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From Oralism to Sign Language – Missioner J.B. Foster -“deaf due to a severe shock to his nervous system”

Hugh Dominic WStiles1 February 2019

Joseph Bradley Foster (1863-1940) was born in Edinburgh, son of Joseph Foster, a ‘commercial agent,’ and Emily Ann Foster.  There were at least eight children.  When he was about eighteen months old, “he became deaf due to a severe shock to his nervous system” (quoted in Our Monthly Church Messenger to the Deaf, 1894 p.109-10, which I follow closely, along with the BDT article).  Note how the author says ‘became deaf,’ rather than ‘lost his hearing,’ which is a subtle but interesting difference.

When he was five, his family moved to Glasgow.  We are told that from there he was sent to New Barnet and London, to be educated by Mr. Van Asch, the teacher who was the first to introduce the German or Oral system of education (ibid, & British Deaf Times 1934, p.29).  He remained with Van Asch for about six years or four years, depending on the two articles and presumably his memory when interviewed, and then attended an academy for hearing pupils in Glasgow.  He was considered one of Van Asch’s best pupils (British Deaf Times).

He became apprenticed aged 16 (1879/80) to a Glasgow printer or ‘Lithographic Artist,’ as it says on the 1881 census. At that time (and in 1891) the family lived in No 32 Queen Square, Kinning Park, which looks to be a pretty row of stone houses in the Govan area.  Attending local Deaf social gatherings it seems that Joseph then came across sign language for the first time.  He joined eagerly in with the mission as an assistant to James Muir, and learnt sign language.  Gradually the mission work became more important to him, and he was appointed missioner in North and East Lancashire in 1892, before moving on to Carlisle.

The article tells us that he could

articulate very plainly, and is a skilful lipreader. Through Mr. Henderson, of Glasgow, his views on the utility of the Oral system were laid before the Royal Commission, and, from his own perspective, Mr. Foster showed very clearly that, although it was in many cases a most useful accomplishment, it was of comparatively little value to the deaf in general.

On the 6th of September, 1899, Foster married a Deaf lady, Bessie Wolfenden (1873-1904), daughter of a brewer/’hotel proprietor’ (publican), Robert Wolfenden. Bessie was being boarded out when she was seven, with her brother and two sisters.  At the time of her marriage she was living in Dale Street, Lancaster, while Joseph’s address was in Carlisle.  Perhaps they had met some years before, when he was the local missioner?  In 1901, when they were in Rickergate, Carlisle, they had a daughter, Gertrude B. Foster, two months old at the time of the census.  Joseph and Bessie are both described as ‘Deaf’ but they had servants, including one who was ‘Deaf and Dumb,’ Mary Ostell, born in Whitehaven in 1879.  Mary’s mother Annie Ostell (b.ca 1854) was also ‘Deaf and Dumb’ according to the 1881 census. The 1911 census does not say Annie Ostell was Deaf, but does say her eighteen year old lodger, Thomas Cunnings, was. ‘Deaf and Dumb.’  Was the 1881 record meant to say deaf after Mary’s name?  There is clearing an interesting web of connections for someone to explore.

Sadly, Bessie died only a few years later, in 1904.

Foster later worked as a missioner in Leicester (1905-12/13), Oxford (1912/13-18), where he gave Selwyn Oxley ‘some insight into mission work,’ Gloucester (1918-23) and Exeter, where his assistant Mr. Dodds was headmaster at the Deaf School.  In the 1939 Register he was living in retirement in with his sister Lilian and daughter Gertrude.  He died in 1940 it seems, in Honiton.*

*unless I have the wrong J.B. Foster

Our Monthly Church Messenger to the Deaf, 1894 p.109-10

Retirement of Mr J.B. Foster. British Deaf Times, 1934, Mar-Apr, 29-30

Census 1881 Scotland – Parish: Glasgow Kinning Park; ED: 35; Page: 11; Line: 3; Roll: cssct1881_251

Census 1891 Scotland – Parish: Glasgow Govan; ED: 35; Page: 10; Line: 8; Roll: CSSCT1891_298

1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 4867; Folio: 165; Page: 34

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 19314

Bessie Wolfenden

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 4270; Folio: 64; Page: 10; GSU roll: 1342021

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 3466; Folio: 42A; Page: 31

Mary and Annie Ostell

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 5160; Folio: 35; Page: 6; GSU roll: 1342245

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 31307

Charles Birtwistle, Deaf Missioner – “he approves of the Oral Method for those able to profit by it.”

Hugh Dominic WStiles19 October 2018

Charles Birtwistle was born in Rochdale in 1850.  Being deaf from birth, he was sent to the Old Trafford school in Manchester, where he learnt with the ‘silent’ or manual method.  His father was a warehouseman, according to the 1862 Manchester Annual Report, who paid £2 12s a year in fees.  He joined the school on the 26th of July, 1858, so he would have left  (p.12). The census shows that his older brother James (born 1847) was also ‘deaf and dumb’ and he had joined the school on the 31st of July, 1854, at which time their father was paying £5 4 s per year in fees.  The headmaster at that time was Patterson, and F.G.C. Goodwin was one of the teachers.

In The British Deaf Monthly when they featured him in March 1900 (p.99) he says that although he was never taught to speak, “he approves of the Oral Method for those able to profit by it.”  Note the qualification.

After leaving school he became a ‘clogger’ as did James.  Sadly James Birtwistle died aged only 20 in 1867.

He was described as a ‘pioneer’ of the Rochdale and District Adult Deaf and Dumb Society (1931 Annual Report, p.3).*  The mission was first established at Bolton, as a branch of the Manchester mission, in 1869, meetings initially being held at the Trinity Church Schools (Ephphatha p.630).   The first missioner was F.G.C. Goodwin.  The Rochdale branch was founded in September 1871, and services were conducted in the Co-operative Hall until 1895.  Birtwistle rarely took services himself, but was a regular at the services and meetings – “where his presence does much to ensure an orderly and profitable gathering.”

He married wife Emily Derrick, who was hearing, in 1877, the service being conducted by the Rev George A.W. Downing (1828-80).  The Irish born Downing was a Teacher of the Deaf first at Claremont, Strabane, and then took over from Rev.William Stainer at Manchester in 1866.

Birtwistle’s four children were all hearing.  He died in February 1932.

It is interesting how so many people in the Deaf world of Northern England can be connected with a relatively obscure and humble man, and illustrates how many more ‘histores’ there are to be written.

* Pages are un-numbered.

1851 Census – Class: HO107; Piece: 2244; Folio: 9; Page: 11; GSU roll: 87261-87263

1861 Census – Class: RG 9; Piece: 3045; Folio: 31; Page: 4; GSU roll: 543069

BOLTON, BURY, ROCHDALE AND DISTRICT ADULT DEAF AND DUMB SOCIETY (1869-?)

Historical sketch. British Deaf Monthly, 1896, 6, 31-36. (photos of missioners)

History and work. Ephphatha, 1922, 52, 630-631.

“several times the light flickered and went out” – John Thorpe and the Huddersfield Deaf Mission

Hugh Dominic WStiles3 November 2017

Unlike some of his comtemporaries in the Deaf community, John Thorpe (1843-99) does not appear to have led a particularly interesting or spectacular life, rather one of diligent work and cheerful friendliness, as we see in his brief obituary in the British Deaf Monthly.  Having lost his hearing aged fifteen or sixteen, young John Thorpe soon became well known in the local deaf community, helping the Leeds missioner Mr. Foulstone when he visited Huddersfield, introducing him to local Deaf people.  He lost his regular warehouseman job as a consequence of his hearing loss, but did manage to get work still with for example Schwann, Kell & Co., and later George Brook & Co. (Hudderfield Daily Chronicle).

He was also, we are told, in at the start of the local Huddersfield Mission.  “The new mission had a fluctuating existence in the early days; several times the light flickered and went out.”  Eventually a meeting in the Queen Street Assembly Rooms  got the mission going on a regular basis, with a home taken in the Wellington Buildings, with fifteen to twenty regulars (British Deaf Monthly and Hudderfield Daily Chronicle).  Thorpe was at the heart of this work, spending his own money “without thought of recompense” (British Deaf Monthly).  He helped send local children to the Doncaster School, while others he educated himself locally.  “[H]e has with the devoted help of one of the best of wives, entirely spent his time, heart and soul, night and day, to teaching and preaching and visiting” (Hudderfield Daily Chronicle).

At some point the mission separated from Leeds, I am not sure exactly when.  When Thorpe lost his job as a warehouseman through a strike, he became a paid missionary in Huddersfield, until his death after a long illness in 1899.  In his last years he was also beset by failing eyesight.  His wife took over the mission work.

At his funeral in Huddersfield cemetery, the “sorrow of the deaf, for whom there was no interpreter of the Rev. A.W. Keely’s funeral discourse, was expressed for them by one of themselves, Mr. Crowther; and each, as a last tribute, dropped a bouquet of homely flowers on the coffin of their departed friend” (British Deaf Monthly).

john thorpe

1851 Census – Class: HO107; Piece: 2319; Folio: 38; Page: 27; GSU roll: 87542-87544 [Possibly him]

1871 Census – Class: RG10; Piece: 4369; Folio: 89; Page: 45; GSU roll: 848086

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 4382; Folio: 78; Page: 20; GSU roll: 1342046

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 3566; Folio: 62; Page: 7; GSU roll: 6098676

The Late Mr John Thorpe. British Deaf Monthly, 1899 vol. 9, p.7

Hudderfield Daily Chronicle 30/08/1899 p.3 – this seems to be the source for the BDM article.

 

“Oh, that the younger generation of the deaf were more like him!” Saul Magson of Manchester

Hugh Dominic WStiles27 January 2017

Saul MagsonSaul Magson was born in Manchester in August 1813.  He was, according to the census return for 1871, ‘deaf from birth’.  His obituary however says that he lost his hearing aged two, after an illness ‘attended with convulsions’.  The The British Deaf-Mute (1894), on which much of this is based, also says that he was one of the earliest pupils at the Salford School, what became The Manchester School,in February, 1825.  It was then under its first headmaster, William Vaughan, with eight girls and six boys (Bessant, 1892, p.98-9).  Vaughan had been an assistant master at the Old Kent Road Asylum.  As an aside, it would be very illuminating to draw a connected list of teachers, to see under whom each one trained, making an intellectual family tree in the way that is sometimes done for academics.

Magson became a clerk in Manchester Town Hall, but he never married.  He worked there for forty years until retirement.  In 1871 he was living with his younger brother James, a ‘stone and flag salesman’ (census 1871).  He was a regular at the Manchester Society for Promoting the Spiritual and Temporal Welfare of the Deaf, which was established in 1850, and until 1854 apparently he ran it with Mr. Patterson.  He also held services for deaf people in Ashton-under-Lyme, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, among other places.  He was friends with G.A.W. Downing and William Stainer, (later both becoming ‘the Reverend) among many others.  “He was methodical, and notably punctual.  He often spoke of the friendly appreciation and kindness he received from the late Sir Joseph Heron, the first Town Clerk of Manchester, in whose department he was employed.”  He lived through the period of the extraordinary growth of Manchester.  By the time he moved to Southport, much of the town must have been totally transformed.  Heron earned an astounding £2,500 a year at one point, so I wonder how much Magson earned.  It is possible that there are records in Manchester archives that would tell us more about Magson and what he worked on.

he was a good servant; he knew his own mind; he knew when he was well off, and he was not one of those who are “given to change.”  The consequence was that he was never out of a situation.  He kept the same situation and no other for forty years.  Oh, that the younger generation of the deaf were more like him!

Saul Magson died on the 12th of April 1894, and was interred at Cheetham Hill, Manchester.  If you know that cemetery, and have the opportunity to see where he is buried, please let us know in the comment field below.

In Memoriam – the Late Saul Magson, The British Deaf-Mute, 1894, vol.3 p.119

The Manchester School, Quarterly Review of Deaf Mute Education, 1892, vol. 2 p.97-108) 

1871 census – Class: RG10; Piece: 3979; Folio: 87; Page: 4; GSU roll: 846090

V. R. Parrott, ‘Heron, Sir Joseph (1809–1889)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/49712, accessed 27 Jan 2017]

“the deaf who had been taught by the manual method were more intelligent & much better educated…” Agar & Rosa Russell

Hugh Dominic WStiles13 January 2017

Rosa Brommage was born in Wolverhampton in 1862, fourth child of Alfred, a clerk for a cemetery company, originally from Kidderminster, and his wife Caroline.  Her older sisters, Caroline and Annie, were both, like Rosa, deaf ‘from birth’ according to the census return.  Her five younger siblings all had normal hearing.  On the 18th of April, 1892, she married Agar Russell, who had lost his hearing aged 12.  Agar’s father was originally Samuel Gunster, from a Jewish family in Posen, although Agar said that they did not know his nationality – whether Polish or German.  Samuel went to America as a young man, but somehow avoided conscription and ended up in London, where he met his ‘wife’, though Agar was never sure whether they were married (various pages in his Reminiscences).

Agar Russell April 1899 Ephphatha 1We have the manuscript of Agar’s memoirs, Surdus; Reminiscences, written it seems in the war years.  They are rather higgledy-piggledy, with chapters that are themed rather than being chronological, for example “Workhouses and other Institutions,” or “Holiday Adventures.”  Some things you would like to know are not mentioned in much detail.

Agar Russell had grown up in London, where he was acquainted with the Rev. Fred Gilby and various people in the St.Saviour’s Deaf church congregation.  When he was 16, it was suggested that he become a teacher to the deaf, yet, as he says, “having never met a deaf and dumb person, or seen the manual alphabet.”  He went to the Llandaff School for six years as assistant to Alexander Melville.  The children of the school “gave a smiling welcome, and then began to make remarks to one another in a gesture language which I felt I should never be able to understand.”

Agar paints an interesting picture of life in the school.  He does not seem to have particularly liked the headmaster, Alexander Melville, and was not impressed by his teaching methods.  Melville “expected the children to answer his questions on subjects of which they had not sufficient written instructions.”  “Mrs Melville was deaf and dumb, of a quiet and gentle disposition and of no unusual attainments, and evidently in awe of her husband.  We cannot but conjecture that this union was due to her being the means of his requiring funds for the purpose of establishing the school” (see his Reminiscences).  When Mr Clyne of Bristol Deaf School came to take over temporarily after the death of Melville’s first wife,  Agar says he used instructions in writing before he put questions to the pupils –

Who? – Does? – What?

Mary – sweeps – the floor

What? – Done? – By Whom?

The floor – is swept – by Mary

In his Reminiscences he also said, “From my own experience I found that the deaf who had been taught by the manual method were more intelligent and much better educated than those brought up on the manual system.”  In the Ephphatha interview in 1896, Agar’s questioner, ‘C’, asked him,

“Speaking of the need for special services, have you ever met with a deaf person who could follow an ordinary discourse, by watching the lips of the speaker?”
“No, never; only a few who could with more or less difficulty make out short sentences uttered in an exaggerated manner by the speaker.  […] To suppose that children educated on the oral system can read everybody’s lips, even if everybody is patient enough to try them, is fallacious; and to assert that they can follow an ordinary viva voce lecture or sermon, is absurd.  The training of the mind of the deaf is more perfectly accomplished by the manual method and writing.  Many of the graduates of the oral system have a very poor grasp of language, and a very inferior mental development, as a consequence of their having been forced through many weary years to learn mere articulation and lip-reading.” (Ephphatha, p.67)

Mrs Russell jubilee ticketAgar took photos when he was in the Staffordshire mission, many being stuck into the annual reports that we have for the mission.  I expect that these were Agar’s own copies and that they were donated or willed to the library when Agar died in 1956, aged 91.  Unfortunately for us, this means that his photos are still in copyright for another ten years, so without knowing who inherited the copyright and holds it at present, we cannot legally reproduce his photos taken in the 1890s.

Rosa died in 1942, after fifty years of marriage.

Mr Russell Agar, an interview.  Ephphatha, vol.4 p.66-7, 1899

Russell, Agar, Surdus – Reminiscences.  Unpublished manuscript in library.

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 2229; Folio: 20; Page: 34; GSU roll: 6097339

Two contrasting lives – John P. Gloyn (1830-1907) and Henry S. Lomas (1829-1905)

Hugh Dominic WStiles18 November 2016

John Pugh Gloyn (1830-1907) was a fortunate man.  He was born in Clapham, London on the 16th of May 1830, son of C.J. Gloyn, a Launceston born solicitor (British Deaf-Mute, 1895).  He lost lost his hearing in his third year as a result of an inflammation “following the careless application of a cold knifeblade to a bruise” (BDT, 1904, p.109).

He was educated at the Old Kent Road Asylum under Dr. Buxton, when Stainer was assistant master, where he learnt sign language, the main method of teaching at that time (ibid).   On leaving school he worked as a telegraphist, then set up in business as a mathematical instrument maker (ibid).

Henry Samuel Lomas (1829-1905?) was in contrast an unfortunate man.  He was born in 1829 in St. Pancras, London, son of Samuel, a wheelwright from Sussex, and his wife Hannah, from Derbyshire.  He lived in Somers town, the notorious slum area partly destroyed by the building of St. Pancras station in 1868.  He also attended the Old Kent Road Asylum.  I noticed the following advertisement in A Magazine Intended Chiefly for the Deaf and Dumb for July 1874 inside the back cover.A Sad Case

Lomas was born deaf, and had very poor vision – sometimes he is called blind but there are degrees of blindness of course, and he must have had sufficient vision to be a ‘boot maker’ in both the 1901 census and on the records of St. Pancras Workhouse in Streatham.  I do not know when or how he lost his leg.  The Association for the Deaf and Dumb annual reports note several instances in the years around 1870 when a deaf person was knocked over and injured by a vehicle, so perhaps that happened. Cxdob7HXUAATHkf.jpg largeCases of sickness From the Trustees Committee minutes, for the meeting on 2nd May 1873, p. 205 we see that they gave Henry a small gratuity, tough clearly not enough in view of the appeal above.*

On the left is a page of cases from the Annual Report 1869-70 for the Association for the Deaf and Dumb (later R.A.D.D. now R.A.D.) which explains all too briefly that he lost his two fingers “unwisely meddling with some machinery”.  If he was in the University Hospital (UCLH), I wonder if there are any surviving records of their patients for that period in the London Metropolitan Archives.

In the 1851 and 1861 censuses Gloyn was living at 14 Brunswick Place, near Old Street, with his widowed father and various siblings.  In 1848-9 he began to  involved in ‘deaf work’ in a voluntary capacity, at first with Matthew Burns, who held services near Gloyn’s home in Shaftesbury Hall, Aldersgate, with the London Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Aid of the Deaf and Dumb.  From January 1867 he conducted services in St. Paul’s Schools, Deptford, at the invitation of the Rev. Mr. Turner (Our Notice Board, 1907, BDT p.110).   In May 1872 he was appointed Missionary for the Northern District of the Association for the Deaf and Dumb, and he gave up his other work (BDM, 1895).  Gloyn’s obituary says,

Among the deaf he was a shining example of bright cheerfulness, and was never afraid to say what he thought, and had the very highest reputation as an upright man of unfailing punctuality and promptness in business matters.  His penny bank had for many years the largest amount of deposits, showing how well he drilled the deaf of north London in ways of thrift.

Lomas was a real survivor.  He started off poor, spent his life poor and disadvantaged, and ended it poor – yet despite all his misfortune he survived, we think, until early 1905 (search FREE DMB), though that would require a death certificate to confirm.  Gloyn died on the 19th of May, 1907.   Although they lived near one another, I wonder how much contact they had after they left school?  Perhaps Gloyn visited Lomas as part of his mission work, and maybe he brought his case to the attention of the Association.

GloynPhoto of Gloyn from BDM, 1895.

Many thanks to Norma McGilp of @DeafHeritageUK and John Lyon* @BristolDolt for additional information.

References

Association for the Deaf and Dumb annual reports – various issues.

A Magazine Intended Chiefly for the Deaf and Dumb

GLOYN

Census 1851 – Class: HO107; Piece: 1499; Folio: 446; Page: 14; GSU roll: 87832

Census 1861 – Class: RG 9; Piece: 129; Folio: 6; Page: 5; GSU roll: 542578

Popular deaf-mutes – J.P. Gloyn. British Deaf-Mute, 1895, 4(39), 34. (photo)

Our Missions Today; Mr John P. Gloyn & Islington, BDT 1904 p.109

John Pugh Gloyn, Our Notice Board, No.19, 1907, p.6

LOMAS

1851 Class: HO107; Piece: 1496; Folio: 854; Page: 36; GSU roll: 87828-87829

1861 Class: RG 9; Piece: 103; Folio: 95; Page: 43; GSU roll: 542574

1871 Class: RG10; Piece: 211; Folio: 85; Page: 88; GSU roll: 824596 (Drapers Place)

1901 Class: RG13; Piece: 480; Folio: 96; Page: 18

Ralph Duncombe Jackson of the British Deaf and Dumb Association

Hugh Dominic WStiles31 October 2016

Ralph Duncombe Jackson was born in South Shields in 1848, eldest son of Robert Jackson and his wife Charlotte.  We are told that he was deafened at the age of four from an attack of scarlet fever (Ephphatha, from which this is broadly taken).  That would have been in 1852/3.  He was educated at the Newcastle ‘Northern Counties School for the Deaf‘, which would have meant that he was taught by William Neil.

Ralph married a deaf lady Jane Walker in 1871.  She is described in the 1891 census as deaf from childhood, and Jane’s sister Isabella, living next door in Normanby St, Monkwearmouth, is also described as deaf.  Isabella’s husband, William Morrison, a millsawyer aged 42, was like his brother-in-law Ralph, deaf from scarlet fever.

Ralph had a varied career, unfortunately interrupted by ill-health, though his obituary does not tell us what form that took.  He began as a compositor, working on the Daily Post – I have no idea about the Daily Post, as it does not appear on the British Newspaper Archive.  If you know, please leave a note.  At any rate, his health forced him from that job and he became a grocer in Normanby Street, Monkwearmouth.  He became a missioner to the local deaf community in the urban north-east, and in 1898 became a ‘Scripture Reader’ for the Northumberland and Durham Mission, eventually becoming a  full time missioner.  Unfortunately we have no local mission reports before 1920, though the Northumberland and Durham Mission dates from 1876.  He was long a member of the British Deaf and Dumb Association, ‘almost from its formation’, acting as a local secretary when he lived in Sunderland.

Ralph and Jane had three daughters, and a son Ralph who emigrated to New Zealand.  He died in 1910 after having a major operation and then developing pneumonia.Duncombe Jackson  His funeral was so well attended by friends that there was insufficient room in the chapel for all to be seated.

Death of Mr. R. Duncombe Jackson, Ephphatha, 1910, no.29 p.107 (picture)

Letter, Deaf and Dumb Times (June 1890) p10-11

Wills and Probate

1891 Census Class: RG12; Piece: 4150; Folio: 116; Page: 10; GSU roll: 6099260

jackson letter

“Mr. Healey has a horror of extremists” George F. Healey of Liverpool

Hugh Dominic WStiles20 November 2015

George F. Healey (1843-1927) was Missioner to the Deaf, at the Liverpool Adult Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Society from its inception in 1864.  Born at Gateacre, in the Liverpool suburb of Little Woolton on August the 28th, 1843, the son of a coach builder, Gerorge lost his hearing when less than one – “an accident which occurred to him brought on acute inflammation of the brain” (Oldham Deaf–Mute Gazette).  His obituary in the Deaf Quarterly News tells us it was a fall from his nurse’s arms, but that the loss was not discovered until he was nearly two (p.1).  He became a pupil of Mr. H.B. Bingham of Rugby for eight years, and was taught by the ‘combined method’, that is sign language and articulation and lip reading.  The Oldham Deaf–Mute Gazette says of Bingham, “there has never been a more successful instructor of the deaf, his aim evidently being to adapt the method to the child instead of the child to the method, and not a few of his pupils have filled and are filling responsible positions in a manner that reflects credit alike on teacher and taught.” (ibid p.207)  A final year was spent under a Liverpool teacher of the deaf, Dr. David Buxton (1821-1897).George F Healey

After his schooling, Healey worked for his father at the coach works in Berry Street.  His obituary in the Deaf Quarterly News tells us that he was inspired by annual visits to London, where he heard the Revs. Samuel Smith and Charles Rhind preach (p.1).  The British Deaf Times obituary says he was first taken by Mr. G. Bright Lucas in 1862.  At that time there was little being done to help the adult deaf in Liverpool, so Healey worked with his friend Robert Armour (1837-1913) to start the Liverpool Adult Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Society in 1864 (ibid p.208).  He was the Hon. Secretary until 1895, then Vice-Chairman.

Healey worked hard to raise money for a new Liverpool Instiute building, and it was opened on May the 16th, 1887 by H.R.H. Princess Louise.  He was himself fortunate that his parents left him and his sister enough money to make them financially secure, but .

He gave evidence to the Royal Comission of 1881 regarding deaf education, being a firm advocate for the combined method.  “Mr. Healey has a horror of extremists, experience having convinced him that such people in any cause seldom do much good, but invariably accomplish a great deal of mischief.” (Oldham Deaf–Mute Gazette p.206).  Healey was also Hon. Treasurer to the BDDA, and one of its founders.  His influence was wide, and he travelled we are told, to most of the missions across the country, for example helping start the Cork mission in the 1880s (ibid p.2010).

George never married but lived for many years with his sister Florence.

Dear Friends of the Deaf No.2 Mr. George F. Healey , Oldham Deaf–Mute Gazette Jan-Feb 1906, p. 205-11

Mr. George F. Healey, Ephphatha No. 63, Autumn 1924, p.842-3

The Late Mr. George F. Healey, Deaf Quarterly News, No.92, p.1-3 Jan-Mar 1928 (includes photo)

Mr G.F. Healey, Liverpool, British Deaf Times 1928 Vol 25 p.12

Our Portrait Gallery No.3 Mr George F.Healey. Our Monthly Church Messenger to the Deaf p.29-30 1894 includes (photo)

W.R. Roe, Mr. George F. Healey, Peeps into the Deaf World 1917 p.61-3

Healey 2

Abdulla Iddleby/Ydlibi and the Cairo Deaf School

Hugh Dominic WStiles10 July 2015

Born in Manchester in 1871, Abdullah J. Iddleby was the son of an Irish mother and a Syrian father.  Because his surname was sometimes transliterated in different ways, it is not easy to track him in online records, and I have not with certainty worked out his parents’ names, but it is possible that they were an Ali Ydlibi and Rebecca Hinchey his wife, as they married in Salford registration district in 1870, the year before Abdulla[h] was born.  It is possible that Abdullah’s is the death recorded as Ali A. J. B. Ydlibi in Stockport in 1952, aged 81.  If his father was Ali Ydlibi (Ydilbi) senior, he was a British subject, born in Syria which was then a part of the Turkish Empire, and I imagine may have been involved in the Lancashire cloth trade in some way.

When he was two his parents went to Egypt, and later on he was educated at a or the British Syrian School in Beirut, where he learnt Arabic (Bayrout as the article in British Deaf-Mute (1895 has it).  It was while he was there that he lost his hearing, although he did retain some.  Later on the article, which is by one ‘Agnes’, it says that he was taught by Alexander Melville, “for the past two years” as a private pupil.  He must have been a student/teacher as he is described as having taught at Llandaff.  Our records of Llandaff are not complete and a quick look did not show his name, perhaps as it was for a period when we have no annual reports.  The peculiar thing is that Melville died in 1891, so someone is confused here.

IddlebyAbdullah, who would seem to have been from a Christian family, kept up a correspondence with missionaries in Egypt, who had said there were many Deaf people who were not being educated.  Arthur Upson from a previous blog entry, is not mentioned, but must have known Abdullah later on.School Cairo

The Nile Mission Press for 1906, Blessed be Egypt, says this –

The Class for Deaf and Dumb Boys, which we opened about two years ago, under Mr. Abdullah Iddleby, has been remarkably successful in the matter of general instruction, and the progress of the boys has been extraordinary. But the number of pupils has always been small ; the parents will not send their boys, as they do not believe until they see for themselves that such instruction is possible, and so we recently came to an arrangement with a leading Copt at Zagazig, Paris Effendi Yusef, who will provide a house, etc., and give the opportunity of trying it as a Boys School. Any friends who know of deaf and dumb boys will do well to communicate with Mr. Iddleby, c/o Paris Effendi Yusef, Zagazig.

I suspect that he taught with the combined method, which was used at Llandaff.

He worked with the Church Missionary Society, who proveded a room in in Sharia Muhamed Ali for a year and a half, with Iddleby having five pupils.  The work was supported by Lord Cromer, but when he left Egypt it ended.  He started up again with support of the Pasha (Idris Ragheb) and Egyptian authorities, in the same street, later having 13 pupils.  “His Excellency Idris Pasha is indeed a shelter in a weary land, as far as the deaf and dumb are concerned” says “Pharos” in The British Deaf Times (1909).  Clearly there was an underlying proselytizing element to these early schools, but perhaps the children were from coptic families.

There were other earlier attempts to start education for Deaf children in Egypt.  Miles (2005, see link below) says,

Volta Bureau records (1896; 1900, 1901) noted that “Schools are also reported to exist in Algiers and Syonfieh, Egypt”, and listed three teachers and 37 pupils at Algiers in 1900, 2 teachers and 6 pupils in Egypt in 1901. A Cairo source had a school for “Blind and Dumb” [= Deaf] opening in 1874 and reporting annual data for some years (Heyworth-Dunne, 1968, p. 390).

A footnote adds the following  –

Knowledge of this 19th century work now seems absent from the deaf education world in Egypt, where it is believed that the first school for the deaf was started in 1936. However, a news item “In Cairo” (1909) noted “the establishment of a school for the deaf in Cairo, where it has for three years had a prosperous existence.” A Volta Review article tells of Mme. Sémély Tsotsou founding “L’Ecole L’Espoir” (The Hope School) for 30 deaf children at Alexandria in 1934 (“A School for the Deaf in Egypt”, 1941), with photograph and details of one deaf pupil, nine-year-old Andrée, who had made good progress in speaking French. Another item in 1947 noted that Egypt had then a school for about twenty children at Cairo, a government school “being launched at Alexandria”, and a private school run by “a Greek lady, Madame Semely Tsotsou”, who was also responsible for training 15 Egyptian teachers (“The Deaf in Egypt”, 1947). One small deaf girl, Athanassia Boubouly, is pictured there with her teacher. Lababidi & El-Arabi (2002, pp. 9, 38-43, 101-103, 146-48, 176) collate useful evidence for current activities by and for deaf Egyptians, including interviews with two deaf mothers (the artist and actress Hanan Marzouk, and the Sign specialist Hanan Mohsen), some Deaf organisations, and a Deaf Theatre director. Early information on the school at Algiers has also not been readily available. A brief note in 1927 reported the installation of M. Ayrole in place of the retiring principal M. Rolland (Lamarque, 1927).

Cairo deaf schoolHow long Iddleby stayed in Egypt, I have no idea.  If anyone comes comes across him in any records, please update us below.

Abdulla[h] married Edith E Keay in Stockport in 1915, and she died in 1943.

http://dspace.wrlc.org/view/ImgViewer?url=http://dspace.wrlc.org/doc/manifest/2041/32130

http://dspace.wrlc.org/view/ImgViewer?url=http://dspace.wrlc.org/doc/manifest/2041/35372

Both those articles are based on British Deaf Mute and British Deaf Times articles.

Marriages Dec 1915  Keay Edith E and Iddleby Abdulla J S, Stockport 8a 82

Deaths Jun 1943, IDDLEBY Edith E 71 Hyde 8a 118 (for both see the Free BMD)

Deaf People Living and Communicating in African Histories, c. 960s – 1960s

http://www.deaf-atlas.org/index.php/en/egypt

The Deaf of Egypt, British Deaf Mute, 1895, p.39, vol 5 no.50

Pharos, The Deaf and Dumb of Egypt, The British Deaf Times, 1909, Vol. 6 no.65, p.97-99

Roe, WR., The deaf and dumb in Egypt, in Peeps into the Deaf World, 1917, p.204-6

 

 

“Resisting intemperate habits” – York Deaf and Dumb Mission football club

Hugh Dominic WStiles3 February 2012

York City F.C. was founded in 1908 as an amateur side, eventually becoming professional. However the team folded in 1917, probably because of the pressures of the war. This photograph from the collection of Selwyn Oxley is however the team from the Deaf Mission in York, playing on the York City ground in January 1916. (Click onto the photo for a larger resolution). It looks to me as if they were using a municipal ground at the time – but if you know better do tell us.

We do not have many records of the mission but it was founded in 1884 at a meeting in York’s Guildhall. It was originally known as The York and District Christian Mission to the Deaf and Dumb. In the words of the first annual report – not produced until 1902-3, early on it had “a chequered existence”, before being reconstituted with the input of the ‘Deaf Mute’ Mr. M.I. Stewart Fry in 1901. These sorts of Christian mission to the Deaf were widespread in the late 19th century as we have noted in earlier items. The objects were usually very similar, in this case,

“the religious instruction of the Deaf and Dumb; to see as far as possible to the educational wants of Deaf-Mute children; to help the Deaf to bear patiently their daily burden; to encourage them in resisting intemperate habits; to help the needy; to find work for the unemployed; and to minister to the sick. In short to do to the Deaf and Dumb what the churches and various charitable agencies do for those who can hear and speak.”

The relationship between sport and the Christian missions was strong, with the Victorian idea of ‘muscular Christianity’ (though curiously St. Paul said “bodily exercise profiteth little” 1 Timothy 4:8). The photocopy we have of the first report was owned by Fry (see his picture in the article on the National Deaf Club), who left in 1903 to go to London. He has added a hand-written note in the copy, dated 1937, that he went to work at another firm “as a litho artist”. What became of the York Mission in the long term I am not sure. Some missions mutated, some will have folded, some still exist.

The York and District Christian Mission to the Deaf and Dumb, Annual Reports.