Ain't there nobody ill in the Almshouses?
New research has uncovered the plight of women in the Campden Almshouses whose husbands died, causing them to be evicted.
One couple, Richard and Sarah Petty, had lived there for twenty years, but when he died in December 1865 and a new man was admitted two weeks later, Sarah was out, just before Christmas.
In the 1871 census she is shown to be living in the High Street with her son Charles and his wife Mary. Charles is listed as a fruiter. Sarah is described as a pauper. Not only did she lose the material benefits of her husband’s pension and fuel but she was also reduced to applying for poor relief, with a significant change to her status. She was buried 3rd Dec 1880, age 83.
The Rules set out by Sir Baptist Hicks, when he built the Almshouses, were for six poor men and six poor women. Additional ‘dwellers ‘ were only allowed to provide assistance, but this seemed to always permit wives, living in the ‘men’s end’ of the row.
More of the story can be read in the attached document.