This event has now finished but please watch a recording of it below.

Join us and our panel of speakers for this Coram Society event to examine how our understanding of poverty and need has evolved, or not, since the time of Thomas Coram, and the impact this has on the contemporary world.

In a speech made to the Duke of Bedford at the first meeting of the Foundling Hospital governors in 1739, Thomas Coram spoke of his ambition to protect the “innocent subjects” of King George III. The language used to refer to those in need has fluctuated, but continues to reveal important facts about how societies past and present have conceptualized themselves and the systems of wealth and welfare they create.

The dichotomy of the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving poor’ can be traced back centuries, but still carries considerable weight in the popular perceptions and political narratives that surround socio-economic need. Join us to consider the historical roots contemporary impact of a dichotomy that continues to shape narratives and policy around poverty.