Vestry notice showing wage / relief rates for the poor

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Partial / Incomplete Date c.1830
Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 London Borough of Merton
Picture Reference Mit_​TomFrancis_​Ln70
Original Format Photo
Notes / History Before the 1834 Poor Law Act, parish authorities were responsible for the care of local paupers.
Those unable to support themselves were sent to the workhouse, built on Mitcham Common during the eighteenth century.

By the standards of the day Mitcham vestry was quite generous in its poor relief. The workhouse provided accommodation for the orphaned, destitute, sick and aged, while a wages supplement was available to those on meagre incomes.

At times up to 40% of the local workforce was claiming relief. Although the wages of agricultural labourers were very low, families were reared "clean, well-behaved and respectable."

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