The Lost Children Exhibition

The Lost Children Exhibition

UNTIL OCT 21ST
AT ST. MARTIN IN THE BULL RING
EDGBASTON STREET, BIRMINGHAM B5 5BB
10 AM TO 4 PM DAILY

About The Lost Children

as featured on uk tv

In 1873, twenty-six waifs and strays, from the poorest backgrounds imaginable, set sail for Toronto, Canada, some 4000 miles from the industrial heart of Birmingham City.  Many left parents and siblings behind.

The average age of a child migrant was eight but some as young as two were sent.  There are stories of great sadness but also stories of great success.

It is estimated that around 13% of Canada’s population is descended from British ‘Home Children’,  130,000 of which were sent in total from all over the UK.

Many families were separated, with some children remaining in the UK while their siblings were sent to Canada.  Where siblings sailed together, most of them were separated once in Canada. We have connected families both in the UK and Canada, many of whom had no knowledge of their living relatives across the Atlantic

A Presentation by Pat Skidmore
Marjorie - Too Afraid to Cry Saturday 21st September at 2.00 pm The Lyttelton Theatre at the Birmingham & Midland Institute (Margaret Street B3 3BS, near to the Council...
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A One Off Talk by Patricia Roberts-Pichette
Patricia Roberts-Pichette Saturday 14th September at 2.30 pm  The Lyttelton Theatre at the Birmingham & Midland Institute (Margaret Street B3 3BS, near to the Council House) Free Admission! no...
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THE LOST CHILDREN
A Heritage Lottery Funded Project The Background In 1873, twenty-six waifs and strays, from the poorest backgrounds imaginable, set sail for Toronto, Canada, some 4000 miles from the industrial...
Read More "THE LOST CHILDREN"
Another Balsall Heath connection
This week in the Archives I looked at the Management Committee minutes and came across another interesting Balsall Heath connection. In 1899 the Homes were seeking to recruit a...
Read More "Another Balsall Heath connection"
THE LOST CHILDREN
A Heritage Lottery Funded Project The Background In 1873, twenty-six waifs and strays, from the poorest backgrounds imaginable, set sail for...
Read More "THE LOST CHILDREN"
Another Balsall Heath connection
This week in the Archives I looked at the Management Committee minutes and came across another interesting Balsall Heath connection. In...
Read More "Another Balsall Heath connection"
Letters from the Lost Children
The archives in Birmingham Library contain quite a number of letters sent back to England by children emigrated to Canada. Some...
Read More "Letters from the Lost Children"
Sir John T MiddleMore
Sir John Throgmorton Middlemore, 1st Baronet (9 June 1844 – 17 October 1924) was an English Liberal Unionist politician who served...
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Middlemore: 1949 onwards – family rehabilitation
 Child emigration by the Middlemore Homes continued until 1949. By this date government legislation (the Children Act of 1948) and changes...
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The Middlemore babies’ home (Crowley House)
The Middlemore babies' home (Crowley House) The Middlemore Homes also ran a babies' home at Selly Oak called Crowley House. This...
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MiddleMore: Emigration: 1873 to 1949
The first group of children, a party of 29, departed for Canada on 1st May 1873, accompanied by John Middlemore. On...
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MiddleMore: Foundation and aims
The Middlemore Homes were founded in 1872 by John Throgmorton Middlemore as the 'Children's Emigration Homes'. The first home, for boys,...
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Birmingham’s Emigration Homes

Historian Carl Chinn MBE Talks about the Lost Children Project

In 19th Century Birmingham, John Middlemore saw poor children living in overcrowded slums, in unhealthy conditions. Some children were suffering from neglect and at risk of falling into crime through a need to survive. His original mission in establishing the Middlemore Homes was to offer children a healthy upbringing, the chance to receive training and what he perceived as a better life through emigration to Canada. Children were often placed into the care of the homes by the local magistrates or were transferred to the homes from the cottage homes of the local poor law unions. 

The surviving records of the homes reveal the mixed fortunes of these children once in Canada. Many child migrants, as John Middlemore had hoped, were better off in Canada than if they had remained in England. Others experienced ill-treatment from their employers.