Home / Resources / Sending Agencies & Organizations / British Dominion Emigration Society

British Dominion Emigration Society

British Dominion Emigration Society

The East End Emigration Society

Self-Help Emigration Society of Liverpool

Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge (SPCK)

Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young Servants (MABYS)

These associations worked primarily out of the East End of London and in collaboration with each other, under the auspices of the Church of England’s Waifs and Strays Society.

Originally formed as The East End Emigration Society  in 1882 by Reverend John Fenwich Ketto, the Society began sending children and families  to placements in Montreal. In 1895, Andrews Home located at 46 Belmont Park in Montreal, Quebec was opened. It was named after the Montreal solicitor, H.O. Andrews who supplied the necessary funding. The endowment was supplemented by monies paid for room and board from British immigrants who stayed there.

Emigrants were also sent to the Andrews Home from the St Nicholas Home in Liverpool; Reverend Barron sent children from the Isle of Man and Reverend Baskett of Birstwith also sent children.

The Society for Propagation of Christian Knowledge also sent children through the Andrews Home from a home at 34 Northumberland Avenue in London. The Organizing Chaplain of the Church Emmigration Society, Reverend Bridger, was deeply involved in operations there as well as assisting in the immigration of children from the Children’s Aid Society to Winnipeg. The emigration committee’s president of the SPCK was the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The SPCK sent children to Canada over a period of 15 years and each year were accompanied on their trip by a member of the clergy – who upon his return, gave lectures on the subject.

The Self-Help Emigration Society, operating out of 4 Tower Garden, Water Street, in Liverpool sent boys, between the ages of 14 and 18 years of age to Canada as laborers and were referred to as superior quality by the agent, Emile Marqette, operating for the agency.

The East-End Society and the Self-Help Emigration Society joined forces and were praised by Smart in his 1912 report. Boys were placed on farms and girls went into domestic service.

In 1913, the name was changed to British Dominion Emigration Society and at the end of the war were given a subsidy by the British government due to the Overseas Settlement Committee and the Empire Settlement Act. Offices expanded to include Toronto.

The Toronto office closed in 1932. Emigration through Montreal continued until the advent of the Second World War.