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From Household Words.
ceived ten thousand pounds. There, too,
the Church service is every Sunday performed RECEIVED, A BLANK CHILD.
at its best, with all the assistance of deTue blank day of biank, received a blank votional music, yet free from the stage-playchild.
ing of any ism, not forgetting schism. There, Within a few weeks, this official form, likewise, may be heard at this present time. printed on a piece of parchment, happened to if we may presume to say so, one of the least come in our way. Finding it to be associ- conventional, most sensible, naturally eloated with the histories of more than twenty quent and earnest of preachers. thousand blank children, we were led into an The knowledge of all these things accuinquiry concerning those little gaps in the mulating in our mind upon the receipt for decorous world. Their home and head-quar- that blank child on the blank day of blank, ters whence the document issues, is the induced us to look more curiously into the Foundling Hospital, London.
history of the Foundling Hospital. This home of the blank children is by no In or about the Christian year one thoumeans a blank place. It is a commodious, sand seven hundred and twenty-two — a good roomy, comfortable building, airily situated old time, when England had had too much to though within advertisement distance of Tem- do, through all the good old times intervening ple Bar, which, as everybody knows, is pre- since the days of Pope Innocent the Third, cisely ten minutes' walk. It stands in its to do anything whatever for Foundlings – in own grounds, cosily surveying its own shady or about that year there dwelt in London arcades, its own turf, and its own high trees. the gentle sea-captain, Thomas Coram. AlIt has an incredible fishpond behind it, no though the captain had made his fortune on curious windows before it, and the wind (tem- the American plantations, and had seen sights pered to the shorn lambs within) is free to in his day, he came out of it all with a tender blow on either side of it. It preserves a heart ; and this tender heart of Captain Cowarm, old-fashioned, rich-relation kind of ram was so affected by seeing blank children, gravity, strongly indicative of bank stock. Its dead and alive, habitually exposed by the wayconfidential servants have comfortable places. side as he journeyed from Rotherhithe (where Its large rooms are wainscoted with the names he had set up his retreat that he might keep of benefactors, set forth in goodly order like a loving eye on the river) to the Docks and the tables of the law. Its broad staircases, Royal Exchange, and from the Docks and with balustrades such as elephants might Royal Exchange home to Rotherhithe again construct if they took to the building arts, to receive the old shipmate, who was generalnot only lead to long dining-rooms, long bed- ly coming to dinner, that he could not bear room galleries, long lavatories, long school-it. So, the captain went to work like a man rooms and lecture halls, for the blank chil- who had gone down to the sea in ships, and dren ; but to other rooms, with listed doors knew what work was. After conquering inand Turkey carpets, which the greatest Eng- numerable thorns and brambles, springing lish painters have lent their aid to adorn. out into his path from that weedy virtue In the halls of the blank children, the which is always observed to flower in a wrong Guards forever march to Finchley, under place when nobody wants to smell it, CapGeneral Hogarth. Deceased patrons come tain Coram found that he had got together to life again under the hands of Kneller, subscriptions enough to begin a hospital for Reynolds, and Gainsborough. Nay, the poor foundlings, and to buy an estate of fifty good Duke of Cambridge himself, in full ma- six acres out in Lamb's Conduit fields then sonic paraphernalia, condescends to become a for five thousand five hundred pounds. stupendous enigma over the chimney-piece of Little did the captain think that the whole the smallest of the blank infants who can sit amount of that purchase-money would ever at dinner. Under the roof of the blank come to be annually received back in rents ; children the Royal Academy of Painting and but so it is at this day. Sculpture was originated. In the chapel of Nineteen years after good Captain Coram's the blank children there is a noble organ, the heart had been so touched by the exposure of gift of Handel ; from whose great oratorio, children, living, dying, and dead, in his daily The Messiah also his munificent contribu- walks, one wing of the existing building was tion for their benefit — their hospital has re- completed, and admission given to the first
score of little blanks. At that time any who had charge of five infants in baskets got person who brought a child was directed “ to drunk ; and, falling asleep on a bleak comcome in at the outward door and ring a bell mon, found when he awoke that three of the at the inward door, and not to go away five were dead. Of eight infants consigned until the child is returned (diseased children to a country wagoner, seven died before he were not admitted), or notice given of its got to London ; the surviving child owing ito reception. But no questions whatever will be life solely to its mother, who followed the asked of any person who brings a child, nor wagon on foot to save it from starvation. shall any servant of the house presume to Another man, established in business as a discover who such person is, on pain of being baby-carrier, with a horse and a pair of pandischarged. It was further desired, that each niers, was loud in his complaints of an oppo child should have some distinguishing mark or sition man, “who," said he, “is a taking token by which it might be afterwards known, the bread out of my mouth. Before he startif necessary Most of these tukens were ed, it was eight guineas a trip per child from , small coins, or parts of coins ; sometimes an Yorkshire. Now, I 've come down a third ; old silk purse was substituted ; sometimes next week I must come down another third ; doggrel verses were pinned to the poor baby's that 's the way trades get ruined by over-comclothes ; once a lottery ticket was so received. petition.” At the time when he inade this The Hospital chronicles do not record that representation, he had eight children in his it turned up a prize — the blank child was panniers. Many of these amiable carriers true to its designation.
stripped off such poor clothes as the children As the Hospital became more extensively wore, and basketed them without a shred of known, the numbers of applicants were enor-covering. It is related among the Hospital mous. The outward door was besieged by legends, as a remarkable instance of change women who fought and scratched their way of fortune, that a few years ago a rich and to the bell at the inward door, and in these aged banker applied to search the register of disturbances, as in all physical force proceed - the establishment for such information as it ings, the strongest were successful. To put might afford of his own origin, when all he a stop to such scenes, the little candidates could learn was, that he had been taken out were then admitted by ballot.
of the basket stark naked. That was his In fifteen years' time from the opening of whole previous history. the Hospital, the Governors found it neces During the three years and ten months of sary to apply to Parliament for assistance. the existence of this system, there were dropIt was conceded in such liberal measure, ped into the hospital-basket fifteen thousand that it was thought all comers could hence- children ; and so great was the difficulty of forth be received. Nursing establishments providing for such an enormous influx, and so were formed in various parts of the country, little were the necessary precautions undera basket was hung outside the Hospital gate, stood, that only four thousand four hundred and an advertisement publicly announced, of this large number lived to be apprenticed. that all children under the age of two months So the practice was discontinued, and, Heaven tendered for admission would be received. knows, with reason! It is melancholy to The result was, that on the 2d of June, think of the regrets and anxieties of the gen1756, the first day of such indiscriminate re- tle Captain Thomas Coram under all these ception, the basket at the gate was filled and failures, and more melancholy to know that emptied one hundred and seventeen times. he died a very old man, so reduced in circumFraudulent parish officers, married women stances as to be supported by subscription. who were perfectly able to maintain their off- But, though shipwrecked here the tenderspring, parents of depraved and abandoned hearted captain gained a brighter shore, we character (unconsciously emulative of Jean will believe, where even foundlings, who have Jacques Rousseau), basketed their babies by never .poken word on earth, possess their thousands. It is almost incredible, but none eloquence. the less true, that a new branch of the car What genius originated the next idea, we riers' trade was commenced. Baby-carriers have not discovered ; but the Hospital being undertook to convey infants to the all-em- poor again, as well it might be, some bold bracing basket, from distant parts of the spirit proposed that every child that should be country, at so much per head. One man mysteriously presented with a hundred pound
note attached, should be received. The Gov- minor difficulty. At the baptism of the first ernors adopted the inspiration with success; twenty, there was present at the ceremony, a and this most reprehensible practice actually contemporary record states, “ a fine appearance continued until the beginning of the present of persons of quality: His Grace the Duke of century. In January, 1801, it was abolished, Bedford, their Graces the Duke and Duchess and the existing rules of admission were sub- of Richmond, the Countess of Pembroke, and stituted. What these are, may be best de- several others, honoring the children with scribed through our own observation of the their names, and being their sponsors." admission of two children who happened to Persons of quality not being free from a be brought there by two mothers while we certain tendency to play at follow my leader, were inspecting the place.
which is found to run in valgar blood, the Each of the mothers had previously rung early registers of the Hospital swarm with the porter's bell to obtain a printed form of the most aristocratic names in the land. petition to the Governors for the admission When the peerage was exhausted, the names of her child. No petition is allowed to be of historical celebrities were adopted; it thereissued, except from the porter's lodge; no fore behoves a Mark Anthony Lowell, or an previous communication with any officer of Editor of Notes and Queries, to take this cirthe Hospital must have been held by the cumstance into account in “making a note mother; the child must have been the first-of” the pedigree of a modern Wickliffe, Latiborn, and preference is given to cases in mer, Chaucer, Shakspeare, Milton, Bacon, which some promise of marriage has been Cromwell, Hampden, Hogarth, or Michael Anmade to the mother, or some other deception gelo. Celebrated real names having, in propractised upon her. She must never nave cess of time, been exhausted, the authorities lived with the father. The object of these had recourse to novels, and sent into the world, restrictions (careful personal inquiry being as serving-maids, innumerable Sophia Wesinade into all such points) is as much to effect terns, Clarissa Harlowes, and Flora Mac the restoration of the mother to society, as to Ivors ; innumerable hard-handed artisans, as provide for her child.
Tom Jones, Edward Waverley, Charles GrandThe conditions having been favorably re- ison, and Humphrey Clinker. Then, the gov ported on, the two inothers had brought their ernors were reduced to their own names, children, and had received, filled up, the form which they distributed with the greatest lib we quoted at the commencement of this erality, until some of their namesakes on paper.
growing up, occasioned inconvenience (and Hospital for the Maintenance and Education with them. The present practice is for the
possibly scandal) by claimning kith and kin of Exposed and Deserted Young Children. The treasurer to issue lists of names for adoption ; blank' day of blank, received a blank child. in which responsible duty be, no doubt, deBlank, Secretary. Note — Let this be carefully kept, that it may be produced whenever an in- rives considerable comfort from the Post Office quiry is made after the health of the child (which London Directory. may be done on Mondays between the hours of
The two babies were then borne off into ten and four), and also in case the child should Kent by their respective nurses (each of whom be claimed.
gave a receipt for a deserted young child)
with little packets of clothes, a few sensible Then they departed, and we saw the chil- admonitions from the matron, and the followdren.
ing document: One was a boy, the other a girl. A parchment ticket, inscribed with the figures 20,563,
The Child blank, No. blank, is placed under was sewn upon the shoulder-strap of the male your care by the Governors of the FoundLina infant, and a similar ticket was attached to such attention to the said Child as will be satis
HOSPITAL, and it is expected that you will pay the female infant, denoting that she was factory to the Inspector. You will receive for the 20,564 -- 80 numerous were the babies who maintenance of the said Child Sixpence per day, had been there before them. To meet these which will be paid on the first day of each month present balies, a couple of wholesome-looking according to the number of days in the month wet nurses had been summoned from one of preceding. the nursing districts in Kent, by whom they Should you rear the said Child to the end of were immediately borne into the chapel to be the first year, and pay such attention to it as baptized. Here, at the altar, we found shall be satisfactory to the Inspector, you will awaiting them, the steward, the matron, the receive a gratuity of Twenty-five Shillings at that schoolmaster, and the head nurse-fit repre
period. sentatives of the provision made for their
For clothing the said Child (after the first various wants -- who were to be their sponsors. viz. :
year) you will receive allowances as follows, The rite of baptism, impressively performed by
£ s. d. the chaplain, gave the children the additional Between the Second and Third Year, 0 14 0 identity of names.
“ Third and Fourth Year, o 17 0 These names have been a fruitful source of
“ Fourth and Fifth Year, 0 18 0
For your trouble and expenses in coming to lating Noah's arks, starting miniature railway London for a Child you will receive Two Shillings trains, and flourishing wooden swords. They from the Inspector, your coach-hire being paid were all sensibly and comfortably clothed, by the Governors of the Hospital. You are to be particularly careful in preserving certainly under no undue restraint. The only
and looked healthy and happy. I'hey were this parchment, which you must return with the bush that came upon the cheerful little upChild whenever it shall be sent up to the Hospital, or removed from you, and it is especially required
roar was when the chaplain entered. lle that you keep the number of the Child always came to take out the first clarionet (and he affixed to its person. If you neglect this, the laid his hand on the boy's shoulder in a Child will be taken from you.
friendly manner which was very agreeable),
who had attained the maximum age of fourWhen they should be old enough to walk, teen, and was that day to be apprenticed to these two children would be returned to the a lithographic printer. They went away toHospital, and placed in its juvenile depart-gether for some talk about his future duties, ment. Proceeding to visit the infant school, and he would receive, in common with all the which was their future destination, we found other foundlings when they go out into the perhaps a hundred tiny boys and girls seated world, the following advice in print and parchin hollow squares on the floor, like flower ment:borders in a garden; their teachers walking to and fro in the paths between, sowing little You are placed out Apprentice by the Governseeds of alphabet and multiplication table ors of this Hospital. You were taken into it very broadcast among them. The sudden appear- young, quite helpless, forsaken, poor, and de ance of the secretary and matron whom we serted. Out of Charity you have been fed, clothed, accompanied, laid waste this little garden, as and instructed ; which many have wanted. if by magic. The young shoots started up
You have been taught to fear God ; to love with their shrill hooray! twining round and him, to be honest, careful, laborious, and diligent. sprouting out from the legs and arms of the piness in the next, you are to be mindful of what two officials with a very pleasant familiarity. has been taught you. You are to behave honExcept a few Liliputian pulls at our coat-estly, justly, soberly, and carefully, in everytails; some curiosity respecting our legs, thing, to everybody, and especially towards your evinced in pokes from short fingers, very near Master and his family ; and to execute all lawthe ground; and the sudden abstraction of our ful commands with Industry, Cheerfulness, and hat (with which an infant extinguished him- good Manners. self to his great terror, evidently believing You may find many temptations to do wickedthat he was lost to the world forever) ; but ly, when you are in the world ; but by all means little notice was taken of our majestic pres- fly from them. Always speak the Truth. Though ence. Indeed, it made no sensation at all. you may have done a wrong thing, you will, by
One end of this apartment being occupied sincere Confession, more easily obtain Forgive by a grade of seats for the little inmates, is ness, than if by an obstinate Lie you make the used as a convenient orchestra for a band' of fault the greater, and thereby deserve a far wind instruments, consisting of the elder boys. greater Punishment. Lying is the beginning of
every Thing that is bad; and a Person used to These young musicians, about thirty in nuin- it is never believed, esteemed, or trusted. ber, now made their appearance, and com Be not ashamed that you were bred in this Hosmenced the performance of some difficult Ital- pital. Own it ; and say, that it was through the ian music, executed with so much precision good Providence of Almighty God, that you were and spirit, as amply to justify the expressions taken Care of. Bless him for it. of commendation and surprise, which we Be constant in your Prayers, and going to found in letters addressed to their music-Church ; and avoid Gaming, Swearing, and all master by that admirable artist, Signor Costa, evil Discourses. By this means the Blessing of and by Mr. Godfrey, one of the band-masters God will follow your honest Labors, and you may of the Household troops. The ophieleide was be happy ; otherwise you will bring upon your inade to emit sounds of tremendous volume self Misery, Shame, and Want. and richness, by a boy hardly, bigger than ducing a testimonial of good conduct for the pre
NOTE. - At Easter of every year, upon proitself. The body of sound emitted in pas vious twelve months to the satisfaction of the sages of Handel's Hallelujah chorus was no Committee, you will receive a pecuniary reward less full and sonorous than that we remember proportioned to the length of time you have been to have heard produced by the stalwart lungs apprenticed, and at the termination of your Apof Mr. Strutt's band of blacksmiths at Belper. prenticeship, upon producing a like testimonial
A new supply of toys had just been brought for the whole term thereof, the further sum of into the room ; and, during this performance, Five Guineas, or such smaller sum as the Comthe juvenile audience were vigorously beating mittee shall consider you entitled to. toy drums, blowing dumb horns and soundless trumpets, marching regiments of wooden Although we inspected the school-rooms, the infantry, balancing swinging cavalry, depopu- dormitories, the kitchen, the laundries, the
pantries, the infirmary, and saw the four hun-was a master in Chancery ; which animal is dred boys and girls go through the ceremony a sufficiently absurd monster for human reason of dining (a sort of military evolution in this to reflect upon, without being associated with asylum), and glanced at their school-life, we blank children and a by no means blant saw nothing so different from the best con- salary. But from what we have seen of this ducted charities in the general management, establishment we have derived much satisas to warrant our detaining the reader by de- faction, and the good that is in it seems to scribing them.
us to have grown with its growth. Of the We thought, when the male pupils were appearance, food, and lodging of the children summoned by trumpet to the play-ground to any of our readers may judge for themselves go through their military exercises – which after morning service any Sunday; when we they did, their drill muster assured us con- think their objections will be limited to the fidentially, in a manner that would not dis- respectable functionary who presides over the grace the Foot-Guards — we had traced the boys' dinner, presenting such a very inflexible entire history of the connection of a blank figure-head to so many young digestions, and child with the Hospital. But, as we were smiting the table with his hammer with such leaving the building, a decently dressed wo- prodigious emphasis; wherein it rather reman made her appearance froin the lodge, sembles the knock of the marble statue at to announce to the secretary that “ Joe" had Don Juan's door, than the call of a human arrived at the Diggings; that Joe had sent schoolmaster to grace after meat. her a ten pound note, and expected to be We happen to have had our personal means able to transmit to the Institution a similar of knowing that in one respect the governors token of his regard in a very few weeks; that of this charity are a model to all others. in a short time Joe intended to remit enough That is, in holding themselves strictly aloof money to take herself (this was Joe's wife), from any canvassing for an office connected their son, and their two daughters, over to with it, or a benefit derivable from it. Oanjoin him, but that their eldest daughter being vassing and electioneering are the disgrace of of age, and having a will of her own, refused many public charities of this time ; and, in to promise to go to Joe, because of another all such cases, but particularly where the promise of a tender description which she had candidates are persons of education who have made to a worthy young ivory-turner whose known a happier and better estate, we view nane was not Joe. All of which we heard the preliminary solicitation and humiliation with a growing curiosity to know who Joe as far outweighing the subsequent advantages, was; more especially as Mrs. Joe was in a and believe there is something very rotten state of great excitement and joy about Joe. in the state of any Denmark that does not
The explanation of this little family history apply itself to find a better system for its gorwas that out of a separate fund established ernment. in connection with the Hospital, Joe, an old foundling - although he had left the Hospital when very young to volunteer as a cabin boy in Lord Nelson's fleet -- had, in common with mediæval art was demonstrated by the sale of
The interest which is now taken in works of some other of his school-fellows, been assisted the Collection of the late A. Welby Pugin, by through life with temporary loans of money, Messrs. Sotheby and Wilkinson, on the 12th of the latest of which loans had enabled Joe to February. The name of that distinguished seek another fortune (Joe, in the course of artist had the effect of gathering a numerous his career, had found and lost many fortunes) company, and the prices given were proportionin Australia. This put us in an excellent ately high. A long range of saints carved in humor for participating in the joy that there oak occupied a great space; but they were genwas over Joe. And we devoutly wished, and erally of an inferior style of art. The most do wish, that Joe may find gold enough to precious objects were the carvings in ivory; provide for himself, Mrs. Joe, their son, their most of which were bought by the Rev. Mr. two daughters, and the ivory-turner; and Russell. Large prices were given for the Rasthat with love and gold to spare for the gentle faele and Majolica ware, of which there were
many fine specimens. Lot 87, the upper part memory of Captain Thomas Coram, he may have this line to himself among the donors of a fine brass, by the same artist as the st. on the wall of the boy's dining-room :
Alban's specimen, of the fourteenth century,
sold for 201. 10s. ; and lot 136, a silver diptych Joe, .... £500
of the fourteenth century, representing the salo. Such is the home of the blank children, The whole sale amounted to 4291. 10s. 64. Mr.
tation and coronation of the Virgin, for 281. 108 where they are trained out of their blank Pugin's library had been previously sold, and state to be useful entities in life. It is rich, produced 1,0831. 128. 64. 'The " Microcosm," and it is likely enough it has its blemishes. with Pugin's own drawings, was bought by Mr. It certainly had once, when its chief officer | Tite for 131.—Gent. Mag.