The History of Leith

January 13, 2013


A poorhouse or workhouse was a government-run facility in the past for the support and housing of dependent or needy persons, typically run by a local government entity such as a county or municipality.

In England, Wales and Ireland (but not in Scotland[1]) a poorhouse was more commonly known as a workhouse. In early Victorian times (see Poor Law), poverty was seen as a dishonourable state caused by a lack of the moral virtue of industriousness (or industry as it was called). As was depicted by Charles Dickens, a workhouse could resemble a reformatory and house children, either with families or alone, or a penal labour regime to give the poor work at manual labour and subject them to physical punishment. As the 19th century progressed, conditions improved. for more click here

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