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Monday, 12 March 2012, 1:00PM
Museum of London

London’s Forgotten Children: Thomas Coram and the Foundling Hospital

Dame Gillian Pugh DBE

In 1739, Captain Thomas Coram was dismayed at the sight of children dying on the dung heaps of London. These children, mostly foundlings and orphans, were products of a poverty-stricken society where the attitude towards babies born outside of wedlock meant a life of rejection and inferiority. After 17 years of campaigning, Coram managed to persuade sufficient 'persons of quality and distinction' to support his petition to the King to grant a Royal Charter for the building of the Foundling Hospital in Bloomsbury. Over the next two hundred years, thousands of children were brought to the Foundling Hospital by mothers who were unable to look after their illegitimate children. There they were provided with excellent health care and education fit for their station in life before apprenticing the boys to learn a trade and the girls to domestic service. In this lecture Dame Gillian Pugh, former chief executive of Coram, offers a fascinating history of the first children's charity and charts the rise of this incredible institution. It examines the attitude towards foundlings as illegitimate children over the years and brings us up to date on the innovative work of the charity today, now known simply as Coram.

This is part of 'The Lost Hospitals of London' Mondays at One Series. Other lectures in the series are as follows:
Leprosia - Professor Carole Rawcliffe
Bethlem Hospital - Colin S. Gale

St. Luke's - Professor Nick Black

dame-gillian-pugh-dbe

Chair, National Children's Bureau and President, The National Childminding Association, and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education.

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12 March 2012

London’s Forgotten Children: Thomas Coram and the Foundling Hospital
Dame Gillian Pugh DBE

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