The Inspector Calls

The Poor Law Commissioners examined all the charges presented to them. They decided to send their Inspector Mr. J. Burke to Carlow to investigate. He arrived on the 9th October and began the hearings. The Master and Matron gave conflicting reports on their respective dealings with a servant who was a patient in the Infirmary. The Inspector advised that the Master and Matron should be called before the Board of Guardians. They were directed to keep the peace.

The Inspector found that the Matron had assaulted the Master on a number of occasions. She was also involved in other improper proceedings in the Workhouse Laundry. Some of the female inmates had been extracting money from contractors. Alcohol abuse was also cited as being a factor in improper behaviour.

Sentinel - Workhouse Staff Dismissal 1849
Carlow County Library
The Commissioners took some time to consider the investigation conducted by Mr. Burke. When they eventually made their decision their report was "of a most voluminous character". They sent it to Carlow, with five sealed orders

Minute Book Carlow Union 15th Nov 1849

Extract from the Minutes of the Carlow Board of Guardians showing details of sealed orders from the Poor Law Commissioners. The orders deal with the removal from office of William Murphy Master of the Workhouse, Mrs Marianne Rose Matron, Henry W. Hocter Porter, William Hoctor assistant Schoolmaster and Mary Gray Hospital Nurse. These dismissals arose from improper behaviour at a time of crisis in Carlow Workhouse in 1849. They followed a report to the Poor Law Commissioners made by Mr. J. Burke, the Poor Law Inspector, who was sent to investigate matters in Carlow Workhouse that year.

Carlow County Library

directing "forthwith" on receipt :
  1. The dismissal of Mr. Murphy, the Master
  2. The dismissal of Mrs Rose, the Matron
  3. The dismissal of Mr Hocter, the Assistant Schoolmaster, curiously a letter of resignation from him had already been submitted, due to alleged impeachment of his character and poor health. It was dated October 25th and reported in minutes of the same date.
  4. The dismissal of Henry Hocter, the Porter
  5. The dismissal of Mary Grey, the Infirmary Nurse.
  6. The dismissal of the Assistant Clerk, Mr. Hopkins. Since he was not an officer of the Workhouse there was a recommendation to the Board rather than a sealed order.

With regard to a charge of neglect against Dr. Porter, the Medical Officer in respect of the Auxiliary Workhouse at Mill Lane it was decided to defer evidence. The Inspector would call again.


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