‘nothing to live on’

A letter written by a man’s daughter on behalf of her father asking for financial support to the Poor Law Commissioners, 13th March, 1862 Catalogue ref:  MH12/13675

Poor Law Union: Bradford on Avon

Union counties: Wiltshire and Somerset


March 13th, 1864

I most humbly beg your pardon of taking the liberty of intruding but he case of my poor father compels me to do so. John Ricketts of Holt in the Parish of Bradford in the County of Wiltshire, formerly a slubber [operated the machine used to prepare cotton for spinning] in a cloth factory. He has brought up a family without any assistance whatever of the parish or from any one when, for forty six years, [has] paid poor rates and for tor fourteen years all rates and taxes. But trade failing and nothing to do and old age coming, he was obliged to apply to the parish this last few years for relief having reached the age of 77. He is to starve or crawl to the Union. They have stopped his pay this six weeks. He has nothing to live on but a trifle to given him or he would have been starved to death by this time for the old man is not able to walk five miles to the Union.

The relieving officer has not been to see him since he stopped his pay. It seems a very hard case after paying poor rates for so many years and receiving any relief in his life and bringing up his family when his neighbours was receiving 12 shillings per week of the parish, he has kept his children on bread to pay the rates when work has been short. I therefore trust to your kindness that your honour will endeavour to do something for him.

The poor old man is almost broken [hearted] at the thought of going to the Union. It is not because he is dirty. I walk six a miles once a month to see he is kept clean. A young man sleeps with him & neighbours are very kind to render any assistance he may require, the reason they gave for stopping his pay was because mother is dead. She was ill sixteen months and he never had anyone to [do] the least thing for her. He is quite capable of doing for himself as he was then only, He is not able to walk far. I humbly beg that you will do something for my poor aged Father. I most humbly beg your pardon and forgiveness for making such an intrusion on your worship.

I remain your most humble & obedient servant

John Ricketts

His daughter

Other information can be obtained from Mr Hyde, Surgeon of the Poor of Bradford, Wiltshire.

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