AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2790
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: GREEN, Mary (FOUNDLING)
Date(s): 1829-1837
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.01 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Foundling Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Foundling Hospital was established by Royal Charter on 17 October 1739 by Thomas Coram as a refuge for abandoned, illegitimate children. The Hospital was laid in Lamb's Conduit Fields, Bloomsbury, an as yet undeveloped area beyond the city. Admission to the Hospital was initially restricted because of the lack of funds. Infants were to be less than two months old and in good health to qualify for entry, and admissions were made on a first come first served basis. Once a child had been accepted he or she was baptised and thereby given a new name. The child was then boarded out to a dry or wet nurse in the country. These nurses were mostly in the Home Counties but could be as far away as West Yorkshire or Shropshire. The nurses were monitored by voluntary inspectors. On reaching 3 years of age, the child was returned to the Hospital to receive basic schooling and he or she would remain there until apprenticed out to trades or service, or enlisted in the armed forces.

From 1760 a new system was adopted which involved mothers submitting written petitions to the Hospital which were then assessed by committee. This petition system formed the basis of all subsequent admissions to the Hospital and the survival of these petitions in the collection provides a valuable insight into the backgrounds and circumstances of the mothers.

Consultation of the Hospital records held at LMA (reference A/FH) reveals the story of Mary Green's admission. According to the petition document (A/FH/A/08/001/002/023) her mother, Ann Moore of 26 Salsbury Street, Bermondsey, was an unmarried 19 year old. She had been working as a housemaid at the house of Mr Morgan, a surgeon, where she was seduced by his assistant Thomas Parkin, who "talked of marriage but never promised her". Before the pregnancy was revealed Mr Morgan fired Parkin for "disorderly conduct" and his mounting debts; while Ann was made redundant along with all the other servants in an attempt to solve disagreements among the staff. She was given a good character reference and found a new position with Mrs Sarah Peacock. On the 14 September 1814 she was "delivered of a female child". The father could not be traced. Mrs Peacock sponsored her petition to the Foundling Hospital, describing her as honest, sober, obliging and clean.

The baby was admitted to the Hospital on 12 November 1814, aged 2 months, and given the name Mary Green (general register, A/FH/A/09/002/005). She was sent into the country to a wet nurse, and was confirmed in June 1829. Mary was apprenticed in December 1829 to merchant Louis Perrottet of No 4 North Crescent, Bedford Square, "to be instructed in household business" (apprenticeship register, A/FH/A/12/003/002). Jane Taunton, another foundling who was admitted only a few days before Mary was also apprenticed to Perrottet. Their apprenticeship indentures expired in September 1835.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records relating to Mary Green, comprising apprenticeship indenture; instructions to Mary Green at time of her apprenticeship directing her to good behaviour and industry; certificate from Foundling Hospital of satisfactory completion of apprenticeship by Mary Green; printed advice and guidance for her future life presented to Mary Green by Foundling Hospital.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Documents in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records donated by Pinner Local History Society on 30 January 1990, formerly property of Miss L Hill of Hatch End.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See reference A/FH for the records of the Foundling Hospital.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"