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Postgraduate History student, Rev. Kenneth Mankin, successfully defends M.Phil

Press clipping: Research

Publication date5/07/10

The Department of History is pleased to announce the completion of anotherM.Phil success. Kenneth Mankin's thesis "Stephenson's Children - Child Migration, Canada, and the National Children's Home 1873-1931" was passed by the examiners on 9th June 2010.

Rev. Kenneth Mankin is a seventy-year old part-time student, a retired Methodist Minister, and a Member of the Methodist Historical Society. He was supervised by Professor Stephen Constantine. The external examiner was Dr Marjory Harper, University of Aberdeen, and the internal examiner was Dr Angus Winchester.

This thesis examines the NCH's programme of child migration especially from a religious perspective. While it is commonly recognised that most of the voluntary emigration societies were Christian, some connected with particular churches, historical writing has largely explored child migration in secular terms - as the dispatch overseas of labour units and empire builders and as agencies of social control. The theological, clerical and religious aspects of the programme had been under-researched. This thesis redresses the balance. To do this it uses documentary sources in the UK and in Canadian archives, and in particular the NCH personal case records of 588 child emigrants sent to Canada. The thesis explores the religious motivation that led to the founding of the NCH, the fundamental principles that underpinned its work, and its organisation and structure. It describes the factors in Britain and Canada that made the NCH contemplate and practise child migration to Canada. It examines the recruitment and training of its female child care staff - the Sisters of the Children - who played a key role in the training of the emigrants for Canada and in their pastoral support in Canada. The thesis describes the organisation NCH set up in Canada and the factors, principally in Canada, that brought the NCH child migration programme to an end. Above all it analyses the social origins of the child migrants, the reasons for their being brought into care, and their religious affiliations before and after migration.

Kenneth (kmankin1939@talktalk.net) hopes that others will use this material and his own collection of resources so that this area of research may be developed further.