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J Posthlthwaite, Esq, Chairman of the Westbourne Union
James Jacobs, of Westbourne, an industrious labourer with six children under 12 years of age had ceased to receive parish pay, and from a failure of the turnip crop was unable to obtain his usual employment in the harvest of 1835. With his two eldest daughters he left his home for the first time, travelling eastward for the purpose of picking hops. At Burwash, about 60 miles off be succeeded and worked profitably for three weeks. He reported on his return, that hop-pickers were much in request, and that 60 Irishmen had worked near him, when Englishmen would have been preferred. I have since employed the family, and find that the daughters now often work with their mother, alternating field labour with going to school, causing them to be more healthy and less poor.

Captain Allen and Messrs Smith and Cousens, Guardians of the Westbourne Union

Mary Fletcher, wife of Thomas Fletcher, of Westbourne, applied to Mr. Smith in the hay season to employ herself and two boys, which he consented to do. The next day she asked him to take a third boy also, but he declined on account of the youth of the child. At her request he, however, afterwards consented, on condition that she would undertake to see that all did their best, and the consequence was, that they gave him so much satisfaction that he afterwards employed the two younger boys in cleaning bricks. Mr Smith is of opinion, that under the old system there would not have been such anxiety on the part of the mother, or such good conduct on the part of the children, nor would there, as he conceives, have been such inclination to employ them, the improvement in the labourers, and the saving of rates, bring encouragements to employers to undertake work which would otherwise have gone undone. There is also the hope of improving and benefiting the labourer, which operates strongly on their superiors now, but under the old system was entirely lost.

Daniel Barton, of Westbourne, has a large family, and before the Union was a great expense to the parish, but he now supports his family without any assistance of the kind, and difference is, in the opinion of the guardians, entirely attributable to the employment of his children.

In the 1850s the then vicar of Stoughton and Racton in West Sussex wrote to the Guardians of the Westbourne Workhouse requesting that, as a matter of Christian charity, second helpings of gruel were provided on Christmas Day. He was informed in no uncertain terms that if the rations were raised above the minimum required to keep body and soul together the result would be laziness, fecklessness, and hordes of otherwise able-bodied people clamouring to be received.

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