1843 Poor Law Commission

Extracts from "Poor Law inquiry (Scotland.) Appendix, part III. Containing minutes of evidence taken in the synods of Angus and Mearns, Perth and Stirling, Fife, Glasgow and Ayr, Galloway, Dumfries, Merse and Teviotdale, Lothian and Tweeddale. "

Notes of Cases visited, Glasgow, 4th May 1843, - Unemployed.

1. James Gourlay, copperplate-printer. Out of work twelve months. No work out of doors; would take it if he could get it. Lives with his mother, a widow, who has another son an apprentice. Was one day digging; not fit for it, having no shoes. Got 9d. that day. Twenty years of age. General aspect of house comfortable, with furniture. Supported by his mother and aunt.
NB. - Cut off by the committee for not working, as they receive no excuses.

2. James Adam, 345, Gallowgate, moulder. Had only two weeks’ work for five or six months. When in employment, wages averaged 23s. a week. Wife and two children. Rent 1s. 6d. a week. Had employment from relief committee, but got nine days’ work a short time ago at his own employment; and never went back again to committee after that employment ceased. Has promise of work next week. Does not live in a house of his own. When he had one, paid £5 5s. per annum. Wife clipping.

3. Thomas Weller, same land. Gone in quest of work. Had been three weeks absent. Rent 1s. 6d. a week. Wife and one child.

4. Hugh Campbell, tailor. Five months out of employment. No work of late but two jackets from Mr Scott, which he is now making. Lives with his mother-in-law. Had formerly a house in High Street, rent £3. Worked for Mr Wilson in Saltmarket for two years. Eight pounds of meal from relief fund. Tried work for two hours (wheeling), but too heavy for him. Wife and _____ children. No particular appearance of destitution. Two rooms.

5. William Ingram. Been on supply since May last. Rent £2 15s. Moulder. Married when twenty. Had worked with relief committee, but had sprained his back. Moulding getting better. 16s. a week when employed. Had occupied a better house, but unable to pay rent, and furniture sold. Wife clipping.

6. Alexander Ingram, moulder. Wages 18s. a week. At present working at Green at 9d. No prospect of getting work in his own business. Eighteen months out of work. Last master, Mr Gray, Coatbridge. Twelve months in present house. Rent £3. Had to sell furniture and clothing. Worked at asylum and Green. Again idle. Taken up, again by committee. His wife can make 4d. a day by clipping muslin.

7. Alexander Donaldson, moulder. Three years out of employment. Last with Albion foundry till it stopped. Rent £__. Nothing from parish. Has sold all his furniture. Had nothing but two pecks of meal from relief fund. Used to keep lodgers ; but was obliged to part with all his furniture. Not working. Expects work in his own trade in a day or two. Has been on relief fund since July. Wife ill. District surgeon sees her. In bad health himself. Two or three children.

8. John M‘Donald, labourer. Irish. Twenty years-in Glasgow. Wife and five children. Gets meal from relief committee. Employed working at Claremont. No regular employment for one and a half year. Rent £4 10s.

9. John Brown, labourer. Long out of employment. Left the house in which he formerly lived.

10. John Ewell. Rent £6. Two years out of employment. Irish labourer. About forty. Working with relief committee. Lodgers. Two rooms. House comfortable.

11. John White. Twelve months out of employment. Edinburgh man. Fourteen years in Glasgow. Worked with Niven Brown. Now only 7s. a week. Wife and four children. Twelve months in present house. Did not go to work.

12. Duncan Clark, mason. Rent £3. Sixteen months out of employment. Now employed as a mason in the embankments on Clyde, near Rutherglen bridge. Can make 10s. to 12s. a week.

13. John Clarke, mason. Employed at present. Rent £4

14. John Well. Former rent £3. Seventeen months out of employment. At the Green, 10d. a day.

15. Thomas Edmonstone, blacksmith. Rent £2 12s. Out of work twenty months. Two months on relief committee. Last fortnight had little jobs in his own line. Wife says she often did not break her fast until her neighbours gave her something. Both husband and wife born and brought up in Gallowgate. Rented a £5 house when husband in work, and had two lodgers. Sold all, and came to present house ten weeks ago.

16. George Wilkie, mason. Nine months out of employment. Now at the Green. Furniture gone. Present wages 10s. to 12s.

17. John Macfarlane, blacksmith. Working with committee at 5s. or 5s. a week. Out of employment twelve months. When employed 18s. An indifferent character. Wretched low house, without furniture. Wife squalid and dirty.

18. James Calshall. In bad health. Blacksmith. Two years with Thomas Crawford, Port-Dundas. Wages 18s. a week. In former house, rent £4. Present house 1s. a week. All his life in Glasgow. Not on the parish. House a cellar, being house and smithy, without windows and furniture. Had got clothes from committee. Good opinion of him. Floor earth and damp. Grew ill since he went there.

19. James Macquire, mason. Wife, and two daughters able to work, and earn from 3s. to 4s. a week. Twelve months out of employment. Had been at work on the Green at 9d, but had left it. No cause; but it must have been from his own fault.

20. David Scott, plumber. Keeps lodgers. Bad character. Dirty house.

Notes of Cases of Orphans and Paupers boarded by Barony Parish, Glasgow, 4th May 1843.

1. Andrew Leitch, Silver Grove, Canning Street, Calton. Two rooms, about fourteen feet square each; and a third room of about the same proportions. Admitted that they sometimes have eighteen children in two rooms - eight in one and ten in the other. In the front room or kitchen was found a woman washing, a girl winding, three children sitting in a corner by the fire, and another woman, a neighbour. In this room was one bed, and a pallet by the fire. In the room opening off the first were Leitch and his wife; the latter in bed, he sitting up; both just recovering from fever, which, they said had been introduced into the house by two children of the name of Stewart, sent from the Barony parish. In this second room were several beds. In the third room-were four or five beds. Three children and a woman in one, and one child in another. One of the children of the three in the first bed said to be ill of fever. Mrs Leitch said that, a fortnight ago, she had had eighteen or twenty children in the house. Several had been removed on account of the fever.

2. Arthur Gilmour, Shirra’s back land, West Street, Calton. Fourteen women and children. (nine women and five children) in the house. Most of the women fatuous, others very old. House consisted of four rooms. First, a kitchen and room off it. In the inner were two children; it was nicely furnished, - bed, table with cloth. In kitchen three women and a child. On the other side two rooms of a similar size, filled with beds. One old woman in bed in the inner room; the others up and sitting in the outer room. Although evidently much crowded, the house appeared comfortable and the inmates well attended to.

3. Mrs Murray, 56, Kirk Street, Calton. Several inmates, male and female. Four rooms, two down and two in the garret. Maniac naked by the fire. Old man ill in bed. No medical man. Directed Dr Campbell to visit and report upon state of inmates. Two downstairs rooms. Kitchen and room occupied by Mrs M and husband.

4. David Hunter, by Gallowgate toll, Camlachie. Twelve inmates, adults, and two children. Cowkeeper. House being white-washed. Two rooms appropriated to boarders; one for females. Several idiots; one room for males, with two female idiots in it. Very much crowded, and house ill adapted for the purpose. Appearance generally tolerably comfortable. Two children well cared for. One boy, a-foundling, for whom the parish had ceased to pay, was continued to be kept at their own expense.