The Anti-Pauper System contains a ground plan of the incorporated workhouse in Thurgarton and a diet table, dating from 1834. Inmates were segregated into various groups and were separated from the opposite sex. The men's yard and day room were apart from the women's, despite the fact that many residents were from the same families. There was also a schoolroom for the children.The new Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 set up a strict system of poor relief. Responsibility was transferred from the parishes to the new district Boards of Guardians. Parishes were grouped together into unions and new, more efficient workhouses were built. The system was supervised by a national Poor Law Commission. The aim was to reduce the growing cost of helping the poor.
- Article by:
- Ruth Richardson
- Poverty and the working classes, The novel 1832 - 1880, London
The hardships of the Victorian workhouse led Oliver Twist utter the famous phrase ‘Please Sir, I want some more’. Here Ruth Richardson explores Dickens’s own experiences of poverty and the social and political context in which he was writing.
- Article by:
- Sophie Ratcliffe
- Technology and science, Poverty and the working classes
Writers such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Brontë illuminated contemporary social problems through detailed descriptions of poverty and inequality. Dr Sophie Ratcliffe considers how the Condition of England novel portrayed 19th-century society, and the extent of its calls for reform.