‘Badly used’

Pauper letter from John Hankinson complaining he has been forced to work in the workhouse when he is unable and the diet is not adequate. 10 July 1858. Catalogue ref:  MH12/775

Poor Law Union: Altrincham

Union counties: Cheshire


Altrincham July the 10th 1858

I am John Hankison, pauper [who] belongs to the township of Timperly near Althringham [and] also belongs to Knutsford workhouse. Honourable Sir, I mean to inform your Honourable Secretary that I was badly used by hard labour and tyranny [cruel hard treatment] used me in abruit [rough] manner. I belongs to Timperly, but Knutsford was our union workhouse. I have been a hand loom weaver, poverty compelled me, so I had to go to the house I [am] 64 years of age, [my] wife 63, Catherine Hankison. Honorable Sir, I have been three times, after trying it I had rheumatic pains and when I could not work, the summoner [workhouse official] sent [me] to prison for hard labour for twenty one days. They made out that I could work and the Governor took me to the doctor, who made out that there was nothing the matter with me. But honourable Sir I felt the pains and the Governor did not. [For] the pauper allowance [food allowance] I am letting your honour knows, I got always a pint of tea, pound and half potatoes for breakfast, for dinner three gills [measures] of skilly [thin porridge or soup] for supper six and a half ounces of bread. For infirm [sick] men 7 ounces of sugar in the week and an ounce tea, 5 ounces of butter. This allowance we do not get, I can prove to it since Mr Lloyd died. Paupers are used with all cruelty I am stating all correct to your honourable Secretary hoping that your honourable would understand my ill treatment between workhouse and prison.
Direct [answer] to John Hankison, Howard Street, Gordons Court, Stockport Brinksway.

I John Hankison will answer for this and witness it when called for.

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