The ‘Brixton Orphanage for Fatherless Girls’ was founded by Mrs Ann Eliza Montague and was officially opened on May 2nd 1876
Originally the school occupied 55 & 57 Barrington Road, Brixton and the 1881 census, shows 3 resident staff and 91 pupils. By the 1891 census they
had obtained 53 Barrington Road
which enabled them to increase
the resident staff to 9 and the
number of pupils to 250.
The 1901 census shows the
staff numbers had risen to 11
and the number of pupils decreased to 129 but then rose again with the 1911 census showing 13 staff and 239 orphans .
I believe that Annie Montague and sponsors of the home were either of the Methodist or Baptist Faith and even possibly a combination of both. Whichever, the home was certainly run purely on charity, a strong faith that ‘God Will Provide’ and a total devotion by both its sponsors and staff.
Girls were only accepted into the Orphanage after strict vetting with regard to the type of home they were coming from. A copy of the parents marriage certificate had to be produced and two references supplied by i.e. local Vicar, Doctor, Business man etc., and a death certificate of the deceased father.
The girls were educated in the subjects of reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, needlework, domestic work and of course religion until the age of fourteen, they then took on duties within the school helping in the laundry, kitchens and with the younger children. until the age of sixteen when they were then found a suitable position, usually in domestic service although some did go into nursing and at least one girl became a missionary in Japan.
I think possibly the extract of the Objects & Regulations taken from the Twenty Seventh Annual Report of 1902 gives a good insight into the standards and morals of the school.