Thornbury & Walford wrote:The hospital was principally intended as an asylum "for the wives of poor industrious tradesmen and distressed housekeepers, who, either from unavoidable misfortunes, or from the burden of large families, are reduced to want, and rendered incapable of bearing the expenses incident to the lying-in state, and also for the wives of indigent soldiers and seamen; but the governors, in the spirit of true philanthropy, have extended the benefits of the institution to unmarried females, restricting this indulgence, however, to the first instance of misconduct.
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