In the autumn of 1859 a glorious awakening began in the Boys' Refuge, Great Queen Street, Bloomsbury. One of the voluntary teachers, one Sabbath evening, mentioned to her class that she had heard a London minister relate the incidents connected with a visit to the North of Ireland, when one of the boys said to her, "Why won't he come and tell us ?" This led the teacher to write to the minister, (the Rev. J. Graham, of Craven Chapel,) and an address, including " touching details " of the Irish revival, was delivered, and, after the speaker's departure, the whole juvenile congregation, including about 100 boys and 26 girls, seemed to be brought suddenly under awful convictions of sin, and earnestly cried for mercy.The work went forward from day to day. Special prayer- meetings were held almost every evening.
The writer took part last winter in one of the Thursday-evening meetings, at which addresses were delivered to about 600 children of the Refuge, and those in attendance at the neighbouring ragged schools. As he entered the building, and was about to climb the stair which conducted to the crowded upper room, he was suddenly arrested by the sound of a boy's voice in earnest prayer. Among other simple petitions was one to the effect, that " the Lord would keep the devil out of that place."At the close of the addresses, and after prayer had been offered by a senior teacher, a little boy in the kneeling crowd poured out his heart with eloquent earnestness and importunity in intercession and supplication.
From ‘Authentic Records of Revival, now in progress in the United Kingdom, published in 1860, re-printed and edited in 1980 by Richard Owen Roberts.