Author Topic: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool  (Read 1271 times)

Offline Blue70

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #9 on: Monday 20 November 17 22:30 GMT (UK) »
Interesting developments. Two books you may be aware of already:- "The Liverpool Underworld: Crime in the City, 1750-1900" by Dr Michael Macilwee and "Irish, Catholic and Scouse: The History of the Liverpool-Irish 1800-1939" by John Belchem. The Irish in Liverpool were notable for both poor health and crime/disorder both I blame on the brutalising poverty of their background. They struggled more than other migrants to fit in and get on. 


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Offline purlin

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 17:28 GMT (UK) »
This all makes painful reading but perhaps it does in part explain the reality of your relatives demise.  The link below relates to Rainhill.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4410825/

The type of Irish patients admitted—physically decrepit, extremely poor, isolated from family and friends and suffering from chronic illness—meant that they required more nursing and care. While Irish patients often suffered from chronic disorders, they were noted in admission certificates and case records to be excessively disturbed, unruly and volatile, an association encouraged by traditional stereotypes of the Irish as excitable, bellicose and wilful and further fuelled by reports of unruly behaviour, fighting and high crime rates in the local press. This reputation was reflected in the diagnoses assigned to Irish patients. Mania was the most common form of mental disorder among all asylum patients, and in Rainhill Asylum it was diagnosed in 20 per cent of non-Irish patients. In contrast, over half of all male and female Irish patients were diagnosed with mania, an extraordinary difference.110 Mania was associated with incredible energy and strength manifested in violent, oftentimes unmanageable, outbursts, even among patients who were described as being weak and in poor bodily health. Time and again violence, dangerousness to others and frightening physicality was reported in the admissions certificates and case books amongst Irish patients: ‘wild and furious’, ‘strikes anyone in his way’, ‘raging violently’, ‘threatens each person in charge of him’.
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Offline angel58

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #11 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 18:35 GMT (UK) »
hi my mother was born at brownlow hill in 1924 as her mother was unmarried subsequently 'asked to leave' the family home!!!! my grandmother went on to become a baker/confectioner in a shop on sugnell street liverpool,,,,,,coincidentally now underneath the former workhouse,, present university!!!!!!

Offline Blue70

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 19:21 GMT (UK) »
hi my mother was born at brownlow hill in 1924 as her mother was unmarried subsequently 'asked to leave' the family home!!!! my grandmother went on to become a baker/confectioner in a shop on sugnell street liverpool,,,,,,coincidentally now underneath the former workhouse,, present university!!!!!!

Did you ever find out the father's name? Affiliation Registers are available to view at Liverpool Record Office for 1924-1964 [Ref: 347 MAG 3]. They show basic details, including the names of putative fathers, in cases where the mother went to court to ensure the father paid maintenance for the child:-

http://archive.liverpool.gov.uk/calmview/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=347+MAG&pos=21


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Offline itsrobert

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 21:03 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks everyone for the replies. Liverpool Record Office have been in touch with me today to say that Terence was at Rainhill Hospital for about 10 months before being discharged. Apparently, there should be admission papers and two casebooks (one from the main hospital and one from the annexe where he was relocated to for longer term care). I have asked for these to be digitised for me and I'm excited but also trepidatious about what they might contain! Apparently sometimes casebooks contain photographs of patients from admission and discharge, which might be a bit surreal if they exist for Terence! I'm also a bit unnerved by what I might find out in the papers. But, curiosity will always get the better of me so I've asked for them regardless. Terence was my great-great-great-grandfather, so quite distant to me really. It's still come as a bit of a shock that a direct ancestor was actually in a "lunatic asylum" as they were known then, even if it was only for 10 months!

Will keep you all posted in case you're interested in how this unfolds.

Offline Jool

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 21:13 GMT (UK) »
Hi Rob,

I've had a look in the newspapers for Terence, in case he had any brushes with the law maybe relating to drunkenness or marital disputes, but unfortunately nothing is coming up.

Please keep us posted with any developments.
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Offline itsrobert

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 22:22 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks, Jool. I suspect that his strange comings and goings before 1908 might be partly explained by what I find out from the asylum records. I've gone through more Workhouse admission records back to the late 1880s and 1897 seems to be the first time he was ever in the Workhouse (as far as I can tell at the moment, anyway). It seems that his 1897 admission and subsequent spell in Rainhill may have kicked off a turbulent time in his life from about 1902 until his death in 1908. Will keep you posted.

Offline angel58

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #16 on: Wednesday 22 November 17 17:58 GMT (UK) »
hi my mother was born at brownlow hill in 1924 as her mother was unmarried subsequently 'asked to leave' the family home!!!! my grandmother went on to become a baker/confectioner in a shop on sugnell street liverpool,,,,,,coincidentally now underneath the former workhouse,, present university!!!!!!

Did you ever find out the father's name? Affiliation Registers are available to view at Liverpool Record Office for 1924-1964 [Ref: 347 MAG 3]. They show basic details, including the names of putative fathers, in cases where the mother went to court to ensure the father paid maintenance for the child:-

http://archive.liverpool.gov.uk/calmview/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=347+MAG&pos=21


Blue
hi blue ,, i do have a printout from the library archives,, makes for very interesting reading!!!! i believe my grandmother did only stay for a short time after mom was born,,the father was already married to a catholic lady who wouldnt divorce him,, but i also believe he tried to support grandma and mom,,

Offline itsrobert

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Re: Advice on Workhouse/poor in Liverpool
« Reply #17 on: Thursday 30 November 17 16:31 GMT (UK) »
An update re: Terence Callaghan

I've now been provided with the papers relating to Terence Callaghan's time in the County Lunatic Asylum in Rainhill. I have to say I'm delighted with what I've received - detailed case notes and medical/personal history and even two photos of him on admission and discharge!! To actually see what my g-g-g-grandfather looked like boggles the mind!

Anyway, as hoped, it has given me some clues as to his erratic behaviour towards the end of his life. Basically, it appears from the case notes that he was the secretary/treasurer to a shoemakers' club/society in Liverpool (he was a shoemaker by trade) and that there was some sort of mix-up with the money (he claims to have been misled) and it clearly caused him some anxiety (the notes say that it is playing on his mind). This incident seems to have led him to turn to drink and he has ended up drinking excessively all day long (it even says beer was his particular preference!). This, in turn, seems to have exacerbated the problem (doesn't it always?) and he obviously ended up in the Workhouse suffering in some way. By the time he ended up at the asylum, he is initially diagnosed with acute mania - and then when he is moved to the annexe (where long term patients were located) his diagnosis is revised to dementia. He seems to have difficulty remembering things like dates and events and appears to be generally confused/disorientated. I'm pleased to say that his time at the asylum seems to have gone well - for a while there was little to no improvement in his condition, then after the turn of 1898, things seem to improve quickly and he was discharged recovered. One good thing is that there is a testimony from his former employer saying that he was a "splendid boot hand" for 22 years before he was ultimately sacked for his unreliable behaviour after repeated warnings. Terence worked as a shoemaker in the asylum and regained his ability to carry out his trade.

So, on balance - with a modern perspective - it seems to me that he suffered an unfortunate financial incident which caused him worry and anxiety, sufficient for him to turn to drink. This seems to have led him off the rails and ultimately being declared a "lunatic" (that bit was quite difficult to read, I have to admit). Whether he truly recovered, I would have to question. He seems to have been OK between his discharge in 1898 and 1902 when he goes back into the Workhouse. After that time, he went back at least 15 or more times before his death in 1908, often found on the streets or from a common lodging house, as you may recall. I wonder whether he actually struggled with drink on and off for the rest of his life. And I wonder whether his to-ing and fro-ing from home to the lodging house wasn't a result of his wife kicking him out due to drink?

All in all, it's a bit of a sorry story, but absolutely fascinating nonetheless. In the 18 months I've been into genealogy, this has been by far the most exciting discovery. Not only the photos of Terence - but also the detailed account of his life and character.

Sorry to ramble on - hope that was interesting. Many thanks once again for all your help and guidance while I've been researching this particular avenue.