Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
The workhouse at Caersws
Care of the poor
  In and out of the workhouse  
Workhouse drawing
To find out more about workhouses in general, click on the image above

The new workhouse was finally ready to open its doors to local paupers at the end of the summer of 1840.
The extract below is just part of a list of rules which the Board of Guardians brought in from the first of September in that year. These rules brought in the new system which the local poor had been dreading.
Up to this time, local poor people who could not manage were given Outdoor Relief. This was a small payment of money to help them to survive. These changes put an end to this for many people.

  This extract reads:
"That from and after the 1st day of September next, except in cases of sickness and accident, the following rules be adopted and acted upon in this Union -
1st that no able bodied male pauper be relieved out of the Union.
2nd that no able bodied female pauper be relieved out of the Union".

After September 1840 it was the workhouse or nothing for able bodied people needing help. They were regarded as the "undeserving poor", even though it may not have been their fault that they were out of work.
Unmarried mothers bringing up children without the father's help also had to go into the workhouse if they needed help after being abandoned.

More about the workhouse...


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