Christ's Hospital (not a hospital in the contemporary sense) was established in 1553 for the benefit of orphaned children or those made homeless by impecunious parents. If they were legitimate children of free men of the City of London, over four years of age and free from obvious infirmity, they were to be educated and prepared either for entrance to a university or apprenticeship to a trade. From the late 17th century, up to 150 children were admitted annually to "Bluecoat School" on recommendation of their parishes, and a further ninety or so under the terms of charitable endowments. But as early as 1617 large numbers of these scholars took "articles" and left England to serve apprenticeships in America. Beginning with those children apprenticed to the Virginia Company in 1617, about 1,000 Christ's Hospital students left England to take up such apprenticeships. The "Children's Registers" are housed in the manuscript department of the London Guildhall, and it is from these that Mr. Coldham has extracted data on child emigrants.