Richmond Villa is at the northern end of Kent St near the approaches to the Harbour Bridge. Wynyard Station (train and bus) is a 10 minute walk and ferries are 15 minutes away at Circular Quay. There is some metered street parking but public transport is recommended.
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Location: Richmond Villa, 120 Kent Street Sydney (more information here)
Convenor: Pauline Kettle Bookings essential: $12 members, $17 non-members
The English Research Group meets four times a year and talks focus on a wide variety of subjects relating to family history research. Attending meetings is an excellent way to keep up with new releases of information and to get research tips. Guest speaker: Robert Nash, speaking about “La Providence” – The French Hospital, London (click on the title of this event to go to the next screen where more details about the presentation are provided).
Suitable for all skill levels
This Hospital founded in 1718 was specifically designed as an old people’s home and it is still in existence today in Rochester, Kent, as sheltered housing for the elderly of Huguenot descent. The detailed records kept by the French Hospital have survived up to 1930 and are significant for anyone researching their East End ancestors as over time many of the Huguenot population in London married Londoners. Those with Huguenot ancestors could apply which was important for Londoners as in the 19th century all sorts of people, some with fairly distant connections, were entitled to enter and did so even though by then their surname may not have reflected any Huguenot background.
The French Hospital provided a sharp contrast with the local workhouses in areas such as Stepney, Bethnal Green, Mile End, Whitechapel etc. as their inmates were well fed and clothed and didn't have to work; indeed they were allowed some dignity as belonging to a venerable institution. Inmates of the general Union workhouses did not receive such consideration. The talk will demonstrate these contrasts and show how important it is in the history of the East End and include samples of the records kept by the French Hospital which are available in the SAG’s library under Volumes 52 & 53.