British Universities Film & Video Council

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

Synopsis
Video recording of a lecture held on 7 March 2012 in the series ‘The Lost Hospitals of London’ organised by Gresham College. (53 minutes)

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.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2012
Year of production
2012
Documentation
PDF transcript available on the website
Subjects
History; Social welfare
Keywords
charities; child welfare; history of medicine; orphans; social history; Coram, Thomas; foundlings

Online availability

URI
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/london%E2%80%99s-forgotten-children-thomas-coram-and-the-foundling-hospital
Price
free
Delivery
Streamed/Download

Credits

Contributor
Gillian Pugh

Distributor

Name

Gresham College

Email
enquiries@gresham.ac.uk
Web
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/ External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7831 0575
Fax
020 7831 5208
Address
Barnard’s Inn Hall
Holborn
London EC1N 2HH

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