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Matthew Robert Burns, Deaf Teacher and Missioner (part 2)

H Dominic W Stiles14 May 2020

Continued from Heathen Bristol

Burns moved back to London “engaged by the committee” of the then ‘Adult Institution for providing Employment, &c. for the Deaf and Dumb,’ where he served until June, 1845, when he was obliged to join the old congregation, who, under the Rev. Robert Simson, M.A., appointed him biblical instructor and assistant secretary.” (ibid)*

After 1849 he was the head and honorary secretary of this organization.

Aldersgate St 1852TO THE DEAF AND DUMB AND THEIR FRIENDS. Price 2s. 6d.. A FAITHFUL AND CHARACTERISTIC LITHOGRAPHED PORTRAIT of MR. MATTHEW ROBERT BURNS, DEAF AND DUMB FROM BIRTH, AND FOR THIRTY TEARS Church of England Biblical Instructor to the Deaf and Dumb. THIS PORTRAIT is not only valuable to his admirers and to the earnest reclaimers from misery and degradation of this section of waste mind, but to the Phsycologist and Philanthropist. Its Photographic correctness gives evidence of the unusual energy of mind and health of body enjoyed at 61 years of age by one who has been educated to active and elevated exertion, whose fellow-sufferers, when neglected and undeveloped, are doomed to much below the averaged period of human existence. Apply, by letter, to Mr Thomas Jacob Cook, 76, Fore-street, City. EC. (1860).

DEAF AND DUMB. THE gratuitous Dinner will given to those of the Mutes who are in indigent circumstances of Shaftesbury Hall Chapel. Aldersgate-street, Thursday, the 26th Inst., at 1 o’clock, the Gate of St. John of Jerusalem, Clerkenwell. The Committee trust that the subscriptions of the benevolent supporters of the above will enable them to provide the poor Mutes with their usual plentiful supply of Christmas fare.  In such a work of love we shall greatly rejoice, we know the deaf and dumb labour under a threefold affliction, namely want of hearing, want of speech, and want of money. Inscrutable wisdom has placed them amongst the speaking commu-nity, and perhaps this for the very purpose of exercising Christian sympathies; and if we neglect them, we are truly also doing evil to our own souls. Further atletnpts to influence the public we would refrain from. A sweet scripture says, “He that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” MATTHEW ROBERT BURNS. Biblical Instructor, and Secretary the above Chapel. (Clerkenwell NewsWednesday 25 December 1861)

In 1866 J.P. Gloyn took over this role, and the remainder of his life was apparently lived in obscurity, with Burns surviving on £40-£50 per year.  Gilby recalls how Burns would visit his parents, who would help him out when they could.  He died of bronchitis on 21st of January 1879.

………..

Note

The Action on Hearing Loss archive contains a small selection of his letters from his latter years. I speculate that someone also had a scrapbook thats seems to have had a lot of Burns memoranda and there are photos of documents in the Action on Hearing Loss collection that may no longer exist.  Someone could use these disparate sources to put together an iteresting sketch of his life and work.

*Unusually I have failed to compile bibliographic notes or references for this or the much earlier Burns item.  This section was intended to use his remaining letters, and I cannot say where the top quote was from as I  wrote this item over two years ago.  Without full access to the collection, that is  unfortunately now impossible.

This may well be the last blog I write here, due to various circumstances including the closing of the libraries and the Covid-19 lockdown.  I had a stack of potential items that would have been put up here in the remaining time we had.  They may or may not see the light of day in another space, depending on access to research matrerials and resources.

Copyright on what I have written in these blogs resides with me as author, however when it comes to images used on the blog it is a whole lot more complicated.  Broadly, where images are photos the copyright resides with the image taker, and continues for 70 years after the death of the author.  This is complicated when the work is anonymous and it becomes an ‘orphan work’.

I hope the items in the blog have been of some interest and I would be especially pleased if they encouraged young Deaf people to take an interest in Deaf History.

Scottish Deaf Day Schools

H Dominic W Stiles14 May 2020

Scottish Deaf Day Schools

1883 Greenock

“In the 1880s and previous there was a Deaf School attached to the Glebe School under Misses Galbraith and Fisher.”

1885 Dundee (see a previous blog entry)

1886 Govan

Then came the Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act 1893 after which schools had to be registered and checked.

1894 Paisley

1896 Ayr

1904 Aberdeen

1910 Glasgow, Renfrew Street Special Hard of Hearing School

1911 Hamilton

Liverpool School for the Deaf and Dumb

H Dominic W Stiles14 May 2020

LIVERPOOL SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND DUMB (1825-2003)

Originally known as The School for the Deaf and Dumb, established in Liverpool in 1825, in 1839 Oxford Street, Liverpool, premises were bought. In 1927 the name changed to Liverpool School for the Deaf and it moved to Lancaster Road, Birkdale. It became then the Liverpool School for the Partially Deaf (LSPD) in 1948 under the headship of Frank Denmark. He retired in 1956 and Mr Furness took over. There were further name changes, in 1957 to the  School for the Partially Hearing, Birkdale (SPHB), then in 1973 to Birkdale School for Hearing Impaired Children. The school closed on 23rd July 2003.

Quarterly Review of Deaf-Mute Education, 1889, 2, 69-79.

The centenary of the Liverpool School for the Deaf and Dumb, 1825-1925: a brief history of the school. Deaf Quarterly News, 1925 (80), 2-5; (81), 2-3. (photo)

Prospectus 1936 B11854 [in Liverpool archive box]

Annual reports 1825-1828, 1842-1854, 1856-1858, 1861-1872, 1877, 1884, 1909-1912, 1922-1927, 1929-1934, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1973-4

The Talking Deaf Man – Johann Konrad Ammann (1669-1724)

H Dominic W Stiles14 May 2020

Johann Konrad Ammann (1669-1724), a Swiss doctor, produced one of the earliest books on a method of teaching a born Deaf person to speak.   The book, Surdus Loquens, was published in 1692, then translated into English a year later.

The Action on Hearing Loss copy really does have wooden boards, leather covered and with a bite out of the lower right of the front cover.

Amman 1 001You can read the whole (short) book on the wonderful Project Gutenberg.

Frederick Collins of Bristol (1866-19?) “makes very intelligible signs and gives proof of great thought and memory”

H Dominic W Stiles13 March 2020

I came across a photostat – I choose that word because of the age of the copy – of a school entry record for Frederick Collins (1866-?), when he went into the Bristol District Institution.  The Institution was founded in 1841, and closed in 1907.  It moved from Park Row, the address on the form, in 1874, so this form dates from prior to that.  The form seems incomplete – unless we suppose it to be a copy?

Frederick and his sister, Charlotte Elizabeth Collins (1871-?), were both born deaf.  They both attended the Bristol Institution and we can see them both there in the 1871 census.  Frederick became a French Polisher, and married a Deaf lady, Jessie Miller (18-?), daughter of a cab inspector, and they had three surviving children in 1911.

IN all cases of application for Admission into this Institution, Answers are to be made in writing to the following Questions ; to which must be subjoined the attestations of a Medical Practitioner, the Minister of the Parish, or two credible witnesses. This Paper is then to be returned to the Honorary Secretary for the inspection of the Committee ; and should it appear that the Child is a proper object, its name will be inserted in the list of approved Applicants.
– QUESTIONS

1. What is the name of the Child ?  Frederick Collins.

2. When was the child born ?  Filton, Nr Bristol, Born May 29th, 1866.

3. What is the name and occupation of its parents ?  John & Elizabeth Collins, Farmer.

4. Where do they reside ?  Filton, Nr. Bristol.

5. Was the child born Deaf, or has become so in consequence of disease ?  If, so, state at what age, and by what disease ?  Born Deaf.

6. Do the other senses seem perfect ?  Yes, in every particular.

7. Has the child ever been affected with idiotcy, or by fits, or with any nervous complaint, and is it free from infectious disorder ?  Never has been in any way affected and is perfectly free from infectious disorder.

8. Has the child had the small-pox, or been vaccinated ?  And, if so, when ?  Has been vaccinated on the 26th of Augt 1866.

9. Is the child generally, healthy ? Yes.

10. Has the child any personal defect or deformity ?  No.

11. Can the child dress and wait on itself, and are its personal habits cleanly ? Can dress himself and is particularly cleanly in his habits.

12. How many brothers and sisters has the child ?  Three brothers & two sisters.

13. Are any others of the family Deaf and Dumb ?  Yes, one.  A sister.

14. Were the parents related ‘before marriage’? If so, in what manner ?  First Cousins.

15. Does the child make intelligible signs, and give proofs of thought and memory ?  Yes makes very intelligible signs and gives proof of great thought and memory.

16. What instruction has the child received, and can he or she form letters ?

17. State the name and address of some respectable Householder or Parish Officers willing to give security for the payment of such sum, for the board of the child (if admitted) as the Committee shall appoint, ( £10 ) and for the fulfilment of the other condition contained in the Extracts from Rules and By-Laws ?

CERTIFICATE OF MEDICAL PRACTITIONER
I, the undersigned, do hereby certify, that the Answers to the foregoing Questions, referring above named Child are true. Witness my hand this day of …… 18….

ATTESTATION OF FRIENDS AND MINISTER, OR TWO CREDIBLE WITNESSES.  We, the undersigned, do hereby certify, that the Answers to the foregoing Questions are made under our personal knowledge and are true. Witness our hands this day of …… 18 …….

As we see, Charlotte and Frederick’s parents were cousins so probably had inherited hearing loss.  Jessie, Frederick’s wife, was however deaf through illness aged two.

In 1911 Charlotte was living with her unmarried brother and sister at 11 Fairlawns Avenue, Filton, working as an upholstress.  Clearly the Bristol Institution equipped the siblings with the skills to have a job with an income that they could live on.  I have not had time to discover what became of these three Deaf people in later life.

More ordinary people again!  Let us celebrate ordinary lives as well as famous lives.

Frederick –

1871 Census  – Class: RG10; Piece: 2573; Folio: 60; Page: 12; GSU roll: 835271 

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 2476; Folio: 119; Page: 19; GSU roll: 1341596

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 1973; Folio: 126; Page: 29; GSU roll: 6097083

1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 2360; Folio: 74; Page: 41

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 15091; Schedule Number: 262

Charlotte

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 15107; Schedule Number: 74

Below I give the pupil list for the 1871 census in the Bristol Institution.  I find it very interesting that there are so many pupils for whom their birthplaces were unknown – were they foundlings, illegitimate?  I have of course not sufficient time to research that…!

Fanny Warren Servant 17 1864 Female General Serv Domestic Frampton Cottrell Gloucestershire
Elizabeth Alsop Servant 23 1858 Female General Serv Domestic Iron Acton Gloucestershire
Elizabeth Stowell Servant 23 1858 Female Domestic Serv Kitchenmaid Gilivern Breconshire
Fredrick Collins Inmate 14 1867 Male Scholar Filton Gloucestershire
Charlotte E. Collins Inmate 10 1871 Female Scholar Filton Gloucestershire
Ellen Coleman Inmate 13 1868 Female Scholar Nk
Charles W. Maggs Inmate 15 1866 Male Scholar Bristol Gloucestershire
William J. Barnes Inmate 13 1868 Male Scholar Chidiock Dorset
Emma Brown Inmate 13 1868 Female Scholar Bream Westside Gloucestershire
Phoebe A. Brown Inmate 10 1871 Female Scholar Bream Westside Gloucestershire
Mabel F. Hurley Inmate 12 1869 Female Scholar Weston-S-Mare Somerset
Joshua Williams Inmate 12 1869 Male Scholar Westbury On Trym Gloucestershire
Robert Quick Inmate 13 1868 Male Scholar Bedminster Somerset
Joseph Bobbett Inmate 11 1870 Male Scholar Nk
James Knott Inmate 11 1870 Male Scholar Nk
Edwin Osborne Inmate 14 1867 Male Scholar Colerne Wiltshire
Mary A. Buxton Inmate 14 1867 Female Scholar Burrington Somerset
John W. Price Inmate 14 1867 Male Scholar Dudley Worcestershire
Oliver Brooke Inmate 11 1870 Male Scholar Bristol Gloucestershire
George W. Anderson Inmate 15 1866 Male Scholar Lyndhurst Hampshire
William Halford Inmate 14 1867 Male Scholar Nk
Horace A. Swinerd Inmate 16 1865 Male Scholar London Surrey
Robert Pendock Inmate 9 1872 Male Scholar Mangotsfield Gloucestershire
George Kemp Inmate 14 1867 Male Scholar Priors Dean Hampshire
Thomas H. Day Inmate 14 1867 Male Scholar Plymouth Devon
Emma Spenser Inmate 11 1870 Female Scholar Nk
John C. Strick Inmate 11 1870 Male Scholar Nk
Jane Lewis Inmate 10 1871 Female Scholar Nk
Florence M. Cook Inmate 9 1872 Male Scholar Nk
Robert E. Powell Inmate 8 1873 Male Scholar Nk
Anna M. Thomas Inmate 9 1872 Female Scholar Worle Somerset
James L. Edwards Inmate 10 1871 Male Scholar Nk
Albert T. Elliott Inmate 9 1872 Male Scholar Nk
Gilbert W. Jones Inmate 11 1870 Male Scholar Nk
Harry J. Robinson Inmate 13 1868 Male Scholar Avebury Wiltshire
George J. Fisher Inmate 9 1872 Male Scholar Nk
Thomas H.T. Trivett Inmate 7 1874 Male Scholar Nk
Lucy J. Rogers Inmate 8 1873 Female Scholar Nk
Jacob J. Phelps Inmate 8 1873 Male Scholar Nk
Louisa F. Pollard Inmate 10 1871 Female Scholar Nk Gloucestershire
Rosa L. Dorey Inmate 10 1871 Female Scholar Nk
Henry Williams Inmate 8 1873 Male Scholar Nk
Elizabeth Hatton Inmate 7 1874 Female Scholar Nk
Frederick Evans Inmate 11 1870 Male Scholar Nk
Edwin G. Smith Inmate 7 1874 Male Scholar Nk
Kate Rogers Inmate 7 1874 Female Scholar Winterbourne Gloucestershire

This was the first blog for several weeks – I confess to being rather disillusioned by things, and overwhelmed by events here.

“Jordan’s waves are rolling At thy palsied feet” Ebenezer Chalmers, Teacher of the Deaf in Scotland, Ireland & Australia (1823-81)

H Dominic W Stiles13 December 2019

Ebenezer Chalmers (1823?-1881) was a Scottish teacher of the deaf, born in Edinburgh in 1823 (or perhaps a little earlier).  He worked under the famous Teacher of the Deaf Robert Kinniburgh for 9 years in Edinburgh, according to his essay, Remarks on the Deaf and Dumb, 1849.  That would suggest that he started as a pupil-teacher, in other words, a boy-teacher (circa 1838 perhaps, depending on when he was born).  The 1841 Scottish census says that he was 20, and that could be accurate, however it may have been rounded up as we find quite often in the 1841 census.  It seems that he left the school when Kinniburgh retired (1847) – maybe he was forced out, perhaps he saw another opportunity.  I am not clear where he was working from then until 1851, but that year he was at Sandyknowe, Smailholm, near Kelso, probably as a private teacher, in the house of James Hewett (Heweit), a “Farmer Of 600 Acres.”  I wonder if it was his two younger children who were deaf, as they were living together and both unmarried many years later (see 1891 Census).

At this time, the Association in Aid of the Deaf and Dumb was looking for missionaries to work with the deaf of London, as we can see from this note, written by the Secretary Mr Charles Bird, on a copy of the laws of the Association in November 1854.  Presumably this was sent to potential candidates for the post(s).

On December the 13th of December, 1854, Ebenezer wrote from ‘Sandy Knowe,’ Kelso, to Major Butts of the Association (later RADD), accepting a position as a missionary in London, to start on February 1st, 1855.  He did start, being the very first missioner, and made a report for the Association summarised in the Annual Report here, dated the 30th of April – Association Report 1855.  However, he did not last long.  In the RADD materials at the London Metropolitan Archives, there is a resignation letter dated the 27th of June, 1855, written at 4, Bloomfield Terrace, Pimlico. “I am under deep obligations for your various expressions of kindness towards me since I came to London” and “I have, from a sense of duty, been led to take this step” – but what sense of duty encouraged him to resign?

He was later assistant head at the Institution for Deaf Mutes in Belfast, but I am not sure exactly when, as we have incomplete reports. It would seem he went from London to Belfast, and applied by letter on the 25th of September, 1856, for a job with the Association as Principal of a proposed Infants School, but we may assume that came to nothing.  We may speculate that he was not settled happily in Belfast at that time.  Perhaps he stayed there until 1869, or maybe returned to Scotland – if you know please contribute below.  It is possible that he advertised and worked as a private teacher.

On the 2nd of December, 1869, be sailed on the Asia from Glasgow, bound for Hobson’s Bay in Australia, arriving on the 23rd of April, 1870.  Form newspaper reports below, we gather that he was employed for a while as a teacher in the Victorian Institution, Prahan, Melbourne.  The Deaf man who founded the school was Frederic John Rose (1831-1920) who had emigrated  to Australia in 1852.  Rose had been a pupil in the Old Kent Road Asylum.  Shortly after Chalmers arrived, he must have approached Rose, unless he had contacted him before he left Scotland. According to a card index of Selwyn Oxley’s in the library, one of Kinniburgh’s sons or grandsons emigrated to Australia in 1849, but I am not clear which and whether the move was permanent.  If it was, that person might have been a contact or an example for Chalmers, although it was twenty years later.

Curiously, the ship’s manifest says Chalmers was Irish, rather than from Edinburgh.

This advertisement appeared in an Australian local paper in June 1870 –

EBENEZER CHALMERS, for 30 years teacher of the Deaf and Dumb In Great Britain, and late head assistant In theInstitution for Deaf Mutes, Belfast, Ireland, is anxious to procure private TUITIONS! Apply to F. J. Rose, Esq., Victorian Institution, Prahran. (The Argus, Sat 25 Jun 1870, Page 1 )

Chalmers also tried his hand at writing poetry – perhaps this gave him a few shillings –

THE DYING MUTE.

Silent child of sorrow,
All thy pains are o’er,
Thine, a bright to-morrow
On Emmanuel’s shore.

Lowly now thou liest
On thy couch of death,
Welcome ! from the Highest,
With expiring breath.

Jordan’s waves are rolling
At thy palsied feet,
But ONE stands consoling,
Ready thee to meet.

Deaf, and sight receding,
What is this I see ?
Moving fingers pleading,
” Jesus died for me !”

Now the scene is closing,
Angel throngs are nigh –
In their arms reposing,
Wafted to the sky.

EBENEZER, CHALMERS,
Prahran, Aug. 5. Teacher of the Deaf and Dumb

(The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian,Sat 13 Aug 1870 Page 8)

This next poem shows his Presbyterian religious views –

THE DIAMOND

There is a gem above all gems
Which darkness cannot screen,
It shines in glowing brilliancy
When all gems are unseen.

This princess of the jewel world
Has deck’d the brow of kings,
And sparkled on fair lily hands
And diadems of queens.

Hidden till cut – this peerless gem
Lies buried out of sight,
Like spirits that most nobly shine
In dark affliction’s night.

But there’s a gem that’s brighter far
Than diamonds of earth,
Eternal in its principles
‘Twas heaven that gave it birth.

This Diamond is the WORD OF GOD,
Its rays can pierce the soul;
Destined to shed its matchless rays
With power from pole to ‘pole.’

Its God-given rays for long were hid,
And darkness had its reign,
But Truth eternal rose from dust
In glory, once again.

*    *    *

A monk sat in his lonely cell,
This diamond on his shelf,
He swept the dust of ages off
He read it for himself.

Its rays pierced grand good Luther’s soul,
And darkness wing’d its way,
And heaven and earth hail’d with delight
Blest “REFORMATION” Day.

Oh! may this diamond shed its light,
‘ O’er earth’s remotest bound,
Then sects shall fade like dying mist
And Paradise be found.

EBENEZER CHALMERS, T.D D.  (The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian Sat 4 Nov 1871 Page 8 )

Things began to go wrong for Chalmers, presumably as he could not get sufficient money to have somewhere to stay.  The complex story of alcohol and homelessness is a vicious circle, that the local papers describe best –

A man named Ebenezer Chalmers, a teacher, aged 51, living at Prahran, was yesterday afternoon admitted into the Alfred Hospital, suffering from a fracture of the right leg, the result of a fall whilst walking up Chapel street. He was immediately attended to by Dr Cooke, and is progressing favourably. (The Argus, Thu 31 Dec 1874 p.5)

POLICE CASES.- Ebenezer Chalmers was remanded for a week on the charge of having no lawful visible means of support. (The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian Sat 21 Oct 1876 Page 3 )

POLICE CASES. Henry Mores was fined 5s for being drunk and disorderly, and Ebenezer Chalmers was sent to gaol for three months on the charge of being an idle and disorderly person. (The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian Sat 10 Aug 1878 Page 5 )

Ebenezer Chalmer, a man who is said to have once occupied a high position and is only a few days out of gaol was charged with being idle and disorderly. The man was found wandering about the street and was arrested. He was sent to gaol for three months. (The Argus, Tue 25 Feb 1879 , p.7)

MINOR OFFENCES. -Ebenezer Chalmers, who was only out of gaol for a week, was found by Constable O’Connor on Sunday morning last lying in Chapel-street, totally incapable of taking care of himself. The Bench considered, it would be to the benefit, of the unfortunate fellow to send him back again to Pentridge, which they accordingly did for twelve months. (The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian  Sat 6 Dec 1879  Page 5 )

A sad instance of the degrading effects of intemperance was brought under the notice of the Prahran, Bench on Monday, when a once respectable man, named Ebenezer Chalmers, was charged with being Idle and disorderly. It seems that but a short time since the unfortunate man occupied a respectable position, and was engaged as a teacher at the Deaf and Dumb Institution, but owing to his intemperate habits, he was dismissed from that post, and gradually reduced himself to his present position. Constable O’Connor found Chalmers in Commercial road in a most wretched condition, and removed him to the lock-up. The Bench sentenced the prisoner to twelve months’ imprisonment. (Weekly Times Sat 6 Dec 1879 Page 18 )

A painful instance of demoralisation was presented at the Prahran Court on 5th Dec, when a man named Ebenezer Chalmers, who at one time held the position of teacher at the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, was brought up, by Sergeant Parkinson, charged with being an idle and disorderly person. He was a well educated man, possessing the university degree of LL.D.  Having given way to drink, he had gradually fallen into the most miserable condition. He was sent to gaol for twelve months. (Illustrated Australian News Fri 31 Dec 1880 Page 246 )

GEELONG. (From our own correspondent.) Tuesday Evening. A magisterial inquiry was held to-day by Mr. Pardey, J P , on the body of Ebenezer Chalmers, 58 years of age, a teacher, who was admitted from tho Melbourne Gaol six months since whilst undergoing a sentence of 12 month’s imprisonment for vagrancy, and had been ailing since. Dr. Mackin deposed that death was caused by debility and dropsy, and the magistrate found accordingly. (The Argus, Wed 20 Jul 1881, p. 7)

From a detailed description of Ebenezer in the Victoria Police Gazette 1879 (AU7103-1879) we know he had a ‘fresh’ complexion, auburn to grey hair, and blue eyes (the police record below in the references said his eyes were grey).  We can never know what led him to his demise and the sad end of his life.

Poems –

The Deaf Mute Uneducated and Educated

Astronomy

The Old and the Young

The Mute at Prayer

Letters etc

Letter to the Editor 1870

Letter about Disraeli’s works

Bound with The Blind Deaf & Dumb, & some Yorkshire Institution Reports: Remarks on the Deaf and Dumb, 1849

Newspaper reports (also see links above for further reference)

The Argus, Thu 31 Dec 1874 p.5

The Argus, Tue 25 Feb 1879 , p.7

The Argus, Wed 20 Jul 1881, p. 7

Family History records

Death Record 1881

Australian Police Gazette

Series: VPRS 7666; Series Title: Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (British Ports) (via www.ancestry.co.uk)

1851 Scottish Census – Parish: Smailholm; ED: 3; Page: 7; Line: 16; Roll: CSSCT1851_203; Year: 1851

1891 Census Parish: Smailholm; ED: 3; Page: 4; Line: 10; Roll: CSSCT1891_388

Australian Prison Record 41717*

RADD records – LMA 4172/A/10 001*

1841 Census*

*all thanks to Norma McGilp @DeafHeritageUK, who waves her magic historical sources wand!

List of Ulster Institution Pupils in 1881

H Dominic W Stiles10 December 2019

I thought it might be interesting to share a list of the pupils at the Ulster Institution in 1881, Deaf and Blind.

Some of you may care to compare this with the 1881 census returns.  We have only incomplete runs of this annual report unfortunately.

Ulster Society for Promoting the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind, Belfast –

1837-1845, 1847, 1849, 1850, 1854, 1858 (incomplete), 1859 (incomplete), 1872, 1881, 1918, 1919, 1960

Louisa Allchin & Harry Collcutt, Margate & Old Kent Road pupils

H Dominic W Stiles22 November 2019

Harry Edgar Collcutt was born in Oxford in 1861, and lost his hearing aged two according to the 1911 census.  His father Henry was then a college servant, later a butler.  The family clearly fell on hard times, as we see in the short card pictured and transcribed here –

Harry E. Collcutt, Aged nine years,

Resident at Henley-on-Thames, is a Candidate for Admission into the above Asylum. His mother is paralysed; his father is broken in health; four young children are dependent upon these afflicted parents. The Votes and active interest of Subscribers are most earnestly requested in aid of this pressing case of urgent need, for the January, 1870, and subsequent Elections, by the following :—
Rev. Dr. PLUMPTRE, Master of University College, Oxford.
Rev. Dr. SYMONDS, Warden of Wadham College, Oxford.
Rev. Dr. OGILVIE, Canon of Christ Church, Oxford.
Dr. ACLAND, Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford.
Professor WALL, Balliol College, Oxford.
Professor JOWETT, Balliol College, Oxford.
Rev. A. M. W. CHRISTOPHER, Rector of St. Aldate’s, Oxford.
Rev. T. A. NASH, Rector of St. Philip’s, Heigham, Norwich.
Rev. B. S. FYNCH, Rector of St. Paul’s, Deptford.
T. COMBE, Esq., M.A., University. Press, Oxford.
Alderman T. RANDALL, Oxford. (uncle of the above?)
G. C. HITCHINGS, Surgeon, Oxford.
Proxies will be received by the Rev. A. M. W. CHRISTOPHER, Park Town ; and Mr. J. T. K. CASTELL, 4, St. John’s Terrace, St. Giles’, Oxford. (uncle of the above?)

I suppose these are all people who would have known his father.

Harry was indeed a successful candidate, and we see that he was at the Old Kent Road Asylum in the 1871 census.  I am not clear what happened to his father, but he was living as a lodger with various people, being a gamekeeper at Caversham in 1881, and ended up in 1891 as a gardener, not with the family.  Harry trained as a cabinet maker.  He died in 1927.

In 1893 Harry married London-born Louisa Charlotte Catherine Allchin (1866-1933).  Louisa was Deaf from about 5 years old, according to the 1911 census.  Her father was a rent collector.  She attended the Margate School, and you can see her there on the 1881 census.

In 1903, a party of Deaf from Reading visited Oxford, and Harry was mentioned –

OXFORD DIOCESAN CHURCH MISSION THE DEAF AND DUMB.
The combined excursion of the Reading and Oxford members in connection with the above mission took place on Saturday, the 8th inst,, and was fortunately favoured with fine weather. About fifty from Reading arrived in Oxford at 8.35 a.m., and were conducted to Christ Church College, where they ware received by Mrs. Spooner (secretary) and Mrs. Biggs, the latter of whom explained that Dr. Biggs would have been present had he not been called upon to deliver a lecture at the University Extension Summer Meeting now being held. The party were shown over the chief features of the College—the kitchen, the dining-hall, the Cathedral, etc.—by Mr. Francis, the head verger, his explanatory remarks being interpreted by Mrs. Spooner. Next they walked through Christ Church Meadows and Botanic Gardens to Magdalen College, where Mr. Francis again acted cicerone, and caused the chapel opened specially for them to see. Later, they proceeded up the famous High-street to the Sheldonian Theatre, where they were joined by some fifty more members from Oxford and vicinity. The whole party then drove off in five brakes, accompanied the Missioner (Mr. George Mackenzie) for the old-world village of Woodstock. After luncheon they went into the fine demesne of Blenheim, and were shown many objects of interest in the park and gardens the Secretary to the Duke of Marlborough. A return drive by a different route brought the people to New College in Oxford, where they ware photographed and then entertained totea by the Warden and Mrs. Spooner. There were numerous friends the Mission present, the Rev. A. Negus, Miss A. Randall, Miss Miss Barnby, Miss Steedman, and others. The Warden (Canon Spooner) spoke few words of welcome, which were interpreted the deaf and dumb language by Mrs. Spooner. A vote of thanks to the Warden and Mrs. Spooner was moved by Mr. G. Mackenzie (the Missioner), who said this was the most successful ex- cursion ever held in connection with the Mission. Mr. Radbone seconded, and asked Mrs. Spooner to accept a framed photograph of this gathering, subscribed for the majority of the people, as a memento and a slight mark of their appreciation. Mr. H. Collcutt supported, remarking that the sea of happy and smiling faces he saw in front of him testified to the all-round enjoyment. He also took the opportunity, being Oxonian, add a word of welcome to the Reading friends. The vote was carried by acclamation. The Warden and Mis. Spooner briefly responded, expressing the pleasure it had given them to entertain the visitors. Mr. C. Leavey (Reading) also spoke a few grateful words on behalf of the Reading visitors. Before dispering homewards the party were taken over New College. It may be mentioned that the deaf and dumb in Reading are increasing numbers, and that consequently they feel the want of a small and central institute where they can hold meetings of various kinds, and where the work of the Mission can carried on. (Reading Mercury – Saturday 22nd August, 1903)

The Rev. and Mrs Spooner, are the famous Oxford Spooners.  Mrs Frances Spooner was the founder of the Oxford Diocesan Council for the Deaf.  After her, her daughter Rosemary was deeply involved in the mission, and also learnt sign language.

I wonder if that photograph is still to be found somewhere?

This photograph shows the Oxford Mission in 1902, from the British Deaf Monthly –

Louisa 

1871 Census – Class: RG10; Piece: 754; Folio: 64; Page: 10; GSU roll: 824725

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 986; Folio: 132; Page: 3; GSU roll: 1341234

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 1055; Folio: 14; Page: 22

Harry

1871 Census – Class: RG10; Piece: 601; Folio: 113; Page: 8; GSU roll: 818907

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 1502; Folio: 80; Page: 13; GSU roll: 1341363

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 1168; Folio: 27; Page: 19

1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 1384; Folio: 134; Page: 2

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 8132; Schedule Number: 270

Rosemary Spooner

A History

 

 

ARRET DU CONSEIL D’ÉTAT Concernant l’éducation et l’enseignement des Sourds et Muets: Order of the Council of State concerning the education & teaching of the Deaf & Mute

H Dominic W Stiles21 November 2019

A memorable day in French Deaf History… translation below.

ARRET DU CONSEIL D’ÉTAT 

Concernant l’éducation et l’enseignement des Sourds et Muets.

Du 21 Novembre 1778. Extrait des Registres du Conseil d’État.

LE ROI étant instruit du zèle & du désintéressement avec lequel le sieur Abbé de l’Épée s’ai dévoué depuis plusieurs années à l’instruction des Sourds & Muets de naissance, & dei succès presque incroyable de sa méthode, Sa Majesté auroit cru devoir prendre sous sa protection un établissement aussi utile & en assurer la perpetuité; Elle auroit résolu en conséquence d’y destiner une portion des biens que les monasteres des Célestins, situés dans le diocise de Paris, & dont la Congrégation ne doit plus avoir lieu, conformément aux Lettres patentes du 5 avril dernier, tiennent de la libéralité des Rois ses prédécesseurs; pour y parvenir, de charger les Commissaires établis pour l’exécution de l’arrêt du Conseil du 23 mai 1766, de lui proposer les moyens qu’ils estimeront les plus, convenables pour le succès de ses vues. Maiscomme l’examen de ces différens moyens & leur exécution pourroient exiger des délais & qu’on ne peut prendre des mesures trop promptes pour venir au secours de ceux qui font assligés d’une infirmité mer sâcheure & former des Instituteurs capables de perpétuer une méthode aussi intéressante pour l’humanité Sa Majesté a jugé convenable de commettre particulièrement deux lesdits Commissaires pour veiller de concert avec les autres, à tout ce qui peut préparer & accélérer ledit établissement, même de les autoriser à employer provisoirement à cet effet les fourmes qu’ils jugeront nécessaires à les faire acquitter sur la partie libre des biens que Sa Majesté entend un jour y être destinée. A quoi voulant pourvoir: Oui le rapport & tout considéré; LE Roi ÉTANT EN SON CONSEIL, a ordonné & ordonne, que par les sieurs Commissaires établis pour l’exécution de l’arrêt du 23 mai 1766, concernant les Ordres réguliers, sera incessamment procédé à l’examen des moyens les plus propres pour former dans la ville de Paris un établissement d’éducation d’enseignement pour les Sourds & Muets de naissance des deux sexes, & proposé à Sa Majesté tels Statuts & Règremens appartiendra, tant pour la fondation , que pour le gouvernement & direction dudit établissement; & en attendant qu’Elle y ait pourvu définitivement, ordonne Sa Majesté que sur la portion libre des biens que les monastères des Célestins situés dans le diocese de Paris, tenaient de la libéralité des Rois ses prédecesseurs, il sera, sur les ordres du sieur Taboureau, Conseiller d’État, & du sieur Évêque de Rodés, que Sa Majesté a commis & commet pour veiller particulièrement à tout ce qui peut accélerer & préparer ledit établissement, payé & délivré par les sieurs Bollioud de Sainte-Julien, Commis à la régie desdits biens, par les arrêts des 29 mars & 6 juillet 1776, les sommes qui seront par eux jugées nécessaires, soit pour ta subiessiance & entretien des Sourds & Muets qui seraient sans fortune, soit en général pour toutes les dépenses préparatoires dudit établissement, desquelles sommes il sera, par lesdits sieurs de Saint-Julien, rendu un compte séparé dans la forme à eux prescrite par lesdits arrêts; quoi saisant, ils en seront bien & valablement quittes & déchargés.

FAIT au Conceil d’État du Roi, Sa Majesté y étant, tenu à Versailles le vingt-un novembre mil sept’cent soixante-dix-huit. Signé MULOT.

A PARIS DE L’IMPRIMERIE ROYALE. 1778
I hope French readers will forgive the ‘Google Translation’ – at least it gives a flavour of the original.

The King being informed of the zeal and disinterestedness with which the Abbé de l’Épée devoted himself for several years to the education of the deaf and dumb by birth, and of the almost incredible success of his method, his majesty would have thought it his duty to take under his protection an institution so useful and to ensure its perpetuity; It would have resolved accordingly to destine a portion of the goods that the monasteries of Celestins, located in the diocese of Paris, & whose Congregation no longer must take place, in accordance with the Letters Patent of April 5, hold the liberality of Kings his predecessors; in order to do so, to instruct the Commissioners established for the execution of the Council’s decision of May 23, 1766, to propose to him the means which they consider the most suitable for the success of his views. But as the examination of these different means and their execution might require delays, and measures can not be taken too quickly to come to the rescue of those who suffer from a crippling infirmity and to train teachers capable of perpetuating a method. As important to humanity, His Majesty has judged it appropriate to commit particularly two of the said Commissioners to watch together with the others, all that can prepare and accelerate the said establishment, even to authorize them to use provisionally for this purpose the they will judge it necessary to have them paid on the free part of the property which His Majesty intends to be destined for it one day. What does it mean to provide: Yes the report & all considered; THE KING BEING IN HIS COUNCIL, has ordered and orders, that by the Sieurs Commissaires established for the execution of the decree of May 23, 1766, concerning the regular Orders, will be proceeded without delay to the examination of the most suitable means to form in the city of Paris, a school of education for the deaf and dumb of birth of both sexes, and proposed to His Majesty such statutes and regulations will belong, both for the foundation, and for the government and direction of the establishment; and while waiting for it to be definitively settled, orders His Majesty that on the free portion of the property which the monasteries of the Celestines situated in the diocese of Paris, held from the liberality of Kings his predecessors, he will be, at the orders of the Lord Taboureau, Councilor of State, and of the Bishop of Rodés, whom his Majesty has committed to pay particular attention to all that may speed up and prepare the said establishment, paid for and delivered by the Sieurs Bollioud de Sainte-Julien, manager of the property, by the judgments of the 29th of March and the 6th of July, 1776, the sums which shall be deemed necessary for them, either for your subsistence and maintenance of the deaf and dumb, who would be without fortune, or, in general, for all the preparatory expenses of that establishment, of which he is, by the said sisters of St. Julian, rendered a separate account in the form prescribed to them by the said judgments; what is striking, they will be well and validly quit & discharged.

GIVEN at the Council of State of the King, His Majesty being held at Versailles this twenty-first day of November, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight.

The original is in our collection, in a frame.

Corrections to the translation below, or email me!

Prize Letters from Abraham Fink, Catherine Lewis, and Edith Dingley, to ‘Our Monthly Church Messenger to the Deaf’, & a Deaf Private School

H Dominic W Stiles1 November 2019

Our Monthly Church Messenger to the Deaf  was a London-based magazine, that was intended as a national church magazine for the Deaf.  One of the main editors was the Reverend Fred Gilby.  They had a regular children’s page written by ‘Aunt Dorothy’ and the editors offered prizes – we cannot say what – to letter writers.  It seems there were some regular writers.  In the June edition, there is a letter from Abraham Fink – not the first from him that year.

Abraham was, he tells us, 15 years and 5 months old, so would have been born in 1880/81.  His birthplace was Russian Poland, and he was the son of Solomon and Rebecca Fink.  I assume that the came to London in the 1880s.

The Finks had nine children altogether, and were Naturalized on the 7th of April, 1903, at which time Abraham is said to be twenty, and so ‘under age.’  He was in fact about 23, but presumably this saved him having to undergo the same process as a Deaf person, which might have been more difficult.  Note that I spell naturalized with a ‘z’ – this is because the act was the ‘Naturalization Act.’   The family lived for many years at 49 Buxton Road – presumably now lost or with a changed name, but near Brick Lane.

Abraham attended the Summerfield, or Somerford Road School, and was a pupil of Mary Smart.  After leaving school Abraham became a Cabinet Maker, his job in 1901, but later he became a Furrier, which was his job in 1911, at which time he was living at 8 Leman St, Aldgate.  He married Deborah Cohen, a hearing girl, in 1908, and they had I think two sons, Bennett, and Gerald.  He died in Harrow Hospital on the 7th of October, 1956.  Another Deaf life that was unspectacular, but which illustrates the British Deaf experience in the last century.

Edith Maud Dingley was born in Birmingham, on the 17th of December. 1885, and was deaf from birth according to the 1911 census.  Her father, Richard, was a Birmingham jeweller, and in 1911 they lived at 330 Hagley Road, Edgbaston.  She never married, and she is given no occupation on the census return.  She had lost a brother at Arras in 1917.  The 1939 register says she was ‘incapacitated’ so perhaps she had other health issues, or was that just a code for her deafness?  She died in 1943.

Catherine Lewis, was born in Bangor, North Wales, in 1884.*  In the 1891 census, she was living in Sutton Coldfield, at a school in someone’s house, with five other deaf children.  She was only seven at the time, and the household, headed by George Masters, a commercial Traveller, was at 70 Anchorage Road, Sutton Coldfield.  I was fascinated to see that this was yet another private Deaf school, run by Fanny Masters, nee Fanny Armitage Rutherford (1860-1945) the wife of George.  Her nephew, Albert Rutherford, son of her brother, was also Deaf, and living with the family.

1891 Census –

George Masters Head Male 42 1849 Cirencester Gloucestershire
Fanny A Masters Wife Female 31 1860 Nottingham Nottinghamshire
Jenny A Jones Servant Female 26 1865 Birmingham Warwickshire
Albert M Rutherford Nephew Male 19 1872 Birmingham Warwickshire  Deaf
Harriet F Wacker Pupil Female 15 1876 Wolverhampton Staffordshire  Deaf
John H Croxford  Pupil  Male 14 1877  Gloucester Gloucestershire  Deaf
Henry Lowe  Pupil Male 9 1882  Birmingham Warwickshire  Deaf
Arthur R Tatlow  Pupil Male 9 1882  Glasgow  Deaf
Catherine Lewis  Pupil Female 7 1884  Bangor Caernarvonshire  Deaf

In the 1881 census, Fanny Rutherford and her nephew Albert, were at the oralist Ealing Training College, the Society for Training Teachers of the Deaf and for the Diffusion of the German System.

In the 1901 census – (at Gravelly Hill, Erdington)

George Masters Head 52 1849 Male Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England
Fanny Armitage Masters Wife 41 1860 Female Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Albert M Rutherford Nephew 29 1872 Male Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Ethel Perkins Boarder 11 1890 Female Astwood Bank, Warwickshire, England
Minnie Pountney Servant 19 1882 Female Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

In the 1911 census –

George Masters Head 1849 62 Male Married Companys Secretary Cirencester 72Kingsbury Road Gravelly Hill Birmingham
Fanny Armitage Masters Wife 1860 51 Female Married School For Deaf Children Nottinghamshire 72Kingsbury Road Gravelly Hill Birmingham
Mildred Rutherford Sister 1839 72 Female Widowed Living On own Means Cirencester 72Kingsbury Road Gravelly Hill Birmingham
Albert Masters Rutherford Nephew 1872 39 Male Single Merchants Clerk Birmingham 72Kingsbury Road Gravelly Hill Birmingham
Cecil Hull Jordan Pupil 1895 16 Male Single At School Handsworth, Birmingham 72Kingsbury Road Gravelly Hill Birmingham
Dorothy Violet Lepage Sanders Pupil 1895 16 Female Single At School Crudwell Nr Malmesbury 72Kingsbury Road Gravelly Hill Birmingham
James Gordon Calder Pupil 1901 10 Male Single At School Smethwick 72Kingsbury Road Gravelly Hill Birmingham
Winifred Adams Servant 1892 19 Female Single Domestic Servant General Walsall 72Kingsbury Road Gravelly Hill Birmingham

It would make a really interesting project, to trace all those Ealing teachers and see where they ended up, then look at census returns and map and follow through with all their pupils.

Anyway, we can also now see that Edith Dingley was one of Fanny Masters’s pupils as well.  It seems that middle class families were the people who most feared sending their children to ‘ordinary’ public Deaf Schools, and chose instead small private schools.

I do not know what happened to Catherine after leaving school.

*Thanks to John Lyons for identifying Catherine Lewis in the 1891 census, and enabling me to write a bit about her story.

Abraham Fink

Naturalization – Class: HO 334; Piece: 35

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 265; Folio: 30; Page: 55

1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 304; Folio: 18; Page: 28

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 1489

Edith Dingley

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 2390; Folio: 47; Page: 3

1901 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 17917; Schedule Number: 237

1911 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 2814; Folio: 150; Page: 13

1939 Register – Reference: RG 101/5526A

Catherine Lewis

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 2438; Folio: 90; Page: 13

Fanny Masters

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 1344; Folio: 48; Page: 51; GSU roll: 1341327

1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 2875; Folio: 130; Page: 41

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 18341

1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/5490G