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Llanfyllin and district
The Union Workhouse
 
  Burying children for four shillings  
 

The records of the Llanfyllin workhouse include the cost of obtaining food, clothing, shoes, coal, etc as well as many of the materials used in the jobs carried out by the paupers or poor people living there. These places were not called workhouses for nothing !
But local people were also asked to quote a price to bury people who had died in the workhouse or when receiving Poor Relief outside. This would provide regular work, because the poor food, terrible conditions, and infectious diseases caused many deaths - including young children.
The Board of Guardians placed advertisements in the 'Oswestry Advertiser' newspaper for "Tenders for burying adult and other paupers in this Union", and as with other purchases, the cheapest suppliers got the job.

Drawing of coffins
21st May
1874
Minute book entry
Drawings by
Rob Davies
This was a typical entry in the Minute Book of the Llanfyllin Union
workhouse from 1874 -
"The following Tenders for burying Adult and other Paupers was
..accepted, viz

..Guilsfield - Robert Higgins - Adults £1 each
...........................................................Children under 6 years old 12/- each
..Meifod - ......Robert Morris - Adults £1 each
..........................................................Children under 10 years old 13/6".
Drawing of coffins
 

As the workhouse was shared among several parishes, different people bid for the awful job of burying dead children from each home parish, two of which are shown above.Minute book entry
The price written as "12/-" was 12 shillings [60 pence], and "13/6" was 13 shillings and 6 pence [67 pence] in the old pre-decimal system of pounds, shillings and pence.
The small extract shown above right is from the 1874 list of approved prices for Llanrhaeadr, which includes burying children over 10 years old for 4 shillings [20 pence], and under 10 for 5 shillings [25 pence] !

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