Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 FHBG

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1868-1948

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 5.3 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Fulham Board of Guardians


Administrative/Biographical history:

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 Fulham parish was one of the parishes controlled by Kensington Poor Law Union. In 1845 it united with the parish of Hammersmith as Fulham Poor Law Union. However, in 1899 the Fulham Poor Law Union was dissolved and the Board of Guardians for the separate Parish of Fulham was constituted. The Fulham Palace Road Workhouse was constructed in 1848. In 1884 an infirmary was added to the north of the site, facing Saint Dunstan's Road.

In 1908 the Union took over management of school buildings in Sutton, renaming them the Belmont Workhouse. In the 1920s this institution began a scheme training inmates in key skills to improve their chances of gaining employment. When the London County Council took over the building it continued this work, renaming the institution the Sutton Training Centre.

Source of information: Peter Higginbotham at The Workhouse website.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Fulham Board of Guardians including vaccination registers and vaccination officers' report books and returns.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged in two sections as follows:
FHBG/01: Vaccination registers
FHBG/02: Vaccination Officers' report books and returns

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 is held by the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from Hammersmith and Fulham Archives and Local History Centre in 2015.


Related material:

See also FBG.

DESCRIPTION NOTES 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: Added July 2015.

Poor Law | Social security | Social services
Poor Law administration | Public administration | Government
Poor Law boards of guardians | Local boards | Local government | Public administration | Government
Vaccination | Preventive medicine | Systems of medicine

Personal names

Corporate names
Fulham Poor Law Parish x Fulham Poor Law Union x Fulham Board of Guardians

Fulham | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Hammersmith and Fulham