Extracts from "Occasional Paper," dated November,
1889, of the Scottish National
Society for Prevention of Crueity to Children. Established 1884.
Esq., chairman of the Glasgow Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Children, giving an account of its origin in
1884, and after noticing the formation in Liverpool of the first Society
called by that name
in Great Britain, says :— In another part of this publication there is
given an account of the origin of the Children’s Aid and Refuge Society,
which is now merged in the Scottish National Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Children, but which was then a private enterprise of Miss Emma
M. Stirling, who deserves the utmost credit as the disinterested and
self-devoted pioneer of the great movement for the protection and rescue
of children in the East of Scotland.
Here is the account of the
Children’s Aid and Refuge referred to, signed by Mr. Colston, chairman:—
This Institution was
established for the protection of
young people. It existed
several years before there was any project
put forth to form societies in our large cities and towns for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Children. It was practically in its own way
subserving the very purpose
for which these larger organizations have been called into existence.
The opening by Miss Emma M. Stirling of a small Creche or Day Nursery
was the first inception of the scheme.
Then follows a description
of the Day Nursery, which it is needless to repeat. Mr. Colston
The Home was partly
supported by public benevolence, but chiefly by the liberality of Miss
Stirling, who generously made up the deficiency of each year out of her
own private means. Having requested the aid and co-operation of a few
leading citizens to act as a committee of advice in the benevolent work to
which she had dedicated herself, it soon became obvious that there were
many sad cases of cruelty towards children that the general public knew
little about, and for which the state of the law did not afford any
Miss Stirling’s active
exertions in the work of rescuing and befriending neglected children are
now well known to the community. It is not requisite to dilate upon these
further than to say that her efforts, under the committee of advice who
were associated with her, had, as their effect, in a large measure, the
work of prevention of cruelty to children as now understood.
Then follows an account of
the German children already described in Chapter V.
"Since that time, as Mr.
Henderson, the Chief of Police, and other official gentlemen in the city
can testify, a number of cases of gross cruelty have been brought to light
through means of the Aid and Refuge, and have been reported to the Police,
with the result that the offenders were punished.
The Shelter from Cruelty was opened
in 1884 by Miss Stirling and those gentlemen who had by this time become
associated with her in the management. It is situated at a convenient
distance from the chief police office. During the same year a Society was
formed in the city, called "The Edinburgh Society for Prevention of
Cruelty to Children." It was, however, soon found by its promoters that
the work was being so well done by the Children’s Aid and Refuge that
there was no need for the new organization. It therefore became
amalgamated with this institution.
In 1886 Miss Stirling thought it to
be her duty to transfer her field of usefulness to across the sea to
Aylesford, Nova Scotia, where she is still proving herself the friend of
little children by devoting her time, attention, and private fortune to
(Signed) JAMES COLSTON.