Caroline Chisholm

Caroline Chisholm’s philanthropic work was of lasting benefit to British emigrants and colonies — to Australia in particular. In New South Wales, she found shelter and employment for female immigrants and pressed officials to adopt her schemes for settling families on the land. In London, she arranged free passages for emancipists’ wives and children and encouraged families to emigrate to Australia. In the Victorian goldfields, she provided accommodation for the needy traveller. Tireless and resourceful, she cared little for personal reward or position; and by her own endeavours and careful persuasion, she demonstrated her faith in people, the strength of womanhood, and the need to protect the vulnerable and help working people and their families. This biography casts new light on her life and achievements.

Florence Nightingale and Caroline Chisholm

Earlier biographies of Caroline Chisholm have suggested there was a connection between her and Florence Nightingale. However I was unable to substantiate this. Recent research however has confirmed earlier suggestions that Florence Nightingale did know Caroline Chisholm and indeed helped her in her work.

A chance reading of a book on Florence Nightingale by I. B. O’Malley – A Study of her life down to the end of the Crimean War, published in 1931, had a brief reference to Caroline Chisholm. Unlike other references to Florence Nightingale and Caroline Chisholm this reference was notated. It referred to a letter from Florence Nightingale to Henry Edward Manning, later Cardinal Manning, dated June 28th 1852. There followed a paper trail of documents from a church in London, to Oxford, Angers (France) and America. Finding one specific letter was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Eventually the letter was tracked down to a library archive in America†.In the letter of the 28th June 1852 Florence Nightingale wrote that she “went into the country yesterday to organize something for Mrs Chisholm.” This does indeed suggest that Florence Nightingale was helping Caroline Chisholm.

Another letter dated the 29th June 1852 Florence Nightingale to Manning informs him of Caroline’s address in Islington; gives the times that Manning may find her at her premises; that she had a meeting at a National Mission Hall, Applegate; and takes the liberty of enclosing a note of introduction for Manning to Caroline Chisholm. Nightingale would not be offering a letter of introduction to someone she did not know. It also indicates that in all probability Manning followed up Florence Nightingale’s suggestion and went to meet Caroline at her home at 3 Charlton Crescent, Islington.

Wikipedia entry on Caroline Chisholm

BBC News Article on Caroline Chisholm by Carole Walker


Were Florence Nightingale and Caroline Chisholm friends?

March 29, 2018
Various biographies of Caroline Chisholm suggest that Florence Nightingale was Caroline Chisholm’s “friend and pupil”. Frustratingly when writing my book I could never find anything to substantiate these comments. However, further research has found concrete evidence that Florence Nightingale did indeed know Chisholm and helped her before going off to the Crimea. Letters written by […]
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Stained Glass Window to Commemorate Caroline Chisholm

July 15, 2015
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Northampton The stained glass window to commemorate Caroline Chisholm was unveiled in a ceremony in early June 2015.  The window is in the round of the Church and looks quite stunning and is well worth a visit. The image does not do it justice, especially when the sun is streaming through. […]
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Caroline Chisholm and the grave refurbishment

December 1, 2014
The refurbishment of Caroline and Archibald’s gravestone was completed in 2014 and a rededication service was held on the 11th November. The grave is now looking great with a host of golden daffodils and white crocus that were kindly planted by a devoted admirer and gardener in remembrance of the white crocus that was named […]
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Refurbishment Update

October 21, 2014
The stonemasons are completing the task of refurbishing the Caroline Chisholm gravestone and will be returning it to the Billing Road Cemetery on the 22nd October. A small service has been arranged with Canon Mark of the Catholic Cathedral in Northampton and with the Reverend Michael Hills of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in […]
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The refurbishment begins

August 22, 2014
On Wednesday, 20th August the stonemason's removed the Caroline Chisholm grave to their workshop. It is estimated that the refurbishment will take about twelve weeks. Meantime the fundraising continues. Donations from Australia have started the ball rolling and it is hoped that the people of Northampton, the town of Caroline's birth and early life, will help […]
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Caroline Chisholm Refurbishment Fund

August 7, 2014
It has become increasingly evident that the gravestone of Caroline and Archibald Chisholm in the Billing Road Cemetery in Northampton needs some TLC. To that end Carole is organising for repairs and refurbishment to be made to the grave. With the help of Northampton Borough Council a fund to collect monies for the grave will […]
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