HAMMERSMITH BOARD OF GUARDIANS
|Reference code(s)||: HHBG|
|Held at||: London Metropolitan Archives - click here to see details of the physical location of collection|
|Full title||: HAMMERSMITH BOARD OF GUARDIANS|
|Level of description||: Collection|
|Extent||: 18.85 linear metres|
|Name of creator(s)||: Hammersmith Poor Law Union x Hammersmith Board of Guardians|
Poor relief was based on the Act for the Relief of the Poor of 1601 which obliged parishes to take care of the aged and needy in their area. Parish overseers were empowered to collect a local income tax known as the poor-rate which would be put towards the relief of the poor. This evolved into the rating system, where the amount of poor-rate charged was based on the value of a person's property. Early workhouses were constructed and managed by the parish. However, this process was expensive and various schemes were devised where groups of parishes could act together and pool their resources. As early as 1647 towns were setting up 'Corporations' of parishes. An Act of 1782, promoted by Thomas Gilbert, allowed adjacent parishes to combine into Unions and provide workhouses. These were known as 'Gilbert's Unions' and were managed by a board of Guardians.
Under the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, the Poor Law Commission was given the power to unite parishes in England and Wales into Poor Law Unions. Each Union was to be administered by a local Board of Guardians. Relief was to be provided through the provision of a workhouse. An amendment to the 1834 Act allowed already existing 'Gilbert's Unions' or Corporations of parishes to remain in existence, although they were encouraged to convert themselves into Poor Law Unions. Although there was some reorganisation of union boundaries, particularly in London, the majority of Unions created under the 1834 Act remained in operation until 1930. In March 1930 a new Local Government Bill abolished the Poor Law Unions and the Board of Guardians. Responsibility for their institutions passed to Public Assistance Committees managed by the county councils - in the metropolis either the London County Council or the Middlesex County Council.
From 1837 to 1845 Hammersmith was one of the parishes controlled by Kensington Poor Law Union. In 1845 it united with the parish of Fulham under the name of Fulham Union. In 1899 Fulham Union was dissolved and the Board of Guardians for the separate parish of Hammersmith was constituted. In 1902 the Union constructed a new workhouse on Du Cane Road, Hammersmith.
Source of information: Peter Higginbotham at The Workhouse website.
Scope and content/abstract:
Records of the Hammersmith Poor Law Union, 1839-1932, including minutes of the Board of Guardians and various Committees; orders from and correspondence with Government departments; orders of removal to and from the Union; registers of lunatics; registers of the Du Cane Road Workhouse, Fulham Workhouse and Infirmary and Kensington Workhouse and Infirmary; apprenticeship indentures; registers of children boarded out, children at institutions and children in West London School District schools; financial accounts and staff records.
Access & Use
Language/scripts of material:
System of arrangement:
In 8 sections: Board minutes; Committees; Correspondence; Settlement and Relief; Workhouses and Institutions; Schools and Children; Finance; Staff.
Conditions governing access:
These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.
Conditions governing reproduction:
Copyright: City of London
Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm
Immediate source of acquisition:
Records received with the records of the successor County Council.
For Kensington Poor Law Union see reference KBG, for Fulham Union see reference FBG.
For a detailed history see website 'The Workhouse' (http://www.workhouses.org.uk).
Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009
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