We’re happy to announce a new publication arising from the project:
Olwen Purdue, ‘Surviving the industrial city: the female poor and the workhouse in late nineteenth-century Belfast’, Urban History, 44:1 (Feb. 2017)
In common with many British cities, but unlike the rest of Ireland, late nineteenth-century Belfast experienced rapid industrialization and physical expansion. Women formed a significant proportion of the city’s workforce, attracted by the employment opportunities represented in the burgeoning textile industry. Many of them were economically vulnerable, however, and could find themselves destitute for a number of reasons. This article sets Belfast’s Poor Law workhouse in the landscape of welfare in the city, exploring how its use reflected the development of the city and the ways in which the female poor engaged with it in order to survive.