The Union workhouse, Coxheath. master, John Jarman
Dovey; chaplain, Rev Sampson Kingsford, MA; medical officers & vaccinators,
George Sanders, John Otley, H Pout, Yalding; H W Joy, Staplehurst; C Kennett; E
Farley; clerk, William Nathaniel Ottaway; auditor E W Gilbert.
Source: Post Office 1846 - p 316
Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy
p 94 The Insane in Workhouses
p 95 Maidstone - Hard labour imposed upon imbecile inmates
The Commissioner who visited the Maidstone Workhouse in 1885, where from 18 to 20 male persons of unsound mind are detained, first noticed and disapproved the employment of the majority of these imbeciles in pumping water, which he described accurately as task work of an irksome sort, and one which had to be performed on Sundays as well as on week days.
Notwithstanding that communications subsequently passed between the Local Government Board and the Guardians of the Maidstone Union in 1886, in which our opinions on this subject were made fully clear to the guardians, it was found upon the next visit in June 1886, that the practice of thus employing male imbeciles was not discontinued.
That the work is laborious there can be no doubt, and indeed such would be regarded as punishment labour in any prison, it is wholly unsuited for and cruel to require from men of the feeble physique which the class of lunatics detained in Workhouses usually exhibit, and we greatly regret that the Board of Guardians have not thought fit to make other provision for their water supplies after the remonstrance's thus repeatedly addressed to them upon the subject.
Source: From 41st Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy PP 1887 Vol XXXIX pp 001-398; Submitted by Alan Longbottom
Link to Maidstone Paupers 1834
Page updated March 12, 2008 by Rossbret