Source 1d

Detail of The New Poor Law poster 1837 (EXT 6/1)


[Man with shaved head:]

Oh, Sir, have mercy on me, I cannot work so hard, for I’m old, ill and feeble, allow me but 10 minutes rest.


[Man brandishing a whip:]

Rest, indeed! you lazy old thief, d’ye think ye came in here to be a gentleman.  Old and young must labour here – what was the poor made for but to work? – go to the hemp you old rascal.


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4. This is another extract from the poster.

  • What does this part of the poster tell you about the treatment of the old?
  • Why do you think that the government was keen to make sure that people in workhouses worked?