Exhibition

Fate, Hope & Charity

25 Jan 2013 – 18 May 2013

Event times

Tuesday - Saturday 10am-5pm

Cost of entry

Free with Museum admission

London, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • 59, 68, 91, 168, 188
  • Russell Square, King's Cross St Pancras
  • Euston, St Pancras International and King's Cross

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About

Tokens, small everyday objects, were left by mothers with their babies at the Foundling Hospital, which continues today as children's charity Coram, between c.1741-1760. These tokens, which include coins, jewellery, buttons, poems, playing cards and a simple nut, were a means of identification should the mother ever return to reclaim her child. Hundreds of these small items were removed from the Foundling Hospital's admission records in the 1860s, severing links with their history — until now. Now, over 250 years later, Fate, Hope & Charity reunites the tokens with the foundlings to whom they belonged, bringing to light untold stories that are testaments to the grief of separation and the timeless bond between a mother and child. Each heart-wrenching story offers a glimpse into the lives of ordinary women in the eighteenth century. The accounts reveal fascinating information about the tokens themselves, the circumstances surrounding the mother's decision to give up her baby and the moving stories of the individual foundlings to whom the tokens belonged.

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