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Justifying the relief of poverty

This document was produced by the Reigate Poor Law Guardians to justify the giving of outdoor relief to the poor. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 forbade outdoor relief: those in receipt of poor relief were required to enter the workhouse. However, outdoor relief was less costly and more efficient than admitting people to the workhouse.


James Harman (27), wife (29) and three children. Wages 12/- per week. Allowed a pair of shoes Both the man and his wife are frequently out of health although not returned as disabled. They were know to the Guardians to have been much distressed at the time
John Brown (36), wife (33) and six children under 13. Wages 15/- per week. James 2/8d and has also half an acre of land. Allowed 10/8d for a nurse for his wife This man had been unwell for some time before and had been out of work and lost time by moving from one residence to another.
Amey Harman (19). Allowed 2/8d per week for a bastard child This allowance was merely made a few weeks before the sessions to enable the Guardians to apply for an order on the reputed father and which order was made at the last Michaelmas Session. The allowance will therefore be received back under the order
Thomas King (49) living at Nuffield. Bill for £3 for medical attendance. This is allowed If the medical officer of the Union had attended to this case, no expense would have been incurred In this case the man broke his leg and was taken to the public house at Nuffield. The bill for £3 was not for medical relief, he having been attended by the medical officer of the Union, but it was the bill of the landlord at the public house for board and lodging and which bill was submitted to the Board at their weekly meeting and allowed. He was removed from the public house to the Union Workhouse the first moment the medical officer could certify that he might be removed
Thomas Warren (48), wife (44) and six children all at home (eldest 14). This man’s wages 18/8d per week. Allowed 10/8d for one week This allowance was made in consequence of the illness of the man who had thereby been deprived of part of his usual earnings
Ambrose Knight (44), wife (40) and six children under 12. Wages 12/8d per week although only sometimes unable to work. He is allowed regularly 3/2d per week The permanent relief is ordered to be taken off and his case will in future be brought forward when he is unable to work

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