Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteSt Thomas


Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteSt Thomas


St Thomas Poor Law Union and Workhouse

Union Workhouse

1851 census - HO/107/1867             Folio 217     Page 2

James Hodge - Master of Workhouse
Elizabeth Hodge - Matron of Workhouse

St Thomas Union 

Though none of it is within the municipal limits of Exeter, it includes those populous suburbs of the city in the parishes of St Thomas the Apostle, St Leonard & Heavitree, as well as 46 other parishes in Wonford & adjacent hundreds. It was formed under the New Poor Law Act, in 1836. 

The Union Workhouse is a large stone building in St Thomas' parish, & was erected in 1837, at the cost of about 11,000, including the purchase of 3.5 acres of land. It has accommodations for 450 paupers & the rooms are spacious & well ventilated. 

The Guardians meet every Friday at 11 o'clock, & the Earl of Devon is the chairman, & S T Kekewich Esq, & the Rev A Atherley are vice chairmen. The Board consists of 42 ex-officio, & 61 elected Guardians. M/s J G Bidwill & J Bowring are joint clerks of the Union. Mr & Mrs Hodge are master & matron of the Workhouse; the Rev E Bartlett is chaplain; & Mr & Mrs Dunn are teachers of the schools.
Source: White Directory 1850 p.122
Submitted by Betty Longbottom


Workhouses, List of those visited in 1867 With Name of the Workhouse and numbers of  insane, idiotic, and imbecile inmates.
St Thomas 17 19 36
Source: 22nd Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy to the Lord Chancellor. Submitted by Alan Longbottom.

Records Available

Devon Records Office Web Site 


Page last updated 12 Mar 2008 by Rossbret