Sabrina Sidney was abandoned at the Foundling Hospital in London as a baby. She was taken in at the age of 12 by author Thomas Day, who tried to mould her into his perfect wife. She grew up to marry one of Day’s friends, instead, and eventually became a school manager.
About Sabrina Sidney in brief
Sabrina Sidney was abandoned at the Foundling Hospital in London as a baby. She was taken in at the age of 12 by author Thomas Day, who tried to mould her into his perfect wife. She grew up to marry one of Day’s friends, instead, and eventually became a school manager. Sidney married Bicknell, and the couple had two children before his death in 1787. She later went on to work with schoolmaster Charles Burney, managing his schools. In 1804, Anna Seward published a book about Sidney’s upbringing, in which she claimed that Day treated her as a slave. Sidney was born in 1757 in Clerkenwell, London, and was left at the Hospital for the Maintenance and Education of Exposed and Deserted Young Children in London on 24 May 1757 by an anonymous individual. Her name was likely a misspelling of Monimia but there were no baptismal records for any spelling of the name at the parish. One of the requirements of the foundling Hospital was that babies were to be less than six months old at the time of admittance, but the hospital did not keep more accurate records of age. Another requirement was that foundlings were given a new name and a reference number, so Sidney became Girl Ann Kingston no. 4759 in 1759, when she was two years old. Although it was usual for foundlings to remain with their wet nurse until age of five or six, the Foundlings Hospital had received an influx of new babies and moved many children who no longer required nursing, including Sidney, to the Shrewsbury branch of the Findling Hospital.
In the meantime Sidney and another foundling were cared for by a nurse, Ann Casell, at an infant home he was an infant having a face pewewew. In 1769, Day and another girl, Lucretia, chose Sidney and other girls from orphanages, and falsely declared they would be indentured to Day’s friend Richard Lovell Edgeworth. Day took the girls to France to begin Rousseau’s methods of education in isolation. After a short time, he returned to Lichfield with only Sidney, having deemedLucretia inappropriate for his experiment. He used unusual, eccentric, and sometimes cruel, techniques to try to increase her fortitude, such as firing blanks at her skirts, dripping hot wax on her arms, and having her wade into a lake fully dressed to test her resilience to cold water. He then arranged for Sidney to undergo experimental vocational and residential changes. Day proposed marriage, though he soon called this off when she did not follow his strict instructions, and he again sent her away, this time to a boarding house, where she later found work as a lady’s companion. When she confronted Day in a series of letters, he admitted the truth but refused to apologise. He later wrote a memoirs, which he claimed Sidney loved Day, but Sidney herself, on the other hand, said she was miserable with Day.