“What an uneducated deaf mute can do” – Joseph Watson of Ayrshire

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 27 March 2015

Joseph Watson was born circa 1811, and was unfortunate to never have the opportunity to get an education.  In a publication of the Ayrshire Mission (bound in the library as Talks about Jesus to our silent ones) we are told

He grew up without any knowledge of reading, or writing, or language. He learned his trade as a weaver, and afterwards started on his own account as a barber with wonderful success until his death. He was intelligent and industrious. He possessed a measure of wit, which could make long faces “laugh and grow fat”. Any hearing or deaf person could easily understand him by signs. He often lamented his want of education. He made correct models of scenes in the land of Burns. The models, which are shown at Kilmarnock, are said to be the best and most correct that were ever made. It cost him many years’ labour to finish them

Joseph WatsonIn the article before this one, the Ayrshire Mission reprinted an Address on What an uneducated deaf mute can do, first published in the Ayr Observer of 15th May, 1886, in which the writer describes an address by the Ayrshire Deaf missioner James Paul, we learn that, in addition to his model making skills,

How skilful he is as a canary breeder, and also as a cultivator of flowers.  What do you think of the fact that this uneducated deaf mute bought a small property with his savings, and how able he is in attending to the duties of a landlord?  How intelligent he is as manifested by his conversation in signs with any one who can understand him.

Our Deaf and Dumb (published by Roe at the Derbyshire Institution) adds, “The fact that his birds were amongst the best warblers in the district puzzled many of the barber’s customers but the secret was that Watson had been careful to get a good whistling bird to set the example to the others, and so he had no difficulty with his young birds.”

His end, sometime on the night of the 22nd to the 23rd of September, 1888, was however tragic.

The body of an old man was found on the railway near Auchinleck, on Sunday morning, 23rd September last. The name of Joseph Watson on a slip of paper, with £15 and a gold watch, were found in the deceased’s pockets, and the remains were supposed to be of Joseph Watson, deaf mute, who resided in Ayr, and being away from home, was expected back on Saturday but did not return.  The watch had stopped at 9.30, which had just allowed time to walk from the traiin to the spot where he met his death.  He had been to Edinburgh by the excursion viaMuirkirk, on Saturday.  He had evidently left the train at Cumnock, where the engine of the train was being supplied with water.  The reason for his leaving the train is unknown, but it is supposed he might have mistaken Cumnock for Ayr, and proceeded along the line towards the bridge where his body was found.  There was no parapet wall, and in the darkness he had missed his footing and slipped over.  Apointsman at the Templand Viaduct identified him as a man he had called to not to proceed along the line, but of course his warning was not heard.(see Death of Joseph Watson)
cork modelAbove one of his models.  I wonder if any survive?  Any Scottish readers in Ayrshire, let us know!

1841 census – Parish: St Quivox; ED: 5; Page: 8; Line: 1390; Year: 1841

Death of Joseph Watson, p.21 of an unnamed issue bound in Talks about Jesus to our silent ones.

The Late Joseph Watson, Our Deaf and Dumb, vol.2, p.200-1

“we were enabled to ward off the small-pox” – The Indiana Asylum

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 20 March 2015

To show that our collection is not merely parochial but of international interest, we have a visit to our American cousins today.

I discovered that we have two overlapping bound volumes of the Indiana Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb.  The paper is beautiful in quality, the annual reports were printed and bound together in 1855, ten years after they were produced.  The Asylum took young people between the ages of ten and thirty, which seems quite an interesting age bracket, but quite progressive when you consider how difficult the transition from youth and dependence to maturity and independence is for young people anyway, and perhaps more so for Deaf young people.Indiana 1

The building is impressive and substantial looking, and the state levied a property tax in order to build it.  Its founder, William Willard, was a pupil of Laurent Clerc.

There are lists of pupils, stating the (supposed) cause of their deafness.  These would be interesting to analyse as they present a substantial data set.

Indiana 2One of the charms of this type of publication, is the stories they published that were written by the pupils.  Here is one –

By a Boy Two Years Under Instruction
A boy was walking along the road and he met a drunkard. He laughed at the drunkard, and he threw his bottle at him and hurt him much. A man ran and carried him home. His mother was troubled and called the doctor. The doctor came and put some court-plaster on his head, and he got well again and he ran about the city. His mother told him he must not laugh at the drunkard, for if you will laugh at the drunkard he will kill you. The boy obeyed his mother. (1854 p.63)

Indiana alphabet 2The Institute’s physician, Livingston Dunlap, shows frustration in his November 1st 1854 report, when during a smallpox outbreak, he vaccinated the scholars, only to find that “a thoughtless woman came with a child while laboring under genuine varioloid to the asylum – and in a few days, the 23rd of March, five girls showed evidence of having varioloid; it spread immediately among the girls and boys until twenty-six were down with the disease, and continued until the 26th April, at which time they were all capable of attending to their duties in school.  By the timely application of the vaccination, we were enabled to ward off the small-pox and have the varioloid*, which has terminated so favorably, that no deformity was left upon the fac, nor any other undesirable result.” (p.43, 1854)

*Varioloid is a milder form of smallpox in those who have had it or been vaccinated.

Indiana Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb Annual Reports 1-15, and 11-24

“when we talk about Deaf and Dumb we use a misnomer” – Ladies Christian Homes for Deaf & Dumb Children

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 19 March 2015

The Ladies Christian Homes for Deaf & Dumb Children From Four Years of Age, on the Oral System were first established in 1875.  The first home was in Pentonville Road, North London, between Angel and Kings Cross.  Other branches were to follow in rapid succession so by 1880 there was a home at 6 Victoria Park Square near Bethnal Green, and one at 171 Grange Road, Bermondsey.  Several more opened in the following years.  The homes emerged from the founding of the London School Board after 1871, as there was insufficient provision for the education of Deaf children in London, with 300 not receiving any education (Woodford, 1999).  William Stainer of the Royal Association in Aid of the Deaf and Dumb, was approached to begin classes at Bethnal Green, in the Wilmott Street Board School with five pupils (ibid).  Children attended and boarded for the week days, but went home at weekends.  Doreen Woodford’s 1999 article is well worth reading, but despite consulting records at the London Metropolitan archive, it seems she could find none of the annual reports for these institutions.

Stainer home 2It may well be then that this single report, with what was the earlier name of the homes, is one of the few of their records that survive.

The 1881 census shows the children were almost all girls – there are only two boys –

Harriet Mealey Servant (Head) Widower 54 female  Housekeeper Datchit Nr Windsor
Alice Ensor Boarder  25  female  Assistant School Teacher Hackney Middlesex
Sarah Barnes Servant  16  female  Gen Servant Clerkenwell Middlesex
Eleanor Rivers Boarder  12  female  Scholar Penge Surrey
Beatrice Allen Boarder  14  female  Scholar Marylebone Middlesex
Mary Welch Boarder  14  female  Scholar St Lukes Middlesex
Elizabeth Johnson Boarder  13  female  Scholar Finchley Middlesex
Ellen Mays Boarder  9  female  Scholar Kensington Middlesex
Alice A. Hale Boarder  9  female  Scholar Rugby Warwickshire
Steller ? Frost Boarder  12  female  Scholar  Chiswick Middlesex
Emily Shelford Boarder  6  female  Scholar  Highbury Middlesex
Emily Harris Boarder  7  female  Scholar  Barnstaple Devon
Emily Alderton Boarder  6  female  Scholar  Blackheath
Eliza Sparrowhawk Boarder  17  female  Scholar  Hackney Middlesex
Sarah Pufferd Boarder  Younger Than 1  female  Fulham Middlesex
Margaret Jarvis Boarder  7  female  Scholar  Battersea Surrey
Beatrice Underhill Boarder  12  female  Scholar  New Cross Kent
Abraham J. Webb Boarder  9  male  Norwood Surrey
Ernest F. Howard Boarder  9  male  Warwickshire

In 1881 Stainer was living at 1 Gore Road, Hackney, and had a number of private pupils (I have excluded details of where they were born for reasons of space) –

William Stainer Head Widower 53 Male Curate St Matthews Beth Gr & Inst Deaf & Dumb School Bd For Lndn
Macdonald Campbell Boarder 18 Male Articled Asst Teacher (School Master)
Ann Honey Servant Widow 66 Female Housekeeper Domestic Serv
Mary A. Miller Servant 54 Female Housemaid Domestic – Deaf & Dumb
Jane Faulkner Servant 19 Female Housemaid Domestic
Samuel Smith Boarder 26 Male Scholar – Deaf & Dumb
William P. Turner Boarder 13 Male Scholar – Deaf & Dumb
Horace E. Sharp Boarder 13 Male Scholar – Deaf
William Randale Boarder 11 Male Scholar – Deaf & Dumb
Gerard Hiel Boarder 7 Male Scholar – Deaf & Dumb
Florrie Mann Boarder 9 Male Scholar – Deaf & Dumb

Doreen Woodford pointed out in her 1999 article, that most of the sources of material on the Stainer Homes, at least early on, is partial.  Stainer was behind the Deaf Quarterly News  and as he “was one of the original promoters of the “Conference of Headmasters”, as well as being on nearly every committee, including some internal ones, most of the evidence is biased.” (Woodford 1999).

In the proceedings of the meeting, Mr. Sydney Buxton said (p.5 of 1880 Annual Report), in a particularly dull passage announcing his Oralist intentions –

I am afraid I have no special claim upon your attention for I have no particular information to give with reference to the work that is going on.  The only information I can place before you has been from attending the Committee of the School Board which has reference to this special work.  I think after the remarks of the Chairman with reference to the Report that no addition is required from me with regard to it, what he said with respect to the Oral Teaching shows that when we talk about “Deaf and Dumb” we use a misnomer.  This is rather a pity.  “Deaf and Dumb” has become a common phrase, but in point of fact, excepting a few children who have a malformation of the mouth, no child is really dumb.  Every child can really be taught to speak if sufficient attention be given to it. […] At the Conference held in Milan, the large majority of the members were of the opinion that the Oral System was infinitely better than the Manual System, and that it was the only true scientific way by which to teach the Deaf and Dumb.  The London School Board has now, after trying the two systems, practically adopted the Oral System in all its schools, and it would be a good thing if it went a little further, and declared that the Oral system [sic] was the best.

Further on, the Rev. Septimus Hansard, of St. George’s in the East adds his ha’pennyworth –

Think how fifty years ago these deaf children were left to grow up as idiots! It never entered the heads of people to educate the Deaf and Dumb.  After some time it is true education was provided for the Deaf and Dumb, but only for those who had reached nine or ten years of age, and these institutions exist to this day.  But the little ones were left to drift into imbecility. […] I have known Mr. Stainer for many years, he has devoted his life to this work.

Stainer was Hansard’s curate at this time in Bethnal Green.  Hansard looks to be a very interesting person – taught by Arnold at Rugby and F.D. Maurice in London and involved in the ‘Surplice Riots’ of East London.  Indeed, “he was a schoolfriend at Rugby of Thomas Hughes, who based the Tom Brown’s Schooldays character of Holmes the praepostor, ‘one of the best boys in the school’, on him.” (St. George’s in the East website)

The homes later went into a decline and were eventually closed.

STAINER HOMESStainer home 1

The Ladies Christian Homes for Deaf & Dumb Children , Fifth Annual Report, 1880

LAISHLEY, R. Report on deaf-mute institutions. VIII. London Board Schools and the Rev. W. Stainer’s Homes. Quarterly Review of Deaf-Mute Education, 1888, 1, 300-305.

Quarterly Review of Deaf-Mute Education, 1888, 1, 320.

WOODFORD, D.E. The rise and fall of the Stainer’s Homes. Deaf History Journal, 1999, 3(2), 27-38.



Census returns for 1881 – Class: RG11; Piece: 353; Folio: 4; Page: 2; GSU roll: 1341076

Class: RG11; Piece: 312; Folio: 106; Page: 59; GSU roll: 1341067

 St. George’s in the East website  [accessed 19/3/2015]

The Wych School, Hampstead

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 6 March 2015

The Wych School in Hampstead was started I believe around 1902. In the 1901 census the Headmistress, Cecile M Parker (aged 26), was living in South Hill Park, Hampstead, along with Martha S Suiter of Southport (aged 28), both being described as teachers of the deaf.  They must however have been teaching elsewhere, running a day school.

Born in Surbiton circa 1875, in the 1881 census Cecile Parker was, aged only six, already being boarded out in London.  In 1891 she was a school boarder at a private school in Hilldrop Road, Islington, with three other Parker girls who I surmise were her younger sisters.

The Wych school taught orally, with an emphasis on lip reading.  They held an annual, well attended, open day, as well as regularly having visitors ‘drop in’ to watch the children being taught.  Some might be kind and say that ladies of leisure in those times probably thought they were doing what was expected and sociable, others might have a less charitable view.

Wych School 001At any rate, the school seems to have been fairly well supported.  At the 1905 summer bazaar, on 11th of July, the aims were –

1 To widen the children’s interests in life.
2 to arouse their sympathy for others, and to awaken the desire to help them.
3 To increase their vocabulary.
4 To teach them the use and value of money in a practical way.
The Bazaar was a great success in every way. The children were the stall-holders, and managed very well with the money. Three stalls were arranged in the drawing room – a large one each for Cecily & Claude, & a small 2nd stall for Cliff. Each stall was draped with pink muslin & the top of each covered with green muslin. Behind each stall we pinned up strips of brown paper, & on this we put up various notices about the articles. Cicely sold all the needlework doyleys, tidies, pincushions, some blotters, [jean’s?] boxes, etc. Claude had on his stall all the arving, boxes of home made sweets, “Turkish” boxes filled with sweets, frames, penwipers, some blotters & photographs of the school.

How do we know this?  Well, in in 1956 Ronald Hyett Suffolk Missioner to the Deaf and Dumb, found the school book that Cecile used to record the visitors in the period from December 1904 to February 1906.  I suppose if Cecile Parker died unmarried in Norfolk in 1952, that would explain how the book ended up in Ipswich.

Wych 2 001

Here is the school as it was in 1911, with the school then at 9 Keats Grove, Hampstead, London:

Cecile Mary Parker   Head 1875 36 Female Single TEACHER OF THE DEAF Surbiton, Surrey, England
Meta Suiter          Head 1874 37 Female Single TEACHER OF THE DEAF Cumberland, Cumberland, England
Jean Bassett              1891 20 Female Single SCHOOL   South Africa  – Deaf from 6yrs
Muriel Holmes             1893 18 Female Single SCHOOL   York, York, England – Deaf from birth
Dora Hubbard              1897 14 Female SCHOOL Leicester, Leicester, England – Deaf & Dumb
Dora Redhead              1900 11 Female SCHOOL Berlin, Germany – Deaf & Dumb
Lenore Dawson             1902 9 Female SCHOOL   Unknown  – Deaf & Dumb
Clifford Adams            1896 15 Male Single SCHOOL Lesbury, Buckingham, England  – Deaf from 1 yr
Edward John Mansell      1897 14 Male SCHOOL Asti, Sussex, England – Deaf & Dumb
Alex Holmes               1898 13 Male SCHOOL York, York, England – Partially Deaf
Teddy Skuse               1906 5 Male SCHOOL London, United Kingdom – Deaf & Dumb
Lizzie Macbean   Servant 1884 27 Female Single MOTHERS HELP WANDSWORTH, England
Rotha Inch       Servant  1895 16 Female GENERAL SERVANT DOMESTIC Foxearth, Essex, England

By 1923 the school had moved to Haslemere, and we have quite a few photographs of it there.

1911 Census Class: RG14; Piece: 603

Mumu, a deaf slave from Sierra Leone

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 13 February 2015

In the Quarterly Review of Deaf Mute Education for October 1892, there is an item on the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind, Bath, (an institution connected with the ‘Industrial Home’ that we examined in a previous item).

In 1853, a fifteen year old ‘deaf and dumb’ girl from Sierra Leone called Mumu entered the institution.  I will let the original article tell the story –

In 1846 she had been rescued by a British Cruiser from a slave ship and placed, with her liberated companions, in the school at Charlotte, established by Government for the purpose of receiving and educating liberated slave girls, and now under the charge of the Church Missionary Society.   On hearing of the case, the committee of the Bath Deaf and Dumb Institution offered to receive this girl free of expense.  Mumu was accordingly sent to England, and very soon made rapid progress in her lessons.  She was of a very amiable, teachable, and affectionate disposition, and her health, too, was remarkably good.  The instruction she gained in a period of about five years was attended with the happiest results.  After due preparation, and at her own earnest desire, she was admitted by Baptism into the Christian Church and received the christian names of Annie Jane.  She then became deeply anxious that her mother should learn the truths of the Gospel and constantly prayed for her.  Her father, who was captured, had been cruelly put to death before his child.  She was afterwards, for a short time, in service of the Church Missionary College at Islington, but, subsequently, she returned to Bath, and remained in the Institution until her death, which occurred, after a short illness, in May, 1866.  She died beloved and regretted by her friends, teachers, and companions.  Her love of the word of God, her simple reliance on her Saviour, and her conscientious endeavours to discharge faithfully the humble duties of her station, evinced that this once heathen girl had become a Christian not only by profession, but also in deed and in truth.  Certain marks on her forehead proved on inquiry that she was a princess in her own country.

The ship that rescued her would have been part of the West Africa Squadron.  In limited time I could not find further mention of her.  It would make a very interesting dissertation for someone to research this more thoroughly – subaltern history.  If you can add anything let us know!

The charity Sound Seekers that lives next door to us in the UCL ear Institute, has been doing work in Sierra Leone, unfortunately on hold at the time of writing due to Ebola.

UPDATE 16/2/15: Our friend @DeafHeritageUK has pointed out that Mumu appears in the 1861 census as a servant, under her adopted name & having taken the surname of Jane Elwin (see previous post) – living in Suffolk.  I am hoping to follow this up further, and will of course add any new information I discover.

Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind, Bath.  Quarterly Review of Deaf Mute Education October 1892 p.1

Mary Hare and the Dene Hollow Oral School, Burgess Hill, Sussex

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 6 February 2015

Dene Hollow Oral School for the Deaf was a private school established by Mary Adelaide Hare (1865-1945) at Burgess Hill, Sussex, 1916.  After her death on November the 5th 1945, in accordance with her wishes it ceased to be a private school for children of all ages, and became instead a voluntary special school for boys and girls aged 11 plus, under the control of a board of managers nominated by her.  This was approved by the Ministry of Education and the school was named after her in 1946.  The new head of the school was Edgar L. Mundin, who had taught at the oralist Northampton Private Deaf School (mentioned in earlier posts).  Mary’s sister Ethel Madelaine Hare (1874-1951) was also a teacher of the deaf, and after retirement she “became the spirit behind the work of her sister Mary at Dene Hollow, Burgess Hill”.

Dene HollowThe school moved to Arlington Manor, Newbury, Berkshire, in 1949.

In the 1891 census Mary was living in Croydon with her mother and sister, and an assistant teacher from Ireland (whose name is hard to read).  They had six pupils, Ada Harvey from New Zealand, aged (34? or more likely) 14, Mary Ramson from Hastings, aged 12, Jane Avery from Kent, aged 12, Coralie Wilson from battle, aged 11, Henrietta Foss from Kent, aged 11, and Ethel McMahon from London, aged 8.

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 596; Folio: 42; Page: 9; GSU roll: 6095706

MAGAZINE – Dene Hollow Club/Association – Dene Hollow School Old Pupils’ Association, 1927-46 [journals, under ‘Dene Hollow’]

Silent World, 1946, 1, 16-18.

Silent World, 1954, May. (Front cover photo of pupils and teacher in classroom)

TREASURE, A.R. The Mary Hare Grammar School for the Deaf: a brief history. Mary Hare Grammar School, 1990.

50 and still going strong. British Deaf News, 1996, Apr, 8-12.

REDWOOD, F. Value added facts. Special Children, 1999, 119, 20-21.

Listen and learn. Special Children, 2002, 151, 33-35.

HARE, Ethel Madelaine

Obituary. Bluebird, 1951, 7, 2.

Obituary. Teacher of the Deaf, 1951, 49, 80.

Mary HareHARE, Mary Adelaide

BOYCE, A.J. and LAVERY, E. The lady in green: biography of Miss Mary Hare 1865-1945. British Deaf History Society, 1999.

BROWN, I. Rare portraits and some memories of a great woman. Silent World, 1952, Oct, 142-43. (photos)

Miss Mary Hare. Deaf History Journal, 1997, 1(2), 10-17. (Includes text of Mary Hare’s will)

Obituary. Teacher of the Deaf, 1945, 43, 132.

Report of the NCTD Conference, Brighton, 1929. (photo – frontispiece)

RIDDELL, F. Silent world. Geoffrey Bles,  1934. (The character and appearance of Ann Deering, headmistress of Heathside School for Deaf Children “some twenty miles south of London” is based on Mary Hare, to whom the novel is dedicated – see pp. 35-36 for description of Miss Deering.)

“The Deaf and Dumb Blues” – Anerley Residential School Magazine (1909 and the 1920s)

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 30 January 2015

A few years ago we covered the Anerley School, with some photographs and references to material we hold.  For some reason I neglected to include the incomplete but bound collection of  School Magazines we have for the period 1909- 29 (at present in the oversize collection of journals).

Anerley school magazine 1909The magazines are typical in that they are full of school news, with items like “Cricket Prospects”, “The Elocution Class”, and – “The Deaf and Dumb Blues” (Summer 1925)! Here is the first verse & chorus of two verses, written by one W.H.D. –

When you wake up in the morning just about the break o’ day,
The Cock-a-doodle dooos; the donkey starts to bray.
You think about a lot of games that you would like to play,
But when it comes to think of work you close your eyes and say,
I’se got the Anerley Blues those double D Blues,
I wanna stay in bed; I wanna snooze.
Oh-dear-me! Now when I think of it,
I wanna lot of sleep; can’t get a wink of it.
Must leave my li’l bye-bye,
This is the reason why:-
Gotta peel potatoes, gotta scrub the floor,
Gotta wash the dishes, gotta do more,
Gotta do so many things – can’t pick and choose,
So I’se got the Anerley Double-D Blues!

W.H.D. contributed other similar rhymes.

In this picture below we see some exam results – presumably from L.C.C. schools.  Hugh Myddleton pupils feature, along with Ackmar Road, Tollet Street, Penn and a few unfamiliar to me.

Anerley summer 1927In the same issue are some interesting ‘After-care Statistics” for the period December 1902 to July 1927 –

712 boys have passed through the school.
627 are employed.
11 are unemployed.
16 are not yet settled.
Of 18 there is no trace.
23 are unfit for work.
17 are deceased.
88% are employed.
77% are following the trade taught them at school.

The magazine converted from its handwritten duplicated format to a properly printed format in 1930.

Anerley Deaf School Magazine, 1909,


A urine soaked record – the Bath Home and a homeopathic hospital

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 23 January 2015

In our collection we have a big thick green-bound ledger, measuring approximately 13 1/4″ by 8 3/4″.  A torn bit of paper on the front cover indicates that it was used by the Poolemead Home for Deaf Women, at 9 and 10 Walcot Parade, Bath, to record names and details of the inmates.

Homeopathic WalcotThe home, founded in 1868, became known as the Deaf and Dumb Industrial Home, then was taken over by the National Institute for the Deaf in 1932, and moved to ‘Poolemead’ at Twerton-on-Avon, near Bath, in 1933, and is now known as the Leopold Muller Deaf Home.

The Story of how the home began is related in Silent World (1946) –

An old four-page pamphlet, grubbed up from the archives of 105 Gower Street, and believed to be the only copy in existence, told me all there was to know about the beginning s of what we now call “Poolemead”.  How the Reverend Fountain Elwin, of Temple Church, Bristol, found a little deaf mute girl in his parish and took her into his home; of how the family moved to Bath; and how his daughter and her friend Miss White went about the city looking for deaf and dumb children, found several neglected little waif, and began to teach them in a rented room in Orange Grove.

A Hundred Years Ago

This must have been about 1832, for our pamphlet tells us that Miss Elwin began her life’s work among the deaf when she was eighteen, and she was born in 1814.  she died when she was ninety.

Her early efforts went so well and aroused so much interest that in 1840 a Committee was formed and premises taken over at 9 Walcot Parade.  In 1868 a home for adults was started, and by the middle 1890’s the adult work had far outstripped the school.  The State was beginning to accept its proper duty of educating the young, and by 1897 the school had been closed altogether and the Charity Commissioners had agreed to the accumulated funds and property being used entirely for the home.

So the Bath Home for Deaf and Dumb Women came properly into being.

What became of the  leaflet I cannot say –  it is possible it survives in the collection hidden somewhere.  We have very little for Bristol in general (two late 19th century reports from the Bristol Institute are ‘missing’) and nothing from Bath, so I cannot compare anything in the way of annual reports for the home.  The founder was Jane Elwin, Fountain Elwin’s daughter.  Initially I connected him with the Elwin family in Norfolk, who produced another Fountain Elwin around the same time, but census returns show he was born in Middlesex circa 1784.  I believe that they may well have been related.  Elwin was ordained in 1810 and ended up at Bristol’s large (now ruined) Temple Church.  He died in Bath in 1869 aged 85.  Jane was born in Bedminster, dying in 1904.  The 1901 census describes her as having ‘senile decay’.

The 1851 census shows a seventeen year old house maid, Elizabeth Buck, who was ‘deaf and dumb’ – surely this might be the deaf girl taken in by Elwin?   She was not described as deaf on the 1841 census.

If I discover anything more about Jane Elwin and Bath I will update this page.

The ledger illuminates other information we can find on the census (and no doubt other records).  For example, the first person listed for the Bath home is Harriet Ball – see below on the left (click to enlarge).  She was “deaf and dumb from a scald when two years old, her right arm amputated, she was one of the first to enter the home”.  An audiologist I consulted suggests that she may have had non-organic hearing loss, but it is far more likely that she had hearing loss that had not previously been detected.  The Bath Home seems to have used the ledger into the 1930s, though with only basic information on the later entries.

Ball clarkePrior to its use by the Bath Home, the ledger started life in Norwich as we can see from the plate in the inside front cover here.

Fletcher alexanderNow look again at the front plate at the top of the page and underneath the label we can make out the words ‘Homeopathic Hospital’.  It was originally used then by one of two possible homeopathic hospitals in Norwich at that time, the first entry being for a Susan Bush in 1856, the last in 1860 by …son (name partly concealed).  Here is an example of a patient in 1856, and I have chosen one who was deaf – Eliza Landamore.  Click for a larger size.

Eliza LandamoreA second example is below – and again I chose a person with a hearing problem, Susanna Denny who has ‘ottorhea’.Susanna Denny

Another patient, Robert Rippingale, born in 1843 in Catton (near Norwich)

Septr. 9th 1856 “For the last six years has had scrofulous swellings of the neck [from?] the remains of an old sore. Perfectly adherent to the bone of the lower jaw. His general health has been tolerably good. Has been an outpatient of the Norwich Hospital but without benefit.
Silica [6?]
16th Rather better ”
23rd Still improving Sulph + Silica

Robert did not live long – sadly he died in 1864.

At some point in 1860 I would surmise, the ledger met with an unfortunate accident.  Having read the heading of the article I think you will know where I am going with this…  Someone spilt urine onto the ledger, sticking many pages together.  Sadly some idiot later attempted to part the pages, damaging many.  It still smells very strongly of the cause of this accident!  However, clearly, as it was only partly used someone decided that it still had plenty of life left in it.  Quite how it travelled from Norwich to Bath we can only guess, but as you read above there was some sort of a possible connection with the Elwin family of Bath and Elwins in Norwich (a Robert Fountain Elwin was a rector in Norfolk).

If anyone recognises the hand that the Norwich part of the record was written in, please let us know.  There is no name in the front, so I cannot be sure who first used the book.  The Bath part was probably written by Emily Walker Morgan, head of the home in 1911 (aged 45) where the handwriting matches that at the start of the Bath part of the ledger.  I surmise it was first used by her around 1910.

Later enties show the handwriting getting shakier into the 1930s before it changes, and the record is less detailed.

Silent World, 1946, October, p.112-4

1841 Census – Class: HO107; Piece: 970; Book: 3; Civil Parish: Walcot; County: Somerset; Enumeration District: 5; Folio: 7; Page: 6; Line: 20; GSU roll: 474610 (for the Elwins)

1841 Census – Class: HO107; Piece: 931; Book: 13; Civil Parish: Lyncombe and Widcombe; County: Somerset; Enumeration District: 4; Folio: 27; Page: 5; Line: 18; GSU roll: 474593 (for Elizabeth Buck)

1851 Census – Class: HO107; Piece: 1943; Folio: 464; Page: 32; GSU roll: 221102

1861 Census – Class: RG 9; Piece: 1690; Folio: 53; Page: 6; GSU roll: 542851

1871 Census – Class: RG10; Piece: 2487; Folio: 55; Page: 5; GSU roll: 835196

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 2438; Folio: 30; Page: 4; GSU roll: 1341587

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 1935; Folio: 53; Page: 7; GSU roll: 6097045

1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 2341; Folio: 19; Page: 4

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 14715; Schedule Number: 333

Inmates in 1911 on the census -
Name Relation to Head Birth Date Age Gender Marital Status Occupation Birth Place Address

Emily Walker Morgan Head   1866    45   Female Single  Head Matron Of Institution   Dublin 10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Elizabeth Martin   Assistant    1868    43   Female Widowed   Assistant Matron   Bath, Somerset  10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Harriett Ball               1857    54        Female Single             Paddington, London, England    10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Frances Clark             1846    65        Female Single             Paddington, London, England    10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Elizabeth Chambers    1848    63        Female Single             Liverpool, Lancashire             10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Ann Rogers                1850    61        Female Single             Bridgend, Glamorganshire      10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Louisa Tickett            1857    54        Female Single             Mile End, London, England   10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Elizabeth Townson     1882    29        Female Single             Liverpool, Lancashire             10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Ellen Hillyer               1857    54        Female Single             Dorchester, Dorset                  10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Ann Adams                1857    54        Female Single             Milton Nr Lymmington, Hampshire   10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Eliza Curl                   1875    36        Female Single             Dereham, Norfolk                   10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Emily Hubbard           1864    47        Female Single             West Ham, London, England 10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Honor Ninnes             1886    25        Female Single             St Ives, Cornwall                    10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Elizabeth White          1846   65        Female Single             Devizes, Somerset                   10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Charlotte Lowndes     1871   40        Female Single             Brighton, Sussex                     10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Annie Shepherd          1872   39        Female Single             Leeds, Yorkshire                     10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Georgina Fuller           1850   61        Female Single             Norwood, Surrey                    10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Ellen Smith                1888    23        Female Single             Paddington, London, England  10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Annie Crouch             1873    38        Female Single             Hammersmith, London, England   10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Alice Turner               1872    39        Female Single             Eastbourne, Kent                    10 Walcot Parade, Bath

Merry Yule! Dövstummas Jul 1914

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 23 December 2014

This is the cover of the Swedish language Finnish Deaf and Dumb association magazine for 1914, Dövstummas Jul, published by the Dövstumaförbund, towards funding the adult home at Åvik.

Dovstummas Jul

There is what looks to be a really interesting Deaf Museum in Finland (a beautifully produced Swedish language website).

The Finnish Deaf Association (Finnish language website).

Merry Yule 2014!

Two Margate Old Boys

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 23 December 2014

These are two old boys from the Royal School for Deaf and Dumb Children Margate,  J. Dade, and Dan Sargent, taken I suppose circa 1930.  They appear to be photographs of photographs.

Dan Sargent Margate Daniel Wright Sargent’s birthplace was ‘N.K.’ – not know – on the 1911 census for Margate School (that tells us he was ‘totally deaf’), but from the Free BMD we can see that he was born was born in Tendring, Essex, in the summer of 1902.

J. Dade is harder to pin down as we have no first name.  I suppose a search of the margate School magazine may turn up a record but I leave that to others.

See what more you can discover!Dade margate