Foundling Hospital Collection
London, 1796 and 1801. Originally Psalms, Hymns and Anthems of the Foundling Hospital, followed by other edns. Musically this London orphanage, famous for its organists and its singing children, amounted to what has been called ‘almost a nonconformist cathedral foundation’. It was established by Capt Thomas Coram in 1738 for the abandoned or unwanted infant children from the poorest families or unknown parentage; ‘for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children’. The first children were admitted in March 1741. Its concerts were staged for both educational and fundraising purposes. Handel played there in 1749 and (like the artist William Hogarth) was a strong supporter of the cause. The ‘Hospital’ closed in 1926; a building on its Brunswick Square site in Bloomsbury houses the eloquently poignant Foundling Museum, while the charity ‘Coram: better chances for children’ continues its founder’s work. The museum has no record of the hymn-book. No.195.