Photograph of part of the first page of the diary Show image info

Part of the first page of the diary

Diary of William Winckworth

What was life like for a Victorian workhouse schoolmaster? Find out by reading his diary!

Born in Bath in 1830, William Winckworth trained as a teacher and taught in various schools in London before returning to Bath at the end of 1855. He applied for the post of schoolmaster at the Bath workhouse, and was asked to attend for an interview on 2 January 1856.

His diary for 1856 starts with this interview and goes on to chronicle in detail the events of his professional and private life day by day throughout the year. The diary provides a fascinating insight into life in the workhouse and in Bath at the time, as well as presenting us with a picture of Winckworth himself.

Read a transcript of the diary.