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Knighton and district
The Union Workhouse
  Arthur learns how to make boots  
  The Knighton Board of Guardians were in charge of the workhouse and the system of outdoor relief in the district. Poor Law Boards were made up of landowners, magistrates, tradesmen, churchmen and similar prominent members of the community.
One of their duties was to make decisions about the future of children old enough to leave the workhouse, as in this 1902 example from Knighton workhouse...
There are
earlier cases of
apprentices from
the workhouse
on our pages
about Llanfyllin.
10th July
Minute book entry
Drawing by
Rob Davies

This entry from the official Minute Book reads -
10th July - "The workhouse Master laid before the Guardians a proposal for the apprenticeship of Arthur Constable aged 14 years now in the house to be apprenticed to Mr E J Edwards as a boot manufacturer for five years and it was ordered that the lad be sent for a month on trial an the terms laid in his letter".
It was the common practice for the brighter and more reliable boys to be sent off from the workhouse to become apprentices and to learn a skilled trade. In earlier years they would have started at a much earlier age than 14 years.
Later in the same year of 1902 young Thomas Moyle went to train as a baker but the Medical Officer of the workhouse was worried about his health because he was 'distinctly tuberculous' and 'would be better for some occupation that would take him out of doors'. This sort of concern for the well-being of workhouse children shows the huge changes in the treatment of the poor since the new laws of 1834 were introduced.

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Shoemaker's apprentice
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