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The Pim Sisters - TLM Heroes

A  black and white photo of a woman in profile wearing a black dress

Charlotte, Isabella and Jane Pim (‘the Pim sisters’) were childhood friends of Alice Grahame, who moved to India and married Wellesley Bailey – founder of The Leprosy Mission.

At home in Ireland, the sisters were captivated by the stories Alice told in her letters, and invited Alice to their house to speak to a group of friends about her work when she returned to Dublin.

Following that first meeting, a more public address was held at the Monkstown Quaker Meeting House in September 1874. That address inspired Charlotte and her sisters to pledge about £30 a year to support Alice and Wellesley’s work. It was an unusual undertaking for women at that time, who were not often involved in fundraising.

This initial pledge launched The Leprosy Mission as a sustainable charity, after which the sisters wrote and circulated a pamphlet that brought the needs of persons affected by leprosy to the attention of the people of Dublin. By the end of the following year, they had raised £600, far exceeding their £30 target. In 1878, the organisation was formalised, with Charlotte Pim as secretary. Wellesley Bailey commented that: “Though I have been called the founder of the Mission, I have always thought that Miss Charlotte Pim equally deserved the title.”