|(Catalogue ref: MH 12/12577)
Reigate Union Workhouse: visit of Mr. Pigott, 12/2/1851
1) Date of last previous visit?
22nd August, 1851
2) Is the workhouse generally adequate to the wants of the Union
in respect of size and internal arrangements?
Yes, in both respects.
3) Is the provision for the sick and for infectious cases sufficient?
Are the receiving wards in a proper state?
Yes, there is a district hospital and fever wards. The receiving
wards are now in the process of alteration.
4) Is the Workhouse School well managed?
Yes, there are but few children of either sex as compared with the
population of the Union and much attention is given to their industrial
13) Has any marked change taken place in the state of the Workhouse,
the number of the inmates, or the general condition of the union,
since your last visit?
There is generally full employment for rural labourers at this time
at good wages from 10/s to 12/s per week. But there are not withstanding
an unusual number of the more able chaps in the workhouse- almost
all however single men of loose character. This has arisen in great
measure from the abolition of the practice which prevailed in all
previous winters of giving able men out relief on the condition
of coming to the workhouse to perform an allotted task of work vid:
14) Observations not falling under any of the previous heads. Attended
a special meeting of the Board of Guardians called to consider the
report of a Committee appointed to enquire into certain charges
made against the Master and Matron of the Workhouse-viz-that the
Master had been in the habit of curtailing the quantities of bread
allowed to adults in the dietary without appraising the Governors
thereof, that the Matron had neglected to make visits to the Infirmary
required by the Regulations of the Poor Law and had not sufficiently
attended to the regular supply of clean clothing. Further that the
overbearing conduct and violent tempers of the Master and Matron
(more than once brought before the Board of Governors) was so intolerable
to the other officers that constant and immediate changes resulted
thereforth after a full consideration of these matters it was resolved
that the Master and Matron should be called on to resign, and to
signify this reply at the next meeting of the Board of Governors
when this resolution is sent to the Poor Law Board. I should wish
to make some remarks there upon. There is no suspicion or imputation
of fraud on the part of the Master who is in many respects an excellent
officer. The infirmity of the paupers is chiefly attributable to
Poor Law Inspector