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Help and advice for Horncastle Poor Law Union

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Horncastle Poor Law Union

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

  • Horncastle parish had its own workhouse, originally built in 1735.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, some 68 Horncastle-area parishes became part of the Horncastle Poor Law Union on 16th January 1837. In April, 1838, the new Union House was completed, built of red brick, on the southeast corner of the town on Foundry Street near Union Street. It was designed to accommodate up to 200 people.
  • The Board of Guardians of the union met every Tuesday morning at 11AM at the workhouse in the first few decades. Then moved to every other Tuesday by 1872. By 1900, they met only once a month.
  • In the 1930s, the site was converted into a children's home. Only the main building still stands.
  • The Lincolnshire Archives have no Poor Law Union admission/discharge registers for this workhouse. Only the Workhouse Minutes for 1837 to 1935 have survived, along with the Building Committee minutes for 1837 to 1841.
  • For more on LFHS and the Lincoln Archives have on Lincolnshire Poor Law records, see our Poorhouses page.
  • For more on researching Poor Law records, see our Poor Law records list.

District Population

    Year  Inhabitants
1801 13,283
1831 20,584
1841 23,220
1851 22,089
1871 23,764
1891 20,211
1901 13,468
1911 13,102


  • We have the complete 1841 Census for the workhouse, compliments of Ann DUNCAN.
  • And Ann also gave us the complete 1851 Census for the workhouse.

Staff and officers

  • 1842: Edward BABINGTON, clerk to the Board of Guardians; John HOLMES, workhouse master.
  • 1872: Moses ELMHIRST, chairman of the board; Henry LENTON, clerk to the Board of Guardians; Rev. E. M. CHAPMAN, chaplain; William BERRIDGE, workhouse master; Mrs. Betsy BERRIDGE, matron; Georege KEMPO, schoolteacher; and Miss Mary E. J. HARDY, schoollteacher.
  • 1882: Charles DEE, clerk to the Board of Guardians; Rev. E. M. CHAPMAN, chaplain; William T. BERRIDGE, workhouse master; Mrs. Betsy BERRIDGE, matron.
  • 1900: Sir Henry Michael HAWLEY, bart., chariman of the board; J. E. CHATTERTON, clerk to the Board of Guardians; William GARFIT, treasurer; Rev. Henry BENWELL, chaplain; William T. BERRIDGE, workhouse master; Mrs. Betsey BERRIDGE, matron.