London's Foundling HospitalAn Account of the Hospital for Maintenance and Education
of Exposed and Deserted Young Children. In which is the Charter,
Act of Parliament, By-Laws and Regulations of the said
Corporation. By Order of the Governors of the said Hospital.
London: Printed in the Year M.D.CC.XLIX. 
"Captain Thomas Coram, horrified at the plight of unwanted children abandoned in the streets of London, established the Foundling Hospital in 1739. In this philanthropic venture, he was supported by his friend William Hogarth, who offered paintings to hang on the walls of the new institution and encouraged his fellow artists to make donations. The hope was that the wealthy would then flock to see the pictures, and take pity on the foundlings. Hogarth’s plan proved a great success, and Captain Coram soon collected works by the leading British artists of the day, as well notable foreigners such as Andrea Casali and John Rysbrack. Thus, the Foundling Hospital was effectively the country’s first public gallery, predating Dulwich Picture Gallery (1813) and the National Gallery (1824). Musicians, as well as artists, also offered their support. Handel composed a special anthem, performed concerts, donated an organ and bequeathed his copy of the Messiah." -- The Art Newspaper.Com
This book was the first published statement from the hospital administration. The regulations covered such matters as child labor, nursing, education, and the care of the sick.
Download entire book as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file (about 23 MB).