Wednesday 22 June 2011

Was your ancestor a lady of the night?

Forgive my indelicate bluntness, but if you suspect one of your ancestors was a member of the oldest profession, you might be interested to know of a newly released collection – the records of Westmoreland Lock Hospital.

The origins of the hospital date back to 1755 when it was founded as a specialist treatment centre for venereal diseases. Initially, both men and women were admitted but in 1819 it became a women-only centre. Many of the patients were prostitutes, presumably providing their services to Dublin's large British Army garrisons.

Patient records (1814-1894), including registers of admission and discharge, are included in the collection, along with minute books, letter books, a visitor's book and chaplaincy papers (1861-1887).

For more information, and to view the Hospital's catalogue, see the RCPI website.