The Foundling Hospital
Thomas Coram’s 17-year campaign was finally brought to the attention of King George II who signed a Royal Charter on 17 October 1739 for the creation of the Foundling Hospital in Bloomsbury, London, then surrounded by fields.
Mothers brought their babies to the Foundling Hospital to be cared for, with many hopeful that their circumstances would change so they could one day reclaim them. The Hospital arranged for foster families to care for the babies and young children until the age of five. They were then brought to live and be educated in the Foundling Hospital until the age of 15, many being trained for domestic or military service.
Every child admitted to the Foundling Hospital was baptised and given a new name. Mothers also left a token which could be used to identify their child if they returned to reclaim their child.