Ancestry UK

Yorkshire Institution for Deaf and Dumb Children, Doncaster — Leaver Reports 1829-55

Below are answers to enquiries made by the Yorkshire Institution for Deaf and Dumb Children, Doncaster, as to the subsequent progress, employment etc. of each of its former pupils.

  1. In what occupation has A. B. been engaged since he left school?
  2. Is it found that he has acquired that business with the same facility, or nearly so, as those who hear and speak?
  3. Has his conduct been generally approved of?
  4. Note any particulars respecting A. B. which are likely to be interesting to the Committee.

An index to all the names is available on a separate page.

JOHN HARRISON, Worsborough Dale, Barnsley.

"I am sorry that I did not sooner answer your letter on the subject of the conduct of Harrison since he left the Deaf and Dumb Institution. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker and served his time to the satisfaction of his master. He has subsequently worked as a journeyman for several employers, and I have heard no complaints of his conduct. He now lives with his parents working on his own account, when he can obtain employment, and occasionally going to assist others. I see him frequently, and he always appears orderly, and well behaved, and I do not know that he is addicted to any vice. I frequently see him at church, and he appears as if he perfectly understood the service. Upon the whole I can report only favourably of him, and of the great advantage he has derived from your excellent Institution."


GEORGE HIRST, Brantingham.

  1. In agricultural labour while living, but he has been dead upwards of a year.
  2. Acquired his business nearly as well as others.
  3. His conduct good.
  4. I think his habits and conduct were greatly improved by the education he received during the time he was in your excellent Institution.

JOSEPH BEAUMONT, Brantingham Grange.

JAMES CHILD, Sandall, near Doncaster.

  1. Employed as a brickmaker.
  2. Acquired it equally as well as others.
  3. His conduct approved of.
  4. He with his father, only remained with me two years.

THOS. R. MANDALL, Doncaster.

HENRY ENGLISH, Guisborough.

"Henry English has been dead some years, you may yourself recollect his being placed in the office of Mr. Tomlinson, Solicitor, Richmond, at your recommendation, on his leaving school. After remaining some time there it did not appear that he improved satisfactorily, and his father brought him home. For perhaps a year he worked industriously as a farmer's servant, and was well conducted and highly respected, when without any apparent cause he seemed to droop, and soon died of consumption."



  1. As under-gardener at Wighill Park.
  2. He has acquired his business with nearly as much facility as if he could hear and speak.
  3. His conduct quite approved of.
  4. I consider him to be a most respectable servant, and his conduct has been most orderly and good, and he has lived with me ever since he left Doncaster.

From EDWARD YORK, Esq., Wighill Park, April 4, 1854.

"I am happy to be able to state that during the time Joseph Calvert was in my service as gardener , he conducted himself quite to my satisfaction, being quite competent to undertake plain garden work; and his moral conduct was good as well as his religious character. He left my service some years ago, he and his father have taken a small farm close."

Joseph Calvert now lives at Walton, near Wetherby, he manages the farm and occasionally goes out as a gardener, and does much towards the support of his parents.


  1. In agriculture. He was hired out to an industrious tenant farmer on his leaving school until he was the age of twenty-one years, and with a slight interval he has continued in the same service.
  2. Had he possessed the faculties both of hearing and speech he would have been a dull boy, at the same time his master informs me that in some departments of his work he can do very well.
  3. With the exception of his obstinacy, when not under subjection to his superiors, I think that his conduct is such as we might either expect or hope to meet with.
  4. He retains what he obtained at school, and by reading and writing cultivates his acquirements, so that when I as the overseer, have had anything to do with him I find him conversable and communicative. We had occasion to punish him when he attained his majority,—he wished to leave his place, I found him unyielding and obstinate, his master was willing to keep him, but Bew was unwilling, he went to the workhouse for a short time; finding he had made a poor exchange he was very glad to come out and return to his master, and there has been no complaint since. I have often communicated with his master, I have known the boy from a little child, and have watched his progress to this day.

THOMAS SKILBECK, Jun., Overseer.

THOMAS COOK, Ganstead, Hull.

  1. He has been occupied as a compositor in the Doncaster Gazette office.
  2. He acquired his business with nearly the same facility as others.
  3. His conduct has been decidedly good.
  4. His attendance at the office has been marked by regularity. With the fuller development of his capabilities, he promises fair to become a steady journeyman and a useful member of society.

JAMES WHITE, Editor of the Doncaster Gazette.

From the late Mr. W. Todd, Turmer Hall, near Hull.

"I have known Thomas Cook, from infancy, and was always satisfied that he had good abilities if they could be brought out, and I was very desirous to fix him in an Institution similar to yours. I feel gratified that he was sent to you, his attainments have far surpassed my most sanguine expectations, both in knowledge and in gratitude to all his benefactors. He manifests the kindest feelings towards his widowed parent, by sending her presents from his earnings; this would never have been the case had he not been trained in such feelings and principles."

Thomas Cook is now journeyman in the Doncaster Gazetteoffice.

JOHN WALKER, Atwick, near Hull.

  1. He was bound apprentice to a shoemaker, served his time out, and is now working as a journeyman in this village.
  2. He acquired his business with the same facility as others.
  3. His conduct has been generally approved of.

(Return made by the overseers of Atwick.)

JAMES BEEVORS, Ardsley, near Barnsley.

  1. As moulder in an iron foundry,
  2. Acquired his business rather more quickly than others.
  3. His conduct very good.
  4. He has been out of employment for some time in consequence of the death of his uncle with whom he learnt his trade, and is now working at labouring work.

ABRAM RAYLEY, Sproatley, Hull.

No inquiry has been made. He was very promising, and made the average improvement while in the Institution. He was accidently drowned at Hull a short time after he had left school.

JAMES TAYLOR, Scriven, near Knaresborough.

This boy was in the Institution little more than a year, it was stated to the Committee, that the parish officers declined to furnish the small sum required by the rules of the Institution towards his board. No return has been received; it is however understood that he acquired some bad habits while working in a stone quarry, which he still retains.


  1. Occupation, a shoemaker, he is now in business for himself, lives with his mother, and finds her clothes and board.
  2. I had difficulty in making him understand me at first, but as soon as he got to know what I meant, and I also to understand him, I found him quicker with his work than those I had who could hear and speak.
  3. His conduct perfectly good.
  4. He was always very industrious and attentive to his work during the time he was in my employ, and continues the same now that he is in business for himself.

WILLIAM HARRISON, His late master, Wakefield.

From HENRY WORMALD, Esq., Wakefield, April 6th, 1854.

"Charles Woodson lives with his mother, who tells me that he is well-employed, and earns sufficient at his trade as a shoemaker, to keep her, himself, and the younger brother; that he is very steady, and his conduct good in every respect."

T. H. HABERSHAW, Castleford.

  1. Habershaw being very intelligent and of an active mind acquired the trade of a shoemaker under William Bibb. Last year Dibb's health obliged him to give up his business; this unsettled Habershaw, and with idleness he became unsteady for a time, he then worked with another person, but being displeased with the price given, he is not at present in work.
  2. Habershaw easily acquired the art of shoemaking, and if he had continued at it, would have been a very neat and clever journeyman. His father will get him employment again soon.
  3. His conduct has been generally good, although he is at times passionate; he lost his mother early, his father, as a tailor, could not always be with him; and his sisters being younger than himself, he does not like the control the eldest of them exercises over the house.
  4. At the general comfirmation, about three years since, I found him as well qualified for that ordinance as many of those who can hear and speak. Being able to read and write is indeed a most invaluable blessing; he continues to read his Bible, and when near a person at church who can assist, he follows the prayers, and knows the various parts of the service. On Sundays he is dressed neat and clean; and frequently places himself near the chancel door, and is pleased when I recognize him. He is neat about all he does, and has worked occasionally in my garden and given much satisfaction. He writes well but is going off sadly in his spelling, which I hope his father will endeavour to improve, by setting him to copy passages from his prayer-book. He has every reason to be thankful to God, and to the committee for the instruction he obtained at the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, which has opened a mind in itself ready, and intelligent; and although, from family circumstances, he has not always a proper control over a hasty temper, yet he has been made a useful member of society, less of a burthen to his widowed father, and his sisters, and above all a sincere Christian.



  1. He has been employed as a stone-getter, and stone-dresser.
  2. He is remarkably quick, and acquired his business with the greatest facility.
  3. He was very steady till about three years ago; he was then working on a railway, and was rather led away by his companions; he is now as steady as could be wished.
  4. He is in work at present, near Bingley.

T. WESTMORELAND, Jun., Vicar of Sandall Magna.


  1. He is employed as a shoemaker.
  2. He acquired his business with nearly the same facility as those who hear and speak.
  3. His conduct has been good.
  4. He is a good workman as a village shoemaker. The proceeds of his business are quite sufficient to supply his wants.

T.WESTMORELAND, Jun., Vicar of Sandall Magna.

JOSEPH WIDDOP, Southowram, Halifax.

  1. He has been occupied as a compositor in the Doncaster Chronicle Printing office.
  2. He has acquired the business with the same facility as others; there were some difficulties in the first instance, which however, he has now completely overcome, and he is in every respect an efficient and expert compositor.
  3. With a single exception, which is known to the heads of the Institution. I have every reason to be satisfied with his conduct. He is attentive, punctual, and obliging — and I have always found him grateful for little favours conferred.
  4. Previous to his being apprenticed to me he had learnt the art of wood engraving in the Institution; and he has executed several very creditable specimens, which have at various times appeared in the paper. These specimens in most instances, have been executed with great rapidity; requiring very great perseverance, and considerable night-work to complete them in time for publication. He has never been daunted by anything he has taken in hand, and I have in one or two instances been surprised at the rapidity with which he has completed them.

ROBERT HARTLEY, Editor of the Doncaster Chronicle.

(A more recent mention of Joseph Widdop will be found here.)


  1. Her occupation is needlework.
  2. She has acquired her business quite as well as others.
  3. Her conduct has been particularly good.
  4. She has been able to understand the nature of the Holy Sacrament, and receives it regularly, and ever since she has returned from school her demeanour and conduct have been exemplary.

Letter from the Rev, John J. T. MONSON, February, 22nd, 1847.

"I am truly gratified in being able to continue my favourable report of Margaret Hewson. She is industrious and well-conducted, constant in her attendance at Church, and in every way likely to make a respectable member of society, all which I attribute to the excellent education she received during the period she was at the Yorkshire Institution for the Deaf and Dumb."

Letter from the Rev. John J. T. MONSON, Bedale, Nov. 8th, 1853.

"I am happy to be able to send a favourable report of Margaret Hewson. She is very skilful and industrious with her needle, her moral conduct is good, and she is regular in the performance of her religious duties. Further than this, I understand she has endeavoured to improve herself in every kind of knowledge since she left your Institution."


"Mrs. J. Gray begs to reply to the questions on the other page respecting Mary Ann Stephenson. She has been employed in dressmaking for the children of the Grey Coat School, residing there with her mother, who is the matron; several ladies have also occasionally employed her in dressmaking. She acquired her knowledge of the business readily, being particularly quick in observation. Her conduct has been most satisfactory — she is very industrious, obliging and respectful; and affectionate, and obedient to her mother."

Extract from a letter, dated March 1st, 1847.

"Though deprived of the faculties of hearing and speech yet Mary Ann Stephenson manifested considerable intelligence, and had acquired at your valuable Institution the art of making use of certain signs, which enabled her to hold converse with her mother, and thus to describe their mutual feelings to each other. She gave proof of a mind impressed by serious religious principles, always conducting herself with becoming modesty, and consistency of character in the discharge of the various duties of life. And as she grew up to maturity of age, though naturally being of a very delicate constitution, she improved in personal appearance. In consequence of cold, caught early in the spring, she was attacked with an inflammatory affection of the lungs, which terminating by suppuration, rendered the case a confirmed consumption, rapidly reducing her general strength. Though at one time she manifested a strong desire for life, she became resigned, and I trust enjoyed considerable comfort in looking forward to that rest which remains for the people of God. Though her death deeply affected her mother, yet it was viewed as a merciful dispensation of Divine Providence."

BETTY BROADHEAD, Ripponden, Halifax.

  1. For some months she was employed at Sowerby Bridge as a dressmaker, and was boarded and lodged in the house. Her employer went to America, and consequently she left. She has since been living with her sisters at Huddersfield, and learning from them the business of bonnet making.
  2. She learnt her business as readily as others.
  3. I have seen her so seldom that I can scarcely answer this question, although I know nothing which should lead me to disapprove of her conduct.
  4. I have lately seen Martha and Betty Broadhead; both were in the Institution and they are now living together with their sister Hannah, who can speak. Betty, the elder, has been regularly apprenticed as a bonnet maker and has learnt her business well, Martha, and the younger, is being taught by her.

J. R. OLDHAM, St. Paul's, Huddersfield.


  1. Her employment has been winding bobbins for power-loom weavers.
  2. She learned the business with the same facility as others.
  3. Her conduct has been proper.
  4. She is not quite so even-tempered as other girls in the same employment.


A precisely similar account is given by the same parties of JANE HOLMES.


  1. She has been employed as a laundress.
  2. She acquired her business quite as well as ordinary persons;; she washes clean, and irons very well.
  3. She has been occasionally passionate, her temper is much improved, and her general conduct very good.
  4. She is faithful, honest, kind to the children, and much approved of by her master and mistress.

From MRS. SALMON, York.


  1. She has been employed as a dressmaker.
  2. She learned her business not quite so well as those who hear and speak, though she is now tolerably expert in her work.
  3. I believe that her conduct has been generally approved of.
  4. She is residing with her father in comfortable circumstances, as a labourer under Lady Ramsden, and she is noticed much by this family.


MARY DEARNLEY, Kellington.

  1. Has been employed as a dressmaker, and also for a considerable time as a domestic in the family of Mrs. Lowthian, the widow of the late vicar of Kellington.
  2. She acquired the business of dressmaking with the same or even greater facility than others.
  3. Her conduct has been very much approved of. She is particularly conscientious, shewing a dread of doing anything wrong — such as is not often met with.
  4. Mrs. Lowthian, to whom I am indebted for the means of answering your questions, has had constant opportunities of observing Mary Dearnley's conduct. When M. D. was about to leave Doncaster, Mr. Baker offered to retain her in the establishment to assist in the department of the girl's work. Mrs. Lowthian wishes me to say that though Dearnley's father at that time declined the offer, yet if one similar were to be now made it would be thankfully accepted.

J. MANN, Vicar of Kellington.

MARGARET ASKEW, Whitwood, Pontefract.

  1. She has been occupied in the business of dressmaking and millinery.
  2. She has not learned her business nearly so quick as the generality of those who hear and speak.
  3. Her conduct generally has been steady, and becoming.
  4. She attends church regularly; she is expected to go twice each Sunday, but she usually goes three times.


Extract of a letter from the Rev. THOMAS HINDE, March 3, 1847.

"In the course of the last week I called at the cottage of Margaret Askew and her dumb father at Whitwood, (one of the four townships which constitute the Parish of Featherston, not succeeding in finding her at home, I made the necessary inquiries of her immediate neighbours, poor and rich. The answers, I am happy to state, were quite satisfactory. The hamlet has lately sustained an irreparable loss in the late William Wigin, one of those worthy men who to use our Divine Teacher's words, are truly the salt of the earth; to whose exertions chiefly, under Providence, Margaret Askew is indebted for her introduction to your most valuable Institution, who could have given me full information. I learned however that she was steady, and active in her business of dressmaker, and was a great comfort to her father, a widower, keeping the house, &c. very neat and creditable. The door and windows were distinguished from the neighbours by a neat coat of green paint and a little garden in front of some few perches, bore the same marks of attention and neatness. I have only to add the thanks of the neighbourhood for having enabled this poor girl to become a useful member of society."

THOMAS HINDE, Vicar of Featherston.


  1. She has been occupied as a milliner and dressmaker with Miss Roberts.
  2. Less difficulty was found in teaching her, than many who are not deprived of their faculties; her perception, being quick, her abilities good, and having a very retentive memory.
  3. Upon the whole her conduct was good.


  1. He has been employed as a shoemaker.
  2. He learned the business as well as others do.
  3. His conduct has been approved of.
  4. He is a steady, sober, industrious character.

Attested by his present employer, JOHN BARROW.

LUCY SIMPSON, Lindley, near Otley.

  1. She has been both laundry-maid and housemaid, and is now in a nursery, where she gives great satisfaction.
  2. She acquired her business as laundry-maid and housemaid as well as any one could.
  3. She is very steady, obliging, and quick.
  4. She spells well, writes a good hand, and seems to read with great facility.

ELIZABETH SIMPSON, Lindley, near Otley.

  1. She learnt dressmaking which business she has followed ever since.
  2. She acquired her business with as much facility as any one who could speak, and is a very good needlewoman.
  3. Her conduct has always been good, and she is very steady,
  4. She lives with her grandfather, to whom she gives what she earns.

F. H. FAWKES, Farnley Hall.

MARY HANSON, Hoyland, near Wentworth.

  1. She has not been engaged in any particular kind of occupation, since she left Doncaster; she has lived with her father and kept his house.
  2. She seems to be as quick at house-work as those who hear and speak.
  3. She has been tolerably steady.


JANE ATACK, Barnsley.

  1. Her business is that of a milliner and straw bonnet maker.
  2. She acquired it with nearly the same facility as others.
  3. Her conduct has been entirely satisfactory.,
  4. I learn both from her mother and her employer that she has conducted herself exceedingly well; that her moral character is unimpeachable, and she is very fond of attending church.

R. E. ROBERTS, Incumbent of St. George's, Barnsley.

In a more recent return Mr. Roberts observes that Jane Atack's health is in a delicate state, and that she is not able to support herself, that her moral conduct continues satisfactory, and that she attends church, but not regularly.

W. T. BEEVORS, Ardsley, Barnsley.

  1. He has been apprenticed to a millwright and engine maker.
  2. He acquired the business rather more quickly than others.
  3. His conduct has been very good.
  4. He has been out of employment sometime owing to the death of his uncle who had a small foundry in Barnsley. During his apprenticeship he made a very small steam-engine, which he has a great desire to exhibit to the Committee.


No return has been obtained. It is however known that he conducted himself improperly shortly after he had been apprenticed to Messrs. Butterworth and Livesey of Leeds; since which time he has worked as a porter on the Thames, near London. As a pupil he gave more trouble than any other child that was ever in the Institution.


  1. Employed as a handle-setter in cloth-dressing:
  2. He acquired the business equally fast, and as well as others.
  3. His conduct has been good.
  4. When he is of age he will be able to earn as good wages as any other men in the same employment.

W. & J. GOTT.

THOMAS GUY, Gildersome, near Leeds.

  1. He has learned the business of a tailor.
  2. He acquired it nearly as well as others.
  3. Generally his conduct has been approved of.
  4. He did not serve his entire apprenticeship owing to the violence of his master; he was bound for five years and ten months, he served four years, and has since followed the business, and lived with his father. He can make and cut out common clothes very well, and appears industrious.

T. OGDEN, Churchwarden.


  1. She works in Wentworth Gardens.
  2. She is quite as useful as any of the other women employed.
  3. Her conduct, as far as I know has been correct.

Forwarded by the Incumbent of Wentworth.


Extract of a letter from W. YOUNG, Esq., Endcliffe Terrace, Sheffield.

"My Housekeeper who was formerly with the Rev. T. R. Carver of Stannington, near this town, knew the young woman a few years ago well, and speaks much in her praise for industry and good conduct; unfortunately for Harriet Helliwell both her parents were then deceased, and she lived at the time with a grandfather at Stannington, a man of very irregular habits — he is also since dead, and from the last accounts received Harriet Helliwell lived in service with Mrs. Revitt, at Loxley, in that neighbourhood.">

  1. She is now in her second situation as domestic servant.
  2. She has shewn great readiness in learning her work, and constant diligence in it.
  3. Her conduct has been unexceptionable.

N. B. The Rev. William Gill, Minister of Stannington, obtained the above information from a respectable person, the wife of one of his churchwardens, to whom Harriet Helliwell has lived neighbour some time.

ANTHONY PRATT, Reeth, Richmond.

  1. He has been employed as a house painter and decorator.
  2. Pratt has become a tolerably good workman, but owing to his great deficiency of written language it has been found very difficult to make him comprehend many things connected with the trade, of which a thorough knowledge is indispensable.
  3. His conduct has been good.
  4. He has spent some of his leisure hours in executing several very creditable carvings in oak, and models in clay, and plaster of Paris. He is steady and I believe not addicted to any vice.


Extract of a letter from Mr. CARR, Plumber, Glazier, and Painter, 24, Montague-Street, Portman Square, London.

"Pratt’s conduct during the time he was with me was satisfactory. I obtained employment for him at a carver's on the 22nd February, where he remained up to Saturday last, but in consequence of their not continuing to give him the wages he expected, he declined to remain, and I have not seen him since Sunday last; but understand from one of my men who accompanied him to make terms for him, that he intended to go to his brother, who I think has sent him several invitations to enter into a sort of partnership with him, the wages he had received was 30s. a week, and the shop alluded to is the one in which the whole of the carving for the New Houses of Parliament is being executed."


  1. Has been employed as a milliner, and she is a useful workwoman in all kinds of needle-work.
  2. She is a particularly quick young woman, and learned her business with the same facility as others.
  3. She is remarkably steady, and approved by many respectable families in Ripon as an orderly and a proper person.

ROBERT POOL, Vicar of Ripon Cathedral.

Extract of a letter from Mr. THOMAS COWBURN, St. Peter's School, York, April 6th, 1854.

"Jane Mawson resided with me about twelvemonths during which time I had a fair opportunity of observing her habits and principles; she is cleanly and industrious, and I never saw anything in her conduct contrary to modesty, integrity, and general morality; spirits are lively and cheerful, and her preceptions quick. She is now living as housemaid at a boarding-school for young gentlemen at Ripon, where I believe she gives great satisfaction."

JAMES WOOD, Beverley.

This boy was sent home unwell after having been a few months in the Institution, and did not recover sufficiently to return.


Apprenticed to Mr. Jaques, Shoemaker, Doncaster.

  1. He has been employed in learning the business of a shoemaker.
  2. A little more care is required at the first, in teaching the business. The only difference I found was that he required shewing what others would do with telling.
  3. His general conduct has been quite satisfactory.

I am glad that I have this opportunity of testifying to the Committee my satisfaction with regard to Thomas Bew's conduct, and of the manner in which he has learned his trade. I have not the least trouble with him in any way; and I can with truth say that I have not had half the trouble with him as I have with other apprentices that have been more highly favoured; and as a further proof of my satisfaction, I shall be glad to take another of the pupils on similar conditions when convenient.


"In answer to your inquiries respecting Thomas Bew, I have great pleasure to inform you that he served the period of his apprenticeship with great credit to himself and also to those who instructed him, which period terminated the 23rd of June last, since that time he has worked as journeyman for me and has made considerable progress in his trade. He is steady, obliging, and industrious, and can make as good a shoe as any man in my employment; his wages are not great at present; but I have no doubt in a few weeks, he will earn as much as any other of my workmen."

Doncaster March 7, 1847.  ROBERT JAQUES.

MARY ANN GILL, Keighley.

  1. Her occupation that of a silk bonnet, and cloakmaker.
  2. She acquired the business equally as well as others.
  3. Her conduct has been highly creditable to both herself, and those under whose care she had been previously placed.

"I beg to enclose the accompanying note from the parties with whom Mary Ann Gill is now working as journeywoman, which I hope will be satisfactory. We can vouch for the truth of what is here stated. Mary Ann Gill's mother was here some time since, when she expressed herself very thankful for the means of education her daughter had enjoyed."


The note referred to from the employers of Mary Ann Gill.

"It is now about a year since Mary Ann Gill came to us and we have great pleasure in saying that we think she is a very clever girl. She has always discharged her duties faithfully, and is improving very much in her business. She is also quick and thoughtful. We have very little difficulty in communicating anything to her although we cannot speak with our fingers. We think she does great honour to the Institution at Doncaster.>

H. & E. CRABTREE, Manchester Road Bradford.

Extract from a letter received from DAVID GILL, Bradford, February 23, 1847.

"My beloved daughter breathed her last this afternoon after a long and tedious affliction, which she bore with great fortitude and extraordinary patience; she having been confined to her bed seventeen weeks. She was in the twenty-first year of her age. She had endeavoured by every means she was capable of to convince us that she was about to change for a happier and a better world. We are fully satisfied that she had made up her mind some time previous to meet the solemn event, and when her dissolution was about to take place she was perfectly happy and resigned."


Extract of a letter from Miss CRABTREE, dated Bradford, March 4th, 1847.

"Since I last wrote to you the conduct of Mary Ann Gill has been more admirable than ever before. She was with us up to last April, when her health began to decline, she was a very kind and affectionate daughter, and in her situation was obliging and industrious, she was very quick of apprehension, naturally of a lively turn. She was very fond of attending public worship, and once on asking her why she went, when she could not hear, she told me that she knew it was right to go.

She was remarkably patient under her sufferings and was quite resigned to the will of God, she has been confined to her bed 17 weeks during which time many have visited her who have taken a great interest in her, many of whom were able to talk to her.

Once on visiting her she gave me a book and asked me to read the following verse which she said was very good.

For the joy He sets before thee, bear a momentary pain.
Die to live a life of glory, suffer with thy Lord to reign,'

She likewise told me that her tongue was fast now, but it would soon be loosed in heaven, to sing the praises of God. Enclosed I send the statement of a minister who has frequently visited her."

"I have visited Mary Ann Gill with great pleasure, and felt much interest in her Her calm resignation, her deeply devotional spirit, her clear religious experience with her quickness of perception and strong inward emotions of religious joy and hope, gave me great satisfaction in reference to her spiritual state. I was able to converse with her at son length, partly by the use of the slate and partly by the fingers. I found her well instructed in Divine things, truly converted to God, and able to give a reason of the hope that was in her. Placing her hand upon her breast she declared that she was happy in Christ, and pointing her finger to the skies, she intimated her expectation of seeing him in glory. Her education and training in the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb had had the happy effect of developing and cultivating her mental faculties to an extent beyond that ordinarily attained by young persons in her situation in life, and although deprived of speech and hearing, the ordinary modes of human intercourse, yet this seemed to quicken her thoughts and feelings into greater activity, and to give animation and greater expression to her countenance.

Her delicate form wasted by disease rendered this the more visible, and on certain occasions, when after some difficulty in apprehending the meaning of the speaker she at length caught the sense of what was said concerning Redemption by the precious blood of Christ, it seemed as though her soul was transported with delight, and her expressive and almost transparent face was lighted up with more than wonted brightness by heavenly light and love. She had a great affection for the ministers and used to say that the very sight of them did her good. As her weakness increased there was less of transport but more of settled peace and her looks and signs declared that she was animated by the full assurance of hope until at length The Happy Mute escaped away to the Paradise of God.

Bradford, March 2nd, 1847. CHARLES HAYDON, Wesleyan Minister.

WILLIAM RILEY, Ecclesfield, near Sheffield.

  1. When he first left school he learnt the trade of file-cutting but found little employment. He afterwards did farming jobs, and was more than two years on the parish breaking cinders for the road. For the last year he has been a farmer's servant.
  2. He learnt to cut files very fairly and is handy at farm-labour. In these respects his infirmity has been no material impediment to him.
  3. His conduct has been uniformly good.
  4. He is now living with a respectable farmer who gives me a very good account of him. He is lodged, fed, and clothed, but receives no wages. He is very useful to his master who can make him understand what he wishes, and he seems happy and contented.

ALFRED GATTY, Vicar of Ecclesfield.


Apprenticed with Mr. Rich, Joiner &c., Mattersey.

  1. He has been employed as a joiner, carpenter, &c.
  2. He acquired hisbusiness as well, or nearly so as any other person could.
  3. His conduct has been good.
  4. I think he is likely to make a very good and clever workman, his manners are for the most part kind and obliging.


From Messrs. BOWDEN & EDWARDS, Builders, &c., Brook Street, Manchester, Feb. 25, 1847.

"In answer to the inquiries respecting Jeremiah Maude, we have to say that his conduct is very satisfactory as a workman, and his general character is good. He likes his situation, and makes good progress in his trade."

Extract of a letter from Messrs, BOWDEN, EDWARDS, & FORSTER, Builders, Manchester, April 7th, 1854.

"Referring to your communication respecting Jeremiah Maude, we beg to state that he isa good joiner, also a steady and industrious man. He informs us that he attends chapel regularly. He is married and has one child."


  1. For the first two years after leaving school she was at home under the instruction of her mother in sewing, knitting, & c. and also in general household matters. She was then put apprentice to Miss Hardy of Sheffield to learn the business of straw bonnet-making. Since her apprenticeship expired she has been at home following her business on her own account, with general satisfaction to those who have employed her.
  2. Miss Hardy says that at the time she was with her as an apprentice she had several other girls who could hear and speak, but that she had less trouble in teaching Mary Ann than some of them, and that she learned the business equally quick with
  3. I am happy to say that her general conduct has been good, and such as has gained for her general esteem, and respect. Her favourite employment is reading, and in this way she spends all her spare time. Her mother has been ill for upwards of two years, and Mary Ann has manifested a thoughtfulness and care in the family above any of them her years.
  4. It may be pleasing to the Committee to know that the advantage of the education she has received in their invaluable Institution is to her a blessing great indeed; by it her unfortunate condition, as a mute, is very much ameliorated. Without such education, what a blank life would have been to her, but with it she possesses a key with which she can unlock the various stores of knowledge. The advantage is especially great with regard to her soul and eternity. Now she can consult the of divine inspiration, and there learn to know God and Jesus Christ; whom to know is life eternal. If she cannot hear the Gospel preached she can now read it thanks be to Almighty God, and to the subscribers and officers of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, at Doncaster.


Extract from a second letter from Mary Pickering's father.

"I am most happy to inform you that my daughter's subsequent character and conduct have shewn a steady progressive improvement, and this remark applies equally to her in her business, in which she has attained to such proficiency that she gives general satisfaction to those who employ her. Her conduct is decidedly moral and good; she is regular in her attendance at a place of worship, and daily reads her Bible, and attends to her private devotions. She is kind to her parents, brothers, and sisters, and endeavours to make herself generally useful in the domestic concerns of the family; while her general character is such that she is respected by all who know her. I shall ever retain a grateful sense of the benefit my poor mute one has received in your most invaluable Institution, and shall ever pray that blessings may rest on you."

Sheffield, Feb. 21, 1847.

From Mr. H. F. HILL, 17, Division Street, Sheffield, April 6th, 1854.

M. Pickering has been personally known to me for a very long period. I consider her very clever in her business, as a milliner, &c., and she has got on very well. A few months ago she opened a large front shop, and is doing a good business. To her moral and religious character I can with pleasure testify, I believe her to be a good and consistent Christian of the first order, and she appears to possess a considerable amount of religious information. She is a member of the Wesleyans, and although deaf and dumb attends divine service regularly. She is looked upon by all who know her as a truly pious and humble follower of Christ."

REUBEN FOTHERGILL, Ossett, near Wakefield.

  1. At first he was engaged at a machine manufactory. He has since served his time to a shoemaker, and his constant employment proves that he is a superior hand at his trade.
  2. His friends believe that he was inferior to none, but perhaps superior to many who could hear and speak.
  3. His conduct was fully approved of whilst he was with his master, and his parents give him an excellent character.
  4. He is now engaged as a master-shoemaker, and is very successful, so much so, that he has at times two or three hands to assist him. "Yesterday I went to Reuben Fothergill's father's house, and filled up the answers above as the parents supplied the information. From the conversation I had with his friends afterwards, I found he was very amiable and kind, fond of reading, and very attentive to his duties.

0. L. COLLINS, Incumbent of Ossett."

SARAH RUSHWORTH, Amblerthorne, near Halifax.

  1. She has been occupied in dressmaking, and succeeds very well indeed.
  2. She has acquired her business with even more facility than many who both hear and speak.
  3. Her conduct has been very much approved of.
  4. She is very happy, and industrious, and thankful for the benefits she received when under the care and government of the Institution.

"I was much pleased with the family, and the girl. She tells her mother, by signs and finger-conversation, that she hopes to visit the Institution some time ere long, and seems really to entertain a lively recollection of it. Altogether her case is most satisfactory.

HARCOURT BUSFIELD, The Parsonage, Coley, near Halifax.


This boy was an exceedingly promising pupil, and might have become a proficient in almost any business, but his father fell into unfortunate circumstances and removed to America. It has since been ascertained that he is a wood-engraver in Philadelphia.

HENRY JERVIS, Thorpe, Wentworth.

  1. He was put to a shoemaker, but from his deficiency of intellect he made nothing of the business.
  2. His conduct satisfactory,
  3. Since he left the shoemaker, he has continued in the Union Workhouse; he is still anxious to learn that trade, but no one will receive him, he being so dull.

J. BARRAS, Relieving Officer and Assistant Overseer.

GEORGE RICKETT, Kirklington, Notts.

  1. He has been learning the trade of a tailor at Southwell.
  2. He acquired the business nearly as well as others.
  3. His conduct is approved of.


From M. A. W., Kirklington Hall, Notts. April 20, 1854.

"As you have expressed a wish to learn something respecting George Rickett, who has just returned from a visit to the Institution, greatly delighted at having seen you again, I have much pleasure in informing you that he attended some years a Sunday-school class which I taught, and was always most punctual in his attendance. He wrote his collect, hymn, some verses of scripture, the church catechism, and answers to various questions which I wrote down for him, from memory, on his slate. He now resides in the village, and has constant work as a tailor; is very industrious and saving, steady in his conduct, attends church regularly, and uses his prayer book and Bible; the lessons and psalms being found for him by one of the Sunday-school teachers. He shewed me with great delight the books and map you so kindly presented him with."


  1. He has been employed as a modeller and plasterer.
  2. He has acquired the business equally as well as others, and is much more attentive.
  3. He has improved in drawing, and other branches of education, and also in hearing and speaking. I am very sorry to say that he is at present labouring under a serious illness, and that he is not likely to recover.


(William Barker died soon after the above account of him was forwarded.)

HENRY WADDINGTON, Kirkby Malzeard.

  1. He is employed at ordinary farm-work and going errands.
  2. He acquired his business with as much facility as others.
  3. His conduct has been pretty good.
  4. His father wished to put him to the trade of a shoemaker, but could not find in the neighbourhood a master willing to take him, and he could not send him to live at a distance on account of the expense. The boy is healthy and remarkably active; the writer is well acquainted both with the father and the boy.

WILLIAM ROWE, Schoolmaster.


  1. He is occupied as a table-knife hafter.
  2. He acquired the trade as perfectly as those who can hear and speak.
  3. He is attentive and regular at his work, and very steady.
  4. He is very anxious to return to school, and would like to end his days there.



WILLIAM CHADWICK, Ouselwell Green, Wakefield.

  1. He has worked with his father in a coal-pit.
  2. He has acquired his business as well as others.
  3. His mother says his conduct is better than before he went to the Institution, and he attends a Sunday-school regularly.
  4. One of the teachers of the school informs me that although they have no means of giving him instruction, yet he seems to read to himself and he always accompanies them to church, and behaves very well.


JANE WOOD, Clifton, Halifax.

  1. She is employed in bonnet and dressmaking.
  2. She is considered a very good hand at her business.
  3. Her conduct has been very satisfactory.

WILLIAM WOOD, the Father.

JOSEPH TEALE, Leeds.   [More…]

  1. He is acquiring the first rudiments of engraving and other useful knowledge.
  2. Not quite so well as others but rather quick and deserving.
  3. His conduct quite satisfactory.
  4. In next application I will make a more explicit communication.


Letter from Messrs. BUTTERWORTH & LIVESEY, Engravers, Leeds, March 2, 1847.

"In reply to your inquiries respecting Joseph Teale, we have to say that he continues to be steady, industrious, and very persevering in his duties, and that he is proceeding very favourably in his business; We have no doubt that he will be enabled to sustain his present character."


  1. His occupation is that of a woolcomber.
  2. I never knew one learn sooner.
  3. The man who works with him and knows him, gives him an excellent character.
  4. As his foreman I have to inspect his work, and can assure you that for diligence, and attention, he has few equals among those of his own age in our employ. Since he began to finish his own work I have never had occasion to find fault.

THOMAS VITY, For John Rand and Sons.

HENRY LEAF, Naburn, near York.   [More…]

  1. He is employed as a farming servant with his father.
  2. He appears in all respects as conversant with his business, and as readily comprehends, and discharges what is required of him, as those in possession of all their faculties.
  3. His conduct is entirely good; he is most orderly and inoffensive in his behaviour.
  4. He is a constant attendant at church, and seems duly impressed with the solemnity of the service in which he is engaged. What little leisure time he has is chiefly employed in reading and writing, and communicating his little stock of knowledge to his brothers, labouring under the same affliction as himself.

JAMES SABBEN, Incumbent of Naburn.

JUDITH BLACKBURN, Sandall Magna, Wakefield.

This girl was employed in the Institution for two years in assisting the workmistress to superintend the different departments of work done by the girls, as cleaning, sewing, mending, &c.

  1. She has been employed in dressmaking with Miss Howell of Wakefield for the last fifteen months.
  2. She has learnt the business of dressmaking with very nearly as much facility as other persons could learn it.
  3. Her conduct is perfectly good.


Extract from a letter from LADY PILKINGTON.

"I am happy to testify to the uniform good and steady conduct of Judith Blackburn. She is very desirous of improving herself in understanding any book which is given her by asking me the meanings of words, and she continues to write very nicely, and very correctly in her spelling. Mrs. Howell told me how capable she was to go errands in the town, as she never forgets where a person resides when once shewn; and she is thus useful in delivering work when finished. Judith regularly attends the Parish Church at Sandall, and generally comes here on Sunday afternoons for instruction in her Bible. She is always very careful of her dress, and looks neat and tidy. Next November the time will be elapsed for her to remain with Miss Howell and then I hope she will be able either to maintain herself by dressmaking or she would be a nice person to attend on any lady, similarly afflicted as herself."

Chevet, Wakefield, Feb, 24, 1848.

S. C. ATKINSON, Hatfield Levels.

  1. She has been employed generally in domestic affairs at home.
  2. With the same facility as could be reasonably expected.
  3. Her conduct is very satisfactory.

"I am thankful to give you a favourable account respecting our daughter, she has been very good, and always endeavours to make herself useful, both in needlework, and in domestic affairs. I am sorry to observe the deficiency in her sight which no doubt has been a great preventive to her progress; notwithstanding, she is still very desirous to improve, and we have little more difficulty with her than the rest of the family, which is a great satisfaction; and if my judgment is correct she promises to be a great comfort to her parents in their declining years. We are satisfied that you have performed your duty, and beg to return our grateful thanks to yourself, Mrs. Baker, Mr. Fenton, and the gentlemen of the Committee for their exertions, and unremitting attention."



This girl was employed to assist the Laundry-maid at the Institution when she quitted the school, but after three years, she became dissatisfied and wished to leave. place, both eligible and comfortable, was obtained for her at Hull, but after a short time she became dissatisfied, left it, and wished to return to the Institution; her former place had however been filled up. A less favourable account of Jane Lee has since been received.

MARIA RICHARDSON, near Knaresborough.

  1. In assisting the neighbouring farmers in work out of doors, and sometimes in the house.
  2. She is quite as easy to direct, and quick in receiving a hint of what she is expected to do, as those who hear and speak.
  3. Her conduct has been very good, though her temper is obstinate.
  4. She would consider it as a great kindness, if she could be admitted again into the Institution, and her parents constantly lament her removal.


RHODA HOPPER, Sutton-on-Derwent.

  1. She has been occupied in dressmaking.
  2. She has acquired the business with the same facility, or nearly so, as others do.
  3. Her mother informs me that her conduct has been very good, but I cannot speak to it myself, as she has not lived much at home.

GEORGE RUDSTON READE, Incumbent of Sutton-on-Derwent.


  1. He has been employed as a cabinet maker.
  2. He has acquired the business as well as is usual.
  3. His conduct has been satisfactory.
  4. He likes the business very well, and will probably make a good workman.



Was apprenticed to Mr. Reuben Robinson, at Doncaster, as a bookbinder, but owing to repeated misunderstandings, and violence on the part of the boy, he left. His conduct can be partly accounted for from hereditary causes.

ELIZABETH BEEVORS, Ardsley, near Barnsley.

  1. She has learnt the business of bonnet and dressmaking.
  2. She acquired it as well as others.
  3. Her conduct has been very good.
  4. She has been residing in a family, and has been employed principally in sewing, and gave satisfaction; she is now desirous of obtaining a similar situation.

JOSEPH M. GLENTON, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

  1. He has been with Mr. Lambert during the last three years learning the business of a copper-plate engraver.
  2. He acquires the business with greater facility than most.
  3. His general conduct has given every satisfaction. MARK W. LAMBERT.
  4. Joseph is attentive to his business, and his character is that of a steady, sober youth, who is anxious to get on in the world. His mind is acute on the subjects which are within his reach. His master thinks that if he does not reach the first style of engraving, he will yet become a respectable artist, and be able to earn a comfortable livelihood.


J. R. CUSWORTH, Leeds.   [More…]

  1. He is learning the business of a tailor.
  2. He is going on nearly as well as others.
  3. His conduct is satisfactory. JOHN FALLAS.
  4. He has conducted himself much to the satisfaction of his parents and his master, the above-signed Mr. Fallas.


Letter from Mr. JOHN FALLAS, Leeds dated Feb. 23, 1847.

In answer to your inquiries respecting Joseph R. Cusworth, my apprentice, I am glad to inform you that he has made very favourable progress in learning his business, and will become, I have no doubt, equal, with few exceptions, to the generality of his fellow-workmen. His conduct I am also glad to say continues quite satisfactory.

HENRY JACKSON, Grenoside, near Sheffield.

  1. He has been employed at his father's trade and in his service, as a tip and hoop maker.
  2. He learned his business with equal facility as others.
  3. His conduct has been good.


ELIZA L. HESLINGTON, Otterington, Northallerton.

  1. She has been employed by her mother in domestic duties, and as a sempstress.
  2. She acquired her duties as easily as others.
  3. Her conduct has been quite satisfactory;
  4. I feel very grateful for the knowledge she received at school, and I believe that if she had not had the advantages of instruction she would not have possessed the power of comprehension she has at present.


JAMES GREENWOOD, Dam Flask, Sheffield.

"James Greenwood is apprenticed to a cordwainer, and he is improving very fast in his trade; he can hear a little, and he can speak some words very plain, which is a great benefit to him. His conduct has been generally good and we hope by strict attention he will be able to carry on the business.

Main Bridge, Feb. 21, 1814.  BENJAMIN BARROTT. ALFRED NUTTALL."

"We have to inform you that the above is from our son's masters; he lives about four miles from us, he comes home every week and is always willing to go to work on Monday morning. We have heard no complaints since he has been; he has a great desire to see the school once more. He has been in his place five years; and we do feel very much obliged to you for inquiring after his welfare.


MARIA CLEGG, Dawgreen, Dewsbury.

  1. She is employed at Messrs. Hague, Cook, & Wormald's as a starrer, that is putting the roses in the corner of the blankets, and sewing the ends with scarlet worsted.
  2. She learnt nearly as soon as any others, but she is of an obstinate temper, and will not be driven to work contrary to her inclination; but she does pretty well, considering her defects.
  3. I cannot speak to her conduct after she leaves work; her mother goes out washing, and is often late home, but she says the girl is steady, and better than she used to be.
  4. She is able, when willing, to earn a livelihood, so as not to be a burden on her parents, but she does not stick so close to work as others in the same employ.


ELIZA STEAD, Horsforth, Leeds.

  1. She has been occupied as a dressmaker.
  2. It is said that she acquired a knowledge of this business with more than usual facility.
  3. With regard to her conduct being approved of, I never heard anything to the contrary, and I fully believe it has been entirely satisfactory.
  4. She seemed very civil and obliging, but we could never induce her to attempt articulation; this made her very unintelligible to those who do not understand the language of the deaf and dumb, as expressed by the fingers.

The letter enclosed is from the Incumbent of Horsforth, Mr. Stocker, to whom I sent the queries, as I left Horsforth a year ago.    J. ARMITAGE RHODES.

"I called this afternoon at the lodge where I saw Eliza Stead, who was knitting stockings, and looking very well, I told her mother that they wished to know at Doncaster how their old scholar was going on, and I learned from her the following particulars.

"Eliza Stead's employment is dressmaking, but there is little to do in that line at present; and she therefore assists her mother in the work of the house. She is very active and handy both at needlework, and in her other employments, but sedentary habits do not seem to suit her. As far as I could learn she was not stupid in acquiring her knowledge of dressmaking. Her mother gave her a good character for steadiness and willingness to do as she was desired to do. She seems a quiet, modest girl or rather young woman; and she is regular in her attendance at church."



  1. As a pattern designer for worsted goods.
  2. Yes, considering his infirmity, with great facility.
  3. His conduct has been unobjectionable.
  4. If he continues attentive he will, in all probability, become a very useful member of society.

J. F. BLAND, J. TAYLOR,Pattern-designers in the firm of J. Ackroyd & Sons, Halifax.

We believe the above to be a correct statement of Joseph Scott's capacity and general behaviour.

Halifax Feb. 26, 1847. JAMES ACKROYD & SONS.

ANN FOX, Wykeham, near Scarborough.

  1. She has been employed as a dressmaker.
  2. She appeared to learn her business very readily.
  3. Her conduct has been approved of.
  4. Her behaviour is very proper, and she has given satisfaction to those who have employed her, and she is very expeditious in her execution.

J. SKELTON, Curate of Wykeham.

"I am a farmer and neighbour to Fox, and I can affirm that Ann Fox has con ducted herself with the greatest propriety both in person and manners since he came home, and she would doubtless be able to earn her livelihood respectably, and comfort ably, if she had regular employment, as she has given general satisfaction to her employers, since she commenced her business. THOMAS DICKINSON."

"There are several others following the same business in the parish, of longer standing than Ann Fox, which explains why she does not get enough work to support herself. She lives at home with her parents, and far as my knowledge and belief extend, I beg fully to confirm the preceding statements."

Wykeham Abbey.    MARMADUKE LANGLEY.

SARAH NEWSOME, Armthorpe, Doncaster.

  1. She has been occupied in nursing and attending to other duties of the house.
  2. She has been quite as useful as others could be,
  3. Her conduct has been satisfactory.
  4. She attended to all her occupations better than ever I expected she would do.



  1. She has been employed as a dressmaker.
  2. We believe she acquired the business as well as others.
  3. Her conduct has been satisfactory.
  4. She attended the Sunday-school regularly till her mother's death : and was always tractable, and well-behaved both in school and at church. She makes herself generally useful at home, and when her father is restored to health, we hope to place her with some respectable dressmaker, where she will gain her own livelihood.

(The late Mrs. MUSGRAVE, Halifax.)


  1. She has been occupied as a milliner and dressmaker.
  2. She requires more attention than a girl who could hear and speak, but seems likely to become proficient in her business.
  3. Her conduct has been approved. H. LUMLEY, Her Mistress.

JANE FEARN, Barnsley.

  1. She assists her mother in household work, and winds for journey-men weavers in her mother's house.
  2. Winding is a business easily acquired, but she is particularly quick at sewing or anything she turns her attention to.
  3. Her parents speak in the highest terms of her conduct and appear particularly thankful for the advantages afforded her by your excellent Institution.
  4. She is very fond of reading — her Bible in particular; she writes well, and is very fond of that too; she has no correspondent, but she makes extracts from books which she reads.

WILLIAM LAZENBY, Newland, Rawcliffe.

  1. He has been occupied with his father, George Lazenby, in agricultural labour.
  2. He has given satisfaction to his employers.
  3. He has conducted himself very properly.
  4. His father being only a common farm labourer has not been able to put him to any trade. The boy seems very desirous to learn to be a tailor, at Doncaster. Notwithstanding his father's poverty, he would gladly use his utmost endeavours to raise all the money he possibly could, to get his son placed out to a trade.

JOHN AARON, Nevoland, Rarocliffe.


  1. He has been with his father, a baker, ever since he left the school, and he is very attentive.
  2. I have every reason to think that he will make a good baker, and learn his business as soon as those who can both hear and speak. D26
  3. His conduct is very generally approved of, and I do not know of any exception.
  4. I hope and believe he will make a good man, and I must ever feel grateful for the advantages he received at the Institution.


As a neighbour, and one who sees the boy very often, I beg to corroborate what his father has stated of him.



  1. Her occupation has been that of a dressmaker.
  2. She acquired her business as well as others.
  3. As the grave has closed over M. H. not more than a month ago, and as the circumstances connected with her death have been most unfortunate, it would be well to allow all remembrance of her to cease.

ELLEN LILEY, Hightown, Huddersfield.

  1. She has been occupied in setting cards to card wool with; and she is useful at her home to her father, who is a widower; she being the oldest child, has acted as housekeeper; she is very careful in her management.
  2. Her father thinks she is equally ready as others.
  3. Her conduct has been approved of by all her friends.
  4. She is particularly desirous to attend church on the Sabbath-day. The circumstances of her father, as a coal-miner, prevent him from apprenticing her to a business as he would wish; and if he could have any assistance in doing this he would be very thankful. I am desired to return John Liley's sincere thanks for the favours he has already received from the Institution.

ABEL ROUSE, late Overseer.

(Now employed as laundry-maid at the Institution.)

HENRY FIELD, Laughton-en-le-Morthen.

  1. As a type-caster with Messrs. Bower, Brothers, Sheffield.
  2. Yes, we consider him a good hand, acquiring his business perhaps quicker than the majority who have all their faculties. We have no doubt he will be able to earn as good a living as any in the trade.
  3. We have no reason to complain of his conduct; he does not board with us, but whenever we see him away from business, he is always remarkably clean and well dressed.
  4. The only inconvenience we find is that not being constantly in the habit of talking to him we are compelled to write what we have to say, but the other boys in the foundry who are in the habit of communicating with him can converse with him readily enough, and consequently most of our wishes are conveyed to him through them.

Feb. 22, 1847.    BOWER, BROTHERS, Type-founders, Sheffield.

SARAH HUNTER, Wakefield.

  1. She has been employed at home in sewing and in assisting her mother in the household work.
  2. She is found as ready as others.
  3. She conducts herself in a most proper, modest, and becoming manner.

GEORGE KELSHAW, Thornes Lane, Wakefield.

"I have this day seen Sarah Hunter and her mother, and learn that her health has not been good for some time past, especially as respects her head, which is so frequently affected as to prevent her being taught the dressmaking business, for which she appears to have an aptitude. Her mother speaks favourably of her industry at the needle, and also her willingness to help in the household duties; she says she behaves very well, conducts herself with great propriety, and is a frequent attendant at public worship."

Wakefield, May 22, 1854.   G. W. HARRISON.


  1. As assistant in the bakehouse of the Sheffield Union Workhouse.
  2. He has made himself very useful and is quick of apprehension.
  3. It has been satisfactory.
  4. His general health is not good, he appears scrofulous, and is failing; in consequence his present employment will be discontinued.


JAMES SCOTT, Ossett, Wakefield.

"I have much pleasure in replying to your inquiries respecting the conduct of James Scott, once an inmate of your Institution. He entered on my service on the 28th June, 1852, as a hanker of worsteds and general packer, at twelve shillings a week, and he has been employed at the same wages ever since; prior to that time he had been employed by another firm in a similar manner, and from whom he holds a handsome testimonial, and previous to that he had been in the employ of Messrs. Foster and Burrows upon the premises which I now occupy.

"I have inquired of his family this morning as to his general conduct at home, of which they speak very satisfactorily; a married sister, whom I saw, says that he carries his wages home very regularly to his mother with whom he lives, and that he is her main support. I believe also that his moral conduct is good. I cannot speak to his religious character, beyond that I see him occasionally at church, and there I see he understands the use of the prayer-book. He is very attentive to his work and very obliging."

Horbury, Wakefield, April 6, 1854.   RICHARD POPPLETON.


  1. He is employed as weeder in the garden at Wighill Park.
  2. He has not acquired his business with equal facility, but more nearly so than might be expected.
  3. His behaviour has been approved of.
  4. The boy's conduct is respectable in a moral sense, but he manifests no desire for mental improvement.

G. C. COOKING, Gainsborough.

  1. Lever-watch escapement making and finishing :
  2. He is as forward in the trade as any boy I ever knew, in the same time, and he is much quicker at learning than most boys who can hear and speak.
  3. His conduct has been generally very much approved of.
  4. He is very thoughtful very, sensible, remarkably honest, and very affectionate; he is much liked by his master, and by different ministers who know him. exceedingly satisfied with the progress he has made in his business.

GEORGE LAMBERT, Gainsborough.

Extract from a letter from the father of G. C. Cocking, February 25, 1847.

"I have every reason to believe that what Mr. Lambert states of George is correct. I may state that, as a son he is almost everything in point of moral character and excellence that a father could desire. The training he received in your Institution speaks volumes in favour of the adaptation of the system to the accomplishment of the object at which it aims; and also of the ability of those to whom the education of the pupils is confided, I will only add that George is very attentive to cleanliness, to good behaviour, to propriety of conduct or manners, and to order and regularity in the care and arrangement of his books, clothes, & c."

In reply to recent inquiries, his father says:

"He still continues at Gainsboro' in Mr. Kelvey's Lever Watch Manufactory,—a period of near nine years, including five years apprenticeship. He will be 25 years of age the 24th of next November. He is employed chiefly on the lever escapement, the steel department of watch-making. He is considered a very quick and clever work man, and can earn from 25s. to 35s. a week. As to his intellectual ability, and moral and religious character, I am happy to state that I have nothing to report but what is favourable. He is a member of a religious church (Wesleyan) and walks in the fear of God, and possesses, I trust, the consolations of true religion. His views of Christian doctrine are clear, and in accordance with the New Testament Scriptures. His correspondence with me is frequent. His letters manifest considerable intelligence, and he expresses himself in sentences of general propriety; and what is remarkable, he never spells a word wrong. In a letter I received from him the other day, which is of considerable length, he observes, (I give as corroborative of what I have simply stated in reference to his religious disposition) "My mind is comfortable. Death is near. We are steadfastly following the religion of Christ. The holy Bible is my best companion, that you presented to me. I trust I am a follower of Christ; being a member of also of the Wesleyan society. I have been to class tonight where Mr. Kelvin leads."

The Bible to which he refers, is Cobbin's Domestic Bible, with notes and Reflections, illustrated. I presented it to him when he finished his apprenticeship.

Your Institution I always view as one of the most, if not the most noble and benevolent. It is superlatively humane and Christian. I ever recommend it as such, and have reason so to do. May it please the Lord long to spare your life, with health, to conduct the tuition of these outcasts of society, and most to be deplored heathen of the human race.

Spilsby, April 10, 1854.   THOMAS COCKING."

SAMUEL SMITH, Menstone, Otley.

  1. He has been employed along with myself as a wool-comber, and he works at home with me and his brother.
  2. With regard to his quickness in learning the business, I see very little deficiency in that which he has been set to.
  3. His behaviour has been generally good, I am much pleased with his conduct on the Sabbath-day, when he gets his Bible and prayer-book, and engages himself with them for some time; and when he goes to a place of worship, he appears to pay strict attention to what is going on there.
  4. I beg that you will present my respects to the Committee and all the Managers of the Institution, and thank them in my name for the great good my poor boy has got under their care and management. I cannot express my gratitude towards them, and I shall never be able to make them any return for their kindness, but I hope the Giver of all Good will reward them a thousand-fold.


A. W. SUDDABY, Sunk Island, Hull.

A good general account has been received; the girl is employed at home in sewing and domestic work.


  1. He has been employed in learning the trade of a shoemaker.
  2. He is nearly as quick as others; his ability is better than his will.
  3. His conduct has not been uniformly approved.
  4. He was spoiled by indulgence before he was sent to the school, and under the same indulgence, he has resumed his former conduct and self-will.

This return was made by the Incumbent of Hunmanby.

HANNAH KNAGGS, Acklam in Cleveland.

  1. Soon after she left your invaluable Institution she went to learn dressmaking at Stokesley, where she still remains.
  2. She is very quick at learning the business, and gives great satisfaction to her employer.
  3. She has conducted herself with every propriety for her years, and has been much noticed by the respectable people at Stokesley..
  4. She is everything that a fond parent can wish for in a child of her age; and promises fair to be a useful, and respectable member of society.

ISAAC BENSON, Incumbent.

Extract from a letter from the REV. ISAAC BENSON, Parsonage, Acklam, February 23, 1847.

"In answer to the foregoing inquiries I have great pleasure in informing you that Hannah Knaggs, who was educated at your excellent institution, has conducted herself with the greatest propriety since she left it. She served her time to a dressmaker; is considered very clever, and is much respected in her station of life.

Hannah Knaggs is at home, with her parents, at Linthorpe. She has learned the business of dressmaking, and is considered very clever. She is very sober and steady, and attends the church regularly.

Parsonage, Acklam, April 6, 1854.   I. BENSON.

URIAH BLACKBURN, Sandall Magna, Wakefield.

  1. That of a tailor.
  2. I have had five apprentices at different times since I have been a master, and I consider that he is equal to an average apprentice in acquiring a knowledge of his business.
  3. His conduct good and unexceptionable.
  4. I may also state that he is always ready and willing to do anything I wish him to do and that pleasantly.


As a near neighbour of James Chappel, I have been requested to add my testimony of Uriah Blackburn's general conduct, I have pleasure in stating that I have witnessed his general good conduct, and a great disposition to please his employer. I have asked him several questions in writing, on different subjects, to all of which he has answered willingly, and with a facility which has astonished me; I think he is likely to be a useful and respectable member of society.



  1. In gardening.
  2. Quite so.
  3. Yes.
  4. The boy seems steady and fond of employment, obedient and tractable. Being confined to a sick-room I have not been able to state many particulars respecting him, but Mrs. Carter has called on his employer, who speaks very favourably of his general conduct. He fears however that the boy will not be able to prosecute his employment with much success, as he is now suffering from a stiff arm.

Malton Parsonage, Feb. 26, 1847.   W. CARTER.


  1. She has been apprenticed to the dressmaking business at Hull for the last eight months.
  2. I have always understood from her mistress and fellow-apprentices that she is very quick at learning the business.
  3. I have had no complaints of her conduct, and believe her to give satisfaction.
  4. I believe her to be industrious in household affairs, and of a very good temper, but unfortunately averse to writing.

Feb. 26, 1847.   ANN WREATHALL.

JOS. S. NICHOLSON, Leeds.   [More…]

  1. As a whitesmith.
  2. He likes the business.
  3. He is very diligent at all times.
  4. I return my sincere thanks for all favours you have conferred on him, he is very diligent, but I am sorry to say that I cannot fully employ him, but I will do the best in my power.

Feb. 27, 1847.   THOMAS NICHOLSON.

THOMAS JOHNSON, Rossington, Doncaster.

  1. Working occasionally in the fields, sometimes in his brother's shop, making nails, &c. (His brother is a blacksmith.) He has never had any settled employment.

Vicarage, Rossington, Feb. 27, 1847. GEO. HENRY BOWER.

GEORGE LEE, Marr, Doncaster.

  1. As a ladies' shoemaker.
  2. Nearly so.
  3. Yes.
  4. He is now making rapid progress in his trade, and if he pays attention I think him likely to make a clever workman.

Feb. 1847. E. BELL.


  1. A wood-turner and mill collar-maker, with his father.
  2. As well as can be expected for the time he has been at the trade.
  3. Yes.
  4. He is as quick as any lad of his age, and it is my opinion that he will be a good workman.



  1. As a dressmaker.
  2. Her mistress considers her very quick.
  3. Her conduct has been good, but her temper is obstinate.


  1. As a milliner and straw-bonnet maker.
  2. She has acquired the business with as little trouble to her employers as any other, for the time she has been.
  3. She has always conducted herself with the strictest propriety, and is now a very clever workwoman.
  4. Elizabeth Thompson has been in my service nearly two years; she has grown a very interesting girl, being remarkably quick and having a very retentive memory. A stranger seeing her at work would not suppose her to be deaf and dumb.

Feb. 1847. J. SMITH, 75, Newborough.

"Elizabeth Thompson has been in business for herself five years; her customers are highly delighted with the neatness of her work, and as a proof, she has always a super-abundance, from some of the most respectable families in the town. Her moral conduct is good and praiseworthy. She is fond of reading, particularly books of a religious character, and she attends the sanctuary every Sabbath.

Scarborough, April 5, 1854.   RICHARD and ISABELLA THOMPSON.


  1. She is apprentice to a tailoress.
  2. Nearly so.
  3. Yes.
  4. She is very willing and industrious, and gives great satisfaction to her mistress.

Perpetual Curate of St. Michael-on-the-Mount, Lincoln.


  1. Partly at a paper-mill.
  2. The master of the mill speaks pretty well of his readiness and aptness in acquiring the business.
  3. His conduct has been on an average with that of other boys.

Feb. 1847. F. H. S. MENTEATH, Vicar.
W. R. GALPINE, Paper-mill.
JOS. BRAMLEY, Schoolmaster.

SARAH C. LOWDEN>, Salmonby, Horncastle.

  1. In learning the trade or business of a dressmaker.
  2. Her mistress, Miss Stephenson, of Horncastle, gave a favourable report of her on leaving her, and said that she acquired a knowledge of her business with extraordinary facility.
  3. Her conduct has been unexceptionable.

HENRY FIELDING, Rector of Salmonby.

M. E. MILLS, Barton-on-Humber.

  1. For a short time with her parents. She has now been some months learning the business of a dressmaker at this place.
  2. So I am informed by her mistress; and she is very diligent, and more than usually not forgetful of what is told her and anxious to oblige.
  3. Yes, decidedly so.
  4. From my own personal knowledge I can state that the girl is respectful and well-behaved, and my certificate as to her character is confirmed by her mistress, Mrs. Moody, whose name is affixed.

E. JOHNSON, Solicitor, Barton-on-Humber.
Feb. 1847.   MARY MOODY.

WILLIAM ASKEW, Agbrigg, Wakefield.

The parents of William Askew not having the means of putting him out apprentice, he has been employed since he left Doncaster in assisting his father, who is a boat hauler. His conduct has been unexceptionable, and it is much to be desired that he should have the opportunity of learning some trade.

Kirkthorpe Vicarage, Wakefield, Feb. 29, 1847. JOHN PULLEIN.


  1. Sawing stone, polishing marble, assisting the engine-man, and learning the routine of a marble and stone-mason's yard with an intention of promotion.
  2. No; because a considerable amount of instruction can be given only by verbal explanation in this particular business.
  3. Yes.
  4. He is at times obstinate, and refuses obedience to any except his employer, but it is also his employer's opinion that this arises from natural defect in his intellect. Perhaps if a better example were shewn him by his parents (with whom he resides) it might have a beneficial effect on his general conduct.


(This information was supplied by Mr. TILNEY, the employer of the boy.)


Gough-square, Fleet-street, London, June 20, 1853.

"Sir,—In reply to your letter, which I am sorry I have left unanswered so long, I have to state with regard to J. E. Mowatt, that I consider him to have been as well prepared for the profession of a wood-engraver as any nine out of ten youths, it has been my fortune to meet with. I consider that he has shewn a much quicker appreciation of the instruction given to him than most persons do who can hear and speak; the readiness with which he has comprehended the necessarily brief directions occasionally given to him, has excited my astonishment; and I feel justified in stating that after a few years' practice he has so far mastered his profession as to be even now a very proficient assistant, while he bids fair in the course of a few years to be a far more clever workman than the generality of those who possess the advantages of being able to communicate, and to receive communications with a facility those who are deaf and dumb can hardly look to attain to.

"With reference to his conduct during the term of years he has been with me, I have never found occasion to make the smallest complaint to him, He has been steady and regular in his attendance and obliging in his disposition.

"With every wish for the success of an Institution which confers such incalculable advantages on those it takes in charge — I remain, Sir, your most obedient servant,



  1. He has been apprenticed to a shoemaker in this neighbourhood.
  2. Yes, his master reports that he is very quick.
  3. He has conducted himself satisfactorily.

Sudbrook, Lincoln. Feb. 27, 1847. GEO. D. KENT, Jun.

JOHN HEATON, Horsforth, Leeds.   [More…]

John Heaton has been with me for nearly six months. He is learning the profession of a lithographic artist. I consider him nearly as good as a person with hearing and speech. He is very attentive and wishful to become a good hand at his profession.

Leeds, Feb, 1847.   JOSEPH F. MASSER.

"I beg to inform you that John Heaton has been out of his time two years; and I believe he holds a very good situation. He made himself well acquainted with the art, and he is a very practical lithographic artist. His conduct was generally good."

Leeds, April 4, 1854.   JOSEPH F. MASSER.

SAMUEL W. NORTH, Wilksby, Lincolnshire.

London, 54, Paternoster Row, June 8th, 1853.

"Dear Sir,— In answer to your favour of yesterday respecting Samuel North, we are happy to say in the first place — 1. That he was quite as well prepared as pupils generally are for entering our profession, in fact he could use his pencil better than many. 2. He has acquired his profession quite as rapidly as the generality of pupils; and lastly, we have had cause to approve, throughout the term, of his general conduct. It gives us much pleasure to send you so favourable an account.

We are, Dear Sir, yours faithfully,


  1. As a dressmaker.
  2. Rather slower.
  3. Yes.
  4. She is forward to help the family, is very neat, and well-behaved and particularly industrious.
February 1847. JOSHUA HART, Vicar of Otley.

Mary Ann Cook has turned out extremely well; she is very industrious, and clever as a water-colour painter, and is very good as to her moral character. She regularly attends the Wesleyan Reformers. She is a very upright and good young woman. We are quite unable to attract her and her parents to the church.

The Vicarage, Otley, April 10, 1854. JOSHUA HART."


  1. As a straw-bonnet maker.
  2. With great facility, quite as great, or even greater than those who hear and speak.
  3. Her conduct has been highly satisfactory.
  4. I had an interview with her employer, Nevin, who reports very favourably of her, and of her ability, steadiness, and diligence, as a workwoman.


Feb. 26, 1847.   Incumbent of Holy Trinity Church, Stockton-on-Tees.

EDMUND SWALLOW, Huddersfield.

  1. He is learning the business of a spinner.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes, so as to gain the esteem of all who know him.
  4. We feel very thankful for the education he has received.


  1. Tailor.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. His acuteness and deportment reflect great credit on your philanthropic Institution.



  1. At home in sewing and helping in the household work.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. She is a good scholar and sews well.

I have inquired into the above case and ascertained that M. A. Fellows has been industriously employed at home, and has conducted herself very well since she left school.

Feb. 22, 1847. JOHN I. SPEAR, Incumbent, Minister of the Parish.


  1. She has been living at home, assisting her mother in the care of her family.
  2. She evidently works as well as others, and I think she is qualified for a servant.
  3. I have never heard anything to the contrary.
  4. She was confirmed in September last, and proved herself to be better prepared than most of the young persons of the same class of life; indeed few were able to give such satisfactory answers to the questions put to them. The questions to Grace Blackburn were given and answered on a slate.

February, 1847. JOHN SWIRE, B.A.,   Curate of Rothwell.

"Grace Blackburn still resides in my parish. She is a girl of good moral character, but circumstances connected with her home are a sad drawback to her religious improvement. Grace occasionally works in the fields, and assists her neighbours, and is considered particularly honest.

April 7th, 1851. JOHN BELL, M.A., Vicar of Rothwell."


  1. Jobbing hand, or doffer in a flax mill.
  2. He is fully as active as any boy in the same employment.
  3. His conduct has been very good and satisfactory.
  4. His father intends getting him a trade as a mechanic as soon as he can meet with a situation for him, as he appears to have qualifications for such employment.

TITLEY, TATHAM, & WALKERS, Flax spinners, Leeds.


  1. She has been employed in knitting, sewing and other domestic occupations.
  2. She is found quite as quick as others.
  3. She conducts herself in a proper, modest and becoming manner; her behaviour is very much approved of, and she is always willing to do everything that is required of her.
  4. We have intended her learning dressmaking and millinery, but her health will not admit of the confinement. She always takes great interest in talking about school, and ever appears grateful for the kind instructions she received while there.

February, 1847.   WILLIAM SCOTT JAMES. "I beg to inform you that Sarah Russel is engaged in household duties, and as to her moral and religious character, she gives her friends every satisfaction.

Leeds, April 10, 1854. WILLIAM SCOTT JAMES."

WILLIAM SIMMONITE, Sheffield.   [More…]

  1. He is in the employ of his father at home, by trade a tailor.
  2. He acquires the business with the same, or greater facility than many who hear and speak. There is but little trouble in teaching him.
  3. Up to the present time he is highly respected by all who know him2; for his good and peaceable behaviour.
  4. It will be interesting to the Committee to learn that he is regular in his at tendance on divine worship, and diligent in business. When his father has plenty of work he can hardly be restrained, and he is very unhappy when there is but little employment as at present.

February 23, 1847. GEORGE ASKHAM, Sheffield.

"I am not acquainted with any one that can furnish you with the exact particulars of the brothers of Simmonite. I know them both well myself, and can speak as to their skill in the trades they respectively follow. The older of the two is a tailor, and is doing very well, he is considered very clever, and has many customers. The younger is a table-blade forger, and is apprenticed to his eldest brother, and promises fair to be a good hand at his business. They are particularly steady and bear a very good name among their neighbours. I believe that neither of them makes any profession of religion, but theyregularly attend a place of worship. They are what I call strictly moral young men.

103, Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield. JAMES HILL."


  1. In dressmaking.
  2. Equally as well as others.
  3. She has behaved well.
  4. I have great pleasure in saying that Anne Maxwell is very dutiful at home, in every respect, and as far as I am informed by her mistress, she is all attention to her business.


"Anne Maxwell is an apprentice with me to the dressmaking, she acquires the business very well, and has behaved well since she came to me. She will become a good dressmaker.


JOHN CARTER, Bradford.

"In reply to the questions you desire answering, I beg to say that since John Carter left the Institution he has been apprentice to me to learn the art of boot-closer. He has required more attention at my hands than one that could hear and speak, but I should have no objection to take another in the same condition, with the same abilities. He learns his business tolerably well. 3. He is very steady, attentive to work, goes regularly to chapel and ever expresses himself with the deepest gratitude for the benefits he has received at the Institution.

Bradford, October 14, 1853.   JOSEPH FLESHER."


  1. He has never been able to do anything from want of intellect.
  2. He is very steady and moral, in his general behaviour no fault can be found whatever.

Bradford, November 19, 1853. WILLIAM ACKROYD. His father.

EDWIN MITCHELL, Batley, near Dewsbury.

  1. Tailoring,
  2. Better and quicker than those who can hear and speak.
  3. Quite satisfactory.
  4. He seems very thankful for the education he has received at school.

JOSEPH FALLAS, Batley, near Dewsbury.

You wished to know about Edwin's conduct — it is very good, he never retires to rest without reading a chapter, he attends the Wesleyan Methodist chapel every Sunday; he is a good worker, he has learned his business with the same facility, and quicker and better than those who can hear and speak, he is not out of his time yet till next August; we shall let you hear further when he is out of his apprenticeship.

Batley Cur, Dewsbury, October 20, 1853. DAVID MITCHELL.


  1. Bookbinding.
  2. No, but nearly.
  3. Yes, but rather self-willed.
  4. He has an anxiety to improve.



  1. Apprentice to Mr. E. Haller, shoemaker, New George Street, Hull.
  2. Yes, or nearly so, but for the last two years he has suffered a good deal from tender eyes, and has been, and is still under medical treatment, which to some extent interferes with the rapid acquiring of his business, otherwise he would have succeeded
  3. Yes, his mother says very unexceptionable, occasionally, a little obstinate, most apparent when misunderstood, but generally he is very kind and obedient.
  4. His mother reports him as very fond of attendance on public worship on the Sabbath; and she desires me to express her heartfelt thankfulness for the instruction her son received at the Institution.

Mr. Lockwood being dead I beg to hand you the accompanying particulars relative to the boy Carter, which I believe to be strictly correct. I frequently see the lad and am always pleased with the look of intelligence which he manifests.

October 20, 1853. WILLIAM BALK, Druggist, 23, Lowgate, Hull.


  1. Lace mending and helping her father.
  2. She is very stupid, I put her to mantua-making, but she would not attend.
  3. I see little of her, she comes home on Sunday if she wants anything.
  4. Nothing of interest; she has lost her mother, by her account, her brothers are very worthless, and do not help her or the father, who is rheumatic.



  1. In that of a shoemaker with Mr. Oyston Cross, and last month entered upon his last year with him.
  2. Yes, quite so, if he will attend to it, particularly the stitching and sewing portion of it.
  3. No, much otherwise, and judging from his appearance and from what I hear very disreputable indeed.
  4. I wish I could here add anything in palliation of the above, but I cannot, as he is much given to drunkenness and stealing; and I believe I may add keeping very bad company.


BENJAMIN LODGE, Northowram, Halifax.

  1. Flag-facer, or quarryman.
  2. Yes, and is at present a very good workman.
  3. His conduct is highly satisfactory, both moral and religious, which has proved a great blessing to his parents.
  4. Benjamin Lodge has lived in Northowram for the last five years and I have been very much acquainted with him; he has been one of the most regular scholars in our Sabbath-school, and a very regular attender at the house of God, and a consistent member of the Wesleyan Methodist society four years nearly.

DANIEL LAMBERT, Wesleyan Methodist, Northowram.


  1. A rubber at a type-foundry was his first occupation, he is now making spades and shovels.
  2. He acquired the type business with the same facility as those who could hear and speak.
  3. His conduct has been very good, and much approved of.
  4. From what we hear he prefers the type trade to the one he is at present.


JOHN DURHAM, Thornton Rust, Askrigg.

  1. Day labourer with his father, draining and getting stones for walls.
  2. Much quicker than many that can speak.
  3. Particularly sedate, and manifests abhorrence when he witnesses improper conduct.
  4. Particularly careful of doing all he can for his parents; generally harmless and ready to render any help to the neighbours.

I am requested by the parents of Alice and William Durham to ask you to present their grateful acknowledgment to the Committee for their benevolence, also that kind interest you have taken in behalf of these afflicted children. I have had frequent opportunity of observing the moral character of John Durham and regret that a youth of such a character should have no better means of improvement than he has. Thornton Rust, October 14, 1853. W. WILEY, Minister of the Gospel.

CHARLES WILSON, Bardney, Lincoln.

  1. Charles Wilson has been at home since he left school.
  2. He has acquired the farming business with the same facility as those who hear and speak.
  3. His conduct has been very good, he attends church on Sunday, and is fond of reading his Bible.
  4. He is very happy and industrious, and thankful for the benefits he received when at school.


H. M. SIMMONITE, Sheffield.

  1. Spring-knife manufacturer.
  2. As this trade is more intricate than the generality of trades, it is not to be supposed that he would be so well adapted to it, but under those circumstances he is extremely clever.
  3. Invariably so.
  4. I have no doubt but that by diligence and perseverance he will make a first rate workman.

WILLIAM WESTRAN, for George Wostenholme, Jun.

Washington Works, Sheffield, October 17,2 1853.

JANE MASON, Keighley.

  1. Jane Mason has learned the business of a power-loom weaver.
  2. She acquired the business nearly as well as others.
  3. Her conduct has been very much approved of. She is good tempered, and willing to do any kind of work that is required of her; and kind and good natured to all around her.

"We return the promoters of the Institution our sincere thanks for the learning bestowed on her, as she is a great deal better than at one time I ever thought she would be, and very useful, when at home.

Keighley, October 13, 1854. HOPHNI MASON, Her Father."


"Dear Sir,— I have very great pleasure in communicating to you all I know of my nephew, Owen Harty, since he left your establishment.

He writes frequently to me, and his letters are the best possible proof of the soundness of the education which he received under your kind care, they are written in good English,—clearly and forcibly expressed. In this respect, I consider him equal to many boys of his age, with similar opportunities of learning, but who possess the great advantage over him, of hearing and speaking. He spends much of his spare time in reading Travels and Biography, of which he is very fond.

He is now managing a farm for his father, and is most active and industrious in his superintendence of it; and although he cannot speak, he can make the workmen perfectly understand everything he wishes them to do.

He is most kind and amiable to his brothers and sisters, and being the eldest of the family, his exemplary conduct has much influence upon them for good.

In conclusion, I cannot help saying that his father and all his relations feel deeply grateful to you for having made him what he is,—a useful and intelligent member of society. I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,



  1. As a dressmaker and ladies' boot binder.
  2. She acquired that business as well, or nearly so, as those who hear and speak.
  3. She is at times very unruly and wilful.


SARAH SMITH, Silsden, Skipton.

  1. As nurse for her aunt.
  2. She has fixed upon the trade of dress and bonnet making and we intend her going next summer if all be well.


JONATHAN WOODSON, Wakefield.   [More…]

  1. As a letter-press-printer.
  2. I have found him equally as ready in taking up the business as those who can speak.
  3. He is remarkably docile, and very anxious to please and do his duty. I have found his conduct in the office very good, never having occasion to reprove him.
  4. His mother informs me that he is extremely affectionate toward her; that he gives up every Saturday evening the whole of his wage; that he is particularly fond of his brother, and is of a remarkably affectionate disposition.

Wakefield, Oct 12, 1853.   Proprietor of the Wakefield Journal.


  1. Has been engaged in the employment of shoemaker or cordwainer the last four years, he has two more years to stop.
  2. He acquired the trade very quickly after I got to understand the alphabet.
  3. His conduct has, so far, been good.


"I beg to inform you that Robert Wake of Hornby has been under my employ as a brick and tile maker for five years; he acquired the trade very quickly, and his conduct has been very good.

Great Smeaton, October 18, 1853.   GEORGE SMITH."

"I believe the instruction attained by the boys Wake at the deaf and dumb Institution to have been of the greatest service enabling them to make a living without assistance from their parents. They have conducted themselves well since leaving the Institution.

Sockburn, Darlington, November 2, 1853.   HENRY C. BLACKETT."

MARY YOUNG, Burgh-le-Marsh.

  1. As a dressmaker.
  2. Very nearly with the same facility as others.
  3. Her conduct has been very creditable.
  4. She gave great satisfaction to the person with whom she served her apprenticeship — and has frequently been employed by her since.

I thank you and the Committee for your kindness to my daughter, and have been sorry many times that I did not let her stay longer. I am happy to say she is steady no space, and likes her business and takes delight in it, and gives the satisfaction to her mistress and the people she works for.

I beg to add my testimony to these answers.

JOSEPH GILLOTT, Norton Lees, Sheffield.

  1. Apprentice to the lithographic business as a printer, with Parkin and Bacon, of Sheffield.
  2. His quickness at obtaining a knowledge of his work is surprising, and fully equal to any one who can speak. We expect him to be a very good workman.
  3. His conduct is very good and gives great satisfaction, and it will give us great pleasure to put him forward in his business.   October 19, 1853. PARKIN & BACON.
  4. The most interesting feature in the character of Joseph Gillott, I consider to be the earnestness with which he applies himself to the reading of the Scriptures.

PERCIVAL BOWEN, Clerk, Norton Lees.


  1. She has been at home as housekeeper to her father, as his housekeeper is dead.
  2. She is now learning dressmaking, with Mrs. Walker, at Eckington.
  3. She has been very clean, and very kind to all around her.
  4. I am informed that she is likely to learn her trade as well as any that can hear, she sends her respects to Mr. and Mrs. Baker and all their family.



  1. As a laundry maid, at Chevet, for seven years.
  2. She has given great satisfaction.
  3. Lady Pilkington thinks her a steady, well-behaved girl, and a good servant.
  4. She has been recently confirmed, and has once since received the Holy Communion.

(From LADY PILKINGTON, Chevet Park.)

GEORGE LEAF, Naburn, York.   [More…]

  1. In farming operations.
  2. Quite as readily.
  3. Most exemplary.
  4. He is of a very cheerful and communicative disposition and never seems to repine at, or indeed to feel his defective organization. His great resource for amusement is reading. I have no doubt he is much better informed on general subjects than the majority of boys of his age possessing all their faculties.

JAMES SABBEN, Incumbent of Naburn.

RICHARD LEAF, Naburn, York.   [More…]

  1. In farming operations.
  2. Quite so.
  3. Most exemplary.
  4. The same remarks are equally applicable to Richard as to his brother. I may add that another brother, Henry, was at the Institution, and that he is as steady and industrious as his brothers.

JAMES SABBEN, Incumbent of Naburn.


  1. He has been a shoemaker with his father ever since he left school.
  2. He has learned the business as well as any one who could speak and hear.
  3. His conduct has been pretty good.
  4. I hope and believe he will make a good man, and I must ever feel grateful for the advantages he received at the school.

W.J. MIDDLETON, Incumbent of Brompton.


  1. For a few months in a printing office where he did not suit. Since May, 1852. apprenticed to a shoemaker, Mr. Snaith.
  2. Mr. Snaith told me yesterday, that his aptitude in learning the trade was very good indeed better than many he had, and for the time (about 16 or 17 months) he had done very well.
  3. To my enquiry of his mother, she said his conduct on the whole was very fair, that he did not leave work till eight o'clock and was in the house about nine. Too much licence is given by many parents in allowing their children to be out after dark.
  4. In all cases of the deaf and dumb much of the good, both as to discipline and management, they have benefitted from while in the institution, after they leave, is, I fear, in a considerable degree, lost, by parents and employers not being able to continue the same.

Whitby, October 12, 1853   THOMAS WILLIAM BELCHER.

HENRY MORLEY, Leeds   [More…].

  1. He has been engaged as a boot and shoemaker.
  2. Better than a good many that can hear and speak.
  3. Very good conduct.

T. STOCKDALE, Master, Halton, Leeds.


  1. Power-loom-weaver.
  2. Yes.
  3. Her general conduct has been most satisfactory.
  4. She and her family express themselves in terms of great thankfulness to Mr. and Mrs. Baker. Her parents say she appears to take great pleasure in reading her Bible. She is very obedient and affectionate in her conduct towards them, orderly and cleanly in her general habits, respectful to her superiors, industrious and grateful for attention.

WILLIAM BRAILSFORD, Wesleyan Minister.

AMOS A. PARKIN, Kirkburton.  [More…]

Ray Hall Terrace, Birkby, near Huddersfield, June 10th, 1853.

"Dear Sir,—In reply to yours of the 6th inst. enquiring, 'Whether I have found Amos Parkin as well prepared as my pupils usually are for entering on the profession of a pattern designer?' I answer, Yes. Although much inferior to my first apprentice, I consider him superior to my second one,—yet like the majority of students in our drawing classes sadly deficient in outline sketching with boldness and freedom.

'Has he thus far acquired his business with the same facility as those who hear and speak?' Yes. He is quick and intelligent, strives to improve, and is progressing favourably.

'Lastly, his conduct generally has been satisfactory. I have great pleasure in reporting thus favourably of his general conduct and trusting that it may long continue — I remain, Dear Sir, yours faithfully,


LUCY WOOD, Clifton, Halifax.

  1. She has been learning from her sisters the dressmaking business.
  2. With the same facility as her sisters or others.
  3. Her conduct has been good.
  4. She was found to receive instruction for her late confirmation readily and to be well informed in several particulars.


MATILDA HUNSLEY, Manton, near Brigg.

  1. At home with her mother; having always shown at the spring and fall the symptoms of a decline, but now she is quite altered.
  2. We have left Manton and are residing at Brigg, and she is keeping house for her mother as she goes out a nursing. M. Hunsley is very clever and tidy and clean, and she feels grateful that she ever came into your valuable Institution.
  3. Yes, she has conducted herself very respectably, and she is very much admired for her manners and conduct.
  4. I mean her to be a trade if possible. I should be glad to answer any other questions you think proper at any other time.

E. HUNSLEY. I attest the accuracy of the above statements. R. H. PATERSON, Surgeon, Brigg.

JANE TANFIELD, Cherry Burton.

  1. She assists in household work at home.
  2. She is very industrious, and very exact in everything; she never has to be told twice.
  3. She is a pattern to those who can hear and speak.
  4. We think it a most valuable Institution. We sincerely wish it ever blest.



  1. Employed in housework.
  2. With equal facility.
  3. Yes.
  4. If it would be convenient I should like to send her again for 12 months as she is rather stupid with her mother and is not a very good arithmetician, also her sewing is not so good as I should wish; not that I complain of the instruction she has received, but, on the contrary I am thankful, and quite assured there has been no lack on your part.


JOHN HAWXWELL, Azenby, Thirsk.

  1. Cordwainer.
  2. Nearly so.
  3. His conduct has been good.
  4. We are thankful to the Committee for their kind interest in our children's welfare, we regularly hear of our son's good behaviour.

THOMAS MYERS, M, A., Vicar of Sheriff Hutton.

I see Hawxwell occasionally, and believe him to be well treated. T. M.

JAMES LONGSTAFF, Hunton, near Bedale.

  1. As a shoemaker.
  2. He learns his business very well but he requires closer attendance than other boys; but when he gets more perfect at his trade I think he will be better.
  3. He is a good behaved boy to his master; and the sharpest boy I ever had to send an errand, and on the Sabbath he attends regularly the place of worship.

Nov. 18, 1853. THOMAS ATKINSON, Spennithorne, Yorkshire.

JOHN CLIFF, Leeds.   [More…]

Lithographic Printing and general Stationery Establishment, 25, Boar-lane, Leeds, June 8th, 1853.

"Sir, I have great pleasure in informing you that I find John Cliff a very promising youth, and well educated for the business of a lithographic printer. I think he has thus far acquired a knowledge of the business, as perfectly and as quickly as any boy ever did that could hear and speak. His conduct in the office has been admired by all.—I am, Sir, your very obedient servant,



  1. That of a boat-hauler.
  2. Yes.
  3. His parents are far from being satisfactory in their conduct, and consequently evince no anxiety to follow up the good instruction which their son received at the school.

JOHN PULLEIN, Vicar of Kirkthorpe.

Much do I regret that it is not in my power to furnish you with fuller and more interesting particulars respecting Joseph Askew; but you know something of his parents, and therefore I am sure you will not be surprised at the state of things.

ANN JANE EARNSHAW, Wooldale, Holmfirth.

  1. At home doing housework. She has also been employed in sorting small pieces of woollen cloth, as to colours, quality, &c.
  2. Nearly so, but it was a great pity she was removed from your most charitable Institution before she had acquired the means of a ready communication by the pen, which would have assisted her in this employ greatly, and have fitted her for a far superior situation.
  3. Yes, her conduct has produced her an excellent character for industry and general integrity.

We have nothing further of interest to communicate but our sincere thankful ness for the benefits of the Institution; for the kind enquiry after our daughter; and we should be glad to hear from the Institution at any time.

R. E. LEACH, Incumbent of Holmfirth.   GEORGE & SARAH EARNSHAW.

JAMES WILCOCK, Hollock Lees, Erringden.   [More…]

  1. As a tailor.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.

H. C. SUTCLIFFE, Assistant Overseer.

JOSEPH GAWTHORP, Skelmanthorp.

  1. Shoemaking under the instruction of his father.
  2. Can do what he has been put to tolerably well; but he has not as yet been employed on any very difficult kind of work.
  3. Yes, remarkably industrious, but rather more reluctant to obey the rules of the establishment than others, till thoroughly made to understand its propriety.
  4. He is rather deficient in conversational quickness, but perhaps with more practice he will improve. Upon the whole he is a credit to the Institution of which he was lately a pupil; and his parents can never cease to be grateful for the benefit received.

ISAAC GAWTHORP, Skelmanthorp.

SARAH BOULTON, Huddersfield.

  1. She has been employed as a dressmaker.
  2. She has acquired her business with greater facility than most of those who hear and speak.
  3. It has.
  4. She is a very willing and obedient girl; industrious and economical. She can excel her employer in sewing, her employer acknowledges this; and she is quick in learning anything.


AMOS A. PARKIN, Kirkburton.

  1. He was apprenticed to a designer, but since leaving his employers he has resided with his parents, and is employed in farming, and assisting his father with writing.
  2. His employers stated that he did.
  3. Yes.



  1. She learned the occupation of a dressmaker, in which she has been engaged part of her time; during the other part she has assisted as a domestic servant.
  2. As far as I have understood she did so.
  3. With one exception — I have always understood that her conduct has been uniformly good.

W. M. HEALD, Vicar of Birstal.


  1. Ivory cutting.
  2. With the same facility.
  3. Very steady and industrious.
  4. The religious education which he received at school has not been thrown away, which I feel very thankful for.



  1. As a tailor,
  2. No.
  3. Yes.


WILLIAM INGRAM, Woodhall, Ellerby.

  1. In the farming business.
  2. Industrious, and can do anything in farming.
  3. Conduct good, very steady, and well-behaved.
  4. Can plough and harrow as well as any one else.



  1. In engine fitting and turning.
  2. Nearly as well as those who can hear.
  3. Yes.
  4. I find some difficulty in giving him instructions.

Manager of the Great Northern, Co's. Works, Doncaster

SAMUEL HODGSON, Settle.   [More…]

  1. Apprentice to a joiner and cabinet maker.
  2. As quick as others, and his conduct satisfactory.
  3. He has been working for his master at a house which his master is building for me. I find him intelligent and anxious to learn his business.

WILLIAM FOSTER. Solicitor, Settle,

THOMAS ROBINSON, Allerton Bywater.

  1. Helping the masons.
  2. Tolerably well.
  3. Rather rude and self-willed.
  4. We are striving to get him employed with a shoemaker.

E. D. BLAND, Minister.

NANCY FAWLEY, Scholes, Kirkburton.

  1. She has been employed with us at wool-picking about two months.
  2. With that facility, or nearly so, as those who hear and speak.
  3. Her conduct has been very good ever since she came into our employment.
  4. She appears to be very well educated, and we have no doubt but that she will take up almost any employment as soon as any persons who can hear and speak.

WILLIAM G. SMITH, Fern Lee Vale, Saddleworth.

SAMUEL WILCOCK, Hollock Lees.   [More…]

  1. As a tailor.
  2. Yes.
  3. Generally good.
  4. He is likely to make a good workman, he will surpass his brother James, who is also with me, for he has more ability. I have pleasure in saying I can give a good report of them both in every respect.

Woollen Merchant, Outfitter, &c., Hebden Bridge.

(See also letter from Rev J. Armitage Rhodes at the end of this list.)


  1. In dressmaking.
  2. Nearly as well, and she has pretty full employment, principally among the working class.
  3. Her conduct has been very good.
  4. Her parents are poor but respectable people. Martha attends the religious service held at the Savings Bank for the Deaf and Dumb, and appears very intelligent.



  1. In boot and shoe-making.
  2. He is attentive to business, and though not rapid, he improves.
  3. Yes.
  4. He is cheerful and fond of his business. He wished me to thank Mr. Baker and the Committee for their kindness to him.


ALFRED PLATTS, Tapton, Sheffield.

  1. As a spring-knife cutler.
  2. His father, who is in the same business, considers that he has acquired his business as easily and as successfully as any other lad.
  3. I understand he has uniformly given satisfaction to his employers.
  4. He has not come under my personal knowledge, and I am therefore unable to say more concerning him. I do not, however, believe that anything unfavourable can be said of him.

CHARLES G. COOMBE, Incumbent of Crooks.

WILLIAM SHERRIFF, Whitgift, Goole.

  1. Aa a tailor.
  2. Equal to others, and better than many.
  3. In every respect good.
  4. He understands everything that I want him to do, either by my look or by the motion of my hands. I can send him anywhere with clothes with the greatest confidence of their being delivered to my satisfaction. I should like another apprentice from the Institution.

GEORGE SOWERBY, Garthorpe, Goole.

WILLIAM TASKER, Tong, near Leeds.

  1. Since he left school he has been employed in the trade of a tailor, though he has not been the whole of that time with me; he came to me about eighteen months ago to stay till he is twenty-one.
  2. Considering the disadvantages arising from the change of masters, and the lateness at which he went to the business, he has acquired it with as much ease as those who hear and speak.
  3. With few exceptions his conduct has been very satisfactory; he is willing, active, steady and regular in his habits.
  4. On the whole he reflects great credit on the managers of your valuable Institution. He joins his father in tendering you thanks for your kind inquiries, wishing the greatest success may attend the Institution.

WILLIAM NAYLOR, Cleckheaton.

ANN ROCKLIFFE, Kirk-smeaton.

  1. She lives at home, and occasionally goes out to assist in washing, and in dressmaking when opportunity offers.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. She is generally lively and happy, and appears desirous of associating with those of her own age. She sometimes attends church.

Rector of Kirk-smeaton.

JAMES SHAW, Retford.

  1. Bookbinding, in London the last 3½ years.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. From a few shillings weekly his wages have been gradually raised to fourteen shillings a week, so that he now almost entirely supports himself; indeed he has paid his board and lodgings (twelve shillings a week) for nearly two years.

JOSEPH HUNT, his Master.
MARY WHITE, Retford.


  1. In dress and bonnet making:
  2. She is equal to others in imitation and quickness in sewing; it is rather more difficult to give her a knowledge of the business throughout.
  3. She has been more than two years with us; during that time her conduct has been, in every respect, satisfactory.
  4. She is strictly honest, remarkably clean and orderly, has great reverence for the Sabbath, and her demeanor is universally admired, and reflects great credit on the school.


JANE SHAW, Milns-bridge, Huddersfield.

  1. As a boot and shoe-binder.
  2. As nearly as can be expected.
  3. Very good.
  4. She attends the church Sunday School regularly. I think it is the greatest blessing to me that she came under your care, and I heartily thank you for the kind services you rendered to my daughter while at school.



  1. As a reeler.
  2. Scarcely so well.
  3. Quite so.

JOHN HOLDSWORTH & Co., Employers.

SARAH ANN HARKER, Grassington.

  1. Since she left school she has been assisting in house-work, in the farming department, with as much activity as those who have both speech and hearing.
  2. She has been a few weeks learning dressmaking, her mistress speaks very highly of her; she scarcely ever saw her equal for the time she has been there.
  3. Her conduct has been good-very obedient.
  4. She takes great delight in reading, and her writing is very good; she can write the nicest letter of any of our family. We have been obliged to take her from dressmaking on account of her mother's ill health. She is very particular about preparing meals, and does all so tidily.
JAMES HARKER, her Father,
Brigg House, Pateley Bridge.


  1. In weaving in a linen mill.
  2. Yes, he learned easily, and can do his work very well without assistance.
  3. His conduct is very good, we seldom have to find fault with him.
  4. He seems to understand what we say to him, and is always willing to do with pleasure what we tell him.



  1. As a letter-press printer.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. He is of quick perception, regular habits, industrious, and will be a clever workman.

March 31, 1859.   Master, Liverpool.

"I feel very great pleasure in returning you the Circular which has been filled up by William's master, and which I trust will be satisfactory to you after your very great care of and attention to my son while he was under your tuition.



  1. As a nailmaker.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. He takes very great pleasure in reading, and has generally a book in his hand at meals.

R. HEELIS, Incumbent of Silsden.


  1. First, as apprentice to a shoemaker, but in this trade his eye-sight became impaired; then he was sent to a cotton-mill, where he got severely injured; for the last nine months he has been engaged in small jobs under his father, a Rockman.
  2. Very good, since he came home.
  3. He was a year at a National School after he came home, the poverty of his parents led them to withdraw him and put him to a trade.

P. C. KIDD, Clerk, Skipton Vicarage.

MARY HARDAKER, Bramley, Leeds.

  1. Since July 1856, she has been engaged in dressmaking.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. At first I found her very obstinate, but with firmness mixed with kindness, I find her willing to oblige and affectionate in disposition. I think her more easily influenced than those who can hear and speak.



  1. She remains with her parents, who are small shopkeepers, and assists in housework.
  2. Good; she is a quick, intelligent, and obedient child.
  3. Had she remained at the Institution, which she ought to have done, she would have become a more useful member of society. Her parents took her away, without sufficient reason, I think, to the child's lasting disadvantage.

J. M. MAXFIELD, Incumbent of Marsden.

JOHN SYKES, Marsden.

  1. With an uncle-a plasterer and cowkeeper. Assists in both capacities.
  2. No, for there is sufficient reason in his being deficient in intellect.
  3. Pretty good, but he requires watching for the reason assigned.
  4. I knew the boy for some time before he went to the Institution, and it was chiefly at my recommendation that he was admitted. The result of twelve months training at Doncaster in this case may be briefly stated thus:— before he went he acknowledged no authority, and would obey no one. After his return he was submissive and obedient in a degree I scarcely reckoned upon, and he continues so. There is a moral habit without a moral conviction. I think for the Institution to have done this —forming the former, where there was no chance of effecting the latter-says a good deal for the efficiency of the system which is pursued.

J. M. MAXFIELD, Incumbent of Marsden.

M. A. BEDFORD, Bradford.

  1. Dressmaking and plain sewing.
  2. Quite as readily.
  3. Her conduct has been quite correct.
  4. She attends the religious service for the Deaf and Dumb held at the Savings' Bank, and shows considerable religious feeling and love for reading the Bible. Her health is very poor and she has frequently been obliged to go into the infirmary. She is at present lodging with Martha Laycock's parents, and with occasional help from a few friends interested in her, maintains herself.

March 24, 1859. MARY E. LYTHALL.

HANNAH STEPHENSON, Woodhouse, Leeds.

  1. She has assisted her mother in washing linen.
  2. Nearly with the same facility.
  3. It has been generally satisfactory.
  4. She has some dislike to washing, and would like to be a dressmaker; her mother is a poor widow, and unable to give her any trade, and she would like to know whether your Institution makes any provision to assist in giving a trade.



  1. In learning to be a tailor.
  2. He is considered to have good abilities, and to be rather sharp at learning his trade.
  3. He has been a little wayward or stubborn in his disposition, but is going on more satisfactorily. I have seen his parents this day, and we hope well of him.



  1. As a joiner and cabinet-maker.
  2. With equal facility, (making some allowance for the difficulty felt by his master) he has proved himself very quick and intelligent.
  3. His conduct is quite satisfactory; he is very tractable, giving less trouble than his fellow-apprentices.
  4. His master is so much pleased with him as to have formed a very high opinion of the school; and gives the above testimony without any qualification whatever.

Head-master of the Woodhouse Grove School.

SARAH LEVETT, Friskney, near Boston.

  1. She has resided with her father, who is an agricultural labourer; and has gone out to work with him and her mother.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes, she is very well behaved, and takes pleasure in coming to the Sunday School, and attending church.
  4. I was sorry I could not get a kitchen-maid's place for her; as far as I can judge, she goes on very respectably. She retains her tidy habits, and I am thankful I was able to send her to partake of the benefits of your excellent Institution.

March 25, 1859. T. W. BOOTH, Vicar of Friskney.


  1. As a house and sign-painter, decorator and gilder.
  2. Yes, up to the present time.
  3. He is willing, well behaved, and strictly to be relied upon, honest and industrious.
  4. He is very regular in his religious duties, cheerful with every one, easily makes himself understood, ever ready to go on an errand though he may never have been at the place before, and most people like to have him to work for them; his training certainly reflects the highest credit on those under whose care he was placed at the Institution.

March 31, 1859. JOHN STAINFORTH, 16, South Street, Hull.


  1. She has been assisting at home since she left school.
  2. Nearly so.
  3. Her conduct has been good.


  1. Employed at a spinning-mill, and afterwards at a cloth-mill.
  2. I think she did, but her health has not been good.
  3. Yes.



  1. In assisting in the manufacture of gills, hackles or combs for flax-dressing machines.
  2. No, not nearly so in gill making, but in planeing wood we find him much more efficient.
  3. Yes.
  4. He is industrious, and a very steady lad.


WILLIAM DURHAM, Thornton Rust, Bedale.

  1. In boot-closing.
  2. Very little difference.
  3. He has not always been obedient, but there has been a decided improvement of late.

Doncaster, April 2, 1859. ROBERT JAQUES, Master.


  1. Learning the art of French polishing with me.
  2. More so than any I have ever had before.
  3. Perfectly so.
  4. He has been a faithful and honest servant to me, and he retains a most grateful remembrance of the benefits he derived from your excellent Institution; he is likewise a dutiful son and affectionate brother.

March 26, 1859. Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer.

ANN SHILLETO, Bilbrough, York.

  1. She has been engaged in domestic duties at home.
  2. We find her very quick, teachable, and obedient.
  3. She is very steady and gives great satisfaction and comfort to us.
  4. She sends her thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Baker for all their kindness to her. She has had a desire lately to be a dressmaker, but no decision has been come to.



  1. In no occupation.
  2. She is very useful with her needle, and in all domestic matters, she wishes to be a dressmaker, and we shall put her to this business next summer.
  3. Quite so by those about her; she is a steady and obedient daughter, and well behaved to strangers.
  4. She is inclined to be a good moral and religious girl, often expressing her sincere thanks to those who have paid so much attention to her, and brought her to a proper sense of her duties, for which we desire to be truly thankful.

W. & M. FEAST.


  1. As a boot and shoemaker.
  2. Quite as well, better than many.
  3. His master, so far, is quite satisfied with him.

S. H. HOOPER, Minister.

THOMAS SHEE, Bradford.

  1. He was, till about eighteen months ago, at an engraver's press which rendered his hands very stiff; he is now an apprentice with me as a tailor.
  2. His notions of form are as good as most boys would be in the same time, but his other qualifications are not so good, which I attribute to his former employment. I have found him more difficult to teach than boys who hear, but I think that will soon be overcome, as he is very willing.
  3. Yes.
  4. I have been much pleased at not finding in him that jealous feeling which I have noticed in the Deaf and Dumb, which I think one of the greatest marks of progress.

April, 1859.   JOHN WRIGHT, Tailor and Draper, Bradford.

ANN TINLEY, Southwell.

  1. She is employed at home assisting her mother in all sorts of house-work.
  2. Quite as well with a little showing.
  3. Very good indeed.
  4. She is very clean and industrious, and quick with her needle, fond of reading her bible and regularly attends church or chapel, twice on a sabbath day. We feel ourselves very thankful to the Institution for her instruction.


  1. Bound to the tailoring from 11th November, 1857, for seven years, as an out-door apprentice.
  2. I find him more difficult to teach than one who can hear and speak, but quite as well as I could expect. He will make a good workman.
  3. Yes, in a general way,
  4. Further information shall be given at a future time.

WILLIAM PYZER, Tailor, Southwell.


  1. As a lithographic printer.
  2. Not quite so ready, but quite as perfect.
  3. His conduct is very good indeed, I never had a boy better behaved or more willing.
  4. I think he will make a very fine youth at his business. He is kind in disposition, punctual and quick.


EDWIN HALEY, Bradford.

  1. First as an apprentice to wool-sorting, since then as a power-loom weaver.
  2. He did not appear to get on as a sorter, and therefore was put to weaving where he does pretty well.
  3. The sorters complained that he was volatile, but the weaving overlooker makes no complaint.

TITUS SALT, SONS, & Co., Employers.


  1. Servant with a Schoolmaster.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. His behaviour has been very satisfactory to his master and creditable to himself.

HENRY FRYER, Master of Stokesley Union.

JAMES DOBSON, Bowling, Bradford

  1. In engraving,
  2. Yes, nearly so.
  3. It has.
  4. He seems very wishful to learn his business efficiently, and I have no doubt (although his progress may not be so rapid as those who have all their faculties) from his application to his work, he will eventually make a very creditable workman.

S. O. BAILY, Master, Leeds Road, Bradford.

GEORGE TURNER, Laughton-en-le-Morthen.

  1. As an agricultural labourer.
  2. His master speaks well of him as a labourer, though his infirmity operates in some measure against him.
  3. His conduct in all respects is exemplary.
  4. There is nothing further to state than that he gives great satisfaction to his master.

WM. S. HARTLEY, Vicar of Laughton-en-le-Morthen.

THOMAS WIDD, Driffield.

  1. Employed in saw-mills and engine-driving for two years.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. Honest, industrious, and obliging.

T. A. STERRIKER, Driffield.


  1. Carver to cabinet makers.
  2. Not quite, but he evidently endeavours to do so, and is making rapid progress.
  3. Yes.

BURN & SONS, Whitby.


  1. As a printer, jobbing-work principally.
  2. I find little difficulty in imparting a knowledge of our business to him; little more time and patience are required on my part, for which he makes up by his general conduct.
  3. Yes.
  4. He is always punctual to the time for commencing work, always diligent while at work, and ready to do anything he is told to do.

JOHN CORBRIDGE, Leeds, Master.


  1. She has been employed in dressmaking.
  2. At first rather slow, but is greatly improved; she is now occasionally employed as journeywoman.
  3. Rather irritable at times, but on the whole very good.
  4. Clean and tidy; we believe her to be a very honest girl.


"I would add to the remarks of Mrs. Hird, that Priscilla Bastow has much improved in order, industry, and temper. She is a regular attendant at Church, and will, I trust be a credit to her family, and prove the value of your most excellent Institution."

The Parsonage, Gomersal, May 12, 1859.   M. S. DALY.


  1. In stuff-weaving.
  2. Yes, as well.
  3. Very much indeed.


"Isabel is as good in domestic matters as any that hear and speak. I cannot express myself too highly of her; your Institution has been a great blessing to her.




Messrs. Webb, Millington, and Co., of Leeds and Otley, have a large establishment at the latter place for printing, engraving, bookbinding, and colouring of prints. At this manufactory several of the former Pupils of the Institution have been regularly employed for some years, and the following letter has been recently received respecting them:—

SIR—In answer to your letter we beg to say that Joseph Widdop is and has been very steady for some time. He was married lately to a young person of Rigton, (Lucy Simpson). Joseph Teale) is also very steady, and a good workman, but slow. Mary Ann Cooke is in pretty good earnings. Hannah Newsome (a girl recently left School) progresses slowly, but we are looking for improvement. Her two brothers, I am sorry to say, are not with us. The elder one (Thomas Newsome) is very whimsical, and does not exercise patience to learn, but thinks too highly of himself; the younger one is working at Mr. Garnett's paper-mill.

I am, Sir, yours respectfully, for Partners and Self,

Otley, June 1, 1854.   RICHARD HODGSON.

JOSEPH TEALE, Leeds.   [Previous…]

In reply to yours of the 22nd. instant inquiring into the character and conduct of Joseph Teale, Mr. Burton wishes me to say that he is in every respect what he could wish, he is punctual and attentive to business, is making great progress in the finer branches of his trade (as both ornamental and writing engraver) and in a fair way of making for himself a comfortable position, which his good conduct fully merits.

Your obedient servant,
pro. GEO. BURTON, J. B.

JOS. R. CUSWORTH, Leeds.   [Previous…]

J. R. Cusworth has been in my employ for upwards of three years, and has always proved himself a sober, industrious workman, and from whatever I have overseen in my presence a very good behaved and obliging character. Yours very respectfully,

Leeds, March 30, 1859.   JOHN BARRAN.

JOSEPH S. NICHOLSON, Leeds.   [Previous…]

In reply to your inquiries respecting my son, I have to say that he is steady, industrious, and very persevering in his business; he is a constant attendant at the adult school, and seems to take a great interest in it.

I am, yours respectfully,

March 28, 1859.   THOMAS NICHOLSON.

JOHN HEATON, Bradford.   [Previous…]

Bradford, March 28, 1859.


I have pleasure in replying to yours of the 22nd. instant.

I am very well satisfied with Heaton as a workman and also with respect to his conduct. He has been with me now about twelve years, and I can say his conduct during the whole of that time has been such as will more than bear comparison with the generality of workmen.

He is now married to a very respectable young woman (Sarah Russell) also deaf and dumb, who I believe makes him a good wife; they have one child, a fine interesting little boy to whom they both seem fondly attached.

I have great pleasure in thus being able to bear testimony to these particulars, and have no doubt but they will be received by you with great satisfaction.

I remain, yours most respectfully,


JONATHAN WOODSON, Wakefield.   [Previous…]

Journal and Examiner Office, Wakefield. April 18, 1859.


In answer to your inquiries respecting Jonathan Woodson I have to report favourably . He has finished his time as an apprentice in my office and I have continued him as a journeyman.

He is very attentive and industrious, not quick; but still intelligent. His general character, out of office, I believe is good, and he continues to reside with his mother, and I believe contributes very materially to her maintenance. I have every reason to believe that he has a strong feeling of affection for her. All I have to say of him up to the present time is favourable. I am, dear sir, yours truly,


WILLIAM & H. M. SIMMONITE, Sheffield.   [Previous…] and    [Previous…]


In reply to your note received this morning I beg to inform you that William Simmonite has been married about two years to a former pupil of yours, (Mary Pickering). He is following his trade as a Tailor, and is very steady, and I believe a very good workman. He is living near Fitzwilliam Street, and has a nice cottage house. H. M. Simmonite is of a more restless disposition, he is fond of a few days holiday occasionally, for pleasure; he is a good workman, is very attentive to his work, and I believe gives general satisfaction to his employers (G. Wostenholme and Son, Washington Works.) On the whole I should say they are both doing as well as can be reasonably expected by their friends.

I am, Sir, yours faithfully,

51, Wellington St., Sheffield.   W.WESTRAN.

JOHN CLIFF, Leeds.   [Previous…]

Boar Lane, Leeds, March 26, 1859.

SIR, John Cliff finished his time with me about twelve months ago. He got to be a very good printer, and worked until about three months ago with me as a journeyman, and left on account of some disturbance with the men in the office, of his own accord. I believe he is now in a very good situation in Liverpool; anytime he is disengaged and I have room for him I should not object to take him on again.

I am dear Sir, yours, & c.,


HENRY, GEORGE AND RICHARD LEAF, Naburn.   [Previous…],[Previous…],[Previous…]

Stillingfleet, March 30, 1859.


Henry, George, and Richard Leaf are now living in this parish, and I have great pleasure in bearing my testimony to the excellence of their character; they are very steady, active, industrious and intelligent young men.

Yours faithfully,


HENRY MORLEY, Leeds. [Previous…])

Henry Morley has been with me upwards of three years, and during that time has conducted himself to my entire satisfaction. I find him to be an industrious, sober, and steady workman, and believe him to be a very moral character.

Yours, &c.,

April 5, 1859.   JOHN AMBLER.

SAMUEL HODGSON, Settle. [Previous…]


I received your letter respecting my son. He has served his seven years apprenticeship to a joiner and cabinet maker to the satisfaction of his master, and is now working as a journeyman with him, and both parties are well satisfied. He attends church twice every Sunday, and is always at his books at night; you might have signatures from all the gentlemen in Settle respecting his good conduct. He is a blessing to his parents and we shall always feel thankful for the learning he got at school. He has been confirmed at Settle church.

With all kind respects, I remain, &c.

Settle, April 5, 1859.   SAMUEL HODGSON.

JAMES AND SAMUEL WILCOCK, Hollock Lees, Erringden. [Previous…],[Previous…]


Allow me to give you an account of two of your former pupils. This is due to you alike as an acknowledgment of your past services, and as an encouragement for your future arduous duties.

At Hebden Bridge, near which I occasionally reside, there lives Mr. Kershaw, Tailor and Draper, a man of great respectability and usefulness; he has four boys in his employment who are Deaf and Dumb, two of them are from the Yorkshire Institution at Doncaster, they are brothers. James Wilcock has served Mr. Kershaw six years and his apprenticeship will expire when he attains 23 years of age — which will be in August next. He has uniformly conducted himself very well, and is useful in his business, but is not so quick and skilful as his brother.

Samuel Wilcock is 19½ years old, he has still 1½ years to serve as an apprentice. At his first arrival from your Institution he seemed inclined to be stubborn, but he soon acquired a pliable disposition. In his business, he is superior to his brother, and is getting on very nicely, he has both industry and talent.

Both these young men attend church very cheerfully and regularly, and can follow and understand the public prayers. The elder manifests great anxiety for religious improvement. They both give great satisfaction. Hitherto I have used the exact terms in which Mr. Kershaw has this day spoken of them.

Mr. Kershaw has, besides these, two boys who came from the London Institution, and has great pleasure in teaching them all, both from the compassion he feels for them in the great deprivations they suffer from want of the ordinary faculties, and also from the improvement they all make in fitting themselves to be useful members of society. His labor brings to his benevolent mind, an immediate reward, and he has every prospect that, with God's blessing on his exertions, the present promise of a future virtuous life may be realized in each of them.

I have enquired as to their acquired power of giving any intelligible utterance of sound, a faculty, in most, capable of much improvement, and to the uninstructed in the signs used by the Deaf and Dumb, of great consequence, but none of them use this mode of making themselves intelligible, except Smith, a pupil from London.

Mr. Kershaw says the Deaf and Dumb require more care, but they are equally industrious and useful as other servants, and that their pride, when under due regulation, is not so objectionable, as from its commonness amongst them, might be feared. If I have trespassed too long upon your time, I hope you will excuse me, as you know I feel very deep interest in such poor sufferers.

I am, with much respect, yours truly,

Roundhay, 2nd April, 1859.   Rev. J. ARMITAGE RHODES.

Transcription © Peter Higginbotham 2022.