February 8, 2016

Medieval Orphan And Foundling Nametags

kwakkel_baby_name_tag_leiden_519_inv3384-1.jpg
'This child is named Bartholomew': Erfgoed Leiden, HGW, Archiefnr. 519, Inv. nr. 3384, slip 1 (15th century) - Photo EK via

Here is a poignant story by medieval schlar Erik Kwakkel about a rare collection of 15th century notes and nametags that were pinned to the clothing of babies given up by their parents at an orphanage in Leiden, The Netherlands.

Some of the notes were written by the priests or staff who logged kids into the orphanage. But others, which provide glimpses of the kids' families or the circumstances that brought them to the orphanage steps, were probably written by the parents.

Rare Medieval Name Tags, by Erik Kwakkel [medievalbooks.nl]

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