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Purpose Of The Construction Of Wanstead Infant Orphan Asylum In 1841

2236 words - 9 pages

Purpose of the Construction of Wanstead Infant Orphan Asylum in 1841

Andrew Reid was born in the year 1787. He was a Congregational
minister and he was a non-conformist, which meant he was not part of
the Church of England. He was very hardworking and committed. He
started 7 charities which meant he was a very generous man. His
farther was a watch maker therefore he came from a lower middle class
tradesman family. His first Asylum he opened was in Dalston, Hackney.
He attended the site everyday and got royal patronage which helped him
to raise funds. This shows that he is a very dedicated and caring
person.

The Asylum in Hackney was for children over the age of seven which
meant if there were any orphans under the age of seven there would
have nowhere to go. This is where the idea of the Wanstead Orphan
Asylum came to Andrew Reid’s mind, he knew that there had to be an
Infant Asylum in Wanstead. His main reason for these acts of kindness
was because he truly wanted to help the ‘deserving poor’ (this meant
poor people that had been made poor by bad fortune or death of
parents). In his speech at the founding meeting he said “Innocence,
helplessness, and misery are strangely commingled and most touchingly
call for our aid”. This shows that he really cares and wants to
persuade other people to care and to donate for the orphans to have a
better life.

Victorian attitudes to the poor were very negative to the “undeserving
poor” (which meant the poor that were just ‘lazy’ or were thieves
ect). The New poor law stated that “no able-bodied person was to
receive money or other help from the Poor Law authorities except in a
workhouse” and that “conditions in workhouses were to be made very
harsh to discourage people from wanting to receive help”. So as the
New Poor Law states people were extremely cruel and discriminated the
“undeserving poor” they said it was god who decided if you were poor
or not even though the church did try to help. For example the hymn
all things bright and beautiful, includes the lines “ The rich man at
his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them high or lowly, and
ordered their estate”. However most people felt pity on the ‘deserving
poor’ an example of this was rich women that used to make themselves
look generous, in front of their rich women friends, these were the
types of people that Andrew Reid was particularly interested in and
that was because they were the people that donated the most money.

Andrew Reid put together many Asylum meetings where he would do
speeches to rich people and make them feel for the poor. An example of
his speeches was one he done on the 3rd of July, 1927 at the London
Tavern “Let it be remembered that the case is for the infant orphan
for which charity has a yet done nothing; yet this case embraces a
period of life...

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