Middlesex Poor Law UnionsEdit This Page

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An Act of Parliament in the year 1834 took the responsibility of administering to the poor from the local parish church to the doorstep of civil government. The government grouped each civil parish into a union of parishes. There were nearly 600 such unions throughout England, each one comprising close to 20 or more parishes, and were specifically setup to meet the demands of the poor among their local populations, with a workhouse on the premises. The responsbility was transferred from local parishes to a Board of Guardians in each union. These groupings or unions were known as poor-law unions. Middlesex had the following poorlaw unions within its boundaries:

The Unions of Middlesex (London)

  • Battersea
  • Bermondsey
  • Brentford
  • Bethnal Green
  • Camberwell
  • Chelsea
  • Clapham
  • Clerkenwell
  • Edmonton
  • Fulham
  • Greenwich
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith
  • Hampstead
  • Hendon
  • Holborn
  • Islington
  • Kensington
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Marylebone
  • Mile End
  • Paddington
  • Poplar
  • St George (Hanover Square)
  • St George in the East
  • St Olave
  • St Pancras
  • St Saviour's
  • Shoreditch
  • Southwark
  • Stepney
  • Staines
  • Strand
  • Uxbridge
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster
  • Whitechapel
  • Willesden
  • Woolwich

The Records

Records from the poorlaw unions, which were created from this time forward include the following:

  1. Guardianship
  2. Creed Registers
  3. Rate books
  4. Workhouse Lists of Inmates
  5. Register of Apprentices
  6. Register of Births
  7. Register of Deaths
  8. Vestry Rate Books
  9. Admission and Discharge Registers
  10. Board of Guardians' Records

Online Transcriptions Relating to Poorlaw Records

1) For more information on the history of the workhouse, see Peter Higginbotham's web site: workhouses.org.uk, a website providing history and a few online records

2) Here's a general website providing data on approximately 10 percent of Yorkshire's poor


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