Chart listing workhouse tasks in 1852



Many workhouses were established following the Poor Law amendments of 1834, which stated that 'no able bodied person was to receive money or other help from Poor Law Authorities except in a workhouse'. This chart shows the kind of work that inmates were forced to carry out in workhouses around the country, including stone-breaking or oakum-picking - unravelling lengths of tarred rope, for use in calking the seams of battleships. For all this, the pauper received only an allowance of coarse bread; 4 pounds a week if he was married, plus 2 pounds for each child.

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Workhouse tasks
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British Library
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Public Domain

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