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Cosford Union

Semer includes Cosford Union Workhouse, which had 165 inmates in 1811, 169 in 1821, 164 in 1831, 108 in 1841 & 150 in 1843. It was erected in 1780, as a House of Industry for the 18 parishes of Cosford Hundred, which were incorporated under Gilbert's Act, in 1779. It cost about 8000, & is large enough for 500 inmates. 

It consists of a centre & 2 wings, & the interior has undergone considerable alterations, so as to admit of that classification of the sexes, & of the young & aged, required by the New Poor Law. The present union was formed in 1835, & comprises the 18 parishes of Cosford Hundred, & 10 parishes in Babergh Hundred. These 28 parishes comprise an area of 80 sq miles, & a population of 18,238 inhabitants. The average annual expenditure of this district, for the support of the poor, during the 3 years preceding the formation of the union, was 19,223; but in 1838, it only amounted to 7122. In 1810, when the workhouse was confined to the Cosford Hundred, it was said the poor rates of that Hundred had been reduced to 3/8 of what they had been previous to 1780. 

Before hand spinning was superseded by machinery the paupers here were employed chiefly ion spinning yarn for Norwich.

Mr Robert & Mrs Jane Patterson are master & matron of the Workhouse, & Isaac Last esq is Union Clerk & Supt. Registrar. The District Registrars & Relieving officers are Mr Joseph Glandford Stow, of Hadleigh Hamlet, for Hadleigh district; & Mr George Scott, of Cockfield, for Lavenham district. 
Source: SEMER - White 1844 - p 283
Submitted by Betty Longbottom


Here is a National School, built in 1834, & the schoolmistress has the use of part of the old workhouse, which was divided into 3 tenements in 1838.
Source: White Directory 1844 - p 561
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Page updated March 12, 2008 by Rossbret