A complaint about provisions, 24 August 1843, Catalogue ref: MH12/6708.
Poor Law Union: Gainsborough
Union Counties: Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire
Sir, I have here to inform you what bad provisions [food] they provide for the poor at Gainsbrough Lincolnshire. Besides locking me up as they did, they put soap in the provisions that dogs will not eat. If anyone put soap on the ground dogs will not take it. And to speak the truth the provisions are unwholesome throughout. And bad [with] never nothing but bad water to drink. No man can say worse [of] them …. There was a young man that asked the doctor for better provisions than what he had, the Master answered and said that man can eat anything,that was on Thursday. And on the day after he asked the doctor again, and he said he would not have anything to do with him and again on Saturday. But the [doctor] went and never spoke to him. On Sunday the doctor did not come, but on Monday the young man asked the doctor again and from the room of provisions he sent him something in a paper to take at eight o’clock. And he took it at that time and after one hour he said I am going die now. This what happens to a person when they ask for wholesome provisions…Sir ever since they put me in to that room [where he was locked up] that you was informed of, I have had such pain as no man can think when I try to make water. Therefore, a man had better rob on the highroad and [get] sent to the house of correction [prison]. There he will get more provisions and be far better off. Or if a man commits the most horrid murder they do not lock him up so that he cannot go to the privy as I was done by. And as for going to that place, I dare not go there again for they are so full of envy against the poor.
Sir, your most obedient humble servant. August 24, 1843