…..if you claimed poor relief, you lost your right to vote?
People entering the infirmary through the receiving system therefore lost the vote. A law was passed in 1885 to exclude people from this penalty if they were entering only and directly into the infirmary. The result was a dramatic increase in the number of patients entering the system. Guildford’s infirmary was enlarged and improved with new hospital wards built in 1896 following a very poor inspection report.
(Our researchers often come across unusual changes in the statistics held in the archive records and it is always interesting to find out some of the reasons why. )