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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down at the suggestion of one of the Gentlemen she had allowed it to remain til the Ladies met.

Resolved that the Matron be directed have the beds made up in the morning and the south [outer?] doors locked.

At the meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 5th May 1865.

Present: Mrs Ord , Mrs Threlkeld Mrs Allen , Mrs John Thompson Mrs Mills , Mrs Bickford Mrs Smith , and the Secretary.

The minutes of former meeting Daily Journal also Tabular & Sub Committee Report read 22 Inmates in the houses

The Secretary mentioned that she had received a letter from The Rev'd [Reverend] Thos [Thomas] Smith stating that the Matron had applied for three weeks leave of absence and asking the Ladies to give their opinion on this subject.

Unanimously resolved that the application could not be granted & as the Matron having told them at once acquiesced in the discussion of the Committee

The Secretary stated that Dr [Doctor] Nathans had most kindly offered if the Ladies approve of to make arrangements with some chemist to supply this Refuge with medicines as a rule at a shilling a bottle.

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Resolved that the Gentlemen members (crossed out) [indecipherable] and their Secretary asked to write to Dr [Doctor] Nathans

At the meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 2nd June 1865.

Present Mrs Macintyre Mrs Robinson Mrs Bickfred Mrs Speer Mrs Smith Mrs Joy Mrs Allen Mrs John Thompson Mrs Murnin Mrs Beech Mrs Ord Mrs Mills Mrs Breillat Mrs Threlkeld Mrs Jos [Joseph] Thompson and the Secretary

The minutes of previous meeting, Daily Journals, Tabular & Sub Committee Reports read Inmates in the houses

The Secretary read a letter from George Widan Esq ...[Esquire] mentioning that Mrs Campbell ( the Bibles woman) had applied on behalf of some young girls from Durands Alley but had been refused by Mrs Anderson. Mrs Campbell came in at this part of the meeting and explained that the girls had afterwards been admitted by the Matron and was (crossed out) at this time [indecipherable] in the Institution. Mrs Campbell was told that the Ladies would gladly receive any young girl whom she might be induced to come to this refuge provided she was in health.

A letter was read from Mrs [ indecipherable] stating that she had been obliged to take her [indecipherable] from the Refuge so very

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many of the finer things having been damaged by tearing and scorching. Mrs Anderson was called in & spoken to and desired to de vote more time in the duties of the Laundry.

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

Present Mrs Threlkerd Mrs Graham Mrs Foy Mrs John Thompson Mrs Mills Mrs Reed Mrs Macintyre Mrs Ord Mrs Murnin Mrs Hay Mrs Widan and the Secretary The minutes of previous meeting Daily journals Tabular & Sub Committe Reports read 25 inmates in the Houses

The Secretary mentioned that Lizzy Thompson was engaged to go to Bathurst to fill the same situation that Mary Kennedy was in she is about to be married.

The Secretary stated that a family in the Shoalhaven had applied for a nurse girl and asked if the Ladies would approve of Christina Neilds going.

Resolved that Christina be allowed to take t he situation at four shillings per week for the year.

The Matron has desired to propose

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a change of clothing for her and the Secretary undertook to communicate with the Lady at Shoalhaven.

At the meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 1 September 1865.

Present : Mrs Smith , Mrs Macintyre Mrs Threlkeld , Mrs Graham Mrs Dawson , Mrs Ord Mrs Jos [Joseph] Thompson , Mrs Reed Mrs [Murnin?] , Mrs Allen Mrs Mills , Mrs Joy Mrs Speer , Mrs Breillat and the Secretary

The minutes of former meeting Daily journals Tabular & Sub Committe Reports read 27 inmates in the Houses

The Secretary stated that the Lady to whom Christina Neilds was to go was in bad health & not now able to receive her & therefore that Christina was still in the Institution but that it was most desirable to obtain a situation for her.

Mrs Anderson was reprimanded for not enforcing order at meal times and also for not checking the inmates for using bad language

The Matron inquired if an old man of the name of [Chapman?] was to be allowed to visit theInmates. Some of the Ladies stated that he had once been employed

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as a Missionary and they therefore thought there could be no harm in permitting him to continue his visits

Mrs Threlkeld kindly promised to make some enquiries of some friends at Wollongong respecting the daughter of the womans [indecipherable]

The Secretary mentioned that she had received a letter from Stephen Greenhill Esqre [Esquire] offering to send a years numbers of the "Sunday at Home" and "Leisure [House?]"

At the meeting of the Ladies General Committee of the Sydney Female Refuge held on Friday the 6th of October 1865.

Present: Mrs Ord , Mrs Allen Mrs Reed , Mrs [Murnin?] Mrs Bickford , Mrs Macintyre and the Secretary

The minutes of previous meeting Daily journals Tabular & Sub Committee Reports read 31 inmates in the Houses

A letter was read from Melinda stating that she wished to go with Mrs Anderson to Queensland.

The ladies expressed their disapbrobation of such a step & explained to Melinda that it was more than likely Mrs A's husband might not approve of her living with them but before finally

Last edit about 1 year ago by Geoff Barker
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