workhouse at Caersws
Care of the poor
|Sickness and disease|
Life for ordinary people in the district
was harsh in Victorian times. With a poor diet,a
lack of clean drinking water, and
damp houses, it was not surprising that disease was common.
Medical knowledge at the time was nowhere near as advanced as it is today,
and poor people could not afford the doctor. It has been estimated that
life expectancy in Brecon around 1850
was only about 30 years !
|Healthcare outside the workhouse|
and Llanidloes Union also appointed medical officers
out in the community to try to improve the health of the poor. In this extract
from the records of the Union we can see the arrangements being introduced
for vaccinating people across the area.
Each Medical Officer looked after a district, and here we can see the vaccination stations in each district.
the first or Mr Llyman's district: Newtown at the surgery, Kerry village,
The Sarn, Dolfa & Moughtrey [Mochdre]
In the second or Mr Evans's district: Llanidloes at the surgery. Llangirrig village, Trefeglwys, Llandinam
In the third or Mr William's district: The Workhouse, Caersws, Carno village, Bettws,
In the fourth or Mr Jones's district: Tregynon village, Manafon, The Adfa, Llanweddelan.
The extract does not say which disease was being vaccinated against, but it was probably smallpox. This was a deadly disease in early Victorian times. Those who survived it were often left scarred, like the man in the drawing above right.