Lecture | Foundlings and Philanthropy in Eighteenth-Century London


John Styles, Research Professor in History, University of Hertfordshire, UK

The London Foundling Hospital, founded in 1739, was the first of a new kind of subscription charity, which multiplied across eighteenth-century England. Queen Caroline’s support was decisive and reflected her German background. This lecture explores how the Foundling Hospital came to initiate a new wave of enlightened philanthropy. It examines the contribution of the Hanoverian princesses, the influence of German Protestantism, and the ways art, architecture, and music were employed to raise the hospital’s profile and its revenues.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Foundling tokens (left to right): padlock with band; coral necklace; metal engraved heart; punched and notched coin (three pence, silver, reign of King Charles II, 1680), 1680; six pence from the reign of King William III, 1696–97; The Foundling Museum, London, © The Foundling Museum, London

March 1, 2017