Susan Lily Evans (1884-1886)

In November 1885, Susan, her mother, and 3 siblings were taken in to the Workhouse, where they were to remain for 22 days. Benjamin Evans stated he did all he could to provide for his family but was hampered by his wife's drinking habit. Mrs Evans however claimed that Mr Evans had neglected his family for the last 2 years, forcing them to sleep on bare boards and refusing money for food. He moved the family into lodgings in Helen Street. The landlady noticed that Mrs Evans only had one dress to wear that was threadbare. The family had no furniture and were only allowed to light a fire when Benjamin was at home. Food consisted of bread and butter. However Benjamin ensured the house always had cheese and bacon which he alone was allowed to eat. He refused to buy milk and forced his 8 year old child to beg in the streets for food. Even when neighbours took pity on Susan, the beef extract they bought for her was eaten by Benjamin.

A doctor called to look at Susan on 1st March, but could find no evidence of illness, but she was underweight and the doctor recommended a quart of milk a day for her. Unable to persuade Benjamin to pay for the required milk, Susan died on 10 March weighing only 8 pounds 6 ozs.

Benjamin was charged with negligence for Susan's death at the Swansea Assizes. He claimed clemency for the sake of his wife and children. He could have easily given up some of his cheese and bacon. The judge sentenced him to 10 months imprisonment.