‘A Great Change in Manners‘ draws attention to the remarkable order and balance of British society between the 1850s and 1890s. Despite massive industrial and social change, crime fell in absolute as well as relative terms, even though the population was growing rapidly. Ireland was the exception to this trend. The ‘change in manners’ was noted at the time. This largely self-regulating society relied on voluntary organizations to cater for spiritual and physical deprivation. In 1870 the government set up school boards with a duty to build elementary schools, as the voluntary sector could not cope. This education system was then augmented by local initiative.