The Daughters of Charity Saint Vincent de Paul

The Company of the Daughters of Charity Saint Vincent de Paul was founded by a French Priest and was initially a society for women within the Catholic Church.  The second phase of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry focused on orphanages run by the Daughters of Charity.  Since then the Charity has become a major financial contributor to the Scottish Redress Scheme.

The Charity ran the following institutions in Scotland.

Smyllum Park

Smyllum Park was founded in 1864 and closed in 1981.  During its years of operation Smyllum Park took in more than 11,500 Roman Catholic children between the ages of 1 and 14.

In 2021 five former workers, including nuns, appeared in Court over abuse allegations which brings the total number of staff from Smyllum Park whom the Police have charged to 12.  The cases are still yet to come to Court.

Bellevue House

Bellevue House was opened in 1912 for children who were orphaned or whose families were unable to care for them.  The Home was closed in 1943.  Nearly 6,600 children spent time at Bellevue House.

During the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, Lady Smith, the Chairwoman, upheld allegations from residents that there were systematically sexually abused by priests, a trainee priest, nuns and lay members of staff.  She also recorded that former residents were physically assaulted with hairbrushes, a leather belt, rosary beads and wooden crucifixes.

St Vincent’s School for the Deaf/Blind

In 1911 the deaf and blind residents of Smyllum Park Orphanage were transferred to St Vincent’s School.  In 1985 the residential block was demolished and the school became a day school only.

Roseangle Orphanage (St Vincents)

The Sisters were asked to take responsibility of a Hostel for young Catholic women of good character in Dundee.  By 1918 the Hostel came to a natural close and was replaced with St Vincents Refuge which later closed in 1974.

St Joseph’s Hospital Rosewell

The Sisters opened St Joseph’s Hospital, initially for the education of children with profound learning disabilities, often combined with physical disabilities.  The Hospital was closed in 1998.