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Title: North South Divide of the Poor in the Staffordshire Potteries 1871-1901
Authors: Talbot, Richard
Supervisors: King, Steven
Hughes, Jason
Award date: 16-Mar-2017
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Under the 1834 New Poor Law Act, three parishes, Stoke, Burslem, and Wolstanton, became two unions: Stoke Poor Law Union, consisting of the towns of Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton, and Wolstanton and Burslem Union, consisting of the parishes of Wolstanton and Burslem. Wolstanton and Burslem Union workhouse was situated to the north of the city at Chell, and Stoke to the south, bordering the town of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Both workhouses lay within the industrial area known as the Staffordshire Potteries. However, at its broadest extent the aim of this thesis is to establish if two Poor Law Unions covering one industrial area (the Staffordshire Potteries) with similar socio-economic characteristics treated their poor identically or differently and if so, what influences, either internal or external can be attributed as the cause. This wide-ranging study covers various aspects of the experiential dynamics of welfare – vagrancy, the treatment of children and the elderly, religion, and health – none of which have received any detailed coverage in secondary literature relative to the North Midlands. With the aid of Local Government Board (LGB) correspondence and press reports, this thesis endeavours to investigate the authority of the LGB and their Circulars both locally and regionally. It asks how far, and with what variations two contiguous workhouses only six miles apart governed themselves within the framework set by the LGB and its directives. The study focuses on the policy adopted by the LGB considering the Crusade against outdoor relief, and will attempt to determine if this was stringently applied or otherwise. For a period from the inception of the LGB in 1871-1901 when workhouses became almost a refuge for the elderly and infirm – thinly covered by the burgeoning historiography of the New Poor Law, this case study will afford a detailed insight into the nature of pauper life-cycle experiences on relief whilst also considering the factors driving (and differentiating) the complexities of official practice.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, Dept. of Sociology

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