An outraged letter concerning the failure of the Poor Law Board to do its duty and allow the poor to die from neglect, 9 January 1867, Catalogue ref: MH 12/6854
Poor Law Union: Bethnal Green
Union counties: Middlesex
9th January 1867
To the Poor Law Board
Is the case of the poor woman in Bethnal Green, who died from the neglect of the parish doctor to pass unnoticed? Has the poor law board power or no power or control? Is it utterly useless? Are we to be forced to pay poor rates, and also forced to see our poor brothers and sisters die of neglect daily and no redress, no appeal –no bringing the offender before some Tribunal where he shall be punished?
Are our poor to be murdered and those holding authority to bring the murderer to justice, neglect their duty, but passively take no notice of the matter, and let him quietly retain his situation to go on as before to neglect and kill? If the poor law board or any other body have power to bring to punishment those murderous vagabonds who slink under our noses, and neglect their duty, I say, a day or retribution will come. Let him look and tremble who neglects this duty, vengeance is mine saith God. God will bring to vengeance sooner or later, look to yourselves men of the poor law board, and administer justice if you have the power.
William Clarke Russell