Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llanfyllin and district
The Union Workhouse
  A pauper child learns to weave  

The workhouse was controlled by a 'Board of Guardians', who were important members of the community, mostly landowners and clergy. The Board appointed the Master of the workhouse and other staff, and made decisions about people living in the workhouse.
These were recorded by hand in large 'Minute Books' which tell us about the matters decided at their regular meetings at Llanfyllin workhouse. Many of their rulings were to do with saving money, and these included sending workhouse children out to work as soon as they could...

For more
about weaving and making cloth see our
29th August
Minute book entry
10th October
Minute book entry

These 1872 entries are from the Llanfyllin Union Minute Book -
29 August - "Resolved that William Pugh, a pauper child in the workhouse be [ordered] to go to [to] Mr Evan Evans Factory, Llanfyllin on trial for a month".
10th October - "Resolved that William Pugh, a pauper child belonging to this Union be bound an apprentice to Mr Evan Evans of of the Upper Factory, Llanfyllin for 5 years to learn the trade of a weaver, that he be allowed a premium of £4.0.0".

Young William Pugh must have worked well when he was sent to the cloth-making factory for a month, because he was sent back shortly afterwards to start learning the weaver's trade for 5 years.
Unfortunately there wasn't going to be much of a future for the industry in the district by this time because of competition from larger factories in the north of England.
When apprentices were sent away to learn a skilled trade they were not always better off than being in the horrible workhouse, as you can see on the next page...

Questions for the tailor from Meifod...


The 1871 Census
for Llanfyllin
workhouse shows
that William Pugh
was only 8 years
old then ! So he was
apprenticed at
just 9 or 10 years
of age in 1872 !
Link to sources
Back to top
Go to Llanfyllin menu