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Crime and punishment
  Absconding from the workhouse  
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In March 1844 PC Thomas Jones arrested a man who had absconded (or run off) from Llanfyllin workhouse.
This poor man was Humphrey Thomas, who had been an inmate at the workhouse. If you did not have enough to live on in Victorian times you could ask help from the workhouse. There you would be fed, clothed and sheltered but locked in. You would not be allowed out until you could prove that you could earn a living.
Being locked away from his family and friends must have proved too much for Humphrey Thomas, and he ran away.
He was not just taken back to the workhouse though, as this extract from Constable Jones' journal shows. He was taken before the local magistrates and charged as a criminal.
  It reads:
"I took the above named Humphre[y] Thomas before M. Williams Esq. Charged by Mr Jones, Governor of Llanfyllin Union Workhouse for having absconded on the 27th day of October last and took on him one coat and waistcoat, one trowers [trousers] one shirt and pare [pair] of stockings the property of the Guardians of the said Union house. He was committed to 14 days Hard Labour.
I took the above named prisoner to Myfod and gave him in the charge of Sargeant Lloyd, Myfod"
  Here we can see that Humphrey Thomas is being locked up as a criminal for stealing the clothes he was wearing when he ran away.
After 14 days breaking rocks in the County Gaol he was released and probably went straight back to the workhouse. He now had a criminal record and would find it hard to get work anywhere. He may have spent years locked away in the workhouse.

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