Christ's Church Hospital. Wards. Children. 180

Christ's Church Hospital. Wards. Children.

the last Year of their Time to his Service. This Sir Robert Clayton believed Mr. Pepys was the chief Instrument to procure.

Queen Anne lately sent for a Boy out of this her Mathematick School, for Mr. Richards her Ingineer going to Portugal. The Boy's Name also was Richards; he was very useful and highly agreeable to the Engineer; insomuch, that he hath of late sent to Mr. Treasurer to thank him for his Boy; and adding, that he went beyond all others in his Ingenuity and Fitness to serve him.

Q. Anne places out one of these Boys.

The Governors, at the late worthy Treasurer's good Motion, repaired an old Ward over the North Cloisters, to be appropriated for other Forty Boys to be taught Mathematicks, as the Kings Boys are; but are to wear a distinct Badge from them, as belonging to another Foundation; namely, the old Foundation.

Another Ward of Mathematick Boys preparing.

There have been sometimes a Thousand poor Children and more, maintained here at one time. And so hath been the Will of the Governors to continue such a Number still: But the Foundation could not sustain them, and borrowed Money, and ran in Debt; and so they were reduced to a less Number. But now, by great Benefactions of late, and a careful Treasurer, they are advancing towards that Number, taking care of at this present between Six and Seven Hundred Boys.

The Number of Children here provided for.

These live partly in Christs Hospital, and partly at Nurse in Country Towns in Hertfordshire, provided with convenient Diet, Cloathing, Lodging, and Learning. And a great many of the Boys are put forth Yearly Apprentices, and the Girls disposed to good Services. And some of a more pregnant Wit, and that have a Genius for Study, are sent to the Universities. And many of these have proved afterwards Men eminent either for Wealth, or Acquisitions of Learning, or Usefulness in the Commonwealth.

Duly provided for.

But now to relate some further Particulars of the State of this Hospital; as the Rooms and Apartments, the Schools, the Masters and Mistresses, the Governors, and Officers, the Provisions for their Maintenance, the good Order and Government, the Expences and the Benefactors.

The State of this House.

There is a great and spacious Hall well built, where the Boys Dine and Sup. It was built after the great Fire by Sir John Frederick, Alderman of London, and cost him 5000l. In this Hall at the upper End is a large Picture, that covereth all the Wall of the North End, and stretcheth on the East and West Walls, representing K. James II. (but intended for K. Charles II. had he lived but a little longer) sitting there, and his Nobles, and the Governors, and Treasurer, and others in great Numbers standing about him, with the Pictures of K. Edward VI. and K. Charles II. as Founders, drawn half way, Painted as hanging up in the same Table. And there is a particular Representation of the Mathematick School; it is done by Vario, and reckoned worth 1000l. There is likewise at the other End of this Hall a large Picture more antient of K. Edward VI. the first Founder, delivering his Royal Charter for this Hospital to the Maior, who kneeleth with the Aldermen behind him; a Bishop (which I suppose is Ridley) with many others standing about; an antient and a fine Piece.

The Hall.

In this Hall is a good Organ, that oftentime plays, when the Boys also sing their Psalms or Anthems on Sundays and other special Days.

There be Eight Wards where the Childrens Beds are, and where they Lodge and Harbour; to which one more may be added, which makes a Ninth, but it is not made use of at present wanting Repair, but now gone in Hand with to be fitted up for the reception of Boys, as the rest. In each of these Wards are harboured about Fifty odd, one with another.

Eight Wards.

The Girls have a Ward also by themselves, which is situated passing out of the great Hall on the East. It is fair and handsome, and indeed, the best Ward of all. It was built at the Cost of Mr. John Morice, and Sir Robert Clayton; the former giving 1000l. the other much more. Mr. Thomas Firmin, Girdler, that charitable Citizen in his time, took upon him the care of the Building; and was supplyed with Money from them, yet concealing their Names according to their Desire, mentioning no more concerning them in this good Work, but only that two charitable Citizens were at the Charge of it. It is said, there will be a Marble Statue set up here for Sir Robert Clayton, as his Memory deserveth to be perpetuated for his singular Charity towards other Hospitals, as well as this.

The Girls Ward built.

Mr. Thomas Firmin.

But take a more particular Account of this Building, from one who had it from the Relation of Sir Robert himself, and how the Builders came to be known. Sir Robert had had a very great Fit of Sickness in the Year 168, and, being restored to a good State of Health, did think fit to make an Acknowledgment to God for this Mercy by some Publick good Work: And consulting with the said Mr. Firmin upon that Subject, he proposed something should be done for Christs Hospital, which since the great Fire had been but little restored hitherto from its Ruins; and excited him particularly to build the Girls Ward there; the doing of which was computed at 2000l. Cost. Mr. Morice, Sir Robert's Partner, was contented to give one half thereof. And Mr. Firmin was employed in the Care and Managery, with a strict Injunction given him, that their Names should not be discovered. This was not all that was intended: For Sir Robert then designed, that the Children of the House should be better fitted for common and ordinary Trades, than by the Methods then taken they were; and did project several Rooms under the Wards for several Trades; where the Children, not engaged in Mathematicks should spend some of their time in honest Callings, that might be useful to the House and the Publick too, according to some Models he had procured of Hospitals from abroad. While this Work was carrying on, it was found convenient to make this a double Ward, however at first designed only for a single one; and the Stair Case to be set within the Cloisters to serve both. This augmented the Charge at first proposed to near double the Sum; and Mr. Morice, Sir Robert's Partner, was now dead, so that the whole Burthen now lay on him. While this Work was in hand, having privately viewed it, he intended something further, which would have cost 500l. more.

The Occasion. Mr. Cockeril.

But it most unseasonably happened at this time, that Feuds and Factions grew high among the Citizens, which ended at last in the depriving them of their Charter. And then was this most liberal and publick spirited Citizen and Magistrate, put out both of the Government of the City, and of this Hospital, with many other worthy Citizens, and so the good Work unhappily stopt. But Mr. Firmin soon took the Opportunity to let the remaining Governors understand, what a Piece of Ingratitude this was, shewing them in some Zeal, that he that was thus discharged, was the very Man that had highly deserved of the House in this expensive Building, by whose whole Charges it had for divers Years been carried on; whereby the Founder of this Ward came to be at length known, which otherwise might have been concealed to this Day.

A further good Work stopt by Faction.

Another Ward there is, being a convenient Ward apart by it self for the Sick, where they that fall into any Distempers are removed, and due care taken of them.

Ward for the Sick.