Hampshire Female Orphan Asylum, Southampton, Hampshire
The Hampshire Female Orphan Asylum was founded in 1837 and in 1852 opened in premises at 1-3 Park (later King's Park) Road, Southampton. It provided a home for girls, born Hampshire, with one or both of their parents deceased. Admission was by an election of the charity's subscribers in May and November every year. A payment was required for each girl of £2 on entrance, and £5 a year thereafter. Certificates were required of the birth and baptism of the candidate, the marriage of her parents, and the death of one or both of them, and a medical certificate of the girl's good health. Girls had to be aged between 7 and 12 on the day of their nomination, and stayed in the Asylum until about the age of 16, when situations as domestic servants were obtained for them. The Asylum could originally house 50 girls but this increased to 100 after the building was enlarged in 1887
The location of the home is shown on the 1899 map below.
During the Second World War, the home — by then known as the Hampshire Girls' Orphanage — was evacuated to a house called 'Marden' on Rhinefield Road, Brockenhurst. It appears that the home never returned to Southampton and the King's Park Road premises were taken over as a health centre, now demolished to create a car park.
The home subsequently moved to a property known as Hawk's Lease at Lyndhurst in the New Forest. In 1958, it started to admit boys and changed its name to the Hampshire Girls and Boys' Home. In 1961, the home was taken over by the Waifs and Strays Society and became their Hawk's Lease Home.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- The Children's Society Records and Archives Centre is at Edward Rudolf House, Margery Street, London, WC1X 0JL (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood.
The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
- Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
- Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
- Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
- Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
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