A Mother's Love
A Mother's Love   Price: $8.50

"The London Foundling Hospital was founded by royal charter in 1739. Its work with children has continued uninterrupted to the present day, now carried on by Coram, the modern charity that inherited the Hospitalís mission. The charity has, from the beginning, endeavored to keep the fullest possible records of the children n its care. Its archive is "vast, requiring some 250 metres of shelving for the ledgers and entry book used to record the lives of thousands of forsaken children. Yet"..it comes as a surprise to discover 5,000 small textile items dating from the middle decades of the eighteenth century, pinned to the registration documents that recorded the entry of each baby to the Hospital. They include the whole range of textile fabrics worn by ordinary women in mid-eighteenth century, along with ribbons, embroidery, and even some baby clothes. Both beautiful and poignant, each scrap of material reflects the life of a single infant child and that of its absent parents." John Styles in Threads of Feeling. Most, if not all, of poor women in the mid-eighteenth century were illiterate. If chosen to be allowed to leave her child with the hospital (a "ballot" was held for admission. A white ball meant admission; a black ball meant rejection), the Mother would leave a strip of fabric, ribbon, etc. as a way to identify her child, should she be able to return and take her child home. Most Mothers were not able to bring their children home.

I saw the display "Threads of Feeling" in Colonial Willamsburg and was very moved and saddened to learn this story. This design is my way of honoring and remembering all involved. I know this is long, but I think the story is important to the design.

Beginner, Intermediate

5 photos and step-by-step color worksheet

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