Original photograph of the 'First group of boys for Canada from the Hampton Home' [the Hampton Training Home for boys], run by Joseph Merry and his wife Rachel Merry (sister of Annie Macpherson), with George Thom.

[The Hampton Training Home for boys [Hampton Home]; George Thom; Joseph Merry and his wife Rachel Merry (sister of Annie Macpherson [Annie Parlane Macpherson]); Home of Industry; Canadian emigration]
Publication details: 
Circa 1870.
SKU: 11898

Landscape photograph, 19.5 x 14.5 cm, laid down on a piece of thin card cut from an album, 18 x 21 cm. Around sixty boys are posed in four rows in front of a grand house, with two masters to the right and two to the left, and with a fifth in the centre of the group. The group are surprisingly fat-faced, posing sulkily in jackets, with some waistcoats and tam o'shanters. Five more boys look out of a downstairs window, three from an upstairs window, and one peeks out from behind the front door. The work of the Merrys and Annie Macpherson is described in 'The Golden Bridge: Young Immigrants to Canada 1833-1939' by Marjorie Kohli, who states that 'the Training Home for boys was opened at Hampton, in the country near London, where children might be trained for outdoor life. It was superintended by the Merrys with the assistance of George Thom' It was sold in 1887, 'because of the distance from the city that the workers had to travel', and an expanded 'Home of Industry' was moved from Commercial St to Bethnal Green. See also Annie Macpherson's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.