Social Conditions


Payments were made in money or in goods to the poor of parishes within the Unions who did not live in the workhouse. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 had envisaged payments to able-bodied people in the community only being extended to 2 years in duration, after which the would-be recipients would be required to enter the workhouse. However, in practice this rule caused so much hostility that payments did continue to be made, and only the most helpless members of society tended to be admitted to the workhouses.

At its fortnightly meetings, Llanfyllin Board decided on claims for outrelief and when changes should be made to payments. At the meeting on 28th May 1891:

Rowland Evans, Llanfyllin
Powys County Archives

"Rowland Evans Llanfyllin The Relieving Officer was desired to enquire for a suitable home for this man and in the event of failure to secure a place to ask the Medical Officer to examine the patient with the view to ascertain his fitness for the Workhouse."

And on 29th October:

Sarah Corbett, Llanfair
Powys County Archives

"Sarah Corbett Llanfair The case of this person having again been considered it was resolved to refuse outdoor relief her sons being considered of sufficient ability to maintain her."

Much of the work of the Board at their fortnightly meetings was concerned with ensuring that maintenance payments were made. This involved chasing fathers who neglected to maintain their families, as in the extreme case of Uriah Morrallee (whose family had to be admitted to the workhouse because of his neglect), and also concerned the adult children of destitute parents who were required to maintain them to prevent their admission to the workhouse as paupers. This tended to cause some consternation and hardship amongst the children, such as the son of Margaret Worthington at the meeting on 16th April:

Marg. Worthington a pauper
Powys County Archives

"Marg. Worthington a pauper Andrew Worthington, son of this pauper, attended before the Board and applied excused towards contributing towards the support of his mother to whom he offered a home if she went to reside with him. It was resolved to defer the matter for a fortnight in order that the pauper might be consulted."

However, events seem to have overtaken the parties concerned as the next entry on 20th August 1891 reads:

Margaret Worthington deceased
Powys County Archives

"Margaret Worthington deceased Andrew Worthington son of this pauper applied to the Board to be excused the maintenance arrears on the grounds of inability to pay. It was resolved on the motion of Mr David Jones seconded by Mr Thomas Morris that he be allowed three months time in which to pay the same."

Llanfyllin Board of Guardians
Morrallee Family