William Godwin's Diary


This institution was founded in 1742 by the sailor Captain Thomas Coram (c.1688-1751) for the support of orphans. It was moved from Hatton Garden to a more permanent location in Lamb’s Conduit Fields in 1745. William Hogarth was a friend of Coram, and a founding governor of the Hospital. He encouraged fellow artists to contribute paintings for display, including works by Reynolds, Gainsborough, and West, and the hospital held an annual exhibition of artworks. Handel was also a major benefactor. Over the eighteenth century, the hospital became a fashionable place of worship.