Durham, one of the northern counties, on the shore of the north sea, is bounded on the north by Northumberland, from which the Tyne separates it, on the east by the North Sea, on the south by North Yorkshire, from which it is separated by the river Tees, and on the west by Cumberland and Westmorland. It is triangular in shape, nearly 45 miles long and 36 broad, and is about the average size of an english shire.
County Durham Workhouses and Poor Law Unions
20 Extract from an account of a charity for placing out poor children, at Greetham in the county of Durham by Rev John Brewster. pp 157-162 Dated 7th Nov 1797
In November 1790, a fund, arising from a rent charge of £6 a year, for apprenticing and placing out poor children at Greetham, fell under my direction. The beneficial effects, attending this small institution, induce me to make this communication; from which I trust it will appear, that much good may be done in this way, at a small expence.
The following is a general statement of the trust
account for the last seven years.
Payments during the same period.
Paid clothing 1 girl for service
I have stated the specific sums expended for each child, in
order to shew how little is required on such occasions. In one or two instances
the parish added something, to supply the deficiency of the fund, which could
not admit of large deductions; and, with only that aid, 15 children have been
apprenticed, and four clothed for service, with this very small fund, in the
course of seven years. Services in husbandry, or menial trades, are the usual
destinations of village children. To adapt, therefore, this plan to the use of
towns, it will be requisite to enlarge the scale of expense, according to the
situation. But, in distributing charitable funds of this nature, it will not be
an unnecessary caution, that the overseers of the poor be not entrusted with the
sole management of them; for though they are often men of real integrity, yet
they will sometime be so far interested, as to wish to confine the effects of
the institution to the children of chargeable poor only, for the sake of
alleviating the burthen of the parish. In all parishes there are many poor
persons, who receive no charitable support at all, and yet have large families
to send out into the world. These ought to be the first objects of attention: as
in all probability it is from the exertions of their industry that they have
been hitherto enabled to preserve themselves in an independent situation; and,
with a little aid of this kind, it is most likely that they may be able to go on
without any call for parochial relief.
Such a fund would be an excellent appendage to a charity school. The trustees of such schools generally lose sight of the children, as soon as they are dismissed from the school. But, if they were to extend their care a little further, and see the, with small premiums, clothed and places at service, or apprenticed to suitable trades, it could not but be attended with the best effects. It would be to the scholar a reward of merit, and to the parent a great encouragement to promote the regular attendance and proper behaviour of the child. dated 7th Nov 1797.