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[?] Taylor

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Published : 1 Article
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Taylor, Mr. Address: Manchester. Not identified. Several hundred Taylors lived in Manchester and its suburbs in the 1850s. The article to which Taylor's name is attached ["A Day in a Pauper Palace", I, 361–64. July 13, 1850] describes an institution for pauper children in Swinton, near Manchester. Editorial comment states that "we solicited a gentleman qualified for the task" to visit the institution and that "we have drawn up the following account" on the basis of his information. The Office Book records the article as "Rewritten almost entirely by W.H.W. & abridged one half."

      The actual account of the visit to the institution, i.e., the part of the article based on Taylor's information, expresses, in general, approval of the care, schooling, and moral training that children there receive. Prefaced to this account is a long introductory comment by Wills: Pauper children, he states, are of course not responsible for the shiftlessness of their parents, and common sense dictates that they be given training so that they not become "pests to Society." Institutions that can give them such training "at not too great a cost" are therefore commendable. However, the Swinton establishment, with its appearance of "a wealthy nobleman's residence" and with its "sumptuous arrangements," provides for pauper children better schooling, food, and clothing than the industrious poor can provide for their children and thus, in effect, sets a premium on parental shiftlessness and neglect. In Manchester, "the high road to fortune is to be born a pauper."
      A paragraph at the end of the article again mentions the fact that Swinton places "the child-pauper above the child of the industrious." The attitude may be that of Taylor as well as that of Wills. The article does not advocate lessening the care given to pauper children, but expresses the hope that in addition to "Pauper Palaces," there be established also "Educational Palaces for all classes and denominations."
      In a following article, "London Pauper Children," F. K. Hunt referred to the "architectural display" of the Swinton institution that had won for it "the title of a Pauper Palace."

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971

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