The Confraternita di Santa Maria della Misericordia, which administered this hospice, was formed in ca. 1300 to care for those who were too poor to pay for medical help and for abandoned children. It received official approval from Bishop Bulgaro da Montemelino to establish this hospice in 1305, and the adjacent church was consecrated to the Santi Innocenti. The confraternity was decimated during the plague of 1348 and reconstituted in 1396, when the Commune reformed its constitution. The charitable donations that the confraternity attracted enabled it to invest in property in the vicinity, which accounts for the ubiquitous trigrams on the buildings on each side of the street.