Source 1e

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


By order of the Commissioners of the New Poor Laws, the period for all paupers to work is from 4 in the morning to 10 at night.  3 hours allowed for clearing away & sweeping the workhouse yard

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

Rest, indeed! you lazy old thief, d’ye think ye came 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.

NOTICE.  For being longer than 10 minutes to each of the two meals per day, viz. breakfast and supper, 39 lashes.  For going out of the workhouse yard without permission, a day without food.  Being disobedient 29 lashes & 3 days confinement under ground.  For being idle a month at the tread-mill.

NOTICE is hereby given, all ablebodied paupers who conduct themselves in a mutinous or disorderly manner will be knocked on the head without a trial and their bodies sold to the surgeons.  By order of government.

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5. This is another extract from the poster.

  • According to the poster how long were inmates expected to work each day?
  • How many hours sleep were they allowed?
  • What punishments can you see in the poster?