John Passmore Edwards


Homes for Children
National Society for Epilepsy



Passmore Edwards was equally eager to provide cottages where epileptic children could be provided for. Maurice Adams produced drawings for two similar red brick cottages, each with two 12 bed dormitories, a sick room, dining room, play room, kitchen, three staff bedrooms and sitting rooms for the House Mother and nurse and in the girls home a fourth bedroom for two servants. The Society made representations to the London School Board to consider a combined approach to providing accommodation for children aged 8 to 16. However, at that time there was no legislation to permit the Authority to make such provision. Further representations to the Education Department brought forth the Elementary Education (Defective & Epileptic Children) Bill.
This Bill would direct Education Departments to provide for such children. However, when the subsequent Act was passed in August 1899, a clause had been inserted specifying that Education Authorities should not certify as appropriate those homes boarding more than 15 children in one building or more than 4 such buildings. By now the Society's two homes, to be called Milton House, for boys, and Pearman House, for girls, were complete and awaiting the first young residents. Whilst the clause had been added to protect children it meant that the Society could not admit children into the homes designed for them.
It was decided that the new homes should be used for older children and young adults. The age of admission was lowered from 18 to 14, for boys, and 15, for girls. Pearman became a home for 20 women and girls and an extra 8 bedded iron dormitory was added to Milton to become a home for 24 young men. It was 1903 before this clause was removed from the Act and 1909 before younger children were admitted to Chalfont.
Both Milton and Pearman House were opened on 23 June 1899 by the Duke of York, President of the Society.
Maurice Adams
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© Dean Evans 2004
August 10, 2006
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