Records of Melbourne Almshouses (Bradford) of the Society of Friends

Scope and Content

Minutes, with copy of rules for residents, 1857-1980 (2 vols.) [N 19-19.1]; Account book, 1857-1933 [N 20]; Report by Trustees, 1858 [N 21]

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1845 eight cottages in Sawrey Place, Little Horton, near Bradford, were built by Mary Rathmell, of Melbourne Place. These she conveyed in 1849 to six trustees, as dwellings for poor women over 55 years of age. The cottages became known as the Melbourne Almshouses. The trustees were to report to Bradford Preparative Meeting and residents were required to observe strict rules of conduct. The original trustees appointed by Mary Rathmell were Benjamin Ecroyd, David Harris Smith, John Wilson, John Thistlethwaite, George Bottomley and Joseph Ellis. After her death on 3 February 1857, the almshouses were endowed with a legacy of 1,500 under her will, to provide a fund for maintaining the properties. This was invested in the Great Western Railway.


The records are numbered and arranged according to the system used when they were in Carlton Hill Meeting House

Access Information

The conditions of deposit include a clause requiring written prior permission from a Friend Custodian for access to consult current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old

Acquisition Information

The collection of archives of the Society of Friends formerly held at the Friends Meeting House at Carlton Hill, Leeds


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 99, "Inventory of the records of Brighouse, Knaresborough, Leeds, and Settle Monthly Meetings of the Society of Friends formerly preserved at the Friends Meeting house, Carlton Hill, Leeds", 2nd edition, 1997

Conditions Governing Use

As with access, the photocopying of current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old requires the permission of a Friend Custodian

Related Material

Related material in Leeds University Library: Trust deed, 1849, with related correspondence, III 5.3, Clifford Street archive; Records of Bradford Preparative Meeting


H.R. Hodgson, The Society of Friends in Bradford: a record of 270 years (Lund, Humphries, 1926), pp. 50-51

Additional Information

The records are deposited and remain the property of the Society of Friends