View Full Version : Children in workhouses

Jackie Reilly
24-01-2006, 9:23 AM
When children were listed in the workhouse apparently without parent, does it mean the adults may have been in another part of the institution, i.e. mother with the women and father with the males?

Does anyone have information about ways in which children were able to leave the workhouse and become independent adults?

24-01-2006, 9:48 AM
Hi Jackie,
The very interesting and comprehensive site, workhouses.org.uk has a section all about children and workhouses.

It includes this
"Children arrived in the workhouse for a number of reasons. If an able-bodied man was admitted to (or departed from) the workhouse, his whole family had to accompany him. Once inside, the family was split up, with each going to their own section. A child under seven could, if deemed 'expedient', be accommodated with its mother in the female section of the workhouse and even share her bed. She was supposed to have access to the child 'at all reasonable times'. "

But the child could just as easily have been left there alone (maybe orphaned or deserted).


Jackie Reilly
25-01-2006, 9:34 AM
Thank you for this most useful web reference. I cannot reproduce some of the most poignant material from this site because it is copyrighted, but anyone with an interest in this aspect of British life would find it both fascinating and sad to reflect on the harsh life some people endured. Listen to the recorded messages by inmates from even as late as the 1920's.