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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/419
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1854-1952
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 35 production units.
Name of creator(s): London Diocesan Penitentiary


Administrative/Biographical history:

The London Diocesan Penitentiary was formed after a gift of money to the Rev George Nugee in 1853, for the establishment of a house for the "reception and reformation of penitent fallen women". The sum involved was inadequate for the purpose and a public appeal for donations and subscriptions was made. A Council was appointed under the presidency of the Bishop of London on 20 March 1854, and an executive committee was formed.

Temporary accommodation was found at Hampton Court and then at Sunbury in 1855, but by the end of that year the lease had been acquired on Park House, Highgate. This property and adjoining land was subsequently purchased for 11,500 in 1861 and a mortgage raised to meet the cost; much of the adjoining land was later leased or sold for building and the money obtained used to assist paying off the mortgage.

The later history of the institution is uncertain, although in 1900 it was taken over by the Clewer sisters (an Anglican female religious community based in Clewer, Berkshire), and, at an unknown date, it became known as the House of Mercy. It was closed in 1940.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London Diocesan Penitentiary, consisting primarily of title deeds (which date from 1732), but also a council minute book, annual reports and a purchase fund ledger. The title deeds are listed chronologically at the end. These records were catalogued by a member of Guildhall Library staff in 1979.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The archives were deposited with those of Janson Cobb Pearson and Co, who acted as solicitors for the Penitentiary.

Allied Materials

Related material:

At LMA, see also records of the The London Diocesan Council for Penitentiary, Rescue and Preventative Work at A/LWC and ACC/1478.

Berkshire Record Office has some records, including admissions 1898-1940.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
August to October 2010.

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