Finding my grandfather, Hugh Brawley on the Poor Law records for North Lanarkshire made me feel really sad. I didn’t get to meet him but he is not someone from the dark and distant past so knowing that his family was struggling so badly is really quite hard.
Again I have found information on these records that I wouldn’t otherwise have known. In January 1901 my great grandfather, Daniel was suffering from sciatica and unable to work. The record shows he had 5 dependant children. His eldest child , Daniel was only 14 but was already working so is not listed. I doubt very much that the family had savings but they were receiving some money from the Coltness Ironwork Friendly Society. This is something I hadn’t heard about before. It clearly wasn’t enough to cover the family expenses which included rent of 11/6 per month for their two apartment home on Main Street, Newmains.
Shortly after Daniel made his application for relief he was sent to recuperate at Dunoon Convalescent Home. I can only assume that this was organised and paid for by his employer. I wonder how long he spent there and what kind of treatment he received. It makes me want to know more about the Ironwork and how staff were treated in general. So many of my family worked (and in at least three cases died) there that I really should find out more about the company.
While Daniel was enjoying his break by the sea my great granny was struggling to feed the family and had to go to the parish looking for help. It wasn’t as simple as asking for and receiving money. Helen was offered admission to the Poorhouse. Her refusal would have shown she wasn’t desperate enough. I’m relieved my grandfather and his family never had to suffer that.
6 thoughts on “Stories From The Poorhouse (Part 3) – My Granda Brawley”
I thought there were 11 siblings in total Paula?
He did indeed have 11 siblings. By 1901 the first Agnes and Elizabeth had died. Ellen would have been pregnant with Peter and there were another 3 born after that! Hard to imagine nowadays.
Some of mine, likewise, having to prove their need for the poorhouse. The balance on that were the other relatives living in the least of “rooms with one or more windows”. So much poverty!
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The poorhouse records give such insight into how the poor were living at that time. A quirk of fate could change their lives in such a devastating way.
Hi brought up in coltness in the sixties we played at the bing and old wagon ways which led down to the Calder and the old road between cleland and wishaw . How hard life must have been . Ian weir
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Hi Ian. They definitely knew some hard times back then. I do wonder sometimes how they survived.