St Cyprian's / St Hilda's Home, Marylebone, London
The St Cyprian's Orphanage for Girls is thought to have been founded in the 1870s at Allsop (or Allsopp) Mews, Marylebone, by the Misses Maingay of 39 Dorset Square. It was one of several homes in the area set up under the St Cyprian's name, along with establishments for orphan boys, the aged, the incurable, and the 'fallen'. In 1891, the matron of the home was Miss Sarah Lloyd assisted by Isabella Hosket. There were 17 girls in residence, aged from 14 to 19. The girls were trained in kitchen work, housework and laundry work to prepare them for domestic service.
In the 1880s, the home became affiliated with the Waifs and Strays Society. By 1894, the home had became known as St Hilda's. The following year, the Maingay sisters donated the home to the Society along with £2,645 in government bonds. The exact location of the property involved is a little unclear as its address at around this date is sometimes given as New Street, where the nearby St Cyprian's Boys' home was located.
In 1896, the home was transferred to new premises at 194 Marylebone Road, Marylebone. A formal opening ceremony of November 24th was conducted by the Bishop of Marylebone. The new location provided accommodation for 32 girls, aged from 6 to 15.
St Hilda's was closed in 1905 and the girls were transferred to a new home at Beckenham.
A few months afterwards, the building was re-opened as the Marylebone Receiving Home and Training Home.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Block A Floor 2, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clement's Road, London, England SE16 4DG (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
- Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.
- Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
- Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.