This article from The Times newspaper on 29 December 1868 reports on a meeting held in support of a fund to help young offenders from the Industrial Schools to emigrate.
Industrial schools aimed to remove children from bad influences, give them an education and teach them a trade. The Industrial Schools Act was passed in 1857. The act gave magistrates the power to sentence vagrant (homeless) children between the ages of 7 and 14 years old to an Industrial School. In 1861 a further act was passed and included children under the age of 14 found:
- Begging or receiving charity
- Wandering, homeless, without means of support, or in the company of reputed thieves
- To have who had committed an offence punishable by imprisonment
- To be beyond the control of their parents
Industrial Schools became the responsibility of the Committee of Education in 1870.
Many pupils of the Industrial Schools re-offended after they left. Emigration was seen as a solution to this problem - allowing young offenders to start a new life.