London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details

Petitions: admitted and rejected

Reference Code:


From Collection:


Scope and Content:
  • The petitions are the application forms and supporting statements put forward by mothers wanting to have their babies admitted to the foundling hospital. These documents are usually the only source of information available about the parents of foundlings. The petitions do not exist for the general admission period of 1756 to 1760 when the Hospital were obliged to take in all babies presented to them at the request of parliament in exchange for funding, therefore petitions were not necessary.

    Bundles of admitted petitions (A/FH/A/08/01/02/023-127/005) have been arranged by year of petition while child numbers were acquired on admission.

    Please note: the series of petitions admitted may contain petitions from mothers whose child has been issued with a number which appears to fall into a different bundle's sequence. The governors of the Hospital would meet to hear petitions from mothers who wished to have their babies admitted. The petitions of those who were granted admission for their child were later bundled together in accordance with the date that the petition was heard by the general committee and approved by the governors. However the child number was a running number obtained only once the child entered the hospital's care. There may have been a delay in the child entering the Hospital after the petition was approved for example due to illness or a temporary change in circumstances. Therefore the child number within the bundles will not always fall in sequence however any occurrence of this should be clearly stated within the scope of each bundle. Most of the petitions were labelled with the child number sometime after the bundles were originally catalogued by date. There are also petitions included in the bundles from mothers whose children were not actually admitted to the Hospital because they may have died or there may have been a last minute change of circumstances. Again, the names of the mothers petitioning should be included in the bundles where these occur.
Classification: CHARITIES
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Physical Condition: Fit