St. Edwards Boys Home is located in Coleshill, Warwickshire. Formally run by a charity, the Father Hudson's Society, the home closed down in 1988.
Father George Vincent Hudson founded Father Hudson's Society. From a lowly beginning, Vincent started the society, while working to the care of many thousands of children in desperate need. Father Hudson was born in 1873 to a Worcestershire family. He was educated at Oscott College in Birmingham and was ordained a priest on 1st November 1898.
With the growth of industry, increasing urban development and the exploitation of child labour, Father Hudson noted the children that found themselves destitute and helpless, friendless and powerless. He drew plans to help and care for them. It was the Bishop of Birmingham, Bishop Ilsley, who set Father Hudson on to rescue the helpless children for the Diocese of Birmingham. Stretching from Stoke on Trent in the north down to Oxford in the south, the Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society was formally set up in 1902. Later to became known as Father Hudson's Homes.
During Father Hudsons time, the charity grew and expanded to include St Vincent's, a home for working boys in Moseley Road, Birmingham, St Edward's Boys Home in Coleshill and St Gerard's Hospital for children. A network of 'agents' were set-up throughout the diocese to report on any cases that arose for referral to 'The Homes.
Homes were also opened in Canada, Father Hudson visited at least thirty times. Based in Ottawa and run by the Sisters of Charity of St Paul, they were supported by the Catholic Emigration Society. Emigration to Canada stopped in 1935 but then the children were sent to Australia until 1955.
Father Hudson died in 1936.
The homes began to decline, due to many social and industrial changes. The Children's Act and other legislation, meant fewer and fewer children were being taken 'into care' and the need for large children's homes receded. By 1988, all the homes had closed as residential units for children.
Sadly St Edwards reputation was to be tarnished due to the actions of two Priests involving child abuse. One can only speculate that these actions only helped with the decision to close the homes.