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London hospitals and their hymns

The London Hospitals and their hymns The mid-18th century saw a remarkable burst of new London hospitals (in the wider sense of charitable homes), some of which played an important part in the development of hymnody. The reasons for the rapid rise of philanthropy are various. Greater sexual promiscuity resulting from early industrialization, urbanization, and the decline of the Puritan ethic had led to soaring numbers of births outside marriage, and to increases in prostitution and venereal disease. In the capital particularly, these evils overwhelmed the meagre social services available and could no longer be ignored. Enlightenment philosophy and Deism brought a declining faith in the...

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