Henry Gardner's Trust for the Blind: formation, development and decline

Hawkins, John Walter (2012) Henry Gardner's Trust for the Blind: formation, development and decline. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, uk.bl.ethos.564132.

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Abstract

This thesis primarily comprises a review and analysis of evidence relating to the formation and early development of Henry Gardner's Trust for the Blind. This analysis is set within the context of Victorian philanthropy in general and charities for the blind in particular. Among the topics investigated are the differences between 'endowed' and 'voluntary' charities, developing attitudes to the 'problem of the blind', the relative position of the blind compared with other classes of the 'disabled' and the gradually declining numbers of the blind. The personal motivations of those most closely involved with the formation and management of Gardner's Trust are examined, together with the objectives that could reasonably have been set for the charity and whether they were achieved. An estimate is made of the importance of the support afforded by the trust to the existing colleges for the blind at Norwood and Worcester and where the trust was less prepared to be supportive. The relationships between the trust and other organisations, such as the Charity Organisation Society, are also reviewed. The impact on the charity of external factors such as changes in legislation affecting the blind and the economic environment is evaluated, along with the related topic of the investment strategy adopted by the trustees. Within the disparate universe of charities for the blind, a brief history of the Phoenix Home for Blind Women, later the Cecilia Charity for the Blind, is provided as a comparative case study. The main findings are that, after a period of great success and influence, the importance of the charity declined as a result of social, political and economic events, especially increasing State intervention and the ravages of inflation. Successive trustees failed to recognise the need to supplement the original endowment and reappraise the trust's objectives.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Physical Location: This item is held in stock at Kingston University library.
Research Area: History
Sociology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (until 2017) > School of Social Science (until November 2012)
Depositing User: Katrina Clifford
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2013 12:09
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 11:39
DOI: uk.bl.ethos.564132
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/23727

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