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What was good about workhouses?

A workhouse provided:

free medical care, food. clothes. free education for children and training for a job.

Why were the conditions of workhouses so awful?

In these facilities, poor people ate thrifty, unpalatable food, slept in crowded, often unsanitary conditions, and were put to work breaking stones, crushing bones, spinning cloth or doing domestic labor, among other jobs.

What were workhouses conditions like?

Conditions were cramped with beds squashed together, hardly any room to move and with little light. When they were not in their sleeping corners, the inmates were expected to work.

Did you know facts about workhouses?

Workhouses were large buildings where poor people who had no home or job lived. People would do jobs around the workhouse in order to stay there to have a roof over their heads. As well as the poor orphaned children, the sick, disabled, elderly and unmarried mothers were also usually sent to the workhouses.

What happened to babies born in workhouses?

Children in the workhouse who survived the first years of infancy may have been sent out to schools run by the Poor Law Union, and apprenticeships were often arranged for teenage boys so they could learn a trade and become less of a burden to the rate payers.

Did children live in workhouses?

Organisation of a workhouse

The men, women, and children were all housed separately. Children were only allowed to spend a brief amount of time a week with their parents. However, most children in a workhouse were orphans. Everyone slept in large dormitories.

What were the three harshest rules of the workhouse?

Rules: The daily work was backed up with strict rules and punishments. Laziness, drinking, gambling and violence against other inmates or staff were strictly forbidden. Other offences included insubordination, using abusive language and going to Milford without permission.

How did the poor view the workhouse?

Some people, such as Richard Oastler, spoke out against the new Poor Law, calling the workhouses ‘Prisons for the Poor’. The poor themselves hated and feared the threat of the workhouse so much that there were riots in northern towns. Use this lesson to find out how some people felt about the new Poor Law of 1834.

What were the punishments in a workhouse?

Punishments inside of Victorian Workhouses ranged from food being withheld from inmates so they would starve, being locked up for 24 hours on just bread and water to more harsh punishment including being whipped, being sent to prison and meals stopped altogether.

Why did children run away from workhouses?

They feared that the ingrained immorality of the workhouses’ older residents would rub off on young paupers, turning them into prostitutes or criminals. They also believed that the poorest children were in need of education to “eradicate the germs of pauperism” and fit them for a productive life.

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