Childcare, Health and Mortality in the London Foundling Hospital 1741-1800

Author(s) : LEVENE Alysa
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©Manchester University Press

From the Publishers:
An examination of an institution and its young charges, set in the wider social, cultural, demographic and medical context of the eighteenth century. By examining the often short lives of abandoned babies, it illustrates the intersection of health, ill-health and death with local epidemiology, institutional life and experiences of abandonment, feeding and child-care. The characteristics of the babies abandoned to the London Foundling Hospital have been examined, highlighting the reasons parents and guardians had for giving up their charges. Statistical analysis shows how these characteristics interacted with poverty and welfare to influence heath and survivorship across infancy and early childhood. The book builds up sources from Foundling Hospital records, medical tracts and parish registers to illustrate how the hospital managed the care of its children, and how it reflected wider medical ideas on feeding and child health. Child fostering, paid nursing and family formation in different parts of England are also examined, showing how this metropolitan institution called on a network of contacts to try to raise its charges to good health.

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Manchester: Manchester University Press
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