Thomas Coram was born into an ordinary family and was apprenticed before setting up a shipyard in New England. From his writings, letters and actions we are clear that, through his lifetime, Coram stood at odds with many of the prevailing views of the time. He championed the cause of children and access to education including for Native American girls, he called for inheritance rights for women, and he opposed slavery. Coram left the country to return to England in fear of his life and was not wealthy. He fought for 17 years to create this charity to support illegitimate children abandoned because of stigma and destitution.
A bronze statue of Thomas Coram, dating from 1963 by William Macmillan, near the entrance to the Coram Campus and the nursery on Brunswick Square is now listed. In this statue, Thomas Coram has a scroll in his right hand and is set on a granite base inscribed ‘Thomas Coram 1668-1751. Pioneer in the cause of child welfare’.
You can find more about him on coramstory.org.uk. There is a QR code on the statue as part of the Living Statues app with Coram’s story told by Simon Callow and more information on the Coram website at coramstory.org.uk. His story is told well for children in Captain Coram: champion for children- a story book written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Coram’s birth in 2018.
Copies are available from the nursery and Coram reception.
We are proud to share the name of Thomas Coram and we have a close relationship with our neighbours the Foundling Museum who offer regular art workshops for our practitioners, kinder-aged children and their families. These are a fantastic opportunity for the children to explore the museum and make art with a professional artist.
In 2018, the children at Thomas Coram Nursery were lucky to meet Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge when she visited the Foundling Museum. The Duchess is the patron of the museum and this patronage recognises the Museum’s unique work to transform the wellbeing and life chances of children through creative collaboration with artists.
The Foundling Museum works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children through the arts and to inspire people to make the world a better place.