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The Workhouse Population of the Nottingham Union, 1881–1882

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The purpose of this article is to examine and analyse the resident population of the Nottingham Union Workhouse during a 12-month period beginning on Lady Day 1881. Using data drawn from the workhouse admission and discharge registers this study analyses the seasonal pattern of admissions and discharges as revealed by the registers, and also considers how this pattern might be related to the local economy. The Nottingham region had been a beacon of good practice in the treatment of the poor in the years leading up to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, but soon became a centre of resistance to the New Poor Law. Local politics and the textile trade cycle not only prevented the legislation from being fully implemented after 1834, but also dictated the economic and social conditions which prevailed in Nottingham in the later nineteenth century. The population analysis is based not only on the relevant admission and discharge register data, but also includes a study of the workhouse census information for 1881. The incidence of birth in the workhouse is also assessed together with the use made of the workhouse by women for giving birth and 'lying-in'.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Local Population Studies was first published in 1968, and since then it has focused on presenting cutting-edge research in local, population and social history. It is published twice a year online and in print by the Local Population Studies Society, with the support of the University of Oxford. For information about how to become a member of the LPSS, and for freely available back issues from 1968 to 2010, please visit www.localpopulationstudies.org.uk
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