Ref no12693
TitleRecords of Mary Carpenter and the Red Lodge Reformatory
Date1830s-1940s
DescriptionThis collection contain journals, minute books, certificates, correspondence, press cuttings, poems, scrapbooks, pamphlets, addresses and photographs.
LevelCollection
Extent5 boxes
Administrative historyMary Carpenter was an English educational, penal and social reformer. She was born on 3 April 1807 in Exeter, the eldest daughter of Lant Carpenter, a Unitarian minister, and died on 14 June 1877 in Bristol. She is buried at Arnos Vale cemetery and there is also a memorial to her in Bristol Cathedral.

In 1827 Mary Carpenter left home to serve as a governess, first in the Isle of Wight, then at Odsey, near Royston. Two years later she returned to Bristol to help her mother set up a girls' school, to which a Sunday school was added. Aided by John Bishop Estlin, a local surgeon, she opened the first ragged school in the Lewin's Mead section of Bristol in 1846; this soon moved to larger premises on St James's Back. She founded another ragged school at Kingswood in 1852 and a reformatory school at the Red Lodge on Park Row in 1854 (initially funded by Lady Byron), bringing previously unavailable educational opportunities to poor children and young offenders in Bristol. She later opened a certified industrial school in Bristol in 1859.

The biographical details in this collection-level description were taken from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Access statusOpen
Related materialAdditional collections relating to Mary Carpenter include: 33041/BMC/14 (Mary Carpenter Memorial charity); 40589 (copy letters to Mary Carpenter); 42821 (printed books on Mary Carpenter's work); 45415 (printed letter regarding female education in India); NPM/A/41 (an account of Mary Carpenter's jounreys to India); Pamphlet/HA/9 (Mary Carpenter of Bristol); Pamphlet/926 (Mary Carpenter and her connection with India).

Other collections relating to the Red Lodge include: 5137 (reports on girls at Red Lodge Reformatory); 5535 (deeds relating to Red Lodge and surrounding properties); 11944 (papers of Charles Roslyn of Red Lodge); 13749 (books from Red Lodge); 16082 (papers of the Pritchard family of Red Lodge); various notes in the InfoBox series; various images in the 43207, 40826, Postcards and PicBox series.
Custodial historyFormerly on exhibition in the Mary Carpenter room at the Red Lodge and deposited in the City Archives, October 1958
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