Tales from the Introductory Gallery

Tales from the Introductory Gallery

We have updated some of the items in our Introductory Gallery, bringing in new and unique stories of children who passed through the Foundling Hospital. One such tale can be found in the form of a claim for the return of a child. A claim form, dated 1764, is from a father named James Scott for his daughter, renamed Elizabeth Wade, who had been taken into the care of the Hospital seven years earlier. Sadly, Elizabeth had died two days after her admission. A note from James Scott accompanying the claim form gives further information about Elizabeth Wade. The note details the child’s date of admission, as well as a description of the token left with her, which was a shilling engraved with her given name, Ann Butler. This token is currently housed next to the claim form.

In addition to this story of a father’s attempt to claim his child, new items in the Introductory Gallery include several billets books, petitions from mothers applying for a place for their child at the Hospital and eighteenth-century apprentice indentures, which detail the contract between an apprentice and labourer.