Visit to the Foundling Museum - Britain’s first children’s charity

Following the Day of Special Interest with Lars Tharp on ‘Matters Hogarthian and the Foundling Hospital’, on July 12th 2017, a group of Arts Society Bath members had the pleasure of visiting the Foundling Museum, which was constructed on the site of the Hospital.

We learned that after 17 years of tireless campaigning, Thomas Coram finally received a Royal Charter from King George II in 1739, enabling him to establish his Foundling Hospital.

From 1741 when the first babies were admitted, to 1954 when the last pupil was placed in foster care, the Foundling Hospitfor and educated around 25,000 children. It was in fact the first children’s charity.

We enjoyed a most knowledgeable and entertaining guided tour of the Museum. We learnt of its history, the founding philanthropists – Thomas Coram, supported by William Hogarth and George Frideric Handel – and about the life of the children who passed through the Hospital.

We viewed the poignant everyday tokens of the children left by their mothers for identification in the 18th century, as well as the uniforms and testimonies from those at the school in the early 20th century until its closure in 1954.  It was both thought-provoking and stimulating.                             

Even today the Coram Charity still helps tens of  thousands

of children every year.

Thomas Coran

The Dresser – 11th January

Post Play Q&A with cast members

The Ambassador Theatre Group welcomed Members to The Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s theatre land to a matinee of The Dresser starring Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith . We were lucky enough to be invited to stay after the play to meet members of The Cast and participate in Q&A session with cast members including Reece Shearsmith. 9 members of The Arts Society Bath joined the visit, we travelled to London by train and enjoyed a sociable dinner after the show before returning home.