list shows a number of widows and one old gentleman living in Ystradgynlais.
The most that any of them received was 4/6d (22p)
Although this was worth much more in 1877 it was still
a tiny amount, and probably
all they had to survive on. They almost certainly thought themselves lucky
not to be in the workhouse.
Families in the Swansea valley
faced disease and great
hardship. If they were employed in the mines, quarries
or ironworks they faced danger of death or serious injury.
If they were unemployed or not well enough to work then they had to survive
on the sort of handouts we can see on this list.
For the poor, Victorian Wales could be a very