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Source 3B Child Poverty

This is an extract of an application on behalf of an eighteen year old woman for help from Glasgow City Parish. It was written in 1851.

Read the Transcript of the document (below) and answer the following questions.


1. What evidence can you find to show that the house was very poor?

2. What evidence can you find to show that the people were very poor?

3. Why had the people sold their clothes?

4. Why had Mary Gilmour given up her job?

5. Do you think that Mary Gilmour should be given help?

6. Was Mary Gilmour given help?
poor relief application
Poor relief application to Glasgow Parochial Board
Glasgow City Libraries and Archives - D-HEW10/4/23/380
"Mary Gilmour Aged 18 born in Glasgow
presently residing in 41 New Vennel first low door on right- with Isabella Leonard Milligan.

Applies with a swelling in the groin - see Dr Harry.

This is the worst of all the bad habitations I ever saw. A cellar, earth floor, joist roof, unfit for pigs - nor aught else. Landlady stuffing skins of dolls with saw dust - a blind son of about 8 years of age as naked as he was born helping his mother. Clothes sold for their breakfast.

Applicant huddled amongst straw in a recess between the Jam and Wall scarcely long enough for a child to lie in. Her clothes also sold for food - she is naked.
Admits that for a long time she had been associating with a young man who was to marry her, but he has deserted her.

She worked in Port Eglinton Wool Mill till within the last four weeks and was compelled to give up her situation on cause of ill health. Has sold all to pay for medical advice and to support herself before making application to Parish.
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