View Full Version : Institution in Salisbury, 1881

Jon Whiting
18-02-2005, 2:03 PM
Hi all,

Could anyone tell me what kind of institution existed at 'Rd Leading Out Of
St Martins Church Street, Salisbury St Martin, Wiltshire, England'. This was
situated between 86 Milford Street and 12 St Martins Church Street in the
1881 census (RG11/2072/113/19).

It contained a number of women and girls with the relationship 'penitent',
employed as either laundress or housemaid.


Ann AW
08-03-2005, 5:34 PM
Hi Jon,

I can't really answer your question but on the original census form it says 'Salisbury Diocesan House of Mercy' perhaps it was a convent? Penitent would fit in with being a Nun.
I will send you a copy of the census form off list.

Jon Whiting
08-03-2005, 6:25 PM
Hi all,

I have now aquired information about the institution in Salisbury. The full title in the 1881 census is 'Salisbury Diocesan House of Mercy'. This was one of a chain of similar instutions set up from 1848 by William Ewert Gladstone, the prime minister, called 'the Church Penitentaiary Association for the Reclaimation of Fallen Women'. It was a home for ex-prostitutes without children. It appears that if they had children, then they were sent to the workhouse.


08-03-2005, 6:45 PM
This is interesting. The penitents were mistranscribed as "patients" in 1881. And the marital status of the "Lady in charge of institution" was "windower," perhaps suggesting that she had practiced defenestration upon the late Mr. MacNamara. :D

In 1901, the head was a "Sister of Mercy," and there were a few others. The number of "inmates" had grown considerably.

Registration district: Salisbury
Sub-registration district: Salisbury
ED, institution, or vessel: 9
Folio: 124
Page: 1
Household schedule number: 7

Was this a RC institution? Government sponsored? (Faith-based initiatives in 1848? |laugh1| ) Or were there C of E "Sisters of Mercy?"


08-03-2005, 7:14 PM
In 1871 the "Sister in Charge" was a Sister of Mercy, with an "Associate Sister." The residents were "Inmates" and all Scholars.

Registration district: Alderbury
Sub-registration district: Salisbury
ED, institution, or vessel: 17
Folio: 71
Page: 18
Household schedule number: 100

Wonderful handwriting! If Rod used this man's work as a test, I don't think there would be many differing transcriptions. And he included detail, listing one person as "First cousin." Wish he'd been the enumerator where my rellies lived.