St Teresa's Orphanage, Plymouth, Devon
St Teresa's (or Theresa's) Orphanage for Roman Catholic Children was founded in 1875 and run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. It was located at 20-22 Gasking Street, Plymouth, at the corner with Beaumont Road, which is sometimes given as its address.
On 26th October, 1883, St Teresa's was accredited as a Certified School allowing it to take children boarded out by the workhouse authorities. The home also received orphan and destitute children placed by friends and benefactors
St Teresa's was originally mixed but in 1889 the boys were transferred to new premises at Torquay and St Teresa's continued as a girls-only establishment. In 1897, it could accommodate 68 girls with a payment of £12 per annum required for each resident, or £10 per annum for those belonging to the Diocese of Plymouth.
The home closed in 1932 when its inmates were transferred to the new Nazareth House at Stonehouse. The Gasking Street building no longer exists.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Catholic Children's Society (Plymouth), St Boniface House, Ashburton, Newton Abbot TQ13 7JL. Has Register of children (1875-1931).
- Fothergill, Anne Memoirs of a Nazareth House Girl (2013, Quoin Publishing). Memories of the Middlesbrough Nazareth House.
- Gray-Wilson, Shirley It isn't Always Raining: Children in Care, 1939-1948 (2000). Life in the Carlisle and Newcastle Nazareth Houses.
- Kelly, Judith Rock Me Gently: A Memoir Of A Convent Childhood (2006, Bloomsbury). A memoir of life at Bexhill Nazareth House in the early 1950s. The factual veracity of this book has been challenged, and charges of plagiarism levelled against the author (e.g. see Catholic Herald 2/9/2005). The introduction to the current edition of the book acknowledges some of these criticisms.
- Reilley, Frances Suffer The Little Children: The True Story of An Abused Convent Upbringing (2009, Orion). Memories of the Belfast Nazareth House.
- Nuns 'abused hundreds of children' (Guardian article 16/8/1998)
- Sisters of No Mercy (Guardian article 1/4/2003)
- Compensation for care homes abuse (BBC News item 15/8/2006)
- Sisters of Nazareth become second Catholic order to admit to child abuse (Guardian article 14/1/2014)
- Children at Derry care homes were made to eat vomit, inquiry told (Guardian article 27/1/2014)
- A Time for Penance? (BBC Scotland 'Frontline' TV feature on abuse in Scottish Nazareth Houses)
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