As we understand the term today, orphans are children who have lost at least one parent and usually means they have lost both mother and father.
Historically the term 'orphan' did not necessarily mean a child whose parents had died. It was most often used to describe a child whose parent/s were (or were judged to be) unable, for many different reasons, to care for them.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 11 November 2011, Last modified: 18 April 2012