When were children allowed to be children?
Do you have a C20th or C21st view of childhood that clouds your view of your family history?
- This theme of childhood and education exposes the truth of being a child in C18th and C19th Britain and how reform slowly brought about change.
- It explores literature that was far from fictional as it told the story of childhood in Victorian Britain
- Consider reading the contemporary reports of reformers, such as Mayhew and using them in your family histories to witness their lives
Childhood diseases and the response to them is explored
- What hospital or medical provision was made for children?
- Vaccination, was it for good or evil? What was the public reaction to it?
- Did the workhouse provision for children and the ragged schools bring opportunities for children?
- What happened to children when their parents died?
Was educational reform a universal blessing and if not why not? Consider the possible ramifications in your family history as ‘bread winners’ were lost to the school slate or were your ancestors lifted out of poverty through education?