In addition, local magistrates could act as ex officio Guardians.The Board met at a fixed time either weekly or fortnightly, usually in a board-room at the workhouse.
(See also Poorhouse, Workhouse.) An Act of 1697, amending the Settlement laws, required that anyone receiving poor relief wear a badge on their right shoulder.
The badge, in red or blue cloth, consisted of the letter "P" together with the initial letter of the parish, for example "AP" for Ampthill parish.
In the 1840s, there was a public scandal when it was discovered that malnourished inmates at Andover workhouse had been fighting over scraps of rotting meat left on some bones they were supposed to be crushing. It was intended to provide interesting and useful occupation such as knitting, embroidery or lace-making for non-able-bodied workhouse inmates who spent long hours confined to bed or in day rooms.
Training in the various crafts was provided by outside volunteers and the costs were initially borne by Lady Brabazon.
The scheme was slow to take off, with Kensington being the first to adopt it in 1883.