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Workhouse - part 2; scandal

60 second histories

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A description of the terrible scandal where inmates were forced to pick meat off bones meant for fertiliser because they were so hungry.

Colin McDougal, master of the workhouse at Andover in Hampshire, was rumoured to be a violent drunkard who beat his wife and harassed the young female inmates. It also turned out that his wife and son, apparently a teacher there, also mistreated the inmates, but the big scandal that broke at the workhouse was over food. The poor inmates already received less food than a convict in prison, but the food rations at Andover were so short that men whose job it was to grind bones into powder for fertilizer were fighting over bones that still had meat or marrow on them. Investigations revealed that men and boys were literally starving and had been reduced to eating scraps of meat off bones that were stinking and rotten. One inmate who was interviewed stated that he had indeed picked meat from rotten bones because he was so hungry for lack of food. As a result of an enquiry McDougal resigned from his position, however his replacement proved to be just as bad and even now the problem continues to be a scandal
John Walter
Key words: 
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