Powys Digital History Project

Machynlleth - Care of the poor 4
An abandoned child in the workhouse

  The harsh realities
Among the entries in the dusty Minute Books of the Board of Guardians are occasional references which remind us of the harsh reality which the workhouse could represent. Even in a regime which regularly seperated menfolk from their women and children there are cases which stand out.

County Archives

Minute book entry

The above entry from 1862 concerns one Jane Pryce, just two years old, and reads:
"The clerk was directed to write to the Poor Law Board to enquire whether they would sanction the allowance of 1/- weekly for the maintenance of the infant child out of the workhouse, its mother having absconded, considering the trouble to which the Matron might be subjected in the event of there being no inmate capable of taking proper care of the child."

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