Protecting Children

Rev. Benjamin Waugh worked to establish protection for children's rights and welfare in 19th century London. He was a Congregationalist pastor working in Greenwich when he became appalled at the deprivation children suffered.

After witnessing the levels of deprivation and child cruelty in Greenwich, London where he lived, Waugh's urgent priority was to draw public and government attention to the plight of children.

He helped to create The London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1884. The name was changed to National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1889.

By 1889 the London Society had 32 branches throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Each branch raised funds to support an inspector, who investigated reports of child abuse and neglect....

The first Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act was passed in 1889. This was largely the result of five years' vigorous lobbying by Waugh and his supporters.


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Melinda Penner