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The Philanthropic Society.

This excellent reformatory establishment is in St. George's Fields, and was formed in 1788, for the prevention of crimes, and the reform of the criminal poor, by the encouragement of industry and the culture of good morals amongst those children who were training up to vicious courses, public plunder, infamy and ruin; and it was designed as an introduction to a new system of national police, proceeding on the great and effective principles of EMPLOYMENT and CLASSIFICATION.

The children taken under the care of this society are the offspring of convicted felons, or such as have themselves been engaged in criminal courses. It was established by the exertions of Robert Young, Esq., (who first suggested the plan), Dr. Lettsom, the Hon Robert Pusey, Dr. James Sims, and the late duke of Leeds. The first institution was at Cambridge Heath, near Hackney; but the present more suitable building in St. George's Fields was afterwards raised, and soon received within its walls 200 youths of both sexes. That is about the average number provided for.—Amongst the youths are found those that are already old in transgression,—house-breakers, robbers, pick-pockets, &c. For the employment of the children, buildings have been erected with suitable workshops, &c., called the Philanthropic Reform. In this REFORM,under the direction of the several master workmen, are carried on the trades of a printer, copper-plate printer, book-binder, shoemaker, tailor, &c., the boys being apprenticed to and carefully instructed in one of them. The girls are educated as menial servants, and have otherwise abundant employment in washing the linen, making their own clothing, shirts for the boys, &c. Industry is excited by rewards that bear a proportion to exertion. Education and religion are also carefully attended to.

The Philanthropic Society, Mile End, was instituted March 1803, for the discharge of persons confined for small debts, and for the temporary relief of the necessitous manufacturing and labouring poor in London and its environs.

Source: Leigh's New Picture of London. Printed for Samuel Leigh, 18, Strand;
by W. Clowes, Northumberland Court. 1819