Pauper Prisons: Pauper Palaces

A new collection of nine essays about how poor people in the east and west midlands of England experienced life from 1834 to 1871 under the New Poor Law. Edited by Dr Paul Carter and Dr Kate Thompson, topics include:

  • Caron Wilkinson: Widow, Mother and Inmate of the Mansfield Workhouse
  • Managing Useless Work: the Southwell and Mansfield Hand-crank of the 1840
  • Shovelling out Paupers: Emigration under the New Poor Law in Kidderminster
  • Ambrose Taylor of Newcastle under Lyme: A Victorian Tale   of Immorality
  • Who Cared? Death, Dirt and Disease in the Bromsgrove Poor Law Union
  • Reconstructing welfare: the management of pauperism 1834 -1871

Drawing chiefly on the wealth of original evidence in Poor Law Board and Union correspondence in The National Archives, local researchers participated under the aegis of the British Association for Local History in a Heritage Lottery-funded project to examine how individuals and families were directly affected by the new legislation and their detailed investigations shed new light on how significant numbers of the Victorian poor were treated. Pauper Prisons …Pauper Palaces is not only an important contribution to the social history of the period but also lasting testimony to the achievements of this group of enthusiastic and committed local historians.

223pp. Illustrated. Indexed.

Paperback: £6.99;Hardback: £9.99; postage and packing:£2.00

You can order Pauper Prisons… Pauper Palaces online on the British Association for Local History website ( or by post to: BALH, Chester House, 68 Chestergate, Macclesfield, SK11 6DY. Cheques payable to BALH. For further information, please