Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Llanfyllin and district
The Union Workhouse
  Four deaths in one week  

One of our other pages about Llanfyllin workhouse tells of contracts placed with local people to carry out the burials of paupers who died there. Poor food, cold rooms, forced work, and the spread of disease in the crowded conditions all contributed to the high death rate.
This is from the Minute Book of Llanfyllin Union in 1875...

25th February
Minute book entry
Drawing by
Rob Davies

25th February - "A letter dated the 25th February 1875 was received from Mrs Eyton V Williams reporting 4 deaths which had taken place in the workhouse during the previous week from Victim of skin diseaseErysipelas".

Erysipelas is a serious skin disease which causes very severe swelling of the cheeks and face, blisters, fever and sickness. It is now very rare and can be treated with modern antibiotics, but it could be a killer in Victorian times.
Other deadly diseases in the workhouse were cholera, typhus, scarlet fever, smallpox, and an eye infection called opthalmia which often caused blindness.
It is no wonder that the standard design of the new type of workhouse introduced in 1834 included a 'Dead House'.

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