Ancestry UK

Island Cottage Industrial Home, Handsworth, Staffordshire

The Island Cottage Industrial Home for Girls was founded in 1859 by Miss Charlotte J.D. Weale and occupied a house near the New Inns, Handsworth. It aimed to provide for "children and young persons who, from extreme poverty or the harshness and neglect of relatives, need the shelter of a home, where they may learn to labour industriously." The Home intended to train its inmates to be "useful, hardworking, faithful servants, accustomed to good and homely ways and plain fare and so to fit them for domestic service in England or the Colonies." They were to be instructed in "plain dress-making and other plain sewing, in addition to cookery, and laundry and housework, and taught to read, write, and cast accounts."

By October of 1859, the Home had 15 inmates. Some were received free, while others had a stipulated sum for their maintenance and instruction paid by relatives or friends.

On January 12th, 1861, the Home was certified as an Industrial School, allowing it to receive girls placed under detention by the courts. Little use was made of this facility by local magistrates, with only two girls having been committed to the Home in the following 18 months.

In 1862, the Home was moved to a larger property at Winson Green and the Industrial School certificate transferred there.


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