$83.00 USD– Sold Out
Interesting letter from Mr. Myers, surgeon in Prescot (Lancashire) to the secretary of the Foundling (Orphans) Hospital in Bloomsbury London. He is looking for a boy and a girl to be apprentices for him. The reply back is negative.
At this time the secretary was Thomas Collingwood, who held the post from 1757-1790.
The Secretary of the Foundling Hospital London
Note written on front of envelope:
R Myers 25 july 1771 Resp 27-- Ans. him that there are not any children fit for his purpose
Red circular stamp ‘POST PAID’ and handwritten “Post Paid” on front. Stamped ‘PRESCOT’ on back
Tears where opened.
4 pages folded into an envelope.
The Foundling Hospital in London, England, was founded in 1739 by the philanthropic sea captain Thomas Coram. It was a children's home established for the "education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children." The word "hospital" was used in a more general sense than it is in the 21st century, simply indicating the institution's "hospitality" to those less fortunate. Nevertheless, one of the top priorities of the committee at the Foundling Hospital was children's health, as they combated smallpox, fevers, consumption, dysentery and even infections from everyday activities like teething that drove up mortality rates and risked epidemics. With their energies focused on maintaining a disinfected environment, providing simple clothing and fare, the committee paid less attention to and spent less on developing children's education. As a result, financial problems would hound the institution for years to come, despite the growing "fashionableness" of charities like the hospital.
At sixteen girls were generally apprenticed as servants for four years; at fourteen, boys were apprenticed into a variety of occupations, typically for seven years. There was a small benevolent fund for adults.