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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Blind Poor Relief Society

Also known as Indigent Blind Relief Society


It was founded in the 1870s by James Colmer, formerly printer to the Blind Indigent Visiting Society

In 1879 Colmer (also called Joseph Colmer in The Times), was prosecuted for libel by the Blind Indigent Visiting Society; he had alleged malaversion of funds on their part, but he pleaded guilty

His Society was investigated by the Charity Organisation Society in the late 1870s, who later published a notice to warn people who received requests for money for it (The Times, 29 January 1880)

It no longer exists

What was reforming about it?

It may have been a con trick, deliberately aiming to confuse would-be charitable donors with the similarity of its name to the Blind Indigent Visiting Society

Where in Bloomsbury

It had two bases, both in Bloomsbury: 48 Hunter Street and 253 Gray’s Inn Road (The Times, 18 August 1879)

The former was apparently also the address of the was “Ladies’ Printing Press (for the Employment of Necessitous Gentlewomen)” which printed the appeal pamphlet Lost in London (1875) for Miss Stride’s Homes (A/FWA/C/D18/2, London Metropolitan Archives)

Books about it

None found


There are records of the investigation of the Society (and others run by James Colmer) by the Charity Organisation Society in London Metropolitan Archives, ref. A/FWA/C/D/39/001–004; 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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