Copper engraving by B[enjamin] Cole. Uncoloured. Published as Plate 89 of Maitland's 'History of London, A New Edition, 1775'.
Plate size: 8 1/8 x 12 7/8 inches - 205 x 328mm. plus borders: 10 x 16 inches - 255 x 408mm approx.
Generally good condition throughout.
The Coram Hospital was founded by Captain Thomas Coram (c. 1668-1751). Shocked at the sight of the number of abandoned infants on the streets of London, he raised a petition, supported by the signatures of 21 'ladies of rank' and addressed to George II. The foundation stone was laid on 16 September 1741; the first children were admitted the following year, often as not accompanied by a token which could identify them when and if they were reclaimed in years to come. The prime intention was to care for, educate and support these infants, so that ultimately they could support themselves. It proved a tremendous success, so much so that in due course numbers had to be limited either by petition or lottery. The image here depicts the building erected on land acquired from the Earl of Salisbury on Lamb’s Conduit Field in Bloomsbury to the design of Theodore Jacobsen in 1742, made of plain brick, and comprised of two wings, a central chapel and open courtyard.