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Foundlings

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MatC
286405.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:40 am Reply with quote

In Roman Egypt, at the refuse-tips on the outskirts of cities, “everything could be dumped, including unwanted (normally female) babies[...] Such babies can be picked up by anyone interested, who then owns them as slaves, or to sell on.”

(S: a review of “City of the sharp-nosed fish: Greek lives in Roman Egypt” by Peter Parsons, in London Review of Books, 21 Feb 08.)

Sounds like a very efficient recycling system to me, but I suppose the health and safety police would ban it these days.

 
Flash
286410.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:44 am Reply with quote

We discussed yesterday the possibility of a field trip by Molly to the Foundling Museum: http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/.

 
Molly Cule
286644.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:56 am Reply with quote

Yes, I will definitely go. I just read this on the website, quite interesting..

Britain’s First Art Gallery

William Hogarth (1697-1764), one of the original Governors of the Foundling Hospital, encouraged leading artists of the day to donate works to the children’s home, with the aim of attracting wealthy potential benefactors.

In doing so, he created Britain’s first public exhibition space, which became a centre of artistic experimentation and led to the formation of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768. Today the collection contains works by Hogarth, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Wilson, Hayman, Highmore, Roubiliac and Rysbrack, displayed in fully restored interiors – as they would have been seen by visitors to the original Hospital in the 1700s.

 
Flash
286716.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:19 pm Reply with quote

There's something I didn't quite understand about the foundlings receiving charitable support, whereupon their parents would come and claim them back so as to get the money they'd been given. Possibly I've garbled that, though.

 
Flash
292149.  Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:22 pm Reply with quote

I wonder if this topic is too dark for our purposes. This from a very poorly-titled account of the history of potatoes, given to me by WB:
Quote:
In some of the Italian foundling hospitals, up to 80 and 90 per cent of babies died before they were one year old. In Paris, the figures indicate that foundlings comprised fully 36 per cent of all births in the years 1817-20; of 4,779 babies admitted ... in 1818 ... 2,370 died within three months. ...

Many denounced the system as legalised infanticide; one suggested that foundling hospitals should put up a sign: 'Children killed at Government expense'.

Propitious Esculent by John Reader, Heinemann 2008, p128

 
Molly Cule
292169.  Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:10 pm Reply with quote

: ( Oh dear!

Well, I spent the afternoon at the Foundling Museum in London and a much happier tale is to be told from there. Though, I suppose, they would say that, wouldn't they?

No. Seriously. A good place!

 
Molly Cule
292175.  Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:33 pm Reply with quote

Foundlings were often left in a 'Turning Wheel' at the gates of an institution, the mother put her baby in a cradle, turned the wheel and the child disappeared inside.

Kate Adie - Nobody's child

 
TheRichTurner
893387.  Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:27 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
I wonder if this topic is too dark for our purposes. This from a very poorly-titled account of the history of potatoes, given to me by WB:
Quote:
In some of the Italian foundling hospitals, up to 80 and 90 per cent of babies died before they were one year old. In Paris, the figures indicate that foundlings comprised fully 36 per cent of all births in the years 1817-20; of 4,779 babies admitted ... in 1818 ... 2,370 died within three months. ...

Many denounced the system as legalised infanticide; one suggested that foundling hospitals should put up a sign: 'Children killed at Government expense'.

Propitious Esculent by John Reader, Heinemann 2008, p128


The Italian surnames Esposito, Esposti, Esposto, Esposti, Degli Esposti and Sposito are all last names commonly given to children in Italy (prior to its unification in 1861) who were abandoned or given up for adoption by their parents. From the Latin expositus, the past participle of the Latin verb exponere, which means "to place outside." The Esposito surname is especially prevalent in the Naples region of Italy.

Source (dodgy?):
http://genealogy.about.com/od/surname_meaning/p/esposito.htm

 

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