Victorian London - Charities - London Female Penitentiary

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.

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

LONDON FEMALE PENITENTIARY, PENTONVILLE. During the year 1845-46, the sum of 1150l. 4s 10d was received for washing and needlework done by the inmates of this establishment, many of whom had become qualified to earn a respectable maintenance on leaving the Asylum.* (*Advertisement in the Times, Oct.21st 1846).

source: Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850