foundling hospital

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

foundling hospital

foundling hospital, institution for receiving and caring for abandoned children. In Athens and in Rome until the 4th cent., unwanted children were exposed, or left to die, in appointed places. The first modern foundling hospital was established by the archpriest of Milan in 787. Other cities throughout Europe followed this example. One of the best-known of such hospitals was founded in 1739 in London by Thomas Coram. In the United States, the first foundling hospital, St. Vincent's Infant Asylum, was begun in 1856 by Roman Catholic nuns in Baltimore. It was followed shortly by the founding of other infant asylums supported by religious denominations or private philanthropies. In both Great Britain and the United States foundling hospitals have for the most part been replaced by foster care programs under the supervision of state welfare agencies. Other maternal- and child-care programs are financed by municipal agencies or under social security programs.


See M. P. Hall, The Social Services of Modern England (6th ed., rev. 1963).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Foundling Hospital's maintenance of children and its maintenance of these rather elaborate archives were thus enmeshed enterprises.
Were you inspired by the Foundling Hospital's relationship with art in the 18th century, when it was established?
The principle historical records concerning the women, children, and staff at the hospital have been provided by the Foundling Hospital Archives and the London Metropolitan Archives.
In a typical year, more than two thirds of the infants taken in by the city's Foundling Hospital died from disease of one sort or another.
Originally set up in Bloomsbury, London, in 1739 by a retired sailor called Thomas Coram, the Foundling Hospital moved to "healthier" premises at Berkhamsted in the 1920s.
As his letters to her started to fade, Jean had already made the decision not to tell Raymond about her pregnancy and to beg the Foundling Hospital to give her baby the start in life she was sure she could not.
This book builds on Philip Gavitt's earlier work on the famous foundling hospital of Florence, the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) and its mission to receive foundlings and orphans during its early years in the fifteenth century.
Hanbury Williams then recorded their heated exchange in rhyming couplets, published as the first poem in The Foundling Hospital for Wit (6 volumes, 1743-1749), which renders the actress lambasting the author thus:
Hetty Feather is about to leave the Foundling Hospital to go into service.
Composed in London in 1741 and premiered in Dublin on April 13, 1742, it was repeatedly revised by Handel, reaching its most familiar version in a performance to benefit the Foundling Hospital in 1754.
It stands on the site of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children, founded in the 18th century by Thomas Coram 'for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children.' The Coram foundation still operates from here, making it England's longest established children's charity.
Author Marthe Jocelyn's grandfather was raised in the Foundling Hospital in London, England, a place Jocelyn has already explored in her non-fiction book, A Home for Foundlings.