The WORKHOUSE in Bishopsgatestreet. 198

The WORKHOUSE in Bishopsgatestreet.

of their Limbs, and no ways scorched by any Fire, and are now kept at Work in the Workhouse.

And on Sunday, Decemb. 12. 1708, the Beadle of Bridgeward took up a Man drest in Womans Cloaths, begging and counterfeiting himself Lame. There was one John Davis, alias Fox, a lusty young Fellow begging with him, who also pretended Dumbness, shewing a Certificate printed, which set forth that he lost the Use of his Speech by sleeping in a Field, as he was coming from a Fair in May 1707. This Man set upon the Beadle as he was taking up the pretended begging Woman. In the Scuffle she got away by the help of the Crowd, but the other was seized, and being brought to the Lord Maior was sent by him to this Workhouse, where he was brought to his Speech in a little time. And being sent by the said Maior for a Soldier, he offered to discover several other such Cheats as himself. To his Certificate was annexed a Pass, signed by several Maiors of Towns and Cities, and by Justices in the Counties between Chester and London, as Newark, Lincoln, Grantham, Cambridge, Stamford, Huntingdon, Peterborough, &c. so well it seems had he hitherto managed his Imposture.

Two other begging Cheats taken up.

But more particularly, what this Workhouse serves for, and how begun, and still maintained, will appear by this ensuing Paper, which the Government thereof lately took care to have published, for the promoting of charitable Gifts and Legacies thereto.

An Account of the Workhouse.

A true Account of the Foundation, State and Design of the Workhouse for the Poor of the City of London, Christmas 1704.


"Whereas by an Act of Parliament made in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Years of the Reign of our late Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, Entituled, An Act for the better Relief of the Poor of this Kingdom. It is thereby Enacted (amongst other Things) That from thenceforth there be, and shall be one or more Corporation or Corporations, Workhouse or Workhouses within the City of London, consisting of a President, a Deputy to the President, and a Treasurer; and that the Lord Maior of the said City for the time being, be President of the said Corporation, Workhouse or Workhouses within the said City, and the Assistants to be the Aldermen of the said City of London for the time being; and Fifty two other Citizens to be chosen by the Common Council of the said City; which President, Deputy President, and Treasurer for the time being respectively shall for ever hereafter in Name and Fact, Be Bodies Politick and Corporate in Law, by the Name of the President and Governors of the Poor for the said City; and by that Name every of the said Corporations shall and may without License in Mortmaine Purchase, or receive any Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments, not exceeding the Yearly Value of 3000l. per Annum, of the Gift, Alienation, or Devise of any Person or Persons, who are thereby without further License enabled to give the same, and any Goods, Chattels, or Sums of Money whatsoever, to the Uses, Intents and Purposes in the said Act mentioned (which by the Way is an evident Demonstration that the Parliament did expect that People would be very liberal in their Charity to so good a Work;) and that the poor Inhabitants might in time be eased of the present Charge. And each respective Corporation have thereby Authority, from time to time, to make and appoint a Common Seal for the Use of the said Corporation, with Power for the Common Council of the said City to raise any Sum or Sums of Money on the Inhabitants thereof, not exceeding one Years Rate to the Poor in any one Year, for carrying on the said Work, as by the said Act (amongst other Things therein contained) relation being thereunto had, may more at large appear. "

" That at a Common Council held at the Guildhall of the said City of London, the Fourth Day of April, Anno Dom. 1698. The said Common-Council, did by Virture of the Power given to them by the said Act, Elect Fifty Two Citizens of the said City of London, to be in conjunction with the said Lord Maior and Aldermen of the said City for the time being, a Corporation for the Intents and Purposes in the said recited Act mentioned. Who have ever since put the said Act in Execution, and taken a large House in Bishopsgatestreet, and several other Houses contiguous thereto, and have laid out several Sums of Money in purchasing Ground and Building thereon, and in several Alterations in making the Houses aforesaid fit for the Purposes aforesaid; and the said Common Council have by Virtue of the Authority aforesaid raised several Sums of Money on the Inhabitants of the said City for the Purposes aforesaid: And the said President and Governors, and several other Worthy and Charitable Persons, have largely contributed out of their own Estates for the carrying on the said Work, and for the Ease of the meaner Sort of the Inhabitants of the said City. And the said President, Treasurer, and Governors, have made a good Progress in the said Work, and hope by the Charity of such Worthy Persons as may be Contributors thereto, to be enabled to purchase some Estate for the Uses aforesaid, (for there is not as yet one Farthing of Yearly Revenue settled on the Workhouse) that so the Inhabitants of this City, may in some Measure be eased of the Annual Charge and Expence. And therefore the said President, Teasurer, and Governors, think it a Duty incumbent on them, and as part of the Trust reposed in them, to make a Representation of the Usefulness and Benefit of the said Workhouse, and how far it is for the Honour and Advantage of this Renowned City, and Her Majesty's Subjects, and others of this Nation, which is as followeth: Viz. "

" That the Design and Intention of the Governors of the said Workhouse, is to employ all the poor Children, Beggars, Vagrants, and other idle and disorderly Persons that are, or can be found within the said City of London and the Liberties thereof. "

The Design and Intent of it.

" I. The Poor Children are, "

" 1. Such for whom no Settlement can by Law be provided. "

" 2. Such whose poor Friends being much oppressed by a great Charge of Children, or are reduced by Misfortunes to such Circumstances, that they cannot provide for them themselves. "

" 3. Such who are the Children of Seamen and Soldiers in the QUEEN's Service, many of whom lose their Lives therein, or are otherwise rendred incapable of providing for their Wives, Children, and Families. "

" 4. Such who are commonly known by the Name of the Black Guard, who too commonly lived upon Pilfering Sugar and Tobacco on the Keys, and afterwards became Pickpockets and House Breakers, many of whom at last have received their due Rewards, and made their Exits at the Gallows; which are now kept to Work, and get their Livings honestly in the said Workhouse. "

Black Guard.

" 5. Many Parish Children."