Friday 24 December 2021

Xmas Day in the Sheffield Workhouse 1883

The following report is from the Sheffield Independent dated 26 December 1883

"The inmates of the above Workhouse were yesterday provided with their Christmas treat. It consisted, as usual, of the substantial dinner of roast beef and plum pudding. A pint of beer was allowed for everyone except the imbeciles and children. They has coffee, as also did everyone who preferred it. The total number of inmates in the house this Christmas is 1334... after dinner they were briefly and suitably addressed by the Chairman (Ald. Hunter). The inmates were then dismissed to their various wards to pass the afternoon in recreation, various friends having kindly sent a quantity of illustrated papers and books for their use. `the old people were supplied with tobacco and snuff and the children with oranges. An excellent tea was given them, and to-day (Wed) there will be a magic lantern entertainment kindly supplied by Mr Rodgers. The Sheffield Pillow Mission sent their usual Christmas present of a letter and illustrated card to each inmate."

It is  a rather sobering thought that "the number of inmates in the house" that Xmas Day was 1334, but it elicited no comment from the reporter. The other point of note is the reference to "The Sheffield Pillow Mission." I have never heard of this organisation before and so I can only speculate that it was tied in with some form of Methodism or Non-conformism. 

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