Norland in 13 objects: the first black book from 1892

The geographic range of the first probationers indicate the effectiveness of Emily Ward’s publicity machine and personal networks. There are probationers from London, especially the boroughs of the south west and west, but also from Sussex, Northumberland, Pembrokeshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Leicestershire, Tyne and Wear, Devon, Aberdeenshire, Cheshire, Dorset, Merseyside and Essex.  

Norland was clearly recruiting from a fairly exclusive class, a trend that was sustained by the fees. In 1892, the fees were £36 for the six-month course, which rose to £66 when an extended curriculum was introduced in 1903. Financial assistance was available from 1897 when Norland Nurse Maud Seppings encouraged enough nurses to donate to the Foundation Fund to provide a grant to one of the probationers in each cohort. The first principal Isabel Sharman introduced the ‘Maidens’ scheme in 1904, enabling those without the means to pay the then £80 fee to undertake light housework for a year before enrolling for the much-reduced fee of £12. These early financial schemes continue today through the Emily Ward bursary and the Norland Foundation.

The early training programme prescribed three months of residential training, including successive fortnights specialising in cookery, laundry and household chores which the students worked at until noon. The afternoons were spent in lectures, kindergarten games, walks, needlework and similar occupations. The final three months were spent in a hospital children’s ward.  

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