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The Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum (Norwood)

The Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum, (later called Norwood Children's Care and then Norwood), was based in East London, and later, South Norwood. The charity can trace its origins back to 1795, when The Jews' Hospital was established. It became known as The Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum from 1865, when The Jews' Orphan Asylum (built in North Tenter Street, Aldgate, London) in 1846 which merged with The Jew's Hospital. From 1958, the name Norwood was adopted for the charity.

Sir Anthony Nathan de Rothschild (1810-1876) laid the foundation stone of the Jew’s Hospital and Orphan Asylum on 6 June 1861, in the presence of a gathering of about 2000 people. The account of the event in the Jewish Chronicle is not very forthcoming, other than commenting on Sir Anthony's "remarkable dexterity with a mallet" and recording that, during the ceremony, Sir Anthony deposited in the hollow of the foundation stone, a copy of the Jewish Chronicle and The Times of that day. Sir Anthony de Rothschild served as the charity’s President for several years. Strong practical support also came from Charlotte (Baroness Lionel) de Rothschild (1819-1894) and Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917). Having served on the Committee for several years, the late Anthony Gustav de Rothschild (1887-1961) (father of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild) became President in 1918, remaining in the post for 43 years until his death in 1961. Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (b.1931) became Norwood's Chairman in 1995. Sir Evelyn de Rothschild remains on the Board of Trustees (as at June 2020).

The Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum (Norwood): artefacts, c.1860

000/2678, 2 items

Ceremonial 'Presidents' chair from The Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum. The elaborately carved wooden chair, which dates from the 19th century, is believed to have originally been used by the President of the Board of Trustees at Board meetings and at committee meetings. For many years, the chair was in the library of the Orphanage, the Sir Henry Behrend Memorial library, named in honour of Sir Henry Behrend who was Chairman of the Orphanage and made significant changes to the management and care of the children in the 19th century; tin trunk labelled 'Jews Hospital Norwood, 1860' from The Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum. Although trunks were placed at the end of the children's beds in the orphanage (to contain personal belongings), it is more likely that tin trunks such as this were used by the charity administrators to hold important documents. These items wqere gifted to the Archive by the Trustees of Norwood in 2020.