"A Night in a Workhouse" - James Greenwood - Pall Mall Gazette

"A Night in a Workhouse" - James Greenwood - Pall Mall Gazette

How the Poor Are Treated in Lambeth! The Casual Paper! "Old Daddy," The Nurse; The Bath! The Conversation of the Casuals! The Striped Shirt! The Swearing Club ! ! "Skiley" and "Toke" by Act of Parliament" ! The Adventures of a Young Thief! &c, &c, &c

by: James Greenwood | publication date: January 12, 1866 | Publication: The Pall Mall Gazette |

 ". . . This mysterious figure was that of the present writer. He was bound for Lambeth workhouse, there to learn by actual experience how casual paupers are lodged and fed, and what the 'casual' is like, and what the porter who admits him, and the master who rules over him; and how the night passes with the outcasts whom we have all seen rowding about workhouse doors on cold and rainy nights. Much has been said on the subject -- on behalf of the paupers -- on behalf of the officials; but nothing by any one who, with no motive but to learn and make known the truth, had ventured the experiment of passing a night in a workhouse, and trying what it actually is to be casual. . . . "  

Greenwood's account in the Pall Mall Gazettte was so successful the work was later reprinted in pamphlet form. It has inspired any number of imitators. The serial originally ran January 12-15, 1866.