Nugent Archive

Scope and Content

Nugent is a charitable organisation which offers support to adults and children across Liverpool and throughout the North West of England. The archive focuses on the lives of two Liverpool priests Father James Nugent and Father John Bennett, pioneers of social welfare and child care. The archive contains 24 books and 240 folders, 264 items in total, including; letters, pamphlets, brochures, journals and photographs. A list of these items can be found on the Nugent Care Archive database. The archive also includes Father Nugent's letters written during his time as Chaplain of the Walton Gaol and as co-founder of the Liverpool Catholic Children's Protection Society; Monsignor Bennett's correspondence letters - covering subjects such as child welfare, juvenile delinquency, child psychology, and the end of child emigration to Canada; and also Bennett's correspondence with Lady Laycock and the development of care of deprived children in Malta.

Administrative / Biographical History

The origins of Nugent date back to the 1800's and the pioneering work of James Nugent, (1822-1905), in relation to child welfare, relief from poverty and social reform. Monsignor James Nugent, better known as Father Nugent, was a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. He was a passionate social reformer, appalled by the state of the homeless living in the squalor of Victorian England, he dedicated his life to the education and rescue of destitute children.

His statue (created in 1906) can be seen today in St John's Gardens, adjoining St George's Hall in Liverpool. The plaque on the statue reads "Apostle of Temperance, Protector of the Orphan Child, Consoler of the Prisoner, Reformer of the Criminal, Saviour of Fallen Womanhood, Friend of all in Poverty, a foot to the lame, the Father of the Poor." The work of Father Nugent had a dramatic impact on the lives of thousands of vulnerable people and his work continues to this day, through the charity organisation Nugent.

Monsignor John Bennett, (1891-1965), was the administrator of The Catholic Reformatory Association, The Catholic Children's Protection Society and Father Berry's Homes, for over 40 years. He was able to build upon the pioneer work for child welfare, in Liverpool, by previous administrators - Monsignors Nugent and Pinnington. He was an important character in the developing form of social welfare, where his influence and expertise often extended beyond Liverpool. He was involved at national level serving as part of the Central Advisory and Training Council. At international level, he was directly involved in the development of child welfare in Malta, after an appeal by the Governess of Malta, Lady Laycock. Canon Bennett would become the biographer of Monsignor James Nugent in 1949, when he wrote the book, Father Nugent of Liverpool.

Access Information

Please consult the Visiting the Library webpage containing access information for external visitors. The archives and special collections are available for consultation by special appointment only. To arrange an appointment please email . Allow at least 24 hours' notice. Please note that, in line with other archives and special collections, we require personal identification, and may, in some circumstances, ask you to provide references from your research supervisor or other suitable person or body.

The collections are reference only and must be consulted in the Reading Room with the supervision of the Special Collections Librarian. For more information about our collections and archives please visit the Archives and Special Collections webpages.

Acquisition Information

The Nugent Care Archive was deposited at Liverpool Hope University in October 2013.

Other Finding Aids

All catalogued archives' excel spreadsheets are available to download from the 'Archives and Special Collections' About Us webpage, under the Finding Aids tab.

Archivist's Note

Created by Karen Backhouse (Special Collections Librarian, Archives and Special Collections) Liverpool Hope University in July 2014.