Kitty Wilkinson: Statue for Liverpool's 'saint of the slums'
A marble statue has been unveiled in Liverpool, in memory of a woman known as the saint of the slums.
Kitty Wilkinson opened Britain's first public washhouse on Upper Frederick Street in 1842.
Hers will be the only female statue in St George's Hall and will join 12 statues surrounding the Great Hall depicting Victorian and Edwardian men.
The unveiling will be performed by the Reverend Elizabeth Storey - Ms Wilkinson's great, great, great niece.
Catherine 'Kitty' Wilkinson (1786 - 1860)
- Born in Londonderry in 1786, came to Liverpool in 1795
- Became an apprentice to a cotton textile mill in Lancashire aged 11 before returning to Liverpool aged 18
- In 1812 she married a French sailor, with whom she had two sons. Widowed before the birth of her second son
- In 1823 she married Thomas Wilkinson and cared for many destitute children and set up a school for orphans.
- Cared for the sick during the cholera outbreak in 1832, turning her home into a wash house. Allowing neighbours to wash and disinfect their bedding in her kitchen, she taught that cleanliness was a weapon against disease
- After the epidemic became superintendent of the Public Baths and Wash House in Frederick Street, established by the city council in 1842
- Died in Liverpool on 11 November 1860, and buried in St James's cemetery
Mrs Storey said it was "a great privilege" to be asked to unveil the statue.Homeless children
"Kitty Wilkinson has always been part of my life. We were brought up as children learning about her and her work and it is right that she should be honoured," she said.
Ms Wilkinson allowed her home to be used as a washhouse during the cholera epidemics of the 1830s.
She also took in homeless children and taught that cleanliness was the main weapon against disease.
London-based sculptor Simon Smith made the statue from Italian marble, and took two years to create at a cost of £100,000.