A Grant-Making Trust for Young Christian Women from the North East of England

Who We Are

The Fund has its roots in the 19th century, when the Duchess of Leeds set up a Trust for the education of Roman Catholic girls in the north east of England. She invited the Sisters of the Assumption to open a school in Richmond, North Yorkshire. A little group of sisters led by the Irish Mother Therese Emmanuel, co-foundress of the newly founded congregation, arrived from Paris in 1850. Until1993 the Sisters ran a boarding and day school which drew its pupils from the whole of the north east. In 1993 the school closed, the property was sold and this present Trust was formed from the proceeds of the sale.

The Fund, which is run by a Management Committee on behalf of the Sisters who are its Trustees, enables the work started by the Duchess to continue in the 21st century.

The Sisters continue their work for the transformation of society through a whole range of educational projects both formal and informal. For further information on their work and life in England and abroad go to: You can also visit the website of the Assumption Volunteer programme at:

Richmond School
The convent school in Richmond from the garden

The Duchess of Leeds
Louisa Caton, Duchess of Leeds, 1793-1874

Kate O’Neill, Mother Therese Emmanuel, 1817-1888
Kate O’Neill, Mother Therese Emmanuel, 1817-1888