High child mortality at Innishannon Charter School, Co. Cork early 19th century and unrelated parliamentary Report on school 1813.

Some time ago looking at burial records from Innishanon Church of Ireland I was struck at what appears an abnormal rate of child mortality at the Charter School. This is in the early decades of the 19th century. At the time it was common for children to die young and this is reflected in the local burial registers of other churches This in particular stands out and reminds one of the Besssboro mothers and babies home (formerly the house of the Pike family) in Blackrock in Cork.

Google books had the 1813 Parliamentary Report into the irish Charter Schools which includes Innishannon.


The charter schools, founded in the early eighteenth century, were envisaged by their supporters as the positive side to government policy towards the Roman Catholics of Ireland. The various penal laws sought to restrict power to those with an interest in maintaining the Protestant (Anglican) state, while the charter schools were to open the scriptures to the children of the poor, educating them in the Protestant habits of loyalty to the Hanoverian crown, of industry and of good husbandry.
In 1733-4 the Incorporated Society for Promoting English Protestant Working Schools in Ireland was granted its charter. In the course of a century, over a million pounds in government funding was provided for the establishment and running of these schools. But the results fell far short of expectations.
Chapters on the origins of the schools, on their administration, their everyday routine and their curriculum, will reveal many reasons for their failure. Yet the charter schools were never intended to be the places of horror, the prototypes of Dotheboys Hall, that they so frequently became. How did it happen that, established with such high hopes for advancing the cause of the Reformation in Ireland, they ended by seriously discrediting it?
This study draws largely on manuscript sources, official and otherwise, in repositories in the England and Ireland. The picture that emerges is of an organisation insufficiently aware of the existence within its own system of those very phenomena central to its purpose: the frailty of human nature and the prevalence of Original Sin!

Book by Milne on schools