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Help and advice for ASHBOURNE Poorlaw Union, Derbyshire

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ASHBOURNE Poorlaw Union, Derbyshire

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

  • A Parliamentary Report of 1777 recorded a workhouse on the east side of Dig Street in Ashbourne for up to 80 inmates.
  • As a result of the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, Ashbourne became the center of a Poorlaw Union and a Civil Registration District. Local authorities enacted the provisions of the Act on 4 January 1845, placing 61 parishes and other jurisdictions in the Union.
  • The slight delay in implementing the act was due to the fact that a number of the parishes were already part of a "Gilbert" Union (the Alstonefield Gilbert Union). and some existing poorlaw commissioners were reluctant to change.
  • The Derbyshire parishes were: Alkmonton, Ashbourne, Atlow, Ballidon, Bentley Fenney, Bentley Hungry, Biggin, Bonsall, Bradbourne, Bradley, Brailsford, Brassington, Callow, Carsington, Clifton and Compton, Eaton and Alsop, Edlaston and Wyaston, Hartington Town Quarter, Hognaston, Hollington, Hopton, Hulland, Hulland Ward, Hulland Ward Intacks, Ible, Kirk Ireton, Kniveton, Lea Hall, Longford, Mappleton, Mercaston, Middleton by Wirksworth, Newton Grange, Offcote and Underwood, Osmaston, Parwich, Rodsley, Shirley, Snelston, Sturston, Stydd, Thorpe, Tissington, Waterfall, Yeaveley, Yeldersley.
  • The Staffordshire parishes were: Blore with Swinescoe, Calton in Blore, Calton in Mayfield, Calton in Waterfall, Calwich, Ellastone, Ilam, Mayfield, Okeover, Prestwood, Ramshorn, Stanton, Woodhouses, Wootton. Later Additions: Alstonfield (1869), Hopton and Griffe Grange (1858), Musden grange (1858), Wetton (1869).
  • The new Workhouse was built in 1848 on Dark Lane (later named Union Street, then Belle Vue Road). Vagrants' wards and other buildings were added in 1855.
  • There were also workhouses at Brassington and at Alstonefield which joined the Ashbourne Union in 1869.
  • The average number of inmates appears to be around 90.
  • The Board of Guardians met every other Saturday at the Green Man Hotel on St. John's Street.
  • Under the National Health Service the institution became the Ashbourne Public Assistance Institution.
  • Very few records remain at the Derbyshire Record Office. The Minute Book from 1845 to 1930 survives as does the Register of boarded-out children (1908-34).
 Year  Inhabitants
1831 21,309
1841 21,357
1851 20,932
1861 20,648
1871 20,556
1881 19,995
1891 19,930

Staff and officers

  • 1857: William SMITH, chairman of the Board of Guardians; Richard HOLLAND, clerk to the Board; Samuel WALKER, Workhouse master; Mrs. Ann Maria WALKER, Workhouse matron.
  • 1874: William R. SMITH, chairman of the Board of Guardians; W. R. HOLLAND, clerk to the Board; Mr. P. C. WALKER; Treasurer: Richard UTTING, Workhouse master; Mrs. Ann WALKER, Workhouse matron; Miss Sarah Ann AVERY, Schoolmistress.
  • 1895: William Richard HOLLAND, clerk to the Board; Edward HUNTER, Treasurer; Joseph STATHAM, Workhouse master; Mrs. Mary STATHAM, Workhouse matron.
  • 1899: William Richard HOLLAND, clerk to the Board; Edward HUNTER, Treasurer; Philip Richard LITTLETON, medical officer; Joseph STATHAM, Workhouse master; Mrs. Mary STATHAM, Workhouse matron.
  • 1911: F. JACKSON, chairman of the Board of Guardians; William Richard HOLLAND, clerk to the Board; Alexander M. WITHER, Treasurer; Ernest ATKINS Workhouse master; Mrs. Mary A. ATKINS, Workhouse matron.