Although her brother John had abandoned his family, Jessie Ronald remained in touch with Marian. In fact, although she lived in Edinburgh, she sent money to Marian for two years to pay for Cecilia (Cissy) and Grace to get an education in the workhouse school at Epsom. Marian herself remained in proximity to her children, even when she had to send them to a workhouse so they could have warmth and food. Eventually Jessie, it appears, suggested a solution to Marian.
In Glasgow, a shoemaker named William Quarrier had taken note of the destitute children on the streets of his city and resolved to do something about it. A member of Blackfriars Baptist Church in Glasgow, William felt led to begin purchasing property at the Bridge of Weir, on the edge of the city, where he built stone cottages for destitute children. At one point there were more than 40 cottages in all and the mission came to be called the Quarriers Children’s Village. There, the children were schooled, fed, clothed and received medical treatment if needed, in an environment where they were afforded some kindness and dignity.
Jessie Ronald learned of William Quarrier and the work he was doing, particularly the efforts he was making to send a few of his children to Canada where, it was hoped, they would find plenty of clean air and opportunity. Eventually, Marian was persuaded and together, she and Jessie delivered the three Ronald children to the Quarriers Orphans Child Home on James Morrison Street in Glasgow. There they were cleaned up and cared for, before being assigned to a Canada-bound cottage in the Children’s Village, of which there were four.
Cecilia, Roderick and Grace lived in the cottages for two years and never saw their mother again. Nor she, them.
Click on the image above to see the transfer document
My heart was tugged in several directions to first read this document (which has a couple of errors in it, including Marian’s second name) sent to me from the Quarriers Centre that still exists today in Glasgow. I’d be interested to know your thoughts and reactions.
To be continued . . .