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Machynlleth
The workhouse
 
  An abandoned child in the workhouse
Glossary
  Among the entries in the dusty records of the Machynlleth Union are occasional references which remind us of how harsh life in the Victorian workhouse must have been.
A family which had to go into the workhouse was split up, the women and children being housed separately from the men. This must have been very hard indeed for poor families, but there are cases even worse than this in the records.

Inmate - a poor person living in the workhouse.
Maintenance - care of.

 
 
  Entry from workhouse records
 

The above entry from 1862 concerns Jane Pryce, just two years old, and reads:
"The clerk was directed to write to the Poor Law Board to enquire whether they would sanction the allowance of 1/- [5p] weekly for the maintenance of the infant child out of the workhouse, its mother having absconded, considering the trouble to which the Matron might be subjected in the event of there being no inmate capable of taking proper care of the child."

This poor child had no family left in the world. The Unionís main concern was who would pay the 5p per week it might cost if the Matron had to see to her daily care.

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