Find your ancestors in Princess Mary Village Homes Pupils 1870-1890s

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Mrs Susanna Meredith and Miss Caroline Cavendish established the Princess Mary Village Homes. The two women had spent significant time working with female prisoners and, as a result, felt inspired to help the children of imprisoned parents. Initially, such children were sent to foster homes, but as the number of needy children increased, Miss Cavendish established a residence in 1870. However, the value of an intimate home setting was not lost on Meredith and Cavendish, so a village of residences was created, with housemothers caring for ten or so children each. In 1872, the village was certified as an industrial school under the Industrial Schools Act of 1866. The girls admitted were either committed under the Industrial Schools Act or were voluntarily committed by parents and guardians.