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Module 5

The Mysterious Death of Elizabeth Graham

Drawing of an overseer recieving money off one group of people and distributing it to another

In the summer of 1838 an elderly woman was found dying by a Newcastle policeman who immediately took her to St Nicholas' workhouse where she was refused admission. Later that evening she died in a police cell, the only refuge open to her. Her death caused a scandal. An enquiry was held which became a trial of the operation of the Poor Law Amendment Act itself. Students are introduced to a number of character portraits which they can interrogate to shed light on the incident.

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