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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


National Benevolent Institution

Also known as National Benevolent Institute


It was founded in 1812 by Peter Hervé, painter and benefactor, to provide financial assistance to older people in straitened circumstances

It received a Royal Charter in 1859

It continues to provide financial support for elderly people

It moved out of London to Gloucestershire around the late twentieth century

What was reforming about it?

It was mainly aimed at poor older people of the upper and middle classes who had no other obvious form of support

Where in Bloomsbury

It was at 45 Great Russell Street in the 1820s (Subscription Charities and Public Societies in London, 1823) until at least the 1840s (William Butler, Chronological, Biographical, Historical, and Miscellaneous Exercises, on a New Plan: Designed for the Daily Use of Young Ladies, 1846)

It was at 56 Southampton Row in the 1850s (1851 Post Office directory; The Times, 10 November 1856)

It later moved (confusingly) to 65 Southampton Row, where it remained from at least the 1870s (Edward Walford, Old and New London, vol. 4, 1878) until the early twentieth century

Website of current institution

www.nbicharity.com (opens in new window)

Books about it

Edward Evelyn Barron, The National Benevolent Institution, 1812–1936: A Short Account of its Rise and Progress Extracted from the Minutes (1936)


Records of its investigation by the Charity Organisation Society in 1878 are held in London Metropolitan Archives, ref. A/FWA/C/D/91/001 (closed until 2019); details are available online via Access to Archives (opens in new window)

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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