Reference code(s): PABG
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
Title: PADDINGTON BOARD OF GUARDIANS
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 20.53 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Paddington Poor Law Parish x Paddington 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.
1837-1845: Between 1837 and 1845 Paddington was part of the Kensington Poor Law Union. It separated in 1845 to form the Paddington Poor Law Parish. In 1901 a portion of the detached part of Chelsea known as Queen's Park transferred to Paddington Parish. In 1845 work began on a new workhouse for Paddington, situated on Harrow Road beside the Grand Union Canal.
Source of information: Peter Higginbotham at The Workhouse website.
Scope and content/abstract:
Records of the Paddington Poor Law Parish, 1845-1936, including minutes of meetings of the Board of Guardians and various Committees; standing orders; reports and accounts; orders from and correspondence with Government departments; orders of removal to and from the Union; registers of lunatics and imbeciles; registers for Harrow Road Workhouse; apprenticeship indentures; register of children sent to the Training Ship Exmouth; registers of children sent to the West London District School; registers of children at the Trenmar Gardens Receiving Home; financial accounts and staff records.
ACCESS AND USE
Language/scripts of material: English
System of arrangement:
In 10 sections: Board and Committees; Administration; Correspondence; Contracts; Settlement; Workhouses and Institutions; Schools and Children; Finance and Statistics; Staff; Plans.
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
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:
Immediate source of acquisition:
Records received with the records of the successor County Council. Further records received in 1955 (AC/55/039; AC/55/056).
Existence and location of originals:
Existence and location of copies:
For the Kensington Union see reference KBG. For the West London District School see reference WLSD.
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