Thursday, November 19, 2009


Life was hard for Brigg's poor in March, 1891 when, if all else failed, they had to avail themselves of support from the Brigg Union's Board of Guardians, who oversaw the Workhouse, which stood where Rosecroft is today (adjoining the Monument and at the corner of Wrawby Street and Wrawby Road).
This newspaper extract from the time, kindly supplied by historian Maurice Barrick, gives a glimpse of how it was to be poor in our time in late Victorian times.
County your blessings, as the saying goes.

The usual fortnightly meetings of the Guardians was held at the Workhouse on Thursday.
Present Messrs Thomas Tombleson (Chairman), C. Stow, J. Laverack, J, Nelson, S. Heath, S. Fountain, T. Smith, R. Edlington., E. Jackson, W.J. Swales, J.J.C. Atkin, J. Brumby D. Walker C.S. Holgate, W. Skinner, T.W. Lee. J. Beaulah, T. Robinson, G.Spilman, J. Hill, G. Houlton, W,H, Sissons and R. Johnson.
After the Relief Lists had gone through a letter was read from the Master of Goole Workhouse stating that a lad named Thomas Thompson, aged 13 years who had been admitted into Goole Union, stating that he had absconded from Brigg Workhouse where he had been badly treated by Miss Stevens.
Mr Gibson, Master of Brigg Union, was called into the Board Room, said there was no truth in the boy’s complaint about being unkindly treated. The lad ran away a short time since with another youth. Instructions were given for the lad to be fetched back.
A long discussion took place on the question of allowances to Mr Mason, Relieving Officer for the Brigg District, who owing to advanced age and infirmity is incapable of doing the work. At the last meeting the Clerk was requested to confer with Mr Mason as to the advisability of his giving up such portion of his salary as would enable the Guardians to appoint an efficient Assistant Reliving Officer
The Clerk now reported that he had talked the matter over with Mr Mason who did not altogether fall in with the suggestion.
In the course of debate various proposals were made, but ultimately the matter was deferred without anything being decided upon. With reference to the propose re-arrangement of the Medical Officer’s districts, a letter was read from Dr. Gilmore on the subject, and Messrs Swales and Heath were deputed to confer with him respecting the alterations of his district. Communications had been received from Dr. Behrent (Messingham) and Dr Couldry (Scunthorpe) both of whom declined to agree to the Board’s proposals. It was decide to send copies of the correspondence to the Local Government Board and ask that Board to authorise the Guardians to give six months' notice to Dr’s Behrent and Couldry to give up their appointments.
The following tenders for supplies for the Workhouse were accepted: Bread, 4½ d per 4lb loaf, Mr. Sabey Brigg; Flour, 1/6d per stone Mr Stamp; Brigg, Beef, 5¾ d per lb; Suet, 4d, Mutton (forequarter) 5d, Leg of Mutton, 7d per lb, Mr Denton, Brigg; English Butter, 10d per lb, Eggs 9d per dozen, Mr Stamp, Brigg; Coffins, Mr Milson, Brigg; Groceries, Messrs Varlow, Broughton and Sabey Drapery Messrs Patchett,Finney Cooper and Barlow; Boots and Shoes, Mr E. Allman, Hull; Tea, Messrs Randall & Woodatt, London.

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