling the
place of the " house-mother " in her time of weakness by attending to
every matter of housework in addition to the task of nursing. The
staff includes certificated monthly, surgical, mental, fever, and general
trained nurses. Besides these there are probationers who are trained,
and, when competent, enrolled in the staff of nurses. It is a condition
in this Home that every nurse shall be a total abstainer. The super-
intendent is Miss S. Hamond, Fakenham, Norfolk.

RICHMOND HOME, Worthing. By Mrs. St. A.Horton, Hon. Matron.
This is a convalescent Home, offering medical treatment, and was opened
in May, 1891, for patients able to afford a small weekly payment. It is
carried on entirely by voluntary workers ; and one of its objects is to
give to the lonely, the sad, and the suffering that personal interest and
watchful sympathy which so frequently prove the best of medicines. A
certain number of free patients are received.

43 Appendix.

INSTITUTE FOR NURSES. By Mrs. Malleson.Tzn. years ago Mrs.
Malleson had her attention drawn to the subject of scientific nursing and
midwifery in country districts, and in 1889-90 the Rural Nursing Associ-
ation was formed. The Association at once aroused an interest in its
objects, and sent trained nurses to work. It now has seventy-five
districts, and trains from twelve to twenty nurses annually ; and it has
received the recognition and generous support of Queen Victoria's
Jubilee Institute. This training is considered the most important part
of the duty of the Association, as the country nurse has so often to act
in emergencies upon her own judgment, and often with very little super-
vision. The preparation consists of one year in a general hospital, three
to six months in midwifery training, and a certain amount of special
training. This takes from eighteen to twenty-one months, and costs
from ^50 to ;6o each nurse. The nurses are periodically inspected by
the lady-inspector of the Jubilee Institute ; and, when the work of one
is found to be up to the necessary standard, her name is submitted to the
Queen for approval, and the nurse is enrolled as a "Queen's Nurse,"
wearing a distinctive badge. The total expense to a district of a trained
nurse is about ,60 to 80 a year, part of which can be met by small fees
and thank-offerings. Her helpfulness is greatly extended if a little
donkey-trap is provided for her.


White. This Society was founded, in 1863, by the late Miss Daniell, in
connection with the Mission Hall and Soldiers' Home at Aldershot. It
gives employment to soldiers' wives off the strength of their husbands'

Daniell. This work was started by Mrs. Daniell, in 1862, at Aldershot ;
and since her death, in 1871, it has been carried on by her daughter.
The conditions of life in' the British Army of to-day differ widely from
those existing thirty years ago. In those days the soldier had but a
limited choice of occupations ; he could sit in the canteen and drink, or
go outside the barracks and find himself surrounded by powerful temp-
tations. Public-houses, low music-halls, cheap theatres, etc., were the
only resorts open to him. Philanthropy had done nothing for him.
Now there is scarcely a garrison town in Britain where some provision
is not made for his rational recreation, and mental, moral, and religious
advancement, by benevolent persons. Although there still lingers in
some quarters a belief in the peculiar wickedness of all who wear the red
coat, yet the prejudice against the army, on account of its low state of
morals, may be said to have almost died out. In 1862 public attention
was drawn to the shocking moral condition of the camp at Aldershot
and its surroundings ; and it was here that Miss Daniell ventured to
begin her great work. Mission premises were opened in 1863, com-
prising several capacious rooms, in which the soldiers meet for recreation,

Appendix. 431

amusement, intellectual improvement, and religious services. In the
course of the following years, : Homes were opened at Chatham, Col-
chester, Manchester, London, Plymouth, and Windsor. The money for
their maintenance has all been collected by Miss Daniell and her
helpers. The buildings are vested in the hands of trustees, and the
entire work, in its religious aspects, is thoroughly undenominational.
There are two or more ladies resident in each Home ; and many other
ladies assist in various ways. The wives and children of soldiers are also
cared for, and much misery and evil thereby prevented.

SOLDIERS' INSTITUTE. By Mrs. Holmes White. In 1876 Miss
Robinson, the foundress of this Institute, began a special work, in which
not only soldiers and sailors, but also their wives and families, were
included. She writes that "this year is chiefly memorable as being
the commencement of a new branch of troopship work." She may
well say it was " memorable." Greater suffering can scarcely be imagined
than that encountered by soldiers and their wives, who, on landing at
Portsmouth, often had to wait without food or shelter for many hours.
Women might be seen sitting on cold stones in the dockyard, with
babies, bundles, and bird-cages, waiting orders to move on. One little
child is reported to have died ; but the wonder is there were not more.
Leave was obtained, through Miss Robinson's exertions, for coffee to
be supplied from the Institute, and, however early the troops might be
disembarked, a cart was sent down with a large supply of hot coffee,
buns, and biscuits, which were appreciated by the officers no less than
by the men. A coffee-shed was put up in 1877, and soon proved a great
comfort to thousands. Waiting-rooms were afterwards provided by the

To poor women, often with young families, any assistance by which
they are enabled to earn an honest penny is a great boon, and this has
been secured for them by Miss Robinson. She began in 1878 providing
them, through the Institute, with needlework, which, while good wages were
paid to the women, was sold at moderate prices to ladies. To women
married without leave, and not on the books, this employment and a little
other aid is frequently all that stands between them and starvation. At
least it enables women, often returning from the tropics, to provide them-
selves with clothing suited to the damp climate of England ; and it must
be a comfort to the men, on leaving their country, to reflect that, in case of
mischance to themselves, their wives and families, on landing again at
Portsmouth, will find shelter and kindly help from the ladies who are
conducting this excellent and national work. Orphans are maintained
in Homes, girls fitted out for service, the sick relieved, and other work
carried on, besides that with which the Association is mainly concerned.

SOLDIERS' HOMES IN IRELAND. Not only in Cork, but also in
Queenstown, Ballincollig, Dublin, Dundalk, and Belfast, are there Homes
for soldiers ; but the Cork Institution is the parent Home. It has been
at work for about fifteen years, and offers opportunities for social inter-
course and self-improvement amongst the soldiers, as well as keeping

43 2 Appendix.

them from the public-house. Miss Sandes has devoted herself to the
work with great earnestness. As a rule, four ladies reside in the Cork,
Dublin, and Belfast Homes, and two ladies in each of the smaller ones.
They visit the barracks and hospitals, invite the men to the Homes,
and hold nightly meetings. Some of the Homes extend their privileges
to sailors and policemen.


WORK IN THE ROYAL NAVY. By Miss Agnes E. Weston. This is
a comprehensive and interesting account of the work carried on by the
above lady in connection with the Royal Navy, from 1873 to 1893, with
brief appended notes on the working of the Sailors' Homes, etc., in various
parts of the world. Like many other valuable philanthropic agencies,
this great and good work arose out of what, at first sight, may appear to
be a very trifling incident. It is told by the writer of the paper Miss
Weston herself in the following words : " About twenty-five years ago
a Christian soldier asked me to write to a seaman, a godly man, then
serving as sick-berth steward on board H.M.S. Crocodile. ' He would like
a letter from a Christian lady,' wrote the soldier, ' because he misses his
mother's letters so much. She used to write to him, but she is dead and
gone.' To replace that mother was no easy task, and yet it was a plain
duty to write to the man." This is the key-note to the whole of Miss
Weston's work personal interest and friendship for the brave men of the
sea. Since that time letter- writing has so increased, that in 1892, ten
thousand letters, purely personal, were written in reply to ten thousand
written by officers and men of the fleet all over the world. Supplementary
to these, two monthly letters are issued one to the men, and the other to
the boys of the service. 529,682 were circulated in 1892, with a special
edition for American seamen. The Royal Naval Temperance Society is
working now in connection with every ship of our national service, and
Miss Weston fully acknowledges the valuable help rendered by the
splendid committees on board ship. " We calculate roughly," says Miss
Weston, " taking our Navy, coast-guard service, and boys' training-
ships together, that about one in every six is a total abstainer." A great
help in this temperance work is a monthly illustrated paper, Ashore and
Afloat, 380,670 copies of which were sent to seafaring men in 1892. The
other branches of the work include a Sailors' Rest at Plymouth, started
in 1886; the number accommodated for sleeping purposes in 1892 was
72,882. There is also, at Portsmouth, a Sailors' Rest, where 42,875 received
night- shelter in 1892. These Rests are self-supporting, and have had a
severe effect upon public-houses in their proximity, many of which have
been closed. The Sailors' Homes are founded on broad and unde-
nominational lines. The Missions to Seamen Society has thirty-five
Seamen's Institutes in thirty-one, seaports, sixteen missions in fifteen
seaports, and fourteen churches in fourteen seaports. The British and
Foreign Seamen's Society has agencies all over the world. At home
they include the five buildings erected by the munificence of Louisa, Lady
Ashburton. The Society's flag is carried by 249 shipmasters, and the
Society has active relations with eighty-three ports. Other Rests exist

Appendix. 433

in other parts of the world. Miss Weston has written a most interesting
and valuable Congress paper for this volume.


about 1873, f r tne consolidation of two or three branches of educational
work, which had been managed for some time by a large committee of
ladies, its general object is to assist any work especially intended to
benefit women and girls. It has the management of the Cambridge
Higher Local Examinations for Women, and the Cambridge and
Oxford Local Examinations for Girls, and organizes lectures to working
women on all subjects connected with sanitary matters. There is a
recreation-room on the premises of the Association for shop-girls who
do not live in the houses where they are employed. There is also a
country holiday department, for sending children into the country.
With the exception of a paid secretary, the work is done by voluntary

BRASS- WORK CLASS, Bournemouth. By Miss WingfiddDigby. This
Class is attended chiefly by artisans and labouring men. During the
winter of 1890-91 and the spring of 1892 some of the members devoted
as many as eight or ten hours a week to the work, and by selling it
helped to redeem, through the C.M.S. School at Hong-Kong, a little
Chinese child who had been sold by her mother to pay the debts con-
tracted during her husband's last illness.

Online LibraryAngela Georgina Burdett-CouttsWoman's mission; a series of congress papers on the philanthropic work of women, by eminent writers → online text (page 42 of 49)