When trying to locate information about someone's occuption don't forget resources such as birth, death and marriage certificates, church records, electoral rolls, census records and local directories.
The Workhouse in Ireland and England was the end of the road for many chronically unemployed, the poor, the old and inform, orphan children and 'disorderly women'.
From 1703 a House of Industry was set up in Dublin. It housed upto 100 men and 60 women at any one time. It also took in abandoned children aged between 5 and 16.
In 1730 an Act of Parliament extended the role of the workhouse to cover all foundling children. The House of Industry became known as the Foundling Hospital and Workhouse of the City of Dublin. With this new role came the revolving door system. Someone wishing to leave a child anonymously could place it in a basket which was attached to a revolving door, ring the porter's bell, and then depart.
In 1735, the Irish Parliament passed a similar Act for 'erecting a workhouse in the City of Cork for employing and maintaining the poor, punishing vagabonds and providing for and educating foundling children.' ... read more
Links of interest:
The Workhouse Orphans (girls sent overseas including Australia)
Report to the Children's Apprenticeship Board (about workhouse children sent to Australia)