Institutions and the sick poor
in Sickness, medical welfare and the English poor, 1750–1834
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This chapter shows that the workhouse was the single biggest category of institutional engagement by parish officers. In turn, most workhouse inmates were sick. Yet the workhouse played a variable part in medical welfare spending in most places. Only in Norfolk was its presence concerted and long-lasting. Over time, the range of engagements between parishes and other types of institution, notably hospitals, expanded massively. By the 1820s an institutional sojourn became an anticipated and expected parish response to sickness.


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