Foundling Hospital

Extracts from ‘the Regulations for Managing the Hospital’, which relate to admission of infants to the Foundling Hospital (CHAR 2/384)

The Foundling Hospital in London was founded by Thomas Coram in 1739, It was a home for the care and education of abandoned children.


… The age limited for admitting Children is 12 months.

If the mother is in distress, it is discretionary in in the General Committee to make her some weekly allowance for the maintenance of the Child until the day of its admittance.

The Billets for the admittance of Children are given on the Wednesday preceeding Baptism…

  1. Of the Numbering and Registering of the CHILDREN

Before the Children are sent into the country, they are to be numbered and registered in the following manner.

The Secretary, immediately upon the reception of each Child, is to affix the number; which is to be done by writing the number of the Child on a slip of parchment, and sewing it to its clothes.

The numbers are to follow each other in succession, and great care to be taken that the number always remains fixed to the dress of the Child during its continuance at nurse.

The Secretary, after the child is received, enters in a register set apart for that purpose, the day, month and year of its admission: the name of the mother, the sex and age of the child, the name by which it is Baptized in the Hospital, the number of the child, the private mark attached to the certificate of its admission given to the mother, and the name of the nurse, and place to which it is sent in the country…

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