Family History Federation

West of England School for the Deaf – Admission Register 1827 – 1836

This booklet was compiled by members of the Devon Family History Society in co-operation with the Devon Records Office. The booklet provides an extract of some information and further details may be obtained from the Devon Records Office. The West of England School was founded in 1826 to educate deaf children from poor families. In April of that year, advertisements were put in the newspapers asking for donations and subscriptions. Those donating £20 or more or subscribing £2 annually or more, became members of the General Committee, and those donating £10 or more or subscribing £1 annually or more, became Governors, of whom eight were elected annually on to the Committee. The clergy were asked to report on any deaf children in their parishes who would benefit from being sent to the school. It was difficult to win support for the school at first, because the prevalent view was that deaf and dumb children could not be educated, but once the school opened, in 1827, anyone was welcome to visit at 12 o’clock each day to see the children at their lessons. Watching the pupils at work convinced visitors that the school was efficient and also encouraged them to put money in the school’s donation box. This register of applications for admission to the school covers the period 1827 to 1836. There are columns for the child’s name, his or her date of birth or baptism, the date of the application, the parents’ names and address and the name of the person who recommended the child for admission. There is no note in the register to state whether or not the child was accepted as a pupil, but lists of charity pupils were printed every year in the annual reports, so it is possible to trace a child’s progress through the school through these.


SKU : D123

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