29.03.

1751: The Man who Founded London’s Foundling Hospital

1751: The Man who Founded London’s Foundling Hospital
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ An early print of the Foundling Hospital

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 29 March 1751
  • Captain Thomas Coram noticed many abandoned, homeless children living in the streets of London. He decided to help them, so he founded an institution for the care of abandoned children. The institution was allegedly the first registered humanitarian organization in the world.

Thomas Coram, one of the founders of a prominent institution for the care for abandoned children, died on this day in 1751. 

Namely, Coram founded the famous London institution “Foundling Hospital”, which was intended for the accommodation of children abandoned by their parents. It is said that this institution was first registered incorporated charity in the world.

Thomas Coram originally dealt with sailing and ships, and he became a captain. He noticed many abandoned, homeless children living in the streets of London. He decided to help them, so he founded the “Foundling Hospital”.

It should be noted that, at that time, the word “hospital” had a broader meaning than today. Namely, it referred to a workhouse or a place that provides some kind of hospitality to people in need.

Thomas Coram, founder of the Findling Hospital
Thomas Coram, founder of the Findling Hospital

Coram’s “Foundling Hospital” soon won great acclaim. During a period of four years, as many as 14,934 children were sent to the hospital.

Unfortunately, some people started to abuse the children from the workhouse. When a woman was found to be abusing the children, she was sentenced to death and publicly executed, and the workhouse tightened its control of the people to whom the children were sent.

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