Source 4  
print button

Full Transcript- source 4
This is part of a second report made by the Overseers of the workhouse in June 1848.
(PRO Ref: MH 12/15070)

Supplement to the Leeds Mercury
June10, 1948

The Huddersfield Workhouse Inquiry
Official Investigation

The following extract from the Overseers’ report, will show the principal charges upon which the inquiry was instituted:


Of the general treatment of the poor in the workhouse, the Overseers have produced their report that the house is, and has been for a considerable period, crowded out with inmates; that there are forty children occupying one room eight yards by five; that these children sleep four, five, six, seven and even ten, in the one bed; that thirty females live in another room of similar size; and that fifty adult males have to cram in a room seven and a half yards long and six yards wide; that the diet of the establishment has been and still is, insufficient; that four shillings worth of shin of beef, or leg offal, with forty-two pounds of potatoes, have been made to serve for “soup”, for 150 inmates; that the quantity, in gallons, required for this wash, for the household is 27; that three gills of this “soup”, with one fourth of an oaten cake, forms one of the dinners of the establishment; that ten gallons of old milk per day have been made to serve for two meals for an average number of 130 individuals for a quarter of a year together,- being little more that one gill per head per day; that the old women were allowed one quarter of a pound of sugar and half an ounce of tea each, for a week’s consumption; that there is no clothing in stock; that a great proportion of the inmates are obliged to wear their own clothes; that the others have little better than rags to cover them; that instances have been known where the nakedness of even females has not been covered; that there are at present but 65 blankets fit for use in the establishment, to fit up 79 beds; that there are but 108 sheets for these 79 beds, being short of a pair each; that there is in consequence no change of bed linen whatever; that when cleansed the beds have to stripped, and the linen hurried to the wash tub, dried, and put on to the beds again for the same night; and that there are throughout the entire establishment, the most unmistakable signs of bad management, shortsightedness, real extravagance, waste of the ratepayers money, and want of comfort, cleanliness, health and satisfaction amongst the poor.