Providing for the Poor – Documents & Objects

Page from Prestonkirk Poor Roll

Page from Prestonkirk Poor Roll

This is a page from the Roll of the Poor for the Parish of Prestonkirk. Everybody who applied for Poor relief was given a page like this one which gives personal details of the pauper and a couple of lines about the relief granted. Mary Cairns however was something of a special case – she has three pages in the poor roll detailing her travels across the country. Click here to read her story.

Communion token

Communion token

There are also a number of communion tokens on display in the exhibition. This one here is from Cockenzie Parish. Communion tokens were distributed by ministers and elders to those parishioners who seemed worthy of taking part in the sacrament of communion. Tokens or ‘tickets’, were usually made from metal and helped distinguish not only one parish from another, but the included and excluded in society.

Mars Training ship

Mars Training ship

Within the poor minutes for North Berwick we have two boys who were sent to the Mars Training ship near Dundee. The ship provided training for boys and many found a career in the navy as a result of their time there.




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