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Care of the poor
  Abandoned wives  

Again and again in the records of the Rhayader Union there are instances of wives appealing for assistance after they have been abandoned by their husbands.
The cases below are from the entries for the early years of Queen Victoria's reign.

  This entry reads:-
"Elizabeth Francis of Nantmel Parish having applied for 2/- [10p] as a loan as a consequence of her husband having deserted her. Ordered that the money be advanced to her..."
Mrs Francis needed every penny she could get for her young family. If her husband had left she had no income and,
with young children to look after, would not have been able to work.
Victorian family at home

Not all of these wives were alone because their husbands had abandoned them. Lack of jobs locally led many fathers to seek work in the factories and mines of South Wales. If they could not find a job quickly their money could easily run out and they would be stranded, leaving their families in distress.

Mary Williams of St Harmon needed help when her husband went off to try to find work in Merthyr Tudfil. She was loaned eight shillings [40p] by the Rhayader Union !
It was a very hard time for a young mother left on her own.

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