E3 Activities KS4 & KS5 on the Poor Laws and disabled people using internet based resources.

March 20, 2016 by richard

E3 Activities KS4 & KS5 on the Poor Laws and disabled people using internet based resources.
A. Elizabethan Poor Law

Look at http://www.victorianweb.org/history/poorlaw/elizpl.html
1. What were the religious duties considered necessary in the feudal system, before the ending of the monasteries and the charity they provided?
2. What were the three categories of the poor and which one would cover disabled people?
3. How were the old/sick or infirm (disabled people) to be cared for?
4. In 1601, various Laws were brought together into a framework for supporting the poor in each parish (smallest unit-15,000 in England and Wales). What were the main features of the 1601 Poor Law?
5. What is the difference between outdoor and indoor relief?

B. Challenges to the Old Poor Law Look at E4 Numbers to help you answer.

Look at http://www.victorianweb.org/history/poorlaw/changes.html
6. By how much was the cost of poor relief increasing?
7. What were the reasons for this increase in costs?
8. Who paid this relief and why did they want a change?
Look at http://www.victorianweb.org/history/poorlaw/royalcom.html
9. Do you think the Royal Commission got things wrong? If so how?
Look at http://www.victorianweb.org/history/poorlaw/implemen.html
10. Given children, aged and infirm (disabled) people were the main beneficiaries of the poor law, how did the Workhouse negatively affect them?
Look at http://www.victorianweb.org/history/poorlaw/vismatov.html
11. Describe what the new workhouse was physically like?
Look at http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Aylesbury/index.shtml#rules
And http://www.workhouses.org.uk/life/routine.shtml
12. Describe what a day in the workhouse would be like?
Look at http://www.workhouses.org.uk/memories and read several accounts
13. Write a diary of a week living in a Workhouse as a disabled young woman with a physical impairment which prevents you from standing for long and means you need two walking sticks to walk.
There were more than 2000 Union workhouses built. Find out about a workhouse in your local area http://www.workhouses.org.uk/map/ click down to your area.
14. i Where was it located?
14. ii Describe the physical appearance and lay out.
14. iii Is anything still left of it and what is it used for now?
14. iv Who lived there? (check-out the 1881 census data)
14. v Does the census identify disabled people who lived there?
14.vi How many and with which impairments?

E2 Activity KS3 & KS4. Did the Treatment of Poor People Improve after 1834 Poor Law ?

by richard

E2 Activity KS3 & KS4. Did the Treatment of Poor People Improve after 1834 Poor Law ?
More than 6,000,000 people visited the Great Exhibition in 1851. But what about the people who did not come? Among those who did not visit would have been poor people without means to support themselves. Had life improved for them since the introduction of the Poor law of 1834?

Before 1834 there was no one way of providing help for the poor. The local parish could build a workhouse if it wanted to and make the poor work for their keep. The parish could decide to give the poor money when they needed it.

Some used the Speenhamland System; this linked the amount of money handed out to the price of bread and the number of people in the family. But in 1834 all the different methods of helping the poor were abolished and replaced by the New Poor Law.

The New Poor Law was introduced by the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, which was based upon a report published in 1832. This report had been written by Edwin Chadwick. He wanted the poor to be helped to support themselves. He wanted children to be educated and taught a trade, but many of his ideas were forgotten when the Act was put into force.

The Poor Law Amendment Act set up the Poor Law Commission in London, which was responsible for the organisation of Poor Relief throughout England and Wales. Parishes were grouped into ‘Unions’ and each Union had to build a workhouse.

Plans for the construction of Workhouses were provided by the Commission, which also sent out rules and regulations. Unions were told how Workhouses were to be run and how paupers, the term used for people who entered the Workhouse, were to be treated.

After 1834, anybody who wanted help had to go into the Workhouse. Outdoor relief, giving money to people living in their own homes, was banned, unless the people were old or sick. In the Workhouse, the conditions were to be worse than anything that people might find outside; this was the idea of ‘less eligibility’.

To make sure that Unions kept to the regulations, the Commission sent inspectors to every Workhouse at least once a year. These inspectors were called Assistant Commissioners. They wrote reports on all the Workhouses and sent them to the Commission in London.

The New Poor Law was supposed to be more efficient, but did the care of the poor really improve after the Poor Law Amendment Act?
Visit the National Archives for original documents and activities. Each document has a series of Tasks suitable for KS 3 & 4
1.Huddersfield Report 1847 Response to negative report from Medical Officer of Health.
2.Report by Thomas Tatham , Medical Officer.
3.Week’s Dietary Input Huddersfield 1848.
4.Report of Overseer June 1948 Huddersfield.
5.This is the ‘dietary’ for the Reigate Workhouse in Surrey.
6.This is part of a letter sent from the Reigate Union to an Assistant Poor Law Commissioner. His job was to inspect the Unions in his area and make sure that they were obeying the rules laid down by the 1834 Act.
The letter explains why the Union paid outdoor relief to people living outside the workhouse which was not encouraged. Wages are given in pounds and shillings. Some are disabled people.
7.This is an extract from a report by the Assistant Poor Law Commissioner
on the Reigate Workhouse on 12th February 1851.
8.This is part of a letter written by an Assistant Poor Law Commissioner
to the Poor Law Commissioners.
All can be downloaded to be printed in more legible copies from

E1 Teachers Notes The Poor Laws and Disabled People.

by richard

E1 Teachers Notes The Poor Laws and Disabled People.
The history of the poor laws is conveniently divided into the Early Poor Law, Old Poor Law — crystallised in the 1601 Act for the Relief of the Poor, and the New Poor Law — heralded by the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
The Old Poor Law can be broadly characterised as being parish-centred, haphazardly implemented, locally enforced, and with some of its most significant developments (e.g. the operation of workhouses) being completely voluntary. The New Poor Law, based on the new administrative unit of the Poor Law Union, aimed to introduce a rigorously implemented, centrally enforced, standard system that was to be imposed on all and which centred on the workhouse.
In fact, there was very little that was actually new in the system introduced in 1834. Its key elements — the grouping of parishes into unions, the deterrent workhouse, and the workhouse test — had all existed under the Old Poor Law. Essentially, it was the manner in which poor relief was administered that changed under the New Poor Law
At a more profound level, however, the New Poor Law saw a fundamental change in the way that the poor were viewed by many of their “betters”. The traditional attitude had been one of poverty being inevitable (exemplified by the oft-quoted biblical text “For the poor always ye have with you”), the poor essentially victims of their situation, and their relief a Christian duty. The 1834 Act was guided by a growing view that the poor were largely responsible for their own situation, which they could change if they chose to do so.

Early Poor Law

Under the feudal system most ordinary people were tied to the land. They were born in the manor, expected to work and fight for their Lord of the Manor and in return were granted shelter, grazing, cultivation and other rights. The family were expected to provide for the needy old, young and disabled with occasional help from the church or Lord of the Manor. Some who were sick or infirmed sought support in monasteries.

The earliest English laws dealing with the poor were largely concerned with suppressing beggars and travelling beggars. The Black Death (1348 -49) led to up to one third of the population dying. This led to a severe labour shortage. So groups of workers travelled the country to get the highest wages they could secure and begged for food and shelter as they travelled. In 1349, in reaction, Edward III passed an Ordinance of Labour. This kept wages at their former level and prohibited private individuals from giving relief to non-disabled beggars.
In 1388 the Statute of Cambridge (Richard II), introduced restrictions on the movement of all labourers and beggars. The growth of the Towns was beginning to act as a magnet to draw labourers off the land in search of a better livelihood. Each county became responsible for relieving its own ‘impotent poor’ –those who because of age or infirmity(disability and sickness) were incapable of work.

There remained considerable concern about vagabonds or tramps begging and further draconian laws were passed. There was often a concern that disabled beggars were pretending or faking it to get sympathy and hand-outs. The 1494 Vagabonds’ Act (Henry VIII) determined that ‘Vagabonds, idle and suspected persons shall be set in the stocks for three days and three nights and have none other sustenance but bread and water and shall be put out of Town’. Those capable of work were returned to the County Hundred they came from. Further, the Beggars and Vagabonds’ Act 1531(Henry VII) required vagabonds to be whipped and returned to their birthplace for three years, but also allowed the impotent poor to beg after obtaining a licence from a Justice of the Peace (Magistrate).

The seeds of the future direction of the poor law were sown in the short lived 1536 Vagabonds’ Act (Henry VIII) .This was the year of the dissolution of the monasteries and significantly increased the numbers of sick and disabled people begging. The Act required church wardens in each parish to collect voluntary alms in a ‘common box’ to provide hand-outs for those who could not work, while at the same time the idle and able bodied poor were obliged to perform labour with punishment for those who refused. The Act also prohibited begging and unofficial alms giving. A further Act of 1547(Edward VI) included provision for the ‘ impotent poor’ including the erection of cottages for them to live in-‘poorhouses’.

This Act was followed by a series of laws tightening the voluntary contribution to each household and then a series of local poor-taxes in London, Cambridge, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and York and became adopted nationally in the Vagabonds Act 1572 (Elizabeth I). The money raised was used to relieve ‘aged, poor, impotent and decaying persons’ and administered by an unpaid parish overseer-this was the first national pension and disability benefit scheme. Every town, city, market and market town was to lay in a store of wool, hemp, flax, iron and other materials to provide work for the poor able to work. In 1597, the Act for Relief of the Poor (Elizabeth I) required every parish to appoint Overseers of the Poor whose job it was to collect and distribute the poor rate, find work for the able bodied and set up parish houses for those incapable of supporting themselves. Impairment was common due to war, disease and rudimentary medical practice. Many amongst the poor judged as able to work would still have impairments and be classed today as disabled people. Classification was subjective and continued to be so under the Poor Law.

Old Poor Law or Elizabethan Poor Law 1601
These Acts were consolidated in 1601 Poor Relief Act (Elizabeth I) and also made ‘necessary relief of the lame, impotent, old , blind and such other among them being poor and not able to work’ the responsibility of the parish. The needy poor were also made the legal responsibility of their parents, grandparents or children, if such relatives were themselves able to provide support-an early means test. Implementation of this range of measures which became known as the ‘Old Poor Law’, was often patchy and non-sustained, but it continued with some amendment up until 1834 and elements can still be traced in social provision today .

Between 1697 to 1810 anyone receiving poor relief should wear a badge on their right shoulder. The badge , in red or blue cloth was to consist of the letter P together with the initial letter of the parish for example Ampthill parish would be AP. Initially this was to identify recipients of parish charity, but by 1697 it had acquired stigma and was to act as a further deterrent to claiming relief .
Parish poor relief was dispensed mostly through “out-relief” — grants of money, clothing, food, or fuel, to those living in their own homes. However, the workhouse gradually began to evolve in the seventeenth century as an alternative form of “indoor relief”, both to save the parish money, and also as a deterrent to the able-bodied who were required to work, usually without pay, in return for their board and lodging.

Various reforms were introduced throughout C18th giving more power to the representatives of rate payers rather than the church and vestry. The Knatchbull Act 1723 introduced a legal framework for workhouses, which could be contracted or farmed out to private providers and a workhouse test that should act as a deterrent and relief could be limited to those desperate enough to accept the regime of ‘indoor relief’, in the workhouse. The Gilbert Act 1782 aimed to organise poor relief on a larger scale, which to this point had only been done by a few places such as Bristol using separate acts of Parliament. Parishes could form ‘unions’ roughly the size of County Hundreds. The Unions could set up a common workhouse for a number of parishes, although this was for the benefit only of the ‘old, the sick and infirm and orphan children’. Able bodied paupers were not to be admitted, but were found employment near their homes with land-owners, farmers and other employers who received allowances from the poor rates to bring their wages to subsistence levels.

No statistics were published until 1777 for England and Wales which covered the year- Easter 1775 to Easter 1776.These recorded a total of 1978 workhouses with a capacity of 90,000 places (excluding a few Local Act parishes). Total expenditure was £1.55million with 5% spent on workhouse accommodation and 94% spent on out relief i.e. employment for able-bodied poor and handouts to the impotent poor in their homes. The population in this year was 8 million and around 306,000 people received some form of relief or 3.8% of the population .

An analysis over time shows a slow upward trend until the Napoleonic wars and the negative impact on employment at the end of this period, when dramatic increases occur leading to popular concern and the Royal Commission on the Poor Law in 1832 and the New Poor Law in 1834 following which the numbers claiming relief are reduced, only to slowly rise in line with population increase. Expenditure only rose dramatically again in 1930s and 1930s as the Great Depression hit.
Year Estimated Population Total Expenditure £ Expenditure per head
s d Estimate Nos receiving relief % of Pop. Receiving relief
1688 5,500,000 700,000 2/6 140,000 2.5
1714 5,750,000 950,000 3/3 190,000 3.3
1760 7,000,000 1,250,000 3/6 250,000 3.5
1784 8,250,000 2,004,238 5/0 400,000 4.8
1801 9,172,980 3,750,000 8/3 750,000 8.1
1813 10,505,800 6,656,106 12/8 1,331,000 12.7
1818 11,876,000 7,870,801 13/3 1,547,000 13.2
1821 11,876,000 6,959,251 11/7 1,444,000 11.7
1832 14,105,600 7,036,969 10/0 1,400,000 9.9
1835 14,564,000 5,526,418 7/7 1,105,000 7.6
1837 14,955,000 4,044,741 5/5 809,000 5.4
1847 17,076,000 4,760,929 5/8 3/4 952,000 6.2

If the two graphs in [Numbers and the New Poor Law] are examined it can be seen that the numbers on outdoor relief decrease with some variation for cyclical unemployment until in the early 1920’s it is 8 per 1000 of the population and indoor relief is 6 per 1000 of the population. However, this took 80 years with outdoor relief 7 to 4 times indoor relief throughout the Victorian period. By contrast the harsh regime on offer in the Workhouse succeeded in limiting numbers throughout the period.

Less eligibility’ was defined as follows: that the situation of the able-bodied recipient of poor relief “on the whole shall not be made really or apparently as eligible as the independent labourer of the lowest class.” The New Poor Law created the workhouse structure, under the philosophy of the less eligibility test that only those willing to enter the unpleasant and liberty-reducing workhouses were poor enough to deserve aid. Those who entered the workhouse system were confined for twenty-four hours a day, separated from their children, parents, and spouses, and subject to rigorous discipline and arduous labour. The workhouse life was designed to be less desirable than the life of the lowest paid independent worker, so that their resources would not be too greatly taxed. Because of this, very few able bodied people chose to enter the workhouse system; the large majority of inmates were aged, infirm, or children.

The impact on the large numbers of disabled people who had no choice but to seek welfare in the Workhouse was to treat them very harshly and to depersonalise them. The views of disabled people that this engendered amongst those who administered the first comprehensive state provision has had a lasting impact in terms of attitudes to disabled people and the idea that it is OK for them to be financially penalised because they are disabled people.

Given the long-term implications of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act(PLAA), it was most unfortunate that the investigation of the Royal Commission was wildly inaccurate and unstatistical. The Commissioners sent out questionnaires to 15,000 parishes and received 1,500 responses: only 10%. The Commissioners did not seem to realise (or ignored the fact) that most relief went to the ‘deserving poor’ and not to able-bodied males. Only 20% of those claiming relief were able-bodied adult men. Those receiving relief comprised 13% of the total population, increasing to perhaps 20% between 1817 and 1821 (of a total population of 12 million). Of those,
• 50% were children under 15 years old
• 9% to 20% were sick, aged or infirm
Able-bodied male (pauper) labourers comprised about 2% of the entire population
The pressure to reduce the rates falling on land owners, new utilitarian ideas, the false idea that outdoor relief was artificially effecting wages, Malthus’s views of over-population being supported by poor relief and the need to force people to move to work to the new industrial areas all played a part in the framing of the PLAA .

The 1834 Act followed from the Royal Commission, which was based on extensive research and the wish to reduce costs, particularly for out-relief. One model followed the practice clergyman John T Belcher who had developed a harsh regime at Southwell Workhouse, Nottinghamshire. This system was characterised by a strict workhouse regime-separation of the sexes, strict diet, the requirement of labour from the able-bodied, together with stringent control of out-relief. Although aimed at able-bodied paupers, this change of approach also had a negative affect on disabled people residing in workhouses. Admission to the workhouse was on a voluntary basis and the aim was to make the daily regime extremely uncomfortable and denying individuality.

“The main Classes are subdivided and distributed into distinct Wards, according to the Character and Conduct of the Paupers. This ensures subordination, and enables us to discriminate between the innocent and the culpable Poor…. But the Idle, the Improvident, the Profligate and the Sturdy Poor, are subjected to a System of secluded restraint and salutary discipline , which, together with our simple yet sufficient Dietary, prove so repugnant to dissolute habits, that they very soon apply for their discharge and devise means of self-support, which nothing short of compulsion could urge them to explore”.
“…It must be recollected, that out object is not to provide a permanent receptacle for able-bodied Adults, but a refuge for those who are rendered incapable of labour by mental imbecility, or by bodily infirmity; by the helplessness of Infancy, of by the decrepitude of Old Age. These are treated with all that tenderness to which they are entitled by their Misfortunes.” (Belcher p.83).
The differences for old and disabled people were not that great from other inmates as Belcher goes on to explain.

“ The aged, infirm and guiltless Poor, are not strictly subject to ordinary Diet, but are allowed Tea, a small quantity of Butter,, and other indulgences of this description. The Sick and the Infirm are sustained in such a manner as the Surgeon directs”.
The distinction between the worthy and unworthy poor was strongly enforced by law. Anyone found to be faking their impairment was severely punished. These rules (which were common) from St Andrews Workhouse in Holborn London demonstrate.

“THAT all Persons, who through Idleness may pretend themselves sick, lame, or infirm, so as to be excused their working, such Impostors so discovered, either by their Stomachs, or by the Physician, shall be carried before a Magistrate, in order to be punish’d severely as the Law directs”
The New Poor Law, as it was known, aimed to create a national, uniform and compulsory system of poor relief administered under a central authority, the Poor Law Commissioners (PLC). New administrative areas were to be created as Poor Law Unions, each managed by a Board of Guardians elected by local ratepayers.Depending on the value of the property they had between 1 and 6 votes. It built on the existing structures of the Old Poor Law. The PLC was given discretion to determine the type, amount and manner of relief. The Act allowed the Justice of the Peace to issue an order for the giving of medical relief or for out relief to the elderly or infirm.

There were major weaknesses in that the old Gilbert Unions and Local Act Incorporations did not come under the PLC and the PLC could not compel Local Unions to build workhouses. This resulted in six further amendment Acts between 1842 and 1851.

What was the impact of these changes on the lives of disabled people?
The idea of cutting outdoor relief and deterrence for able bodied labourers meant that the Workhouse was set up in a way that had a dreadful impact on disabled and aged people who for were together with children were the main inmates.
Many stayed away from the workhouse if they could acquire an occupation, employment or their families could support them. Others were not in this position, particularly those who acquired their impairment in later life. The exact numbers were not collected regularly, though many statistics were collected and require further research. In 1862 a detailed analysis was made of women resident in the country’s workhouses. Out of 39,073, 5,160 are classified as ‘Imbecile, Idiots or weak minded’, 5,300 are ‘respectable women and girls incapable of getting their living on account of illness or other bodily defect or infirmity’ and 470 are ‘Idiotic or weak-minded single women with one or more bastard children’. These account for 28% of women inmates who might count as disabled by today’s standards.

In 1861 a parliamentary survey examined the reasons why people were staying long periods or never leaving the workhouse and found that 21% or 14,216 inmates had been in residence 5 or more years and 6,445 more than 10 years. The reasons recorded for long-term residence were:
Old age and infirmity -42%
Mental disease- 35%
Bodily defects- 11%
Bodily disease- 6%
Moral defects- 1%
Other 7%

Over half (53%) and probably a considerable number classified as old or infirmed had ‘physical or mental impairments which have a substantial impact on their ability to carry out day to day activities’ . In addition many would have become institutionalised-dependent psychologically on the support they received in the workhouse and not feel able to manage in the outside world.
The largest group identified as disabled above consisted of those classified with a mental disease. In the C19th and early C20th this group would have been broken down as follows.:

‘Lunatics’, which covered all manner of mental disturbance from those who ‘acted out’ with manias and delusions some of who could be violent, to those who ‘acted in’ with ‘melancholia’ or depression.

Although a public system of asylums had begun in 1810 under the Lunatic Paupers or Criminals Act, allowing the setting up of county asylums, these were expensive and few. This became a legal obligation under the Lunatics Act of 1845. This and the 1834 Act had required the removal of dangerous lunatics-people with mental health issues, because of the additional expense to the Guardians of placing them in the asylum; the large majority of the ‘insane’ or those with mental health issues remained in the workhouse. Often this led to the most inhumane treatment:-

Assistant Poor Law Commissioner W.J. Gilbert reports on a female ‘lunatic’ in Tiverton ,Devon parish workhouse. “She was confined in a small room, having neither furniture, fire place nor bed; there was not anything in the room butt a bundle of straw. She was without a single piece of clothing, perfectly naked, and had been confined in that state during winter and summer for the last 28 years.”

Workhouses had two main strategies for dealing with those with mental health issues they chose not to pass on for treatment elsewhere- they either were placed in dedicated lunatic wards or more usually dispersed amongst other workhouse inmates.
An article in the Lancet in 1865 highlighted how cruel such strategies could be at Clerkenwell workhouse:-
“The women’s ward, in particular, offers an instance of thoughtless cruelty which nothing can excuse the guardians for permitting. Twenty-one patients live entirely in the ward…and the mixture of heterogeneous cases which ought never to be mingled is really frightful. There is no seclusion ward for acute maniacs, and accordingly we saw a wretch who for five days had been confined to her bed by means of strait-waistcoat, during the whole of which time she had been raving and talking nonsense, having had only two hours’ sleep and there was the prospect of her remaining several days longer in the same condition. There were several epileptics in the ward and one had a fit while we were present. And there were imbeciles and demented watching all this with frightened , half curious looks.”
A similar report on Shoreditch Workhouse where imbeciles and lunatics were found:
“ Moping about in herds, without any occupation whatever, neither classified, nor amused, nor employed; congregated in a miserable day-room, where they sit and stare at each other or at the bare walls, and where the monotony is only broken by the occasional excitement due to an epileptic or gibbering and fitful laughter of some excitable lunatic, they pass a life uncheered by any of the brightening influences which in well-managed asylums are employed to develop the remnants of intelligence and to preserve them from total degradation. They have here neither fresh air, nor exercise, no out-door occupation of any kind. The exercise-ground is a wretched yard with bare walls, confined in space, and utterly miserable and unfit for its purposes”.
Not until the 1890s was there a requirement for medical examination and the workhouse had to have suitable facilities. Some inhabitants of the workhouse with mental health issues just stayed where they were and transferred to the National Health Service in 1949, to long stay hospitals in the same buildings, just with a change of name.
‘Idiots and Imbeciles’- People with Learning Difficulty
During the C19th and first part C20th those with various forms of intellectual impairment were usually referred to as ‘mental defectives’. ‘Idiocy’ was considered more severe than ‘imbecility’ and was generally viewed as a congenital impairment. Another group with milder degree of impairment were known as ‘feeble minded’, ‘weak minded’ or ‘simple’. These would correspond to the labels Severe Learning Difficulty, Moderate Learning Difficulty and Mild Learning Difficulty used in schools today. Those with these conditions often ended up in the workhouse and were recorded in the census as such from 1871 to 1911.

The Parliamentary Survey of 1861 quoted above broke down the category of long stay inhabitants in workhouses of mental disease (35%) into the following categories
Idiot – 1,565
Weak minded -1,026
Imbecile -997
Paralysis- 465 ( c.f usually just a physical impairment)
Insane – 325
Lunatic- 210
Fits -205
Epilepsy- 175
Palsy -21( usually a physical impairment)

This group of disabled people, as time went on, were increasingly hospitalised under the influence of eugenics and the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, when they were seen as a threat to the gene-pool of the whole population. But already by 1870 the London Metropolitan Asylums’ Board had set up two large 2000 bed asylums for imbecile paupers in Leavesden in Hertfordshire and in (St Lawrence) Caterham, Surrey . Initially these included children and adults, but from1878 the Board opened a Children’s Asylum in Darenth in Kent and later a school for improvable patients. This was an early example of a special school for learning difficulty. Increasingly educable children were taken out of the workhouse to workhouse schools usually set in the country for those from urban areas, but those deamed ineducable were often left in adult institutions.
Epileptics- People with epilepsy were generally treated in similar ways to others with mental health or learning difficulties. They were usually mixed with other inmates. In the early C20th Poor Law Unions jointly established specialist facilities such as Moneywell colony, Staffordshire (1908) for ‘sane epileptics’ and Langho colony, Lancashire opened in 1906 by Chorlton and Manchester Joint Committee.

Langho Epilepsy Colony, Lancashire. The Langho Colony was founded by the Joint Asylum Committee of the Chorlton and Manchester Board of Guardians in the Ribble Valley in 1906 as a hospital for epileptics. In 1929 its control passed to Manchester City Council. It closed in 1984.

Hospitals. Due to agitation by Doctors and Medical Officers First in London and later throughout the country the sick were separated and sent to infirmaries with proper medical provision. These eventually became the first hospitals to cater for ordinary working class people. Many of these buildings were transferred to the NHS when it was set up in 1949.

i. Drawing largely o.n Peter Higgenbotham (2012b) The Workhouse Encyclopaedia’ Stroud,The History Press p208-211
ii. Workhouse Encyclopaedia p 35.
iii. Webb,s and Webb,B (1929) English Poor Law Policy Part Ii: The Last Hundred Years p1038-1040 quoted in Higginbotham (2012b) p255.
iv. http://www.victorianweb.org/history/poorlaw/royalcom.html
v. Belcher JT(1834)’The Anti-Pauper System’ p 8-19;quoted Higgenbotham P.(2012a) ‘Voices from the Workhouse’ Stroud,The History Press p.82.
vi. http://www.workhouses.org.uk/CityOfLondon/parishes.shtml 1727
vii Female Adult Paupers Parliamentary Papers 1862 and divided them up in 22 categories.
Paliamentary Papers(1861) Paupers in the Workhouse pii, quoted in Higgenbotham (2012b) p172.
viii Definition of disability in 2010 Equalities Act.
ix. Parliamentary Papers (1836) Second Annual Report of PLC p 326 reported in Higginbotham (2012b) p171
x. The Lancet 1865 Reported in Higgenbotham (2012b) p171-172
xi. http://www.workhouses.org.uk/MAB-Caterham/ See also story of Mabel Cooper and Camden Society for links about deinstitutionalising this hospital.
xii Higgenbotham (29012b) p173.
xiii Jean Barclay, Langho Colony/Langho Centre. 1906-1984: A Contextual Study of Manchester’s Public Institution for people with Epilepsy which is held in the Manchester Room@City Library (q 362.196853Ba(850)).

D4 Activities KS2 3 The live’s of disabled people in C16th Century

by richard

D4 Activities KS2 3 The live’s of disabled people in C16th Century
In the crowded and unhealthy cities of Elizabethan England, conditions that resulted in long term impairment were very common. The city of Norwich carried out a ‘census of the poor’ in 1570, gathering information about the lives of 1,400 of the poorest people in the city. Among them were 63 disabled men and women with ‘lameness’ or ‘crookedness’ of the arms or legs, missing limbs, blindness or deafness.

Crookedness was an early English term to describe people seen as misshapen in their bodily form. Lameness was a term meaning restricted use of one or more limbs applied to arms as well as legs.

Their lives were surprising. Although poor, many were in work; the women were spinners or knitters, while some of the ‘lame’ men were labourers. William Mordewe, a blind baker, was still working at the age of 70, aided by his young wife Helen. Almost all the disabled men and most of the disabled women were married to non-disabled people and many had children. Their marriages were stable and long-lasting (even though two disabled women were identified as ‘harlots’). Although they were often poor, disabled people were very much part of work and family life and they lived at the heart of their communities.
People we would recognise today as having learning disabilities also lived in their communities rather than in institutions. Known as ‘natural fools’, ‘innocents’ or ‘idiots’, they were expected to stay with their families and work if possible. If the families were struggling because of ill health or extreme poverty, they might receive assistance from the parish.
Activities KS2/3
1. What have you learnt about the lives of disabled people in C16th?
2. Identify five words used then to describe disabled people and use a dictionary to find the meanings.
3. Are any of these words used today? What do you think they mean?
4. Give one example of a disabled person living an ordinary life.
5. Do you think disabled people live ordinary lives today and when did they not ?
( from Simon Jarrett http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/people-and-places/disability-history/1485-1660/daily-life-of-people-with-disabilities/)

D3 Activities KS3 & 4 History, Drama, PHSE

by richard

D3 Activities KS3 & 4 History Drama PHSE
Natural Fools in the court of Henry Eight at Hampton Court
The Wellcome Trust who funded All the King’s Fools has provided a website www.allthekingsfools.co.uk
This site contains longer videos of the Hampton Court performance, recreating how natural fools (people with learning difficulties), at the court of Henry VIII would have gained a special relationship jesting with the king and telling him things that no one else would. The re-creation is based on historic research. Mirth was considered good for health in Tudor times and fools were respected members of Henry’s court.
All the Kings Fools (16.05) shows the performances and gives the reasons for them. Behind the Scenes (18.55) tells the story of how the performances were created http://www.allthekingsfools.co.uk/site/videos/
The sense of play which the actors had and the professional approach they brought to the work were both incredible and the shows went down extremely well. All the feedback has been very positive.
1. What is the evidence that backs up the interpretation given by the Misfits in All the King’s Fools?
2. How do you think most people with learning difficulties and disability might have been treated in Tudor times? (Examine the English Heritage Disability in Time and Place website www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/people-and…/disability-history/ ‎)
3. Watch the King’s Fools and then Behind the Scenes videos and then describe the processes the actors used to make the production.
4. What were the strengths of using a group of actors with learning difficulties?
5. Prejudice and bullying. Watch films 3,4 and 5
(http://www.hrp.org.uk/MediaPlayer/ViewPlaylist.aspx?PlaylistId=149SiteMapId=1776 ). Describe the nature and type of prejudice the actors have been subjected to in real life and what they think should be done about it.
6. What can you do to challenge such prejudice and bullying?

D2 Natural Fools in the court of Henry Eight at Hampton Court Activities PHSE KS2

by richard

D2 Natural Fools in the court of Henry Eight at Hampton Court Activities PHSE KS2
In 2011 Hampton Court Palace hosted a group of actors, called the Misfits, to investigate the role of the fool or jester at the Tudor court. All the performers playing the fools had learning difficulties. The education team at Hampton Court have put together a series of lessons based on this project to help you teach this little known aspect of Tudor times and to introduce a vehicle for discussion in class about learning difficulties, prejudice, discrimination and prejudice.
Lesson 1
Lesson plan and resources- Developing good relationship and respecting difference between people http://www.hrp.org.uk/Resources/fools1lessonplanandresources.pdf
The dynasty Portrait was Henry’s favourite made up picture including two fools
Powerpoint giving facts that have been established about fools at the Tudor Court
Lesson 2
Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people, deals with disability discrimination and stereotypes.
Powerpoint- What do we mean by disability?
Prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes
Lesson 3
Recognising and challenging stereotypes. http://www.hrp.org.uk/Resources/prejudice_discrimination_stereotype.zip
Lesson 4
Watch Videos http://www.hrp.org.uk/MediaPlayer/ViewPlaylist.aspx?PlaylistId=149&SiteMapId=1776
1.Introduction to All King’s Fools Project. 4.06 minutes.
2.All the King’s Fools About Us. 6.02 minutes.
Introduces actors in the Misfits who talk about their lives as people with learning difficulties
3. Stereotypes and bullying. 5.44 minutes.
Actors speaking about their lives and independence and other people’s attitudes.
4.’I’m forgotten’ a song by Marsail Edwards (one of the actors). 2.07minutes
Marsail sings a song she wrote and composed and explains the feelings that made her write it.
5. Poem ‘Treat me with Respect’ by Penny Lepiz (actor). 1.47 minutes
Treat me with Respect
When you have a leaning difficulty
you get called bad names
People just don’t see me
the way I really am
It makes me feel cut off
as if no one wants me around
But deep within me
I know that’s not true
I do have belief in myself
and my own self respect
If people could see who I really am
and treat me as an equal
then they would know the real me
I’m no different anyone else
I just need the respect I deserve
And the future will be OK
So think carefully before you scorn me
with your bigoted ignorant attitudes
I am a person in my own right
as others who have a learning difficulty
We should all be united as one equal
Out with prejudice
Out with ignorance
Respect and tolerance
is what we need
and this is what we are going to get
if we fight for what we want
Those who choose to remain against us
with their scorn and derision
are their own worst enemy.

D1 Teachers Notes Disabled People in the Period 1485 to 1660

by richard

D1 Teachers Notes Disabled People in the Period 1485 to 1660
When Henry VIII split from the Roman Church, he ordered the ‘Dissolution of the Monasteries’. Across the country, religious houses were demolished and monks and nuns driven out. The hospitals in these buildings were lost, along with the systems of care they had provided for sick and disabled people. For many, poverty and a life on the streets followed this destruction.

A petition to King Henry in 1538 called for the re-foundation of the hospitals that had been closed down. It complained of ‘the miserable people lyeing in the streete, offending every clene person passing by the way’. But very little new building took place over the next 30 years.

There was a steady growth in the number of people seeking alms. This was due to several factors, including a growth in the population after a period of stagnation and depletion due to plagues, the beginnings of the commercialisation of agriculture, successive poor harvests and an influx of immigrants from Ireland and Wales. Hence the fear of ‘bands of sturdy beggars’ preyed on the minds of local magistrates, who demanded a response from the central authority, namely the Crown. To secure their allegiance, the Tudor monarchs were forced to make economic provision for people dependent upon charity.
Gradually, caring for disabled people became a civic duty, not just a religious matter. Rich benefactors still funded buildings but it was to enhance their reputation, not to save their souls.
In London, new hospitals were built and some old ones were re-founded. These were increasingly public buildings, funded by parish collections, taxes and donations. By the end of the 16th century, new almshouses and hospitals were springing up.

A series of Poor Law Acts viciously punished ‘sturdy vagabonds’ who were seen as idle by choice. They could be whipped and branded. The ‘impotent poor’ were viewed differently. ‘The person naturally disabled, either in wit or member, as an idiot, lunatic, blind, lame etc., not being able to work…all these… are to be provided for by the overseers of necessary relief and are to have allowances … according to…their maladies and needs’.

Consequently, the Poor Law of 1601 marks the first official recognition of the need for state intervention in the lives of disabled people. Every parish was to appoint overseers of the poor, to find work for the unemployed and set up parish-houses for those who could not support themselves.
However, a general suspicion of those claiming alms had already been formally established with the statute of 1388 which mandated local officials to discriminate between the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor. Although people with impairments were among the ‘deserving poor’, there was little attempt to separate them from the rest of the community.
On the contrary, every effort was made to keep them within the local environment. Although there was some parochial variation in the actual level of benefit, there was a degree of uniformity in the way disabled people were treated. The lion’s share of resources was directed toward domestic or household relief for people who were regarded as unable to work and were confined to the home. Funds were frequently provided to individuals and families willing to accept responsibility for people considered to be incapable of looking after themselves. Major changes to this essentially non-segregationist policy did not begin to be discussed or implemented until the Nineteenth Century, though some early workhouses were set up.
Life was very different for some. A few people we would recognise today as having learning disabilities enjoyed a privileged life at court, with a ‘keeper’ who looked after them. These ‘natural fools’ were seen as an important source of wisdom and humour. They provided a welcome contrast to the plotting and treachery at court.

The ‘natural fool’ Will Somer and ‘Jane the Fool’ can be seen in paintings of the Royal Family from this period. See http://www.allthekingsfools.co.uk/site/
and http://www.allthekingsfools.co.uk/site/research/ for the historical research led by Suzanna Lipscombe. Hampton Court Royal Palaces have also developed resources for schools forKS2/3. The research showed that ‘natural fools’ (people with learning difficulties) were clothed, fed and looked after at Hampton Court, accorded access to the King to entertain and jest with him, their remarks were treated with reverence, as they were thought to be nearer to God and so their wisdom was not adulterated by the affairs of men. As the idealized family portrait shows, they were in the wings.

Medical Treatment for Mental Illness
The small Bethlem Hospital was the only institution for mentally ill people to survive. In 1547, its control passed to the Corporation of London and its first medically qualified superintendent was employed. The hospital suffered financial abuse and neglect for many years, but attitudes were changing and mental illness was increasingly seen as a matter for medical treatment. For more on mental illness in C16th and C17th go to http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/people-and-places/disability-history/1485-1660/mental-illness-in-the-16th-and-17th-centuries/

Care in the Community
Life could be very hard for disabled people but they were not isolated. Most mentally ill people lived in their communities, treated with religious, psychological, astrological and traditional remedies. Other disabled people married, had families and worked, unless their impairments were too extensive. In 1570, a 70-year-old blind baker William Mordewe, was still hard at work in Norwich, helped by his wife Helen. In the same city, a survey of the poor in 1570, established that almost all the disabled men and most of the disabled women were married to non-disabled people and many had children. Their marriages were stable and long-lasting (even though two disabled women were identified as ‘harlots’). Although they were often poor, disabled people were very much part of work and family life and they lived at the heart of their communities.( More detail Simon Jarrett http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/people-and-places/disability-history/1485-1660/daily-life-of-people-with-disabilities/)

People we would recognise today as having learning disabilities also lived in their communities rather than in institutions. Known as ‘natural fools’, ‘innocents’ or ‘idiots’, they were expected to stay with their families and work if possible.

If the families were struggling because of ill health or extreme poverty, they might receive assistance from the parish. When Alice Stock became old and lame in the parish of St.Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, she received sixpence a fortnight to care for her ‘foolish girle’ Martha. If family care broke down or parents died, ‘keepers’ or ‘nurses’ in the local community would be paid to care for people. John Shusock of Wapping, London was paid two shillings and sixpence a week from 1649 to 1653 to ‘keep’ the ‘innocent’ Thomas Walker, and given extra payments for his ‘clothing and other necessaries’.

Disabled Soldiers and Seamen
Attitudes to disabled soldiers changed over this period. Horrified at the sight of wounded men left to die on the streets, senior officers agitated for hospitals, sick pay and pensions for soldiers who became disabled were discharged from the army.
A small hospital for ‘maimed soldiers’ was founded in Berkshire in 1599, preceding many grander efforts in Chelsea, Greenwich and elsewhere in the later 17th century. In Elizabeth’s reign, laws were passed to provide pensions for soldiers and sailors who had ‘lost their limbs or disabled their bodies’.
In 1590, the ‘Chatham Chest’ was established to pay pensions to disabled seamen – it has been described as the world’s first occupational health scheme.
The Family of Henry VIII

(see Disability in Time and Place, Simon Jarrett for English Heritagehttp://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/people-andplaces/disability-history/1485-1660/

Chapter 2 A Brief History Of Discrimination And Disabled People (In ‘Disabled People in Britain and Discrimination : A case for anti-discrimination legislation’, Colin Barnes (1991): http://disabilitystudies.leeds.ac.uk/library/author/barnes.colin

C1 Teachers notes Disability in the Feudal and Medieval period

March 17, 2016 by richard

C1 Teachers notes Disability in the Feudal and Medieval period
Disability in the medieval period 1050-1485
This section describes the life of people with disabilities in the medieval period. It also explains how monasteries and convents cared for sick and disabled people and became the hospitals we use today.
In feudal and medieval period, most disabled people were accepted as part of the family or group, working on the land or in small workshops. But at times of social upheaval, plague or pestilence, disabled people were often made scapegoats as sinners or evil people who brought the disasters upon society.
In medieval Europe the church took control of discussions about illness and disability. The Church’s interest in people with impairments was based on Jesus’s role as a miraculous healer and spiritual ‘physician’ may be Jesus’s institutional representatives, the church, monasteries hoping optimistically for recovery.C1 Teachers notes Disability in the Feudal and Medieval period

This believe was regularised by the Fourth Lanteran Council in 1215;-
“ Since bodily infirmity is sometimes caused by sin, the Lord saying to the sick man who he had healed ‘Go and sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee’(John 5:14)we declare in the present decree and strictly command that when physicians of the body are called to the bedside of the sick, before all else they admonish them to call for the physician of the soul, so that spiritual health has been restored to them, the opportunities of bodily medicine may be of greater benefit, for the cause being removed, the effect will pass away.”
The caring for the sick and disabled in Monasteries and Abbeys by the clergy across Europe in the Medieval period and has its roots in such declarations and the concept of charity.
In medieval society there was a very fixed order with each person knowing their place and there was general hostility to those who did not have a place in that order, be they immigrants, beggars or disabled people. This horror of becoming disfigured or different was extremely powerful. If you were different you were somehow marked and this strong prejudice continues to the present day

‘William heals a blind woman’ York Minster© English Heritage http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/images/disability-history/william-heals-a-blind-woman.jpg
In medieval England, the ‘lepre'(leaper), the ‘blynde’ (blind), the ‘dumbe’ (dumb), the ‘deaff (deaf)’, the ‘natural fool'(people with learning difficult), the ‘creple'(cripple), the ‘lame’ and the ‘lunatick'(lunatic) were a highly visible presence in everyday life. People could be born with an impairment, or were disabled by diseases such as leprosy, or years of backbreaking work. Attitudes to disability were mixed. People thought it was a punishment for sin, or the result of being born under the hostile influence of the planet Saturn. Others believed that disabled people were closer to God – they were suffering purgatory on earth rather than after death and would get to heaven sooner.
Irene Metzler who has studied in detail this part of medieval history suggests a transition from cures by Saints around

1000 AD to with an increased emphasis on the power of priests leading to a decline in accounts of healing miracles and a growth in religious mysticism.
One reaction to this was that during times of plague, thousands of people, called flagellants, wandered around Europe beating themselves to try to make themselves more ‘holy’ so they didn’t get the plague. This self imposed injury also spiritually downgraded those born with impairment or those who acquired their impairment randomly through disease or accident. It was believed that if you were penitent you would not become ill or disabled.

Provision and care
There was no state provision for people with disabilities. Most lived and worked in their communities, supported by family and friends. If they couldn’t work, their town or village might support them, but sometimes people resorted to begging. They were mainly cared for by monks and nuns who sheltered pilgrims and strangers as their Christian duty.
Care for sick and disabled people was based on the Church’s teachings. The monks and nuns would follow the seven ‘comfortable works’ which involved feeding, clothing and housing the poor, visiting them when in prison or sick, offering drink to the thirsty, and burial. The seven ‘spiritual works’ included counsel and comfort for the sick http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/people-and-places/disability-history/1050-1485/.
Acting for themselves
We know that disabled people made pilgrimages on foot to holy sites such as the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury in search of a cure or relief. Sometimes disabled people had to battle injustice. In 1297 the residents of the leper house in the Norfolk village of West Somerton mutinied against the thieving abbot and his men, looting and demolishing the buildings and killing the guard dog.
First Hospitals
Over this period a nationwide network of hospitals based in (or near) religious establishments began to emerge. Specialised hospitals for leprosy, blindness and physical disability were created. England’s first mental institution, later known as ‘Bedlam’, was originally the Bethlehem hospital in the City of London (1247).
“it was a hospital (place of refuge) from the begining ‘originally intended for the poor suffering from any ailment and for such as might have no other lodging, hence its name, Bethlehem, in Hebrew, the “house of bread.”‘. http://studymore.org.uk/mhhtim.htm#1377
At the same time, almshouses were founded to provide a supportive place for the disabled and elderly infirm to live.

The Medieval Legacy
The people, religious institutions and towns and cities of the medieval period were pioneers in terms of providing a specialised response to disability. Only a small number of their buildings remain, but over the next 500 years their early professional approach would eventually develop into our modern system of public services. See http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/people-and-places/disability-history/1050-1485/.
In the 15th century, black magic and evil forces were felt to be ever-present. Martin Luther, founder of Protestantism, speaking of congenitally impaired children, said:
“Take the changeling child to the river and drown them”.
In 16th century Holland, those who caught leprosy were seen as sinners and had all their worldly goods confiscated by the State so they had to be supported by the alms of those who were not stricken. If these penitent sinners were humble enough, it was believed their reward was heaven after they died.
The time of Leprosy: 11th Century to 14th Century
This section explains how leprosy became endemic in England by the 11th century, and describes medieval attitudes towards the disease and how sufferers were cared for in religious houses and hospitals.

A leper begging for alms from the margins of an English Pontifical
c 1425 MS Lansdowne 451, fo 127r© British Library
The Spread of Leprosy
During the medieval period, leprosy’s disabling consequences became very visible in all communities across England – rural and urban, rich and poor. Its impact would change both the landscape of the country and the mindset of its people.

Chapel of St Mary Magdalen, Stourbridge, near Cambridge
Leprosy had entered England by the 4th century and was a regular feature of life by 1050. Known today as Hansen’s disease, in its extreme form it could cause loss of fingers and toes, gangrene, blindness, collapse of the nose, ulcerations, lesions and weakening of the skeletal frame.
Enduring Purgatory on Earth
Reaction to the disease was complicated. Some people believed it was a punishment for sin, but others saw the suffering of lepers as similar to the suffering of Christ. Because lepers were enduring purgatory on earth, they would go directly to heaven when they died, and were therefore closer to God than other people. Those who cared for them or made charitable donations believed that such good works would reduce their own time in purgatory and accelerate their journey to heaven.

A stained glass depiction of Elias the leprous monk, Trinity Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral
© Annaliza Gaber
Leper Houses and Hospitals
The earliest known example of a leper hospital is thought to be St Mary Magdalen in Winchester, Hampshire where burial excavations found evidence of leprosy. The remains were radiocarbon-dated to between 960 and 1030 AD. At least 320 religious houses and hospitals for the care of lepers (known as leper or ‘lazar’ houses) were established in England between the end of the 11th century and 1350.
The houses were usually built on the edge of towns and cities, or if they were in rural areas, near crossroads or major travel routes. Lepers needed to stay in contact with society to beg alms, trade items, and offer services such as praying for the souls of benefactors. There was high demand for places in leper hospitals, and ‘leprous brothers and sisters’ were often accepted fully into the religious order of the house.
Many of the buildings have decayed or were destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s. Some remain however, including the oldest, St Nicholas Harbledown in Canterbury, Kent (1070s); St Mary Magdalene in Stourbridge near Cambridge; St Mary & St Margaret in Sprowston, Norwich, Norfolk and the hospital of St Mary the Virgin in Ilford, Greater London. Others survive as ruins or archaeological sites.

The courtyard and 14th century almshouses at St.Cross Hospital, Winchester. The porch on the right leads to the kitchen and Bretherens Hall.© English Heritage
Physical and Spiritual Care
Care in religious leper houses centred as much on a person’s spiritual needs as on their physical problems. Most hospitals consisted of a group of cottages built around a detached chapel where praying and singing continued throughout the day.
Excavations at St Mary Magdalen in Winchester suggest that its chapel had a master’s hall attached at right angles, with cells for the inmates built around the inside of the enclosure wall. The existing chapel at Harbledown in Kent has a sloping floor, perhaps so the floor could be washed after the lepers had attended mass.
Life and Work in the Leper Hospital
The emphasis was on cleanliness and wholesome food – clothes were washed twice a week and a varied diet was supplied if possible, often from the house’s own fields and livestock. The therapeutic effect of horticultural work and the beauty of nature were recognised – many houses had their own fragrant gardens of flowers and healing herbs, and residents took part in their upkeep.
Many lepers stayed in touch with their family and friends and were allowed to make visits home and receive visitors.
Leprosy in Retreat
Attitudes began to change in the 14th century, particularly after the horrors of the Black Death (1347-1350). Fear of contagion led to greater restriction and isolation, while abusive and corrupt practices increased.
But leprosy was in retreat – possibly due to greater immunity in the population – and many houses fell into disuse or were put to new uses. St Mary Magdalen in Ripon and the hospital of St Margaret and St Sepulchre in Gloucester both became almshouses for the sick and disabled poor. The impact of leprosy lived on – it had brought about an institutional response to disability in the form of buildings and methods of care which would strongly influence future generations.

A Disability History Timeline The struggle for equal rights through the ages

by richard

B5 Disability Time Line – NHS North West

B4 In depth biographies of disabled people who have made a difference: Activities KS4/5

by richard

B4 In depth biographies of disabled people who have made a difference: Activities KS4/5

1.Check out ‘Our Statures Touch the Skies’- Tom Shakespeare’s blog http://disabledlives.blogspot.co.uk/
‘Disability is part of the human condition. At any one time, perhaps 15% of the population have a disability: add illness and ageing and impairment comes to us all. In this blog, I want to share short biographies of famous and not-so-famous disabled people, and by doing so demonstrate the variety and the achievement of disabled lives. I hope it will be interesting and instructive, and welcome suggestions for future subjects’.
“A fabulous, inspirational blog” (The Guardian)

i. Identify an historical figure of relevance to a period you are studying or you are interested in.
ii. Write a short account of their life achievements and their impairment.
iii. Put forward some of the barriers they would have faced.
iv. Discuss how they would have overcome or got round these barriers to be successful.
v. Say how your views of disabled people have changed as result of this work.

Select biographies from http://disabledlives.blogspot.co.uk/
Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727), British Physicist
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) Social Reformer, Nurse
Ernesto “Che” Guevara (1928-1967) Latin American Revolutionary
Paul Klee (1879-1940), Swiss Artist
John Milton(1608-1674), English Poet and Republican
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), Mexican Artist
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American writer, poet
Ian Dury (1942-2000), British Rock Musician
Ed Roberts (1939-1995), American campaigner Independent Living
Harriet Martineau (1802-1876), Feminist and social campaigner
Django Reinhardt (1910-1953), French Gypsy, Jazz Musician
Bryan Pearce (1929-2007), English Artist
Franklin D.Roosevelt (1882-1945), American President
Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), USA, Anti Slavery and Civil Rights Campaigner
Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British Prime Minister and War Leader
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian Writer
Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946), Finish Painter
Nicholas Owen (c.1550-1606) English Catholic Sainted Carpenter
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) German Classic Composer
Janet Frame (1924-2004) New Zealand Writer
Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793), French Revolutionary
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), English Writer and Teacher
Eric Sykes (1923-2012), British Comedian
Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1918), Polish political writer, Revolutionary
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), American Poet
Mabel Cooper (1944-2013) campaigner for independent living
Jacqueline du Pré (1945 – 1987) English Classical Musician
Arthur Bispo do Rosário (1911-1989), Brazilian Artist
Ian Curtis (1956 – 1980), British Rock Musician-Joy Division
Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964), American Writer
George Couthon (1755-1794)French Revolutionary http://disabledlives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/it-was-as-footnote-in-book-by-michel.html
Edward Lear,(1812-1888)Victorian Writer http://disabledlives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/edward-lear-1812-1888.html
Seneb, Egypt (c2520 BCE)
Helen Keller (1880-1968) USA, Political Activist

Virginia Woolf , (1882-1941) English Novelist
Al-Ma’arri (973-1057), Arab Poet
Horatio Nelson(1758-1805) British Admiral
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)Philosopher http://disabledlives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/georg-christoph-lichtenberg-1742-1799.html