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Crickhowell and district
The workhouse
  From the workhouse to work  

One of the ways in which the Board of Guardians of the Crickhowell Union tried to reduce the cost of looking after the poor people in the workhouse was by sending young people out to work as soon as possible.
This was often done by arranging an apprenticeship with a skilled trader from the district. The young boy would be 'bound' in a legal contract to work alongside his employer in the chosen trade and learn the necessary skills.
This example is from the Union Minute Book for 1839...

Young apprentice
26th August
Minute book entry  

26th August - "Ordered that G.A.A Davies Esq be instructed to bind Daniel Jones, son of John Jones, Parishioner of Llangenny as apprentice to Mr Thomas Williams, Printer, Crickhowell for the term of seven years without any premium. The Parish by the Board of Guardians undertaking to give him the necessary clothing at the commencement of his apprenticeship".
There were problems in some Unions caused by employers not giving apprentices proper instruction but just using them for unpleasant jobs, by beating or cruelly treating them, and even spending money for apprentices clothing on themselves !

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Apprenticeships could be for quite a long period - this one was for seven years !
If the employer was a bad one it was probably worse than being in the workhouse !
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