Later parish workhouses included: St Giles', an old building on Horn Street for 62 inmates; St Laurence's, a group of old cottages on Thorn Street, for 100 inmates; and St Mary's, a building on Pinkney's Lane dating from the 1770s, also for 100. a week do not hesitate soliciting relief, if a temporary stagnation of business curtails their common receipts, and reduces them to those difficulties which a little parsimony might have obviated.
Eden, in his 1797 survey of the poor in England, reported of the St Mary's workhouse that: The Poor are chiefly maintained in a workhouse, erected about 20 years ago, for £1,400, of which £650 has been paid off. The parish has a standing overseer, who, it is generally observed, keeps down the rates more than officers elected annually. Tea is generally used here, twice a day, by the Poor; the other part of their diet is, principally, the best wheaten bread, and occasionally a little bacon; it is seldom sufficiently boiled, and is thought to give them the sallow complexion which is much observable here.
In January 1626, the town corporation paid William Kendrick (John's brother) the generous sum of £1,900 for his house and workshops on Minster Street, opposite St Mary's church, and with handy access to the Holy brook and Mill stream.
By 1628, the site had been redeveloped to provide a workhouse for poor clothiers.
The workhouse was run by several "undertakers" — local clothiers, appointed by the Corporation, who organised the cloth production for which they received loans from the common stock.
In 1628, the first intake of 24 weavers, 16 shearmen, and six burlers took up employment at the workhouse.
It seems a comfortable and convenient lodging for the Poor, but not always sufficiently aired. Reading Poor Law Union was formed on 10th August 1835.
The lodging rooms contain 2, 3,4 beds apiece, made of flocks and feathers. If they require more they are usually taken into the house. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 15 in number, representing its 3 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one): Berkshire: St Giles, with Whitley (5); St Lawrence, Reading (5); St Mary, with Southcot (5).
Prosecutor Christopher May said: 'The Crown say that these four defendants who are in the dock during the course of the trial were concerned in aiding and facilitating the travel of young teenage girls to hotel locations at Travelodge in early 2016 with a view to exploit them sexually...
a short hand term for that might be trafficking.'In those hotels the Crown says the girls were exposed to and involved in the consumption of alcohol and drugs.
The main entrance, at the north side was through an ornate dutch-gabled stone gateway. By 1633, a Widow Lampit had been given the free use of several rooms in the workhouse to teach and set the poor on work is spinning and carding.
A small amount of residential accommodation was also provided for several employees including the overseers of the weaving and clothworking shops.
In some cases these girls were actually sexually exploited.'In addition the Crown says that the defendant Daniel Pusey was himself involved in sexual activity with three girls who were aged under 16 at the time and the Crown says he knew or must reasonably have known at the time that they were under 16 so that sexual activity with them was illegal.'This involved, in some cases, having full sexual intercourse with underage girls.'The court heard that the gang continued to traffic girls after Pusey was arrested when he was found in bed with one of the 13-year-old victims after she was declared missing by her father.'The Crown says that it must have made it even more obvious that what was going on was unlawful and Mr Pusey continued with sexual activity with an underage girl even after being arrested after being found in bed with a 13-year-old girl,' said Mr May.