Chapter1: An unknown woman was found lying in the street and brought into the workhouse. She delivered a sickly child who had trouble breathing. The woman, without a word of who she was, died and left her new born boy, Oliver, to the drunken nurse that stood by.
Chapter2: The State gave Oliver to Mrs. Mann who housed a number of orphaned children. Mrs. Mann took a large portion of the money given to her by the authorities for each child's food so Oliver grew up small and malnourished. On his ninth birthday, the town beadle, Mr. Bumble, came to collect Oliver and take him to the board for an interview. They told him he was to live with other wards of the state to become educated and learn a trade. Oliver did not mind this, but soon after he arrived, the state decided to implement a plan that would save money by feeding the people very little. After a time on this diet, the boys at the table chose Oliver to go ask the head cook for more gruel. Oliver did this, and was taken away. A flyer was then posted that said the state would give five pounds for someone to take young Oliver off their hands.
Chapter3: The board locked up Oliver in what he called the 'dark room' all day until someone would take him as an apprentice. After several days of solitary confinement, several beatings, and being made an example of at mealtime, Oliver thought he would do just about anything to leave the workhouse. However, when a chimneysweep, Mr. Gamfield, came to get the money offered and Oliver the boy quickly changed his mind. The board assessing Mr. Gamfield said that the State would only pay three pounds and ten shillings instead of the five originally offered and Mr. Gamfield accepted. Mr. Bumble cleaned Oliver up, and brought him before the magistrates. As the magistrates were signing the contracts of Oliver's indenture, they realized that Oliver was petrified of going with the evil looking Mr. Gamfield. Because of this, they ordered Oliver back to the workhouse from which he came with orders to Mr. Bumble to treat him well.