Punch,  53 (1867), 255.

The Fat Pauper Show



News-Commentary, Drollery


Utilitarianism, Class, Nutrition, Health, Animal Husbandry, Agriculture, Exhibitions, Sanitation, Disease

    Begins by announcing the establishment of the 'Fat Pauper Show', a 'sequel' to the Smithfield Club Cattle Show in which the poor law guardians, smarting after the Lancet's 'probings' into their practices, are 'anxious to show that there are workhouses in England, where poor people are well housed, well treated, and well fed', and that reports of brutalities at the Farnham Poor Law Union Workhouse are exceptions to the rule. Explains that the new show will be held at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, and prizes will be awarded to the most corpulent paupers. Adds that just as gold medals are awarded to the best breeder of the Cattle Show, so the 'Fat Pauper Show' will feature a 'Gold Medal to the Feeder'. Presents extracts from a supposed report on the show which describes the age, diet, and weight of paupers, and concludes by adding that the new show will feature displays of artefacts from the workhouse, including 'the stubbly, unclean mattress which sick paupers have to sleep upon' and the wheelbarrows used as bath-chairs.

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