Powys Digital History Project

Care of the poor 9
A commendation

"Unusual harmony"
The creation of the Unions and the building of workhouses was very contentious at the time and some of the dissatisfaction which led to the rise of Chartism and the Rebecca riots was caused by a fear and hatred of the workhouse among working people. Many of the local landowners who paid the Poor Rate were interested mainly in keeping expenditure on the poor down. To chair a Union in this climate must have been very difficult.
An interesting entry from April 1847 records the Guardians' view of the chairmanship of Henry Lingen who had legal expertise.
County Archives
  The entry reads:-
"Resolved that a state of things be recorded of this Board, which may never happen again; namely that during the parochial year now expiring there has been no law suit throughout the Union, and no relinquishing of any Parish rights. And such general unanimity has prevailed at the meetings of the Board that never in the whole year has an angry word been exchanged between the Guardians."


Mr Lingen - from Penlanole in the Wye Valley near Doldowlod - was re-elected Chairman at the next meeting (as he was to be for many years) and a special commendation was given him by the other Guardians which again praised his chairmanship and regretted some "hasty and unmeaning expressions" for which they apologised.
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