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Edward Rushton’s legacy

13 November 2014 by Lucy Johnson

An illustration of the school at its first site on Commutation RowThe work of human rights activist Edward Rushton (1756 – 1814) is celebrated in new displays at the International Slavery Museum, the Museum of Liverpool and the Victoria Gallery and Museum.

One of Rushton’s most significant achievements was setting up Liverpool’s Royal School for Blind. Nick Young, a current teacher at the school, will be blogging for us over the next few months. Here Nick tells us more about the history of the school:

“A commemorative stone on the wall of our school in Wavertree is perhaps the best starting point for a very brief history of our school. It reads:

This tablet
was placed here by the committee of the Liverpool
school for the blind, A.D. 1888 in memory of
EDWARD RUSHTON
A blind poet, to whom is due the initial idea of
An organization for the benefit of the blind.
JOHN CHRISTIE
A blind musician, who further suggested the
Localization of the scheme and the addition
Of a gratuitous musical education;
ROBERT LOWE,
Also blind, a cordial coadjutor of the above.
HENRY DANNETT,
Incumbent of St John’s Church in this City
By whose energy practical effect was given
to these noble conceptions, together with
JOHN SMITH,
Incumbent of St Anne’s Church in this City.
RICHARD CARSON and WILLIAM ROSCOE,
All of whom deserve to be reckoned as the
Founders of this school
The institution was first quartered in the year 1790 in two
Houses in Commutation Row where the blind pupils met for
Instruction in 1800 a school, the first that was established for
The instruction of the blind in England was built in London Road
And in 1851 was removed to its present site in Hardman St

Drawing of the Royal School for he Blind at the Wavertree siteIn 1898 a new building was erected in Wavertree for the junior children and remains part of the present day school. An extension to the Hardman Street building was opened in 1932 and subsequently closed during 1958. Since then Wavertree has been the permanent home of the school making it the second oldest school for the blind in the World.”

Discover more about Edward Rushton in Unsung: Liverpool’s Most Radical Son.

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