Ancestry UK

Leicestershire Juvenile Reformatory for Boys, Hinckley, Leicestershire

In February, 1855, a meeting at the Castle, Leicester, resolved to establish a Leicestershire Juvenile Reformatory for Boys. Three committee members were appointed as managers to progress arrangements for its opening. Premises for the institution were offered rent-free by Lady Noel Byron, widow of the eminent poet. These comprised Peckleton House and 14 acres of land at Peckleton, near Hinckley, which the managers took possession of on 26th of March. Arrangements were put in had for the required alterations to the house including the addition of a school room, and a married couple were appointed as master and matron. On May 22, 1855, the establishment was officially certified to receive up to 35 boys committed by magistrates to detention.

An early inspection report for the School described the accommodation as very limited and inadequate, and the school and religious teaching in need of improvement. Following the appointment of a new master and matron, Mr and Mrs Harold (or Harrold/Harrild), reports were much more favourable. In 1860, it was noted that "the cultivation of the land is carried on with great care and skill; the crops do credit to both the boys and the labour master who directs them. Considerable improvement was manifest in the School instruction."

Following the death of Lady Byron in 1860, the rent demanded demanded by the new owner of the site, Lord Lovelace, was more than the School's Committee felt able to pay. Accordingly, it was decided to close the School in 1861. The master, schoolmaster and some of the existing inmates were transferred to the new Hampshire Reformatory. Others were placed at the Northamptonshire Reformatory and on the Training Ship Akbar. It was decided that any future Reformatory committals from Northamptonshire should be placed with other existing institutions.


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