Hinckley Poorlaw Union



  • The Poorlaw Union was the census Registration District. It made sense to use an existing political structure to manage the census.
  • The 1871 census shows 76 paupers in residence. In 1911, it was 114.


  • The Hinckley Union was established by the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act.
  • Prior to the formation of Hinckley Union, the parish of Hinckley had a workhouse for up to 90 inmates. That workhouse adjoined the local prison.
  • The Hinckley Union included 14 parishes; Co. of Leicestershire: Aston Flamville, Barwell, Burbage, Earl Shilton, Elmesthorpe, Hinckley, Sapcote, Sharnford, Stoney Stanton. Co. of Warwick: Burton Hastings, Stretton Baskerville. Late additions: Higham on the Hill (from 1851), Stoke Golding (from 1851), Wolvey (from 1851), Wigston Parva (from 1895). In 1896, three Warwick parishes were transferred to Nuneaton Poorlaw Union.
  • A new Hinckley Union workhouse was erected in 1838 on London Road in Hinckley parish to accomodate 300 inmates (some sources say 400).
  • After the abolishment of the Poorlaw Unions in 1930, the former workhouse fell into disuse and the buildings were demolished in the 1940s. The site is now occupied by the North Warwickshire and Hinckley College.
  • The Board of Guardians met on alternate Tuesdays at the Workhouse.

Inventories, Registers, Catalogues

Poorlaw documents can be viewed at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland in Wigston Magna.

Remember that some records may be restricted by the 100-year closure laws and regulations, established to protect individual privacy.


Year Inhabitants
1871 16,148
1881 17,402
1891 20,699
1901 23,940
1911 26,662


  • 1849: Thomas CRAFTS, Chairman of the Board of Guardians; James HOLLIER, vice chairman; Benjamin LAW, Clerk to the Board of Guardians; Thomas HEYRICK, workhouse master; Mrs. HEYRICK, workhouse matron; Miss BAKER, schoolmistress.
  • 1881: Samuel PRESTON, Clerk to the Board of Guardians; John ALLEN, workhouse master; William H. GRIFFITHS, sugeon; Rev. William H. DISNEY, chaplain; Mrs. Ellen ALLEN, workhouse matron; Louisa Jane COX, schoolmistress.
  • 1912: John William PRESTON, Clerk to the Guardians; Thomas AUCOTT, chairman; Walter WEBB, Treasurer; W. E. MOSS, workhouse master; Mrs. G. MOSS, workhouse matron; Charles Wilm. Sessions BARRETT, medical officer; Rev. William Philip HURRELL, chaplain.
  • For a complete list of officers, staff and inmates in 1881, see the Ross Brett Workhouse site.