Sir Thomas Bernard, social reformer

Sir Thomas Bernard, social reformer

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Credit: ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir Thomas Bernard (1750-1818), English social reformer. Bernard was born at Lincoln but moved to America when his father was appointed governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was educated in America, including at Harvard. In 1769 his father was recalled to England with his family and Thomas was called to the bar and practised as a conveyancer. He married well, the wealth he acquired he used in social work for the benefit of the poor. He was a treasurer of the Foundling Hospital for abandoned babies in London. He supported many causes, including vaccination, the fight against child labour, promoting rural allotments and campaigning against salt duties. He was one of those responsible for founding the Royal Institution in London. This painting by Mabel Messer (after John Opie) hangs at the Royal Institution. .

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Keywords: 1700s, 1800s, 18th century, benefactor, british social reformer, campaigner, child labour, english, founder royal institution, foundling hospital, oil painting, philanthropist, portrait, promoter, sir thomas bernard, supporter, vaccination, vertical

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