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About the Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Ragged School for Boys

Also known as Brunswick Square Ragged School/Compton Place Ragged School


It was founded in or before the 1840s as a school for the very poor

Martin Ware (1819–1895) was on its Committee from 1846 and later became Superintendent of its Sunday School

He also worked with poor families in the King’s Cross and Cromer Street area

He came from a charitable family; his brother Charles Ware (1820–1908) worked at the St Giles Ragged School and had a commission in the Bloomsbury Rifles, while another brother, Joseph Ware (1822–1860), was also involved in local Ragged School work whilst living in Russell Square

The School no longer exists

What was reforming about it?

It was a charitable school in the poorest area of Bloomsbury

Where in Bloomsbury

It was in Compton Place and later in Dutton Street (1855)

Other locations named for it in archive descriptions include Peace Cottages and Brunswick Buildings (both tiny slum areas off Cromer Street)

Website of current institution

It no longer exists

Books about it

None found


Martin Ware kept a journal of his involvement with the school from 1850–1867 which is held at Surrey Record Centre, ref. 1585/1–7; brief details are available online via Surrey History Centre’s online catalogue (opens in new window)

Correspondence from some of the boys helped through the School and other activities by Ware are also held at Surrey Record Centre, ref. 1487/119–168, while his memoirs detailing his activities with the poor families of the area are also there, ref. 1487/10/1; details are available online via The National Archives (opens in new window)

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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