On this day in history : 14th May 1889 – The launch in London of the children’s charity the ‘National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’….

Image : Wikipedia

It was in 1881 that Liverpool businessman Thomas Agnew travelled to New York…. Whilst he was there he visited the ‘New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’…. He was so impressed by what he saw that he wanted to create something similar for the children of Liverpool…. It was in 1883 that he founded the ‘Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’ (LSPCC)….

Other towns were quick to follow and the 11th of July 1884 saw the founding of a London society – the ‘London SPCC’ – by Lord Shaftesbury along with the Reverend Edward Rudolf and the Reverend Benjamin Waugh….

At the time there was no legal protection for children in the UK…. The very first child cruelty case to be brought was actually by the RSPCA – and was successful…. After five years of campaigning by London SPCC the first law was finally passed by Parliament in 1889, to protect children against abuse and neglect….

On the 14th of May 1889 the London SPCC was renamed the ‘National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’ – as by now there were branches all across England, Wales and Ireland…. On the 28th of May 1895 Queen Victoria became its first Royal Patron, the NSPCC had gained its Royal Charter…. However, it did not add ‘Royal’ to its name in order to avoid confusion with the already long established RSPCA….

After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra became the Royal Patrons – and so it continues to the present day with Her Majesty The Queen as Royal Patron….

Today the NSPCC works across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands…. Children 1st, formerly the ‘Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’ is the Scottish equivalent….

NSPCC Head Office – Howard Lake via Flickr

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