Nineteenth-century NIMBYs, or What the Neighbour Saw? Poverty, surveillance, and the boarding-out of Poor Law Children in late nineteenth-century Belfast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Nineteenth-century Ireland saw the emergence of a campaign to have orphaned and abandoned children ‘boarded out’ from workhouses to live with families in return for payment. Despite growing anxiety about the unsuitability of workhouses for children, communities could show resistance to having these children, particularly those from urban workhouses, living in their own neighbourhood. Using the case of alleged abuse towards three children boarded out from Belfast workhouse to a family living in a remote rural townland, this paper explores the experience of, and attitudes towards, workhouse children boarded into rural communities. Using testimonies of neighbours and poor law officials at the resultant 1872 Poor Law inquiry, it examines the relationship between the children, their foster family, and the wider community and reveals the extent to which those families who took in workhouse children became subject to surveillance not just from welfare authorities but also from members of their community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-135
Number of pages17
JournalFamily and Community History
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Boarding-out
  • children
  • poverty
  • surveillance
  • urban
  • workhouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Nineteenth-century NIMBYs, or What the Neighbour Saw? Poverty, surveillance, and the boarding-out of Poor Law Children in late nineteenth-century Belfast'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this