Industrial and Reformatory School Registers

Registers kept by Industrial and Reformatory Schools contain a great deal of information about the criminal and destitute children who were sent to these institutions from the mid-nineteenth century until 1933, when they were merged into the new approved schools under the Children and Young Person Act. Remember to bear in mind that these records can be closed up to 100 years so the records from the 1920s and early 1930s are unlikely to be open.

Both Industrial and Reformatory School Admissions Registers can contain a wide range of personal information and details about the crime or circumstances which led to the child being admitted. This information might include:

  • name
  • age
  • date of birth
  • date of admission
  • with what charged
  • criminal history
  • trade or occupation
  • period of detention
  • previous character
  • religion
  • name of parents
  • occupation of parents
  • address of parents
  • educational attainment
  • physical description, sometimes including a photograph.

Industrial and Reformatory School registers and other records can be found in both local record offices and at the National Archives, so it helps to check both.

For example, the admission registers, school returns, and discharge and licence registers of Bradwell Reformatory in Cheshire are held the National Archives, but minutes, committee paper and correspondence, are held at the Cheshire Archives. In contrast, the records of the Leeds Reformatory (later the East Moor Approved School) are held in the local record office.

Some industrial and reformatory schools’ records have been digitised. For example, records held at the West Yorkshire Archives relating to industrial and reformatory schools (including Leeds Reformatory School, Calder Farm Reformatory, and Shadwell Industrial School) have been digitised and made available (for a fee) at Ancestry.co.uk. Similarly, the registers of the Manchester Industrial School are available on Findmypast.co.uk.

Download a guide to Industrial and Reformatory Schools sources

Latest Updates on Twitter

Emily & Mabel Seed, arrested for shoplifting in Scarborough in 1920, feature in a criminal record book in @RiponMuseums collections. I've pieced together as much of their story as I can: https://riponmuseums.co.uk/blog/stories_from_the_archives_emily_and_mabel_seed #SpotlightOnCollections #MuseumFromHome

We're pleased to say that the run of #PrisonersOnPrisoners has now been extended to December to give everyone a chance to see it #YorkshireTogether https://twitter.com/fayeclaridge/status/1244934801079099393

Calling for proposals on a brand-new series: "Emerald Advances in Historical Criminology" Series editors: @dchurchill01 and @profviolence For more information: https://bit.ly/2wxujIc #historicalcriminiology #HCNet

For our first #TranscriptionTuesday Weekly Challenge, we're teaming up with @AncestryUK to transcribe early 19th century prison records. Click here to find out more and sign up to put records online on 31 March!

http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/blog/transcription-tuesday-weekly-challenge-ancestry-prison-records

Her archive is described here http://www.ellenterryarchive.essex.ac.uk This is the AHRC Ellen Terry and Edith Craig database with follow-on AHRC Searching for Theatrical Ancestors @ahrcpress @FederationFHS @britishlibrary https://twitter.com/SmallhytheNT/status/1243584832061542402

By no means the first time in history - here's #policeorders for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902, which saw retired officers drafted into temporary O and Z Divisions. #DYK #DidYouKnow #MuseumFromHome #ExploreYourArchive #FridayThoughts #FridayFeeling https://twitter.com/BBCLondonNews/status/1243444819843780608

2

We would also like to encourage any local businesses and organisations, to document and keep copies of their response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and consider depositing the material with us for future generations. #CoronaLockdown Please get in touch!

Convict prison lives in Victorian London - Our Criminal Ancestors https://ourcriminalancestors.org/2018/04/convict-prison-lives-in-victorian-london/

Petitioning for mercy in mid-nineteenth century Yorkshire - Our Criminal Ancestors https://ourcriminalancestors.org/2019/05/petitioning-for-mercy-in-mid-nineteenth-century-yorkshire/