Isle-of-Thanet-L ArchivesArchiver > Isle-of-Thanet > 2005-02 > 1109074915
From: "suzannah.foad" <>
Subject: Re: Minster Workhouse Rules and Regulations
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 12:21:55 -0000
References: <009201c51759$6963bf00$43458351@h0e8l4> <003901c51864$7f5e2640$0200a2c0@laptop>
Some from a Small Booklet on Minster Workhouse, other bits from Newspapers I
have in my collection.
In the summer of 1849 an outbreak of Asiatic cholera led to several deaths
in the workhouse in one week and all the able bodied inmates were sent out
of the house and given out door relief. The epidemic lasted for three months
during which time, some 64 fatal cases were recorded in Ramsgate over a
period of two months.
A similar epidemic re-occurred in 1854 and early the following year the
authority urged Guardians to built new fever wards. The guardians replied
that this wasn't necessary. AS you know Cholera broke out again, nationally
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Fowler" <>
To: "suzannah.foad" <>
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 10:27 PM
Subject: Re: Minster Workhouse Rules and Regulations
> Hi Suzannah,
> where is this material from please? I am trying to check Fowler /Thanet
> Union entries from 1844 but thought that inmates records were missing for
> that period. I had wondered whether the governors records might mention
> them, especially 'chasing fathers who abandoned their families', though we
> do not know if the 2 little girls who died of cholera in the workhouse had
> been abandoned or whether father was away at sea.
> Thanks. Dick Fowler
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "suzannah.foad" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 2:35 PM
> Subject: Minster Workhouse Rules and Regulations
> > To carry on with the discussion I thought I'd add few interesting bits
> Rules of the Workhouse. To the north of the village of Minster in Thanet,
> modern housing has been built on the site of the former institution known
> Hill House hospital as Pat Kendall mentioned, which closed in 1986. The
> extensive buildings has been used mainly as a geriatric hospital
> accommodation since 1926 when it's original purpose, that of a Workhouse
> the poor, ceased to exist.
> > The Isle of Thanet Union Workhouse was the first and largest of several
> East Kent to be built in 1835 and closely resembled it's neighbour at
> > The Workhouse rules and regulations were strict; it was forbidden to
> when silence was ordered, use profane language, insult or revile another
> person or officer, refuse to work, neglect to wash, pretend sickness, play
> games of chance, enter other wards or return after the appointed time when
> set out on errands.
> > Anyone breaking these rules was said to be 'refractory'. Within certain
> limits the Master was empowered to punish the offender by ordering a bread
> and water diet or enter the name of the inmate in the punishment book to
> dealt with at the next board meeting. Damage or theft of workhouse
> was always regarded as a more serious offence than lapses of behavior!
> > May 1836, '30 Lettuces and 25 broccoli heads stolen from the garden
> attached to the workhouse, 4 handbills to be printed offering a two pound
> reward for the information leading to conviction of party or parties'
> > The guardians also took the unusual step of offering rewards for the
> capture of men deserting their wives and children in the workhouse. The
> following were sent to prison for a month
> > Feb 3rd.....Paid bill to Constable for:-
> > Apprehending Knott and Ralph (no first names unfortunately) £ 1.17s.7d
> > To Tyson for Handcuffs £ 1.7s 6d
> > Collector J Broom 8s 6d
> > Clerk to debit Monkton with £1.17s.7d
> > and the establishment of the Union with the other amounts.
> > Punishments were often administered by withholding some part of the
> inmates rations :-
> > Feb 1840, Governor stated to the board he had detected Mary S stealing
> soap from the workhouse. Case investigated and statement found correct.
> Ordered that she be deprived of her allowance of beer as a washerwoman for
> one week.
> > Behaviour problems among the younger children were usually dealt with by
> withholding the treacle or butter which made more palatable their portion
> 'seconds' bread. Older boys could also loose privileges such as being
> allowed to work in the vegetable garden or otherwise caned, 'receiving
> stripes on the hand' or for example:-
> > April 1848, Punishment of whipping with a birch also dry rations for
> George W and William P. Absconding from the gardens and going to Sarre.
> > In times of particularly high unemployment an excess of able bodied men
> the workhouse could be unnerving. In 1841 the Governor (Master) was
> assaulted by 30 men following a dispute over the number of drinking cans
> allowed in their room. Police were called and five Constables arrested six
> inmates ' with great difficulty. Continued threats from the offenders
> greatly alarmed all concerned, the Governor fearing for his life.
> > Disorderly conduct among the men and women inmates made then liable for
> week in the refractory ward on a bread and water diet. This happened to
> George M, but when he afterwards broke '...24 panes of glass", a favourite
> pastime using the loose stones in the yard, he was sent to prison for a
> month. The yards were eventually "bouldered' to prevent this happening.
> > The Strict segregation of the sexes, even to the extent of raising the
> dividing walls between their respective airing yards to above head height
> inevitably led to breaching the rules:-
> > April 1848, Four men sentenced to 21 days in the House of Correction for
> going in the young women's yard at night. Governor reported he has had a
> window bricked up in the young men's room. It was also ordered that one in
> the bedroom adjoining the long room also be bricked up.
> > April 1848, Punishment of "dry rations for the men annoying Idiot".
> > ______________________________
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