Bedminster Poor Law Union Workhouse

Event Details
Date: , 2022
Time: to
Price: Free
With: Rosemary L Caldicott
Page Details
Section: Events
Projects: Eastville Workhouse
Subjects: Workhouses & Poverty Laws
Tags: , , ,
Posted: Modified:
Bedminster Union Workhouse at Flax Bourton, photograph © Peter Higginbotham

Pill Library and Children’s Centre, Crockerne House, Underbanks, Pill BS20 0AT

For more details and booking see here.

North Somerset Libraries are excited to host a series of talks by Bristol Radical History pamphleteers. Visit to find out more about their publications and events. The talks are informal and accessible and would appeal to adults and older teens. Self-service kiosks will be on and there will time to borrow books from our local history display, so bring your library card with you. If you don’t have one, it is easy to join with some ID with your address on. Some Bristol Radical History pamphlets will also be available to purchase with cash.

In our second talk, Rosemary Caldicott brings to life Pamphlet number 35 which will be of particular interest to locals.

During the year of 1855 rumours of murder and cover up were circulating in the small north Somerset village of Walton-in-Gordano. An epileptic destitute country girl had died in the local institution known as the Bedminster Union Workhouse.

Her death caused public outrage after letters were written to the local newspapers. The Board of Guardians were suspected of concealing the true magnitude of neglect at the workhouse, leading to accusations of medical negligence.

In this pamphlet, Victorian social attitudes on epilepsy are investigated within the context of how the draconian workhouse system typically caused particular hardship to people who suffered with epilepsy and other mental health issues.

The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire illustrates the treatment imposed upon the vulnerable poor living in rural England during the mid-nineteenth century and how a campaign for transparency, accountability and social justice was fought for by the local community.

HAnnah Wiltshire Front Cover


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