Up to 1834 the poor were treated quite well. Money raised locally was given to them. Orphans, the elderly and single parents were well looked after.
Laws changed in 1834 - perhaps because of a rise in the numbers of unemployed looking for help.
Someone's shared this link elsewhere:
A parliamentary report of 1777 records workhouses in operation in Oldham (for up to 60 inmates), Middleton (40) and Chedderton [Chadderton] (3).
Without knowing population numbers for that year it's impossible to know %
Mr Howlett, Vicar of Dunmow, in Essex, estimated the population in 1780 at 8,691,000
Would poorhouses save the govt money these days?
This post has been edited by SarahBell: 26 February 2012 - 01:04 PM