Powys Digital History Project

Care of the poor
Concern for a debtor 

  A person of very poor circumstances
In addition to the many documents among the records of the Quarter Sessions which reflect the ruthless attitude of the authorities towards the most unfortunate members of society, there are fortunately also some which show a little more compassion.
One such is shown below, in which the local curate and churchwardens are seeking parish help for a prisoner in gaol for debt. The imprisonment of debtors was formerly a common practice, even for quite small sums.

Quarter Sessions
Michaelmas 1756

County Archives

Quarter Sessions paper
  The document above, from the Session Rolls of the Breconshire Quarter Sessions of 1756, reads as follows:
"To whom it may concern
These are to certify that Rees David late of Penderin in the County of Brecon, now a Prisoner in his Majesty's Goal at Brecon in the said County of Brecon, is a Person of very poor Circumstances and cannot subsist himself in Goal; Therefore we recommend his as a real Object of the County's Assistance: As Witness our hands the 3rd day of October, 1756
Anthony Martin, Curate of Penderin
David Powell
The mark of John Williams - Church Wardens"