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Poverty

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Gressenhall Workhouse, Norfolk

© Janet Few

Many of the women whose stories we tell found themselves living in poverty at some point in their lives. You can access the stories by clicking on the women's names below. 

Here are some resources to help with this topic:

Bagley, John J & Bagley, Alexander John The English Poor Law Macmillan (1968)

Burlison, Robert Tracing your Pauper Ancestors: a guide for family historians Pen and Sword (2009)

Cale, Michelle Saved from a Life of Vice and Crime: reformatory and industrial schools for girls, c.1854-c.1901 unpublished thesis for the University of Oxford (1993)

Cole, Anne An Introduction to Poor Law Documents before 1834 FFHS 2nd edition (2000)

Family Search Wiki Poor Law Records pre-1834

Fowler, Simon Workhouse: the people, the places, the life behind doors Pen and Sword (2014)

Gear, Gillian Carol Industrial Schools in England 1857-1933: moral hospitals or oppressive institutions? Unpublished PhD thesis for University of London Institute of Education (1999)

Genguide Overseers of the Poor Accounts 

 

Hawkings, David T Pauper Ancestors: a guide to the records created by the poor laws in England and Wales The History Press (2011)

Higginbotham, Peter The Workhouse Encyclopaedia The History Press (2014)

National Archives’ Podcast Living the Poor Life: poverty and the workhouse in the nineteenth century 

National Archives; Research Guide: Poverty and Poor Laws 

 

National Archives’ Research Guide: Workhouse Inmates and Staff 

 

National Archives’ Research Guide Workhouses 

 

Raymond, Stuart A Tracing your Poor Ancestors Pen and Sword (2020)

Stubley, Peter A Pauper’s History of England: a 1000 years of peasants, beggars guttersnipes Pen and Sword (2015)

Tate, W E The Parish Chest Phillimore (3rd edition 2011)

Poor Law and Rural Communities

Settlement

The Ragged School Museum

Workhouses 

Annie Banks, aka Annie Williams, aka Annie Mullins, aka Annie Brooks, aka Annie Donovan, aka Ellen Donovan c.1862-? from Marylebone, Middlesex - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Farmfield Reformatory for Inebriate Women. 7 minute read.

Mary Ann Bennett c.1868-? from Worcester, Worcestershire - Alcoholism, Illegitimacy, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Prostitution, Farmfield Reformatory for Inebriate Women. 8 minute read.

Margaret Best c.1860-? from Southampton, Hampshire - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Suicide, Farmfield Reformatory for Inebriate Women. 6 minute read.

Honoria Coleman c.1866-1949 born at sea near Singapore - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 3 minute read.

Margaret Conway c.1864-? from Cardiff, Glamorganshire - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 4 minute read.

Minnie Donovan c.1860-? from Douglas, Co. Cork, Ireland - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 4 minute read.

Linda Gummer, later Linda Bush 1867-1920 from Deptford, Kent – Alcoholism, Child Mortality, Domestic Abuse, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Farmfield Reformatory for Inebriate Women. 4 minute read.

Elizabeth Instrell c.1794-1848 from Popham, Hampshire - Mental Health, Poverty. 4 minute read.

Sarah Jameson, later Sarah Woods 1881-? from Newport, Monmouthshire - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 9 minute read.

Elizabeth Jones, later Elizabeth Wannell 1863-1930 from Southwark, Surrey – Alcoholism, Child Mortality, Lawbreaking, Mental Health, Poverty, Farmfield Reformatory for Inebriate Women. 14 minute read.

Alice Kilkenny, later Alice Clancy c.1860-? from Kilclogher, Co Leitrim, Ireland - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 6 minute read.

Margaret Lynch, later Margaret Colgrove 1871-? from Ireland – Abandonment, Alcoholism, Illegitimacy, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 4 minute read.

Ellen O’Donoghue, later Ellen Heather 1863-1913 from London, Middlesex - Alcoholism, Disability, Lawbreaking, Mental Health, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 3 minute read.

Minnie O’Shea c.1854-1916 from Cork, Ireland – Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Sickness, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 20 minute read.

Ellen Sampson c.1858-? from Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland - Alcoholism, Illegitimacy, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Prostitution, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 15 minute read.

Bridget Sullivan, later Bridget (H)usher aka Mary (H)usher, aka Alice Arnold 1866-1928 from Knightsbridge, Middlesex – Accident, Alcoholism, Child Mortality, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 12 minute read.

Winifred Sullivan c.1870-? from Wandsworth, Surrey - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Sickness, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 4 minute read.

Eliza Ann Thrasher 1847-1905 from Northampton, Northamptonshire - Abandonment, Alcoholism, Poverty. Warning, this story involves child abuse. 8 minute read.

Bridget Toomey, aka Mary Ann Gotten, aka Bridget Smith c.1878-1943 and Mary Toomey 1879-?  from Fulham, Middlesex Surrey - Alcoholism, Disability, Lawbreaking, Poverty, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 12 minute read.

One of our A Few Forgotten Women Fridays​ focussed on the girls from Leeds Industrial and Ragged School so you will find many stories in this category on the dedicated page for Leeds Industrial and Ragged School.

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