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The workhouse at Caersws
Care of the poor
 
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In and out of the workhouse  
Workhouse drawing
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The list on the right is from the surviving records of the workhouse. It shows all the paupers in the workhouse at Caersws from the parish of Aberhafesp (with surnames first). This was a small rural parish with a small population and yet there were 14 paupers in the workhouse.
Notice that 11 out of the 14 were children.
In some ways the children of Richard and Mary Owen were luckier than the others. Although they were separated from their father, they would at least be with their mother.
The other children are alone in the workhouse. They were either orphans or had been abandoned by their parents. Children of this sort were sometimes boarded out with families they did not know, or kept in the workhouse until they were old enough to be apprenticed to a local craftsman.
They had very little say in their own futures. Some unlucky children grew up and spent their entire lives in the workhouse.

Below is another extract from the workhouse records. This time it is a list of those paupers leaving the workhouse...

The inmates leaving the workhouse were
David Williams, Edward Davies, another Edward Davies, his wife Margaret and their children Eleanor and John
 

The first name on the list is poor David Williams of Trefeglwys who died in the workhouse. The Caersws workhouse had its own hearse which would have taken his body back to Trefeglwys.
The first Edward Davies of Llangurig left the workhouse to go into service. This means he got work as a servant.
Perhaps the happiest of the circumstances recorded here is the leaving of the second Edward Davies of Llangurig and his family. It must have been a great relief for them to be together again.
The list says that they left on their own notice. This means they declared that they did not need the Union's help any more. They may have had family or friends on the outside who helped them out or found Edward work.

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