The Victorian Poor Law In Action

Posted on 26th April 2018 by Paul Carter

Pauper Prisons, Pauper Palaces is a new collection of nine essays about how poor people in the east and west Midlands experienced life from 1834 to 1871 under the New Poor Law. Topics include:

•          Shovelling out Paupers: Emigration under the New Poor Law in Kidderminster

•          Ambrose Taylor of Newcastle under Lyme: A Victorian Tale of Immorality

•          Caron Wilkinson: Widow, Mother and Inmate of the Mansfield Workhouse

•          Who Cared? Death, Dirt and Disease in the Bromsgrove Poor Law Union

•          Managing Useless Work: the Southwell and Mansfield Hand-crank of the 1840s

Drawing on the wealth of original evidence in poor law union correspondence in The National Archives, local researchers participated under the aegis of BALH in a Heritage Lottery-funded project to examine how individuals and families were directly affected by the new legislation and their detailed investigations shed new light on how significant numbers of the Victorian poor were treated. Pauper Prisons …Pauper Palaces is not only an important contribution to the social history of the period but also lasting testimony to the achievements of this group of enthusiastic and committed local historians.

223pp.Paperback: £6.99;Hardback: £9.99; postage and packing:£2.00

You can order Pauper Prisons... Pauper Palaces online ( or by post to: BALH, Chester House, 68 Chestergate, Macclesfield, SK11 6DY. Cheques payable to BALH. For further information, please