Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Year of Deaths At A Workhouse

I've been looking for records of deaths in English workhouses and have had a hard time finding those. But the British Parliament set up the poor-law, workhouse system in its occupied territories as well.  I did find the records for some of those in Ireland, where, according to Darwin and Greg, "The careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman multiplies like rabbits." 

Here is the stunning record of deaths for one year in one workhouse in Ireland, ages from infancy to advanced old age, most of them young children.  No doubt, given what he said about the disaster of the beneficiaries of the poor law surviving to the age of reproduction,  I have no hesitation to say that Darwin would have been dismayed that some of their ages get into two figures.   

Update:  Someone has pointed out that this may be the record from two workhouses, though, as they say it would still be an astonishing number of deaths.  I interpreted it to mean one facility with multiple houses, based on how they presented the statistics for occupancy - a lot of them were a compound of different buildings.  I will revise if I was mistaken.  I will point out that even if it was two separate compounds - the temptation is to to call them death camps, that is clearly what they were - it represents a tiny fraction of the British work house system inmates for that year.  

No comments:

Post a Comment