Basingstoke Workhouse: And Poor Law Union

Basingstoke Workhouse: And Poor Law Union

by Barbara A. Large


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This absorbing book explores all aspects of life in that feared institution, the workhouse. From the staff who lived and worked there to the poor souls kept in the medical wing, it reveals a side of Basingstoke that has long since been forgotten. It covers the problems of administration and oversight, the stresses and strains suffered by the new, untrained and inexperienced officers who had to make it work, and the sometimes excruciating difficulty of getting every detail sanctioned by London. It also details how caring for the destitute and unfortunate often depended on the personalities of the people in charge, and how the Poor Law Union became a whole new tier of local government, still operating today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780750962407
Publisher: The History Press
Publication date: 12/01/2016
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword and Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 9

Part 1 Early Years, 1835 to 1845 12

The Background 12

Basingstoke Poor Law Union, the First Days 16

The Officers of the New Union 22

Building the Workhouse 27

Bureaucracy and the Poor Law Commission 36

Poor Life Outside the Workhouse 38

Basingstoke Union Workhouse 42

In Maintenance and Out Relief: Some Numbers 55

Conclusion: the First Ten Years 59

Part 2 Consolidation, 1846 to 1871 61

Moving on From the Early Years 61

The Workhouse Changes 69

Children in the Workhouse 75

The Problems of Health and Disease 83

Life and Health in the Parishes 92

Life in Basingstoke Workhouse 100

Again, Some Numbers 108

Administration and Other Matters 110

Part 3 Challenges and Changes, 1872 to 1900 112

A Retrospective 114

Basingstoke Workhouse 118

A New Infirmary 136

The Union 144

Part 4 1901 to the End 152

The Union and Workhouse to 1914 153

1915 to 1930 158

After 1930 163

Conclusion 165

Appendices 167

I Plan of Basingstoke Parishes 168

II Floor Diagrams of Basingstoke Workhouse 169

III Census Returns by Age, 1841 to 1911 172

IV Workhouse Dietary, 1843 173

V Workhouse Photographs from the 1960s 174

Notes 176

Sources 180

Index 185

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