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1874: Mendicity Society to be formed in Cuckfield

Horsham, Petworth, Midhurst and Steyning Express - Tuesday 23 June 1874



MENDICITY SOCIETY, Office, 13, RED LION SQUARE. The society gives meals and money, supplies mill and other work to applicants, investigates begging-letter cases, and apprehends vagrants and impostors. Each meal consists of ten ounces of bread, and one pint of good soup, or a quarter of a pound of cheese. The affairs of the Society are administered by a Board of forty-eight managers. The Mendicity Society's tickets, given to a street beggar, will procure for him, if really necessitous, food and work. They are a touch-stone to impostures: the beggar by profession throws them aside. This meritorious Society deserves every encouragement. Tickets are furnished to subscribers.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

At a ruridecanal meeting held at the National School room, among other matters considered by the clergy and left a present was the desirability of forming a Mendicity Society for Cuckfield and adjacent parishes that may be willing to join. A resolution to this effect was proposed by Mr. W. W. Burrell, and seconded by Captain the honourable T. Pakenham, R. N. and carried unanimously.

Food for the Victorian poor (photograph, Wikimedia public domain image)

Bread stations are to be appointed in every town and village in mid Sussex, and every effort is to be made to put down or discourage the professional mendicant. The public are requested to give vagrants nothing but bread tickets, which may be purchased at the society at a low price per dozen. Such a society is much needed in this part, and we have no doubt it will remove eventually the begging nuisance. Colonel Mackay has kindly promised the assistance of the police.



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