The Diocesan Association of Friendless Girls was founded in 1894 by the Rt Revd Randall Davidson, Bishop of Rochester and his wife Edith.
The status of women in the Victorian era is often seen as an illustration of the striking discrepancy between British wealth and power and its appalling social conditions. In a time when women had few rights, Edith, as wife of the bishop of Rochester and daughter of Archibald Tait (Archbishop of Canterbury 1868-1882) brought a network of influence and social and familial relationships to launch and extend the work of Welcare to support women on the streets of south London forced to the margins of society by their circumstances.
The Tait family endured huge personal tragedy when five of their seven children died of scarlet fever in five weeks, they were all girls between two and ten years old. Edith’s mother, Catharine Tait was also a great social activist and created the Ladies Diocesan Association with the idea of bridging the gap between the rich and poor. On International Women’s Day, we celebrate our co-founder. Edith Davidson made a significant impact and her legacy lives on as we continue to fulfill the mission and aims that marked our beginnings in 1894.