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Help and advice for Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act

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Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act

Hartismere Union (in Suffolk)

This Suffolk Poor Law Union was situated to the south of Diss and was centered around Eye. Part of the parish of Mendham was for a time in this Union.

Union history

  • 1779 - Incorporation planned but never executed.
  • 1835 - Union created - used 2 following workhouses.
  • 1835 - Used old Eye workhouse (built before 1800). Located at Castleton Way, Eye, IP23 7BH, [Map reference is TM141741]. Became "Hartismere Hospital" which closed in 2006.
  • 1835 - Used old Wortham workhouse (built before 1800). Located on the South side of "The Ling", Wortham, Diss, IP22 1SR, [Map reference is TM0937578950]. Also called "Ling House of Industry". Now called "The Homestead". This became a School at Wortham sometime before 1881. Closed before 1912.
  • 1885 - People from Mendham were sent here (see Hoxne Union for more details).
  • 1907 - March 25th - "Local Government Board Order"
    Hoxne Union dissolved and the parishes added to Hartismere Union.
    ie. Mendham (on Suffolk side of border) was part of this move.
    [Source - Kelly's Suffolk Directory 1912]

Description of the Union - White's 1844 Suffolk

The following is extracted from pages 321 and 322 of the gazetteer and is part of the section entitled "Hartismere Hundred".

HARTISMERE UNION has its Workhouses at Eye and Wortham. That at the former place had 56, and that at the latter place had 97 inmates in July 1841. The former is chiefly for the reception of able-bodied poor and infants; and the latter chiefly for boys and girls, who are employed in making shoes, clothing &c. These houses were built in the latter part of last century [ie. 18th], by the parishes in which they are situated, but have been considerably altered and enlarged since the Hundred was constituted as an Union, under the new poor law, in 1835. In 1779, Hartismere, Hoxne, and Thredling hundreds, were incorporated for the support of the poor; but as they never raised the £16,000, required for the erection of a House of Industry, the incorporation was never carried into effect; several parishes considering it more beneficial to erect workhouses of their own. The 32 parishes of Hartismere Hundred and Union comprise an area of 53,479 acres, and 18,530 souls, as has been seen in the foregoing table. The average annual expenditure on the poor of these parishes, during the three years preceding the formation of the Union, was £19,212. Their expenditure in 1838 was £9258; in 1839 £8617. 11s.; and in 1842 £7891. The Guardians meet every Monday, at the Board-room, in Eye. Sir Edw. Kerrison. Bart., is Chairman of the Board' and the Rev. Dr. Day and Mr. J. Kirby are Vice-Chairmen. Mr. Chas. Fisher Costerton, of Eye, is Union Clerk & Superintendent Registrar; and Mr. Geore [sic] Mudd, of Eye, is Registrar of Marriages for the whole Union. The REGISTRARS OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS are, Mr. R. H. Harris, for Botesdale Division; Mr. Philip Hart, of Brome, for Eye Division; and Mr. Wm. Cuthbert, for Mendlesham Division. The RELIEVING OFFICERS are, Mr Charles White, for the first; Mr. P. Hart, for the second; and Mr. Anty. Gissing, for the third-named division. The Rev. Charles Notly, B.D., is chaplain; and the masters and matrons of the Workhouses are, Mr. John and Mrs. E. Thornton, at Eye; and Mr. D. and Mrs. S. Helsdon, at Wortham.

Parishes in the Union (in 1844).

  Aspall, Bacton, Botesdale (town and township in Redgrave parish), Braiseworth, Brome, Burgate, Cotton, Eye (Old Borough), Finningham, Gislingham, Mellis, Mendlesham, Oakley, Occold, Palgrave, Redgrave, Redlingfield, Rickinghall Superior, Rishangles, Stoke Ash, Stuston, Thorndon, Thornham Magna, Thornham Parva, Thrandeston, Thwaite, Westhorpe, Wethersingsett-cum-Brockford, Wickham Skeith, Wortham, Wyverstone, Yaxley.


Further information can be found:


See also the Norfolk Poor Law page and the Post 1834 Unions page

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Copyright © Mike Bristow.
February 2011