Saltley Reformatory Inmates


The surviving records for Saltley Refomatory held at Birmingham City Archives are by no means complete, and many are purely administrative and give little or no information about the individual boys. The following have been used.

Admissions Registers

6 November 1848 - 14 February 1902

These large ledgers reserve two pages for each boy, are the principal source of information: name, age, description, state of health, legitimacy, state of education (usually poor to non-existent), some kind of address, offence which sent them to Saltley, sentence, where sentenced, and where jailed, parents, character and conduxct of parents, and treatment of the boy by parents.

Log Books

10 May 1881 - 9 June 1908

The Log Books were summaries of boys admitted, boys on licence, and boys released. These are mostly of use to partially fill in the gaps when the Admissions Regisaters stop.

Minute Books

February 1853 - 1902

The School was run by a committee, and its proceedings were recorded in the Minute Books. Although largely administrative in nature, from time to time individual boys were discussed.

Register of Boys on Licence

1 January 1886 - 31 March 1914

After a time in the Reformatory, when their behaviour was deemed acceptable, a form of parole was used to allow the boys to go and work for vetted employers. An individual boy might be tried with several employers. If the employer was satisfied and the boy wished, he could continue to work there at the expiration of his sentence.


British Newspaper Archive, National Library of Wales - Welsh Newspapers Online

Wherever possible, newspaper articles have been found that repoirt on the offences committed by the boys. They can give sometimes vivid accounts of the poor lives some of the boys led. Sometimes reports of previous offences are found. Occasionally, reports about other members of the family come to light and these have been added too.


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