BARNARDO (Dr. Thomas John, 1845-1905, founder of the Homes for Destitute Children)

Fine Typed Letter Signed to Miss Theodora Lisle PRANKHERD (1878-1939, British Botanish who worked on the growth of ferns and Lecturer) saying he "cannot tell you the joy and delight that your letter gave me. You are probably aware that I have been laid aside for some little time from active participation in my work, and am dictating this lying in my room. Happily I am not in any pain, but I am compelled to be quiet for some weeks, so as to give complete rest to a dilated heart ... First let me congratulate you heartily upon the attainment of the Scholarship, of which this money is a part. I haven't followed closely your career a a student, but I have heard a little now and then, when I have met your father, about you, and am proud to remember that the small child whom I know so well in Hackney ten or twelve years ago has developed into a successful student who has already made her mark and won some of the prizes of life. But perhaps I am more pleased to discern in your letter the under-currrent that tells of one who is seeking to follow and to serve Christ. May God bless you my dear girl. I cannot but remember that I have known you from a child, and have known your parents too ... how shall I thank you sufficiently for your gift? I really don't know how to. I must leave your own kind thoughts to tell you of the pleasure your gift has caused me. I shall send with this our official receipt for it, and as we are just now preparing a party of girl emigrants to Canada, who will probably (God willing) sail some time in June, it will not be difficult to comply with your wish' but unfortunately I cannot do it as I write, as I shall have to communicate with my lady helper who has the preparation of the Canadian parties in her hands, and she is hoping to call upon me on Saturday afternoon next, when I will tell her of your kindness, and I have no doubt you will have such a photograph as you wish, and a short account of the child, so that you may be led to take a continued interest in her welfare, and to pray for her amid the difficulties which are sure to meet a young girl making her first start in life in a distant land. I hope when you write you will give my kind regards to your father and mother ... I seldom, if ever, hear from them, but I have no doubt they are too busy to write unless they have occasion to do so. I would like also very much when you have the time to hear again from you and to know a little bit of what you are doing ... I thought you had gone in for medicine, but perhaps I am referring to a sister of yours ...", 2 sides A4, St Leonard's Lodge, Surbiton, 7th May

Barnardo was an Irish-born philanthropist and founder and director of homes for poor and deprived children. From the foundation of the first Barnardo's home in 1867 to the date of Barnardo's death, nearly 60,000 children were taken in. There was controversy early on with Barnardo's work. Specifically, he was accused of kidnapping children without parents' permission and of falsifying photographs of children to make the distinction between the period before they were rescued by Barnardo's and afterwards seem more dramatic. He openly admitted to the former of these charges, describing it as 'philanthropic abduction' and basing his defence on the idea that the end justified the means. In total, he was taken to court on 88 occasions, usually on the charge of kidnapping. However, being a charismatic speaker and popular figure, he rode through these scandals unscathed. Other charges brought against him included presenting staged images of children for Barnardo's 'before and after' cards and neglecting basic hygiene for the children under his care. TheodoreHe died of angina pectoris in London in September 1905.
Miss Prankherd was born in Hackney, the daughter of a general practitioner. She attended Brighton High School. She then studied botany Royal Holloway, University of London, first supported by a Founders scholarship, and then a Driver Scholarship, graduating with 1st Class Honours in 1903.

Item Date:  1901

Stock No:  41736      £475

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