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Mansfield Poor Law Union

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, the Mansfield Poor Law Union was formed on 29 June 1836 to serve 17 local parishes in Nottingham and Derby shires. Since Mansfield, in the north of Nottinghamshire, was near the Derbyshire border, it made sense for it to serve both counties. Over time, new parishes were added to the Union. For more on the history of this Union, see the Peter Higganbotham website.
  • It also made sense to the government to have the Poor Law Unions function as the administrative centres for Civil Registration and the Census enumeration.
  • The Mansfield Poor Law Union was originally divided into five Registration Sub-Districts: Blackwell, Blidworth, Mansfield, Shirebrook and Warsop.
  • The Blackwell subdistrict included the Derbyshire parishes of: Blackwell, Pinxton, South Normanton and Tibshelf.
  • The Blidworth subdistrict included the Nottinghamshire parishes of: Blidworth, Haywood Oaks and Lindhurst.
  • The Mansfield subdistrict included the Nottinghamshire parish of Mansfield.
  • The Shirebrook subdistrict included the Derbyshire parishes of: Ault Hucknall, Glapwell, Pleasley, Scarcliffe, Shirebrook and Upper Langwith. It also included the Nottinghamshire parish of Teversal.
  • The Warsop subdistrict included the Nottinghamshire parishes of: Mansfield Woodhouse, Sookholme and Warsop.
  • Later additions to the union: Fulwood, Haywood Oaks, Lindhurst.
  • In 1837, the new Mansfield Union workhouse was built on the south side of Stockwell Gate on Sutton road in the parish of Mansfield. It was opened for business in November, 1837.
  • Although the workhouse was built to house 312 inmates, the average number housed was under 150.
  • The Board of Guardians met every alternate Tuesday.
  • In 1882, a new 84-bed infirmary block was added as well as a new vagrants' ward.
  • In 1898, a hospital for 70 patients was added on the west side.
  • In 1903, an isolation block and a tuberculosis ward were added.
  • In 1930, the Poorlaw Union concept was abandoned and the government began to introduce direct assistance.
  • In 1939, The Union Workhouse became the Mansfield County Institution. The workhouse infirmary later became part of Victoria Hospital (now Mansfield Community Hospital).
  • Virtually all the workhouse buildings have now been demolished.

District Population

Year Inhabitants
1831 25,400
1871 35,833
1881 44,958
1891 55,295
1901 81,618
1911 125,359

Bibliography

  • Maurice CAPLAN, "In the Shadow of the Workhouse," Univ. of Nottingham, 1984.

Staff and officers

  • 1853: James SALMOND, chairman; William Elsey GOODACRE, clerk to the board; James NICHOLSON, governor.
  • 1869: Joseph HARDWICKE, chairman; William Elsey GOODACRE, clerk to the board; Mrs. Mary HASLAM, matron; Miss Harriet BURROWS, schoolmistress; Nathan COOPER, sugeon.
  • 1881: George Hudson HIBBERT, clerk to the board; Daniel WILLIAMS, workhouse master; Thomas GODFREY, surgeon; Rev. James BUTTERWICK, chaplain; Mrs. Charlotte WILLIAMS, matron; Miss Mary SIMMONS, schoolmistress.
  • 1900: Samuel White SKELTON, chairman of the Board of Guardians; J. G. HAMMOND, workhouse master; Mrs. Annie HAMMOND, workhouse matron.
  • 1912: William SINGLETON, chairman of the Board of Guardians; Walt Stretton COCKERHAM, clerk to the board; Bertram A. SMITH, Treasurer; Rev. Harry Lowndes DAY, chaplain; JosephHAMMOND, workhouse master; Mrs. Annie HAMMOND, workhouse matron.