Dowry Square, Hot Wells, Bristol

Penelope and William Pennington, Dowry Square, Hot Wells, Bristol,

1814-16/17



Between November 1814 and November 1816 (and possibly into earlh 1817), Hays lived in the spacious townhome of William and Penelope Pennington in Dowry Square, Bristol, along the Avon River about a mile from the city centre. Dowry Square remains intact, including the gardens. The Pennington's lived on the northeast corner of the square (see picture below); on the opposite corner stood Thomas Beddoe’s Pneumatic Institute (at the end of the row of buildings in the picture to the left). During her time in Bristol Hays attended services at the Unitarian meeting in Lewin’s Mead, a congregation, like the Particular Baptist congregation in nearby Broadmead, that was rich in Dissenting tradition. Her time in Bristol closes Hays's period away from life in London and her ever-expanding family. While in Bristol Hays also became an active member of the Prudent Man's Friend Society (1815-17), publishing The Brothers in 1815 primarily at the request of and for the benefit of the Society.

From Mathews's Plan of the City and Suburbs of Bristol, 1815.