William Quarrier

1829-1903. Founder of the Orphan Homes of Scotland. Born into a humble Greenock home, fatherless at three, starving Glasgow slum-dweller at five, he was working the following year for one shilling a week and became a journeyman shoemaker at the early age of twelve. He probably had no formal schooling. Converted at seventeen, he never forgot the plight of children such as he had known. So the work began: a shoeblack brigade, a news(paper) brigade, a parcels brigade, an orphanage in Glasgow, the sending of residents to new lives in Canada. In 1878 the first cottage homes were opened at Bridge of Weir, in Dr. Barnardo's presence. Then came the first tuberculosis sanatorium in Scotland. Quarrier made no appeals, had no collectors, bazaars, or entertainments for money-raising purposes, relying on God's supply. When Quarrier died, having arranged for the country's first (and only) colony for epileptics, 1,526 children were in care at Bridge of Weir, with kindred work in Glasgow, Argyllshire, and Canada.