Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1999-02 > 0917876894
From: Edward Andrews <>
Subject: Re: deported children
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 13:48:14 +0000
Aaron Orr wrote:
> Dear Dick:
> The interesting thing is that the perpetrators of this scam upon
> thereligious persons of British children were not those who accepted
> Darwinism,social or otherwise. The sin of it all lies in the fact that most
> of them were "Evangelicals" and part of the Evangelical Movement in
> Englandduring the Nineteenth Century.
> Barnardo certainly was and so was George Muller. I know not Barnardo's
> religious background, but I know that Muller was Evangelical Brethren, or
> maybe Plymouth Brethren. I would hope that Muller, a man of Prayer, was more
> careful in selecting his staff than Barnardo.
I think that it is very easy for us to condemn what was done in the
past. 20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I make no apology for the many individual acts of exploitation and
brutality which assuredly took place.
The conditions of Orphanages and other institutions of that kind have
traditionally been very bad.
When you remember that the upper classes sent their sons off to
Boarding School at a tender age, you can hardly be surprised that they
were not horrified at what happened to the lower orders.
Anyone who went through the Boarding school system has stories of
instatutionalised brutality and a lack of care.
As my wife said to a friend of mine who was telling her about his
experiences at one school "and to think that your parents paid for you
to be treated like that".
Do the Boy's Hall in "Nicholas Nicholby" was only part of a system of
abuse, exploitation and cruelty which was institutionalized in 19th and
early 20th Century Britain. The Artist as a young man (Joyce) found
school no better.
Arnold's Rugby of "Tom Brown's Schooldays" was an improvement on what
To those who express horror I can only ask then if they have never read
any social history, or even any fiction of the time.
Remember we are thinking of a society which executed and flogged
criminals, birtched juveniles and caned and strapped schoolchildren, all
activities which are inconceivable in any civilized society.
It is not surprising that Evangelical Christians were involved in this
business. Perhaps the only people in Victorian England who had both the
inclination or the ability to provide any social services at all were
the Evangelical Christians. Time and time again form the attack on
slavery in the 18th Century through to the setting up of the probation
service (Originally called court missionaries) in the 20th Century,
including the attack on Child prostitution, it was the evangelical
Christians who were there. Read Kingley's "Water Babies"
Of course we are not happy about what some did. Ironically some of
those who were involved in the financial support for the care of what we
today would call deprived children had some very questionable business
On the Roman side it is clear now that there were deep problems among
many of the members in orders which were involved, but they were trying.
Of course the Magdaline Laundries were a scandal, but so were the
conditions which lead to the need of them.
To many in Britain throughout the period in question the prospect of
new life in the colonies was seen as an opportunity for people to get
away from the difficult social positions. It was to them perfectly
reasonable to give unfortunate children the opportunity to make new
lives in lands of opportunity. In the America of the time, there was the
push for people to go West.
There is controversy today about the exact motivation of people to move
in the past - the push of the old country, or the pull of the new. A
television series about the Clearances which is just about to be shown
has caused disagreement, as it appears to claim that often the Pull was
the reason why many people left, rather than the up to now received idea
that it was the push of the Landlords.
To really understand what was happening, do not look at the developed
societies which we know, but at second world communities where street
children are shot by the police, young girls live on the streets in
prostitution and there is the same kind of extreme poverty which was
experienced in some areas of the great cities of America and Europe 150
to 100 years ago.
St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland
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|Re: deported children by Edward Andrews <>|