Foundling Hospital

Orphanage in Bloomsbury, existing until 1926

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Orphanage · Bloomsbury · WC1N · Contributed by The Underground Map
MARCH
28
2017
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An early print of the Foundling Hospital.

It was a children's home established for the education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children. The word 'hospital' was used in a more general sense than it is today, simply indicating the institution's hospitality to those less fortunate.

The first children were admitted to the Foundling Hospital on 25 March 1741, into a temporary house located in Hatton Garden. At first, no questions were asked about child or parent, but a distinguishing token was put on each child by the parent. These were often marked coins, trinkets, pieces of cotton or ribbon, verses written on scraps of paper. Clothes, if any, were carefully recorded. One entry in the record reads, Paper on the breast, clout on the head. The applications became too numerous, and a system of balloting with red, white and black balls was adopted. Children were seldom taken after they were twelve months old.

On reception, children were sent to wet nurses in the countryside, where they stayed until they were about four or five years old. At sixteen girls were generally apprenticed as servants for four years; at fourteen, boys were apprenticed into variety of occupations, typically for seven years. There was a small benevolent fund for adults.

In September 1742, the stone of the new Hospital was laid in the area known as Bloomsbury, lying north of Great Ormond Street and west of Gray's Inn Lane. The Hospital was designed by Theodore Jacobsen as a plain brick building with two wings and a chapel, built around an open courtyard. The western wing was finished in October 1745. An eastern wing was added in 1752 'in order that the girls might be kept separate from the boys'. The new Hospital was described as 'the most imposing single monument erected by eighteenth century benevolence' and became London's most popular charity.

In 1756, the House of Commons resolved that all children offered should be received, that local receiving places should be appointed all over the country, and that the funds should be publicly guaranteed. A basket was accordingly hung outside the hospital; the maximum age for admission was raised from two months to twelve, and a flood of children poured in from country workhouses. In less than four years 14,934 children were presented, and a vile trade grew up among vagrants, who sometimes became known as Coram Men, of promising to carry children from the country to the hospital, an undertaking which they often did not perform or performed with great cruelty. Of these 15,000, only 4,400 survived to be apprenticed out. The total expense was about £500,000, which alarmed the House of Commons. After throwing out a bill which proposed to raise the necessary funds by fees from a general system of parochial registration, they came to the conclusion that the indiscriminate admission should be discontinued. The hospital, being thus thrown on its own resources, adopted a system of receiving children only with considerable sums (e.g., £100), which sometimes led to the children being reclaimed by the parent.

This practice was finally stopped in 1801; and it henceforth became a fundamental rule that no money was to be received. The committee of inquiry had to be satisfied of the previous good character and present necessity of the mother, and that the father of the child had deserted both mother and child, and that the reception of the child would probably replace the mother in the course of virtue and in the way of an honest livelihood. At that time, illegitimacy carried deep stigma, especially for the mother but also for the child. All the children at the Foundling Hospital were those of unmarried women, and they were all first children of their mothers. The principle was in fact that laid down by Henry Fielding in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling: Too true I am afraid it is that many women have become abandoned and have sunk to the last degree of vice

Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury is an area of the London Borough of Camden, in central London, between Euston Road and Holborn, developed by the Russell family in the 17th and 18th centuries into a fashionable residential area.

The earliest record of what would become Bloomsbury is the 1086 Domesday Book, which records that the area had vineyards and 'wood for 100 pigs'. But it is not until 1201 that the name Bloomsbury is first noted, when William de Blemond, a Norman landowner, acquired the land.

The name Bloomsbury is a development from Blemondisberi – the bury, or manor, of Blemond. An 1878 publication, Old and New London: Volume 4, mentions the idea that the area was named after a village called Lomesbury which formerly stood where Bloomsbury Square is now, though this piece of folk etymology is now discredited.

At the end of the 14th century Edward III acquired Blemond's manor, and passed it on to the Carthusian monks of the London Charterhouse, who kept the area mostly rural.

In the 16th century, with the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII took the land back into the possession of the Crown, and granted it to Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton.

In the early 1660s, the Earl of Southampton constructed what eventually became Bloomsbury Square. The area was laid out mainly in the 18th century, largely by landowners such as Wriothesley Russell, 3rd Duke of Bedford, who built Bloomsbury Market, which opened in 1730. The major development of the squares that we see today started in about 1800 when Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford removed Bedford House and developed the land to the north with Russell Square as its centrepiece.

Historically, Bloomsbury is associated with the arts, education, and medicine. The area gives its name to the Bloomsbury Group of artists, the most famous of whom was Virginia Woolf, who met in private homes in the area in the early 1900s, and to the lesser known Bloomsbury Gang of Whigs formed in 1765 by John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford.

The publisher Faber & Faber used to be located in Queen Square, though at the time T. S. Eliot was editor the offices were in Tavistock Square. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded in John Millais's parents' house on Gower Street in 1848.

The Bloomsbury Festival was launched in 2006 when local resident Roma Backhouse was commissioned to mark the re-opening of the Brunswick Centre, a residential and shopping area. The free festival is a celebration of the local area, partnering with galleries, libraries and museums, and achieved charitable status at the end of 2012.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Bloomsbury:   Bloomsbury is an area of the London Borough of Camden, in central London, between Euston Road and Holborn, developed by the Russell family in the 17th and 18th centuries into a fashionable residential area.
British Museum:   Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history.
Horse Hospital :   Built as stabling for cabby’s sick horses, The Horse Hospital is now a unique Grade II listed arts venue in Bloomsbury WC1
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art:   The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) is a drama school in London, England. It is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, founded in 1904 by Herbert Beerbohm Tree.
Russell Square:   Russell Square station, now on London's Piccadully Line, was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway on 15 December 1906. The building was designed by Leslie Green and is a Grade II listed building.
University College London:   University College London (UCL) is a public research university and a constituent college of the federal University of London.


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Abbey Place, WC1H · Acton Street, WC1X · Adeline Place, WC1B · Alfred Place, WC1E · Argyle Square, WC1H · Argyle Street, WC1H · Argyle Walk, WC1H · Barbon Close, WC1N · Barter Street, WC1A · Bayley Street, WC1B · Bcm Embankment, WC1N · Bedford Avenue, WC1B · Bedford Place, WC1B · Bedford Row, WC1R · Bedford Square, WC1B · Bedford Way, WC1H · Belgrove Street, WC1H · Bernard Street, WC1N · Birkenhead Street, WC1H · Bloomsbury Place, WC1A · Bloomsbury Place, WC1B · Bloomsbury Square, WC1A · Bloomsbury Street, WC1B · Bloomsbury Way, WC1A · Boswell Street, WC1N · Bristol House, WC1B · Brooke Street, WC1X · Brownlow Mews, WC1N · Brunswick Centre, WC1N · Brunswick Shopping Centre, WC1N · Brunswick Square, WC1N · Burton Street, WC1H · Bury Place, WC1A · Capper Street, WC1E · Cartwright Gardens, WC1H · Castlewood House, WC1A · Centa Housebirkenhead Street, WC1H · Chenies Street, WC1E · Clare Court, WC1H · Cockpit Yard, WC1N · Colonnade, WC1N · Coram Street, WC1H · Coram Street, WC1N · Cosmo Place, WC1N · Cromer Street, WC1H · Cubitt Street, WC1X · Doughty Mews, WC1N · Doughty Street, WC1N · Dyott Street, WC1A · Emerald Street, WC1N · Endsleigh Place, WC1H · Endsleigh Street, WC1H · Foundling Court, WC1N · Galen Place, WC1A · Gilbert Place, WC1A · Gloucester Road, WC1N · Goodge Street, W1T · Gordon Mansions, WC1E · Gordon Square, WC1H · Gordon Street, WC1H · Gower Place, WC1E · Gower Street, WC1E · Grafton Way, WC1E · Grays Inn Road, WC1X · Great James Street, WC1N · Great Ormond Street, WC1N · Great Russell Street, WC1B · Grenville Street, WC1N · Guilford Street, WC1N · Handel Street, WC1N · Harrison Street, WC1H · Hastings Street, WC1H · Heathcote Street, WC1N · Henrietta Mews, WC1N · Herbrand Street, WC1N · Hunter Street, WC1N · Huntley Street, WC1E · Jenner House, WC1N · Jockeys Fields, WC1R · John Street, WC1N · Johns Mews, WC1N · Judd Street, WC1H · Kenton Street, WC1N · Keppel Street, WC1E · Kings Cross Road, WC1X · Kings Mews, WC1N · Kirk Street, WC1N · Lambs Conduit Passage, WC1R · Lambs Conduit Street, WC1N · Lamp Office Court, WC1N · Leigh Street, WC1H · Little Guildford Street · Little Russel Street, WC1A · Little Russell Street, WC1A · Long Yard, WC1N · Malet Street, WC1E · Marchmont Street, WC1N · Mecklenburgh Place, WC1N · Mecklenburgh Square, WC1N · Medway Court, WC1H · Midhope Street, WC1H · Millman Street, WC1N · Montague Street, WC1B · Neals Yard, WC1N · New North Street, WC1N · North Crescent, WC1E · North Cresent, WC1E · North Mews, WC1N · Northington Street, WC1N · Oblique Museum Mansions, WC1B · Odonnell Court, WC1N · Old Glocester Street, WC1N · Old Gloucester Street, WC1N · Old Glouster Street, WC1N · Orde Hall Street, WC1N · Peabody Buildings, WC1N · Percy Street, W1T · Pied Bull Court, WC1A · Pied Bull Yard, WC1A · Queen Square, WC1N · Richbell Place, WC1N · Ridgmount Gardens, WC1E · Ridgmount Street, WC1E · Roger Street, WC1N · Rugby Chambers, WC1N · Rugby Street, WC1N · Russell Court, WC1H · Russell Square House, WC1B · Sandwich House, WC1H · Sandwich Street, WC1H · Seaford Street, WC1H · Shaftesbury Avenue, WC1H · Shops Brunswick Centre, WC1N · Sidmouth Street, WC1H · Sinclair House, WC1H · Soho Square, WC1A · Southampton Place, WC1A · Southampton Row, WC1B · Speedy Place, WC1H · St Chads Street, WC1H · Store Street, WC1E · Streatham Street, WC1A · Swinton Street, WC1X · Tavistock House North, WC1H · Tavistock House South, WC1H · Tavistock House, WC1H · Tavistock Place, WC1H · Tavistock Square, WC1H · Thanet Street, WC1H · Theobalds Road, WC1X · Third Floor, WC1E · Thornhaugh Street, WC1H · Tiger House, WC1H · Tonbridge Street, WC1H · Torrington Place, WC1E · University Street, WC1E · Upper Woborn Place, WC1H · Upper Woburn Place, WC1H · Wakefield Street, WC1N · Westking Place, WC1H · Whidborne Street, WC1H · Wicklow Street, WC1X · Witley Court, WC1N · Woburn Place, WC1H · Woburn Square, WC1H · Wren Street, WC1X ·


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