Lord Crewe's Charity; Helping the Victorian Poor.
Lord Crewe’s Charity was established almost 300 years ago in 1721 by the terms of the will of Nathaniel, Lord Crewe. Members of the clergy and poor throughout the Diocese of Durham were helped through the Trust, but it also provided a boarding school for girls, an infirmary, a cheap shop, discounted corn, and aid to crews and ships in distress.
The papers of Lord Crewe’s Charity are held at Woodhorn Museum & Northumberland Archives and include a number of petitions – letters written on behalf of poor residents of Northumberland and Durham asking for assistance.
This workshop uses these petitions as sources for understanding key Victorian concepts relating to the poor and charity.
• Be introduced to Victorian attitudes towards the poor
• Explore the idea of the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor
• Find examples of persuasive writing in the petitions and consider why it was used
• Identify common factors between those petitioners seeking help
• Consider whether the idea of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor exists in our society, and how it affects attitudes and policy towards the poor.