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The Manchester Workhouse

60 second histories

This video covers:  Emmeline Pankhurst’s visit to the Manchester Workhouse and the effect it had upon her

Part of my duties as Poor Law Guardian was to visit the Manchester Workhouse. I was appalled by the conditions I found there. I remember the first time I went into the workhouse, I was horrified to see little girls of seven or eight years old on their knees scrubbing the cold stones of the long corridors. Bronchitis was epidemic among them. I also found that pregnant women in the workhouse were expected to do the hardest kind of work right up until their babies were born and of course these infants were very badly neglected by the authorities. I’m sure these mothers and babies were potent factors in my education as a militant. I immediately set about changing the conditions in the workhouse and soon established myself as a successful voice of reform. I did have opposition though, in the form of a very rude man by the name of Mainwaring, who I could make very angry indeed. He used to have a written note in our meetings reminding him to keep his temper.
20th Century
Suffragette Movement
Key people
Suffragette Movement
Emmeline Pankhurst
Key words: 
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