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‘Great inhumanity’: scandal, child punishment and policymaking in the early years of the New Poor Law workhouse system

  • Samantha A. Shave (a1)
Abstract

New Poor Law scandals have usually been examined either to demonstrate the cruelty of the workhouse regime or to illustrate the failings or brutality of union staff. Recent research has used these and similar moments of crisis to explore the relationship between local and central levels of welfare administration (the Boards of Guardians in unions across England and Wales and the Poor Law Commission in Somerset House in London) and how scandals in particular were pivotal in the development of further policies. This article examines both the inter-local and local-centre tensions and policy consequences of the Droxford Union and Fareham Union scandal (1836–1837), which exposed the severity of workhouse punishments towards three young children. The article illustrates the complexities of union cooperation and, as a result of the escalation of public knowledge into the cruelties and investigations thereafter, how the vested interests of individuals within a system manifested themselves in particular (in)actions and viewpoints. While the Commission was a reactive and flexible welfare authority, producing new policies and procedures in the aftermath of crises, the policies developed after this particular scandal made union staff, rather than the welfare system as a whole, individually responsible for the maltreatment and neglect of the poor.

Les réactions scandalisées soulevées par la Nouvelle Loi des pauvres ont généralement été présentées sous l'angle de la cruauté du régime de travail qu'elle imposait ou bien pour illustrer les manquements ou la brutalité du personnel. Plus récemment, les chercheurs se sont appuyés sur ces moments de crise, et autres périodes de tensions, pour explorer la relation entre le mode local d'administration des niveaux d'aide aux pauvres et celui émanant des autorités centrales, à savoir entre les conseils d'unions (Boards of Guardians) en Angleterre et Pays de Galles et la Poor Law Commission, installée Somerset House à Londres. L'effet de scandale produit s'est en particulier révélé avoir un rôle majeur dans l’élaboration de politiques nouvelles. Cet article examine à la fois les tensions advenues au niveau interrégional et celles qui se sont manifestées entre niveau local et autorités centrales, telles les conséquences politiques du scandale de l’Union de Droxford et de l’Union de Fareham (1836–1837), qui ont révélé la sévérité des sanctions qui avaient été imposées à trois jeunes enfants au sein de ces workhouses. L'auteur illustre les complexités de la coopération au niveau des unions et par quel effet d'escalade a pu se développer une prise de connaissance publique de la cruauté des traitements subis, avec les résultats des enquêtes qui furent diligentées. Elle souligne de même comment les intérêts particuliers des individus au sein du système se sont manifestés dans des interventions (ou non-interventions) et des points de vue spécifiques. Alors que la Commission était une autorité réactive et flexible, produisant de nouvelles politiques et procédures à la suite des crises, les mesures élaborées, en particulier après cette affaire, ont responsabilisé, plutôt que le système de protection sociale dans son ensemble, le personnel de l'union, considéré comme individuellement responsable des maltraitances et négligences à l’égard des pauvres.

Die Skandale während des Neuen Armenrechts sind bislang vornehmlich untersucht worden, um entweder die Grausamkeit des Arbeitshausregimes zu belegen oder die Verfehlungen bzw. die Brutalität des Armenbezirkspersonals zu illuistrieren. Die neuere Forschung hat an diesen und ähnlich gelagerten Krisenmomenten angesetzt, um die Beziehungen zwischen den lokalen und zentralen Ebenen der Wohlfahrtsverwaltung zu ergründen (die regionalen Armenausschüsse in England und Wales auf der einen, die Armenrechtskommission in Somerset House in London auf der anderen Seite) und danach zu fragen, inwiefern gerade den Skandalen eine Schlüsselfunktion für die Weiterentwicklung der Armenpolitik zukam. Dieser Beitrag untersucht den Skandal in den Armenbezirken Droxford und Fareham (1836–1837), durch den die Härte des Strafsystems innerhalb der Arbeitshäuser am Beispiel von drei kleinen Kindern bloßgestellt wurde, im Hinblick sowohl auf die Spannungen zwischen den betreffenden Orten als auch mit der Zentrale in London. Der Beitrag beleuchtet die Komplexität der Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Armenrechtsbezirken, die durch die Eskalation der öffentlichen Aufmerksamkeit sowohl für die Grausamkeiten als auch für die anschließenden Untersuchungen noch akzentuiert wurde, und zeigt, wie sich die persönlichen Interessen Einzelner innerhalb des Systems in besonderen Handlungen (oder deren Unterlassung) und Standpunkten manifestierte. Während die Kommission eine reaktionsfähige und flexible Wohlfahrtsbehörde war, die als Antwort auf die Krisen neue Strategien und Verfahrensweisen entwickelte, stand im Lichte der Ansätze, die genau nach diesem Skandal verfolgt wurden, allein das Armenbezirkspersonal – und nicht etwa das Wohlfahrtssystem insgesamt – als persönlich verantwortlich für die schlechte Behandlung und Vernachlässigung der Armen da.

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*Corresponding author. Email: SShave@lincoln.ac.uk
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Notes

1 Crowther, M. A., The workhouse system 1834–1929: the history of an English social institution (London, 1981), 269; drawing on Goffman, E., Asylums: essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates (New York, 1961).

2 Rose, M., ‘The allowance system under the New Poor Law’, Economic History Review 19, 3 (1966), 607–20; Edsall, N., The anti-poor law movement, 1834–44 (Manchester, 1971); Knott, J., Popular opposition to the 1834 Poor Law (London, 1986); Driver, F., Power and pauperism: the workhouse system 1834–1884 (Cambridge, 1993), 112–30; Ashforth, D., ‘The urban poor law’, in Fraser, D. ed., The New Poor Law in the nineteenth century (London, 1976), 128–46. For a concise summary incorporating new research on the south of England, see Griffin, C. J., Protest, politics and work in England (Basingstoke, 2013), 3441.

3 Roberts, D., ‘How cruel was the Victorian poor law?’, Historical Journal 6, 1 (1963), 98–9.

4 Reading of Henriques by Harris, B., The origins of the British welfare state: social welfare in England and Wales, 1800–1945 (Basingstoke, 2004), 50; Henriques, U., ‘How cruel was the Victorian poor law?’, Historical Journal 11, 2 (1968), 365–71.

5 Gurney, P., Wanting and having: popular politics and liberal consumerism in England, 1830–70 (Manchester, 2015), 95.

6 Shave, S. A., Pauper policies: poor law practice in England, 1780–1850 (Manchester, 2018), 197247; Shave, S., ‘“Immediate death or a life of torture are the consequences of the system”: the Bridgwater Scandal and policy change’, in Reinarz, J. and Schwarz, L. eds., Medicine and the workhouse (Rochester, 2013), 164–91.

7 Quote from Wells, R., ‘Andover antecedents? Hampshire New Poor Law scandals, 1834–1842’, Southern History 24 (2002), 91, and imagery from Brundage, A., The English poor laws, 1700–1930 (London, 2001), 88; also see Anstruther, I., The scandal of the Andover workhouse (Stroud, 1984).

8 Shave, Pauper policies, 227.

9 Hinde, A. and Turnbull, F., ‘The populations of two Hampshire workhouses 1851–1861’, Local Population Studies 61 (1998), 41; Goose, N., ‘Workhouse populations in the mid-nineteenth century: the case of Hertfordshire’, Local Population Studies 62 (1999), 54; Jackson, D. G., ‘Kent workhouse populations in 1881: a study based on the census enumerators’ books’, Local Population Studies 69 (2002), 57; Jackson, D. G., ‘The Medway Union workhouse, 1876–1881: a study based on the admission and discharge registers and the census enumerators’ books’, Local Population Studies 75 (2005), 17; ‘Report on the Continuance of the Poor Law Commission, and on some Further Amendments of the Laws Relating to the Relief of the Poor’ from the Poor Law Commissioners to the Marquis of Normanby, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department (31 December 1839), Report of the Poor Law Commissioners to the Most Noble the Marquis of Normanby, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department on the Continuance of the Poor Law Commission, and Some Further Amendments of the Laws Relating to the Relief of the Poor. With Appendices (London, 1840), (hereafter Report on the Continuance of the Poor Law Commission), 56.

10 Crowther, The workhouse system, 201.

11 Appendix A, Documents Issued by the Central Board, No. 9 Workhouse Rules / Orders and Regulations to be Observed in the Workhouse of __ Union, Annual Report of the Poor Law Commissioners for England and Wales (London, 1835), (hereafter Annual Report [year]), 99–100.

12 Quote from Hendrick, H., Child welfare: historical dimensions, contemporary debate (Bristol, 2003), 44; for work on these topics, see Hulonce, L., Pauper children and poor law childhoods in England and Wales 1834–1910 (self-published, 2016), 21; available at https://www.academia.edu/27951893/Book_Pauper_Children_and_Poor_Law_Childhoods_in_England_and_Wales_1834-1910 [accessed 2 May 2018]; Moore, M., ‘Social control or protection of the child? The debates on the Industrial Schools Acts, 1857–1894’, Journal of Family History 33, 4 (2008), 383; Behlmer, G. K., Child abuse and moral reform in England, 1870–1908 (Stanford, 1982); Hopkins, E., Childhood transformed, working-class children in nineteenth-century England (Manchester, 1994); Jackson, L., Child sexual abuse in Victorian England (London, 2000).

13 Stewart, J. and King, S., ‘Death in Llantrisant: Henry Williams and the New Poor Law in Wales’, Rural History 15, 1 (2004), 6987; McCord, N., ‘The implementation of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act on Tyneside’, International Review of Social History 14 (1969), 104–07; Wells, ‘Andover antecedents?’; Newman, R., ‘A 19th century workhouse scandal’, Sarum Chronicle 14 (2014), 7181.

14 Appendix B, General Report to the Central Board, from Assistant Commissioners &c., No. 7, Letter from Robert H. Stares to Colonel Charles Ashe A'Court, 1 May 1836 in Colonel Charles Ashe A'Court Report on Hants and Wilts, Annual Report (1836), 306.

15 Hampshire Record Office (hereafter HRO) PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 13 May 1836, 199; HRO PL7/3/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 5 September 1837, 342.

16 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 1 January 1836, 121.

17 Quote from HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 1 January 1836, 121; The National Archives (hereafter TNA) MH12/10751, A'Court (Bishop's Waltham) to the Poor Law Commission (hereafter PLC), 15 January 1836.

18 Ibid; TNA MH12/10751, Letter copied in Droxford Union Clerk, H. C. Smith (Bishop's Waltham) (hereafter Smith) to PLC, 4 January 1836.

19 HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 19 February 1836, 26.

20 For examples, see Shave, Pauper policies, under old poor laws see 70–1, and under New Poor Laws see 166.

21 For instance, the Cranborne and Wimborne Unions in Dorset united in October 1836; Shave, Pauper policies, 166.

22 TNA MH12/10751, A'Court (Bishop's Waltham) to PLC, 15 January 1836, which contains the transcribed resolution of Droxford Guardians to unite the two unions made on 4 January 1836.

23 TNA MH12/10751, PLC to A'Court, 19 January 1836 and PLC to Smith, 21 January 1836.

24 HRO PL3/8, The Fareham Union had these resolutions sanctioned by the Poor Law Commissioners in April, Fareham Union Minute Book, 15 April 1836, 183; TNA MH12/10767, Fareham Union Clerk Benjamin P. Rubie (Fareham Union) (hereafter Rubie) to Chadwick, 15 April 1836, a note on the bottom of letter from A'Court dated 17 April 1836 reads, ‘I think this arrangement is highly desirable.’ Replies to both Smith and Rubie sanctioning these arrangements were sent on 21 April 1836 (TNA MH12/10767); HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 22 April 1836, 188.

25 TNA MH12/10767, Rubie to PLC, 2 May 1836.

26 TNA MH12/10767, Rubie to PLC, 23 July 1836; HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 7 June 1836, 87; HRO PL3/7/1, 12 July 1836, 111.

27 HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 12 July 1836, 111–12.

28 HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 20 September 1836, 142–3.

29 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 23 September 1836, 303.

30 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 23 September 1836, 303.

31 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 17 October 1836, 326.

32 HRO PL3/7, Droxford Letter Book, Droxford Union (Smith) to the Fareham Union Board of Guardians, 26 October 1836, 41.

33 British Parliamentary Paper 1837 (225), Third Report from Select Committee on the Poor Law Amendment Act; with the Minutes of Evidence, and Appendix, part 1 (hereafter BPP 1837, Third Report), Thomas Bourne, Q. 4326, 25.

34 HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 26 April 1836, 65; BPP 1837, Third Report, William Harrison, Q. 3781, 2.

35 First quote, BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3783, 2, second quote from Q. 3784, 2.

36 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3786, 2.

37 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 20 May 1836, 203.

38 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, Q. 4332–35, 25.

39 British Parliamentary Paper 1837 (266) Sixth Report from Select Committee on the Poor Law Amendment Act; with the Minutes of Evidence, and Appendix (hereafter BPP 1837, Sixth Report), A'Court Q. 8735, 19.

40 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, Q. 4336, 25.

41 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, Q. 4337, 26.

42 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, Q. 4423, 29.

43 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 17 February 1837, 409; and HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 18 February 1837, 229.

44 Harrison noticed red marks on their bodies: BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3795–6, 3.

45 BPP 1837, Third Report, Reverend Stephen Butler (Clergyman for Soberton), Q. 5007–8, 49.

46 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 22 July 1836, 260; appointed with her husband, who served as the workhouse porter, in early August 1836, HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 5 August 1836, 271 and 273.

47 Observations compiled by the Fareham Guardians to relay to the Droxford Union, HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 17 February 1837, 410; and HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 18 February 1837, 229.

48 BPP 1837, Sixth Report, A'Court, Q. 8734, 18.

49 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, Q. 4340–2, 26; BPP 1837, Sixth Report, Quote from A'Court, Q. 8734, 17; a sketch of the stocks on 18.

50 BPP 1837, Sixth Report, evidence taken by A'Court at the workhouse on the 3 March 1837, printed in Appendix D, 39.

51 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, about standing and sitting Q. 4351, 26; about the duration Q. 4352, 26.

52 BPP 1837, Sixth Report, evidence taken by A'Court at the workhouse on the 3 March 1837, printed in Appendix D, 40.

53 HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 7 February 1837, 216.

54 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 3 February 1837, 399.

55 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 3 February 1837, 399.

56 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 10 February 1837, 402.

57 BPP 1837, Sixth Report, A'Court, Q. 8734, 18.

58 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, Q. 4380 and 4381, 27; Harrison, Q. 3806–9, 3; detail about distance from BPP 1837, Sixth Report, A'Court, Q. 8734, 18.

59 Wells, ‘Andover antecedents?’, 136.

60 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3805, 3.

61 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3787 and 3789, 2.

62 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3811 and 3813, 3.

63 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3791, 2.

64 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3792, 2.

65 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3817, 3.

66 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3824 and 3827–9, 4.

67 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3856, 5.

68 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3832, 4.

69 HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 14 February 1837, 220.

70 HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 21 February 1837, 223–4.

71 HRO PL/3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 28 February 1837, 230.

72 John Walter, House of Commons, 24 February 1837, Hansard, vol. 36, col. 999.

73 John Walter, House of Commons, 24 February 1837, Hansard, vol. 36, col. 1000.

74 John Walter, House of Commons, 24 February 1837, Hansard, vol. 36, col. 1000.

75 HRO PL/3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 28 February 1837, 231–2.

76 TNA MH12/10751, A'Court (Southampton) to PLC, 28 February 1837.

77 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 6114–7, 99.

78 J. L. Newell, ‘Introduction’, in J. Garrard and Newell, J. L., Scandals in past and contemporary politics (Manchester, 2006), 7.

79 The Times, 25 February 1837.

80 TNA MH12/10751, A'Court (Southampton) to the PLC, 26 February 1837.

81 Shahar, S., Childhood in the Middle Ages (London, 1990), cited in Kirby, P., Child workers and industrial health in Britain, 1780–1850 (Woodbridge, 2013), 128.

82 TNA HRO PL3/8, Fareham Board of Guardians Minutes, 3 March 1837, 421.

83 TNA MH32/4, A'Court (Southampton) to PLC, 9 March 1837, emphasis in original.

84 TNA MH32/4, A'Court (Southampton) to PLC, 4 March 1837.

85 TNA MH32/4, A'Court (Southampton) to PLC, 9 March 1837, emphasis in original.

86 BPP 1837, Sixth Report, A'Court, Q. 8734, 18.

87 The Times, 28 February 1837.

88 Brundage, The English poor laws, 83–4.

89 Wells, ‘Andover antecedents?’, 146–7.

90 Assistant Poor Law Commissioners could sometimes lose their own positions in a search for a scapegoat, most notably Henry Parker from the Andover Scandal, and William Day in the aftermath of the Rebecca Riots; on the dismissal of medical officers see Price, K., Medical negligence in Victorian Britain: the crisis of care under the English poor law, c. 1834–1900 (London, 2015).

91 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, Q. 4340–52, 26.

92 BPP 1837, Third Report, Bourne, Q. 4340–42, 26.

93 HRO PL3/8, Evidence of Henry Shawyer, Fareham Union Minute Book, 17 February 1837, 410; HRO PL3/7/1, Droxford Union Minute Book, 18 February 1837, 229.

94 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3786, 2.

95 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3792, 2.

96 BPP 1837, Third Report, Harrison, Q. 3793, 3.

97 HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 10 March 1837, 425.

98 Adult inmates could be punished by a reduction in their meal, as it stated that only the meat could be taken from a pauper's plate after their misbehaviour, for only up to two meat-containing meals in succession.

99 All from HRO PL3/8, Fareham Union Minute Book, 30 March 1837, 444–5.

100 BPP 1837 (481), Report from Select Committee on the Poor Law Amendment Act (hereafter BPP 1837, Report), 8.

101 BPP 1837, Report, 8.

102 Ibid.

103 Ibid.

104 BPP 1837, Report, 11.

105 TNA HO73/52/34, Correspondence between the Home Office and the Poor Law Commission, Thomas Frankland Lewis (Somerset House) to the other Poor Law Commissioners, 22 July 1837, fo. 224.

106 TNA MH1/12, Poor Law Commission Minute Book, 25 July 1837, 198.

107 Black hand-drawn lines in the margins of the document correlate to the topics the Commissioners ask the Assistant Poor Law Commissioners to consider, TNA MH3/1, Report from Select Committee on the Poor Law Amendment Act, 5 July 1837, Appendices to Minutes (Vol. 1).

108 TNA MH10/3, PLC Circular letter to all Assistant Poor Law Commissioners (Somerset House), 28 July 1837.

109 TNA MH10/3, PLC Circular letter to all Assistant Poor Law Commissioners (Somerset House), 28 July 1837; cf. Shave, Pauper policies, 196–217, Shave, ‘“Immediate death or a life of torture are the consequences of the system”’, 164–91.

110 TNA HO73/52/37, Correspondence between the Home Office and the Poor Law Commission, letter sent 26 July received by the Commission on the 1 August, Edwin Chadwick (Somerset House) to the under-secretary of the Home Secretary S. M. Phillips Esq. (Whitehall), 3 August 1837, fo. 253.

111 TNA MH1/12, Minutes of the Poor Law Commission, 28 July 1837, 221; TNA HO73/52/37, Correspondence between the Home Office and the Poor Law Commission, Edwin Chadwick (Somerset House) to the under-secretary of the Home Secretary S. M. Phillips Esq. (Whitehall), 3 August 1837, fos. 253–6; two copies also sent the following week, TNA HO73/52/39, Correspondence between the Home Office and the Poor Law Commission, Edwin Chadwick (Somerset House) to the under-secretary of the Home Secretary S. M. Phillips Esq. (Whitehall), 11 August 1837, fos. 261–6.

112 TNA MH10/3, PLC Circular letter from Edwin Chadwick (Somerset House) to Assistant Poor Law Commissioners, 28 July 1837.

113 TNA MH3/1, PLC (Somerset House) to Assistant Poor Law Commissioners, draft letter, 27 July 1837, Appendices to Minutes (Vol. 1); all three Commissioners had placed their signature on the top left-hand corner of the page, but the editor of this section is unidentifiable.

114 TNA HO73/53/10, A'Court (Knoyle) to PLC, 7 August 1837, fo. 82.

115 TNA HO73/53/26, Robert Weale to PLC, 9 September 1837, fo. 234.

116 TNA HO73/53/11, William Day (Salop) to PLC, 17 August 1837, fo. 90.

117 TNA HO73/53/21, Alfred Power (Downing College, Cambridge) to PLC, 12 August 1837, fo. 202.

118 TNA HO73/53/24, Colonel Thomas Wade to PLC, 9 August 1837, fo. 222.

119 He suggested the punishment book was called ‘Defaulter Book’; TNA HO73/53/24, Col. Thomas Wade to PLC, 9 August 1837, fos. 223–4.

120 TNA HO73/53/16, William Hawley Toovey Hawley (Chichester) to PLC, 9 September 1837, fos. 126–7.

121 TNA HO73/53/17, Edmund Head (Kington, Herefordshire) to PLC, 25 August 1837, fos. 170–1.

122 TNA HO73/53/21, Alfred Power (Downing College, Cambridge) to PLC, 12 August 1837, fos. 202–03.

123 TNA HO73/53/11, William Day (Salop) to PLC, 17 August 1837, fo. 90.

124 Ibid.

125 After marriage to Janet Shuttleworth in 1842, his surname changed to Kay-Shuttleworth.

126 TNA HO73/53/18, James Phillip Kay (Cromer, Norfolk) to PLC, 17 August 1837, fo. 182.

127 Driver, Power and pauperism, 96.

128 Appendix B, Reports and Communications to the Board, No. 3, Report on the Training of Pauper Children By J. Phillips Kay, Esq., M. D., Assistant Poor Law Commissioner, Annual Report (1838), 222–63.

129 Appendix C, Communications Received by the Board, No. 1, Report on the Instruction of Pauper Children, by J. P. Kay, Esq. M. D., Assistant Commissioner, Annual Report (1839), 158. All quotations are taken directly from documents and contain the same wording and spelling as the originals. Any alterations or additions to the originals have been placed in square brackets.

130 Shave, Pauper policies, 212–13.

131 TNA MH12/11036, Patterson, Clerk (South Stoneham) to PLC, 10 May 1839, and PLC to Patterson, 28 May 1839.

132 TNA MH12/10752, Droxford Union Pamphlet sent to PLC, 13 February 1838, pamphlet, 10.

133 TNA MH12/10752, Edwin Chadwick to Smith, 23 February 1838, emphasis in original.

134 Changes in the organisation of schooling in ‘Report on the Continuance of the Poor Law Commission’, Report on the Continuance of the Poor Law Commission (London, 1840), 56–60.

135 Appendix B, Reports of Assistant Commissioners and other Communications received by the Board, Number 1, ‘Report on the Education of Pauper Children; by E. C. Tuffnell, Esq., Assistant Commissioner’ (December 1839), Report of the Poor Law Commissioners (London, 1840), quote from 116, detail from 116–17.

136 No mention of child punishments in Appendix B, Reports of Assistant Commissioners and other Communications received by the Board, Number 2, ‘Report from E. C. Tuffnell Esq. suggesting certain Alterations of the Law’ (Gravesend, 21 March 1839), Report of the Poor Law Commissioners (London, 1840), 127–36; changes in the organisation of schooling in ‘Report on the Continuance of the Poor Law Commission’, Report of the Poor Law Commissioners (London, 1840), 56–60.

137 TNA MH15/5, Subject indexes of correspondence (Poor Law Commission), 1840.

138 Shave, Pauper policies, 212–15.

139 Appendix A, Orders, Instructional Circulars, and Minutes of the Commissioners, Number 3, ‘Workhouse Discipline’, part II, ‘Copy of Circular Letter to Boards of Guardians’, from PLC to Boards of Guardians, January 1841, Annual Report (1841), 118.

140 Appendix A, Orders, Instructional Circulars, and Minutes of the Commissioners, Number 3, ‘Workhouse Discipline’, part II, ‘Copy of Circular Letter to Boards of Guardians’, from PLC to Boards of Guardians, January 1841, Annual Report (1841), 118.

141 Appendix A, Orders, Instructional Circulars, and Minutes of the Commissioners, Number 3, ‘Workhouse Discipline’, part I, section 2, article 3, Annual Report (1841), 115.

142 Crowther contends that ‘by the end of the [nineteenth] century there were more privileges to withdraw’: Crowther, The workhouse system, 150.

143 Appendix A, Orders, Instructional Circulars, and Minutes of the Commissioners, Number 3, ‘Workhouse Discipline’, part II, Copy of Circular Letter to Boards of Guardians, January 1841, Annual Report (1841), 122; these were replicated in education and work more generally, for instance, M. Gomersall, Working-class girls in nineteenth-century England: life, work and schooling (Basingstoke, 1997).

144 Appendix A, Orders, Instructional Circulars, and Minutes of the Commissioners, Number 3, ‘Workhouse Discipline’, part I, section 3, articles 10–16, Annual Report (1841), 116.

145 Ibid., 117.

146 Appendix A, Orders, Instructional Circulars, and Minutes of the Commissioners, Number 3, ‘Workhouse Discipline’, part II, copy of circular letter to Boards of Guardians, January 1841, Annual Report (1841), 122.

147 TNA MH12/14017, Henry Saunders, Clerk (Kidderminster Union) to PLC, 6 August 1842; Official Circulars of Public Documents and Information directed by the Poor Law Commissioners to be printed chiefly for the use of the Boards of Guardians and their officers (London) (hereafter Official Circulars), issue 25, January 1843, no. 22, 32.

148 TNA MH12/14017, Draft reply, from PLC to Henry Saunders (Kidderminster Union), 10/11 August 1842; Official Circulars, issue 25, January 1843, no. 22, 32.

149 Official Circulars, issue 26, August 1843, no. 27, 128.

150 TNA MH12/8979, George Logan (Berwick-Upon-Tweed) to the PLC, 4 July 1845, and reply PLC to George Logan (Berwick-Upon-Tweed).

151 Official Circulars, issue 31, December 1844, no. 42, 202–05.

152 Fowler, S., Workhouse: the people, the places, the life behind doors (Kew, 2007), 135.

153 Official Circulars, issue 31, December 1844, no. 42, 204.

154 Harling, P., ‘The power of persuasion: central authority, local bureaucracy and the New Poor Law’, English Historical Review 107, 422 (1992), 31–2.

155 Price, Medical negligence.

156 TNA MH32/4, A'Court (Southampton) to PLC, 4 March 1837.

157 It did include the Bridgwater case, for instance. See Baxter, G. R. Wythen, The book of the Bastilles, or the history of the working of the New Poor Law (London, 1841).

158 Butler, I. and Drakeford, M., Scandal, social policy and social welfare, rev. 2nd edn (Bristol, 2005), 238.

159 Kirby, Child workers, 3.

160 See, for example, Dunkley, P., ‘Paternalism, the magistracy and poor relief in England, 1795–1834’, International Review of Social History 24, 3 (1979), 371–97; Eastwood, D., Governing rural England: tradition and transformation in local government, 1780–1840 (Oxford, 2004), 133–65; Hindle, S., On the parish? The micro-politics of poor relief in rural England, c. 1550–1750 (Oxford, 2004), 406; P. King, ‘The rights of the poor and the role of the law: the impact of pauper appeals to the summary court, 1750–1834’, in S. King ed., Poverty and relief in England 1500–1800 (forthcoming).

161 Shave, Pauper policies, 260.

162 Ibid.

163 See the series entitled Registers of Paid Officers TNA MH9.

164 Hulonce, Pauper children, 22.

165 Rowbotham, J., ‘When to spare the rod? Legal reactions and popular attitudes towards the (in)appropriate chastisement of children, 1850–1910’, Law, Crime and History 1 (2017), 98125.

166 Hulonce, Pauper children, 22.

167 Ibid., 23, 43; A. Tomkins, ‘Poor Law Institutions through working-class eyes: autobiography, emotion, and family context, 1834–1914’ (unpublished research paper, 2018).

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Continuity and Change
  • ISSN: 0268-4160
  • EISSN: 1469-218X
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