matt's poetry pocketbook:
poems and poets notes

 Hard is my Lot in deep Distress

Comment on "Hard is my Lot in deep Distress"

This poem was the token left by a mother on leaving her child at the Foundling Hospital in May 1759. It was the for custom a mother leaving her child at Thomas Coram's Foundling Hospital to deposit a unique token as a means of identification in case she was ever in a position seek the child's return. The tokens varied widely: metal tags, paper constructions, embroidery, buttons, base metal rings, lockets, brooches, a carved ivory fish, a hazel-nut shell. there were also written tokens and poems. You can see the collection of tokens at the Foundling Hospital Museum, Coram Fields, Bloomsbury, London, England.

Matthew John Williams
May 2000