Archive: From the Gutter to Canada; Chris Upton Tells the Story of Birmingham's Own Dr Barnardo, John Throgmorton Middlemore

The Birmingham Post (England), January 31, 2004 | Go to article overview

Archive: From the Gutter to Canada; Chris Upton Tells the Story of Birmingham's Own Dr Barnardo, John Throgmorton Middlemore


Byline: Chris Upton

If the press and the authorities are to be believed, Victorian Birmingham was awash with unwanted kids. 'Gutter children' they called them or 'street arabs'.

Resourceful youngsters they were, selling newspapers or firewood for a few pence, and growing up alarmingly fast. But growing up for what?

The future held little to look forward to, and the line between life in the back streets and a bed in the workhouse would always be a thin one. There were moral traps too, especially for the girls: teenage pregnancy, serial motherhood and an early grave. Welcome to the wonderful world of Victorian England.

A number of Birmingham's charitable institutions took on the problem of gutter children.

Josiah Mason's Orphanage was established in 1860, followed by Thomas Crowley's Orphanage for Poor Girls in 1869.

Earlier still -in 1724 -the Blue Coat School had been founded to educate the children of the Anglican poor.

There were other organisations too, like the Street Robins, which sought to give the children a few treats -a Christmas tea or a trip to Sutton Park, perhaps. But at the end of the day, they were still back in the same house and the same gutter.

John Throgmorton Middlemore had a more radical solution by far. He would take these children with their severely limited horizons, lift them bodily up and translate them to the wide-open spaces of Ontario, where horizons were endless and the air was pure.

Mr Middlemore knew what he was talking about. Born in Edgbaston in 1844, he had emigrated to the United States at the age of 20, spent some time working in his uncle's stationery business and then taken a medical degree at Brunswick, Maine.

He returned to Birmingham in 1872, but not before he had found time to explore the American Mid-west and eastern seaboard of Canada.

By September 1872 Middlemore had purchased two small houses in St Luke's Road and established what he called 'The Children's Emigration Home'.

This first home was for boys; another home for girls in Spring Road followed soon after. Middlemore's chief inspiration was probably the work of John Barnardo, who founded his first home in 1867, though it was a further 15 years before any Barnardo boys found their way across the Atlantic.

John Middlemore's timetable was much more streamlined than this; he was, in more ways than one, a man with a mission. Within six months of taking in the first children he was escorting 29 of them to Canada on board the Sarmation.

The final destination was Toronto, where the older ones were found jobs as servants or assistants, and the younger ones placed with childless couples.

Such adoptive parents were required to sign a declaration that they would treat the child as their own, communicate with Middlemore four times a year, and give a fortnight's notice if any child was to be given back. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Archive: From the Gutter to Canada; Chris Upton Tells the Story of Birmingham's Own Dr Barnardo, John Throgmorton Middlemore
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.