Foundling Fields Charity Hospital London Halfpenny 1795

Foundling Fields London (Middlesex) copper Conder halfpenny token dated 1795. Obverse: A crest consisting of a standing lamb with a sprig of laurel in it’s mouth with legend: "FOUNDLING FIELDS 1795". Reverse: A cypher of "JB" in script capitals with legend: "PAYABLE ON DEMAND". Diagonally milled edge. This was issued by J. Burton and, as it was underweight, the profits probably went to the Foundling Charity Hospital which was set up by Thomas Corham, a ship owner in the American trade. Corham was distressed by the sight of ill and dying children on the streets of London and struggled for seventeen years to establish the institution which was eventually granted the Royal Charter in 1739. The hospital was built on The Lamb’s Conduit Estate shortly afterwards in 1741. A basket was hung outside the front door to receive unwanted babies, with a bell-rope nearby for the unfortunate mother to call attention to the infant. Both Hogarth and Handel also supported the hospital. An intriguing token in good collectable condition with the usual reverse die flaw, see photograph.

D&H Middlesex No: 305. Diameter 27.5mm. VF-. £35.00

e-mail David at d-stuart@d-stuart.demon.co.uk to order.

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