Many twins were admitted to the Foundling Hospital, but one set of twin boys, George and Joseph, stand out. They were admitted with a payment of £100 each, on Christmas Day in 1767. Such a donation enabled anonymous admission with no questions asked. The two boys were left with playing cards as tokens, which bear the signature ‘Hunter’ and a request for them to be named George and Joseph. All children admitted to the Foundling Hospital were routinely baptised with new names, and twins or siblings would not normally share a surname. Very unusually, the boys were given the requested names and also shared a new surname, Priaulx.
This display uncovered the story of the twins, researched for the Foundling Museum by Janette Bright.
Janette Bright first came to the Foundling Museum as a visitor, shortly after it opened. An interest in the Foundling Hospital tokens and the undiscovered stories behind them became the basis for the book Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum, which she co-authored with a fellow researcher.
Bright has been involved in historical research for several exhibitions and displays both at the Foundling Museum and the charity Coram. It was this interest that led her into academia, first studying with the Open University, and now at the Institute of Historical Research, London. After completing a Research Masters with a dissertation looking at the education and preparation of the foundling children for the world of work, she is now studying for a PhD. Her current research aims to be a new institutional history, exploring how the Hospital was established and maintained, through the lens of ideas regarding reputation and respectability. In addition, Bright can sometimes be found working as a Museum Assistant.