Emsworth poor house details discovered

REV PAUL CHAMBERLAIN: ‘I’m more offended by poverty than a Greggs’ sausage roll’

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A MUSEUM has been presented with a fascinating piece of history – found in a second-hand book.

Dating from 1792, it is an agreement between the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor in the parish of Warblington, and William Young, a baker and grocer of Emsworth.

Mr Young undertook to supply the residents in the Emsworth Poorhouse with ‘good wholesome and a sufficient Quantity of Meat Drink Cloathing (sic) Fuel and Washing’ at his own expense.

In return he would be entitled to the labour of all the poorhouse residents, including children, in his weaving business.

It was discovered by local historian Christine Normand who had it restored, including the seals and donated it to Emsworth Museum.

Mrs Normand, from Langstone, said: ‘It may sound heartless, but it was an arrangement which would have been popular with the rate-payers of Emsworth, keeping down the amount they had to pay out in poor rate.

‘The agreement laid down exactly what had to be provided in the way of food and clothing – not very luxurious certainly, but at least as good as labourers’ families living outside the poorhouse might be able to afford.’