The Foundling Hospital

Roy Porter describes an institution of the mid-18th century designed to care for abandoned infants.

Someone strolling through the fields of Bloomsbury in 1745 – it was then on the very outskirts of London – would have seen a noble new double-winged edifice breaking the view of Hampstead Heath and Highgate Hill on the horizon. This was not, however, yet another aristocratic mansion going up in the newly-fashionable quarter: it was the Foundling Hospital, a new institution, designed to rescue and bring up the nation's abandoned infants. Both the timing and the siting of this foundation tell us a great deal about the nature and aims of the charity.

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