‘they only laugh at me’

A blind former miner seeks additional relief and is advised by the magistrate to write to the Poor Law Board, 15 October 1851, Catalogue ref: MH 12/1301,

Poor Law Union: Camelford

Parish County: Cornwall


Saint Teath

October 15th, 1851

To the Poor Law Commissioners


The one that now calls on you for assistance is a poor blind miner from the above named place. In 1846 at work underground, a shot [spark] flew from my pick that I laboured with and deprived me of the sight of one of my eyes. In 1849, at the work unfortunately for me, [I] lost the sight of the other. From that time to the present I have wandered in the dark. I am from St Teath parish and have called on the board of Guardians at Camelford repeatedly to rise my pay from what they do allow me. They only laugh at me and put the question to me if I cannot do anything by feeling. I beg to say that all they will allow me is one shilling per week.  I have been to the Magistrate to enquire if I have lost my sight whether the board could starve me or not, he told me that they had no [power] but hoped I would make it [known] to you where he assured me [that] you would make me right.

I remain Sir,

Your humble Servant Joseph Beer

St Teath Camelford

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