He was driven not so much by ambition but more a morbid fear of the poverty he had experienced in his childhood.
A new Ormskirk Union workhouse was built in 1851-3 on a site at the south side of the Wigan Road in Ormskirk.
It was designed by William Culshaw who was also the architect of much larger workhouses for the Toxteth Park and West Derby Unions. The following collection of remarkable photos, dating from the early 1900s, paint a vivid portrait of the workhouse and its inmates and staff.
In 1889, an adjacent inn called the Tap House was purchased by the Guardians, who demolished it and added the ground to the workhouse site.
The workhouse location and layout are shown of the 1902 map below. The only surviving buildings are now (2007) an entrance lodge and vagrants' block at the west of the site, erected in 1874 to a design by local architect JT Meredith.
The male vagrants' accommodation included nine sleeping cells measuring 10 feet by four feet, and nine labour cells facing them across a passageway.
There was also a double room and three single rooms for women. Rocks were broken up until the pieces were small enough to pass through a grille to the stone-yard outside.They had a separate entrance and stairs leading directly to the board room.At the rear were vagrant wards, now demolished apart from a bathroom linked to the main block.Bewdley's workhouse had its origins in November 1736 when the Mayor and Burgesses of the town decided to erect a workhouse for the maintaining the poor. In the 1790s, such items included "Wine for the Sick 10d.", "Ale and Cakes for the Sick at times 4-2d", and "Cakes and Wigs [spiced buns] for the Sick 3d.".They donated £206 6s towards the cost of the building which was erected on a rented site, at what is now 64 High Street. Those who died in the workhouse had their funeral expenses paid, including the purchase of a coffin and the payment of coffin-bearers.A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded local workhouses in operation in Ormskirk (for up to 114 inmates), Aughton (114 inmates), and Melling with Cunscough (50 inmates).