1/11 Nuns & Sex in an Old Regime City? -a #nunstastic out of time at the book launch question from @hkellerlapp for @CorinneGressang, @school_tales, @onslies & other nun-scholars. Quick answer - yes nuns were intimately involved in community safeguarding & communal complicity.
2/11 Nuns has multiple roles: a) intrinsic to pre and post natal as nurses at the Hôtel-Dieu where unmarried women could give birth for no charge or (very rarely) be detained for promiscuity. https://www.patrimoine-lyon.org/la-presqu-ile/centre-ville-2
3/11 They also provided care to newborns charged to the care of the HD after birth - an option young couples sometimes exercised to manage the challenges of not being ready/willing to marry. (Newborns were dispatched from the HD to wet-nurses within a few days.)
4/11 b) as administrative staff for the HD. They often signed the "tickets" for admitted babies/children for instance, facilitating the smooth running of an important resource for unmarried new parents. See this printed ticket that presumes the admitting officer is a nun. AML HCL HD G85 27 April 1768
5/11 c) as midwives at the HD - a job that could include legal as well as care work eg Soeur Justine Motton also regularly served in court as an expert witness on alleged pregnancies, wrote the reports, and took them over to the greffe to be stored. (pp.160-61)
6/11 d) Perhaps in convents providing occasional continuing care for newly delivered women. I only have one documented case. The extant records otherwise are scanty (as I far as I can ascertain). I only found a handful of families admitting errant daughters or children of same.
7/11 I think it's likely convents were more often used for this purpose despite the lack of records. (One instance is on p. 141) The "soeur" who took a recently delivered woman there in that case - directed by her confessor - was a lay but very devout widowed school teacher.
8/11 Speculation - I wonder if the convent option was rank specific ie more likely to be used by middling or elite families than the working couples who are my subjects. The record paucity might have been strategic.
9/11 Caveat - nuns are a bit more elliptical in the extant records Eg all the dossiers of women admitted to the HD to give birth before 1789 are missing (lost? destroyed?) even though endless dossiers exist for abandoned children, old, sick & poor.
10/11 I see writing this thread that they are elliptical in my book too, and I should have included them in the section with male clergy's involvement. Sigh ... Thanks for the excellent #nuntastic question!
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More from @DrJulieHardwick

10 Jun 19
1/ An archival puzzle (always look at the back page): Accounting for foundlings, "debauched girls" & Colbert's projects for Louis XIV's gloire. Or how little details speak to metanarratives. I see a note in my book mss cites a 1660-1671 register for 1650s material. Hhm
2/ The source is a Hôtel-Dieu register & the catalogue description is "Registre de remises des enfants exposés et abandonès à la Charité 1660-1671." This document is on line w/ a lot of other great material about e-mod foundlings digitized by @ArchivesdeLyon.
3/ I looked at the document and noticed "register" seems a bit formal for a sheaf of paper tied with string and the first page includes only a brief note. Frustrated! Then I looked at the last page ...
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