Victorian London - Health and Hygiene - Hospitals - Magdalen Hospital

The Magdalen Hospital, St. George's Fields, was founded about the year 1758, in a great measure through the exertions of the Reverend and ill-fated Dr. Dodd. It was intended to receive and reclaim unfortunate females from the paths of prostitution; and has been eminently successful in restoring many thousands of lost women to their families and society. The buildings are spacious, and include an octagonal chapel, in which a select portion of the females of the institution are permitted to sing during Divine service, though secluded from the public eye by a screen.
    The London Female Penitentiary, established at Pentonville in 1807, and the Female Refuge for the Destitute, in Hackney Road, of more recent origin, may be considered as adjuncts in the meritorious design of this Hospital.

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844


MAGDALEN HOSPITAL, ST. GEORGE'S FIELDS, for the reformation and relief of penitent prostitutes. Instituted 1758, chiefly by the exertions of Mr. Dingley, Sir John Fielding, Mr. Saunders Welch, and Jonas Hanway. The first house of the society was  in Prescot-street, Goodman's-fields. A subscription of 20 guineas or more at one time, or of 5 guineas per annum for five successive years, is a qualification of a governor for life. A subscription of 5 guineas entitles the subscriber to the privileges of a governor for one year.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850


MAGDALEN HOSPITAL, Blackfriars Road, Southwark, under the patronage of her Majesty, was established in 1758, for the relief and reformation of wretched outcasts of society. Since its foundation to 1860, 8983 young women have been admitted. No young person who has behaved herself well during her stay in the house is discharged unprovided for.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865