Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Jan 2014: The Foundling Museum.

I was at the British Library and then decided to go visit a museum which literally made me so sad but also so hopeful. This is the Foundling Museum. Unfortunately, they do not allow you to take photographs inside so the photos I took were with my iphone and sneaked in. This Museum commemorates the history of the Foundling Hospital which was founded in 1739 by Captain Thomas Coram. Take a look at the history of this Hospital here. The hospital was not like we know as a hospital but a children's home or orphanage.

I also wandered around the little St. Georges Garden afterwards and popped into the petting zoo but the main thing on this Museum were the little display cases which had the tokens. The mother's would leave a token on the child, so that if they ever came back to reclaim the baby, they could identify the baby. Unfortunately, they almost never ever did. But read the history, it is such a horrible history of how the state and the great and good used and abused the foundlings. Being abandoned is bad enough but their lives were absolutely horrendous. For example, over 4 years, 15,000 were presented to the hospital but only 4,400 survived to be apprenticed out. Such a tragic story.

By the way, this is also linked to the book by Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling.

tragic, made me very sad...looking at the tokens. How would a mother feel abandoning their child? and leaving the token?

And the child?

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