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Boston Poor Law Union

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

  • As a result of the Poor Law Reform of 1834, some 40 Boston-area parishes became part of the Boston Poor Law Union which was officially formed in September 1836. The new Union Workhouse was a large brick building built on four acres of land called Friar's Pastureon Skirbeck Road in 1837-8 with accomodation for 450 people.
  • The Boston Poorlaw Union Board of Guardians met on alternate Saturdays at the workhouse.
  • The Boston Poorlaw Union sent many of their lunatic cases to the Haydock Lodge in Manchester. Other lunatics from Boston Union seem to be in "Hull Refuge".
  • The Lincolnshire Archives has the Boston Poor Law Union admission/discharge registers 1838-39, gap to 1876, then full run.
  • The Lincolnshire FHS has the Poor Law Miscellany Vol 1 (1 fiche) £1 (includes Boston Workhouse Register of Births 1866-1879; Boston Borough Quarter Sessions Poor Law Documents 1719/20 to 1881; available via the Federation of Family History Societies Bookstore.
  • The Lincolnshire FHS also has the Poor Law Miscellany Vol 3 which includes Boston Workhouse Register of deaths 1866-1902 available via the Federation of Family History Societies Bookstore.
  • Boston Union Workhouse deaths 1866-1902 will be available on the Lincolnshire Family History Pay Per View site starting November 2003. The 1903-1913 deaths will also be available there.
  • In addition, the FHS has the Boston Workhouse Girls School Admissions/Discharge register for 1850-1872, the Certificate Book of Detention of Lunatics for 1890-1902, both on microfiche available via the Federation of Family History Societies Bookstore.
  • For more on LFHS and the Lincoln Archives have on Lincolnshire Poor Law records, see our Poorhouses page.
  • Life in the Workhouse was rough. Read Simon Meed's Boston Workhouse page.
  • We also have a small text file of Boston Union Minutes, 1841-1860 and births, 1874 you can review (and add to!).
  • For more on researching Poor Law records, see our Poor Law records list.
  • During World War II the old workhouse buildings were taken over by the Royal Navy and became HMS Arbella. After the war the infirmary block was kept in use to provide residential accommodations for the elderly.

Staff and officers

  • 1842: Rev. Dr. ROY, Chairman of the Board of Guardians; Richard CALTHROP, vice-chairman; John George CALTHROP, clerk; George J. CUCKOW, auditor; Thomas SILVESTER, workhouse master. Relieving officers: Wm. G. ATKIN, Thomas HAMPTON and James BRUMMITT.
  • 10 Sept. 1842: Philip BRIERLEY and Ann his wife were appointed the new schoolmaster and schoolmistress.
  • 1872: Henry BATES, clerk; Robert Aslack WHITE, auditor; Rev. George Beatson BLENKIN, chaplain; Mr. JAMES, workhouse master; Mrs. M. E. PLANT, matron; Thomas SOWDEN, schoolmaster; Miss E. WELLS, schoolmistress; Samuel WHITWORTH, porter. Relieving officers: W. G. ATKIN, Thomas WARNER and James PLANT.
  • 1881: Henry BATES, clerk; Rev. George Beatson BLENKIN, chaplain; Mr. E. B. RECKITT, medical officer; Mr. J. E. RIGDEN jr., workhouse master; Mrs. M. E. PLANT, matron; J. H. WRAY, schoolmaster; Miss E. WELLS, schoolmistress; William DAWSON, porter; Mrs. E. DAWSON, nurse. Relieving officers: W. G. ATKIN, Thomas WARNER and James PLANT.
  • 1900: William UPSALL, Chairman of the Board of Guardians; John Millington SIMPSON, clerk; William GARFIT, treasurer; Wiliam Henry SMITH, medical officer, Thomas William STEEL, workhouse master; Mrs. Mary Martha STEEL, matron; Thos. Benjamin HEWETT, schoolmaster; Miss Effie WELLS, schoolmistress. Relieving officers: Alfred OSTLER, J. TAYLOR and Thomas HAND.
  • 1913: William POOLES, Chairman of the Board of Guardians; John Millington SIMPSON, clerk; William GARFIT, treasurer; Wiliam Henry SMITH, medical officer, Thomas William STEEL, workhouse master; Mrs. Mary Martha STEEL, matron. Relieving officers: Alfred OSTLER, A. ARNELL and Thomas HAND.

District Population

    Year  Inhabitants
1801 17,762
1821 27,680
1841 34,681
1851 38,444
1871 38,836
1881 39,391
1891 37,776
1911 40,715

Bibliography

  • None.