Looking after the Poor in the 1800’s – Studies from West Country Workhouses


Local & Family History

Day course

Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard

22 May 2023

9:00 pm to 4:00 pm


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The stigma of the workhouse took a long time to die, many of these buildings were still being used by the NHS until recently. We will look at the origins of the workhouse and the effects of the Poor Law of 1834, the setting up of the Poor Law Unions and the building of the ‘people palaces’.

During the 1800s the Unions expanded developing Industrial Schools, Asylums, Orphanages and Hospitals especially in the bigger cities. Case studies from Dorset, Devon and Somerset will be discussed with time to study books and documents about the subject.

All comers welcome.

Tutor information

Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard is a professional family and local historian and tutor in Adult Education.  She runs a variety of family history courses in Somerset and Dorset and talks to organisations all over the country. Migration research has become a central part of Jane’s work, with her organising, attending and speaking at migration conferences all over the UK. Her MA dissertation was about migration from West Dorset to North America in the 1800s.

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