Byrom Hall opposite Great Crosshall Street
and the adjoining premises
Late in the 1860s Alexander Balfour and Stephen Williamson, partners in the Liverpool ship owning firm of Balfour, Williamson & Co., became concerned at the numbers of destitute and orphaned children in Liverpool. Balfour along with another Liverpool ship-owner, John Houghton, heard Annie MacPherson lecturing in London on her work with child emigration. Her sister, Louisa Birt, who assisted in her work, came to Liverpool to lecture about their work at a public meeting, which was held in November 1872.