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Board of Guardians

Wellingborough & Kettering News 29/03/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown

Complaint against the Board of Guardians
Great dissatisfaction has been caused in the town by the action of the Board of Guardians in a recent application for relief. A man named William Wilby has been paralysed for two years or more and has recently run out his club money. He received 10s. a week for the first year of his illness, and subsequently 5s. per week; but as this has now expired he became chargeable to the Parish. Having a wife and family, it was thought that the parish allowance was a poor pittance, and a few working men took the matter up andbrought off a prize drawing for the benefit of Wilby; but when the draw is over they find to their disappointment that they have not benefitted Wilby but the ratepayers, as the Guardians have stopped his pay until his benefit is run out.

Wellingborough & Kettering News 24/05/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown

The following letter has been received by the overseers in answer to one sent under the instruction of a vestry meeting respecting the refusal of relief to Wilby:-

Local Government Board, Whitehall,
London. May 16th, 1888.

Gentlemen, l am desired by the Local Government Board to advert to your letter of 16th ult., with reference to the case of William Wilby, and to state that they are of opinion that in deciding whether any particular applicant is so far destitute as to require relief from the poor rate, a Board of Guardians are bound to take into consideration all the means of support possessed by the applicant, from whatever source they may be derived. If, therefore, the Guardians consider that the amounts received by any poor person from other sources are sufficient to provide that person and those legally dependent upon him with all the necessaries which they require, they would not be justified in affording relief from the poor rate.

With regard to the statement in the concluding paragraph of your letter that the Guardians were informed that the action which they wished to take would be against the standing orders of the Board I am directed to point out that the duty of the Guardians as above defined is not prescribed by any orders or regulations of the Board, but is imposed upon them under the General law of the country under which they are only empowered to relieve at the cost of the poor rate, destitution actually existing at the time when application for relief is made. I am to add that the Board are precluded from interfering in regard to individual cases, being expressly prohibited by law from so doing. I am, Gentlemen, your obedient servant.

Edmund Woodhurst,
Assistant Secretary.

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