Northampton Deaf Institute
By H Dominic W Stiles, on 22 February 2013
The term ‘Deaf Institute’ can sometimes be confusing, as it can refer to either a school or a mission, or perhaps somewhere that accommodated both. Many seem to have originally been missions, and spreading a religious message to Deaf people was therefore at their heart, followed by their educational and social development (for instance with temperence meetings) and helping them with job opportunities where they could.
The Northamptonshire and Rutlandshire Mission, which I assume is the same as the Northampton ‘Institute’ (can anyone confirm or deny this?), appears to have only started in 1928/9, with the missioner Algernon J.M. Barnett who had trained under the Rev. Albert Smith in London (Smith being Gilby’s replacement there at St. Saviour’s Oxford St.). It met at 2 Seymour Place (see National Institute for the Deaf’s The Problem of the Deaf, Handbook for 1929).
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There was a famous private Deaf School at Springhill, Cliftonville in Northampton, founded in 1868. The number of students was probably never large – in 1913 when the head was Ince-Jones it could accommodate only 12 (see National Bureau’s The Deaf, Handbook for 1913).
We have the following mission Annual Reports -1929-1984 [missing 1939, 1941-1948, 1950-1953, 1967, 1970, 1973-1976, 1979, 1981,1982]