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UCL Ear Institute & Action on Hearing Loss Libraries


Information on the UCL Ear Institute & Action on Hearing Loss Libraries


The British Home for Deaf and Dumb Women in Hackney

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 14 October 2011

Recently we have had a couple of enquiries about this home. It was established May 1851 as the British Asylum for Deaf and Dumb Females. Two deaf women got in the way of a Mr and Mrs Sutton’s carriage and “it was necessary for the footman to go to them. This brought to light the fact that they were deaf and dumb, and so aroused the interest of Mr and Mrs Sutton that they got together a committee of ladies and gentlemen, a secretary was appointed, and in 1851 the British Asylum for Deaf and Dumb Females was founded.”

The home in 1921 when is was visited by Selwyn Oxley (quoted above), was in an attractive Queen Anne house which was later demolished to make way for local authority housing in the 1930s. We have a number of annual reports in the RNID Library but what has proved difficult is establishing exactly when the home finally closed. It seems to have been 1986 from some reports, but I have not seen any mention of the closing in contemporary sources.


50th Jubilee report. British Deaf Monthly, 1902, 11, 517.

 My Day in London: Recording a Visit to Certain London Homes for the Deaf  , with notes on other aspects of their work, by Selwyn Oxley. Guild Pamphlet No.4, 1921.

The British Asylum for Deaf and Dumb females. Ephphatha, 1910, 5, 74. (illus)

SAINSBURY, S. Regulating residential care: a case study of a voluntary home. Avebury, 1989. (This is a study in social policy in which the name of the home concerned is not given but can be deduced from internal evidence.)

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