The Poore Orphan’s Court or Orphan’s Cry

Tract from 1636 published in London that addressed the problem of homeless children begging in the streets. The solution proposed was that “Every ship that goes to Virginia to carry sixe boyes and sixe girles, every one to carry the like to New England” so that they could work on the plantations. An innovative solution, though I have no idea if it ever came to fruition. However the picture on the front page is very arresting and looks very similar to the Callot engravings of beggars from the continent. All the children are in rags, though still in doublet and breeches (the boys) or waistcoat with petticoat skirts (the girls).

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Here are some closer details

 

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The boy on the right appears to be shod in what might originally have been startup boots, though it’s hard to tell for sure.

 

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The boy on the right has a very battered felt hat on his head.

 

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