Chosen by Gillian, a Museum volunteer

About the object

The thimble has been identified as belonging to a boy admitted in 1759 and renamed John Johnson. A note was left with the token, but it is attached to its billet and so tightly folded that it is only possible to see that the baby’s original name was Joseph and he was Irish. The billet states that a thimble was left with the child and this is the only one in the collection. There is also some pale blue ribbon and green threads with the billet, which suggests that the thimble may have been tied to the ribbon with the thread and the ribbon attached to the child for his journey to the Hospital.

Left at the Foundling Hospital with a child at admission, 1759. Purchased for the Foundling Museum by William and Helena Korner, 2005.

Token: Thimble, mid-eighteenth century, silver