“On Their Own Account: Victorian Pauper Letters, Statements and Petitions from the Midland Counties” – A talk by Dr Paul Carter

This sounds like a fascinating talk, by someone who really knows his stuff.  Paul Carter works for The National Archives, where his job title is Principal Records Specialist for Domestic Records. He also is researching the history of poverty at University of Nottingham, where he holds a fellowship.

The talk is hosted by Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Labour History Society and will be delivered at 2pm on Saturday 22 October at The Nottingham Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham NG1 4 EZ.  Members of said Society will be having their AGM at the same place from 1pm, and we are told there will also be a Northern Herald second-hand book stall.

If you have tried using original records relating to welfare provision, you will know that the predominant “voice” emanating from the archive is that of the welfare provider: overseers of the poor, justices of the peace, churchwardens, the parish constable and so on – whereas Dr Carter’s raw material springs directly from the pen of the person in need of help.

If you have never tried using original records relating to welfare provision, and would like to give it a try, there are plenty of relevant collections to choose from here at Derbyshire Record Office.  You could start by looking at some of the published literature on the subject in our Local Studies section – for instance, we have a copy of “Pauper ancestors : a guide to the records created by the Poor Laws in England & Wales” by David Hawkings.  Then, once you know your settlement certificates from your overseers’ accounts, you could dive straight into the archives.  On our catalogue, you can find details of a selection of pre-1834 and post-1834 poor law records held here.  If you see a collection that grabs you, give it a click for further information, then pay us a visit!




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