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Notice issued by Messrs Fry and Fitch's Southwark Female Farm Poor House, Harrow Street, Lant Street, Borough. The folded notice, hand addressed to the Churchwardens & Overseers of the Poor of the Parish of St James Garlickhithe, is printed on the front with details of the facilities available at the newly opened privately run poor house that catered exclusively for female paupers, including pregnant women about to give birth. Inside is printed a weekly 'bill of fare' given to resident paupers specified as a daily diet of bread and butter supplemented with meat, soup and vegetables on other days. At Easter, Whit and Christmas the meal provided was mutton with plum pudding and, 'in the season green peas or beans' with bacon or pork. The notice also notes that 'lying-in' or women who have just given birth are charged at no extra cost for four weeks and each child was given 'as much as they ought reasonable to eat and drink, three times a day'. Private poor houses were run as businesses under contract from local authorities. Competition amongst the poor house proprietors was fierce and such notices would be sent to parish overseers to encourage them to send local paupers to their poor or workhouse. The printing and publication of dietary rations was a requirement for such promotional material and had to satisfy recognised scales of rations.
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