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The History And Objects Of The Foundling Hospital, With A Memoir Of The Founder. By John Brownlow, Secretary Of The Hospital. Third Edition.

John Brownlow

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London: Printed By C. Jaques, 30, Kenton Street, Brunswick Square., 1865.

Physical Description

[vi], 164 p., frontis., [2] pl.; 247 mm. (Octavo.)


[Frontis., t.p., dedic.] - Contents; Directions To The Binder - [Text, with 2 pl.].

Responsibility Note

The frontis. port. of Coram is signed as painted by B. Nebot and engraved by J.W. Cook. Plate [1] is signed as [drawn] by F. Brownlow and [engraved] by L. Stocks A.R.A. Plate [2] is signed as designed by W. Hogarth and engraved by F. Morellon La Cave.

The work is dedicated by the Secretary to the Governors and Guardians of the Corporation of the Foundling Hospital [afterwards renamed the Coram Family].


K. Eustice, 'The key is Locke: Hogarth, Rysbrack and the Foundling Hospital', in British Art Journal, 7:2 (2006); G. Wagner, Thomas Coram (2004); R.K. McLure, Coram's children: the London Foundling Hospital (1981); G. Goldin, Work of mercy: a picture history of hospitals (1994).

Summary Note

Besides giving an account of the history and purposes of the charity, the treatment of the children entrusted to it, its finances, a memoir of the founder and a list of the governors, the work includes chapters on 'The Early Association Of The Hospital With Artists: Hogarth' (p. 54-71), 'The Chapel ... Benjamin West, R.A.' (p. 71-81), 'Catalogue Of Pictures, &c.' (p.129-153).

Captain Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital in London in 1739 as a refuge for abandoned children. His friend William Hogarth contributed paintings for the new building, and his example led other artists - such as Thomas Gainsborough, Richard Wilson, Allan Ramsay and Francis Hayman - to donate works; with the result that the Foundling Hospital became one of the first public art-galleries in Britain. Handel and other musicians also supported the charity. In the 1920s the Hospital was pulled down. Its work is continued by the Coram Family, and its collections are housed in the Foundling Museum.

The plates show: [frontispiece] 'Captain Thomas Coram'; [1] 'Illustration Of The Objects Of The Hospital' (a man receiving a baby from a weeping and kneeling young woman); [2] 'The Foundlings'.


A preliminary leaf is inscribed in ink, 'Presented to the Library of the Royal Academy by J. Brownlow. 16 Nov. 1871.'

Binding Note

19th-century brown paper-covered boards, upper and lower covers having blind-stamped decoration; upper cover and spine lettered 'Foundling Hospital'.

Name as Subject


Welfare buildings - Orphanages - Abandoned children - Foundlings - Charities - Charitable societies - Great Britain - London - History - 18th century - 19th century
Paintings - Site-specific works - Interior decoration - Collections - Great Britain - London - 18th century - 19th century


Charles Jaques, printer
Balthasar Nebot, source artist
J. W. Cook, engraver
F. Brownlow, draughtsman
Lumb Stocks RA, engraver
William Hogarth, source artist
John Brownlow, previous owner, donor
Thomas Coram Foundation for Children (London)