EXTRACTS FROM MINUTE BOOKS OF YARDLEY GOBION WORKHOUSE 1861/2
Meetings held fortnightly in Board Room in YG. Chairman Richard Wood.
Guardians; Mr R Wood, Messrs Trevelyan, Franklin, Thorne, Read, Chapman, Reeve, Weston, R Scrivener, S Blunt, Manning, Boyes, Mr Linnell Vice Chair. [one from each parish?]
Appointed two weekly visitors on a rota basis.
Accounts in and out presented e.g.
Billed overseers of individual parishes within the poor law area on a quarterly basis for their contribution to police rates and to county rates (some Bucks CC and some Northants CC, in proportion to numbers in the workhouse from that parish – a considerable sum of money for some of them + payment for the paupers upkeep
|Parish||Police rates||General rate £||Contribution to annual workhouse charge|
|Stony Stratford East||60||75||1932|
|Stony Stratford West||45||88||2600|
[Need more work to check exactly what these payments were for and where the money came from]
Following example of bills received and approved for payment:
|Jonathan Smith||Baker||44.5.0||[this contract was worth having because bread was given to out-poor as well as inmates]|
|Mrs Fanny Clarke||Spirit Merchant||2.16.0|
|J Foddy||Tailor||5.14.0||[is this the guy from Chestnut Road?]|
|Mrs Frances Revill||Ironmonger||3.15.0|
|Messrs ? & Jennings||Draper||2.5.10|
|Mrs Jas Warren||Plumber||2.7.10|
|Messrs Shaw & Sons||Stationers||5.8.0||[still providing minute books for Parish Councils today!]|
|Mr Wm Sharp||Master – the balance of his account||20.9.11||[ didn’t find his annual salary – this may be the amount per quarter]|
|Miss Harriet Warren||School mistress||5.0.0|
|Mr Aldwick||Relieving Officer||85.0.0|
|Mr D Mason||Surgeon||1.10.6|
|Rev Crawley||Chaplain||6.5.0||[wonder what for?]|
|Mr E J Harris||Clerk||15.0.0|
|Mr D Nixon||Surgeon||17.10.1|
|Mr R Walton||Surgeon||11.5.0|
|Mr T H Heygate||Surgeon||4.0.0|
Medical costs were high and constant, particularly arising from vaccinations against smallpox. The doctors arranged two to three week vaccination sessions all round the villages, twice a year. He was accompanied by the Registrar for Births and Deaths. The Guardians did have to write to the doctors quite frequently to remind them of their duties! EG 1861 Smallpox outbreak in Calverton led to an immediate rush for vaccination.
Feb 1861 Mr Robert Webb Watkins was the Medical Officer of the 4th District
Other bills arose if a pauper was sent either to Northampton or Bucks Lunatic Asylum (where?) eg Mrs Ann Jefcoate Feb 1861. Other bills came from the hospitals e.g. £29.8.0 annual subscription to Northampton Infirmary 1861.
When smallpox was prevalent, used the Tramp Ward (used for reception of vagrants) for pox cases and sent tramps to Lodging Houses at Stony Stratford.
The Duke of Grafton is recorded as a regular benefactor eg of a quantity of cloaks and coats for paupers.
Complex administrative arrangements arose from the accommodation of vagrants from other Poor Law Unions. Abergavenny is mentioned! Adjacent Unions were Newport Pagnell – covered as far as Hanslope – and Towcester. Responsibility stayed with the place of origin so Clerk had to bill other Unions for paupers who ended up in YG. This includes payment of poor relief for out poor (5/- a week)
Other complicated work arose from requirement for all suppliers to retender for contracts on a very frequent basis. Tenders were needed for supply of bread (13 weekly contract), flour, coal, beef, mutton, kidney suet, porter, skimmed milk (half year contract). This led to a regular need for handbills and advertisements, which had an associated cost, as well as a lot of work for the Clerk!
Following a Govt directive to improve conditions in workhouses, Guardians directed Master to provide a few comfortable seats and cushions and a flock bed or two for the aged and sick.
In 1861 the Dining Hall was repapered and repainted. In October repairs to the spouting were done.
In July 1861 Miss Harriett Warren applied for the post of school mistress with a good testimonial and was appointed on 25th July 1861 on a salary of £20 p.a. Her initial contract was for 6 months. This would have been separate from any village school (before it??). Her predecessor was Mrs Dyer who had resigned and gone to work in Rye Union Workhouse (Sussex?). The Guardians had provided a favourable reference for her which later back fired when she was dismissed from Rye because of ‘intoxication and disorderly conduct’! It later transpired that Mr Sharp knew about this but he had protected her and did not report her problem to the Board, which got him into trouble.
Some Guardians also had in mind education of older youngsters; in November 1861 Rev Crawley (Pott & YG) proposed a Night School in YG and asked for the use of a room. However, this request was refused as it was felt ‘the workhouse regulations would be much interfered with’.
Inspector of Nuisances: the Chief Constables Boards of Northants and Bucks appointed Inspector Samuel Royle at £5 p.a. to cover Stony Stratford South, East and West, Wolverton and Calverton; this had to be sanctioned by the bucks Constabulary Committee and then reported to the Poor Law Board for approval.
Guardians also had a responsibility to find apprenticeships for young people if they could. This didn’t always work out as intended. A successful apprenticeship appears in 1861 when Wm Linnell of Paulerspury was apprenticed to Jeffs of Hartwell, Cordwainers, for five years. The Guardians gave him £2 for clothing and £10 to cover his keep (annually?)
However, later that year the Rev Mr Sams sent a letter stating the Sir Charles Tipping was desirous of placing an orphan girl from the workhouse in the Brockham House Training School for Servants. Elizabeth Green aged 14 from Paulerspury consented to go, Mr Sharp was to arrange travel and an outfit. However, she absconded after two months. The Vicar had obviously kept in touch and went in search of her and found her and put her in a servants home in Greenwich until he could find a place for her.
Not all life was doom and gloom in the Workhouse. On Christmas Day they had roast beef, plum pudding and ale and during the year a quarter cask of port wine was purchased for their consumption.