Liverpool celebrates priest who rescued thousands of children

 The centenary of the death of Father James Nugent - who helped thousands of homeless and destitute children in Victorian times - is marked by a display at the Museum of Liverpool Life from 27 May to 31 August 2005. The display, organised with the help of Nugent Care, features a bust and portrait of Fr Nugent along with memorabilia including some of his handwritten letters, personal papers, photographs and contemporary periodicals. Fr Nugent, born in Liverpool in 1822, rose to prominence following a typhus epidemic which raged through the crowded slums in the 1840s. Spurred by scenes of poverty and degradation and the knowledge that there were around 20,000 children under 12 living rough on the streets, parish priest Fr Nugent took action. He persuaded the Mayor of Liverpool to call a public meeting at the Town Hall to successfully stir consciences. Fr Nugent set up a "ragged school" for small children and was a promoter of homes for orphans. As an advocate of compulsory education, he wanted to let the street children into education and helped establish Catholic schools, which were almost unknown at that time. Fr Nugent found homes for many children in the United States and Canada where many of them prospered. By the time of his death in 1905, the Rt Rev Monsignor Nugent had given homes and valuable skills to thousands of children, laying firm foundations for the work currently undertaken by the charity Nugent Care. One of the leading charities in the north west of England, Nugent Care is a multi-service agency caring both for children and disabled and marginalised people of all ages. Source: Liverpool Museums

Share this story