Sunday, 12 December 2010

Living the Poor Life in Glasgow: Part Two

Back in October I blogged about the Poor Law Archives in Glasgow and the fact that not everyone was happy with the poor relief they were offered, especially if that involved going to the poorhouse. 

In contrast, whilst searching through some online newspaper archives this week I came across a report of a man who, according to the authorities at least, was a little too keen to spend time in the Glasgow poorhouse: 

The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland) 26th March 1902, p.8, col. 7. 

an Irishman, was charged at Glasgow Sheriff Sum- 
mary Court yesterday with contravening the Poor- 
law Acts by becoming chargeable to the parish of 
Glasgow after the city authorities had, at this own 
request, sent him to his parish of settlement in 
Ireland. The evidence showed that accused, who 
was forty-three years of age, had been in the poor- 
house fifteen times. Sheriff Fyfe said that accused 
appeared to be one of those people who came over 
from Ireland and practically lived in the poorhouse. 
That sort of thing would not do; Glasgow was not 
going to keep all the vagrants who cared to come 
into it. Sentence of two month’s imprisonment was


  1. "Glasgow was not going to keep all the vagrants who cared to come into it. Sentence of two month’s imprisonment was passed." - So they kept him after all.

  2. Hi Apple,

    Yes I noticed that too - by sending him to prison Glasgow was still housing and feeding him. When you add in the expense of a court case I don't think they can have saved themselves much money, but no doubt it was the principle of the thing!


  3. I’ve nominated you for the Ancestor Approved Award. My blog post today will tell you a bit more about it:

    I’m looking forward to your on-going posts.


  4. I had read that there was a test ward in poorhouses used for suspect cases, and that, in these wards, conditions were a lot tougher, so they could weed out the people who didn't absolutely have to be there. I wonder why they didn't do that with M'Ateer.