Punch,  51 (1866), 44.

A Shame to St. Pancras



News-Commentary, Drollery


Utilitarianism, Class, Health, Government, Politics, Medical Treatment

    Discusses a report of a meeting of the St Pancras Poor Law Union who considered a proposal to hire a paid nurse to help relieve the sick wards of its overcrowded workhouse. Believes that the 'benediction of Saint Pancras' will be conferred on the 'master, the committee, and the surgeon of the parish', but that the same saint will not be pleased to learn that the poor-law guardians narrowly voted that the subject of the proposal be postponed, and that this result owed much to the fact that the 'Bumbles' were attending a feast rather than considering this important business. (The reference is to the parish beadle Bumble in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist.) Wishes St Pancras would 'strengthen' Prime Minister Edward G G S Stanley (14th Earl of Derby) in his 'determination to effect a Workhouse Reform', and urges the need to stop such evils as the 'ulcers and bed-sores' suffered by paupers and the 'barbarous procrastination' of the poor law guardians.

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