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The Protestant Orphan Society became a social bridge that linked together throughout the Church of Ireland the humble poor and the wealthy and the great. This book examines the work of the Protestant Orphan Society in Dublin (DPOS) against the background of over a century of political, religious and social upheaval from Catholic emancipation, the Great Famine, social reforms to Independence. It first identifies the founders and supporters of the DPOS and their motivation for doing so. It asks why the Church of Ireland invested in the children of the church at this time. The book then analyses the Society's development, the grounds for support of private versus public poor relief for Protestant widows and children and stresses the crucial role that women played in the Societies' work. It examines the child welfare system implemented by the DPOS, and the extent to which its policies were forward thinking and child and family centred. The opposing views of the extensive social service carried out by PO Societies and the meaning of the charity for the Church of Ireland laity, particularly women, are explored. The book further examines applicant profiles, widows' reduced circumstances and health, attitudes to children's health, and bereavement and the attendant emotional effects. Using individual case histories the chapter examines applicant case histories which include Sean O'Casey's sister.

8 Decline and resilience, 1898–1940 The Protestant Orphan Society supplied a great want in their benevolent and charitable institutions and he felt they could not get on without them.1 Introduction Given the relatively significant decline in the Protestant population, the creation of the Free State, the growing authority of the Roman Catholic church as evidenced by its extensive network of convents, orphanages and schools, and the 1937 constitution, it stood to reason that PO Societies in the south would lose some, if not all, of the social influence built up

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940
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Conclusion In 1928 at the centenary meeting of the Protestant Orphan Society in Dublin, Revd Canon Thompson remarked that it would be the job of the ‘future historian’, ‘to estimate the social influence of the work done by the Protestant Orphan Society’.1 What legacy did the charity, founded in 1828 and developed on a country-wide basis, leave behind? The answer lies primarily, as Revd Thompson suggests, and as the author has emphasised throughout this study, in its social influence. From its foundation the DPOS was a highly significant vehicle for moral reform

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940

effective training was not always possible; therefore, the main consideration is whether Protestant orphans were bound out as cheap labour or provided with valuable apprenticeships. The chapter also focuses on employers’ treatment of apprentices and the increasing role assumed by surviving parents and elder siblings in shaping the children’s futures. Juvenile delinquency The POS apprenticeship scheme was viewed as a means of reducing juvenile delinquency; ‘they [subscribers] should support an institution such as the Protestant Orphan Society, which takes under its care

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940
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Protestant Orphan Society, 1828–1940 were e­stablished and Irish speaking missionaries enlisted to spread the gospel.5 Wesleyan Methodists seceded from the Church of Ireland in 1816 while Primitive Wesleyan Methodists remained within the margins of the established church. These two elements of Methodism did not unite until 1878 when the Methodist church was formally founded. Wesleyan Methodism had a particular appeal for artisans seeking advancement in society.6 Members of the Church of Ireland who wished to experience and embrace the vibrancy of revival preaching without

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940
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Introduction ‘The Protestant Orphan Society became a social bridge that linked together throughout the Church of Ireland the humble poor and the wealthy and the great’.1 Founded in Dublin in 1828 by three Protestant artisans, and later managed by laymen and Church of Ireland clergymen, the Protestant Orphan Society in Dublin (DPOS) developed a carefully regulated large-scale boarding-out and apprenticeship scheme for the benefit of Protestant orphans. Its influence grew by degrees until the 1870s, by which time auxiliaries to the DPOS and separate county PO

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940

with the announcements of controversial sermons’.4 Reportedly, 82 The Protestant Orphan Society, 1828–1940 ­ ne-hundred Protestants had been converted. In 1851 the Redemptorist o Mission in Dublin was allegedly ‘attended by many Protestants’ and ‘some few of them were received into the church’.5 According to the priests, the mission attracted such attention when it came to light that Fr Lockhart was an Oxford convert. Archbishop Cullen called for unity among Catholic bishops against ICM missionary progress in the west of Ireland. Growing Catholic strength in

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940

decision to do so led to further Protestant alienation and the foundation of the Church Education Society in 1839.19 (Church of Ireland schools remained independent until 1860.20) 30 The Protestant Orphan Society, 1828–1940 Protestant societies and associations were founded in the 1830s during a period of continued economic depression to preserve a Protestant presence in Ireland. The Protestant Conservative Association was founded in 1832.21 The Protestant Association of Ireland registered voters and aimed to protect persecuted Protestants in the south.22 The Dublin

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940

presented to the committee and they were required to ‘elect’ the candidates deemed most ‘deserving’. Applicants Applicants to PO Societies were from a range of backgrounds. For example, the Tipperary POS (TPOS) reported that 20 per cent of the children admitted in 1836 were police orphans and 10 per cent soldiers’ children. In 1836 the TPOS sent a circular with a copy of its rules to the 54 The Protestant Orphan Society, 1828–1940 commanding officer of each regiment in Clonmel and Caher.8 In reply Captain Griffiths of the Royal Artillery, ‘enclosed £1 from the officers

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940

passed in 1898 178 The Protestant Orphan Society, 1828–1940 and the Boarding Out of Children in Unions Order, 1899, increased the age limit to fifteen4 and from this point onwards, workhouse children were boarded out in greater numbers.5 Inspectors were introduced to the state-run boarding-out scheme in 1902 and under the Children Act 1908 they were called upon to supervise the placement of children who were boarded out privately (for the most part illegitimate children) as well as children boarded out from workhouses.6 (A professional, qualified social worker was

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940