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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleEvesham Board of Guardians
Ref NoCOLL MISC 0699
Extent1 folder
Admin Biographical HistoryThe Poor Law Amendment Act (1834) took away parish responsibility for the poor and created instead Board of Guardians for the management of poor relief through unions of parishes. These guardians were elected by local landowners and rate-payers. Their records include workhouse admissions registers, accounts, day books, minute books, general ledgers, and correspondence. The Local Government Act Board Act (1871) created a central government department with responsibility for poor relief and public health.
DescriptionCorrespondence to the Evesham guardians from the Poor Law Board. Also one letter from a Birmingham guardian concerning William Price, a 'dissipated rogue and vagabond' who did not support his wife and children.

Item 1 - Letter signed from Sir Edmund Head, Assistant Commissioner [1805-1868, later Governor General of Canada] to the Board of Guardians of the Evesham Union, 25pp, folio re: bastards, advising the guardians "to offer the Workhouse in all cases of bastardy" and suggesting that out-relief "can only lead to the encouragement of profligacy"…"the child and mother should be taken to the workhouse". He appreciates that there is a saving to the parish in out-relief, but "… the effect of the dislike to relief in a workhouse is completely lost sight of. The child is put out to nurse… the mother goes to service - sees nothing of and cares little for her own child, until she returns to the Board of Guardians with a second or third bastard; having suffered no inconvenience from the burden of the first…". Ross: 20 November 1838.

Items 2-16 - Bundle of 15 manuscript letters from the Poor Law Board, Whitehall, to the Board of Guardians of the Evesham Union on a variety of subjects (necessity of vaccination "the board are aware of the great prejudice which exists among the poorer classes on the subject of vaccination"; re taking two of John Harris's children into the Workhouse while he is unemployed; sanctioning an allowance of clothing to value of £1 for the boy of Joseph Hopkins on his going out to service; and others similar. Written on official blue paper; folio, varying from 1pp to 4pp. Whitehall: 1852.
Half of these are signed by W. R. Courtenay [1807-1888], Secretary to the Poor Law Board 1850-1859 and later 11th Earl of Devon.

Items 17-26 - Bundle of 10 printed blank forms, covering letters, directives and sent out by the Poor Law Board, Whitehall (Removal of Nuisances; Weekly Return of Paupers; Return of Irremovable Poor; Repayment of Schoolmasters and Medical Officers.). Printed on blue paper. Folio, folded. Whitehall: 1852.

Item 27 - A.L.S. from J. J. Russell of Birmingham, to the Evesham Board of Guardians, on behalf of Mrs. Mary Price who had received a request from Evesham that her husband support his parents there. He explains that Price is a "dissipated rogue and vagabond", does not support his wife and eight children, and is in gaol at that moment. 2pp to 4pp, with stamp and postmarks. Birmingham, July 24, 1857.
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