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05 March 2020The Foundling Museum
18 February 2020Armourers' Hall
16 October 2019Private ‘Connoisseur’ visit to Turner’s House (Sandycombe Lodge), Twickenham
01 September 2019“Discover Medical London” walking tour and visit to Royal College of Physicians (date to be confirmed)
18 July 2019Day tour out of London to Henry Moore Studios, his house and exhibition
17 June 2019The Art & History of Glasgow, Charles Rennie Mackintosh & the V&A Dundee
11 June 2019Day tour out of London to Chenies Manor House and Milton's Cottage
14 May 2019Collection Care talk and tour at The National Archives, Kew
15 April 2019Two Historic London Houses
29 March 2019Afternoon tour of the Houses of Parliament
06 March 2019Dior Exhibition at the V&A
22 October 2018The Palaces and Art of Bologna, Ravenna, Mantova and Ferrara
04 October 2018St. John’s Gate, Museum of the Order of St. John and Charterhouse
06 September 2018Kelmscott – William Morris’ country house
15 August 2018Frogmore House and Savill Garden
20 June 2018Canal Museum and walking tour of Kings Cross
17 May 2018Stanley Picker House and gallery
18 April 2018Street Art Walk
26 March 2018Two Temple Place
27 February 2018Modigliani Exhibition at Tate Modern
07 November 2017Freemasons' Hall and Royal Opera House backstage tour
05 October 2017Graffiti and Street Art Walking Tour
17 September 2017Art and History Tour of the City of Liverpool
05 July 2017Watts Gallery - Artists' Village and Limnerslease
13 June 2017Visit to Highgrove
27 April 2017BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the Neasden Temple
07 March 2017Tate Britain - David Hockney
15 November 2016Sir John Soane’s Museum by candlelight
21 September 2016Chipping Campden and the Guild of Handicraft Visit
23 June 2016The Garrick Club
10 May 2016Sir Stanley Spencer Day
05 April 2016Spitalfields and Aldgate morning walking tour and visit to Dennis Severs’ House
13 October 2015The Garrick Club
24 September 2015Chipping Campden and the Guild of Handicraft Visit
02 July 2015Farley Farmhouse and Charleston Visit
07 May 2015Apsley House and Wellington Arch

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The Foundling Museum
Thursday 05 March 2020

PhotoBoys marching out of the London Foundling Hospital on the last day, 1926. Courtesy Coram

Our visit is in the morning.

Thomas Coram (1668-1751) returned to London in 1704 after eleven years in America and found the city to be a powerhouse of industry and wealth but was also noisy and disease-ridden.  Many parents, unable to care for their babies due to poverty or illegitimacy, chose to abandon them in the street.

After years of campaigning, Thomas Coram finally received a Royal Charter from King George II in 1739, enabling him to establish his Foundling Hospital to care for and educate some of London’s most vulnerable children. Supporters included the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel, who helped establish the Hospital as one of London’s most fashionable venues. Hogarth encouraged leading artists of the day to donate work, thereby establishing the UK’s first public art gallery. Handel donated an organ and conducted annual benefit concerts of Messiah in the Hospital’s chapel. In this way their creative generosity set the template for the ways in which the arts can support philanthropy.

From 1741 when the first babies were admitted, to 1954 when the last pupil was placed in foster care, the Foundling Hospital cared for and educated around 25,000 children.

The Foundling Museum opened in 2004.

The cost of the tour is £15.00 and the booking form can be downloaded here.