Were Florence Nightingale and Caroline Chisholm friends?

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 Nightingale in June 1852 to Fr Manning housed in an American University Library indicate that Nightingale “went into the country yesterday to organise something for Mrs Chisholm”. The letter also tells Fr Manning where Chisholm is living in Islington, London, and the times he might find her there. Nightingale also enclosed a letter of introduction for Manning to Caroline Chisholm. It would not be unreasonable to assume that Nightingale also visited Chisholm at her home in Islington. This new information makes it very clear that Nightingale did indeed know Chisholm and could be said to be her “friend and pupil”.

Stained Glass Window to Commemorate Caroline Chisholm

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.

You can read more about the Stained Glass Window here.

Caroline Chisholm and the grave refurbishment

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 after Caroline. The photos of ‘before’ and ‘after’ show the remarkable difference.

Refurbishment Update

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 Northampton where Caroline was baptised and married. The blessing service will be held on Tuesday, 11th November at 2.00 p.m. at the Billing Road Cemetery in Northampton.

We have almost reached our target for the cost of repairs, but any further donations, however small, would be most appreciated. Please contact us for details.

The refurbishment begins

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.

Temorary Stone DSC00660

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 us reach the target of £1,250 to £2,000. The larger amount is given in case anything untoward is found now that the stonemasons are able to look further at the crack at the top of the cross. It is hoped that will be able to mend it securely, but if they are unable to do so, the cross may have to be replaced.

If you would like to contribute, please contact us.

Caroline Chisholm Refurbishment Fund

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 be launched towards the end of July.

If you wish to make a contribution please contact us.