1812 was a year of famine. The failure of the harvest caused wheat to rise to £1 a bushel. (a terribly high price in those days). Wheaten bread was unprocurable, and those who could afford flour mixed it with other ingredients. A portion of rice was officially recommended, but most people lived upon scanty rations of bran, peas and beans. Large funds were raised by public subscription for the relief of the destitute. In Worcester, a Bacon and Pease Charity was organised, and 8,000 'deserving poor people' were fed. As the total population was at that time about 13,000, it meant that two out of every three were dependent on public charity.