Annie MacPherson

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Annie Parlane MacPherson (1833 – November 27, 1904) was a Scottish evangelical Quaker and founder of the Home Children scheme, sending poor and orphaned children to Canada and other colonies to serve as slave child labour.[1]

She was born in Campsie, by Milton, Stirlingshire, and educated in Glasgow and at the Home and Colonial Training College in Gray's Inn Road, London.After her father died she moved to Cambridge, but soon after returned to London. Touched by the poverty in the East End of London in 1868 she opened the Home of Industry at 60 Commercial Road in Spitalfield.[2]

In the 1870s, she organised that Home children were sent to Canada from her home in London, and also had arrangements with Barnardo's Homes of Dr. Barnardo in London, Quarriers homes in Scotland, and Smyly homes in Dublin, Ireland[3] similar to arrangements with English and Scottish homes.[4] In Canada she had set up a number of Homes, Marchmont, Galt in Ontario and in Knowlton Quebec [5]

The Doyle Report of 1875 into the emigration of children from these homes cast a shadow over the process of exporting children although it acknowledged the benevolent motives of MacPherson and others.[6]

Her sister Louisa MacPherson married Charles Henry Birt, and helped her sister in her mission.[7] In 1873 she established a home in Liverpool called The Sheltering Home.

MacPherson died in 1904.[8]


  1. ^ Annie Mac Pherson Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine British Home Children.
  2. ^ Annie MacPherson(bad link)
  3. ^ Young Immigrants to Canada Smyly Homes of Dublin, Ireland.
  4. ^ The golden bridge: young immigrants to Canada, 1833–1939 By Marjorie Kohli
  5. ^ Gods answers, a record of Miss Annie Macphersons work at the Home of Industry, Spitalfields, London, and in Canada by Clara M.S. Lowe, (Introduction by )Rev. John Macpherson, LONDON: JAMES NISBET & CO (1882)
  6. ^ Doyle Report into MacPherson and Rye Archived September 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Louisa Birt". Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Macpherson, Annie Parlane (1825–1904), promoter of child emigration : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - oi". Retrieved 6 March 2019.