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By Jonas Kavaliauskas. Orphans in 19 th Century Victorian England. Background Info. Victorian era in England. Victorian era in England was a time of great social evolution, technological advancements and economical improvements.

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Orphans in 19 th Century Victorian England


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background info
Background Info

Victorian era in England

  • Victorian era in England was a time of great social evolution, technological advancements and economical improvements.
  • During this time a unique middle class was formed alongside the working lower class and wealthy aristocracy.
  • Along with these classes there were certain individuals that didn’t belong to the model of Victorian society.
  • In the Victorian society an abandoned child was a person without past, without connections, without status therefore these individuals could appear in any of the mention class at any time.
what s a orphan
What’s a Orphan?

Definition of an orphan

  • When you hear the word “orphan“ in our heads we see a lonely child whose parents have both died in tragic accidents.
  • There were many people like that in the Victorian society. Do to the diseases like typhus and tuberculosis that spread around England. These diseases were caused, because of the poor living conditions many of the poor had.
  • The poor people were not provided with no medication so they could not check themselves and they often crowded some of the abandoned places therefore the infection spread faster.
  • In Victorian society the children were often considered orphans when they had only one surviving parent or been abandoned by their family and when they were forced out of their family.
  • In 1861, it was estimated that 11% of children had lost a father by the age of 10, 11% a mother, and 1% had lost both parents.
adoption
Adoption

Fate of the orphans

  • Adoption was a common fate of all orphans.
  • They were often taken in by relatives or neighbors, and even, on occasion, strangers wishing to raise them as their own children.
  • In England, there were no laws concerning adoption until the 19th century so most of the adoptions made were informal and therefore illegal.
  • Children adopted by people that belonged to the same social class as the adopted child were most likely treated fairly and equally. However if they were adopted by a family that status was above the adopted child's then the kid usually was mistreated and even neglected. If an orphan was taken into a household where higher class children lived, they could be forbidden to even speak to them.
education
Education

Orphan opportunity

  • Some of the orphans met different fate, a opportunity to education to reach something in their life. So they were placed in educational institutions in which many philanthropists donated money to. These schools were made for the purpose of boarding and educating orphans.
  • Their education was rarely as good as the education of those whose families paid for it, yet it still gave them an advantage that many of their peers during those days lacked.
  • Most of these programs that were provided were designed specifically to train these children to a lower-middle class occupation, such as becoming a governess.
  • Food, education, and lodging were provided until the orphan turned 17 then these orphans were expected to find a job and begin working.
  • Some of the educational institutions were not such a great opportunity, because many of the institutions were undefended, crowded and unsanitary.
orphanages
Orphanages

Poor Law Amendment

  • In England Victorian era in 1934 an amendment called “the Poor Law Amendment.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment’ also known as the New Poor Law all the orphanages and children’s homes were created for those who were unable to care for themselves.
  • Boys were generally taught a trade and girls were prepared to enter domestic service.
  • Some of these facilities were really awful that children actually decided to pursue a criminal lifestyle on the street than to suffer in an awful orphanage.
occupations
Occupations

Criminals/Other Occupations

  • Most of the orphans would were not adopted or entered in to an institution therefore often they became criminals.
  • In England it was estimated that 60% of the criminal population were orphans, at one point or another. They indulged in thievery or became prostitutes to survive in the streets with no home and a constant supply of food.
  • Orphans that were more honest and who lived on the streets often banded together in to little groups for survival, doing minor tasks for the upper class, or they were begging for money.
how it relates to the book
How it relates to the book?

Topic relation to the book

  • From the beginning of the book a fact is stated about Pip and his sister. We realize that the these two siblings are orphans, because both of their parents are dead. Later on the book we meet another character that is too an orphan, Estella. WE do notice that comparing to the majority of the orphans in England. Pip ends up as a gentleman and his sister dies somewhere beyond the middle of the book, Estella becomes a lady of waiting.
works cited
Works Cited

"English Orphanages Clothes." Historic Clothing: Expanded Site. Web. 26 Apr. 2010. <http://histclo.com/Insti/Orp/orp-eng.html>.

"History." Legends & Legacies - Orphanages. Web. 26 Apr. 2010. <http://www.legends.ca/orphanages/orphanHistory.html>.

Horn, Pamela. The Victorian Town Child. New York: New York UP, 1997. Print.

Jordan, Thomas Edward. Victorian Childhood: Themes and Variations. Albany: State University of New York, 1987. Print.

works cited cont
Works Cited cont.

"London's Children in the 19th-century." Museum of London - English. Web. 26 Apr. 2010. <http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/English/Learning/Learningonline/features/wc/world_city_6.htm>.

Mitchell, Sally. Daily Life in Victorian England. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1996. Print.

"Orphans - How Many Orphans Were There?, Weakened Children, Orphans and the Household - Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society." Internet FAQ Archives - Online Education. Web. 26 Apr. 2010. <http://www.faqs.org/childhood/Me-Pa/Orphans.html>.

Peters, Laura. Orphan Texts: Victorian Orphans, Culture and Empire. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2000. Print.