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Background and chronology

The origins of Nugent Care date back to Victorian Liverpool and the pioneering work of Father James Nugent (1822-1905) in relation to child welfare, relief from poverty and social reform. Through his ministry, Father Nugent witnessed first-hand the suffering caused by poverty and appalling conditions and took action to remedy the situation.

By the time of his death, Father Nugent had given homes and valuable skills to thousands of children, and laid the foundations for the work currently undertaken by Nugent Care.

Allied to the Archdiocese of Liverpool, Nugent Care has provided care and support for those in need for over one hundred and thirty years. While our values have remained constant, our services have adapted to meet the changing needs of today’s society.

You can download the full history document here.

A Chronology of Fr Nugent’s Life & Catholic child care in Liverpool (1822 – 1906) Based on the work of Fr John Furnival.

  • 1822
    • 3rd March, James Nugent born in Hunter Street, Liverpool (Fig 1)
    • 17th March baptised at St Nicholas Church, Copperas Hill
  • 1829
    • Act of Catholic Emancipation
  • 1830
    • Nugent attends the Academy School, Queen’s Square
  • 1838
    • A student at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw
  • 1841
    • Foundation of Catholic Blind Asylum, Liverpool by Dr Youens
  • 1843
    • Nugent a student at the English College, Rome
  • 1845
    • Ordained to the Diaconate in Rome
  • 1846
    • 30th August ordained to Priesthood at St Nicholas’s, Liverpool.
    • Appointed to St Alban’s parish Blackburn
  • 1847
    • Recalled to Liverpool to help as St Nicholas’s
  • 1847
    • Appointed to St Mary’s, Wigan and to found St Patrick’s, Wigan
  • 1848
    • 4th December, St Francis Xavier’s opens in Liverpool
  • 1849
    • 1st January Nugent appointed to St Nicholas’s, Liverpool. Starts a Ragged School in Spitalfields
  • 1850
    • Year of the Restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy and appointment of Bishop George Brown, first Catholic Bishop of Liverpool
    •  7th January, opening of Middle School for Boys in Rodney Street, by Fr Nugent with Fr Worthy
  • 1851
    • Arrival of Notre Dame Sisters in Liverpool for School and Orphanage Work
    • St George’s Industrial Schools opened at Everton Crescent
  • 1852
    • Sermons by Nugent at Fontenoy Street Schools on Education
  • 1853
    • 31st October, opening of Catholic Institute in Hope St.  Easter Monday, Holy Cross School Sermon by Nugent on Temperance
  • 1854
    • “Save the Child” Inaugural Meeting at town Hall
  • 1856
    • Catholic Reformatory Association established (Nugent as secretary)
  • 1858
    • St Vincent’s School for Boys and Boys’ Orphanage, Everton (transferred to Beacon Lane 1862, sisters of Charity)
  • 1859
    • Nugent named as owner and editor of “The Northern Press”
  • 1860
    • Founded “The Catholic Times” and other publications (fig 2)
  • 1863
    • 1st January, appointed first Catholic chaplain to Walton Gaol
    • St George’s Schools transferred to West Derby Road
  • 1864
    • Night Shelter and Boys’ Refuge opened in Soho St Liverpool
    • “Save the Child” meetings in Liverpool
    •  15th August ‘The Clarence’ Reformatory Ship commissioned on the river at New Ferry
    •  St Elizabeth’s School for Catholic Girls in Soho Street (later transferred to Breckfield Road, Sisters of Mercy)
  • 1866
    • Nugent appointed to board of St George’s Industrial Schools and acting Headmaster
  • 1867
    • Opening of St Anne’s School for Girls, Mason Street (Sisters of Charity) (Later transferred to Freshfield)
  • 1869
    • Opening of Boy’s Refuge in St Anne’s Street, Liverpool
    • Closure of Night Shelter and refuge in Soho Street
  • 1872
    • ‘League of the Cross for Total Abstinence’ is launched.
    • 9th March Birkdale Farm School opened
  • 1875
    • Opening of ‘League of the Cross Hall’ in Rose Place
    •  Monday Night Concerts inaugurated
  • 1876
    • Girl’ Reformatory opened at May Place run by Sisters of Charity
  • 1880
    • ‘The Clarence’ Ship damaged by fire
  • 1881
    • 16th April ‘The Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society’ founded jointly by Bishop O’Reilly and Father Nugent. (This later became Nugent Care)
  • 1884
    • Fire again on ‘The Clarence’ which is destroyed
  • 1885
    • 31st December Nugent resigns from Prison Chaplaincy
  • 1886
    • Mutiny on ‘The Clarence’ and crisis in Reformatory Association
  • 1886
    • Fr Nugent appointed to Blundellsands to start mission at St Joseph’s
  • 1887
    • Resigns parish work at St Joseph’s
  • 1889
    • Nugent speaker at First Catholic Laity Congress, Baltimore
  • 1891
    • Opened Refuge for Fallen Women (St Saviour’s Refuge, Paul Street, in care of The Poor Servants of the Mother of God)
    • St Vincent de Paul Society leased 105 Shaw Street, Liverpool for establishment of St Vincent’s Working Boys’ Home and Night Shelter for Homeless Boys
  • 1892
    • 12th June, in Rome, Father Nugent made Domestic Prelate with title of Monsignor by Pope Leo X111
    • Father Berry leased 1 Marble Street, Willamson Square, as St Philip’s House for Street Trading Boys (calculated 1100 boys roaming the streets of Liverpool)
  • 1893
    • 17th February, Bishop Bernard O’Reilly assumes control of St Vincent’s Boys’ Home from SVP. Fr John Berry in charge and arranged opening of St James’s House Night Shelter on same site. (Later moved to Everton Crescent)
  • 1894
    • Bishop O’Reilly dies. Bishop Thomas Whiteside succeeds him.  Poor Law Schools and a committee set up by Bishop Whiteside under supervision of Father Pinnington.
  • 1895
    • St Bernard’s Training House in Bute Street opened as preparatory School for admission to St Vincent’s Home (named after late Bishop)
    • Monsignor Nugent in Florida for Annual Convention of The National Editorial Association of America.
  • 1896
    • 30th August, Golden Jubilee of Priesthood (fig 5).
    • Lord Derby, Lord Mayor of Liverpool sets up
      Testimonial Committee in honour of Father Nugent
    • Appointment of Mr Doughan as Society President
  • 1897
    • Nazareth House Children’s Home established at Great Crosby.
    •  30th October closure of St Bernard’s Home
      (3000 boys had been assisted in 5 years).
    • Retirement of Fr Berry.
    • House of Providence opened by Monsignor Nugent (Fig 3)
  • 1899
    • Re-opening of St Bernard’s and St Philip’s. Death of Francis Reynolds, benefactor
  • 1900
    • Arthur Chilton Thomas rented property of Boys’ Homes in name of Fr Berry’s Homes.  Publication of St Vincent’s record Magazine of news for former residents of Boys’ homes
  • 1902
    • Resumption of title ‘Father Berry’s Homes’.  This took over use of Hostel at 55 Everton Road as Remand Home.
    • The Lenten ‘Good shepherd Collection’ started by Bishop Whiteside.
    • Voluntary payment scheme started for children in Fr Berry’s Homes through Catholic Children’s Aid Committee in Liverpool.
  • 1903
    • Opening of St Edward’s Orphanage for Boys.
    • Bishop Whiteside and the Lord Mayor host dinner in Adelphi Hotel Liverpool on Nugent’s return from triumphant tour of America.
    • Idea of Memorial Statue is put forward of Father Nugent.
    • Catholic Truth Society Conference in Liverpool.
    • Baby’s home (Our Lady’s) started at 93 Shaw Street
  • 1904
    • Father Nugent opens Maternity Home ‘House of Good counsel’ in West Dingle, Liverpool.
    • Embarks on (final) journey to America and Canada with Abbot Casquet for Lecture Tour.
    • Visits family in Minnesota where Father Nugent falls ill
  • 1905
    • 16th May – Father Nugent sails home on SS Oceanic.
    • Bad fall on deck, sustains head injury and impairment of eye-sight (aged 83)
    • 27th June, death of Monsignor Nugent at Harewood House, Formby after contracting pneumonia.
    • Requiem Mass St Nicholas’s Pro-Cathedral 30th June.
    • Burial at Ford Cemetery.
  • 1906
    • 8th December – memorial Statue of Father Nugent unveiled in St John’s Gardens, Liverpool

Background and chronology Resources

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