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Thomas Francis Burke

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lyburke
Australia
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1 of 12  Wed 6th Jun 2012 4:35pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:6

One of my Grandfather James Burke's brothers named Thomas Francis Burke is on the 1911 Census in the Coventry Union Workhouse and Infirmary. His age is 58 and his Occupation is Journeyman Tailor. I live in Australia and would like to know if there would be records of why he was in there and how would I search for them. Thanks Lynette
Thomas Francis Burke
TonyS
Coventry
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2 of 12  Wed 6th Jun 2012 7:33pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1555

Hi Lynette, and welcome to our forum! Wave Although I dont have a direct answer to your question, this link explains in great detail the reasons and process for someone entering and leaving The Workhouse. Here is another link to a postcard photo of the Union Workhouse in Coventry that is for sale on the internet LINK to postcard
Thomas Francis Burke
dutchman
Spon End
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3 of 12  Wed 6th Jun 2012 9:05pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3011

A person falling on hard times would normally be entitled to "Parish Relief". This was administered on a strictly local basis, you could only claim it in the area where you were permanently resident. It was quite common for poor people to be "repatriated" to the parish in which they were last resident. Being a Journeyman your grandfather's brother probably moved around a lot seeking work and so might not have qualified as resident of any particular parish. That left the Workhouse as the last resort.
Thomas Francis Burke
lyburke
Australia
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Thread starter
4 of 12  Thu 7th Jun 2012 1:36am  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:6

Thank you Tony S for the links I will have a look and thank you Dutchman for your explanation about the workhouses. I think I also found his wife but she seems to have reverted back to her maiden name Louisa Sarah Annie Davies not sure still checking it out. I do have some other questions about other family in Coventry about their jobs should I post a new thread Once again thank you for your fast replies.
Thomas Francis Burke
TonyS
Coventry
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5 of 12  Thu 7th Jun 2012 9:01am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1555

Hi Lyburke, Glad you are finding something useful. Maybe post other questions in this thread - that keeps them all in one place for you - we can always separate them if need be. Thumbs up
Thomas Francis Burke
MaryMc
New Zealand
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6 of 12  Fri 8th Jun 2012 1:39pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:26

Lynette, Maybe contact the following: The Coventry History Centre, The Herbert, Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QP. Holdings include: Guardians' minutes (1801-1930); Admissions and discharges (1853-1946, with gaps); Births (1875-1933); Deaths (1845-1943); Creed registers (1861-1943); Indoor relief lists (1851-1940); Register of inmates' property (1856-1929); etc. His wife is at home with most of the kids on the 1911 census - Thomas may well be in the workhouse for the simple reason that he was sick.
Thomas Francis Burke
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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7 of 12  Fri 8th Jun 2012 4:35pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:170

MaryMc makes a valid point. Before the advent of the NHS, the only free medical care was from the Workhouse Infirmary. By 1911 the main role of the workhouse had changed from being primarily a poor house, and evolved into a mixture of old people's home, a place free medical care a refuge for unmarried mothers and their babies, and a night shelter for tramps.
Thomas Francis Burke
dutchman
Spon End
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8 of 12  Sat 9th Jun 2012 12:08pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3011

Inmates may have been sick or elderly, but they were still half-starved and expected to do manual labour. That was as late as 1940. The name of the institution may have changed but its regime hadn't. Many elderly people refused to go into 'hospital' for treatment for fear of what would happen to them. They would rather die at home.
Thomas Francis Burke
lyburke
Australia
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Thread starter
9 of 12  Sun 10th Jun 2012 1:41pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:6

Thankyou all Mary Mc I will have a look at The Coventry History Centre. Well I found Louisa 50 married with 6 kids Francis 26 the eldest as head of house 68 Butts st Coventry. Yes Dutchman it is terrible the way people were treated and some still are. I was looking at orphanage records here in Australia with words like imbecile , drunk and idiot to name a few .I could see the person sitting at the desk looking down at these people. Now I am off to look at the rest of the street names on the maps. Take Care Lynette
Thomas Francis Burke
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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10 of 12  Sun 10th Jun 2012 2:41pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:170

On the subject of Australia and orphans, have you seen the film "Oranges and Sunshine", or read the book (Empty Cradles) it was based on? This tells the story of the many thousands of children who were taken from their mothers and sent to Australia from the UK, and were then treated harshly (or even abused) by the institutions that took them in. This practice went on for several decades finally finishing in the 1960's. It's only in the last few years that the governments of both the UK and Australia have finally apologised for this blot on both of our country's history.
Thomas Francis Burke
dutchman
Spon End
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11 of 12  Sun 10th Jun 2012 3:30pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3011

I've seen TV interviews with former superintendants and wardens of various workhouses (including a nun!) and not once did they express any remorse for the harsh and sometimes sadistic treatment meted out to inmates. Sad
Thomas Francis Burke
lyburke
Australia
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12 of 12  Sun 10th Jun 2012 4:31pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:6

DBC I will have a look for that movie and the book my Grandaughter loves reading she is reading The boy in the striped pyjamas. Dutchman yes I have seen interviews like that and you can see the cruelty in their eyes. When I was at state school in 1968 I was caned across the legs for not being able to do a sum the teacher a man took great pleasure in giving this punishment to everyone. Until my Dad went down to the school and then the teacher disappeared. We have a big campaign here to stop bullying in schools I dont know if it works is there something like this in England. Take care Lynette
Thomas Francis Burke

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