p2pnet.net news:- Just about everyone is familiar with Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, the story of a boy born in one of Britain’s horrific workhouses and whose mother dies giving birth.
Were conditions really as bad as those detailed in the Dickens novel? Find out by visiting a new site from Britain’s National Archives and National Trust.
Workhouses were designed, “in as repulsive a way as possible, in order to put people off from applying for help,” says The Workhouse.
“They were set up by unions of six or so parishes, under the New Poor Law of 1834. The Poor Law Unions continued until 1930.”
The online collection holds the correspondence between the union and the central authorities including letters, memos, reports and accounts bound from the loose correspondence.
“You will see details of individual paupers and workhouse staff as well as source material to study indoor and outdoor poor relief, education, building work, public health, local politics and labour history, such as trade unions, Chartism and friendly societies,” says the site.
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