Paupers behaving badly in the Victorian workhouse

Paupers behaving badly in the Victorian workhouse

Paupers behaving badly in the Victorian workhouse
Friday 24 September 2021, 10.00am to 10.50am BST
Past event
Past event
Friday 24 September 2021, 10.00am to 10.50am BST
  • Image of Southwell workhouse
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Theme: 
Humanities, Social sciences

The Victorian workhouse still looms large in the imagination as a place of dread. This talk will explore actual conditions inside the workhouse and instances when paupers rebelled, such as Susan Gilliver, who was recorded as ‘refusing to do any kind of work and screaming murder the whole morning, threatening to smash the windows and after throwing two stone[s] through the kitchen windows got over the wall and absconded with the House clothing’. Paupers also regularly swore, assaulted workhouse staff, refused to say prayers, and, when allowed out, returned drunk. Such behaviour demonstrates that discipline was an endemic problem in all workhouses. 

Following the presentation from Dr Williams, there will be an opportunity to ask her questions.

Speakers

Dr Samantha Williams

Fellow of Girton
image of Samantha williams

Dr Samantha Williams is a Reader in Social History at the Institute of Continuing Education and an Official Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Girton College. She studies the history of poverty and unmarried motherhood in England, 1700-1900. 

Booking information

Booking for this event is now closed.

Contact

Events Team
Email: 
festival@alumni.cam.ac.uk