A social history detailing the relationship between the ruling class and the poor as found in the records of a poorhouse/hospital in 18th century Turin. Over 5000 of the poorest of the poor speak for themselves in the notes of the admitting clerk. The study is sited in Turin, capital of Piedmont, the only Italian province that was ruled by a king. The institution operated under royal charter; therefore, it was secular, not run by the Catholic Church. This work should be of interest to those studying early Italian history and the sociology of public welfare programs.