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  • Writer's pictureJanet Few

A Few Forgotten Women Friday Roundup - the first stories are added

In the end, sixty-nine researchers embarked on preserving the stories of the eighty six women who were in St. Josephs' and Farmfield Inebriate Reformatories at the time of the 1901 census. There were cries of 'Eureka' and groans of frustration from England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, the USA and Australia as slowly the lives of these ladies were revealed. We struggled with the glitch on the British Newspaper Library website, which suddenly returned zero results, regardless of the search but we were undaunted! Of course, a few women decided to remain stubbornly hidden but we are determined that they will not be forgotten.

Here are just a few comments from our Twitter feed:

'My woman said, while in the dock “I think that’s very hard. I take very little drink” She was released after 5 years in an “inebriate home”. The very next day she was arrested for being drunk. She was described as “little and mild mannered” and I love her already.'

'Newspaper report of one lady where she states that she wasn't drunk and disorderly M'lud - just disorderly!!'

'Eureka moment in the search for my inebriate woman! I have an alias... and a photograph!'

'The little woman, after being bundled neck-and-crop out of a public house, wandered about … she took up her quarters on a doorstep … and hallooed and shouted so loudly that the whole neighbourhood was disturbed and many of the inhabitants complained.'

Over the next days and weeks their stories will appear on our website. Those for Louisa Goldfinch and Eliza Springate have already been uploaded, along with Bridget Carroll's that was there previously as an initial example.

The next A Few Forgotten Women Friday will be on 11 August - save the date!


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