Sunday, January 15, 2012

Workhouse Romance – Pauper Baronet and a rich American Girl – 9 May 1903

After six months experience as a pauper inmate of West Ham Workhouse, Sir William Gordon Mocgregor, Bart. has just made his reappearance in social life. The circumstances of his translation from pauperism are of a remarkable and romantic nature.

Two or three weeks ago Sir William was visited in the workhouse by a young and very fashionably dressed lady from the West End, whose interest in the pauper baronet is supposed to have been aroused by the paragraphs which, have recently been published respecting his experiences as a workhouse inmate.

This lady had a long in private with Sir William. After her departure he informed several of his fellow inmates that, he was about to say ''Good-bye" to the workhouse, "and, marry a rich American lady."  Colour is lent to the story by the fact that Sir William has since left the workhouse well stocked with ready money, and was driven in a hansom to a West End mansion.

Nearly half a page of Burke's Peerage is devoted to the genealogy of Sir William's family. He succeeded his father as fourth, baronet in 1879, is fifty-seven years of age and had not previously been married.

For some years Sir William acted as an Army tutor and travelling companion, but for a considerable time he has been wholly dependent upon charity.

The death of Brigadier-General Charles Reginald Macgregor, his younger brother, who had command of the troops in the Assam district of India, deprived him of his only pension.

Suffering from lucomotor ataxy, he was admitted into the workhouse hospital.

Experiments at Aberdeen University as to tuberculosis cows show that until the disease has reached the udders there is no danger of consumption being conveyed, in the milk. 

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