Search the Collections

Thomas Coram (1668?-1751), Philanthropist

Sitter associated with 7 portraits
Coram began life as a seaman, rising to the position of merchant captain. He spent ten years farming in America before returning to England in 1703. Seeing the poverty in the East End of London inspired Coram to provide a refuge for abandoned children and in 1722 he suggested the setting up of a foundling hospital. It took seventeen years before in 1739 Coram finally obtained a royal charter authorising the establishment of a hospital for foundling infants. It opened in Hatton Garden, in 1741, with twenty children, and is thought to be the world's first incorporated charity. A new purpose-built hospital was built, at Lamb's Conduit Fields, Bloomsbury, which opened in 1745.

List Thumbnail

2351

Unknown man, formerly known as Thomas Coram

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, feigned oval, 1720s
NPG 2351

2427

Thomas Coram

after William Hogarth
pencil(?) and wash, feigned oval, (1740)
NPG 2427

D34126

Thomas Coram

by James Macardell, after William Hogarth
mezzotint, 1749 (1740)
NPG D34126

D34127

Thomas Coram

by James Macardell, after William Hogarth
mezzotint, 1749 (1740)
NPG D34127

D1554

Thomas Coram

by James Macardell, after William Hogarth
mezzotint, 1749
NPG D1554

D9102

Thomas Coram

by William Nutter, after William Hogarth
stipple engraving, published 1796
NPG D9102

D18712

Thomas Coram

by James Macardell, after William Hogarth
mezzotint, 1749
NPG D18712