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Oxford Poor Law Union and Workhouse

The Oxford Union was incorporated in 1771 under a local Act, and consists of the following eleven parishes out of the total of fourteen in the City (St Clement's, St Giles, St John and Cowley being in Headington Union).

All Saints, Hollywell (St Cross), St Aldate, St Ebbe, St Martin, St Mary Magdalen, St Mary the Virgin, St Michael, St Peter-le-Bailey, St Peter-in-the-East and St Thomas

The colleges and Halls are not rated with the Parishes in which they are locally situate, but are rated by special Act of Parliament, the rate being paid in by the University; this does not apply to those colleges in St Giles and St John's Parishes in Headington Union.

The Workhouse for the Union standing on the north side of the Cowley Road, in St Clements Parish, is an extensive pile of red and white brick with Bath stone cornices and dressings, and consists of three principal blocks parallel to each other. The central portion of the front range of buildings is of two stories, with an arched entrance, over which is a bell-cot. 

At a distance of 100 feet from the archway is the main building, 258 feet long and 44 feet wide, with a central corridor extending the whole length, but broken in the centre by a large hall, over which is a Tower 90 feet to the vane, and serving both as a staircase and a ventilating shaft.

The Infirmary is placed at the back of the building on the high ground, and on the eastern side is a detached cruciform chapel. The building was erected in 1865 from designs by Mr. William Fisher, architect, of London Place, St Clement's, at a cost of 20,000.

Workhouse, Cowley Road, 
Edwin Cold Stedham, Master.
Mrs Lucinda Stedham, Matron.
Rev. William Edward Best, Chaplain.
H. P. Mallam, Surgeon.

The population of the Union in 1881 was 21,900; rateable value 134,438. Board Day, Thursday at 2pm at the Workhouse.
Clerk to the Guardians, Walter Thompson, 43, Corn Market Street.
Source: Kelly's Directory 1883

List of Persons who have died in the Workhouse between July 11th 1841 and July 13th 1842 p229

Maddox Robert 41 Aug 15 1841 Consumption 
Kirkland William 7 Sep 28 1841 Consumption
Vasey Elizabeth 80 Oct 14 1841 Natural decay
Huggins Thomas 2 Oct 22 1841 Teething
Robinson Ann 40 Nov 23 1841 Consumption
Parker Elizabeth 22 Jan 4 1842 Consumption
Akers Ann 76 Jan 16 1842 Natural decay
Taylor Sarah 21 Feb 1 1842 Consumption
Mourton Jane 15 Feb 9 1842 Consumption
Stiles Susanna 82 Feb 13 1842 Natural decay
Crapper Susanna 17mo Mar 8 1842 Consumption
Boone James 72 Mar 24 1842 Natural decay
Davis Thomas 21 Mar 29 1842 Venereal
Mills Elizabeth 3 May 8 1842 Consumption
Hicks Edward 36 May 13 1842 Consumption
Allen Henry 4 May 16 1842 Consumption
Earle Thomas 81 Jul 3 1842 Natural decay
Ledger Mary 32 Jul 6 1842 Consumption

Children now in the Workhouse capable of going to Service p 229 
William Carey 14
William Samsworth 14
Edwin Harper 13
George Hounslow 13
Edwin Collins 14
William Neville 13
Mary Jewry 14
Eliza Jefkins 14
Mary Smith 14
Jane Steptoe 13
Louisa Merryman 13
Maria Crapper 13

Source: 9th Report 1843 of the Poor Law Commissioners with Appendices 557 pp
Appendix A Reports of Assistant Commissioners pp 81-376
Submitted by Alan Longbottom
Appendix A No 2 - VII pp 200- 229
Report on the Administration of Relief to the Poor in the City of Oxford by Alfred Power esq, Assistant Poor Law Commissioner.


Page updated March 12, 2008

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