The Apprenticeship Act 1851 [2/1851 (15 Vic. No.2)], also known as 'An Act to make further provision for the apprenticing of the Children in the Male and Female Orphan Schools and other poor Children', amended the Apprenticeship Act 1844. It gave greater powers to supervisors of the Male and Female Orphan Schools. It gave them the right to refuse to release children into the care of their parents, and to 'apprentice' those children to other families without their parents' consent. This Act was drawn up in 19th century language of poverty and responsibility. It asserted that parents too poor, 'idle', or 'dissolute' to look after their children lost many rights over them. This Act was repealed by the Apprentices Act 1901.
Prepared by: Liam Hogan
Created: 26 February 2014, Last modified: 10 June 2021