"You have my heart, though we must part"

Published: Friday 14th February 2014

What would you give to the person you love most, if you might never see them again? What if that person was your child?

Montage of Foundling Hospital tokens

Identifying tokens were often fabric scraps from the mother's clothes

In 1739 when Coram was founded, unimaginable destitution and poverty meant that many unmarried mothers faced abandoning their infants by the roadside, having no means to shelter and feed them themselves.

Read how Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital to provide sanctuary for those children and how, separated from their babies, mothers would give small tokens to the Hospital to identify them, lest they should ever be reunited.

Providing better chances for children is still at the heart of our work 275 years later.

Useful links

Love tokens Our heritage