In 1784 an Act was passed
enabling the parish to appoint a general overseer, with a salary of £100.
Mr. Rainer, a gentleman of considerable property, has always filled the office,
but he accepts only £60 a year. The Poor are relieved at home, or maintained
and employed in a Workhouse, which though old has been much improved by him.
The apartments are now exceedingly neat and comfortable; the Poor are kept clean
and well fed, but are made to work or are punished. If the Out-Poor are idle
or get drunk, otherwise misbehave, or refuse to send their children to service
at a proper age, they are ordered into the house. Badging the Poor is supposed
to have reduced the rates. Mr. Rainer from his knowledge of law often prevents
useless litigation; and, being well acquainted with the character and circumstances
of every person who applies for relief, can discriminate very fairly between
self-created and undeserved poverty.
Course of diet in the Workhouse: Breakfastevery day, onion broth made of water, onions, oatmeal and fat of meat broth; no meat broth used. DinnerSunday, Tuesday, Thursday, meat and vegetables ; other days, bread and cheese. Supperevery day, bread and cheese. 2lbs. of bread are allowed every day to those who work out of the house, and 1½lbs. to those who spin. Children receive a quantity proportionate to their ages. The cheese is not weighed.