The Foundling Wheel

  • A. J. R. Russell-Wood


Foundlings had always been an essentially urban problem. Municipal councils, religious orders and charitable brotherhoods had assumed responsibility for the upbringing of babies abandoned by their mothers in alleys or on doorsteps. The first hospice for such children in Europe had been founded in Milan in a.d. 787 by a priest called Datheus. This example had been followed by other European cities — Siena 832, Padua 1000, Montpellier 1070, Einbeck 1200, Florence 1317, Nürnberg 1331 and Paris 1362. In Portugal Dona Isabel, the Queen of Dom Diniz, had founded the home for foundlings in Santarém, known as the Hospital of Saint Mary of the Innocents, in 1321. She had established another hospice for foundlings in Tôrres Novas.1


City Council Municipal Authority Municipal Council Annual Contribution Illegitimate Child 
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  1. 2.
    Vivaldo Couracy, O Rio de, Janeiro no século dezessete (2nd ed., Rio de Janeiro, 1965), pp. 227–8. For a rather general and mainly nineteenth-century historyGoogle Scholar
  2. see Ubaldo Soares, O passado heróico da Casa dos Expostos (Rio de Janeiro, 1959).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. J. R. Russell-Wood 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. R. Russell-Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.St Antony’s CollegeOxfordUK

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