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Leicester Poorlaw Union


  • The Leicester Union was established by the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act and was formed in 1836.
  • The Leicester Poorlaw Union covered the parishes of All Saints, Blackfriars, Castle View, St. Leonard, St. Margaret, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Nicholas, the Newarke Liberty and the White or Augustine Friars.
  • The Leicester Union Workhouse was built in 1838 and situated on Sparkenhoe Street at the rear of the Midland Railway station on the eastern edge of the town in St. Margaret's parish.
  • The original building was replaced in 1850 by buildings accommodating 1,400 inmates, but in the 1871 census only 715 paupers were recorded in residence.
  • The Poor Law Union had an "Offices" building in Pocklington's Walk, erected in 1883.
  • The Board of Guardians met every other Tuesday at the Workhouse
  • The Leicester Poor Law Infirmary was opened in September, 1905, in North Evington to serve up to 542 patients.


 Year Inhabitants
1851 60,642
1861 68,190
1871 95,220
1881 122,376
1891 174,624
1901 211,579
1911 227,222

In the 1871 census only 715 paupers were recorded in residence.


  • 1849: Joseph FOULKS, Chairman; Abraham Jobson COLE, workhouse master; John P. STALLARD, surgeon; Mrs. COLE, workhouse matron; Rev. A. R. HARRISON, chaplain.
  • 1881: Lionel Percy CHAMBERLAIN, clerk to the guardians; Charles GARDINER, workhouse master; Clement F. BRYAN, surgeon; Mrs. Sarah GARDINER, workhouse matron; William HUMPHREYS, schoolmaster; Miss GILES, schoolmistress; Miss Emma LANCE, matron of school.
  • 1925: Herbert MANFIELD, clerk to the guardians; E. H. LOVALL, workhouse master; Oliver WHEELER, Treasurer; E. C. HADLEY, surgeon; Mrs. M. LOVALL, workhouse matron; W. FLEETHAM, schoolmaster; Miss S. THURLBY and Miss S. M. SOPPS, schoolmistresses.