FAMOUS ASSOCIATIONS

Thomas Wright ‘The Prisoners Friend’ (1789-1875) was a frequent visitor to the Ragged School and was described as “the philanthropist of Manchester, distinguished as the true friend of forlorn prisoners. He was a man of no position in society. He possessed no wealth, excepting only a rich and loving heart.”  Lord Shaftesbury (the 7th Earl) and Elizabeth Gaskell (author) were counted among his friends.

Duchess of Sutherland Lady Millicent Fanny St. Clair-Erskine, (1867-1955) and wife of the 4th Duke of Sutherland, opened the Working Girls' Home, next to the Charter Street Ragged School, on 26th July 1900. She was a social reformer and writer who gained the nickname "Meddlesome Millie" for her campaigning.

Princess Mary, Duchess of York (Mary of Teck 1867-1953) Great granddaughter of George III and cousin of Queen Victoria. She visited the Ragged School when she was the Duchess Of York. She later became Queen and was the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was invited to visit the Charter Street Ragged School by its superintendent, Thomas "Tommy" Johnson, in 1906. He was the first member of government ever to set foot within the school. He donated 5 pounds and chose the hymn 'Mine eyes have seen the glory', which was played at his funeral. Upon hearing of Tommy's death, Churchill wrote a moving letter about meeting him and visiting the area.

Thomas ‘Tommy’ Johnson (died 1915) well known in the history of the Manchester Ragged School movement. Born and bred in Angel Meadow, he was orphaned at an early age and spent his childhood in extreme poverty. Charter Street Ragged School saved him, giving him a basic education, food and clothing. As an adult he gave his time to helping the poor, needy and fallen of Angel Meadow. He became the Superintendent of the Ragged School and was key in its’ extension to include; a medical mission, recreative evenings, educational evenings, a lad’s club and working girls’ home.

 

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