Volume 1: Sydney Female Refuge Society meeting minutes, 15 February 1864 - 30 December 1864

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In 1848 the Sydney Female Refuge Society was established to provide a home for women escaping from prostitution and for young unmarried girls who fell pregnant. This collection includes the digitised pages of three 'minute books' from the Society records. The refuge was established on 21 August 1848 by those concerned at the level of pregnancies outside marriage and resulting from prostitution. The Committee which set up the refuge made it clear that Sydney was no worse than other cities around the world but that it did have unique problems.

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At a meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 2nd of December 1864.

Present Mrs Foy , Mrs Breillat Mrs Joseph Thompson , Mrs John Thompson Mrs Robinson , Mrs Mills Mrs [Widen?] , Mrs [Murnin?] Mrs Smith , Mrs Tucker Mrs John Dawson , Mrs Speer , & the Secretary

The minutes of the previous meeting Daily Journal & Tabular Report read after the Report of the Sub Committee 22 inmates in the Houses.

Mrs Smith mentioned that Mrs Marler - has offered to continue teaching for three days in this gratuitously if the committee desired it.

Resolved that Mrs Marler be thanked and noted that her service would be accepted till the Committee were provided with a suitable person It was also agreed that Mrs Marler be allowed to visit the Inmates as often as she could make it convenient.

Mrs Roberts was entrusted to ask Dr Matthew's opinion as to the possible period that Ellen Wright must leave this Refuge for the Benevolent Asylum.

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At a meeting this Ladies General Committee held at the Refuge held on Friday the 7th June 1863. Present Mrs E Deas Thomson Mrs J Speer Mrs Macintyre Mrs Eggleston Mrs Reed Mrs Tilby Mrs Foy The Secretary

It was resolved that Mrs Marks have one months salary given to her for attention in the interests of Institution during Mrs Bakers' absence.

One of the Ladies proposed that the Inmates be per mitted to view the procefission on the 11th (this com memoration of the Prince of Wales marriage) but as there were many difficulties in the way it was eventually determined not to attempt it.- orders were given that there should be as much indulgences as perfitted given to those within this building on that day and that the front windows should be illuminated at night.

The Secretary mentioned that she requested a new Minute Book. She was requested to procure a suitable one and pay for it out of the money received at the Institution. The printing and mounting of the rules previously done was to be paid for in the usual manner.

Minutes of previous meeting read and confirmed Daily Journal and Sub Committee report- also the Tabular Report Mrs Deas Thomson 35 Inmates in the Houses.

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Mrs Dawson again asked to have Alice Grey read minutes out but it was decided that the resolution of the previous meeting must be adhered to.

At a meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 6th of January 1865-

Present: Mrs Hay , Mrs Mills Mrs Joy , Mrs Reed Mrs [Speekes?] , Mrs Wise and the Secretary

The minutes of the former meeting Daily Journal & Tabular Report read Also the Report of the Sub Committee

23 Inmates in the Houses.

A Mrs Mitchelthson [indecipherable] applied for a servant but as she lives at Redfern the ladies decided that she could not be allowed to have one from this Institution it being against the Rules to let any of the Inmates accept services in this town.

Resolved that Margaret Lamb serve an additional three months before she be considered eligible for a situation.

Several applicants for admission one was suffering from the effects of intemperance and it was therefore resolved that her case

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be left for the Sub Committee on Tuesday next .

At the meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 3 February 1865.

Present Mrs Hay , Mrs John Thompson Mrs Robinson , Mrs Mills Mrs [Murnin?] , Mrs Tucker

Minutes of previous meeting Daily Journal & Tabular Report & Sub Committee Report read

Sarah Brown admitted. Lizzie Smith applied for readmission but the Secretary being absent it was resolved to leave this case for her decision on Tuesday next .

At the meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 3 March 1865.

Present Mrs Hay , Mrs John Thompson Mrs [Murnin?] , Mrs Mills Mrs Joy , Mrs Allen Mrs Reed , Mrs Bickford & the Secretary

Minutes of former meeting Daily Journal & Tabular & Sub Committee Reports read Inmates in the houses.

The Rev'd [Reverend] Thomas Smith read the Report which had been prepared previous to the Public

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meeting

The Secretary stated that Mrs Burgrath was compelled to resign on account of failing health but would be happy to continue her subscription to the Teachers' Fund.

Mrs Ord Mrs Threlkeld and Mrs Graham proposed as members of the Ladies Committee the Secretary was requested to communicate with these ladies on the subject

The Matron mentioned that six doctors [?] had been induced to come to the Refuge after attending the Midnight meeting some were in the Institution before.

At the meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 7th April 1865.

Present Mrs Hay Mrs Breillat Mrs Allen Mrs John Thompson Mrs Ord Mrs Joseph Thompson Mrs Joy Mrs Murnin Mrs Smith Mrs Beech Mrs Mills Mrs Robinson Mrs Dawson and the Secretary Mrs Speer

Minutes of previous meeting read also the Sub Committee & tabular Report Inmates in the Houses.

The Secretary mentioned that the beds heads [?] had been folded up instead of being made as the order required as there had been

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