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Forgotten Women Logo

On the Lawn; Royal Hospital for Incurables at Putney Heath, London

Wood Engraving, 1881

Courtesy of Wellcome Library

CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

These stories include women or girls whose lives were touched by disabilities of some kind. You can access the stories by clicking on the women's names below.

Here are some resources to help with this topic:

A History of Disability from 1950 to the Present Day

There are articles about two institutions for the disabled on or Articles page

The Girls of The Cripples' Home, Hartshill, Staffordshire

Chailey Heritage, Sussex

Elizabeth Eastburn, later Elizabeth Sledding aka Sledhill aka Blenkinsop, then Elizabeth Sawyer 1857-1937 from Leeds, Yorkshire - Disability, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Leeds Girls' Industrial School. 4 minute read.

Betty Kershaw 1832-1877 from Leeds, Yorkshire - Disability, Domestic Abuse, Lawbreaking, Mental Health, Murder, Sickness. Warning, this story includes an account of domestic abuse. 12 minute read.

Julia Mahoney, later Julia Loveridge 1897-1968 from Bermondsey, Surrey - Abandonment, Disability, Domestic Abuse, Lawbreaking, Poverty. 11 minute read. Please note that this story contains an account of domestic abuse.

Sarah Ellen McDonald, later Sarah Copley 1857-1834 from Barnsley, Yorkshire – Disability, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Leeds Girls’ Industrial School. 2 minute read.

Ellen O’Donoghue, later Ellen Heather 1863-1913 from London, Middlesex - Alcoholism, Disability, Lawbreaking, Mental Health, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 3 minute read.

Elizabeth Poskitt 1885-1954 from Pontefract, Yorkshire – Disability, No Descendants, Women at War, Voluntary Aid Detachment Personnel. 3 minute read.

Elsie May Simon aka Elsie May Brock 1895-1975 from Wyton, Yorkshire - Alcoholism, Disability, Lawbreaking. 9 minute read.

Bridget Toomey, aka Mary Ann Gotten, aka Bridget Smith c.1878-1943 and Mary Toomey 1879-?  from Fulham, Middlesex Surrey - Alcoholism, Disability, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 12 minute read.

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